A couple of weeks ago I was invited to attend a networking event with a difference. Organised by the lovely Charlotte of The Palm Tree Club, this wasn’t your usual awkward ice breakers and talks over tea and cake! Gylly beach in Falmouth isn’t dog friendly, so this was a human only event. If you’re a female business owner in Cornwall, who loves spending time outdoors, this is the meet up for you!
It’s been a few years since I last went paddle boarding (or SUP as it’s also known.) I love being out on the water as much as possible and look forward to taking Woody out on a SUP with me one day. It’s been a super hot summer in Cornwall and everyone knows the beach is the place to be!
I arrived at the WeSUP centre in Falmouth in a bit of a state. That morning, while walking Woody, I found a dishevelled cat in an awful way. Covered in flies and surrounded by litter, it was so skinny and full of mange. I rushed it straight to the vets but the whole experience left me feeling quite overwhelmed and emotional.
Charlotte, the WeSUP staff and the ladies attending the event were so supportive, kind and understanding when I turned up a few minutes late. It was lovely to feel so supported right from the start and everyone was really friendly. There were half a dozen or so of us together, which helped ease my nerves.
After a quick safety briefing, buoyancy aid fitting and an introduction to the SUP boards we were let loose on the water. The sea was flat with only a slight breeze in the air, perfect conditions for newbies like us! The water was crystal clear and we all enjoyed watching the fish swimming underneath us.
We paddled round to Castle beach, chatting along the way. At first we were all paddling on our knees but as our confidence grew, we soon found our feet. It’s surprising how sturdy the inflatable boards are, though I did have a few wobbles along the way! It was lovely getting to know everyone out on the water and having to focus on paddling really took the pressure off the conversation. Accidentally bumping my board into people (I wasn’t very good at stopping!) turned out to be the perfect conversation starter.
I met so many incredible, creative women of all ages doing awesome things in Cornwall. There were illustrators, make up artists, designers and more! We could also all paddle at our own pace and Charlotte was on hand to offer coaching tips to improve our technique. We were out on the water for about an hour before heading back to the beach. The paddle back to Gylly was a little more challenging. We were paddling into the breeze but Charlotte advised we head towards the glassy, still water.
The Palm Tree Club treated us to an array of cakes, fruit and sweet treats when we arrived back on dry land. I spent the rest of the morning getting to know everyone, talking to the ladies I hadn’t managed to meet on the SUP. Business cards were exchanged (I’d stupidly forgotten mine!) and samples of people’s work were handed around the circle. Time flew by and it was soon time to go!
I really enjoyed networking with a difference at The Palm Tree Club. It was a great way to enjoy the outdoors, while still technically working at the same time! Charlotte holds the networking events most Friday mornings, weather permitting. They’re £15 and it’s a great way to meet other creatives in the county.
What’s your favourite type of networking event? Be sure to let me know in the comments!
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*I was invited to attend The Palm Tree Club’s event in exchange for the photos I took of the day. All opinions are my own, it was great to go paddle boarding again!