The New England Coastal Creative Conference is April 3-5 at Newport Marriott

Year four of BLOOM promises community, camaraderie, and keynote speaker Tracey Minkin


A few years ago, my Instagram feed began to fill with squares of smile-inducing photos of people looking very happy, often donning pretty florals or jaunty stripes, against colorful backdrops or seaside locations. Peppered into the mix were motivational quotes like “the expert in anything was once a beginner,” and lots and lots of blue hydrangeas. I soon realized this all stemmed from a singular source, the New England Coastal Creative account (@necoastalcreative), to promote their upcoming women’s conference, BLOOM, which I believe is not an acronym but presented in the uppercase for exuberance.

New England Coastal Creative (NECC) is part of Shorelines Creative Group, the brainchild of Kim Thomas, a Greenwich, CT-based designer/marketer who had a brief stint on Wall Street, and now uses her skills to build a community of sophisticated entrepreneurs seeking camaraderie and support. In addition to BLOOM, held this week at Newport Marriott, Thomas hosts single-day events at picturesque venues along the eastern seaboard. NECC paid members have access to virtual group activities like monthly networking calls via Zoom, an affiliate store program, workshops, and webinars.

After following that first conference on social media with curiosity, I reached out to friends and colleagues asking if they thought the event would be useful to me. I received a resounding “yes,” followed by an invite from Kate Hathaway Weeks, director of brand marketing at Yankee Magazine, to join her “dream panel,” The Fine Print: The Staying Power and Branding Impact of Traditional Media, along with Amy Traverso, senior food editor, cookbook author, and co-host of Weekends With Yankee, and Jamie Coehlo, editor in chief at Rhode Island Monthly

Last spring I was honored to again share insights about sending story ideas to the media in the Pitch Perfect panel, before having a book signed by keynote speaker, photographer Gray Malin. At BLOOM ‘24, I’m excited to meet Tracey Minkin, a Rhody native who is living her publishing dreams as travel editor for Coastal Living and contributing editor for Veranda, as we share the couch for the Media & Hospitality Travel panel. 

To answer my own question, “Is NECC useful?” – if you are a budding entrepreneur striving to make connections and build friendships with other like-minded women, or a lifestyle journalist looking for stories about women-owned businesses going from the dining room table to a national spotlight, then yes, this conference is for you. Learn more at


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here