This weekend was one of the best of my entire life. I feel like I was wrapped in a beautiful jacket of empowerment, education, assurance, and sisterhood. The theme this year was summer school, including freezing classrooms, expert teachers, and prom! From the programming and workshops to the zillions of inspiring women I met, every moment was organized to connect bloggers with resources, brands, and other bloggers to help us all feel more confident and prepared for being positively successful in whatever kind of blogging we do.
I couldn’t possibly type out every inspiring thing I heard over the weekend, so I’m going to give a run down of my experience with highlights from the conference. If you have any questions about specific workshops, etc., feel free to ask in the comments or an email!
I was fortunate enough to be a TxSC volunteer. On Friday, I helped set up the Smart Style Swap presented by Lulu*s. I was welcomed in by the kindest, most darling blogger in the history of the world, Linda of Little Tin Soldier, who I originally met at the March mixer. I got to hang out with the amazing Brittany of Brit Brit Land as we used our super strength to peel and scrape a decal off a window, collect and hang about 400 items of clothing, and met bloggers from all over the country (plus Canada!). I immediately adored Brittany because, like me, she blogs because she loves to write. We had awesome conversations about books we’ve read and books we want to write. She scored a lovely piece from Lulu*s and I got my hands on the most beautiful skirt, which I’ll be sharing later. I also met the wonderful and talented Becky of The Pink Samurai, who draws her daily outfits and crochets the prettiest pieces.
It was hot and we were on our feet for a bazillion hours, but I had so much fun and was super energized to continue the fun on Saturday.
Saturday morning we all piled in a couple of elevators and headed up to the 17th floor of the Hyatt Regency. Here’s a run down of the “classes” I took:
/ social media for brands & bloggers 101 / Terri of Finding Drishti gave us 8 tips for managing social media like a boss. Highlights: find your focus & go deep, get organized, and pimp the hell out of it.
/ iPhoneography 101 / Carli of Inked Fingers showed us how to make art using the camera you have with you: your iPhone. Highlights: the app ImageBlender. I made the photo above with the white dress and crepe myrtles by blending two images and playing around with the masking and opacity. Coolest. App. Ever.
/ self photography 101 / Elizabeth of Delightfully Tacky shared her best self photography practices. Highlights: Her hair! It’s serious awe-inspiring. (She actually just used this post from her blog [which I refer to already] as her power point, so you can all go learn too!)
/ personal budgeting 101 / Kelsey and Eric of Words of Williams gave an amazingly informational lesson on starting your first budget and how to stick to it. Highlights: set a specific goal, find the tool that works for you (they use YNAB), and do it for at least 3 months before reevaluating.
Then I walked to Whataburger for lunch with my lovely blog friend Kara of business and pleasure. It’s always great to reconnect and grow a little closer every time you see someone! She’s a fierce dresser and such an inspiring woman.
Then it was prom! I wore a vintage dress I nabbed up a few years ago at Top Drawer for $3 with other vintage and thrifted accessories. The dress is actually backless, which I never wear, so I felt a little extra fabulous and a little extra rebellious. I hand-jived, photo boothed, and hung out with some of the most fun ladies at the conference, including Toyosi of Standart T, Regina of Sisterly Blog, and Laura of Hello, Clementine! Some of my favorite sponsors were BonLook, Accessory Fanatic, Altar’d State and Clyde’s Rebirth.
As I was browsing through BonLook’s specs selection with my new bestie Laura, the greatest moment of my life went down. Kendi of Kendi Everyday noticed my tattoo and stopped me to ask about the story behind it. I started to explain that I’m a writer and feminist and I believe in Sisterhood. She loved that idea and asked about my blog, so I gave a couple of bullet points, including that I write about my experiences with depression. The conversation quickly devolved into the two of us joking about different depression meds that mess with your body and mind in different ways and how hard it is to have a business when you don’t feel good about yourself. Even with her husband and Laura standing next to us and a whole ballroom of prom-goers around us, I felt like Kendi and I were the only two people in the room. She was so encouraging about my writing and about pushing forward. In the moment, she wasn’t Kendi the famous fashion blogger who everyone is fangirling over, she was a sister in my struggle and in my successes. I gave her my business card and she told me to put my face on it next time.
I pretty much floated on a cloud for the rest of the night.
I’ll be posting part two of my TxSC recap tomorrow, so keep an eye out!