And I’m back (back) back in a New York groove….errrr…a Maine groove?! Nope, it just doesn’t have the same ring to it. But anyway, I’m back in Maine after an extra long weekend down in Hotlanta (translation for my mom…that’s “hot Atlanta”) for the Haven Conference. Just what is the Haven Conference? Good question! I’m glad you asked! Here’s the “official” definition straight from the Haven website:
Haven is a two-day conference August 1-3, 2013 that will allow people to learn from and gather with some of the most notable DIY/Home bloggers in blogland. Conference sessions will focus on DIY instruction with a mix of blogging and social media.
But how I like to put it, it’s a weekend with my people. It’s like having 300 other Angie’s over for a weekend of DIY, blogging, photography, and working on a creative business. It was so crazy to be surrounded by SO many people that “get me”. It was a strange but oddly exhilarating feeling.
I’m not gonna lie, I was nervous before going to Haven! Nervous nervous. Like a sometimes I get nervous Mary Katherine Gallagher smelling her pits kind of nervous (random side note…someday ask me about the time I “played” MKG in a talent show…it’s a doozy of a story and I LOVE to tell it). But the second I stepped off the plane and hooked up with cab ride buddies, Linda of Oh So Shabby and Michelle from Our Rosey Life, I knew I was in for some serious fun times. The entire conference I couldn’t shut my mouth…ever…seriously…just stop talking. Even with the sponsors. Who is this girl just walking up to Home Depot and expressing her desire to work with the mega store?! It’s like I don’t even know her?!
This is where I could start going into a ginourmous play by play of all the dirty details but I kind of want to go to bed before 11:00 pm tonight and you guys would probably crawl up under your desk just so you can take a nap since the blog post is getting all run on style and you just can’t make it through the whole thing without a nap, or strong cocktail, or both. So I’m going to leave you with my top ten moments of Haven:
- Ana White I love you even more! Seriously! Not only can that girl rock some serious heels while building furniture that she designed, but she is now my blogging idol after listening to her keynote speech. Her theme was “brick by brick” and that blogging (or business) success doesn’t come overnight. Just focus on building great content and it will come. Be great at the one thing that sets you apart (like great content) and be just good enough at everything else (SEO, photography, etc.).
- There was a flash mob…it was called the DIY Shuffle…it was epic! I’m now a firm believer that every conference should have their own flash mob and I am now judging whether or not I will attend conferences based on the shear fact that there is/isn’t a flash mob.
- I limited myself to just one palm/forehead moment. You see…there is this blogger…her name is KariAnne at Thistlewood Farm…she has taken the blogging world by storm (and she’s a doll)…and I didn’t know who she was. I’m pretty sure I was the only person at the conference that she had to introduce herself to. But I did get to take a picture with her.
- Did I mention flash mobs rock?!
- I got to meet some of favorite blogging buddies including Lindsay of Life of Splendor and Kristin from Bliss At Home (fellow Inspired Design Challenge co-bloggers…pic stolen from Lindsay’s blog).
- I took a class on growing your creative business, focusing on Etsy shops, put on by the fabulous Jennifer Rizzo of Jennifer Rizzo and Gina Luker of the Shabby Creek Cottage. My favorite takeaway was when to judge if you’re ready to make the jump from your creative business being your side gig to the full time job: when all you want to do is curl up in a corner and cry because you’re so busy/overwhelmed. Hmmm…been there…several times!
- Another class I took was on working with chalk paint and milk paint with Marian Parsons otherwise known as Miss Mustard Seed. Changed my life! I now want to paint/repaint every, single thing in my home including the dog. Poor Goose.
- Swag…oh the swag! Ryobi power tools were going home with just about every blogger there! And we were each given a gorgeous Ballard tote filled to the brim with goodies!
- Because it was that awesome…again…the FLASH MOB!
- And finally, most importantly, the people! I made so many new blog friends and my must read blog list has nearly doubled! The entire conference was nothing short of smiling, bubbly, amazingly talented women and I will never forget my experience.
So here’s to Haven 2014! Do you have your ticket yet?! A little birdie (Rhoda) has mentioned that the conference looks like a go for July of next year. I’m in! And not just for the swag…but maybe just for the flash mob!
Pssst….alright Haven Mavens…what did I miss? What were your favorite parts of Haven?