Signing up for Blogpodium was probably one of the best decisions I've ever made for my career and personal growth. I've always been a little shy so attending a large conference on my own definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone. But I knew I had to do it and I'm glad I did because I feel more motivated and inspired than ever.
The event was organized by the amazing Jennifer Flores who is an inspiration to me and I'm sure many other bloggers out there. I admire people who believe in something, work hard, and make their dreams happen. She makes everything look so easy and one of them being this conference. I know she worked her butt off but honestly, I was so impressed. From the programs, to the sponsors down to the tiniest detail - it was amazing.
Sarah Richardson was the keynote speaker. It was great to hear more about where she came from and how her love for design evolved. I love how she said, "...you all know I don't have a degree in Interior Design, right?" She spoke openly about her education and experience which I loved. Instead of going back to school, she taught herself by doing everything she possibly could to learn about the design industry. She said: "The best thing you can do is go out and do it. That's how you learn, that's how you grow" Some other statements that really stuck with me were: "You have to believe in what you're doing and you have to invest in what you're doing" and "If you keep second guessing yourself, you'll never get anything done".
Some great advice to remember. Especially for someone like me who's just starting out.
Karen was absolutely HILARIOUS. She was candid about how much money she makes off her blog and what steps to take if you're looking to monetize. She really did keep us laughing until the very end!
I found Keka to be very informative, she provided some invaluable information on how to approach brands and what they look for. Another point that really resonated with me was her own experience of dealing with success. Some women downplay their abilities and accomplishments in fear of sounding boastful. Quite the opposite of our male counterparts. As a VP of Marketing, she herself was guilty of this and she explained how important it is to recognize your strengths and believe in yourself no matter what position you're in. It's so simple but I think A LOT of women downplay their achievements (I'm definintely guilty of it). Let's be proud of our accomplishments ladies, we work too damn hard to be quiet about it!
And speaking of accomplishments, one of the big moments for me was the business card contest. All attendees were asked to hang their business cards on this pretty little display:
The prize is so unbelievable I am still pinching myself, like really hard. Never in a million years did I think I could experience something like this. A behind-the-scenes look at a decor story and learn about propping and styling at Chatelaine? Oh, hellz yeah! It's honestly a DREAM COME TRUE.
I had SO much fun at my first Blogpodium. I learned a ton and made some amazing new friends! I'm still amazed at how supportive and helpful this blogging community is and I feel so proud and fortunate to be a part of it!
At the end of the day I left with new friends, an AMAZING prize from Chatelaine, personal notes full of great tips and to-do's, a full belly, a huge bag of swag, a Ryobi string trimmer/edger (which I also one from Home Depot!) and a feeling of reassurance and happiness telling me that this is what I'm supposed to be doing. I finally feel like I'm on the right track and being successful at what you love is absolutely possible.