I’ve been putting this post off for a while now because I know I won’t be able to do Creative Estates justice (I wrote the “unofficial post” to buy myself some time). I think I’m one of the last attendees to write about the conference so I thought I’d pull some favorite quotes from others and add in my take. It was an amazing experience. Lisa and I missed some of the first night (I said it would take us 3 hours to get to Phoenix….and 4 hours later we were STILL driving…..I misjudged that a little)….next year I’ll show up a day early!
So let me be honest…..I was super excited to attend the conference at first, but THEN the panic set it…..what if people didn’t “get” me…..that I’d built up all these expectations with my “edited blog life” (yes, GASP, as real as I try to keep it….it IS edited) and that they would be disappointed when they met me in person. I have a lot of quirks: OCD, ADHD, severe fast food and donut obsessions…..I snuck out of the conference a few times to grab my extra large sodas (I like a certain ice to soda ratio) and spicy chicken sandwiches from Wendy’s (Heather brought me one the second day…..love that gal!)
My biggest takeaway from the conference? Creative bloggers are the most accepting, giving, humble, and approachable group of women you’ll ever encounter. It’s truly a rare group. Creative bloggers are also the most fun, charismatic and interesting people you’ll ever encounter. I only got to meet about 50% of everyone that attended…..I wish I’d had a few more days and more social skills!
“Something about being inundated with beautiful and stylish women makes you really stop and take inventory of YOURSELF. Weird. But you can so quickly become a compare-a-holic. I loved reminding myself that I’m usually comparing my worst with someone else’s very BEST. And that’s not productive at all.” –Lara, Less Cake More Frosting
“….in reality the entire experience of meeting new friends, finally meeting “blog” friends who I’ve felt like I’ve known forever and learning a ton all added up to make for the best weekend ever!” -Becca, Blue Cricket Design
I still pinch myself that so many creative, talented women were in one place at the same time…..and every single one of them were so gracious and truly interested in others. Friendships were immediate….
“There’s a lot of competition in this world, and even in blog land there is. It can get consuming seeing other sites grow, and comparing yours to anothers, etc. etc. But at this conference there was just such overwhelming support of one another. Believing in yourself, your abilities and whatever you’re doing do it to the best of your ability. I loved that!” -Andrea from The Worley House
I really wanted to be helpful….to give as much information as I could to everyone who chose to sit in on our panel. I haven’t spoken in front of a large audience in about 10 years so I was a deer in the headlights at first when we had to introduce ourselves…I don’t even remember what I said in the first five minutes!
“I’ve really enjoyed meeting like minded bloggers that share my passion for all things pretty and crafty.” –Kim, Today’s Creative Blog
Our panel was about turning a hobby into a business….everyone was so supportive with questions! Wow, did I sound as nervous as I look and felt? I need to get out more often!
“I met old friends, and new friends, got inspired, heard fab advice from amazing women, ate great food (and yummy cupcakes!), and laughed A LOT.” –Erin of The Vintage Pearl
I did manage to get a few photos too thanks to Lisa!
Left: Kim (Tomkat Studio), Top right: Erin (The Vintage Pearl), and Bottom right: Kim (Today’s Creative Blog).
I wish I’d had a chance to get a photo with Tauni (It’s a Tradition). She is so full of knowledge and so giving and gracious…..she sat down with Lisa and I for about an hour and gave us a ton of advice about Lil Blue Boo. She gave an entire talk on PR after a speaker canceled and had the audience hanging on every word. She’s an amazing speaker and I learned an incredible amount from her in such a short time. Oh, did I mention she encouraged me to go ahead and move to WordPress (and recommended Aaron from RFE Hosting)…..and I’m so glad I did!
My absolutely favorite part of the experience was meeting so many really terrific and genuine women who are in a similar camp. The camp called … My family is #1 no matter what. I also love having a business because I care deeply about what I have to share. They get it. I get them. It was a beautiful thing and I’m grateful for the experience. -Becky Higgins
There was a fabulous handmade market. I finally met Erin (from Bringing up Burns and Haute Blue) in person…she is hilarious and kept me laughing all weekend long. We are forever “Words with Friends” partners now…..her first word play was “DIE” and I played “DIE” right back…..morbid but I still giggle when I think about it.
One of the first people I “met” at the conference was Denise from Polka Dot Moon…..and she volunteered to drive me to Circle K real quick for a soda run before a full on panic attack set in….I’ll never forget your kindness Denise!
The one thing about handmade markets: the eye candy! All the displays are so colorful and beautiful….and I want everything!
Some additional thoughts, highlights and takeaways in no particular order:
:: Don’t order “extra hot” hot wings when out with new friends….or you risk looking like a cave woman.
:: I might be the only creative blogger that doesn’t own a Jo Tote…..or wear accessories.
:: Reserve your domain name….and every domain name you think your kids might want in 20 years. (Thanks Tauni for creating more anxiety for me…haha!)
:: You don’t have to be everyone’s favorite blog.
:: I love a good challenge. I will, one day, come up with a remedial unicorn-themed craft…..just for Stephanie (she said it had to be “remedial” for her to attempt it).
:: Do not play Doodle Jump on your iphone while listening to a panel…..someone will catch you and tweet about it.
:: There is enough Internet for everyone…..be supportive of others trying to do the same thing as you.
:: I thought I’d be the tallest one there! Megan from Brassy Apple and I can look each other straight in the eye!
:: Creative bloggers have the most gorgeous business cards.
:: I needed an extra day to visit SAS.
:: My new mantra: “You will never regret behaving appropriately.” –Char from Crap I’ve Made
:: #hashtags actually serve a purpose on twitter.
:: I need to go to more creative conferences.