AWOL – Absent but with outstanding learning

I’m sorry I’ve been missing lately – I had the opportunity to attend an international DIY blogging conference in Atlanta, Georgia and I couldn’t pass it up.

Have you heard of Haven? It’s a conference specifically geared towards DIY, design and lifestyle bloggers and it is HUGE.

Bloggers from all over North America, England and even Australia fly in to meet with DIY giants like Home Depot, Quickcrete, Ryobi, Behr Paints, 3M and celebrities like….

Clint Harp! (from Fixer Upper if you aren’t as hard-core a DIY fan as I am)

 

I won’t lie, I was uber-excited to attend – I’ve wanted to go for a few years now – but I was also quite anxious. There were a lot of blogging superstars there, and I was worried I wasn’t of the size I needed to be to play with the big kids, that they wouldn’t like me, that I wouldn’t make any friends, that I had nothing to wear….

all the typical girly fears.

I scrubbed off all the paint, had a mani-pedi and put on my big girl panties (aka. my manifestation temporary tattoo) and hit the road to Atlanta to “act as if” I belonged there.

Haven 2017, Haven conference, blogging conference, DIY bloggers, Atlanta, Conscious Ink, temporary tattoo

Turns out, 100Things2Do.ca IS a pretty large blog and while I certainly wasn’t the biggest blogger there, I was above average – which was really exciting in itself.

I also learned that brands WANT to work with bloggers. Turns out we have “influence” over our readers – in that we’ve developed a trust and camaraderie (I certainly hope that’s true) that brands want to get in on to promote their products.

There were lectures and meetings on everything from photography and lightroom to SEO and pitching brands. People who are in need of a Digital Marketing Agency may want to reach out to Ram Digital for their various services including SEO and PPC. Sponsor companies set up DIY classrooms for everyone to try new tools and techniques and we received SWAG.

Haven 2017, Haven conference, blogging conference, DIY bloggers, Atlanta

LOTS of SWAG;

Haven 2017, Haven conference, blogging conference, DIY bloggers, Atlanta

New products to try out, new techniques to implement – it was AMAZING!

Haven 2017, Haven conference, blogging conference, DIY bloggers, Atlanta

I’ll be honest and say I still haven’t unpacked it all – it’s still sitting in my suitcase in my office like this little treasure chest of goodies.

I met a few of my blogging idols, and totally geeked out like a teenager at a rock concert asking for selfies.

Haven 2017, Haven conference, blogging conference, DIY bloggers, Atlanta

This is Lucy and she writes Craftberry Bush – probably one of the biggest design and craft blogs to come out of Canada…. so of course I stalked her and told her to pretend we were besties.

Funny, I lost her shortly after this photo?

I tried some “American food” like sweet potato pie, peach cobbler, okra, cornbread and grits.

Haven 2017, Haven conference, blogging conference, DIY bloggers, Atlanta

That seems weird I know, but I’ve only ever heard of sweet potato pie in the movies – but am now on a mission to bring it to Canadians (it’s SOOOO good!)

I will admit to maintaining my “outsider” status though – I met tons and tons of wonderful, smart, successful women and everyone was super-friendly, but I’ve always felt more comfortable with ‘the boys’, and connected more with the male bloggers than the ladies….

the ratio of men to women was probably 1:75.

Then we had a “ladies night in” evening with wine, crafts socializing and appetizers. The FB thread had the attendees writing about wearing their pj’s and “comfies” to the party – so I did…

Haven 2017, Haven conference, blogging conference, DIY bloggers, Atlanta

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the others chickened out, because most of the women attended in heels, dresses, makeup and jewelry.

I attended in yoga pants, a t-shirt and a backwards baseball cap. Didn’t stand out like a sore thumb at all. (sarcasm)

Destined to be a square peg forever. lol

Next year I’ll bring out the stilettos, eyeshadow and dangly earrings – or maybe I’ll continue to be me and play with the chainsaws in my converse – we’ll see how the confidence fares this year. lol

If you are a DIY and/or interior design blogger, Haven is where you want to be July 2018.

Haven 2017, Haven conference, blogging conference, DIY bloggers, Atlanta

All in all Haven was a fantastic conference and one I’d DEFINITELY be attending again and again for the people, for the learning and especially for the fun!

I’m back now with an arsenal of new projects, new ideas and a to do list a mile long!

Coming soon…..

Have a great one!

 

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2018-06-18T13:39:20-05:00August 1st, 2017|For me|0 Comments

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