by Cheryl Bemis
I felt like it was my class reunion with the Summer School theme for this year’s Texas Style Council. I am one of the lucky ones who have attended all four of the conferences founded by Indiana Adams of Adored Austin. Adams took a simple fun get together for brunch and turned it into a well-organized and informative “I have to be there” event. This year more than 400 fashion-minded, lifestyle, mommy bloggers and business owners converged into downtown Austin’s for networking, learning and shopping.
The classroom format allowed everyone to select the seminars they would most enjoy. I listened to Terri Koen of Finding Drishti who is an advertising executive by day and Austin Yoga blogger in her off time. She talked about how to manage all your social media outlets and reminded everyone that if you’re promised that something will go “viral”, they are lying and if you have something interesting to share, “Pin the hell out it!”
Earning money was a big topic at the conference. Bloggers now have countless ad revenue streams at their disposal to earn some extra fashion cash through ad banners, sponsor posts, ebooks, freelancing, selling services and more. Seasoned vintage inspired blogger Bethany from the Glamourous Housewife was certainly a crowd favorite. Her high energy, to-the-point information, put most of us in stitches and shared that building and marketing your blog is hard work. Her trial and error approach has worked but is working even harder so she can eventually work with Federated Media.
Tasha from Imperfect Concepts has an online store where she sells well-loved used items. She shared she was tired of selling her designer items for pennies on the dollar to consignment stores and then see them sell it for much more. So she decided to do it herself. From giving out info on shopping carts to just letting everyone know she made some early mistakes in business, she was approachable and informative.
I talked with graphic designer Whitney Rhoden before one of the classes and she was happy about attending, “I feel like it is going to be a huge learning eperience and I’ve already learned a lot”. She works with the Round Rock Express as their marketing coordinator and creates their graphic designs. Go Express!
Iron to Iron co-founder Kevin Richardson is a New York based graphic designer who did some real-time critiques of participants’ blogs. His world is all about fonts, colors and branding. He shared that flat fonts, and the use of white space for your blog is on trend online right now.
Just as anxious girls await their first prom dates, the women of this weekend were able to let loose a bit at PROM! Pop up shops, food, music, booths sponsored by Ruche’s and giveaways for everyone, and – of course – there was dancing.
“It was fun to mingle with everyone and finally put faces to people we’ve been in contact with all these years,” said Mai Olivo, the beauty and brains behind the Ruche boutique. Awards were also presented to lucky bloggers and Austinite Jenni Dawson, who pens Story of My Life: The Blog added,
“Being a superlative winner makes it feel good to finally have recognition after working to get such a local audience,” she said. “I think I really set myself apart with my self-taught photography and passion for writing.”
by Bri Thomas:
Everyone was bright-eyed and fashion-bushy tailed at the morning mingle at the Texas Style Council second day conference downtown at the Hyatt Regency. Once the caffeine kicked in we congregated to the ballroom for the opening remarks from two very-popular and fab bloggers.
The sisters behind A Beautiful Mess said they are literally unsure of how much success has come to them, but Elsie and Emma must be doing something right, as their blog has brought them two book deals, a photo app and the chance to give hope and inspiration at this year’s TXSC.
And with more than 1.5 million unique visitors a month, there are many who really are inspired!
They stay grounded, though, and were thankful to be surrounded by such a neat community this weekend.
“I thought a blog would be like Myspace, so no, I had no idea we’d end up here,” said Elsie Larson. “Being around all these people makes the internet feel like such a friendly place.”
The remainder of the day featured more inspiring speakers like:
-Amber, a co-founder of rewardStyle, who discussed monetization of your blog.
-Camille Styles of the well-known lifestyle site spoke about fabulous collaberations, not waiting for sponsors to come to you and dream big!! Did you know know this Austinite will have a book out next year!!
-Noonday Collection founder Jessica, talked about entrepreneurship
-Moorea Seal, whose 850,000 Pinterest followers are definitely inspiring and impressive
-and Becky (author of I’d Rather be Short/designer behind Chipper Things) & Megan (author of 99 Problems but a Baby Ain’t One/blogger behind Greetings from TX), who led a workshop on writing books.
Jessica Hartman in particular stuck out to me, because while everyone at the conference brought a passion for fashion, she has that PLUS a tear-jerking story and cause. A great deal of hope was given from this fearless leader, as she explained why – whatever our dreams or goals or jobs are – we should never give up.
Indiana Adams shared a story about how as a little girl she drew invitations for a slumber party and handed them out to all the cool girls in her class and no one showed up. She expressed her same concern about the Texas Style Council event…would anyone come? Hey Indiana, all the cool girls showed up!
Click Here to See More Pix from the Event!