Just last week I had the pleasure of attending my very first conference, a party conference. I was so excited when I was presented with the opportunity for me to attend. I'm beyond grateful to my amazing friend Laura of Eye Candy Creative Studio! Thank you again! So as excited as I was, I was also nervous as hell. Like I need to pop a Xanax nervous! Why, you ask? Well, I will tell you….
If you follow my blog, you know that it's been pretty lonely around here. If you follow my Facebook page, then you know it's been pretty slow over there as well. I had some personal issues going on for the past year and half, almost 2 yrs actually. I was also feeling a little jaded. I've been in the "party world" for about 5 yrs, blogging about parties, party finds, party crafts to then opening my Etsy shop 4 yrs ago. As I was going full steam ahead, my home life was taking a little hit. I have a 15 yr old. Need I say more?? Hah! Well, that's when I decided to slow down. Then I got slower…. and slower…. and then I disappeared. Still running my shop and busy with work but postings and working to get features were not my goals anymore.
You know what they say….. outta sight, outta mind!
(so you bet I took the "How to be a Rock Star at Social Media" class at BASH!)
As I took this break, the party world was flooded with new talented women. It's not a bad thing! I love to see all the beautiful parties that you all are creating. I'm quiet online but I am definitely watching. I've seen you all make friends, create groups, have meet-ups and attend each others parties. So that's where my nervousness of attending BASH comes in….. you don't know who the hell I am! I have a few old party friends that I was excited to see again but there were so many I did not know. They all seem to be getting to know each other over the internet and in person, where was I going to fit in? I felt like a high schooler not part of the "cool crowd". It's dumb, I know. But it is how I felt. It doesn't help that I'm sort of an Introvert. So even though these thoughts made me so nervous, I was still going to go. Mostly because my husband kept insisting and reminding me that it was something I need to do. I hate it when he's right!
Let me tell you, it was the best decision ever!!!! Like EVER!!!!!
Besides meeting the most fabulous, talented women in the business, I learned so much. I learned about being yourself and embracing/supporting one another. I learned that there is room for all of us! Of course there was so much that I learned business wise. Carolyn Horten of "How to Make Money Planning Events" and Tonya Coleman (who I finally got to meet!!) of "Soiree Event Design" rocked it out with all their business knowledge. Thank you ladies! The branding and sponsor classes were amazing. Alison Faulkner is AWESOME! I desperately needed the blog help, so Mindy Boyce Cone's class was perfect.
Can I just say? Loralee Lewis was SOOO inspirational, I mean I cried! Ok, I wasn't balling but tears just streamed down my face listening to her. I don't make cookies as part of my business but I enjoyed Jenny Keller's class…. it was yummy! :) The girls instructing the social media class were awesome. Amanda Rettke and Kristin Gentry shared so much information and it was exactly what I needed.
I shopped at The TomKat Studio (thank you Kim for having us)! The morning discussions were a favorite of mine. Listened to Kim Stoegbauer speak, along with Kim Byers, Chris Nease, Tori Tait, Kelly Lyden and Jennifer Sbranti. I had a full circle moment with Jennifer though. Finally meeting her, after having a few of my parties featured on Hostess with the Mostess was just the best!
Having breakfast with Amy Atlas will definitely be one for the books! She is so sweet, humble and just a down to earth lady. The beautiful conversation we had, that literally had us in tears, is something I will treasure always. Listening to Eddie Ross was exciting because I kept yelling to myself, "Omg me too!". Like he said, inspiration is all around us.
Michelle Burt, this woman is just amazing. She organized this event and I'm so thankful that she did. I've been following her blog Maddycakes Muse for years! I was so thrilled to meet her, she's the sweetest person. Thank you for this whole experience. Seriously, from the bottom of my heart.
In conclusion (like get it over with already, huh!): I saw some old party friends, I finally met ladies that I had been following for quite some time and I made a few new friends. Not many but now that I feel ready to get back into the party world, I'm hoping that will change by next years BASH conference. I'm pumped to take my little business to the next level!!