I wanted to give you guys a recap of my experience at the RewardStyle Conference last weekend. I needed a few days to decompress after I got home and really reflect on everything that happened and what I learned over those 3 days. Leading up to this weekend, honestly, I was a nervous wreck. I was asked to be a speaker at the conference a few months ago. And while I was so honored and excited to be chosen to speak to my peers, I was so afraid of how I would handle standing up in front of the most successful bloggers in the country and talk about ME. The days before the conference, I gathered up all these outfits, trying to “look the part.” I knew that there would be mostly gorgeous fashion bloggers with the most amazing wardrobes and I didn’t want to stick out like a sore thumb! I was able to find some dresses that I felt were “fashion forward” but still felt like me.
ON MY CONFERENCE PACKING LIST
We arrived at the Crescent Hotel in Dallas, which was absolutely beautiful, on Thursday afternoon. I felt so out of place amongst the other bloggers. It wasn’t that they weren’t friendly, but I didn’t know a lot of them, and they all knew each other (or at least it felt like they did). So I reluctantly got ready for our first event, a poolside party at the hotel. My husband was with me, so it helped to not feel completely alone. But it was hard trying to mingle when you don’t know anyone and they don’t know you! I was able to meet a few friends I have met on Instagram. We watched a cool synchronized swimming show and then left to get dinner by ourselves.
The next day started with several hours of listening to the key note speakers. We heard Amber Venz Box, the founder of RewardStyle, talk about where the company was going. She is so inspiring! We also heard from Kendra Scott and how she started her business as a single mom. It was amazing to hear from these powerful women and how they were able to turn their endless hard work into such successful businesses.
That day, I finally got to meet up with my fellow home decor bloggers and that completely changed how I was feeling about the conference. I felt like I found my people! These ladies were so sweet and so welcoming to me. They each knew each other from prior blogger conferences, but I was the newbie! I’m so grateful I got to meet these talented ladies. I learned so much from them and felt like we really connected in the three days we had to spend together!
This sweet girl right here, Erin of sunnysideupblog.com is so amazing. We instantly connected and also found out that we have so much in common! We realized that not only were we living in Charlottesville, Virgina at the same time, but we both were teaching school, while living in the same apartments with our husbands, who both were attending the same law school and were in the same graduating class! How crazy is that?! We felt like we were destined to meet one another. It just took us a little longer to find each other!
Next up was my speaking sessions! I was trying to remain calm all day, but inside was freaking out. I had to go for a photo session right before my talk, so I had changed into this tiered dress. My session was called “Money From Home.” I discussed how I started my IG page and blog, my tips on how to grow your Instagram account ( Some of these tips included: be real, be approachable, be humble and nice, share well-edited photos, use wide shots, be an expert at using hashtags, etc.) I also talked about how you can turn sharing pictures of your home into a business. I felt like both of my sessions went well and I got great feedback from those who attended. Mostly, though, I was just so glad to get through it and enjoy the rest of the weekend!
That night we attended a cocktail party at the hotel. I changed my clothes yet again! I don’t think I’ve ever had so many costume changes in one day! Afterwards, I threw on some jeans and flip flops and my husband and I went out for Mexican food to celebrate getting through my speaking engagement!
These photos below are from a photo shoot that I had while at the conference. Most of the fashion bloggers had hired photographers to get pics while they were there. Through my speaking engagement, I was able to get this opportunity to work with an amazing photographer. I think she was used to working with people who actually knew what they were doing! Lol! I needed a lot of coaching on how to stand and what to do. I’ve never had a photo session by myself like this before! It was hard to not look and feel awkward! I totally respect the fashion bloggers for how easy they make it look!
The last day of the conference was filled with meetings and classes. I met with several brands and talked about possible collaborations (more on that to come!). My classes were so helpful! I learned about how to use certain apps and programs to improve my blog. One helpful thing I learned is how to do screen recordings on my phone! That’s where you can see the person as they are scrolling though and navigating on their phone, usually posted in their stories. All you have to do to screen record, is to first enable it by going to the Settings>>Control Center>>Customize Controls>>and then enable Screen Recording. When you swipe up from the bottom of your phone to get to the control panel, the red button will then be there to record! So easy!
I also learned that the app called Continual is invaluable for those of use who have to do long strings of videos for insta stories! Continual takes a long video and splices it up into 15 second segments that you can then share in your stories! Game changer!!!🙌🏻
We also learned about the importance of Instagram stories. I heard from influencers and companies that video content is really the future of social media and advertising. I am not great about posting stories, particularly with me in them. I’ts a struggle for me to balance the privacy I want for myself and my family and what I know is good for my page and what people like to see. Moving forward, I hope to try harder to share a bit more of myself in my stories and so more “real life” vs. always talking about home decor. I also would love to incorporate more elements of fashion and beauty into my page. I love clothes and makeup as much as I love home decor, so I think it would feel natural to me to also be sharing that part of me and my style. I hope people can be open to a little more variety on my page in the weeks and months to come!
Love all these sweet and talented ladies! My “Home Girls”! Go check out their amazing blogs!
On the last night at the 2018 RewardStyle conference, the speakers at the conference all had dinner together at the Dallas Botanical Gardens. I was excited to meet Jillian Harris, who also spoke at the conference. I was sad that I didn’t ask to get a picture with her! Afterwards, the RewardStyle team threw the most amazing party there on the grounds of the beautiful Botanical Gardens. My husband and I mingled for a while and had a great time!
MY TAKE AWAY FROM THE CONFERENCE
I think this conference was such a turning point for me. It was the first event I’ve ever attend for bloggers. So I felt like I had this epiphany, this was my job…I’m a blogger! Getting through the weekend with all my insecurities and anxious feelings was tough, but I do feel stronger for it! I put myself out there and I didn’t falter, I rose to the occasion. I feel empowered and inspired. I’m excited to put into action some of the things I learned this weekend. I’m hoping to continue to grow as a blogger and as business woman. Additionally, I’m so grateful for the new friendships I made and the connections with fellow bloggers I now have. We share a unique sisterhood, this blogging business. I have so much I can learn from them and I’m just so happy that I now have some amazing new friends all across the country! Can’t wait for our next conference to see them all again!
Let me know if you have any questions about the conference. I’d be happy to share my experiences with you or the the tips and tricks I learned while I was there. Thanks for reading, if you made it this far! I appreciate you and your wonderful support more than I can say! My life is forever changed because of MyTexasHouse and I have you to thank for it!
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