2011-03-19

Cram

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Emily, Lisa, Amanda and Merl. These kids were top notch. I didn't know Lisa before this weekend but I knew if she could handle a road trip with these ladies, she was cool beans.

If I were to describe my week in Texas and the weekend participating in the TSCC in one word, it would be fun. I spent two days after that week recovering at home, thinking that this might be the most massive hangover of my life but I was relieved to find out I was just sick. Yes, I was relieved to be sick because massive hangovers can only be the sign of one thing... I am getting older.

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The Skeens. They are real sweet... I can't say real now without Kendi's accent getting in the way.

This last weekend was the first time I ever met another fashion blogger. I have been doing this fashion blogging thing for two years and it is only now that I have proof that this most special breed of humans exists. I met Kendi and Bryan the first night that Matt and I got to Texas. Kendi and I gabbed our faces off, fell in love and had our first fight within 24 hours (she tweeted my most hated words, nom, nom, nom at me just to set me off). The second night we headed off to the swap and as we drove by the location before finding a parking spot, we caught a glimpse of Suze and Erin's noticeable and fantastic hairs and had that moment of panic. Are these Internet relationships going to pan out in real life? In real life my forehead wrinkle is more pronounced, my language is saltier and my opinions are stronger. But it didn't matter because by the time the whirlwind of the swap was over, I felt like I belonged. Isn't that so sweet that you have a toothache? And meeting an awesome group of women was, hands down, the best part of the whole weekend.

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Lisa and Merl. Surprisingly we didn't do a lot of this... you know, taking outfit pictures.

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Matt and Merl talking politics for a long time. I told Matt that opinions were for losers and his role was simply eye candy but then the conversation turned to unions...

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I wanted a picture with the pedicab driver, OK?

I have to say that no one really surprised me, which was good. I certainly met some awesome new people (and their patient husbands...) and I was excited to check out their stake in the www universe but from the people that I followed beforehand, I got exactly what I expected. And because we already 'knew' each other from our blogs, we didn't waste a lot of time on polite words but skipped right to the sarcasm and deep conversation. I am thrilled to call such stylish, smart and sassy (haha...sassy is a funny word) my friends. And be it negative or positive, people were represented pretty accurately by their blogs. And that's the beauty of fashion blogs... though there are things that bind us together (namely pigeon toes, cupcakes and twitter), there are many things that set us apart. There is room in fashion blogging for the angsty, the over-sharer, the sweet, the snarky... The thing that attracts one person to my blog may be the thing that turns others away.

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Awww... I love this girl. She is fearless, sweet and has a garage full of clothes. We are picking a sunset to run off into together.

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I have been following Erin's blog (and by extension, life) for about 2 years. She is crazy fun! And rocks at karaoke! Elissa is also a newer find but she loves sequins so I knew we would be cool... The photobombing is pretty good too...

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Jen and Kendi in the pedi-cab. Even though it kinda looks like Jen is giving me the finger, I assure you both of these ladies are super.

The conference itself was well-planned and casual. I haven't been to any of the other fashion blogger conferences but the casual vibe led to conversations that went past the business card exchange. Personally, I found the panel day a little frustrating. Not like the panellists weren't well-chosen or well-spoken but the focus of most of the day (not all of the day... don't jump on that) was skewed towards taking your blog to a professional level. That was frustrating because I think many people start a blog thinking about sponsorships before they think about content. There are certainly successful and talented bloggers out there who can make it a full time gig and it is good to aspire to their success but figure out your own voice first (getting preachy here). There are also certainly many great fashion bloggers who have no plans on ever becoming professional, and what fashion blogging means outside of getting free clothes and side bar ads is not often discussed. And though up until now, I have been sponsor free, I can't say that it will always stay like that...who knows what the future holds and what opportunities may arise... However, that doesn't mean that my last two years of unpaid Internet yammering has meant nothing. Meh, maybe it is meaningless..:)

I am sure I could go on and on about the TSCC events but I am trying to be concise and wrap it up within one post. I didn't take enough pictures (at all!) of all the days and nights and the wonderful people, so I just tried to give an honest post of the overall weekend. It's hard to say all you want in one little post; to give opinions on all the panels, to tell the funny stories and inside jokes, togush over some people but I don't want to be still writing the wrap-ups in July. Most of my spare time in July has already been pre-booked with cat snuggling and full leg shaving (as opposed to this) anyways. But if you are a fashion blogger, know this... there are some pretty awesome girls in your peer group.

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Amanda, Jessie, Merl, Emily, Kendi, me, Rach and Amy . Like how I just mentioned a group of awesome girls and I then post a picture including myself?

30 comments :

Linda said...

Aside from feeling insanely jealous of all the fun times in Austin, his post only made me love you more. Blogging is not, and should not, be only about making a business. I would love to attend a blog party, but I do not want to spend time learning about how to make my blog more marketable. Though I didn't mention it in my quasi-retirement pity party post, I think a lot of my reservations lately came when I saw people writing about the TxSCC. I don't know that I want to be a part of a community that is just about making money or making a name for youself. The tweets I saw about some of the panels made me feel like I was a total anomaly in that regard. Turns out, I'm with you - the best of company, if you'll let me hang around with you on the internets...

That said, if anyone deserves to make a little money on the side for what she does on a blog, it is you. YOU always bring something unique and creative to your posts.

And thus ends my longest comment.

The Elegant Bohemian said...

Sounds like sooooo much fun! By the way, what I absolutely love about you is your thrifting. You always look so classy and incorporate thrifted and vintage pieces in your wardrobe. LOVE LOVE LOVE it! ~Serene

Kyla said...

I'm starting to think that I wasn't even at this thing. I am not in ANYone's pictures and I barely took any of my own. I'm going to blame it on the pseudophedrine (sp?) and then make some magic in photoshop. The only proof that I was there is that my sickness is lingering with others.

Santina said...

It's far too easy to get caught up in planning the next step without building a solid base. As a new blogger, I definitely can relate to that. Like so many others, I fell down the fashion blog rabbit hole long before I started one. Naturally, once I did, I wanted to be like all those ladies I admire so much...like, IMMEDIATELY. Not the case. I guess I'm still trying to figure out what I want for the future of Style by Santina, although I already have a few plans for changes once I arrive back in the States. Point is: I understand your frustration. There are so many sides to blogging, and sponsorships do seem to be a focus of so many conferences (said as someone who admittedly hasn't attended one).

All that aside, it looks like you had an amazing time, I am insanely jealous of all the snarky, sarcastic chit chat!

From Suns To Moons said...

This looks like way too much fun, but if anyone deserved it, it was you. Go TEAM CANADA.

briannelee said...

It sounds/looks like you had a really fun time! We still need to meet someday too :)

Theresa said...

I couldn't agree more that the content of your blog should be the most important thing! Sponsorships are fine and I think it's great when bloggers can get some compensation for all the time and effort they invest, but it shouldn't be the main focus. I love your blog, partly because I don't feel like I am just reading an ad!

Elissa said...

Really enjoyed reading your observations on the weekend. I shared similar thoughts with you regarding the creation of a blog as an income-generating activity. I have never, ever looked at my blog from that perspective, though I am certain many people do. I have no desire to make money off my blog, at least not at this point. Blogging is an incredible form of self-expression and creativity, and I find that rewarding enough.

Terri said...

I'm about to make a weird comment: the most surprising thing about this post is that Amanda isn't taller. When I read her blog, she seems so tall to me...in these photos, she isn't really.

There is lots of pressure to "monetize" one's blog though I have turned down my opportunities thus far to retain the freedom to say and blog what I like. I have definite feelings about that.

Tiffany said...

Thank you for saying what you did about making content a priority over sponsorships. I see a lot of bloggers falling over themselves trying to get exposure and sponsors, and that approach just doesn't appeal to me at all- it should be for pleasure, not profit in my (and your) opinion. It's easy to get caught up in thinking that the goal of blogging is free swag and world fame, when really it should be about expressing yourself and making connections as you so clearly did this past weekend. I love that you (and everyone else it seems) were having such fun that photos were neglected and there is no way I am going to miss the next conference.
PS, you're fabulous, and so is that belt.

Work With What You've Got said...

I like money. But I like friends more. And I've made it RAIN friends with my blog. I am so glad we got to spend some time together and I hope we get to make it a yearly gig one way or another cause I think you are swell and Matt didn't get a chance to tell me his political views, and he deserves at least that.

Ashley, Lions Lace Lattes said...

This post makes me so excited. I love meeting new people, and it looks like you had such an amazing time in Texas. Meeting new friends through blogging is definitely my favourite part about it. :)

CessOviedo said...

Aww lovely pictures, the more I see and read about it, the more I wish I could've gone, this looks like one big sleep over, kendi and jen's is hilarious, she looks like she's about to give you the finger cracking over it!

<3 Cess O.
http://blog.cessoviedo.com

merl said...

I'm halfway through a bottle o winr and you already got my Deep Thoughs via email so I'll just say this: besides my fupa, that photo of Matt and I arguing might be my fav capture of the entire trip.

amanda said...

i love you. (in a totally non creepy hetero married sort of way :)

Elissa said...

Great post and pics!
You and Kendi are my two favourite bloggers :) I had no idea that Kendi has an accent...learning that was the highlight of my day!

TrophyBoutique said...

At first I was slightly ashamed to be the photobomber, but I don't think Erin and Elissa mind at all.

I love what you said about us skipping straight to the sarcasm, because that I think is what I loved most about the whole experience too. Photobomb portrait stands as proof.

archives said...

le sigh....your post perfectly encapsulated the experience. i couldnt agree more about the conference being steered towards sponsor and career driven bloggers. in response to that, i have three words for you: chicago, this fall. keep that nugget in the back of your mind.

anyway, im so glad we met! it was truly an unforgettable weekend.

Suze said...

You are so sweet in person, I'm so happy I got to meet you!
And as interesting as some of the panels were, I can agree and say that I would've appreciated some "better blogging" practices, like discussing better ways to engage your audience. Not everyone is sponsored, or wants to be sponsored, so those topics shouldn't be the only ones discussed at a conference. Oh well, it was a lot of fun any way, and it was great to meet everyone!

stylishyear said...

It was so amazing you meet you last weekend - and what a weekend it was!

www.stylishyear.com

sartoriography said...

Likewise on the top-notchery. I knew you'd be awesome when I finally met you in person, but I didn't know how awesome, tall, gorgeous, or painfully funny. It's like I was imagining a mini-Jen: great, but only a shadow of your true self. Whoa, too many mixed metaphors there. But really, who could've guessed that meeting you would go, "Hey, nice ot meet you. Let's ride the carousel. Let's have deep conversation while the attendant gives J the sexy eye."

I heart you, woman, even if you mock my inability to look serious in photos (I look bad-haired and exhausted in most everyone's, but somewhat normal) and forget to bring the self-tanner for baby improvement. Let's hang out again soon...even if it is only on the Twitters. :) Now, if only Twitter had a carousel...

Lauren @The Little Things We Do.... said...

so fun! glad you had fun with your fellow fashion bloggers :). looks like you guys had a blast, and i'm super impressed that your husband went. mine would never tag along to a blogging event! haha!

xo!

GoodFrameofMind said...

Sounds like such a great time, and I love your honest recap of the weekend. Although I've just recently begun blogging, this post makes me especially excited for the community I'm joining :)

Jodi said...

love it!! I recently met some bloggers in a casual meet up and it was fun!! so cool to meet like this!!

hey babes if you are even out west to Victoria BC let me know!! xoxo J

kelsey said...

Jen, this is a great recap! I agree with you on all points and I don't think anyone could have imagined that we would all click as quickly as we did!

A.Co said...

So glad you had a great time in the south HOWEVER I'm a little shocked that there isn't a photo of just you and your blogger BFF (hell-o Kendi) - what gives?!!!! This is a robbery!

A.Co @ A.Co est. 1984


PS - Is Kendi wearing YOUR leopard shoes... swap it uppp.

A.Co said...

Annnnnnnd I just scrolled down and saw your previous post and there you both are. Oops :S

sherley said...

did you and Kendi happen to be wearing the same leotard shoes? How did you handle such situations? This happens to me quite often and I'm clueless! Advice?

myedit said...

Sherley- we are wearing the same shoes! the exact ones! They are mine and I wore them all day but then they started to pinch my toes and kendi's shoes were getting uncomfy after a day b/c they were so high, so we switched to even out the pain.

Between Laundry Days said...

TOO. MUCH. AWESOMENESS. I'm so bummed I missed it! :)