There is so much to share from my trip to Haven 2013 that I'm gonna jump right in.
The first night at the Grand Hyatt in Buckhead we had a fabulous cocktail party on the patio. 400+ women gathered for a meet and greet.
This was the first chance I had to meet some of my favorite bloggers. It's also the night I learned that my hair and Georgia are not friends. I had my heart set on moving to Ga. after I heard they have a Ballard Designs Outlet AND a Home Decorators Collection store. Five minutes on the patio and my hair talked me out of it.
The following days were filled with hands on learning sessions. One of the highlights of the conference for me was the Ballard Designs Bookcase Challenge. Ballard was the home decor sponsor for the event. They brought a truck load of their fabulous merchandise for us to enjoy. It was all so delicious, I may or may not have licked a few pieces. Still waiting to see if any photos surface before I deny it.
I was honored to be a speaker at Haven on a panel along side two of my favorite home design bloggers, Kristin Jackson of The Hunted Interior and Emily A. Clark.
Our class took place in the library. We had so much fun working together. The focus of our presention was Hands-On Design.
(I borrowed this shot of Kristin and I preparing to speak from Emily's Instagram)
Emily discussed the top 5 most common design mistakes. She came up with the most hilarious analogies for them, but I'll let her share. Kristin demonstrated styling techniques using a console table and fabulous accessories. She is a master of display, it was really fun to watch her work. I will never look at bookends the same way.
My session focused on the bedroom. I shared my recipe for the perfect bed including how to mix patterns/textures, building the foundation for comfort, and secret tips from retail display stylists. I also covered nightstand styling and what to hang over the bed.
At the end of our session, we had a "style-off". We chose two members of our audience to participate in a three minute styling competition. Using merchandise brought in by Emily, Kristin and I, the ladies had to race to gather items and style a console and the nightstand. The winner from each session was determined by applause and both received a fabulous prize.
In between presentations, I had amazing lunch dates (including one with my favorite lady, Rhoda), coffee hours, cocktails and even attended some sessions myself. I received the following photo in my email and it was titled "The trouble table at the Annie Sloan class". Just look at those faces, nothing but trouble there. This class was a blast, I've always wanted to take an Annie Sloan class. I can now check it off my bucket list.
These are just some of the talented and beautiful ladies I met at Haven. Every single person was genuinely nice. Like my friend Sherry said, there was not one mean person there. No one was a stranger. It was surreal to walk into a crowd of 400 people that you have never met before and feel familiar. Kristin put it this way, "It feels like we are old friends".
Yep, it did.
(I borrowed this photo from my friend Sarah)
Most of my photos were taken with my cell or from a distance by my new BFF Amanda (thank you). To see more photos from the event (including a fun action shot of my tonsils), check out the Ballard Designs facebook page. They brought their amazing photographer along and he shot beautiful photos during the event.
Of course the best part of any trip is returning home and being immediately greeted by my welcoming committee.
If you are considering attending Haven 2014, do it! The chance to meet and form relationships with sponsors was a great opportunity. Learning tips from successful business bloggers like Ana White was huge. Connecting with 400 like minded people that share the same passion for home and understand what being a blogger is really like, was truly amazing.