So you may or may not know depending on if you follow me on instagram that I had the pleasure of attending the Simply Stylist Conference this Saturday. It was a great day spent with fellow bloggers, designers, entrepreneurs, journalist, vloggers etc. A safe space where you received insight, inspiration and a chance to network with your fellow peers.
To be honest this was my first time at a fashion blogger event of this size and I wasn't sure what to expect. I kinda suck at networking events, it seems weird and a little calculating to run up to strangers, throw a card in their face and hope for the best. But I did end up meeting some cool girls and saw that a lot of bloggers come almost every year and follow this conference as it goes from city to city.
In any event I thought I would share some tidbits for those who couldn't make it and if you want, go here and see more about the conference and be on the look out because it will probably be coming to your area soon :)
Catt Sadler, tv host of E! news, who by the way is really funny and so sweet, was our moderator through most of the discussions. First up was Jamie Chung, former realtor star (Real World San Diego), turned actor/fashion blogger for her site What The Chung?, shared that she started her blog as a creative outlet. It was an innocent way for people to see what she was up to and just like most of us she is still trying to find her way through fashion blogging.
Her tips were to not be afraid to reach out to people, be persistent and consistent, be honest and really work on finding your voice and niche in this mass blogger world.
Another panel discussion lead by Simply Stylist founder Sara Boyd was with these three accomplished bloggers (r-l) Hannah Bronfman (Beautified), Jacey Duprie (Damsel in Dior), and Danielle Bernstein (We Wore What) who all shared things to remember when your just starting out or for those who have been doing this for a while.
1. Find your Niche, a very important point that is constantly repeated through all discussions
2. Make sure you have a clean look to your blog, with great pictures. I know a lot bloggers bug their husbands, boyfriends, best friends etc to be their photographers but they're not professionals. Strike up a partnership with someone, they use the shots for their portfolio you get the shots you need for the blog.
3. Jacey gave great blogging advice with 4 B's: a. Brave: you have to be when first starting out;
b. Building: finding your audience and keeping them, there is no easy way to do it but consistency;
c. Balance: trying to find some with working and personal life; d. Branding: the most important staying true to yourself and your site
4. Reaching out to brands, start the leg work yourself. If you love a brand just blog about it and tag the companies and let them know. For example if you love J Brand jeans maybe buy a pair and blog about them, tag them in your instagram posts, email and say your interested and would love to work with them at some point. If that seems to much and you don't think your on that level start looking out for smaller designers just starting out and collaborate with them.
Both Catt and Jacey were very sweet and by the way good friends from Jacey's days working at E! she even helped Catt buy her outfit for the day, which was an amazing jumpsuit from an Australian label called Cameo.
Mr. Joe Zee came out with a smile on his face and tons of energy ready to talk. He was a delight to listen to because he's been in the business over 20 years and has successfully evolved with the times. One thing he said that stuck with me was he loves being told "no" because "yes" is boring and too easy. He likes to prove people wrong, like all those years ago when someone told him he would never work in magazines, well you know how that worked out.
He did say, networking events like this are great because you should be turning to your peers more that people who have so called "made it" to help you. Because he states when he needs help or goes to help others he contacts the people he struggled with in the beginning. He also states that in this highly competitive field its easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing but he says just do what you want and ignore everyone else, "shut people out" and focus on yourself and everything will fall into place.
By the way, he has a new book coming out next fall so be on the look out.
Other smaller discussion were held one with Keep.com's Dria Murphy and The Style Line's Rachel Schwartzmann speaking on collaborations. Also, I need to take a minute and point out Rachel, left college as she was about to enter her senior year to take this on full time. Now I think that is a big example of what the future of online is going to look like and how its going to change the future generations, I mean even Danielle from WeWoreWhat just turned 22!
Please check out Keep.com its like pinterest but you can actually buy what you pin, its a great feature and they are always looking for bloggers to work with, more information here.
Finally a great discussion with Beca Alexander and Daniel Saynt for Socialyte. A blogger network where they will represent you for companies when your not sure what your next move should be. Make sure to check out their site here.
Hope this was as inspiring for you as it was for me. If you have any questions or want to know anything else about the event let me know in the comments!