It's been exactly a week since Martha Stewart's Dreamers Into Doers conference ended and I'm still thinking about it - the things I learned, the people I met and how much I'm looking forward to the next one!
So what was the event and how did I get there? Let's start at the very beginning.
Dreamers Into Doers is an online community on Martha Stewart's website that celebrates women who are trying to turn their dreams into careers, and connects them so they can network with and motivate each other. Last fall, they announced a two-day conference that would be held at the Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Headquarters here in New York City. I registered, along with hundreds of others, but with only 80 available spots, I ended up on the wait list. Months passed and I still didn't hear anything so I figured it wouldn't work out. But as the date approached, I started seeing more of my "blog buddies" Tweeting and posting about their plans and I e-mailed Caitlin, who coordinated the event, to let her know if any spots opened up that I was still interested and sure enough, less than 12 hours before I had to be there, I got an e-mail with an itinerary. See - persistence does pay off!
I showed up bright and early Tuesday morning to The Martha Stewart show studio to attend a taping of her show, which was a blast. Then we were off to MLSO!
I was so excited to finally connect with Maureen and Adria from Anders Ruff, who you may remember designed the amazing printables for Gabrielle and Alaina's birthday party. I talk to these lovely ladies all the time so it felt like I already knew them, but actually meeting was wonderful!
And here we are with Lindi, from Love the Day, who I immediately clicked with. She's so talented and sweet!
There were so many other fantastic ladies I connected with during the conference - some that I've met before and others that I just "knew" from online. It was so great to see Stacy from Scrumptious Swirls and Tanya from Save the Date for Cupcakes again - we all met at Martha's Bloggers Night Out last summer - and I loved getting to know so many of the "party girls" I follow online - Courtney from Pizzazzerie, Charynn from Two Sugar Babies, Andrea from Dolce Drive, Nancy from AtoZebra Celebrations, Kelly from The Party Dress and Team TomKat Studio - as well as the uber-talented Vana from Le Papier Studio. In my excitement about actually attending the conference, I totally forgot my camera so I didn't get photos with everyone but here I am with two more fabulous new friends, Rebeca from Fresh Chick Design Studio and Kim from The Celebration Shoppe. Aren't they adorable?
It probably looks like all we did was meet and greet but there were plenty of presentations and discussions too. We covered topics ranging from marketing and PR to using social media, and Martha herself moderated a panel on starting a charitable foundation with Susan L. Solomon, the co-founder of The New York Stem Cell Foundation.
One of the most interesting aspects of the event for me was meeting members Martha Stewart Living team and getting to hear more about what they do. Hannah Milman, the senior vice president and executive editorial director of Martha Stewart Holiday and Crafts - a.k.a. crafter extraordinaire - and one of the most genuinely sweet women I've ever met, mingled with us at lunch and showed off some of her crafting techniques. Sara Carey, one of Martha's senior food editors, demonstrated how to make crepes and spoke about what goes into creating and shooting recipes for the magazines. And at my favorite presentation, Terri Trespicio, senior features editor at Whole Living, talked to us about life balance (here we are afterward).
I'm not a new age-y kind of girl by any means, but she totally got me thinking about ways to re-energize and prioritize. If you ever have a chance to see her speak, make sure you're there! In the meantime, you can check out some of Terri's blog posts here at WholeLiving.com.
There were lots of other great women I got to meet over the two days and while I can't list them all here, I'll be posting about them on Facebook, Twitter and hopefully working with a lot of them in the future. A huge thank you to everyone at MSLO who made this event possible, and especially to Caitlin for getting me in at the very last minute. The Dreams Into Doers conference was an amazing experience and I'm so grateful I got to be a part of it!
Images: AFOMFT, Anders Ruff, Pizzazzerie & Love the Day