I’m long overdue for a post to ‘check-in’ and tell ya’ll what is new. 🙂
I have seen so much growth – personal and professional – this past year and things don’t appear to be slowing down. How have I been handling it? Some days good, some days… not so much. I don’t know if you can tell, but since January I haven’t been as consistent as I have been in the past with my blog posts. I’m in a bit of a funk and I’m working my way out of it. There have been bright spots for sure and I’m not complaining at all– I’m so so grateful for opportunities and developments, but sometimes I just want to curl back into bed and do nothing all day. And there have been several days when I have done just that. I’m thankful for friends and family that believe in me and give me encouragement to keep on pushing through– to take risks even when I don’t feel like it. Or to say no, even if I really want something. The heart and the head have been getting mixed up and I’ve had to be really careful to know when to listen to one and not the other.
So I’m going to start with the excited news because I’m always the girl who wants to eat her dessert first and vegetables last. 😉
So here is the creme brûlée:
I’m teaching at Haven Conference this year!
If you don’t know, Haven Conference is a 3 day blogger conference in Atlanta for DIY, home decor, and design bloggers organized by the best in the biz. You go to learn to better your craft with workshops– SEO, Google Analytics, affiliates marketing, photography, photo editing, staging and styling, social media (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest), video content, wood working, painting, brand relations, book writing, television and public speaking, building your brand, and more. Then you get inspired by incredible speakers and mentors, all while mingling with famous brands that want to partner with you.
What am I teaching?
Who am I teaching with?
My friend since when I first started blogging and fellow furniture artist, Danielle from Finding Silver Pennies.
If you have been reading my blog or following along for awhile, you may remember me talking about my first Haven experience HERE.
At that conference I roomed with Danielle and solidified our online friendship by staying up until 2am talking about painting and staining. We are kindred spirits. 🙂
No one knew who I was, but I made friendships that have become some of the strongest relationships in my life. Those friendships jump-started my desire to make my blog a priority and a valuable part of my life– both financially valuable and creatively valuable.
Last year was my second time going and I shared what I learned HERE.
The second time was so much more fun, which I didn’t even think was possible. I was less worried about finding people to hang out with and knowing where to go or where to sit, and more focused on who I wanted to give my time to, what I wanted to learn (or relearn), and I spent more time trying to get outside of ‘me’ and make real friendships with other bloggers and brand representatives that I had previously known online. Blogging can be very isolating and lonely, but Haven has made it a wonderful, supportive and mentor-filled community. Sure, there are bloggers out there who have the ‘what’s in it for me’, ‘strictly business’ mentality all the time. But there are also SO many that want to share what they have learned, be your friend, and cheer you on– and I have found Haven to be full of those types of bloggers.
That is the type of blogger I try to be and want to be.
So this year I’m going to be teaching what I know best, alongside someone who is just as passionate about paint as I am. I haven’t spoken at a conference before but I have taught classes before and I feel more excited than nervous about teaching the class. Public speaking, for the most part, doesn’t bother me. It is a step outside of my comfort zone and feels a little risky because in the back of my mind I think, what if hardly anyone shows up to the class? I also know in the past there have been a lot of super talented furniture painters who come, and I don’t claim to know 100% about everything, but I hope anyone and everyone who loves to paint will come and even if you already know everything, maybe you will just have fun along with us! 🙂
You can register for the conference HERE.
Now on to the broccoli…
I won’t be a vendor at Vintage Market Days this spring.
I had to make this difficult decision a little while ago when we received Bruno’s work travel schedule. Besides working as a full-time manager, he is in his second year at grad school getting his MBA. I had already paid my booth fee and was starting to buy things to fill my booth when we found out he would be traveling several times during the month of April, which meant he wouldn’t be able to help me at ALL. For those who may or may not know, April is crunch time and if I don’t have Bruno’s help, I simply cannot do it alone. I don’t have family close by so we have to be very strategic in our preparations. In previous years he hasn’t been in school and he was able to help me in the evenings, and take off some time off the week before VMD to finish everything and work the booth with me. My mom usually would fly in to watch my kids.
Support is essential in the success of having a booth in a vintage fair, as I outlined in my post about How to Sell Out. Despite my best efforts, I knew if I pushed through, followed my heart, I would actually end up stressing myself out to my family’s detriment. It was one of those times that I had to ignore my heart and follow my head. It just made logical sense to post-pone my involvement in VMD for a season. As soon as we made the decision and I let Chanda know, who was also understanding and supportive, I felt an immense sense of relief. It was a right decision, even though it was hard. I’m missing out on that creative stretch that doing a dozen or two furniture makeovers and builds gives me. My very best work has always been things I’ve made for VMD. I love the challenge of staging and styling a small space, the fulfillment of seeing my work loved and bought, connecting with readers and clients, and feeding off the energy of the buzz that only selling in a vintage fair can bring.
I know some of you might have been looking forward to seeing my creations, even buying some. So I’m trying to come up with an alternative where I make/refinish a handful of pieces and offer them with some other vintage finds (like the 4 brass and crystal chandeliers that I scored before I had to back out) and handmade items (like the painted globes) for my local people first, then on Etsy for far away clients. I have had 5-6 email requests for another whale dresser that sold the same day I posted about it, so I’m thinking another one of those is in order! This Spring Sale will probably take place toward the end of May/beginning of June, so make sure to subscribe to my newsletter to be notified first of when things start to go live!
That’s my news! What do you think? Would love to hear your thoughts!