I was so excited for the opportunity to attend Thrive Blog Conference last weekend in The Woodlands, TX. This was my first blog conference and I learned so much and met so many wonderful women. I was glad I found a conference so close to home. I remember when I moved to Houston and I explained to coworkers that my hometown, Lawton, OK was about an hour southwest of OKC and they thought that was a suburb! (It’s nearly 90 miles!) The Woodlands is a beautiful city just an hour outside Houston and we had a chance to explore a bit Friday night at the Thrive Fashion Passport Party at Marketstreet. Several stores were participating and we could stop in for shopping, light bites, and drinks then get a stamp on our “passport”. It was a great time! Meg Cady snapped some wonderful pictures of the events.
The conference was on Saturday and lasted all day, including an after party where Blo came in and fancied up our hair 😉 . They had a great line up of inspiring and knowledgeable speakers. It was a great networking event as well. I had a chance to pass out a ton of my new business cards!
My favorite speaker was Ashley Lemieux from The Shine Project. She shared some motivational advice as well as information about her organization, The Shine Project. Her 5 highlights were: Believe you are enough, Have a plan and a focus, You can’t be afraid to fail, Sacrifice now so your future self will thank you, and EDUCATE yourself. I enjoyed her session not only for motivation for my blog but also life in general! Her tips apply to everyone; not just bloggers 😉
Audra Kurtz spoke to us about vlogging and YouTube. I met her the night before at Lush during the Fashion Passport Party and she was very open and friendly. She shared lots of great info about vlogging and it made me want to try it out!
Caroline Knapp from House Of Harper spoke next about branding yourself. I really enjoyed this session as well since this is something I’m starting to figure out myself. She had great tips about strategizing, creating authentic/quality content, and being consistent.
Halfway through we had a really yummy lunch from Noodles and Company. I loved the Penne Rosa – it was unexpectedly spicy and really delicious.
The afternoon sessions opened with Ashley Lastovica from Fancy Ashley. I’ve followed her on Instagram for years and was kinda starstruck to see her in person! She led a session on creating compelling content and I took a lot of notes.
The only breakaway session was Pinnable Pictures. It was a tough choice between Meg Cady and Rachel Matthews but I chose Rachel’s session on DIY and Food Photography since I thought it better suited for my blog. Rachel is an awesome lady – I met her the night before at the Fashion Passport Party and through social media we figured out we are both ADPi alums! We did our secret handshake and everything 😉 I loved her session and can’t wait to get my camera out and learn more about it!
The last session was led by Kristyn Merkley from Lil Luna. She had the cutest slideshow and shared some really great information. I got the title of this post from her: Grow, Thrive, Bloom. One thing that stuck with me that she said was “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” What a wonderful piece of advice.
I’m so grateful for the connections and friendships that are forming because of this event. Houston has so many wonderful bloggers and I can’t wait to Grow, Thrive, and Bloom with them!