Recap of TxSC13 "Summer School" Blogger Conference – Austin

The Texas Style Council- founded by legendary Austin blogger, Indiana Adams of Adored Austin – recently held their fourth blogger conference the first weekend in August at the Hyatt in Downtown Austin. It was a three day affair which consisted of a clothing swap, classes on growing/building your brand/blog, a “prom” and panels. I also FINALLY got the chance to meet Rebekka- who owns a mah-velous online vintage shop called Bloomers and Frocks. The first day was light and mainly consisted of registration, a mixer and a Lulu’s sponsored clothing and book swap, all held in Austin’s Second Street District.

The Lulu’s sponsored Clothing Swap was held in a somewhat tiny location and by the time Rebekka and I got there after a delightful meal at Austin Java…was PACKED! It was hard being able to browse the racks as people were basically on top of each other, grabbing coveted items that Lulu’s seeded in the swap, as well as other trendy items attendees brought. I was able to grab my two items- a lovely vintage floral skirt donated by the gals from Mucho Mucho Bueno Bueno and a vintage Victor Costa dress from Rebekka. I met up with other bloggers that I knew and we were able to get photos at the Lulu’s photo booth. Later, a group of us headed back to Austin Java for general chit-chat and food.

The next two days of the event were filled with networking and learning. During day one, I had classes that dealt with “Social Media 101 for Brands/Blogs”- taught by Terri of Finding Drishti, “Blog Monetization 101”-taught by Bethany of The Glamorous Housewife, “eCommerce 101”-taught by Tasha of Imperfect Concepts, “DIY Earrings”-taught by Austin jewelry designer Sierra of Manic Trout, “Rebranding”-taught by Hilary of Our Style Stories and “DIY Clothes Tailoring” by Austin designer Emily of Emily Hallman. The highlight of day one was when Rebekka and I had lunch with Bethany, who’s personality I admire and who shares a love of vintage.

Now what “school” couldn’t be without a prom of some sort? This was the much anticipated event during the whole conference. It offered multiple booths where brands had set up shop, a dance floor, photo booths and cash bar. Everyone dressed in their own interpretation of promy attire, brought their dates/friends and made the best out of a really fun prom. I joined Rebekka and after having a delicious light meal from Firehouse Subs (OMG…best subs EVERRRR) we both dressed in vintage, had photos taken by her fab hubby and took off to the prom (after picking up her BFF- Charles). Lulu’s booth was beyond amazing and totally feminine in every way. I snapped a photo in their photo booth and then spun the wheel and won an item of my choice. I ended up getting a statement bauble necklace. I made a macrame bracelet at the Kollabora booth. Other brands that participated included: Macy’s, Minnetonka,, Shop Ruche, BonLook, Langford Market, Luxe No. 7, SIC Couture, Smile Brilliant, Accessory Fanatic, Altar’d State, Clyde’s Rebirth, Crowned Bird, Emily Hallman, Manic Trout, Noonday Collection, Purse & Clutch, Son of a Sailor, Whitney Fields for Stella & Dot and PayPal. I loved how there was a mixture of nationally-known brands, as well as smaller indie brands. Jewelry brand- Clyde’s Rebirth was one that stood out for me. It’s ‘made in Chicago’ eco-conscious line that was created by Merl Kinzie back in 2009. All items are made from vintage and recycled materials and no two items are exactly alike. So being that it’s a USA-made brand, but the jewelry is pretty awesome and definitely fits my sense of style. I would love for you guys to kindly check out Clyde’s Rebirth. I also invite you guys to check out the other brands I mentioned above. They each provide their own unique character, like Emily Hallman, that brand is made in Austin and caters to women sizes 0-16. Her garments are feminine, timeless and just plain gorgeous! I’m a huge fan! Another Austin brand- Manic Trout was born in 2006 and conceived by Sierra Bailey. I had the pleasure of taking her DIY: Earrings and enjoyed it. She even went out of her way to provide me with elegant clip-ons because this blogger’s ears are no longer pierced. Thank you Sierra! She takes her inspiration of vintage treasures that she had collected over the years and produces modern, vintage {with a touch of romance} and color {with hints of whimsy} for the fashionable everyday gal. Noonday Collcection is a brand launched by Jessica Honegger and features jewelry, home and accessories made by artisans worldwide. Two of my personal faves include the Nahuala Rectangle Trays and the Shalom Necklace. Definitely check them out, proceeds go to a good cause and also find out how you can become an ambassador and host trunk shows. So along with checking out the amazing booths and photo booths, I was also nominated for “Best Accessories.” The whole night was spectacular and the time flew by.

Day two started off with the keynote speakers- Emma and Elsie from A Beautiful Mess. They spoke about their beginnings as bloggers and then gave a power point presentation on what they’ve learned from blogging. We were able to jot down notes in a little booklet they provided us.

After that, we had to sign up for classes, which was an interesting process to say the least. I hope for next year, they give an option to sign up for classes ahead of time while registering for the conference. Classes that day consisted of “Advanced Successfully Navigating Monetization”- taught by Amber of VENZedits and RewardStyle, “Business School: From Etsy and Beyond”- taught by Amy of Little Hip Squeaks, “Small Steps: Secrets to a Start-Up”-taught by Kendi of Kendi Everyday and owner of Bloom. After the last class, everyone gathered for closing remarks by the speakers and there was an opportunity for any last questions to be answered. I left the conference with some information that I already knew but a wealth of information that I now know. If you are a brand, small business or blogger, I highly recommend attending future conferences. Check out Texas Style Council for more information and future updates.

HUGE thanks to Indiana and the crew of Texas Style Council, Rebekka, the speakers for an enjoyable weekend!

heathermarie_033's TxSC13 album on Photobucket

**Photo courtesy of Bloomers and Frocks**

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  • Hi! Thanks for your recap. I am not even touching TxSC work until after the holiday, so I’m impressed by all y’all who got recaps posted. Our staff isn’t even logging into the TxSC email until we’ve all recovered (we gave ourselves a month!).

    We thought through sign-ups and we truly did want to make them available ahead of time but recalled in years past that there’s a ton of no-shows on Sunday (hung over? tuckered out? sponsors deciding that they’d rather see the city vs. take classes? speakers aren’t sure if they want to take classes or not?).

    So while we would have loved to implement sign-ups at registration, 1- our programming is never complete when registration starts, and 2- because we put such a heavy emphasis on networking on Friday and Saturday, we want to give people the freedom to attend classes after meeting speakers or making new friends. While the sign-up process was a bit tedious, we said up front how it would work, and we hoped that people would grab a free coffee from Ruche and hang out in line with friends. We allocated an entire hour for sign-ups, did it in one location (instead of spread out in the hotel like we originally planned), and had the sign-up complete in less than 45 minutes, with only one classes maxing capacity. And everyone actually went to the classes they signed up for. Hooray!

    We hear you on the suggestion and we’ll continue to think through how we can do sign-ups next year (heads up, though: we’re looking at a different format and a smaller offering of courses). We value your input and if you have other ideas knowing what we’re up against, please let our staff know at info @ texas style council

  • Sounds like a smart and fun way to network and learn about blogging. It’s good to see you out there supporting the community and looking stylish Heather!

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