Texas Style Council’s Summer School (Part 2).

If you read yesterday’s blog post, you know all about my wonderful (and busy) first day experience at Texas Style Council‘s Summer School. If not, head on over here to catch up!

Day two of the blog conference was much the same – full of speakers who had brilliant information to share. What made day 2 especially amazing was that it was filled with some of my favorite bloggers and blogging inspirations. The day started with a keynote speech given by the lovely ladies (and sisters) of A Beautiful Mess, Elsie and Emma. As is the case with many of today’s bloggers, Elsie and Emma’s blog was one of the first I stumbled upon when I began reading blogs, so it was especially exciting to hear what they had to say. The two had a great presentation on all the things they’ve learned from blogging, and shared some of their key tips, including “challenge yourself constantly,” “write the blog that you would want to read,” and the all important “don’t drink & blog.” I had a blast listening to them, and know that I’ll be keeping their tips at the forefront of my mind.

Following Emma and Elsie’s keynote, I started out for another long day of listening (but as I said, I was even more excited for today, so I totally didn’t mind):

Pitching and Working With Bloggers | Turns out, this session put on by Alison of Yoked was more geared towards brands interested in working with bloggers (if you couldn’t tell from the title), but I actually found some value in it as a blogger. It provided me some good insight as to what brands are looking for in a blogger, and I plan to utilize that information should I ever get to a point where I’m ready to work with sponsors.

Creative Brand Collaborations | I could barely contain my excitement for this session, y’all, because it was being led by one of my absolute favorite Austin bloggers, Camille Styles. She has one of the most gorgeous blogs on the web, and when it comes to brand partnerships, she is brilliant, so I knew this session would be completely inspiring and educational (and it was). Camille  gave a talk about the right way for bloggers to create successful partnerships with brands, and how to best approach those dream brands (essentially what I learned in the session previous, but from the other side of things). It was pure gold. Plus, I met Camille afterwards which was even better than pure gold…we’ll go with platinum.

Work + Life + Blog Balance | Led by Julie of Orchid Grey, this session dove into the best ways to manage a job, a hobby, and a life (in my case a boyfriend, a dog, and friends) without getting too overwhelmed. What I found most interesting here was her suggestion that we need to stop thinking about how to balance everything because finding balance implies that each of the parts may be uneven, which is not always the case; instead, Julie recommends that we think of it as making each aspect of our life fit because we always find time to fit in the things we love. Interesting, no?

Small Steps: Secrets To A Start-Up | You’re likely looking at this and thinking, “What the heck, Rachael? You’re not planning to start a company.” You would be correct, reader, I’m not. But, you’re also forgetting the part in the story where the speaker for this session was Kendi from Kendi Everyday, and I’m mildly obsessed with her blog (which is interesting because I usually shy away from fashion blogs), so I was going to be listening to her session regardless of the topic (she could have been talking about spiders, and I would have been there…I think). In a way that’s just as witty as she is on her blog, Kendi shared the secrets and lessons that she learned while opening her own retail shop. Despite not having plans to start my own business, I was completely engaged. The best part? I got to talk to Kendi after her panel, and I’m not kidding when I say that she is just as nice as she is on her blog. 

The conference ended with a final convocation where a handful of the weekend’s presenters took the stage to answer any lingering questions that we attendees had. It’s too bad that I was too mesmerized by all the brilliant minds on stage to ask a question because I could only imagine the kind of thoughtful responses I would have received from those ladies. 

I left the conference feeling totally reinvigorated about blogging, with tons of amazing ideas a brewin’. Not to mention I made some great new blog friends who I look forward to continuing my relationship with, both online and offline.  Basically Texas Style Council is a win, and I can’t recommend it enough  – I sure as hell know I’ll be there for the next one during SXSW.

If you went to Texas Style Council’s conference and have any inspiring tips or fun memories to share from weekend, please do in the comments!

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