I am starting to realize how many cool things I discover via Seattleite Megan Reardon of the blog Not Martha. Through posts on Not Martha, I have discovered the Colette Sewing Handbook, Go Mighty (I really want to go to Camp Mighty now) and most recently, Blogger’s Summer Camp. I may sound like a bit of a super fan of Megan, but I have to give credit, where credit is due.
I subscribe to Not Martha on Bloglovin’, so I was intrigued when I saw that she was going to be a panelist at an event called Blogger’s Summer Camp. What sold it for me, was that it was going to be here in Seattle, featured other local bloggers (among them Moorea Seal, who I am also a fan of) and was only $45!
The event was put on by School House Craft, an organization that specializes in educating crafters about pricing, running and growing their businesses, etc.. Their big yearly event is a two-day Fall Conference for Creative Entrepreneurs.
It’s funny, I signed up so quickly that I didn’t even realize that one of the organizers of School House Craft is Andrea Porter. I met Andrea several years ago, when I was shooting for a now defunct local magazine called Tablet. At the time, she and her husband owned a very popular gallery together, called Blue Bottle. I think the first time I met her was when Tablet had an art show there, that I was a part of. I am also a big fan of her husband Matthew’s work and am constantly buying his children’s books as baby shower gifts, because I believe every child needs a Matthew Porter book. I absolutely love his alphabet books and, of course, love that “R” is for rollergirl in his book, Monkey World ABC. So I was thrilled when Andrea greeted me at Blogger’s Summer Camp and I finally put it all together. Okay, I am a bit of a super fan of the Porters too. They are quite the talented team.
The day was divided into two panels. The morning panel focused on creating a blog/life work balance and consisted of Arianne Foulks of Aeolidia, Blair Stocker of Wise Craft, Andie Powers of Assemble, and Megan Reardon of Not Martha. I was only familiar with Megan’s blog, but after hearing everyone speak, I am super excited to check out everyone else’s blogs and businesses.
A delicious lunch was provided, that met a variety of different dietary restrictions, by being vegan and gluten-free. That was thoughtful of them. As a self-proclaimed “Lactard”, I can appreciate vegan food, especially in “away” bathroom situations.
During lunch, the panelists split up and led roundtable discussions on various topics at each table. I wish I could have gone to all the tables, since all of the topics sounded interesting. It was really hard to pick.
I ended up joining a discussion with Melanie Biehle of Inward Facing Girl, about finding your voice in writing and using your stories to sell your work. The selling your work part doesn’t really apply to me… yet, as I’m only just getting into selling my crafts and don’t have an Etsy store or do many craft fairs… yet. I was still able to glean some useful tidbits, mostly that I would like to take a writing class. Melanie said she would be coming out with some sort of e-book on writing, in September, so I will be on the lookout for that!
After lunch, Marie LeBaron of Make and Takes, Melanie Biehle of Inward Facing Girl and Moorea Seal spoke on the hot topic of monetizing your blog. Biggest take-away from that: Moorea Seal has over 800,000 followers on Pinterest! I mean, Moorea really does have great taste, an amazing eye and her jewelry is beautiful, so there is a reason so many people follow her. She is also really nice, funny and humble, which makes me like her even more. She said that number even surprised her when she first heard it. I keep hearing that Pinterest is something to be explored more and this really solidified it.
Both panels were moderated by Marlo M., whose credits include School House Craft, etsyRAIN and IMakeCuteStuff.com. She did an amazing job by asking great questions and giving everyone a chance to talk. Moderating is not an easy thing to do, but she sure made it look easy!
I wasn’t sure what to expect of the workshop, because I anticipated that a lot of it would be stuff I had already learned at the Blogcademy, and a lot of it was. It was just a one day workshop and I felt like the important topics were only touched on and not gone into in-depth. The speakers were all totally engaging and it was cool to hear about what they’ve learned and their evolution as bloggers. It can see it easily becoming a longer workshop, maybe with just one panel each day, so they have more time for speaking and roundtable discussions.
It was also different from Blogcademy in that it was geared towards crafters specifically and everyone was local. I always want to meet more local bloggers and I now have a big stack of cards and a bunch of blogs to check out. I am especially excited to read Blair of Wise Craft‘s blog, as quilting is the next thing I want to learn!
So yes, I would say I am a happy camper. If I do get more into the selling of my crafts, I will definitely take more classes with School House Craft.
Thank you to all the great panelists and Marlo and Andrea of School House Craft. I am very glad I got to experience the first annual Blogger’s Summer Camp!