Yay! Time for an Alt Summit recap!
First off I have to give a huge THANK YOU to my sponsor this year, Rue la la for being such an amazing company to work with. The ladies on their team are top-notch :)
And secondly, this post would be MOST boring without all the amazing photography talents of Justin Hackworth, Brooke and Moss and Isaac.
So here we go!
Wednesday night of the conference started out with a bang. I headed to a yummy dinner at the wonderful Cucina Tuscana Restaurant with the fabulous ladies from Rue La La and a few fellow bloggers. It was delicious and I had such a good time chatting with new friends and learning about how Rue la la came to be one of the largest online fashion-forward flash sites, with over 5 million users!
(no wonder all the best stuff is always sold out so quickly!)
After dinner Jen, Megan and I headed to Ruth's Chris for a speaker cocktail party hosted by Mail Chimp. It was done beautifully and so fun to meet face to face with lots of fabulous bloggers.
Don't ask... I have no idea what I'm doing in this photo. ha!
Thursday was filled with wonderful, informative panels and a keynote speaker session to boot!
I had the opportunity to get advice from experts like Danielle from Sway, Erin from Design for Mankind, Gabrielle from Design Mom and Maxwell from Apartment Therapy.
The food and gifts were both equally as impressive and always presented so beautifully!
Thursday night was The Winter Wonderland party. I don't think I've seen so many stylish, cute ladies in one place... ever! Such beautiful clothes and accessories. I spent most of the night soaking it all in.
The round table discussion groups started bright and yearly on Friday morning. Jen and I led the discussion on "How to use Facebook as an effective tool to connect." It was the perfect laid back atmosphere for bloggers and business owners to sit around and ask questions and discuss the topics at hand.
One of the biggest highlights from Alt this year was being able to hear Ben Silbermann speak. The creator of Pinterest. He was such a humble, kind, inspiring keynote speaker and really stressed the fact that "Pinterest should inspire you to go out and do the things you love!" One of my favorite quotes from this conference came from him:
"If you don't bet on yourself, no one else will"
I truly believe in this, and after hearing how and why Pinterest came to be, I must say that I'm an even bigger fan then before... if that's at all possible.
I rounded out my Alt experience this year by helping host the oh-so-stylish Rue la la mini party on Friday night. It was perfect! Hot tomato soup and mini grill cheese, caprese skewers and pink pomegranate campaign! The environment was beautiful as well. A fun photo booth and crystals dripping from every corner.
After a night of partying I thought that my excitement had come to an end... but a quick delicious brunch on Saturday with the fabulous Anna and Dan from Big Cartel was the icing on the cake for my wonderful weekend. During a little raffle I became the VERY proud winner of a "Shop for Life" gift certificate!!! Meaning that the nice folks at Big Cartel will now host my House of Smiths Design Shop, free of charge every month! WOWZERS!
if you were wondering, no, my smile couldn't be any cheesier
As a small business owner I was already smitten with using Big Cartel for my shops site hosting needs, but now I'm completely in love after meeting Anna and Dan :)
The ability to list our products exactly how we want in a clean, customizable format has totally changed the way that we do business and at the same time has made it 10 times more successful then before.
My good friend Susan from Freshly Picked also uses Big Cartel to sell her adorable handmade leather goods. This brilliant video was shot by the Big Cartel crew, about her experiences using their site for her business, and I can't tell you how MUCH I love it. You MUST check it out!
So my final thoughts about Alt?
As a newcomer, I have to say that I had some pretty high expectations. I had been told by fellow Alt attendees from past years that Alt was quite the event and to be prepared for greatness. Now that I've experienced this fabulously-fashion-forward conference for myself... I must admit, Alt turned out to be even more then I had hoped for. I was so impressed by the sponsorship interaction, the attention to detail and the vast amount of wisdom and insight shared from the speakers. I left Alt feeling inspired, more connected and probably most of all... yearning for a far more trend-setting fashionable wardrobe... prefer
ably one that includes some thick black framed glasses and brightly colored tights :)
All around amazing conference with pretty people, parties and priceless information. I will definitely be heading back next year.
Post and conference sponsorship were provided by Rue La La. All opinions are 100% my own.