Better Homes & Garden’s Stylemaker Workshop 2014


We’re back from an absolutely fantastic trip to New York City last week. You might remember last year when I was invited by Better Homes & Gardens to attend their 2nd Stylemaker workshop and luckily they did another one this year.  BHG gave me some amazing opportunities over the past year including being named the editor’s pick for top decor blog (still in awe of that!), having our home featured, and writing for the Style Spotters blog. So it was safe to say that I felt it was really important to attend again this year, right? Even Simon was like, yes – you should go.

Last year’s workshop was a broad overview of the magazine and was held at a hotel in Manhattan, but this year was a much more in-depth and intimate conversation with the editors about what they’re specifically looking for when it comes to collaborating with bloggers. It was really fun to chat with some new-to-me bloggers I hadn’t met before and be in the magazine’s NY offices.  I signed up for classes on topics related to photo styling, getting the best story angles out of your house, writing better DIYs, and scouting sites for the magazine. All in all, totally fascinating stuff.

The main takeaways I grabbed onto were (1) editing yourself as a writer and photographer and (2) how important it is to go big or go home when it comes to design. Making a statement that’s all your own is what draws readers in – who wants to see bland images that toe the line of boring?


How fun is the giant print of everybody who attended the event? Minted sponsored our breakfast, and each attendee received one of these framed prints plus another personalized one with photos of our own families.  SUCH an awesome touch! The day wrapped up with a panel of the featured Stylemakers from the September issue and was moderated by Nate Berkus. But my absolute favorite was hearing from Gen Sohr of Pencil & Paper Development Co. I’ve long been an Instagram fan and was thrilled to see her featured in the magazine.

All in all, a fantastic event and it reminded me about how important it is to show up. You just can’t beat the relationships you build when you show up at a conference, workshop, or event in your industry. I honestly believe this is a huge part to the secret of success. Will it be expensive? Absolutely. But does it usually end up being worth it? Undoubtedly. I never would have made the connections in my career without going to things like Alt Summit or the BHG workshops. It’s inspiring and it relights your fire for your career in major ways.


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