Texas Style Council Conference: It's a wrap!

My butt is numb from five hours of being stuck in the car. My voice is shot. My feet are killing me. I'm fairly certain I'm as severely dehydrated as a hitchhiker in the Mohave desert. And yet I'm convinced, beyond a shadow of doubt, that this weekend at the Texas Style Council Conference was one of the best three days I've ever had.

There's so much to talk about - how informative the panels were; the genuine approachability and friendliness of the bloggers in attendance; the fun activities organized by the Style Council. It might take me all week to summarize the events I attended and lessons I learned. However, I'll briefly share my top six impressions from the conference tonight.

1. The blogging community is much smaller and more approachable than you might think. Both new bloggers and those merely intrigued by blogging mingled with big-time bloggers such as Kendi and Bryan of Kendi Everyday, Erin of Work With What You've Got, Kyla of Blue Collar Catwalk, Jentine of My Edit, Katie of Kansas Couture, and Jen of Jen Loves Kev (among many others!) I was so pleasantly surprised to find all the bloggers in attendance were as authentically genuine, friendly and welcoming in person as they are through their blogs.

Kyla, Erin and I took a push pedal buggy ride through the city to South Congress Street. We also pretended to be paparazzi. It was super fun.


This is a gratuitous pic of me with some famous people (whom I can now call my friends - eeek!) Katie of Kansas Couture, Suze of Miss Vinyl Ahoy, Amy of Stylish Year, and Kelsey of Snappy Casual.

Laurel of Trophy Boutique and I talked blogging, Texas, and tattoos. She also took me and other bloggers to eat the best burgers on the planet at a dive bar on 6th Street. It was epic. The socializing and the burgers, I mean. Laurel was pretty epic too.

2. Austin is a pretty rad place to visit (and live.) Austin during South by Southwest makes New Year's Eve in Times Square look like a sullen sob-ridden emo funeral (I'm from NYC, so it's okay. Nothing personal against New Yorkers. Or Manhattan. Or New Year's Eve.) It was cra-cray. I have never seen so many hobo hipster nerds in. my. life.


3. Social media is absolutely crucial both as a networking tool and business application. It was fascinating to witness and be a part of the intersection between social media and real-life interaction. I now have a deeper respect for the need to remain authentic and true to who I am through my blog, Twitter and Facebook feeds, and am more dedicated to utilizing these tools to reach out to my readers (and attract new ones!)

Jennine of The Coveted and IFB, a leader in social media.

4. Do not sacrifice style for comfort. Case in point: The Texas Style Council strongly advised attendees to bring comfortable shoes, as we'd be spending a significant amount of time walking around Austin, standing during mixers, and socializing in between panels. I chose to thumb my nose at this sage advice and spent Saturday clomping around in my highest heels. Big mistake. Huge. By Saturday evening I was almost as crippled as a nineteenth-century Chinese woman with bound feet. It was bad.

I am hiding my pain.

5. (This part is going to be kind of a gross love-fest, so proceed at your own risk.) Meeting new friends is always wonderful, but having the opportunity to spend real time with them is something truly precious. I feel so privileged to have had the chance to spend three entire days with Erin, who served both as my roommate and road-trip buddy for the conference. Erin is a tremendous inspiration both for me and within the blogging community. During the conference, her talents and authenticity were recognized by many of the gold-level sponsors, including Modcloth, and I was thrilled to see her being rewarded for all the things that make her so unique. She deserves every happiness in the world, and I truly love her.



 6. Have I mentioned the amazing vintage sequined jacket I bought from The Spice Rack during Saturday night's dance? It's gorgeous, and was very reasonably priced. If you're a vintage lover like me, be sure to check out their online shop and the sites of the owners at Style and Pepper and Concrete Catwalk.



If you ever have the opportunity to either attend or plan a blogger conference in your area, please don't pass up the chance to participate. Not only will you learn from and mingle with members of the blogging community, but you'll have an absolute blast doing so. I know I did!


26 comments:

  1. WOW WOW WOW!!! I love all the recap!! and was wishing that I was there too!!!! I cant believe I actually miss this conference but oh well, my job is so stringent about me leaving the office during the high season. anyway I love what you wore to the conference!!! ah cant wait for attending one
    <3
    http://reserveradefashion.blogspot.com

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  2. I loved meeting you. I want you and Erin to be my new BFFs. You took me under your wing and taught me so much more than you think. I truly hope to see you soon. Much love and I'm looking forward to keeping up with you! You have a follower for life. XOXO

    p.s. did you cry when you hit the over 100 mark? Love.

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  3. Oh girl. I love you. So much. (and that first picture is amazing and funny and fun.)

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  4. Loved the wrap up! Totally missing the TxSCC!!!

    Tanvi
    from © tanvii.com

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  5. wow.. this sounds like you had a good time and that you learned a lot. im so going next year

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  6. Elissa...I so enjoyed getting to meet you...and all the other red heads..there were so many I thought it was a requirement (just joking!)...you are cute as can be and doing a great job!

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  7. Elissa my new bestie!! Someday we will be the famous people new bloggers want to pose next to. I might actually end up being the one in the example photo of why austin is so weird, actually. Or maybe a picture of fashionable Led Zeppelin fans? Either way, I miss you! Come back!

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  8. I am so glad that I got to meet you this weekend! Being around so many talented and unique bloggers was a total inspiration. I too was kind of nervous about meeting famous bloggers, but you are right- they were so sweet and fun and real and willing to share. I feel so lucky just to be a part of this community. Keep doing you lady- because you is absolutely fabulous!!!

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  9. It sounds like an amazing time. I really really wish I could have gone. There is always next year!!

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  10. "Austin during South by Southwest makes Mardi Gras look like a sullen sob-ridden emo funeral."

    As someone who's life centers around Mardi Gras I couldn't disagree more. Have you ever been to Mardi Gras? It is a true celebration of life and love for the city of New Orleans. We take our parades seriously and our fun even more so. There is nothing somber about it, this city has progressed immensely since Hurricane Katrina and Mardi Gras will always be a testament to that. In fact this year we saw record breaking numbers of attendees.

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  11. Love the recap! It's so fun to see so many of my favorite bloggers all hanging out together! Great pics, wish I was there!

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  12. This sounds like a fantastic opportunity--and loads of stylish learning fun. It makes me nearly wish I lived in Texas. Is this something that will be occurring every year, because I might be moving to Oklahoma this summer, and it would be great to meet other bloggers in the neighborhood. xo

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  13. Looks like you had a blast!!!! And I am in love with all your outfits, you look super cute!

    IvonneStacy.blogspot.com

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  14. What a superb recap of the weekend! It was so. much. fun. meeting, blogging, tweeting, drinking, indulging in bad habits, and swapping with you, girl! My journo/writer soulmate and favorite redhead (aside from my husband, natch). So, so, so looking forward to swapping with you and Erin in Dallas sometime soon, and keeping in touch!

    Hugs, Meliss

    ShoestringMagazine.com
    TheSwapaholics.com

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  15. It was so fab to meet you in person, my dear! Promise to come back soon?

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  16. Honestly, the downtime with bloggers were some of the best parts for me. I feel like I got to really know some cool ladies. And the ones I met are just like their blogs, which is a comforting thought.
    Thanks for being a part of an amazing weekend... ha. That sounds a touch creepy.xo

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  17. I loved sharing these photos with you all! More to come, I promise. There's talk about repeating the event again next year, and considering how successful it was I'd be shocked if it didn't become a yearly event.

    Christy, I wasn't trying to downplay or insult New Orleans or Mardi Gras. Just making a little joke, that's all. I'll change it to Times Square in NYC, since I'm from there!

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  18. Awwwww, so fun!! I love the pics! :) I'm SO GLAD I got to meet you & I'm looking forward to seeing what the DFWBN is all about. :)

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  19. Eee! I love getting to see these recaps, since I feel like I didn't really take enough pictures of my own, and I am so so glad that I got a chance to force my way into your life by inviting myself to dinner with ya'll. I'm really looking forward to keeping up with everyone that I met, and hopefully being able to see some irl (like when I show up in Dallas sometime)!

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  20. It looks like it was an absolutely amazing time. I was so jealous, yet excited, reading your tweets all weekend. It seems like a great way to get to know more about the community and meet new people, which is always lovely. Hope to be able to go next year!

    Thank you so much for the recap!

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  21. elissa, i'm so glad you got to go and do this! all of your tweets were so funny, and it really seems like you had a terrific time, made new friends and learned new things. i would be jealous if i wasn't so happy for you! hopefully i can attend next year, right?

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  22. wheee! how did i not see you wearing that cute jacket when i looked at this post earlier! soooo adorable. it looks great on you and i'm so glad it found a good home!

    XOXO miss you already. :)

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  23. I totally agree with you! Best weekend ever. And I did NOT know you bought that gorgeous sequin jacket! I love it :)

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  24. Fabulous recap! It was wonderful to meet you, and I had so much fun hanging out! xo

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  25. So great to meet you over the weekend. It was such a wonderful experience spending that time with everyone!!! Miss you already :)

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  26. My favorite parts of your wrap-up:
    1. the canoe-ists!
    2. my giant armpit photo-bombing the photo of Erin and I in the pedicab

    I can't wait to hang out with you all again!

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