"Design Bloggers Conference 2015: The Recap"

I'll be honest, I've been procrastinating writing this blog post for over a week now.  Mainly because I knew it would be so very difficult to some up such an impactful experience.  How do you put into words an event that each year touches you at your very core?  Well, I guess this is my attempt. 
 
 
On February 25th, for the third year in a row, I traveled to the annual Design Bloggers Conference.  According to their website,  "The Design Bloggers Conference is the only conference specifically focused on the interests of bloggers on interior design.  They focus on showing you "how to build a stellar personal brand for yourself, your blog, and your design career."  I can certainly attest to the fact that their claims are indeed true.
 
I've loved this conference since I first attended in 2013 when it was hosted in LA as and I had literally just launched my business and blog.  Now, after three years, I return to reconnect with my design friends and learn nearly more than my little brain can take in.
 
Ruthie Staalsen of DecRenew Interiors
This year's conference took place in Atlanta in the midst of an impending snow storm that thankfully never happened.  Unfortunately, it did keep design great Alexa Hampton from making it in.  Lucky for us, she was fantastic via FaceTime and so very real.  It was an awesome kick-off on the eve of the conference.   
 
 
Thursday morning and the Currey and Company stage was set and I'm sure I don't need to tell you who was front and center.  My parents taught me well.  
 

Let's just say, getting up early to grab a great seat is pretty easy when Nate Berkus is kicking things off. 



Nate's presentation focused on permission. I know, I know, that's what we thought too, but this was one of the most moving keynote addresses.  Something about his words rang so true to me.  Here are the highlights:
  1. Give yourself permission to take that design risk.
  2. Give yourself permission to be honest about what you want and need and maybe more what you don't.
  3. Replace perfect with permission.  Nothing is ever perfect.  In fact, things and people are often better when they're not.
  4. Give yourself permission to believe you are inspiring.
...And realize that the only permission you've ever really needed is your own.  (Say that again!)


Take a listen, you just have to hear him yourself...


 
 
Marcus Sheridan spoke to us regarding content marketing and branding and reminded us that it all boils down to trust.  He challenged us to answer the questions that people really want to know, like "How much does an Interior Decorator cost?"  (No worries, I'm working on it.)
 
Another highlight from Day 1 was meeting and hearing from THE Bunny Williams.  You may know her from her recent collaboration with Ballard Designs.
 
 
Bunny is just plain epic.  She encouraged us to get out in order to get inspired.  Inspiration is truly all around us. 
 
As if that weren't enough, how can you not enjoy a conference where you get to meet HGTV stars like the Kitchen Cousins.
 
 
And I have to admit that the after-party's weren't too shabby either.

 
Day two kicked off with the super gifted, self-taught, Brian Patrick Flynn of Flynside Out Productions.  This dude has more energy than the energizer bunny, but boy is he talented.  He shared with us some of the most searched interior design terms, like:
  • "Small Space Design"
  • "Basement Decorating"
  • "Painted Wood Floors"
He then encouraged us to produce content in those areas. 
 
 
Another highlight of the conference was getting to hear from a couple of my Charlotte design friends, Traci Zeller and Lisa Mende.  They, along with the creators of The Design Camp, shared their insights on the power of collaboration and coined the term "swife"- studio wife and the hashtag- #collaborationnation. So fun!
 
Lori, Traci, Kelli and Lisa
I had been waiting all day to hear from one of my favorites, Stacy Kunstel a.k.a. Stacy Style and the duchess of Dunes and Duchess.  This lady is the absolute sweetest EVER!  Oh, and she just happens to be an amazing interior design stylist.  Yep, she's the one behind the scenes making all of those lovely magazine photos look the way they do. Believe it or not, she shared some of her tricks of the trade with us.  It's all about:
 
  1. Angle
  2. Light
  3. Accessories

I can't wait to try out some of her techniques. 

Closing out the conference were two young ladies who were so very inspiring, Kika Gilbert and Bekka Palmer.  Bekka shared an awesome presenation all about authenticty.  The slide that stuck with me most was this...

 
How impactful is that?  That's my goal, to "ooze" Dwell by Cheryl.

And of course there was another fabulous after party!

Jullianne of Taylor Burke Home

 
Following the conference I attended an event sponsored by The Highboy at a local antiques shop that included a panel discussion on the future of antiques in Southern design. The best part of the evening was meeting up with the author of my favorite design book, In With the Old, Jennifer Boles.
 
Jennifer Boles, author and creator of The Peak of Chic blog
At the end of the day though, the thing that keeps me coming back to DBC each year is always hanging out with like-minded, talented, fashionable and super-fun people who were cut from the same cloth you were. 
 
 
Priceless.
 

2 Comments - Click here to join the conversation!:

Mrs. Erica said... Reply To This Comment

I just loved seeing your recap of the conference. I will be attending this years conference and after seeing your great post I just can't wait!!! Will you be attending again this year? Thanks for the great post. Erica

Cheryl Luckett said... Reply To This Comment

Unfortunately I won't be there this year. I'm sure it'll be great. It always is!

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