While I was in Arizona, I made the most of it. Did you know that Arizona has the most incredible blogging community? It always surprises me that no matter where I am I can find a group of women that blog and just get all that goes on behind the scenes. And moving to Phoenix was no different. They might be a little more spread out there, but I was so grateful to find them all. I was able to go to two different meetups while living there. They are a little more selective of their meetups and put lots of planning - it isn't like the blogger meetups in Utah where you can find one almost every week with a variety of size and style. These ones are spectacular. I went to my first one way back in March and it was a a fun networking, get to know you party. And for the second one I was able to join the planning team. We hosted a blogging round table at The Shine Project Headquarters with some of the most lovely speakers. Drink it all in and then I will tell you more about the Arizona Blogger Meetup.
Alright. A quick break. These are the lovely ladies that I coordinated it all with. They are seriously stellar. We have Chrissy from Let Me See You Sparkle. She is a photographer and probably the friendliest person you will ever meet, in your life. She was one of the VERY first Arizona bloggers I met way back when she took my photos for a few posts. I adore her. And if you read her blog she will make you feel all sorts of good, like you can change the world good. Then we have me. You know me. Then next is Kayla from Freckles in April but more commonly known over at Babble. She is a babe. Beyond all babes. And she is a smart lady. She is basically a complete package of all things right in the world. She has got it all together and I have loved getting to know her. And then last, but not least, is Camille from Friday We're in Love. She is what I like to consider the glue. She is driven beyond driven, a planner, always on her A game, and a serious doll. She took me in right from the start - inviting me to dinner, making me come to a blog conference, and just always checking on me in between it all.
So once everyone arrived - all 50 women.. ps, did I mention our tickets sold out in less than 3 hours? I feel pretty legit about that - we just mingled and snacked on delicious snacks and heated the place up. It was SO hot in the Shine Headquarters. You will notice throughout the photos that everyone is glistening - and let me tell ya, that isn't a glow from the sheer enjoyment... that is sweat. Just embrace it. Camille did the intros to get us going and then sent everyone to round one of classes. Then Camille and I sat in the hall and timed the class length while sitting under the fan. We are so smart, right? But the fan was right in between all the classes so I was able to grab snippets here and there from the ladies running the roundtables. There were some FAB classes. We had four different options. First was a SWOT Analysis class by Reachel from Cardigan Empire which I LOVED. If you don't know Reachel, you should. She is a stylist and an all around brilliant woman. I was like a little fan girl when I met her, and she gave me my very own style analysis. I am a hourglass shaped, winter, with a little romance and trend. Next was Ashley from The Shine Project - the kind soul that let us take over her space - and she talked about collaborating with other bloggers. The Shine Project is seriously brilliant and has the best items. Next up was Photo Styling by Stephanie Studer from Life Created. Her Instagram account is like a view of heaven. She styles with sheer perfection. This was actually my second time hearing her present and as always I walked away with learning something. I will never tire of listening to her. And then last was a Working with Sponsors class with Emily from The Banner Shop and Summer from Girls with Glasses. I loved their class because they gave you a little bit from both angles. Summer talked about working with companies as a blogger and how to really build relationships. Emily talked about being a company that worked with bloggers and what she looked for in the women she collaborated with. Every single option was a grand slam, so no one felt short changed for missing out on a speaker - we really lucked out with amazing ladies at every corner.
And of course, what is a meetup without a photobooth? The Shine Project HQ had an entire room dedicated to photo backdrops, so we snagged out the simplest and set it up for everyone to take photos together. Here are a few of my faves. First with a group of stunning ladies that I had the honor of meeting that day - including another Deidre, imagine that - and then with Tausha because she is a babe. I had a few more floating around but I decided not to overwhelm you with photbooth photos. Then of course, I cannot leave out our AMAZING AMAZING sponsors. Every lady walked out with a swag bag full of goodies. We got a pumpkin spice brownie + pen from Fairytale Brownies, patterned leggings from Agnes & Dora, some awesome fleece lined leggings from Pink Blush that I am absolutely OBSESSED with, a darling custom designed notebook from Tiny Prints, a printable from Yellow Bungalow Shop , and it was all tucked into a canvas tote from Lawless Denim.
Now I would like to show you a series called "Jen + Deidre Being Themselves". I should be embarrassed but I am not. Actions like these are what solidified our friendship, and I will not apologize for that. And then of course you can see all the ladies right before the end of the event in our sweaty, sweaty glory.
You can read some more posts from lovely bloggers like Cathy, Kayla, Mindy, and Erin to hear more about the event and what they loved about the day. So there you have it - a successful event. And this, my friends, is why I love the blogging community. Meeting women like this, having opportunities to network and grow, and most of all building relationships that will last from state to state. I am so lucky to have met these women and they will stay part of my blogging story. Do you have any networks that help you learn and grow? What is your favorite part about being in a community like blogging?