So by now you all know my fav city on the West Coast is San Francisco. I look for and jump on any opportunity to peruse the streets of Frisco and live out my not so secret dream of moving back East. Frisco is the only city out west where I feel even remotely close to the east coast . . . but I digress. When I found out that Gala, Shauna and Kat of the Blogcademy were going to be hosting their first workshop of 2014 in my fav city, I jumped at the chance to attend and learn from them. We spent 2 information packed days at The Makeshift Society, a really cute co-working space in Hayes Valley, which was just under a mile from our hotel @ the St. Francis in Union Square.
One of the things I loved about the Blogcademy, was the emphasis on remaining uniquely you, yet challenging yourself to step outside of your comfort box. I loved the energy the girls brought to the workshop. I also love the fact that these three women bonded over blogging, became best friends and are now traveling the world together and sharing their knowledge! Throughout the weekend there was a lot of laughter and best of all a chance to wear sparkly kitty ears!!! . . . sadly, this is something I had never considered before the Blogcademy, but I have successfully incorporated the wearing of said ears into my weekly blogging sessions. I keep my kitty ears at my desk and adorn my fro whenever I sit to write a post. The ears were put into our gift bags as a reminder to do something different, and find a way to stand out in a crowd. I love them so much I am planning an outfit around them . . . and it isn’t a costume!!!
Here I am working in my ears . . . The Blogcademy has forever changed my life with regard to blog-at-home-head-adornment . . .
BTW the Cheez-It’s are not mine! They are my daughter’s. She always visits me while I’m working and leaves things behind . . . mostly hugs, but this time, cheez-its . . .
Another really cool thing about the Blogcademy is that you can volunteer to help out and thereby have access to the info in exchange for your services. This is Vivian and Paige, they attended the Blogcademy in Los Angeles last year and volunteered to help at this one. They both contributed some great tips during the session as well.
I loved how colorful everyone was. The vibe in the workshop was really laid back. It felt like we were just sitting down with a couple of friends chatting about blogging and what worked for them and what didn’t. During a few of our blogging exercises they even played Michael Jackson. Now that will really get your creative juices flowing!
At the end of day one we were given report cards based on our blog that showed what we needed work on. On day two, we had one-on-one sessions with the girls to go over their suggestions, ask questions and discuss things they thought we could do differently . . .
Here is Kat droppin’ some blogging wisdom to Angela who runs a pastry blog called Goldenrod Pasteries! Yum! Don’t you just love her sparkly polka dot tulle skirt!!!
A highlight for me was getting to do my one-on-one with Shauna Haider. Shauna is a graphic designer who owns a boutique design firm called Branch. She does all the branding and logo design for the Blogcademy. I am a big fan of her work (and her personal style, she always wears such amazing dresses!) When we sat together she basically redesigned my header and brought me out of tagline purgatory in just a few short minutes! I can’t wait to implement the changes we discussed. I swear, I could have sat and talked with Shauna about typefaces, whitespace and personal inspirations for the rest of the day!
Throughout the day we were given short assignments to help us hone in on our goals and blogging practices. During activity time there was a lot of idea sharing and networking. On day two I sat next to Alyson (in the green jacket). She runs an eco lifestyle blog called Simply Alyson.
Needless to say, there was ALOT of note taking going on. I pretty much used up my whole notebook. I should have started with an empty one, but I later switched to my ipad…. don’t know why I didn’t start with that in the first place!
Erin was my seat mate on day two. She has a sewing blog called Seamstress Erin, and she told me she had just completed her PHD (she’s a scientist!) and was gearing up to give her exit talk that Friday! To top it all off, she was also in the midst of planning her wedding! I loved Erin’s energy and her bright smile! What an exciting time in her life!
Here we are perusing a selection of macaroons the Headmistresses brought in! I had never had a macaroon before the Blogcademy! I’d seen pictures and thought they were so cute! But Ohhhh, to taste one!! I had Almond Amaretto. They were amazing! So yummy that I had two. The macaroons were from Chantal Guillon. Since they are local, I will definitely be paying them a visit on my next SF trip!
After lunch we had more learning and then giveaways! There were prizes for most tweets and best instagram images of specific things. Aren’t the gifts purty? Theresa was one of the winners. I LOVED her pink hair. She was also the Blogcademy scholarship winner! That’s another way you can attend the Blogcademy, by winning a scholarship. Theresa has a travel blog called Tremendous Times.
Overall, my Blogcademy experience was amazing. Kat, Shauna and Gala shared a lot of valuable information that I have already begun to implement. I loved meeting the women in attendance and hearing about their blogging journeys. There were so many different types of blogs represented at this workshop ie: travel, baking, sewing, photography, self love, the list goes on . . . We are all on our own path, and it’s so wonderful to meet and share along the way. Blogging can be very isolating, which is one of the reasons I have really been working hard to get out more and meet more people!
images by Ingrid Chang of Jerry Yoon Photographers | jerryyoon.com