Well, it’s about 9:00 in the morning and the cursor on the computer has been blinking at me for a few seconds. It’s the day before the 2018 Haven Blogging Conference and today has been dedicated to packing and taking care of all the last-minute things.
As my day is rolling out, I’m realizing that I’m actually nervous for tomorrow. Usually I’m not the type of person to think twice about putting myself out there professionally. (Have you seen my Facebook lives?) But Haven Conference is a bit different.
There are going to be lots of brands there. Like BIG brands. Maybe you’ve heard of them. Ryobi. The Home Depot. Quickrete. Delta. Gorilla Glue. Joann Fabrics. Dremel. Rustoleum.
Any of those ring a bell?
So I’m going to be rubbing elbows with representatives from the biggest brands in the DIY world. No pressure, right? And in addition to those, there are some really big powerhouse names in the blogging world that will be there as well like The Cotton Stem and Liz Marie Galvan. It’s like the Superbowl for people like me who make their living from all things DIY.
I’m glad I’m going because I’ve always wanted to attend Haven. I heard Mariantalk about it and my pal Wendy from Front Porch Mercantile and they had fabulous times there. It’s finally the right time in my business for me to go because a.) I can afford it, b.) I can handle it and c.) it’s time for Eight Hundred Furniture to make money in other ways besides selling painted furniture.
Right alongside the assurance that the timing is right, my insecurities are creeping in too. It’s a blogging conference, which means that there are going to be tons of pictures being taken. I’m fully aware that I’ll probably be tagged more than once on social media, so there’s a bit of pressure to step up my wardrobe, hair and makeup. I’m pretty comfortable in yoga capris, a t-shirt and my painting apron, but this is a professional conference. It’s time to break out the pretty clothes that don’t have paint on them!
Marc and I talked a few days ago and we decided that it was okay for me to go out shopping for a few new pieces of clothing to take on the trip. I picked up a cute maxi dress for the dress up nights, a pair of well-fitting jeans (because we all know how much of a struggle that can be), a new watch and some assorted tops. I got a pedicure and a haircut along with an eyebrow wax (ouch) a few days ago, so my skin has had a chance to recover. (You girls know exactly what I mean!)
Basically, I’m gearing up to bring as much as I can bring while still being myself and staying true to who I am without putting on too much of a show and being someone who I’m not. I’m not quite sure how to behave, what to say, who to visit, which table to go to or who I will know when I get there. It’s all a big question mark that will hopefully straighten out into an exclamation point by the time Sunday rolls around. I very much prefer that things happen organically and naturally in my business rather than forcing them to occur. I’m not a “salesy” kind of girl, so I’m really hoping that there will be partnerships that form easily and effortlessly while I’m there.
So all in all, I’m a mixed bag of emotions at the moment. I have some errands to run today including returning a tank top that had a “L” on the hanger but turned out to be an XXL sized garment, and mailing off a box of hardware to my friendAnnie over in California. Then it’s mostly hanging out in my bedroom while Gilmore Girls streams on Netflix and putting outfits together to cover three days worth of interactions.
I’m really proud of myself for taking this next big step in my business. Haven is a big deal for me and where I’m at professionally. This trip is more than a getaway to Charleston to stay in a really nice hotel. It’s a huge investment in whatever comes next.