Happy Monday, my dear ones! Wow, I’ve had quite a weekend and I am so excited to get back to blogging and tell you all about it! :) On Saturday I went to Boston to attend Holly Becker of decor8′s book signing and a special mood board how-to event to promote her beautiful new book, Decorate (read my review here). Both events were held at the Anthropologie store, which was just the perfect location to showcase Holly’s style. After the event I felt really lucky to go to lunch with Holly and a group of other creative ladies at a nearby restaurant. As many of you I’m sure know by now, Holly is a huge inspiration to me personally, so it meant a lot to me to attend this event. I’ve been trying to collect my thoughts about the day and just to warn you, this is going to be a long post (1000+ words)! So come back if you need to, and then pour yourself a nice cup of tea (I am sipping Moroccan Mint while I type :) ) and settle in to your comfy chair. I will be discussing the event, to be sure, but I also want to touch on a few topics that I think will be of interest to many of you, including taking risks, creativity, and making connections with others.
To begin, this was the longest I had been away from my baby yet – I was gone from 8:30 a.m. until around 6:00 p.m., and while I realize that many other Mamas have to deal with work and other obligations that take them away from home, this was new for me and I was nervous! I traveled to the event with Diana of D. S. Brennan Photography, and we had a great time chatting on the way there about decor8, blogging, and generally how excited we were. :) I had major butterflies in my tummy going to meet Holly even though I have interviewed her before – that was not in person, so this was a completely different experience. Part of my butterflies also came from knowing I would be meeting and talking with many other creative women, including fellow bloggers, artists, crafters, and designers, some whose work I have followed for a long time. I can be pretty shy in person, especially around lots of new people, so I was quite nervous about putting myself out there.
When we arrived at Anthropologie and made our way upstairs to the area set aside for the event I was so impressed with the way the space was decorated – big paper poms hung from rafters high overhead, a lovely wooden cabinet was packed full of inspiring objects to use in the mood board presentation, a long table was set with adorable dishes, delicious baked goods, pretty little glasses, pitchers of orange juice and mimosas, yum! Even the water bottles had handmade embellishments; see one on Cindy’s lovely blog right here. Note to self: If I ever have a book tour, make sure it is hosted by Anthro. Seriously, this was so much nicer than any other author event I have seen.
As soon as Holly arrived, I felt put at ease. She was so genuine, warm, and friendly; exactly how she comes across on decor8; you can’t help but adore Holly in person! :) Her mood board presentation was fun and inspiring – after walking us through the steps to create a mood board, she demonstrated one up in front of the “class”. I found myself digging through my bag for a pen and scribbling notes on the outside of a file folder I brought with me because I didn’t want to forget a thing she said! After attending this workshop I really want to take my notes and my inspiration files and work on my own mood board, as well as share more of Holly’s specific tips, so keep an eye out for that post within the next week!
Holly said she had planned to show us four mood boards, but the time positively flew by and she was only able to get through one. After the mood board workshop Holly hung around and chatted with people, took photographs, and then headed downstairs to begin signing copies of her book. I have to be honest – I was a little star-struck at this point, so I didn’t go up and introduce myself until I was in line at her book signing table! Of course when I did get to meet her she was super nice, and I was able to hand her a little thank you note because…guess what? I had mentioned online that I was reading a library copy of Decorate because I could not afford to purchase my own copy yet, and Holly read this and immediately had her publicist send me my own copy of the book! That is how nice Holly is.
After mingling at the store, it was time to head to lunch. It felt absolutely surreal to be seated at the same table with Holly and so many other creative ladies. Business cards were flying and the table was buzzing with energy. So many different types of creatives were present, from other bloggers to artists, illustrators, editors, jewelry makers, crafters, interior designers, shop owners…so many wonderful people, in fact, that I have decided to devote an entire post later this week to sharing some of their work and a bit more about each one rather than just a list of names & links.
I will say though, as encouragement for others who may feel a bit shy like me, it is SO worth it to make that effort to get out there and push yourself out of your comfort level! I came away from the day’s events feeling exhausted, to be sure, but also brimming with inspiration, a pocketful of business cards, and my mind whirring with ideas for possible future collaborations, events and meetups.
Another take away for me from this experience was seeing the amazing diversity in creative businesses – each of us has our own style, we put our own stamp on whatever it is that we do and make it our own. I think sometimes it is easy to become discouraged by the sheer volume of creative talent out there in the world. There are hundreds (thousands??) of Etsy shops, blogs, etc., popping up each day all over the world, it’s true…but none of them are YOU. There is room for everyone at the table.
Oh and p.s., if you live in one of the other cities Holly is visiting (see flyer above), get your butt to the store and meet the dear lady!