It’s time for my Haven 2018 recap!
If you’re interested in reading my other experiences, you can read all about my 2016 Haven Recap as well as my post from 2017.
I just returned this past Sunday from Charleston where the Haven bloggers conference was held. The conference aimed for DIY and interior design bloggers has always been in Atlanta but they decided to change the scenery this year to a different city. I have always loved Charleston and I hadn’t been back since Jimmy and I celebrated our 1st anniversary over 14 years ago. Yup, we’ve been married for over 15 years now!
Here are some of the highlights from the trip.
The conference was held in the beautiful Marriott in downtown Charleston. It was a gorgeous venue and most importantly, located near a bunch of amazing restaurants. Even though I didn’t have a chance to see more of the city due to time, I had a delicious meal every night. You know, priorities. 😀
I almost didn’t go this year because my good friend and last year’s roomie, Brooke discovered that she was most likely not going to be able to make it. I kept going back and forth on whether I should go. I finally decided to go about two weeks before the conference. Can you tell I’m not big on planning? I’m kinda go with the flow, wait until the last minute, scramble and figure it out later kinda girl. Ha! The hotel was already filled to capacity and I had to ask around to find some room mates. It all worked out in the end and I’m glad I pushed my introverted self to go.
Sometimes going to these types of events feels a little like you’re in high school again. Basically, you’re waiting awkwardly in the middle of the dance floor waiting for someone to ask you to dance. I’ve found the best thing for me is to push myself to go and introduce myself to people each time and get over my stranger anxiety. My husband, Jimmy and I always laugh because we’re so different in that regard. He thrives in a room full of random strangers and is probably the most extroverted person I know. I’ve learned that you only grow when you push yourself out of your comfort zone.
Thankfully, since this was my third conference, I got to see many old friends. I also had the opportunity to connect with and make new friends. Going to these events is important because of the relationships that grow from spending time face to face. We’re so used to talking and connecting with each other online and it’s refreshing to be able to actually spend intimate time with people who understand your craft, work and passion. It’s also really great meeting with brands that you’ve worked with and putting a face to the company.
These sweet friends let me stay with them Thursday night in another hotel nearby since our hotel was full. They all have very different styles from me and I love that I still gain so much inspiration from each one of them. They are all so very talented, kind and down to earth.
A really cool thing happened! Do you remember when I made my concrete lamp using Quikrete? Well, I entered a contest and even though I didn’t win, Quikrete asked to showcase my lamp at their booth for Haven.
Pretty cool right? I have some more concrete ideas up my sleeve so I’m excited to share them on the blog in the future. My problem is I have way too many ideas in my head and not enough time to execute any of them.
I love hanging out with these gorgeous friends. They are super smart, business saavy and hilarious.
My sweet friend and color loving designer, Haneen let me stay with her the other two nights. I met her two years ago and had a chance to get to know her and she is downright hilarious and so much fun to be around.
I was so proud of my friend, Amie for winning the Home Depot Orange Tank pitch. Home Depot will partner with her on creating a bunk house on her lake. You know I will be visiting her once that’s complete! I had the pleasure of hanging out with Amie at the Atlanta market back in January and we have become such good friends.
One of the best things about blogging is when I become friends with people I’ve followed for years like Aniko and Brooke. I love when online people are just as awesome in real life.
Here’s the wooden board I designed during the Amy Howard workshop. I never miss her workshop because she is seriously one of my favorite entrepreneurial women I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. I alway leave her class feeling convicted, inspired and just moved by how God uses her gifts for a greater purpose.
I loved testing out her new product and was super sad because I ended up losing my board because I left it somewhere in the hotel. My mantra for the past year has been, “Stay in your lane.” I think it’s easy to get distracted and look at what everyone else is doing. Everyone’s path looks different and it’s important for all of us to remember to stay in our own lane. I am constantly learning where my gifts are and am trying to focus my energy and time on staying in my lane. It’s a great constant reminder and it helps me to stay on track and have joy in my own unique journey.
If you’ve ever thought about starting a blog or doing something completely out of your comfort zone, I say just do it. You will never know what will come of it and I’m still so glad I pushed publish years ago on my first blog post. The opportunities that have come my way are truly a blessing and I am so grateful for each and every one of them.
As always, thanks so much for reading! I truly do appreciate it.
Let all that you do be done in Love. 1 Corinthians 16:14