When I decided to attend the Design Bloggers Conference this March, little did I know that I'd be returning from Los Angeles awarded 2017's 'Best New Design Blog'!  Sitting in the audience listening to them read the nominees in each category, I thought 'there's no way I'll win' but how thankful I was to be nominated even, how fun!  When they said my name as the winner I'm sure anyone sitting near me must have seen my shocked expression - every blog in my category was so beautiful and I honestly wasn't expecting to win.  I had to go up on stage and am grateful I haven't seen any videos of my astounded comments haha, I had nothing prepared to say (lesson learned!).  THANK YOU SO MUCH for voting - I didn't even realize I had been nominated until a few weeks before the conference so the whole experience was a very pleasant surprise!

Our conference host, the iconic Beverly Hilton Hotel

Our conference host, the iconic Beverly Hilton Hotel

The speakers and seminars were all fabulous + informative but I did have a few favorites:

  • Amber Lewis of Amber Interiors -  Although she's a total design icon, Amber is so down to earth + listening to her share her authentic story was refreshing and motivating.  She is proof that you no longer need a formal interior design degree to be successful in this industry!
  • LuAnn Nigara of A Well Designed Business - I've been a fan of this lovely lady for a long time and listen to her podcast often - it combines two of my loves, business + design!  LuAnn is smart, witty, and so passionate about helping designers grow their businesses and I always love what she has to say. 
  • Timothy Corrigan - A wildly successful interior designer with offices in Los Angeles + Paris, Timothy has a background in marketing + brand strategy and shared some practical tips on building, communicating, and expanding your brand as a blogger or designer
  • Connor Dwyer  (@connortd on Instagram) - A brand + marketing genius and Instagram sensation, Connor sees the world from a different perspective than most and excels at making the ordinary seem extraordinarily beautiful.  Just be authentic and do what you love - you may be surprised at the opportunities that arise!
Connor Dwyer, photo from his Instagram account @connortd

Connor Dwyer, photo from his Instagram account @connortd

While I loved staying in the Beverly Hills area, I can't handle too much ritz so Wednesday morning, on the advice of an LA local, I headed down to Manhattan Beach - somebody just get this Saskatchewan girl to the ocean's edge, please!  After an early patio breakfast at Uncle Bill's Pancake House, I walked out on the pier and watched the local surfer's trying to catch a wave.  I could have stayed there in the sunshine for hours but had a plane to catch.

The whole vibe of the Design Bloggers Conference was uplifting, encouraging, and motivating.  The seminars were useful no matter if you were just starting into blogging or already have a successful following.  There were sessions on Search Engine Optimization, new media, public relations, Google Analytics, content marketing, photoshoot styling, among others, but some overall themes were:  be authentic, develop your brand through consistency, connect with your audience, and use social media to give, give, give.  Great reminders and things that I'll be focusing on implementing both professionally and personally.

I think this quote, shared by the creator of the DBC, Adam Japko, sums up the week perfectly and is something we all need to keep front-of-mind in many different regards:


While I feel so honored to have received the 'Best New Design Blog'  award, I'm even more thankful for the amazing people I met through the conference and the friendships that have been formed through my time in LA.  It's truly all about the people.

Make sure to check out the blogs of the winners in the three other categories as well - they're very talented ladies and being in their company is very humbling!