Blogher Biz 2019 LA

So much energy, truth, and business leveling up took place. As you know I attended the Blogher Biz LA experience and it was just that a worthy experience. I’m not a conference person. This means I don’t go from conference to conferences if I don’t feel like it’s going to benefit me to some degree.

How you start is How you Finish…

Who are you? Erica Williams Simon started the morning helping us reframe this answer. Are we what we do? Who are we? I was moved. I know she was talking to me. To have someone call you and your insecurities out was refreshing. It was at that moment I knew let me dig in! I wasn’t leaving with just a good time. I was leaving healed in some places and with a strategy to make it happen!

Why Blogher Biz?

The Blogher Biz conference was an intimate conference full of bloggers and influencers who are ready to level up. Everyone wants to level up now thanks to Ciara right?! Wrong. There’s a lot of folks who want to level up but don’t do the work and aren’t coachable. The women at Blogher came in with a purpose to level up and I believe it will happen!

What is leveling up with Blogher Biz?

This comes in the form of learning about SEO. If you’re a blogger and haven’t heard SEO than you need to take a step back. Having your blog go to the top of the search board is important. Leaving how to add more headers, have quality pictures, and making your blog more streamlined is important!

Oh and if you need a free plugin that I love use Ink! They are not sponsored by Blogher but I use them and they are great and works with WordPress and easy to use!! They help with SEO!!

Getting the Coins

Blogging can be for a number of reasons. You have me when I first began it was a great hobby and outlet. For some like myself we realize that we can create amazing content and turn it into a full budding business. You need coins to do so. We learned the art of negotiating. How to ask for what we what and not leave money on the table!

We also heard from an amazing panel of financial gurus. The notion that we can’t enjoy our lattes, save and make upward mobility and have the money we need was broken!

From left to right: Nicole Lapin, Sherita Janielle, and Dee McLaughlin; sponsored by Capital Group

Save me Complex

One of the best thing I loved was that the Blogher Biz was located at The Riverter LA. One of the first things you see in the beautiful creative space is this:

There’s no save me complex. Women have always been saving themselves the rest of the world is just catching on. With that in mind I loved Kate Somerville! Kate built her skincare line by the notion of saving herself. She took an idea; didn’t have a lot of capital and went to friends and family to help. Here’s the kicker…she came with a plan. She had it written her what, how, and when. She not only paid everyone back she did it earlier than she originally stated. None of that borrowing and dodging.

Justine Goodman and Kate Somerville

Women investing in other Women

I had no idea about women investing in other women was a thing until I started coming to the Blogher conferences this year. I was delighted to learn from Jesse Draper. Jesse is a venture capitalist of Halogen Ventures. She recalls seeing women owned businesses asking for way less than men would. Men have zero issues knowing what they want and asking and most times receiving it. We as women have to know what it takes. Jesse said the things that stick out to her is someone who knows what they want and is willing to challenge her.

Jesse Draper and Audrey Cleo Yap

Influece Unplugged

A lot of folks don’t want to hear it but sometimes you have to accept free merchandise before you can ask for a rate. It’s not totally unheard of. Once you get to a certain place it’s perfectly fine to know your rate and ask for it. Companies will negotiate with you. Have and make an investment into a great attorney to go over your contracts! Ask questions and know what you are doing and what is expected of you.

Pictured; Pia Baroncini, Lauren Perinchief, and Jennifer Powell

Let me say that Blogher always and I mean always gives the best treats both during and as take home by the wonderful sponsors!

Boost Friends

Hi Boost Friends! We all need Boost Friends! Thanks to Kwanza Jones curator, creator, and investor of IamSupercharged had us on our feet after lunch helping us resift our energy! Making sure we understand how we need people in our lives bringing positive vibes into our lives!!

Tika Sumpter and Karin Gist

We all should be familiar with the show Mixedish! This show follows a mixed couple and their family and the challenges that even in 2019 are prevalent when dealing with race and identity. Tika and Karin shared their passions on how they climbed and still climb in their professions!

One thing about Tika I didn’t know what she was set to go to college and unable to pay her bill she got a waitress job and found acting. Hearing her say that she was someone who wasn’t supposed to be where she was resonated with me. Sometimes life will carry us into our purpose!

Karin has to follow passion even after passion had lead her into some amazing circles! Knowing that success will be defined by you and not by others!

The Future is Female Founded

We learned that sometimes having a degree in finances isn’t always necessary. Shout out to those who do go to school because we need people on the front line too! Google should be your friend. No need to be in this world not asking questions and finding out what you need to make your business pop. Learning to take a chance on yourself is necessary!!! These ladies came with the goods. My notes section of my phone is dedicated to Blogher at this point! I needed my notes to be in retime!

Nicole Lapin, Christina Stembel, Sashee Chandran, AmyAnn Caldwell, Maggie Q

Molly Sims

We know Molly as a model, actress, and philanthropist, but Molly is a super hero to me. More than just the nostalgia of seeing her I resonated with the fact that she’s married and has kids and still killing it! I struggle since often times creatives are younger and younger and often times I’m the mom of the group! However mom or not Molly let it be known being relevant is in how you carry yourself! She’s a force and she encouraged us to take projects that speak to us! Go over contracts and have a plan!

Krista Smith and Molly Sims

I learned sooooo much! I made amazing connections!

Me pictured with Mschurchdress; give her a follow she’s amazing and stunning look at this beauty

Here are my tools for going to a conference like Blogher:

  • Get close-sitting in the back should be because you needed to for things like frequent bathroom breaks or you were late (always better late than not coming)
  • Get social (I connected with more than 30 people)
  • Take great notes (you ain’t come for nothing)
  • Use social media at the same time-this is a learned skill. It didn’t take away from me getting the information-you will be surprised of who notices!!! Trust me!
  • Don’t waste your time-go with intention

Realize when you’re in a Blogher conference the best thing is to smile and speak. I have yet to have a bad encounter with anyone including the organizers who I know by name at this point because I make it my business to make sure I’m seen!

LA owes me nothing. I had a great weekend and though I’m jet lagged at least I’m inspired! I stayed at the Holiday Inn which I will review them separately! Amazing time though and great service!

I also had a great time seeing my family while there! Can you look at this amazing sushi from Rok Sushi Kitchen!!

Here are a few goodies:

Mochi icecream by Bubbies

Amazing flavors and they had the best display! I need like a case for the holidays!!

These by Smart Sweets take my candy craving to a great high! I’m still learning about vegan options that taste great! This brand has ALL my favorites. I’ll be ordering soon!!

What I’m currently reading…

Thanks Nicole Lapin for my autographed copy!!! I’ll be gifting one to one lucky reader soon stay tuned!!

Blogher will always have my support for always supporting women!

Blogher Part 2 (Day 19 Self Care Challenge)

So by now you should have read Part 1 of the Blogher conference but in case you hadn’t you can read it here!  I was determined to be more involved for today’s activities. I think one of the issues when you travel alone to conferences or trips etc. is the inability to have someone to vibe with or the ability to have someone to help you get the perfect shot.

I knew that today was the las day and there was no way I was going to allow myself to have spent the money it took to pull this trip off and not get what I came for. I decided to make my rounds to any brand I had not had the opportunity to see the day before. My first stop was to Ninja Foodi. They are your go to brand for all things kitchen appliances. I am talking about in home grills and pressure cookers etc. They had one stop shop appliances that I need to add to my Christmas list. Theses appliances can do multiple things to make your life move with much ease.

My next stop was to visit with Adorama and they provided me with my first headshot. I have already updated all of my pages to reflect the new picture as I always make sure that all of my pages are aligned.  The care that they took to give me not just one but many shots.  I will release more later but for now, here is the shot with the Canon Mark IV that I loved the most.  I also am in the market for a new camera and the reps were A1 with suggestions that will help me bring better quality pictures to my blog.  I hope to purchase and start shooting before the end of the year.

Now the day started off extremely cold. I was wondering if it would heat it. It finally did. Look at this view:

I decided to go back to the Almost Family booth and take a picture with today’s outfit too. Why not?  I had packed multiple options right? Oh and Almost Family starts October 2 on Fox and follows a group of women who discover they are sisters and the ups and downs that comes from that discovery. Check them out!

The speakers were amazing.  We heard from women from all walks of life. Let me hit you with some of the info I learned. I  learned how to watch some of my social media stats. I thought I knew but I learned a little more to find out what my audience wants to see on the very platform that I use. I also learned how to read my status so that I can see that I am actually doing much better than I thought. I think to be honest I had been only worrying about Instagram that I wasn’t seeing my success in other platforms. I also learned that companies look for the full picture and not necessarily on just Instagram.  This was news to me. By the way this gave me the courage to start my media kit. I do not know how I hadn’t had one all this time. It was on my goal list to start in year 5 which starts in November. However I reached out to my graphic designer plug and right there emailed him my stats, logo (that I created during Blogher), new headshot and other items to have it by next week.  No  more sitting on the side lines. I have decided to reach out to my fellow blogger friends and make my dreams a reality. No  more waiting until..

Oh and I found a new brand that I love for pizza, pizza crusts and chicken tenders. I’m talking about Caulipower.  The CEO, Gail Becker told her story of having sons who had celiac disease and she was “waiting” for a company to produce foods that were safe for them to eat. She then created it herself after making her own cauliflower pizza and seeing how time consuming it was. She knew that others would have that love and need and guess what?  She was right. I plan to not only use my coupon for a free product but to purchase more.  You know the cure for more female businesses?  Support and purchase the products that female businesses owners produce. Its that simple.

Caulipower also hosted an amazing on stage pitch contest. I loved seeing these powerful women compete to have their product picked.  I learned a lot about each one. I pray they continue in their business endeavors. Its not easy to get up on stage and bear your soul and hope someone can see your heart and your product like you do.

Shout out to Constant Contact who not only provided an amazing photo below but allowed me to make a new logo and a new back to showcase that logo. I plan to have that bag with me as I go to my blogging events. Also they provide so many amazing services that can help you strategize if you are seasoned or starting out day one. I highly recommend them for starting websites, etc. They do an amazing job. I already had a log in issue and they have the best customer service reps who took me one on one and got me altogether.

One of the best parts was seeing young people start the journey to inspiration early. I was happy to see J. Marcelle Lashley-Kabore who is the curator of the Global Goddess Experience with Girls with Knowledge.  I loved that she is the champion of change for young ladies who mirror my oldest. As a mom I know that my girls will see me as a great resource for them but its nice to know there are others that can mirror what its like to honor yourself, go after your dreams, and be unapologetic about it.

Keep in mind that there were other speakers and I will release the lessons that I learned from them over time. I enjoyed Diane Guerrero, actress and advocate for all things feminism. I loved how she pushed us to not settle and not go after things because of our own hang-ups. One thing she said stuck out to me was why not me? No one can do what I can do well.  I can take a chance on me.  Also I saw her afterwards and she was truly gracious!

I cant put into words the fire that was lit. I didn’t want to come home and change things in how I was doing as much as I wanted to add new tools to what I do.

At the end they announced several prizes.  Me being me just thought well the prizes would just be an overflow but…….. I won the grand prize. 2 tickets to LA, a new bag by Away bags, and spending money. (Don’t even ask I still aint got not money to lend) I am so stocked. I will be doing an unboxing of my new suitcase. You have to see the trinkets and the capabilities. Trust me you are gonna want this as your number one go to travel bag!

Thank you Blogher for an amazing time. I made great contact with several brands and I cant wait to see what leads to. Thank you to my amazing readers.  This girl glowing and growing and being a boss doing it.

Thank you to Emma Lovewell who showed us how to have a good day all day and on purpose. How to set our intentions first thing and how to do for self first thing before we pour out to others!

Blogher 2019 (Day 18 September Self Care Challenge)

Okay so I’ve been talking and talking about the conference and here we go! So I drove to New York on Wednesday September 18th! I was a little nervous because the last time I went to New York I took a Mega Bus. It was easy on the Mega Bus. Anywho since I didn’t really know how long it would take me to be done on Thursday of the conference I elected to drive.

Traffic wasn’t an issue not even when I got closer to New York. It was congested but no different than Philadelphia. I only had to slam on my brakes once! So for me that was a win. I checked into Pod Brooklyn and the process was seemingly easy. They had rooms available so I didn’t have to wait and I wasn’t charged an early check in fee. See my full review here! FYI the below recap is simply a recap there were so many speakers and panels! Trust me if you are thinking about going next year please do and make sure you bring pen and paper, use your notes function in your phone like I did or bring your laptop which many did!

After checking in I was going to wear what I traveled in since it started at around 2 and it was really like a meet and greet day. However I decided against it and changed! Hunger had set in since the only thing I had that morning was coffee and a pumpkin bagel! Thankfully Pod Brooklyn has a restaurant: Clinton Hall New York! The food was great. I had a veggie burger and fries and some red wine. I knew that since I had parked my car I wasn’t about to move it. I would be in an Uber for the duration of my stay! So I definitely had room to wine!!

As soon as you walk in and get checked in they have your swag bag ready! Listen these bags had amazing products! All of the products represented were amazing. I had to dump all of the items into a bigger bag to pack it day one!

I loved the fact that Fuji Film was present to take amazing pictures of us! I really have to get my hand on their new Instax mini lilplay! It prints and it’s like an upgraded Polaroid picture from back in the day!

This is from day 2 by the way

It was time to network before we heard from our amazing speakers! So many wonderful brands were represented. Let me highlight a few!

This is from Water Wipes who’s mission is to normalize the real side of parenting. They also had an encouragement board which above all things was the most important to me. Being a mom myself knowing that often times parenting can feel like you’re alone and like my friend @cocoamommy says taking care of your “broke best friends” can be challenging!

Another brand I would love to highlight is Vagisil! We ladies know who Vagisil is! They have so amazing new products that help us ladies to feel confident and healthy with our vaginal health! We should #showourshameless and take the sting out of caring for our vaginas! They have products that we can use for traditional cleansing as well as on the go maintenance that will not mess with our PHs!

Can I highlight Tawanna? She’s an amazing product rep and guru who has thee best attitude. Have you ever met anyone who was just amazing from first word to last? No? You’re missing out! Tawanna just has that IT factor and her personality is like a magnet of good!

Tawanna is pictured in the middle

Of course got to show major love to Dunkin Donuts! America runs on Dunkin and they were present to keep our pumpkin requests flowing! From the Dunkin backdrops to the Dunkin Trucks-our donuts, muffins, and cold brew were always fully stocked! Also they gave a Sausage less sandwich. It was amazing! Everyone is getting on the plant base train and now I can add Dunkin to the mix. Before I would just get their coffee and keep it moving! Now I can indulge in a breakfast sandwich without guilt or messing with my healthy eating plan!

There were panels of beautiful women who either paved or are continuing to path the way for all of us creators! The big names of the evening were of course Sarah Jessica Parker and Keke Palmer! I enjoyed them both! Keke is literally the same way that we see her all the time. She really reminds me more of a young Angela Bassett. I know she gets that often but up close she’s stunning, funny, and I loved her advice. We have so much in the world going on but we gave to find a way to smile and live!!!

I enjoyed Sarah Jessica Parker who reminded us with all the fabolousness that we see in here and the characters she has played she is always championing for others. Someone asked her how does she balance it all and I absolutely had to stand up on her response! “It’s not how I’m managing but how is the everyday woman who is balancing 2-3 jobs to keep afloat is managing?!” I found not one lie!

FYI my pics get much better as I pushed from the back to the front and make new friends

She also premiered her new wine; Invivo X! It was delicious!! Oh and it was the sponsor for the happy hour for the evening!

As much as we all wanted to just be in the presence of greatness it was time to make sure we learned! I felt like Day One was all about renewal of your why! At least that’s what I took from it!

The next set of ladies were phenomenal! Seeing these young and upcoming Hollywood superstars shared their experiences about being young and what challenges they are faced with. It was great perspective!

Inclusion

I made this it’s own separate section because it was an important conversation. In order for companies to talk the talk of inclusion it goes well above having shades of makeup swatches. We need people of color to be paid the same rate as their counterparts. We need to see inclusion on company’s social media pages. It’s hurtful to see companies pushing inclusion as a means of propaganda but not mean it by having full representation! Shout out to Nikki Brown Stylecaster senior beauty editor, Yaminah Mayo, writer and model who you might have recently seen in Traces Ross’s new campaign for Pattern Beauty and Ofunne Amaka CEO of Cocoa Swatches! Real and raw talk about what it means to be black in arenas of fashion and beauty who are marketing off of what it means to be black and beautiful but may not necessarily stand behind it fully!

By the time we were done (FYI there’s a few speakers I didn’t mention-it’s a lot) I was tired! I had learned so much. My wheels was spinning! I already had a mental reset! I felt empowered to visit with more brands and make more connections!

Like Sarah Jessica Parker, why not me? If I don’t throw my hand into the competition I only do myself a disjustice! Hearing no hurts! It stings but it stings a lot longer than simply not pushing past the initial fear!

Day 2……