When Better Homes and Gardens magazine invites you to an exclusive blogger workshop and party in New York City, you don’t say no. Even if the timing isn’t ideal and you’re terribly nervous about attending.
The 2nd annual BHG Stylemaker Event was held on Thursday, September 19th — the same day we were planning to embark on a two-day drive to Buffalo, New York to visit friends. Sadly, we had to reschedule our week-and-a-half long road trip so that I could attend the event, instead deciding to leave a day after I returned and to head straight to Cleveland to see family.
In the days leading up to the workshop and party, I grew increasingly worried that I’d feel out of place among the 49 other bloggers selected from across the country to meet with the editors of Better Homes and Gardens. After all, I’m not a home decorating blogger, nor do I write about food, entertaining, or DIY crafts. What could I bring to the table as a family lifestyle blogger? And what could I get out of it?
Thankfully, Kaelin from BHG, who coordinated the entire event, had my back. Although I was paired with interior design bloggers for the afternoon roundtables, Kaelin pulled me aside during one of the sessions so that I could meet with the magazine’s lifestyle editor and health and features editor. The 45 minutes I spent chatting with Christine and Amy were a highlight of the whole day.
See, long ago I abandoned my dream to become a magazine editor (a decision I regret nearly every day), so freelance writing and blogging have become my roundabout way to connect with the industry. I’m grateful for the opportunity to network with journalists and editors like Christine, Amy, and Ellen, BHG’s fashion and beauty editor, who have the jobs I’d still love to have.
Another highlight was spending time with some amazing bloggers. Although I knew one of my roommates, Sarah, from Alt SLC, I had never met Kirsten or Jeran. Luckily, they were as sweet as could be, and the four of us quickly bonded over dinners out and late night gab sessions about the business of blogging. I was also excited to finally meet Joy in person, who become our honorary fifth roommate on the day of the event when she got ready with us in our hotel room.
It was a treat to see familiar faces like Sheri, Erin, and Michelle at the workshop and party and to meet so many bloggers whose work I’ve admired from afar, including Joni, Kirsten, Ashley, Chelsea, and Lindsey. Could I have pushed myself even further out of my comfort zone to say hello to more people? Of course. Making small talk with strangers is a skill I’m still trying to improve.