Once a year I make a pilgrimage to Atlanta! I go to the Mecca for design and diy bloggers called HAVEN. Have you heard of it? I wouldn’t miss this fabulous, friendly and oh, so informative blog conference. This year Haven is August 5-7. Put it on your calendars! I go to HAVEN for the friendships I make and grow there, the amazing blog sessions I attend, all the tons of things I learn, networking with companies, the fun after hour soirees, the bags of amazing swag, the talks that last till the wee hours with other bloggers, the hugs, the laughter, the squeals when you see a friend you have not seen in a year and the F-U-N! Not only is Haven one of the best things I have done for my blog… it’s one of the best things I’ve done period! And this year I’ll be participating in Haven in a special way…
This year will be my 4th Haven and they are truly one of the biggest highlight of my year! This year I’m not only attending Haven but I’m a Haven Maven Mentor!
Just look at this great group of mentors! I’m in very lofty blogging company! These ladies make up a group of seasoned bloggers and have much to pass on and offer other bloggers, especially newer blogger. Wow, I wish we had mentors when I was a new blogger. Come to think of it, I am sure I will learn lots and lots from these ladies as I mentor with them this year!
The Haven Maven Mentors are all coming to Haven with specific goals in mind! We want to spread around blogging wisdom and help(as well as hugs), we want to meet YOU and we want to have a great time with our blogging friends… old and new!
Let’s get to know our Mentors a little better. You can visit any of these blog and see how they answered these questions…
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN BLOGGING?
I began blogging in September of 2009. I took two blogging breaks so with that in mind I have been blogging a little over 7 years. My blog started off as a way to connect and share bits of home with my newly married daughter but quickly took on a life of its own! I had no idea that others would find StoneGable and be interested in the things I was sharing with my daughter. But I’m so glad they did!
About 3 years ago I went from a “hobby” blog to a business. Hobby blogging was becoming a big financial stain!
Once StoneGable became a business and brand, I really kicked it up a notch and tried to make StoneGable a go-to site for all things home with an emphasis on home decor and diy.
I have THE BEST job in the entire world. I love love love what I do and the people I meet!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DIY PROJECT YOU’VE COMPLETED?
Wow, I feel as thought our whole house is one big diy project!
I think my favorite diy to date is our dining room. We literally gutted it and started from the floor up! We laid hardwood, painted the walls, I painted a buffet and my 18th century mahogany chairs and reupholstered them. We refitted some old shutters to hang on either side of the mirror, I painted the bench, made the curtains and the curtain rods, and made over the bar cart.
I don’t think we are ever really finished decorating or updating a room! So, I’m still tweaking it!
WHAT IS SOMETHING SIGNIFICANT YOU LEARNED AT A CONFERENCE?
There are so many things I’ve learned from blog conferences.
I have learned how to make my blog a successful business. Who knew that a more-than-middle age woman from a country town could create a web presence that other’s would be willing visit and and enjoy. AND that woman could make a living from doing something she loves to do every minute!
Learning this changed the way I think about my blog and made me a businesswoman. Haven, especially over the last couple years, has inspired me to think in new ways about StoneGable. I learned about branding, what is is, and how it relates to my blog. I learned to think as a businesswoman as well as a blogger and lover of my home.
Becoming a business has made a huge difference in how I blog. I’m a much better blogger and have a good sense of my blog identity, my niche and my wonderful readers.
My readers and the relationship we have developed are so important to me. I discovered that I did not have to give up those important relationships to be a professional blogger. Actually, just the opposite, my business make my readers the center of this amazing venture!
WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD OFFER A BLOGGER-NEW OR OTHERWISE- WHO IS GOING TO HAVEN?
DO EVERYTHING! Start early in the morning and don’t quit until you have to drag yourself to bed! Soak it all in. You are with hundreds of like minded souls! We get one another! Haven is like a sorority of nice girls! And how many of your other friends really get what you do?
Eat, talk until you lose your voice, network, laugh, learn, party, learn more, dance, cry, hold hands, hug, participate, learn even more, go to every session, meet every sponsor, go to every booth, hug everyone, hand out business cards, smile, take notes, take pictures… lots of selfies, be outgoing, connect, try every make-n- take, make new friends, breathe, keep learning, find new friends (this is sooooo easy at Haven), stretch yourself and have F-U-N!!!!
There is so much to do and experience! JUST DO IT… ALL!
How about meeting another mentor. I met Jess at my first Haven! I hugged the stuffin’ out of her. She is the real deal sweetie! And is a rockstar blogger. Head over and say “HI” to my friend Jess from MOM 4 REAL!
Jess with Traci, one of Haven’s creators!
And here are all the Haven Maven Mentors. Check out who they are so when you go to Haven you can find us! What a great group!