First Things First
There’s an epic recap of The Blogcademy London ahead but before digging in, I wanted to start this one out a little differently. I’ve been back from Europe for about a week now and the full experience is just starting to sink in. If you’d asked me what I wanted to do with my life five years ago, I might have not been able to string together the thoughts perfectly but the overall consensus would have been along the lines of The Blogcademy because in my mind, my dream job combined combined branding, teaching and blogging — I just didn’t know a job like that actually existed back then.
What I’ve realized since launching The Blogcademy last August is that some of the best things in life aren’t planned. Sometimes, the right people come along who happen to have similar mindsets and opportunities present themselves. And even if an idea seems far-fetched and maybe even impractical, it’s our job to take the reigns and convince ourselves that it is possible. A sense of community is so important when you’re taking big steps into unknown territory and that’s part of the reason why we emphasize group activities and lots of Q&A in the workshops — because as adults, we’re aware that not everyone on the outside will “get us” but having a tight-knit group of people that believe in what we’re doing works wonders.
While all the photos from the workshop look fun and glamorous (Shell de Mar has a way with the camera!), I’m not going to sugarcoat it — putting on a workshop on another continent was stressful! This is real life and little things always go wrong when you’re putting on an event of this size. But we did it and I couldn’t be more proud of the 60 enthusiastic students that braved the snowstorm and dived into the 16 hours of class. The days were long and we were so exhausted by the end we could barely move (I’m sure the students felt the same!) but you know you’ve found your calling when you wake up the next morning and are excited to do it all over again.
This introduction isn’t really about me though, it’s about you and it’s about taking those chances — if you have one of those crazy dreams, block out the noise and write it all down and plan and plot and find a way to make it happen because life is to short to wonder “what if.” A year ago, The Blogcademy didn’t even exist. Now, we’re coming off of three sold out dates and thankful that this world of blogging not only brought us together but created friendships with many of you that last far beyond the classes.
If you’re open and willing, opportunities will present themselves not only in blogging but also relationships, business and in life.
Onto the recap — the two London workshops were all kinds of awesome (I’m running out of adjectives here!) and we spent a total of four days bonding with our 60 students over blogging, cupcakes and business advice but carrying on about the experience really doesn’t do it justice — in a way, I’m at a loss to really sum it all up. Instead, here’s what our “Blogcadets” had to share about the experience in their own words…
“Well I have to say that it was officially the greatest weekend I’ve ever experienced! I have never in all my days, felt so inspired or excited in my life. My head is jam packed with ideas, my notebook is full and my head is now covered in sparkly bows and bunny-ears”. —Emma Rose Black
“When I initially booked in for my Blogcadet training, I was concerned about the cost – but I left utterly satisfied, and genuinely convinced that the time, effort and sheer volume of actual applicable, real-world advice that you packed into our little London jaunt was worth its weight in gold. The result: I feel so well-equipped with the guidance I need to take my blog to lofty, Eiffel Tower-ish heights, and invigorated and energized to get my butt into gear and do it!” —Caroline Gallatly
“I didn’t realise just how much I learned until I found myself slipping advice learned from The Blogcademy into everyday conversations that didn’t have anything to do with blogging. I’m totally going to be ‘that girl’ who keeps talking about ‘this one time at The Blogcademy’…” —Xandra Burns
“Don’t be fooled by the pink sparkles and bunny ears, there’s nothing frivolous about The Blogcademy. Real business advice from three successful professional women who are doing it their way… in fabulous shoes.” —Scarlett Nymph
“Just being in the same room as Gala, Kat and Shauna makes you feel like you can do anything.” —Emily Fisher
“I don’t think I learnt as much in a year at Uni as I did from The Blogcademy girls in two days. That’s where I think The Blogcademy really shines, we were given real life scenarios and case studies and things were explained in perfect detail. It is blatantly obvious that the three lovely teachers know what they are talking about because they have lived and breathed it for years.” —Stephanie Hind
“Something inside has clicked. I’ve done B-School, I’ve read numerous books & listened to countless voices, but the bringing together of like minded souls is something really special. So for now I just wanted to say from the bottom of my heart, thank you for all the time, energy & love you put into The Blogcademy. It truly feels like a gift that will keep on giving and one that will enable me to grow and pass on the gifts I have for the benefit of others.” —Jayne Rusby
“Words like fabulous, inspirational, glittery, engaging and epic are all accurate descriptions of The Blogcademy but they do not come close to describing the life changing experience that came in the turquoise packaging.” —Georgina Webb
“I would love to tell all the bloggers out there who are writing in any other language than English that The Blogcademy´s awesomeness totally translates and that there is so much to learn, regardless of one’s language.” —Julia Safronova
“Being a bit of a natural cynic, I was a little worried about spending a not-insubstantial chunk of money on a two day course. I need not have feared. This was, and I’m not exaggerating, the best money I have ever spent – an investment in my blog, yes, but much more importantly, in myself.” —Lucy Loves
We held both events at Curtain Road Studios in Shoreditch and the staff and space were incredibly charming. What we’ve learned since our first Blogcademy is that the space you hold your event in is just as important as everything else — the days of instruction are long and the more comfortable everyone is, the more engaged and excited they’ll be.
The Goodie Bags
Of course, there’s always a bag of treats to perk our attendees up over the long weekend and our sponsors really delivered!
The custom screen printed tote bags and phone cases were by Awesome Merchandise, the rings were courtesy of Finest Imaginary, Thimble & Fred and Pugly Pixel, Moleskine notebooks were from Finest Imaginary, sparkly hair bows were courtesy of Crown & Glory, the glitter collars were handmade by Alexandra King, the eye shadows were courtesy of Sugarpill, the shoe clips were by Head Full of Feathers and the CD of Photoshop actions was courtesy of Lisa Devlin.
And Charlotte of Restoration Cake deserves an extra special shout-out for braving the snowstorm to deliver bundles of cupcakes, each individually wrapped for the students. They really made our days extra special…especially when that dreaded post-lunch coma hit!
We Adore Our Students!
If you couldn’t already tell, our Blogcademy graduates are an energetic, enthusiastic bunch and have a lot to share about their workshop experiences! We’ve been keeping touch with them through our private Facebook forum and gathered up their blog posts below:
1. You Can Wear Fluffy Cat Ears When You Grow Up 2. Glitter Bows and Bunny Ears Galore! 3. Blogcademy Chit Chat 4. One Of The things That Impressed Me The Most… 5. When Is The Reunion Party!? 6. Four Big Reasons I Loved The Blogcademy 7. Where Dreams Become A Reality 8. Surround Yourself With The Right Influences 9. Inspired to Action 10. Confessions of a Blogcadet 11. Words of sparkle 12. Things I Learnt at The Blogcademy 13. Be Inspired 14. Take The Initiative 15. Dreaming Big 16. The Best Dream I Ever Had 17. Blogcademy: Who Needs University? 18. How To Get The Most Out of Blogcademy. 19. The Blogcademy 20. We Were Taught… 21. The A-Z Of The Blogcademy.
A few overachievers made videos as well and they are so incredibly rad:
The Class Photo
Of course, no Blogcademy is complete without the class photo! What a stylish bunch!
London #1 (Class 2), March 19th – 20th
London #2 (Class 3), March 23rd – 24th, Photo by Emily Quinton
Behind The Scenes
The Blogcademy London would like to thank the following folks for making our event extra memorable:
Photography (except where stated): Shell de Mar Photography
Video: FX Media
Venue: Curtain Road Studios
Decor Items: The Tea Set and Peach Blossom
Cakes: Restoration Cake
Flowers: Hayford & Rhodes
Guest Speaker #1: Lisa Devlin
Guest Speaker #2 : Emily Quinton
Up Next: Portland & LA!
Illustration by Veronica Dearly!
What a long post — did you make it this far?! A few weeks have gone by and we’re still exchanging excited emails with graduates and watching as their blogs blossom. It’s been a truly awesome experience and when you’re blogging, I’ve always felt that the sense of community is so important.
Now, we’re busily planning a workshop in Portland followed by LA and we’d love it if you could join us for an action-packed weekend of learning, blogging and branding — register here! Hope to see you on the west coast!