Oh, Portland. I am so excited to finally share the recap of Blogcademy #4, which took place in my fine city last month! I’ll be honest here, I felt really, really anxious in the weeks leading up to the workshop because any time you’re hosting an event in your hometown, there’s that extra pressure to have things run smoothly, especially when you know friends and family will be stopping by! When planning an event, I’ve learned just how many small, moving parts there really are (and I’ve gained a whole new level of respect for wedding and party planners).
After hearing so much about Portland’s eccentricities from me for ages, Kat and Gala finally had a chance to experience most of them first hand (and take in just how weird of a city it really is). I’m a fan of keeping it real (and weird) and not just taking visitors to everything that’s listed in magazines and guidebooks. Sure, I took them to a few nice restaurants but I balanced that all out with a spin through its seedy underbelly and topped that off with a round of drinks with my eccentric family inside a converted schoolhouse-turned-bar. We squeezed so much exploring into those first few days that by the time the workshop rolled around, it probably felt like a vacation!
There are a lot of great venues in Portland but from the beginning, I’d had my heart set on The Cleaners which is the Ace’s event space.
Centrally located downtown, I’d always wanted an excuse to throw an event there and was shocked that it was actually available on our chosen weekend. The vibe can be best summed up as rustic modern, with its floor-to-ceiling windows, dark wood accents, folding wooden chairs and terrariums scattered about. Conveniently enough, The Cleaners shares the block with the hotel, Stumptown and some of the best restaurants in town — we couldn’t have asked for a better spot in Portland.
That nervousness I’d felt leading up to the event evaporated as we launched into the first day. I’m always amazed by the diversity of our attendees’ blogs and businesses and one of our primary goals throughout the weekend is to help them recognize the value in their unique stories and harness that to set their ventures apart.
Our Blogcadette, Jill showed up with two big boxes of Voodoo Doughnuts and their odd flavors are always a great conversation starter!
We’re always looking for an excuse to work with Made U Look Photography and they went all out, driving 14 HOURS to join us, all the way from Bakersfield, California! Made U Look not only shot our workshop with almost all film (they have a collection of vintage cameras that puts everyone to shame) but they made a very special video (below). Kat, Gala and I have worked with Christina, Marielle & Alie multiple times and I knew it was the perfect opportunity for some of the attendees to get new head shots.
Seriously, what a stylish bunch! I wish my class photos had looked this good — if they did, they wouldn’t be buried in plastic bins in my basement right now!
Attending The Blogcademy isn’t all about scarfing down donuts and posing for photos, though — with two days weighing in at 8 hours a piece, there’s a lot of instruction to take in. I love observing pages of notes being scribbled down but even more than that, watching those in-person interactions taking place. Those connections are something the internet just can’t quite replicate.
Some of my favorite moments take place during breaks when we get more individual one-on-one time with attendees. They always keep us on our toes with their blog and business questions! I love it.
As usual, I’m rambling but here’s only so much I can say about how awesome the workshop was. I’m handing over the mic to our amazing Portland attendees — here are some of their recaps:
1. How to make money blogging 2. I felt like I had gotten my money’s worth halfway through the first day 3. To Portland and Beyond 4. Not your average academics 5. I was inspired after day 1 to get my scheisse together and finally start my big girl blog 6. Sometimes there are experiences that are just so awesome that it’s hard to talk about them and 7. The Blogcademy was so indescribably amazing.
It was so hard for me to post a more serious class photo because in between these shots, we were laughing and blowing bubbles!
Our Portland sponsors really delivered on the goodies front and we’d like to give then a shout-out for making our event possible!
Paige Lavoie sent along these amazing custom top hats and we had a blast putting them to use at the photo wall. And I love multi-purpose products — MARGAVINE x Sewmarymann provided hair bows which also doubled quite well as brooches. MARGAVINE is offering 15% off any purchase from their shop for the month of May with promo code BLOG15!
Crown and Glory ears are always a huge hit! They make our class photos so much more entertaining.
Moorea Seal blew our minds with her sheer variety of gorgeous jewelry including necklaces, bracelets and earrings. We’re huge fans of her shop.
The glittery nail polish was courtesy of LEX Cosmetics and you can never have enough pouches! These punchy, colorful ones were by Basik 855.
The generous IF Ladies spoiled our attendees with quirky purses, nail wraps, cards and tees. And theres’s the gorgeous LEX polish again!
We were all in love with these hand-knitted scarves by The Pink Samurai. Isn’t the branding great?
Artist Mr. Yen provided these awesome greeting cards which read, “If you’re waiting for a sign, this is it.” Love. And more glitter? Always! Head Full Of Feathers provided these super fun shoe clips.
The tissue tassels were provided by The Paper Jar via Cloud Parade, along with the rainbow heart confetti. We actually fought over who got to keep the tassels post-class, an event I appropriately dubbed Tasselgate.
Not pictured: Paul Jarvis supplied each attendee with a digital copy of his fantastic book, How To Be Awesome At Online Business. Brilliant, from (digital) cover to cover!
The Portland Video
If you want to get a better look around Portland and are curious to see what goes on inside The Blogcademy, you HAVE to check out this video by Made U Look! These multi-talented girls not only shot our workshop but also put together this very special video. Minutes after it landed in our inboxes a few days ago, we were shooting emails back and forth with tears in our eyes — it brings back so many good memories (and Rocky makes a cameo!)
After the Portland and LA workshops, I was in a funk for about two weeks and couldn’t quite pinpoint why I was so full of doom and gloom (was it my ex-goth past?) Then, it occurred to me that I was coming down off the self-described Blogcademy high (yes, I realize how dramatic this all sounds!) There’s something quite intoxicating about being in a room full of motivated, inspiring women for two days, connecting, swapping stories and learning from each other. There are so many “ah-ha” moments — a lot of our attendees follow up afterwards with cards and emails about how much they learned…but what they don’t realize is that I learn just as much from them!
Upcoming Workshops & Sponsorship
Want to join us? Our next workshops are taking place in New York on June 22nd to 23rd and Minneapolis June 29th to 30th! And if you have any questions before you book, please feel free to drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Additionally, we’re currently accepting sponsors for both cities if you’d like to get your product or service in front of 30 enthusiastic bloggers and featured in posts across 4 blogs, you can learn more here.
Thank you thank you thank you for joining us (virtually) on this adventure!
Venue: The Cleaners at Ace Portland
Photography and video: Made U Look
Portland Intern: Shannon Page
Additional Reviews: Rock n Roll Bride