My day at ALT NYC

Good morning friends, It’s a hot one out there today so make sure you drink plenty of water, hit up the beach, eat ice cream and possibly slip into AC whenever possible.

Today I wanted to share with you a most recent trip out of the 216 and into the 917…the big apple of Manhattan. I was lucky enough to score one of the coveted ALT NYC tickets for a day at the Martha Stewart Omnimedia Offices in Chelsea, NYC. The entire day I was living on cloud nine, I literally felt as if I had landed on a planet and was surrounded by women (& a few men) that were my people. Bright neon colors, patterns, top knots, everything shimmery and shiny, these design bloggers were out of control fun!

I arrived into town Wednesday evening and cabbed it to a dinner in Williamsburg/Brooklyn sponsored by BING. They had gathered a group of about 50 women to enjoy the creations of Sunday Suppers and to hear about their latest endeavor, Bing Boards…you’ve got to check them out. At dinner I met a handful of women doing similar things as myself, lots of designers, photographers, illustrators, small business women and yes, many a full time blogger were in attendance. I can’t say enough about how kind and warm all of the attendees were, it was such a wonderful group of people, thanks Bing for bringing us together for supper.

Thursday morning I woke up bright and early. It was almost like it was Xmas morning…I actually couldn’t really sleep well the night before as I was filled with excitement. I arrived at the MSO offices, checked in and just like the night before was welcomed into this amazing group of women. Breakfast was served (coffee, fruit, chocolate croissant & OJ!) crafts were made (citrus bath scrub & friendship bracelets!) and then the day began.

The space was bright and airy just as I had dreamed it would be. The ceilings were almost as high as the energy in the room. The anticipation of the day ahead had everyone meeting, shaking hands, getting to know each other, representing our communities, and rallying around what was to come.

We were ushered to our seats, FRONT ROW (Cleveland represents!) and the rest of the day was a complete whirlwind. Everything from developing communities, business, personal growth and the idea of early adaptation from Design Sponge founder Grace Bonney, to tricks of the trade and “don’t sweat the small stuff” from Garance Doré (loved her advice…”a haters gonna hate!”) it was a wonderful conference for me, I couldn’t have asked for a better day…

Oh wait, and did I mention I SAW MARTHA!!! In fact if you look below you can actually see a picture of me shooting my shoe and how close to her I actually was. Martha joined the fun of the day to thank us for supporting MSO, her and her creative team. She welcomed us to her offices and introduced the panel on “the makers” her American Made contest. It was like I was sitting in front of this woman I have “been friends” with for over  20 years.

And then, my teen years flashed before my eyes, the days when I would study her magazines and try and identify what custom fonts she was using for a specific spread. Or the family holidays when I would convince my mom to let me spray glitter every gourd and pumpkin for a centerpiece. Or even when I spent my weekend carefully candy-ing lemon, orange and lime rinds only to discover after a ton of citrus and sugar…and TIME that it actually wasn’t that tasty but made for a pretty photo.

Martha was standing in front of me and that was darn cool. She was beautiful at over 70, she was eloquent and stylish in a crisp white blouse and slim taupe pants. She really is such a creative force to be reckoned with and she owns it. Thanks Martha for hosting ALT NYC at your offices and for the years of creative inspiration you have given to me.

(back to the conference)

So after a day of key notes, panelists and workshops we were whisked into a sugary sweet party room filled with every type of candy imaginable, pretty cocktails and balloons, TONS of balloons! We enjoyed the hot NYC afternoon on the rooftop deck overlooking the Hudson, recapping the day’s talks, we continued to network and enjoy new creative stories from our peers.

For me, it was a day to not only talk about my creative business, this blog but to also be a HUGE CLEVELAND CHEERLEADER. I would invite each attendee I met to come to the 216 and enjoy our community, to those food bloggers to road trip to visit our food scene, to the style bloggers to check out our vintage shops and to those travel bloggers, you can’t pass up a bit of summer roller coaster love at Cedar Point! So while the day was an overload of ikat and sparkly fingernails, it was a true satisfaction to represent our city at this amazing creative conference. Next year everyone should go…roadtrip? Who wants to go?

(photos by me & Justin Hackworth)