A couple weeks ago, I received an email from reward Style to attend a master class in San Francisco. I immediately enjoyed the idea that the event was a short time away and short distance, as well. It was held last nite for a few hours at 25 Lusk. I knew the area and opted for a parking garage over valet. I’m glad I did because I saw a sign that said something about texting Maybe texting for the valet when you need to park and/or pick up your car? No thanks. The restaurant is on a side street that has a dead end. It doesn’t sound like a convenient location, but it is. Driving and parking can be wild in San Francisco. Getting out of your car on without traffic to contend with is a plus.
Reward Style is a master at branding. The hip, yet elegant décor of the space fell right in line with what I would expect. The downstairs lounge was reserved for the event.
Kendra Scott was a sponsor. She’s very blogger friendly, which is one reason your Instagram feed usually contains a photo someone wearing or sharing one of her jewelry pieces. We were able to see the FA15 line, which was inspired by Kendra’s trip to Dubai. My favorite piece was the Harlowe statement necklace. I love the white howlite stone.
There is a large number of Kendra Scott stores opening over the next two years. I hope I’m able to attend the SF opening. I got a chance to play on the Color Bar when I attended reward Style’s conference in Dallas held earlier this year. It was a huge screen; probably 55” if I had to guess. Think of the Color Bar as Kendra’s staple pieces that are available year-round.
You choose piece of jewelry and metal color. All pieces come in gold or silver as a metal choice. Select pieces come in rose or gunmetal. Then you choose stone color(s). This is the Kendra Scott Rayne necklace with black stone and gunmetal setting.
If you’re in-store, Color Bar jewelry is created right away after you select your item(s) and colors. That is so cool. If you’re ordering online, it takes 1-2 business days to process. I think it’s neat to be able to walk in and make something for an outfit you’re wearing or want to wear in the future. I’m thinking about making the Emmy earrings to go w/the sequin pants I had on. The smaller stone is clear peach. The larger stone is clear amethyst.
I’ve been asked to share some of the things I’ve learned at blogging conferences. Some of you that also blog want to know if it’s worth your while to go. You’ll hear mixed reviews of conferences, but I’ve always found value in them. As an actor, one thing I’m always doing is watching people. Their behavior and how they interact with the public – particularly in a conference situation is interesting. I’ve worked conferences as an actor. Last year was my first time attending any conference as a participant.
I always go to an event with an open mind — or at least try to — and I think that’s one reason I’m never disappointed, regret the cost or feel like it was a waste of time. The depth of learning for me was greater last year at BlogHer14 than it was this year. I knew less, so there was more to learn. This year, at BlogHer15, I was listening for different information. There was less content that was new to me, but I was able to find new gems. And in-between those two, reward Style’s rstheCon was a mental game changer for me.
Last night’s information was a micro version of some of the information I learned at rStheCon this past April. Many of the slideshows shown at the conference were shown last nite. I received new information by way of what the rS presenters shared, e.g. random facts about Google and similar things they expanded on as they presented the slides. Here’s some of the content that was touch on:
- Branding – how to brand yourself broken down into different concepts
- Site Design – navigation elements, what % size larger your headers should be than your font & more
- SEO – naming photos, less is more when it comes to keywords, site speed matters and your site should be mobile
The last key regarding mobile is critical. I believe the following was mentioned at the conference, but not last nite. As of April 21, 2015, Google search favors mobile sites. Many businesses, for example, saw their first-page Google ranking disappear overnight due to the fact that their site was not mobile compatible. If you’re a blogger and your site isn’t mobile friendly, change that fact. If you’ve been planning a re-design, get on it.
I met a few very nice bloggers. Nice sounds so generic. The women I met were fun to talk to. Overall, I think everyone started out as nervous as the next person. As far as the class content, I know if that had been all new info to me, I would’ve been lost! The rS team encouraged us to interact and ask questions. I think ladies were nodding that they understood certain concepts even if they didn’t. Just a guess.
The temp was in the 90s when I left my house. It can be a 15 degree temperature difference in San Francisco and you definitely feel it at nite. I decided to bring a long, lightweight cardigan with me. I would usually bring a heavier jacket, but it was unseasonably warm and I knew I wouldn’t need it.
Everything I wore was J. Crew. My cardi (not pictured) & the poly top were black and so were my shoes. I was trying to work navy with the pants, but it just didn’t look good. I wanted to wear something more dynamic on top in case I was photographed while seated. Yes, I think of these things! I don’t think any photos were taken of me. What’s not in this photo are my fish eye earrings from Pathika.Masala. NAMASTE gets $5 off your first order.
The earrings are a little boho, but worked because they were far enough apart from the sequins. I would wear them again with the pants. By the time 9:30 rolled around, I was wishing I was in a size 4 pants. They sagged. I am going to have to suck it up no matter the cost and have a drawstring added. Then they will be just slouchy enough, but not sagging.
Shoes (8): J Crew patent valentina in black (try Ebay)
I need to present myself with my blog name and a super quick elevator speech. We were all there because of blogging. They tell us this before and at the start of conferences but you forget. Saying hi, my name is Marika didn’t work. It’s not memorable. I’ve branded Gigi of Gigi’s Gone Shopping. As I’ve introduced the acting side of my life here, I’ve been moving toward using Marika when I talk about my blog irl. However, I need to stick with Gigi in bloglife. Not only is it memorable, it ties directly into my blog title. I hope I remember my own advice next time! Hi, I’m Gigi of Gigi’s Gone Shopping.
p.s. New arrivals are up at J. Crew. I was thrilled to see the majesty peacoat in grey! They’re calling it heather speckle dust. It better be grey.