Friday, July 18, 2014

Haven 2014

Hello all! Wow, this week went crazy fast. Only one more month of summer for us – I’m not ready for it to end yet. :(

Last week I was away in Atlanta for our third annual Haven Conference:photo wall with cut outs

I don’t know that any of us imagined it would become the success it has four years ago when we started planning the first one. We had all been attending conferences and none of them touched on topics we were interested in as DIY/decor bloggers. So…we created one that did. :)

Our team consists of five bloggers and one event coordinator and I can honestly say we couldn’t do it without each of us. AND our incredible speakers, attendees, sponsors and volunteers.

Stuffing four hundred swag bags is no joke:

   Haven Conference

Once again our main sponsor was Home Depot and they knocked it out of the park:

Haven Conference

Our keynote speaker this year was Chip Wade from HGTV:

haven-team-with-chip-wade

His designer Cristi joined us too – I met her at another event years ago and her designs on the show are awesome. Their show is called Elbow Room – I’ve loved it since it started last year – you may remember Chip from Curb Appeal too. He does some of the coolest projects I’ve seen anywhere!

And Ballard Designs did another fabulous job at decorating our “living room”:

Haven conference

We use this space for booths and sessions and parties and it’s so wonderful to be able to plop down and relax for a bit:

zebra print chairs

We may or may not have laid down on one of the beds for a while at one point. Exhaustion sets in. ;)

Haven Conference

The sessions were awesome this year – I think the best we’ve had. I’ve been blogging for six years and I learned more at this year’s conference than any conference I’ve ever been to. There’s ALWAYS something to learn.

Our sponsors rock – when we walked into the Procter & Gamble luncheon on Friday there may have been a few squeals:

round balloons

Bubbles! Our friends Brooke and Mandi did the decor and they did SUCH a great job.

We had some amazing parties every night where we danced till…uhhhh, late. :) Rustoleum threw a great one Friday night and we ended the event on a fun note at the Ryobi party on Saturday:

Ryobi-Haven

Yeah. They know how to throw a party. Need a party planner? Ask them. ;)

I couldn’t imagine making this happen without these ladies every year:

Haven Conference

(L to R: Beth, Chris, Kristin (our awesome event planner!), Traci, me, Rhoda)

It is still funny to me that some of my closest friends are ones I only see once or twice year. But those rare times are so incredibly special.

We’re already making tweaks for next year and then we’ll take a little break before planning starts again for 2015 this fall. Whew!

This year we kicked off a special initiative in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity. Next Saturday, July 26, will be “Hands of Haven” day:

 Hands of Haven

The conference has donated towards a build that day and Atlanta-based bloggers will be onsite, but we want bloggers and readers from all over the country to join in! If you’d like to donate to our effort click here or to purchase a HoH t-shirt you can click here. We started selling them at the conference but wanted to make sure everyone could purchase.

On the 26th we encourage everyone to join in on build in your community, shop a ReStore or just donate some household items to one. We’ll continue the spirit into September as well if you can’t make next Saturday! Make sure to tag #handsofhaven if you join in in any way.

Have a wonderful weekend all!

6 comments:

  1. I have loved reading everyone's recaps and following along on Instagram this year. I am hoping to attend next year so I can meet you and all the other inspiring ladies that make me want to be a better blogger! Thanks for all the hard work you put into making such an awesome conference, hopefully I will get a chance to see it all in person in 2015.

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  2. Is that wallpaper in that first photo? I love it!!! I want that!

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  3. Rhoda from Southern Hospitality said it is Skylar's Lace stencil from Royal Design Studio. Love it, too!

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  4. I had no idea you hosted this event! One day....I will get myself and blog girlfriends down to Atlanta for this!

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  5. You ladies did amazing planning the whole event! It was the perfect mix of work and play. Well, maybe we played a little too late every night, but it was worth it! And what a shock to see myself and my group of amazing friends dancing away in the picture you posted of the party :)

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