Since I started Afro Glory in February I have been a part of this incredible blogging community but I can honestly say that before the Blogtacular conference I didn’t realise what it actually meant to be a part of this incredible, diverse and creative community. I feel so emotional writing about the two incredible days I’ve just had. Blogging really is a way to just celebrate and help people and all that we have to offer as individuals.
This was my very first (and definitely not my last) Blogtacular. Everything I am writing about here is coming from the perspective of a first time attendee who is very new to the blogging community. I have been welcomed with open arms and I really do feel like I am part of something incredible!
To kick off the whole weekend Blogtacular gave us the chance to join them on a photo walk. It was all very mysterious and fun leading up to the location and leader reveal! I was a bit late to the game but Blogtacular being as amazing as they are managed to get me onto a walk last-minute 🙌🏾 and I’m so glad I went!
Feeling nervous about attending a large event and not knowing anyone is normal and if you have struggled with anxiety you can find it even more difficult. I am no stranger to anxiety but believe me when I say Blogtacular made such an effort to make me feel safe, welcome and relaxed all weekend.
Attending the photo walk was a great way to ease me into the weekend. I got to meet people who would be at the conference, which made me feel like I wouldn’t be walking into a room full of strangers. I 100% recommend applying for a space.
My leader was the super talented super awesome Nikki McWilliams and our location was Shoreditch in East London. If ‘painting the town red’ meant getting all the creatives together and letting them loose in an area of London then Shoreditch has definitely been painted red! The walls are full of inspiration, creative political messages, random bursts of expression and just pure genius! The perfect place to pretend I’m a full-time model for Afro Glory 😂.
I immediately made new friends and met Coral Fowley, we are 100% kindred spirit. Just wanted to give a quick shout out to my new bestie! Coral was one of the volunteers at Blogtacular working to make sure everyone had an incredible experience. The volunteers were amazing! Always there to answer questions and point you in the right direction (or make sure you got a bit of cake when there was none left out 😂 I don’t blame anyone because the food was so incredible – zero judgment haha)
First stop on the walk was Papersmiths in Shoreditch Box park. I’m not going to lie this was a dangerous stop off that could have left me bankrupt if I’d have spent more than 5 minutes in there! The mental stationery list I have has grown by 30 items! 31 if you count the speakers which don’t count as stationery but I’d find a way haha. I also did not miss my photo-op with the matching blush pink wall…
After paper smiths we began our amazing adventures around Shoreditch. The greatest thing about the photo walk is everyone taking photos of you, for you and with you! It’s just like being on a great big creative walk with all your newest buddies. There’s a really relaxed feeling of happiness and fun. Everyone is dressed up in their brightest and most inspiring clothing… there just isn’t a single dull moment!
After the photo walk ended we had a few hours to kill and I didn’t really fancy going all the way home and back (I feel like this is a London thing, when I lived in Yorkshire I would have definitely gone home and napped!). Luckily neither did my new pals so we continued walking around taking photos and discovering new parts of Shoreditch – new to me anyway. Who would have known there is the most beautiful street full of character just hidden away near Shoreditch overground station!?
We were nearly late to the West Elm party because we got distracted in the Mac cosmetics store in Spitalfields. Genuinely think the highlighter that day changed my life! I was basically a unicorn for the rest of the evening. All sparkle and shine lol which was very fitting for the following events. 🎉💃🏾
When we did eventually get over to West Elm we were on time 🎉 yay! We were greeted by all the familiar faces from the photo walk and new ones. I have been to West Elm before for a couple of workshops and have always loved everything I’ve seen in there. Imagine walking into every image you’ve ever saved under your house Goals folder in Pinterest… that is West Elm! It’s just delightful and for Blogtacular they went all out with the decorations. Shining silvery walls and unicorn smoothies…
If you haven’t heard of West Elm before check out my previous blog post to see all of my favourite bits in there at the moment here: #DreamWestElm – My Dream Home Studio
Now back to unicorn smoothies… YES unicorn smoothies with actual golden horns, cute pink ears and chocolate whipped cream! 😍 Now you also understand why my sparkling cheeks were fitting!
I kind of went for a chocolate unicorn with a pink straw eating a strawberry… sound like anyone? 😉😂 I thought maybe I could project my unicorn braids and love for strawberries into a smoothie that looked just like me! Do you think I pulled it off?
The entire store was open to us and we were free to walk around mentally shopping and dreaming of a West Elm filled home. Although it was a pre Blogtacular party it was also a chance for us to gather around and learn something exciting, useful and new!
The theme of the party was discussion and so there were areas set up around the store with different conversation topics. I was very interested in the ‘photography and flat lay’ conversation, which was guided by IAmKristabel, a very experienced and lovely blogger who produces the most beautiful images. You only have to spend 10 seconds on IAmKristabel’s Instagram to realise she is the right person to talk photography and flat lays with. We discussed many useful things that could be taken away and put into good practise.
At the end of the round table discussion we all dashed home to get our much-needed beauty sleep for the fun and exciting event to come the next day… BLOGTACULAR!
Thanks for reading and keep your eyes peeled for my next post all about my experience as a first timer at Blogtacular. I also have a very exciting announcement!
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