St. Louis Fashion Week Blogger VIP Lounge

Totes Awes Tote

Happy Monday, homies.

Let’s go ahead and preface this post with the understanding and agreement that the Internet is weird.

Awesome. But also weird.

When I started blogging about 16 months ago, I never really gave any thought to how my “online” life would collide with my “offline” life. I viewed them as very separate for quite some time. I talked about my blog very rarely to people that I socialized with day-to-day and never sought out occasions in which I could “talk shop” or actually MEET (like face-to-face) the people that read my blog.

That was dumb. New bloggers: don’t do that.

In the past few months, I’ve met a few new people through Twitter. I’ve started talking about this blog to new acquaintances. Hell, I’ve even been bringing it up on purpose in bars and on dates. I’ve started to talk about my blog in equal measure with my job. Sometimes, I’ll even talk about my blog more.

And you know what? People seem to think it’s cool. Not nerdy. Not narcissistic (well, if they think that it is, they’re at least kind enough to not tell me to my face). Cool.

Ermm, awesome? Refreshing and unexpected? Yes. But also very awesome.

STLFW Selfie

This is my “I’m really nervous and kind of sweating but let’s do this” selfie pre-event.

St. Louis Fashion Week VIP Blogger Lounge

Anyway, back to the point of this post. I went to my first blogger event in St. Louis last week: Alive Magazine‘s St. Louis Fashion Week VIP Blogger Lounge.

The event brought together beauty, fashion, lifestyle, parenting and fitness bloggers as well as local business owners and designers in a fun, fashion-forward event at Scape in the Central West End.

Leading up to the event, I was really nervous. Nervous to the point of avoidance. I waited until the very last minute to get my business cards together and honestly, spent more time than I’d like to admit worrying about what to wear (spoiler: I just went with mostly black. Because I like black. And I’m not a fashion blogger. Comfort won out.). 

But once I got there, the event was really fun. I met some seriously awesome business owners that are doing really neat things right in my back yard. I practiced talking about my blog and presenting myself as a blogger…not a marketer or a student or any of the other titles I’ve been really apt to adopt in the past. For some reason, owning the title “blogger” has never come easy to me. But events like this definitely help.

STLFW Swag

So. Much. Swag.

The main thing I learned that applies to everyone, even non-bloggers, is this:

If it makes you nervous, you’re probably doing something right.

Striking up conversations, offering someone your business card, sharing your work and talking about your opinions will always be a bit nerve-wracking. But every single time you do it, it gets easier. It gets more natural. And it gets to be more FUN.

Seriously, this is the lesson I’ve been learning time and time again when it comes to social situations lately. Nerves are good. And to overcome them, remember that everyone else has them too. 

I know that’s not a revolutionary idea, but it is really comforting.

So keep that in mind next time you find yourself in a similar, new situation in which you have to own what you do, what you love and who you are. Or, as my roommates and I like to say,

“Let your freak flag fly.”

I definitely want to give a big shout-out to a handful of the businesses I talked to at the event. It was awesome to meet everyone. I look forward to future collaborations with more local business owners and can’t wait to continue watching their businesses grow! Check a handful of them out:

stlfw

Alive Magazine // Dimvaloo // Suzanne Lay // Soft Surroundings // Shirt Kong // Kristen Linares // Belle Style // Jenny Present // Triflare

Huge ups to Lindsay Pattan from Alive Magazine for coordinating an awesome event (you can also check out her awesome fashion blog, here) and to Kourtney for being an awesome wingwoman for me all night.

For any fashion-loving readers located in the St. Louis area – be sure to check out the rest of the events for St. Louis Fashion Week.  Find the full schedule and grab your tickets here.

Now over to you, for some discussion in the comments: How do you psyche yourself up for events that make you nervous? Any bloggers out there with positive experiences to share about blogging events? 

P.S. Struggling with Blogging Confidence? I wrote about the topic once before right here.

  • http://www.thewinestain.com/ Ashley

    Thanks for sharing your story :). I have never attended a blogging event and the thought of it makes me super nervous too. I love the idea of getting business cards. I like that it challenged you to present yourself as a blogger. It takes practice explaining your blog to other people!

    • http://allthingseblog.com/ Erika | All Things E

      Yes m’am! It was a great experience. Way less scary than I expected!

  • http://www.thechasinghappyblog.com/ Kenzie

    I feel ya girl, events like that makes me super nervous. But, if you happen to make a total fool of yourself, odds are someone else has done it, too. I think very few people are truly comfortable in networking situations–some are just better actors.

    • http://allthingseblog.com/ Erika | All Things E

      Yes! You’re so right. Some are definitely better actors.

  • http://www.seedsandthornsblog.com Emily P

    Loved reading about this, and so glad to hear it went well! Can’t wait to see how your business cards turned out.

    • http://allthingseblog.com/ Erika | All Things E

      Ha thank you! My business cards are really nothing special, but hey man, I have ‘em! :)

  • Al

    I somewhat recently discovered your blog, and just realized you are a St.Louis resident! I grew up in KC, and one of my best friends from college was born in raised in St. Louis. I’ve definitely heard a thing or two about “The Cards” and “The Best Mardi Gras Parade Ever.” :) That’s exciting about your event! It’s so true that the scariest things often turn out to be the best!

    • http://allthingseblog.com/ Erika | All Things E

      Ah yeah! That’s awesome! My parents actually live in Kansas City – small world! :) And happy to have you here.

  • http://inkandadventure.blogspot.tw/ Jamie | ink + adventure

    I used to be so embarrassed to have real-life people find out about my blog! I’ve gotten closer to “owning it” but the thought of going to a blogger event where everyone else is a blogger and “gets it” sounds amazing. sounds like you had a great time :)

    • http://allthingseblog.com/ Erika | All Things E

      It was really cool to be around other people that are into similar stuff and “get it”! I was a little bit of a fish out of water because a lot of the other blogs were really fashion-forward (and it was a fashion event), but it was still really neat to talk to everyone!

  • Katie @ A Beautiful Little Adv

    You are so right, and I need to start listening! ha! I never talk about my blog to people in real life other than my mom, husband, and one best friend. It’s not like there’s anything to hide, I just think they’ll think it’s weird and narcissistic, but them thinking that doesn’t change the fact that I still blog and still love it. So what’s the point?! I’m going to search for some blogger events like that close to me. Looks like a fun time and sounds like you had a blast!

    • http://allthingseblog.com/ Erika | All Things E

      Good! I hope you find some good ones! :)

  • John Lavelle

    It is a little bit like seeing Facebook friends out and about and not speaking to them. If I can identify them I would speak to them. Perhaps we need more selfies on FB????

    • http://allthingseblog.com/ Erika | All Things E

      Haha, I know what you’re talking about! Perhaps more selfies is the answer!

  • http://design-delight.com/ Kara | Design Delight

    I have never attended a blogger event! Like you, I’ve definitely struggled to own the label of being a blogger. Which is so silly because blogging makes me a better, more well-rounded, more interesting person. Proud of you for owning the title (and it is nerve-wracking!)

    • http://allthingseblog.com/ Erika | All Things E

      I totally agree with the fact that blogging makes me a better, more well-rounded and more INTERESTING person. I really do believe it to be true. Thanks for the encouragement Kara!

  • http://clubnarwhal.blogspot.com/ Amy | Club Narwhal

    Woop, woop! Go you! I also tend to avoid things if they make me nervous but you are so right–some things make you nervous for the best possible reasons. And getting outside of my comfort zone, while super uncomfortable at first, allows me to grow. I’m so glad you had such a great experience at your blogger event!

    • http://allthingseblog.com/ Erika | All Things E

      Yes! Thanks Amy! :-)

  • http://weirdcult.wordpress.com Laura

    It was also my first “blogger” event and I too was a bit nervous! I agree, being nervous shows you actually care about the outcome of something. Just wanted to say that I love your writing style and you have a great blog! x

    • http://allthingseblog.com/ Erika | All Things E

      Thank you Laura! Glad I wasn’t the only one with some nerves! Excited to connect with other local bloggers though! :)

  • http://www.freedom-of-excess.blogspot.com/ Darci Miller

    I’ve come to realize that a sense of mild panic means something is a good idea. Before I do something major, if I have a brief moment where I think “oh god, nope, don’t want to, not gonna do it,” that means it’s going to be an A+ life experience. They say life begins at the edge of your comfort zone, right? :)

    • http://allthingseblog.com/ Erika | All Things E

      You are so right! I love that quote.

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  • http://www.thefieldingreport.com Emily Trout

    I’m thrilled to hear that there are blogging events in St. Louis! I don’t know if I have the guts to go to one if I’m ever invited, but I think it’s awesome. And good to know you were nervous too. I think there’s definitely some truth to “if it makes you nervous, you’re doing it right.”