Saturday, August 24, 2013

Alt NYC 2013 :: One Story at a Time :: The Alt NYC Conference

Justin Hackworth Photography
Photo by Justin Hackworth. Sponsored by Atly.
It was my intention to write this story about my trip to NYC much earlier than now. However, it's been a busy summer. Since my last post, I've written a class for Atly entitled SEWING 101, have hosted a French exchange student, have done some family travel, and have been enjoying time with my family doing the fun things of summer. So, let me get back to my NYC stories. . .

In mid-June, I headed east to NYC to the one-day Altitude Summit Conference where I knew I was going to learn great things about blogging. I've had a blog for 8 years but I wanted to attend Alt as a "newbie"--someone who was there to learn about the best practices for starting and running a blog. I wanted to learn why I might want to consider having more than just a hobby blog for myself or my sewing business.

I learned great tips and advice from all of the presenters/speakers who have taken blogging and social media to great levels. Their insight was invaluable for me as I consider my next steps in the blogging world.

These are some lessons I learned from the different presenters/panels.
1. Grace Bonney
Change is okay. Adapt and embrace change because your business (blog/brand) and the Internet are continually evolving.
It's important to be yourself as you change (especially with social media) and don't let others who are doing things similar to you slow you down; you will do what you do uniquely your way.

2. American Made
(Moderator: Pilar Guzman, Martha Stewart Editor in Chief)
(3 panelists: Kathleen KingBob McClureStephanie Housley)
Kathleen: Remove emotion, not passion, to be able to move forward.
Bob: Get out of your own way.
Stephanie: You don't control what you're given, you control what you've got.

3. What the Coolest Brands are Doing with Social Media (Tracey Stewart/Moomah; Jennifer Rubio/Warby Parker; John Jannuzzi/Lucky)
Think about the EXPERIENCE you are giving your followers.
Be YOURSELF on social media!

4. 9x5: A panel of 9 people who each spoke for 5 minutes on a variety of business-related topics.
Justin Hackworth Photography
Panelists of the 9x5 standing along the wall. Photo by Justin Hackworth.
Todd Gibson - Have a vision and follow your mission.
Isabel Kallman - Quality: Strive to do quality work (and live a quality life) by doing what is important without urgency.

5. Garance Doré:
Branch out, but stay on the same tree.
Make meaningful and real relationships instead of just networking.
Make things fit your lifestyle.

Overall, the themes stressed adapting to change, being yourself, being focused.

What does this all mean for me and how will I choose to apply it?
I learned so much at Alt and the experience of this conference left me energized and motivated to go make a fabulous blog! I've spent many days brainstorming ideas for my next steps. It's important for me to keep things simple and stay focused in order to put what I learned into practice.

What I've decided to do is keep it simple. I have updated my website for Sew You Studio and it will include a blog. The website will give details about sewing classes and the blog will focus on sewing-related topics--tips & tricks, tutorials, and sew & tell. I'll continue to write blog posts on Dia's Days because I enjoy keeping a record of my days in the garden, cooking, and crafting--even if I don't get to it on a consistent or frequent basis! I'm happy with my new direction and I hope you will follow along here on Dia's Days or join me to do some sewing at Sew You Studio!

I thoroughly enjoyed Alt. It was a nice getaway for me and I always welcome learning how to do new things. I made new friends and I look forward to collaborating with them and developing our friendships! Let me share some photos that highlight my day at the Alt NYC conference.
(The following photos were taken by me or the Atly-sponsored photographer, Justin Hackworth.)

Justin Hackworth Photography
Entering our conference room at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Breakfast and crafts.
Photo by Justin Hackworth.

The first couple of hours were set up so that the participants could eat, mingle, and create. I couldn't have been in a more ideal place for all of it. Some of the editors that work for Martha were there and were even helping out with the craft activities. I was a bit star struck.
A couple of craft stations: cross stitch and bath salts.
(Do you recognize Jodi Levine on the right!!!)

I sat in the front row and it was great seat for being able to pay full attention. It was nice to get to see Martha so close up when she walked in to greet us too!
Justin Hackworth Photography
Photo by Justin Hackworth.

We received a lot of swag and the food and snacks were all delicious!

Justin Hackworth Photography
Photo by Justin Hackworth.

To top off the day, we were invited to a cocktail party right there in the Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia headquarters! We walked into a beautifully decorated party room and got the chance to get some fresh air on the roof deck. It was a great way to end the day!

At the end of the day this spontaneous photo was taken of me in front of the sunset--photo by Jenn. It's my favorite! It think it shows exactly how I felt the whole day being at Alt NYC!


  1. How fun! Good for you for getting out there and DOING something. After all these years as a blogger, I feel like I need to do that at some point. It sounds like it was a wonderful experience for you ;-)

    1. Hi Beki! Sheesh, it only takes me months to see your comment and reply! Sorry!
      My experience at Alt was amazing! I'm so glad I attended and had the opportunity to meet some great people! I've had a blog for 9 years now but it's just never really become my "thing". You, however, have done great things with your blog and I know you would enjoy doing something like this! xo