Haven conference for DIY bloggers

June 25, 2012

Well, it finally arrived – after a year of planning, the Haven Conference happened last week and I really find it hard to put into words how wonderful it was. 

haven conference button

I know you’re probably seeing a lot of these recaps all over blogland today, and I know how hard it is to see these if you weren’t able to attend or just plain have no idea what the heck we’re talking about. So for those reasons, I’ll try to keep this short.

I do have to tell you that throughout the week I was continually overwhelmed (in a good way), humbled, overjoyed…it’s really hard to express what a special experience it was.

The Haven team is made up of some of my best friends (can I tell you how hard it is to have best friends who you see once a year??), and even though we were always going and working hard, we were ALWAYS having fun:

haven conference

(I had to borrow these pics cause I forgot my camera. And business cards. At a blogging conference. I am smart.)

We spent the first day unloading a meeellion swag bags, setting up registration and putting an obscene amount of paper lanterns together.

I spoke at a couple sessions each day, and we kicked off I Like Big Blogs with a little dance:

dancing at haven

Cause we like big blogs and we cannot lie. ;)

My dear friends Beckie and Julia spoke at the advertising session  with me and I think Beckie rocked some worlds with her info:

haven conference

I want to be her. ;)

I try to tell bloggers that when you meet other bloggers for the first time, there is an instant bond that’s hard to explain. I have so many women I consider friends and even though I met some of them for the first time last week, I’ve felt like they’ve lived down the street for years:

Haven conference

I think the blogger who wins the award for the most excited was Beth from Free Stylin:

She was a doll (as was everyone) and she almost made me cry she was so happy. She’s been reading TDC from the beginning and it was so awesome to meet her and so many other long-time readers.

I met so many incredible bloggers and non-bloggers and heard three things over and over:

1. TDC was the first blog they found. LOVE that.
2. I need to keep showing messes in my house cause people like that. ;) (I do too.)
3. I am in person what I “sound like” on the blog – and I don’t think I could’ve received a bigger compliment. It made my week every time someone said that.

It was an amazing week that brought me to (happy) tears more than once. I feel fortunate to have been able to meet so many amazing women (and a few men!) and I am so thrilled to have these six fantastic bloggers in my life:

haven team

Left to right: Kate, me, Beth, Rhoda (who with our coordinator Kristin did a TON of the work), Traci, Chris and Marian.

I think this picture better represents us though:

haven team goofy

Love them. Loved every bit of it.

I missed my boys so much and was so happy to get home! It took me a couple days to recoup (I figured out that I had gotten 18 hours of sleep in five days), I was back at the DIY today. I can’t stay away for long. :)

If you were able to attend Haven this year, thank you! If not, I hope we’ll see you there next year!

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  1. It looks like you had an amazing time!! I am so sad that I could not be there this year.. I will be there next year for sure! I am already excited :)

    liz marie

  2. Ummmm Love this recap. I'm so sad that i was no able to attend Haven this year. I would LOVE to be involved and help next year {I'm an Atlanta girl}! Just throwing it out there now!!

    ~ Jillian

  3. Sarah, we didn't have a chance to meet, but I attended your first session. I just want to thank you for all your hard work in planning and executing this event. I was so inspired.

  4. Oh my gosh!! HAHA!! Thanks for the award. I will wear my (invisible) tiara with pride. I am so happy to have met you. Love your guts, Sarah!!

  5. Great pics and so much fun to see all of you. Sounds like a very informative event and tons of fun too. Wish I could have gone. Hugs, Marty

  6. This is a wonderful recap and yes, you are as lovely in person as you are on your blog. Thank you for all of your hard word and for sharing your experience so generously.
    I am still digesting all of the invaluable information. It was my first conference and at times I was overwhelmed and I know I need to get better at networking, and talking to people I don't know. You know need to do a better job when 6 people get up and all that is left on the table were the 6 business cards you handed out.

  7. I'm still reeling and recovering from all the amazing info and highs of hanging out with and meeting such talented like-minded ladies. You all did an incredible job! I hope you're getting some rest! :)

  8. Another great Haven roundup! I've enjoyed reading these all over the blogosphere today. It was so nice to meet you at Haven. You guys all did a fantastic job. It was my first conference and I wasn't really sure what to expect but oh my goodness, I haven't laughed to the point where I was crying in I think 20 years back to my good o'l college days. Who would have thought it would happen with a bunch of girls I have never met! My roomies were awesome and I can't wait to do it again :)

  9. Hi Sarah! I was a little shy to talk to you at Haven, but THANK YOU for everything! I love your blog and I had a blast (and learned a TON) at Haven!

  10. It was a wonderful, wonderful time. Even with the craziness I had going on at home, Haven was...well, a Haven for me. ;) I had a blast, and I can't wait to attend next year. You all did a fabulous job!

  11. Short, sweet and perfect! You WERE the first blog I read, and you ARE everything you seem to be on your blog and I LOVE your messes. So honored to have had the chance to meet you. :)

  12. Your blog was the first blog I found.....EVER. :) Now I have one...and an ETSY shop...and I love following all those sweet girls you too a pic with! So...thank you!! Love that you are VERY real! Also love that you still have "projects" and keep it real and somewhat simple...in a good way!!!

    Niki :)

  13. Seriously, SO happy to have met you!! You made my whole night when you recognized me in the crowd on Wednesday night before the cocktail party & gave me hug!! You are AWESOME! Thank you for inspiring me & so many others to start blogging! I am blessed by you & this community! Wish we could have chatted more, but looking forward to next year!

  14. yup, next year I wanna go, and yup,I'll be the goofy Canadian jumping up and down all dork-like when I meet you =)

  15. Seriously, all these awesome posts about Haven are making me so bummed I wasn't there. If feels a bit like I missed the biggest party of the year in college or something! I'm definitely going to make it there next year! Even if I am just an Etsy girl, not much of a blogger ;)

    As an aside, thanks so much for introducing me to Rugs USA!! They had a huge 75% sale last week right after you posted about them, and I was able to get a huge rug to cover our nasty living room carpet for an UNBELIEVABLE price. Thank you, my friend, thank you!!!

  16. Thank you so much, Sarah for all the work you & the other ladies put into Haven! It was absolutely wonderful & I learned soo much! Thank you for being so down to earth & sweet when I met you! Adore your blog. <3 Heidi Rew from Parties for Pennies

  17. I am one who your blog was the first one I found and I am forever in your debt!! And my husband will forever regret that day - LOL! Not really, as long as I don't let my yard sale finds and spray paint take over the house! :)

    Loved meeting you, Sarah! Thank you for taking the time to talk to us and get to know us too even though if you would have just smiled and taken a picture with us we would have still loved you more! :) And to even say you recognized my hair - wow! I don't hate my curly, big hair anymore :)

    Can't wait for next year!

  18. Sounds like you had a blast! I haven't been here from the beginning but I have been reading for several years...so I would have been thrilled to meet you had I been there! In fact, I love your blog so much that I have nominated you for “One Lovely Blog Award”! Here’s the link: http://encourageoneanotherdailyblog.wordpress.com/2012/06/16/one-lovely-blog-award/

  19. Oh, how I wish I could have been there, Sarah. Y'all are some of the best bloggers I've ever known; I know the conference was a great blessing to lots of people. It makes me a little sad to read the recaps, but it also makes me resolute to make sure that I make it to a conference soon!

  20. Sarah,
    I was so excited to be at Haven. Funny, yours was the first blog I found and read religiously, too. Thanks for all the work y'all put into this. Being a non-blogger, it was exciting to meet so many of the women I read about daily. An of course, I learned a lot from the sessions I attended. So sorry I didn't get to actually meet you...that was one of my goals...LOL. Next year for sure!THanks Again!

  21. I've heard you gals put on one helluva great conference! I was so sad to miss this year, but I absolutely WILL NOT miss next year. When will that be by the way?? ;)

  22. Thanks for the recap! I love the behind-the-scenes shots of what looks like an awesome conference. I'm interested to hear about the next one: dates and location? (I'm sure the planners are NOT ready to think about it yet!) And I'm not sure I'M ready either...too much of a baby blogger for all this info!

  23. Thanks for sharing the event with us bloggers that didn't get to go.

  24. looks so fun! I hope to get there next year.
    d e n i s e


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