Alt Design Summit NYC 2013

Monday, June 24, 2013

Hey guys, I was so excited to attend the Alt Design Summit on Thursday! It's a blogger conference, held semi-annually, that focuses on blogs in the design and creative world. We had a full day of panels and speakers to learn from. It was so inspiring to attend, especially because we were at Martha Stewart's offices and the light, oh wow, the light that pours in from those windows. It felt magical. But before I got to Alt on Thursday, I was invited to a dinner the night before out in the Brooklyn kitchen, Sunday Suppers, another truly magical place that I've been dying to go to for ages. I took the ferry over from Manhattan and got to see the city from a crazy awesome viewpoint. I fell in love with NYC all over again.

I got off the ferry in Williamsburg and walked a block to a large grey building, when the Sunday Suppers kitchen was. I was kind of obsessed with the light here too.

There were about 30 other lovely women there. I chatted with Jenny, Mara, Megan, and a host of others. Internet friends became real life friends, and it rocked. So did dinner.

Then, Thursday began bright and early with a crafting session before we settled in for a mind blowing keynote talk by Design Sponge's Grace Bonney. Here's what I took away from Grace:

  •  Change is a given, your readers already expect frequent change, so don't think you'll be rewarded for it.
  • When you make that change, some readers will complain. Absorb the kickback and move on.
  • Find a core mission statement -- but make it flexible.
  • Be an early adapter/adopter. Don't resist new technology and apps. Just go for it and sign up for new social media forms as soon as they appear, even if you just maintain a bare bones presence there it's important.
  • Learn more about rejection therapy (basically keep asking for things until you're not fazed by hearing "no" any more. Or until you start hearing "yes".)
  • Write down your biggest fears and biggest goals. And then take the first step to change.
Ummm, and then Martha came out to say hi to everyone! The room kind of exploded.

From right to left: Martha Stewart (duh), Pilar Guzman (editor in chief of Martha Stewart Living, Kathleen King of Tate's Bake Shop, Bob McClure of McClure's Pickles, Stephanie Housley of Coral & Tusk)
The day was filled with panels on small business, social media, and even a closing keynote with fashion blogger icon, Garance Dore. It wrapped up with a cocktail party complete with all the Martha Stewart touches. Like giant party paper flowers and boatloads of color-coded candy. Yes, color-coded.

Later on, the party spilled out onto the roof and we watched the sun set over the Hudson. If I worked there I think I'd be hanging out up there all the time.

I went home deliriously happy and mulling over the closing keynote speech by Garance. Here's what she passed on:

  • You're a business, even if you don't think you are.
  • You can't do it on your own (admit when you need help)
  • Branch out (but stay on the same tree). As in, make the different parts of your blog relate in some way.
  • Don't network -- but if you have to, at least work with friends.

It was so much fun, and I definitely want to do it again next year (if I can get in). Those are just my own photos and I cannot wait to see the professional photographer's shots of the events.

I hope you guys had a great weekend!


  1. You were soo lucky! Martha and Garance? everyone must have been sooooo excited...If it is a ticket thing then please let us know when they start selling tickets for next years conference. Many thanks

    1. I definitely will! I think you can sign up for email updates on their website. Also follow @altsummit on twitter. I'll make sure I mention it a week before though.

    2. Also, PS: Garance?! Swoooon

  2. Awesome, Dervy! Must have been fun to meet others in real life :) Lovely pics! Xx


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