Haven Conference 2018 and Why You Should Go

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Okay… maybe YOU shouldn’t go (WAIT, DON’T CLICK AWAY YET!), but if you’re a blogger, you DEFINITELY should go to the Haven Conference! (WAIT AGAIN…. YOU JUST MAY FIND THIS RECAP FUN AND HELPFUL, even if you *aren’t* a blogger!)  Read on about the Haven Conference 2018 and why you should go (or not… see rant above). 😉

HAVEN CONFERENCE 2018 and WHY YOU SHOULD GO

First, I want to welcome all the new readers that have recently joined this blogging adventure at My Wee Abode!

And, just so you know, I’ve been MIA this past week, not because of a pregnant daughter, or a new grandchild (that happened in May/June), but because I was attending my very first blogging conference in Charleston, South Carolina…. The Haven Conference!

So, I was pleasantly surprised when I got home to see that we have quite few new friends!  So, thank you for joining us, and I hope y’all enjoy your time here and are blessed (be sure to leave comments so we can share and learn from each other)!

Let’s get to know each other better!  Check out my ‘story’ on my About Page, and leave me a comment about you and your life!

floor plan of the Marriott Hotel
The floor plan of the Haven Conference! The Marriott was beautiful!

(Disclaimer… as you read on, you will find what my reasons were for going to Haven. Photos were not a priority, so please enjoy the content of my photos and excuse the quality!)

What is the Haven Conference?

The Haven Conference is a gathering of home décor enthusiasts, diyers, and crafters that are most often bloggers and entrepreneurs.  Classes are offered ranging from making a chalk sign from A Maker’s Studio to how to implement SEO (Search Engine Optimization) on your blog.

letters spelling haven on table with flowers with 5 women sitting in front

Squirrels of a Feather, Eight Hundred Furniture, Mom Home Guide, SonyaBurgess.com

Who Should Attend Haven?

This is a question I asked several of my ‘mentor’ bloggers in 2017… “Should I attend Haven 2017, even though I haven’t launched my blog yet?”

Because I had already done so much research on blogging, and knew what I wanted to do with my blog, the over-arching answer was, “Julie, you may want to wait until you launch.”

Now, don’t misunderstand… I think Haven is a great place for those that are trying to figure out if they actually *want* to start a blog.  A wide array of classes are offered to help you ‘get your feet wet’, and enlighten possible bloggers on some of the tougher aspects of blogging, including: photography, SEO, Pinterest, brand pitching, taking your blog full-time, and more!

woman standing in front of class teaching photography with camera on tripod

Amazing photography class with Rachel at Maison de Paxmy fave class of the weekend!

Her e-course on photography is set to release in September!

I’m Glad I Waited Because…

Those veteran bloggers knew what they were talking about!

My friends knew where I was in my ‘journey’, and they knew what I was going to need (and enjoy) more than anything was… networking! So, I launched my blog and then I waited for Haven 2018.

And I’m SO glad I did!

echinacea flower bed

Inserting flowers of Charleston… because they are just lovely!

HIGHLIGHTS

So Much To Tell, It Could Be a Mini-series…

I wish I could share my story of the whole weekend in this post… but, it would just be tooooo looooong!  You would click-away… I know because *I* would click away! Haha!  So, I’m going to just share some highlights and photos with some quick explanations.  (If you have any questions or thoughts, PLEASE leave a comment… I love reading/answering comments! 😉

Meeting My Haven’s Angels…

The highlight of the weekend for me was meeting my fellow Angels.  So thankful the Lord saw fit to put us together. The way we ‘met’, and subsequently grew as friends over Facebook messenger and Facebook video chats only 4 short months ago, was quite an act of God.

We came to lovingly call ourselves “The Haven’s Angels” and had a lot of fun with inside jokes…

four photo collage of 4 women trying to pose with their hands shaped as guns

We were fast friends from the very start, and even a bit of snoring (okay, it was a lot of snoring… I’m so sorry, girls!) didn’t ruin our friendship.

I sit here writing this a bit teary-eyed because we are spread apart by so many miles.  But, SO thankful for this digital-age to have conversations via phone video apps!

4 women posing arm in arm

Marissa from Squirrels of a Feather, (me!), Rita from Harbour Breeze Home, and Sonya from SonyaBurgess.com

Meeting Blogger Friends Face-to-Face …

It was SO wonderful meeting so many bloggers that I had met online, and often chatted with through comments on Facebook or Instagram.  What a blessing to get to meet so many of them (these are just a few)!

women sitting at a restaurant table smiling at the camera

(not already mentioned)  My Family Thyme, Faeries and Fauna, Our Crafty Mom

two women in selfie

Michelle from Thistle Key Lane

Several of these friends are now a part of our ‘tribe’… a group of blogging buddies that work together to learn, encourage, and inspire each other!

Meeting Long-time Faves…

four women sitting at restaurant table

Dinner with mentors/friends, KariAnne from Thistlewood Farms and Yvonne from Stonegable

Such a blessing! (Can you tell a young waiter took this pic… just sayin’!)

two women taking selfie

Sarah from She Holds Dearly and I had to wait until late afternoon on Sunday

for our flights back to the west coast!

6 women taking a silly picture

One of my fave photos of the weekend! (not mentioned before) Jenny from JennyMelrose.com

Meeting New Blogger Friends …

One of the most special aspects of Haven was getting to meet new bloggers that I had never had contact with before!

Before the conference ever began, everyone said that it was really easy to meet people you didn’t know… and it really was!  (However, it was a little awkward asking for pics with these people… so you’ll just have to believe me that I *did* meet new people. 😉 )

purple echinacea flower

(Because… if you insert flower pics, they will come!)

Swag…

The last thing that I will share is how wonderfully generous the leaders of Haven and the brand/sponsors were with gifts for us. Not only did we all receive this…

photo of swag and products received at Haven Conference

…and more, but I also won a $100 gift card to Home Depot at the Rust-Oleum make-it and take-it class!

And, even more… I won an Elkay Sink at the end of the conference (door prize).  Blessings upon blessings, I’m telling you!

I have so much more to share, but if you’ve hung with me this long… THANK YOU!  I’m sure you get the picture (and then some!)  And, I’m sure you understand why I think people should go to Haven… for me it was the relationships! Even though I didn’t meet all the brands I wanted to, and didn’t get the photos I really wanted, I met and developed friendships that were well worth the things I missed!  Brands and photos will be one of next year’s goals!

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P.S. Are you thinking of starting a blog?  If you are, I would be happy to share more of my adventure with you!  Just leave a comment, or shoot me an email, HERE.

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16 Comments

        1. Yes, Merry (Mary?), we had a wonderful time! Relationships mean a lot! Thanks for coming by! Have a great week!

    1. We got to meet AND become good friends!!! It was wonderful to spend time with you, Michelle! Hugs!

    1. Nika thought those pics were very funny, too! She saw them for the first time yesterday. I got lots of pics of people… which obviously was most important to me. Wish I had gotten more of the venue. Next year promises more of everything, as we all will know what to expect. 😉

  1. It is so helpful that you included the blog links of the people you told me about. It will be fun to explore and dream. I am so very glad that you have made new friends through this blogging adventure! Our Lord is so generous. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks for reading, Teresa! You are on my ‘biggest cheerleader’ list! 😉 I hope you find some blogs that you will enjoy (and subscribe to, even 😉 ) Love you, dear sister!

    1. Jessica… there was SO much more to share! If you want more info or details, shoot me an email. 😉 I hope we can meet next year, too! 😉

  2. Haha! I just love the Charlie’s Angels photo! Hilarious! You gals sounded like you had a blast being roomies and I would have never thought of getting to know your roommates over a FB group, etc. before the conference. What a great idea that was!! You made out like a bandit on prizes!! I enjoyed taking the Rustoleum class with you and getting to know you a little at our table! 🙂

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

    1. Oh, Carrie! Thanks for coming by! It means so much to me! I was really happy that we got to take the class together and get to know each other, too! I like that we were able to meet so many bloggers and can now attach ‘real’ faces and personalities to the names. 🙂 The Haven’s Angels stuff was really fun. I had no idea that the front desk person was taking all those pics for me! She was great! I was so glad when I found them on my phone! And I was SUPER blessed by all the generosity of the hosts and sponsors! Have a GREAT weekend! Hugs!

  3. Julie, I remember your smiling face from Haven and I LOVED your recap (plus prize winning moment!). I too spent time with friends I’ve met before and met a new friend. That truly is the best part of Haven I agree – networking. Plus I learned a TON. I’m new on my blogging adventure too, with just a year under my belt. Onward and upward my blogging friend! See you in Atlanta next year 😉

    1. Oh, thanks for dropping in, Tracey! I wish we could have actually met! Definitely next year! Let’s keep persevering! Hugs, new friend!

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