Blogfest 2013? Check...

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Yeah I did!
  Don't ask how I was able to fit in the D&D Spring Market, IFDA Take A Seat, Brimfield VIP, 2 kid birthday parties, client meetings and a 3 day Blogfest all in one week. Lets face it I had to drop the ball somewhere. Although unfortunately missing IFDA and Day 2 of Blogfest to squeeze in those important client meetings, I say all in all I mastered my calendar that week. So let's dish on Blogfest! I promise come next blog post I will share my practical tips on running a smoother design business, but you know I will share some tips here too. 
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(Photo by Joshua McHugh) CLICK on Image to see a 30 second video on how JA is inspired to "Make Cool Sh*T".
This was my first year attending Blogfest. As I have made some great friends with bloggers, this event was all the talk, so I was game. Well when you kickoff with a cocktail party at Jonathan Adler's store in NYC, that sounds like a great start! JA is one of my Pros to go to when I need an unconventional business pep talk. He literally has a "F*ck It" attitude when it comes to his approach on business. Love that! I shared a great 18 minute video on my Facebook Biz page on this, but take a look after you finish reading the rest of my post to see what I mean. (There's a video tip for ya.)

"Luckily I was proved to be absolutely unemployable."

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Cheerful Spring deco of the luncheon held at Hearst Tower NYC.
First stop on the agenda for Blogfest was actually Kips Bay, but to juggle the balancing act of squeezing in client meetings, I was so glad I attended the Gala last month. So my start was a client meeting in the morning then race to catch the luncheon at the Gold LEED rating Hearst Tower. I have to say it was like attending the Emmys. Not like I've been, but we all watch and know there are beautiful table settings for celebrities. In this case the celebrities were the designers and bloggers in attendance.

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Myself with Guest Speaker, Interior Designer extraordinaire, Thom Filicia
Never one to shy away from a Step & Repeat, there was a pink & green color coordinating one which complemented the sponsor, Valspar's table settings. I always tell my design clients to represent themselves and their business by taking a photo on one. It builds confidence and as a great designer friend once mentioned, "after all, who wants an interior decorator filled with self-doubt?"~ Martyn Lawrence Bullard

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Live streaming of Twitter feeds from bloggers, celebrity designers and coo coo for cocoa puffs like me.
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Blogfest panel, Jennifer Powell, Sara Peterson, Alexa Hampton and Thom Filicia
I tweeted "The best comedy act in town was just at Blogfest!". My ribs are still recovering. Yes there were learning lessons from the people sitting on this stage like rating if hanging pictures too high or painting wood is a bad thing? Nothing like changing the scene of Q&A to making it into a game show with flash cards! Oh I ate this up like birthday cake. The panel would answer questions with bright pink cards that read, "not so bad", "pretty bad" and "super bad". Thom Filicia doesn't miss a beat. He mentioned he would take the cards to his next meeting and start answering client questions with them! Hilarious. (By the way, congratulations Dr. Thom!)

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Guy Regal, David Easton, Beth Green, Jonathan Adler and Suzanne Kasler
Next stop, cocktails at Newel Antiques. This place became the designers/bloggers playground. There are numerous floors with treasures galore. Plus this was a fierce place to meet in person with the tweeps that are now my peeps. Love meeting Guy Regal who is the Managing Director of Newel Antique. Also I have to give a shoutout to Nicole Kapit who is the Gallery Director and hostess with the mostess. She is fabulous and took every ham shot I have posted on my Facebook and Twitter pages of me and those celebrity designers I can't get enough of. (Thanks Nicole!)

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Beautiful photo of me and interior design icon, David Easton taken by Blogfest.
My addiction to interior designers started with my working days at Howard Kaplan Antiques. There I was privy to working with true iconic designers like, Albert Hadley, Mark Hampton and (why this photo is so dear to my heart) David Easton. To be able to speak with him, hug him, laugh with him and take such a photo has been tremendous. By the way, he is as sassy as evahhhhhh! We were not just smiling for this shot, but trying to hold in a hard laugh from a joke he told me. Gotta love him. He is one of the reasons why I wanted to work with interior designers the way I do now.

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The infamous Birdcage recently featured in the HBO series, Boardwalk Empire.
We bloggers had an amazing time at Blogfest. To end the evening with cocktails at Newel Antiques is beyond, but the designers in attendance were not the only celebs. I must personally thank Guy Regal for giving Thom Filicia, a few bloggers and myself a personal tour. Especially meeting a few pieces that have been in music videos and movie sets. (God how this tour reminded me of my days at Howard Kaplan) For instance this birdcage made it's appearance on the HBO's hit series, Boardwalk Empire. 
Just had to take a photo of it.
This cage is a beauty. It has hand painted details with rustic iron cage doors. Its curves are hugged by seating which is upholstered in Fortuny fabric. This cage is massive. It was so tall it look like it could hold the birds from Jurassic Park or...

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Yep, that's me. Thank you LuAnna Silvia of Lilu Interiors for this fun shot.
Yes I stepped into a reportedly over a quarter million dollar birdcage. With my 5" heels and flexibility from doing Zumba, I didn't even step on that gorgeous Fortuny fabric. Final tip here, make it a point when attending events like these to gain the best experience possible. (I don't recommend chancing your business insurance by stepping in a priceless gem like this birdcage.) If your shy or reserve, get your butt on a step and repeat and strike your most confident pose. Keep that picture as proof you are confident and it will spill into areas of your life when you feel less confident. You know if you tell me this story, I will push you on that S&R, take a photo and send it to you. I did it to one blogger I met there and I hope she can take this experience with her via proof in a photo.

Big thank you to all the wonderful people who put this together and made it special. The list is huge, but I personally want to thank each and every sponsor, coordinators, designers, bloggers, photographers and new friends made from Blogfest 2013. It is a check off my bucket list and I thank you.

Now don't leave me hanging. Share your experience if you attended Blogfest or even better you are now making plans to next year. Would love to hear your tips.

(Don't forget to get inspired by the Jonathan Alder video I have linked for you. You may find you too will take a 'F*ck It' attitude and not let other people's opinions get in the way of how you do business. We can relate and appreciate.) 

Barbara V.

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