Note: All feet were photographed with permission. No feet were hurt in the making of this post.
Anyone who knows me well, knows that I’m a shoe girl. Some might even suggest I have a problem… perhaps a small addiction. I prefer to view it as a deep appreciation for floor-level aesthetics. Admittedly, I’ve been known to meet new friends, based on their shoes. That may seem a tad petty to some, but I would argue that you can tell a lot from shoes; they’ve rarely steered me wrong. I’m not a hater; I don’t judge. I do like some shoes more than others, and I tend to be interested in the people who wear them, but I’ll give any shoes a chance. Let’s be honest here, I’m not alone in my pedal-ardor. (Yes, I did make that up). I know that there are other women who enter Nordstrom’s shoe department with the same glassy, possibly drooling expression. There are plenty of women who spend much more on their shoes and have a much bigger shoe collection than me, and, there are plenty of women who don’t. But in the big picture, I don’t feel any need to apologize for this. To each his own shoes.
Last year I was totally new to the BlogHer experience, a complete BlogHer virgin. I had no idea what I was doing and found a lot of it daunting. My hotel was a few blocks from the Conference Center; I didn’t know anyone; I was a deer in the headlights all weekend– but I had a great time, and left ready to return this year.
This year was a very different experience from BlogHer’14, in San Jose; in so many ways! I came prepared, having downloaded the mobile app, connected with people on-line beforehand, and ready to hit the ground running. I learned last year that shoes are very important–– there’s a lot of walking at the BlogHer conference! This year there were more people, more networking, more choices, and shoes beyond my wildest dreams! In addition to comfort, your shoes say something about you, and the women of BlogHer bring it! It was clear that attendees put some serious thought into their feet. Pedicures in every color, shoes in every shape, size and style! It only took me about an hour at BlogHer15 to start gawking.
Then… I started taking photos. Some people remembered me from last year: “Oh, you’re the shoe lady!” (Um, not really…) Most I had to start fresh with: Excuse me, can I take a picture of your feet– “My feet?” Well, your shoes? This is BlogHer; these ladies are open and curious– willing to play along. Many asked right away if I blog about shoes– they are also a savvy, sassy group. No, not really… but for BlogHer I do, I told them. Others were confused, unsure, or simply unwilling to go along– “My feet look horrible!” (None did). “Oh, I don’t have a pedicure.” (Who cares? Not me!) But most smiled and planted their feet together; a few posed for good measure–– again, sassy! Groups of women moved in together and shared their collective foot portraits. The few men I asked, were amused, but game. A New York security guard was stoopified: “Uh, you wanna take a picture of my shoes? Like these shoes? There’s nothin’ special about them, but sure.” I gave him my card, but something tells me he won’t be trolling the internet for the shot of his feet!
Admittedly, I had a much better time at BlogHer15– for several reasons beyond shoes:
- I wasn’t new, and so I wasn’t as overwhelmed. I had a game plan and it worked well for me. A little planning goes a long way at BlogHer Conferences.
- I was honored and really thrilled to receive a Voices of the Year award from She Knows Media and BlogHer. It’s a gorgeous trophy, and the VOTY’15 awards (find them all here) were really diverse and interesting this year! Loved the Always’ Like a Girl Campaign (it made me cray) and Sport England’s Girls Can ad (lit a fire in me!), and the First Moon video had us in stitches! It was a fabulous VOTY ceremony, all around, but made even better when I finally met and sat with Katrina Ann Willis of Table for Six– I’ve followed her blog for ages, and we were looking forward to finally meeting in person. Sitting next to her and Julie Tarney of My Son Wears Heels (who can rock a pair of heels almost as well as her son), was butter cream icing on the cake!
*I might have been a wee bit disappointed when we went out to the main hall and my piece On My Father’s Birthday, A Letter To The Man Who Killed Him, was not mounted on one of the sleek boards that so many other award-winning posts were on. My face might have fallen, as I searched each board with Kelly and other VOTY honorees… I might have wiped away a single, dejected tear… My piece was on a small screen that flashed through the posts way too fast for anyone to read… Ok, maybe I was very disappointed, and maybe I sound like a big ungrateful baby, but just bein’ real here. Ultimately, the trophy went a long way in fixing that brief moment of silent temper tantrum.
And even more reasons:
- I was smart about my shoes and didn’t get any blisters. Praise.
- I danced like a maniac for hours at the #McDBlogHer closing party, and had the best time with the kool folks from WordPress. Those kids can dance! *I am old enough to have been every one of their parents, so I can say “kids.”
- I was interviewed by Danielle Barnett Herzog of Martinis and Minivans, for a new TV show Moms Everyday– And even if my interview goes nowhere, because I’m an older mom and I think they were more interested in the young thangs, it was fun and cool to do it.
- This is key: I had friends coming this time. Emily from The Waiting and Kelly from Are You Finished Yet kept me company all weekend, and added extra fun. Emily and I met in person last year , but it was great to finally meet Kelly as well. It was awesome to see Julie Christine of Fabulous Blogging/Fabulous Life? (and trust me, she can really help you blog fabulously!) and meet the hot husband and gorgeous baby she’s had us drooling about. Alex was a delight, and little man is the yummiest little guy every! Didn’t get to see much of them (because they’re wild and crazy ladies) but brushed shoulders with Aussa at Hacker, Ninja, Hooker, Spy and fellow VOTY, the gorgeous Hedia of Gunmetal Geisha.
- I made lots of wonderful new connections and had a blast with: Julie at My Son Wears Heels; Lucy at My Life as Lucille; Chrissy at Quirky Chrissy; Molly of A Mother Life; my buddy Tonya at Women Do Everything (and she’s expanding, to do everything!) And drum roll please… I was totally surprised and psyched (read, screamed like a banshee) to meet Samara of Buick in the Land of Lexus… and yes, she’s as interesting, sexy and dynamic as you imagined–and hella nice person as well.
- These are all ladies I’ve shared with on line for years– or just got to know, but either way, it was epic to hang out and add 3 dimension to my online crushes and fantasies.
I’ve read posts from others who think BlogHer sucks, or who feel like it’s all hype, but for me–– in my 2nd year, it only got better. I learned a lot at the sessions; I enjoyed the opportunities to meet and connect with other bloggers; I had a blast in NYC, and I had fun with new and old friends alike. I may always feel a little bit out of the loop; that’s my baggage, but overall, I found BlogHer15 inclusive and inspiring.
And, again… there’s the shoes. Last year I was shyer; I wasn’t sure how to approach people. I didn’t give out my card to every person I met or every person whose feet I photographed. Some of those people found my post anyway, and some of them found me this year: “Hey! You photographed my feet last year, but I couldn’t find the post! Can I have a card?” (Here’s the post from last year, find your ’14 feet) This year, I handed them my card and told folks to check back in a few days; so here it is: This post is a “share the wealth” post. It’s as sisterhood of BlogHer’15 shoes thing. Find your feet in the post and leave a link back to your blog in the comments. Which feet are yours? Share a few words: tell us about your blog if you want, how you felt about BlogHer’15, or something about your feet. Those feet got you to the conference and they probably left tired and sore–– give them some recognition! And thanks to each of you for playing along and letting me take a snapshot of your tootsies!
Final note: this post would have been up days ago, but sometimes shit happens. After hours of typing, loading photos, adding links, editing (yes, this was cut down), the wifi at the
crappy quaint Cape Cod hotel I’m staying at, crashed… and at 2:15am, I lost this entire post (because I thought I’d hit save draft, but hadn’t) and had to start all over. Labor of love, folks. LABOR of love!
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