If you saw my post earlier last week you’ll know that the Britmums Live conference got off to quite a good start for me. Feeling tired and a little emotional, day 2 was going to be a long one, but I was counting on the adrenalin to pull me through. There were 3 things that I was particularly looking forward to:
1. Listening to Katie Piper speak
2. My Next outfit for the day
3. Speaking myself on the Style Panel later that afternoon
And none of them let me down!
Katie Piper was a young, vivacious woman with the world at her feet when she was the victim of vicious rape and acid attack. I’m sure many of you will be familiar with her story, and like me have seen her documentaries on Channel 4. Katie, My Beautiful Face was first aired in 2009 a year after the attack, and I remember watching it and being moved by it. Hearing Katie speak was a highlight of the conference for me. To see what she’d been through and how she is inspiring and helping other burns survivors is incredible. There wasn’t a dry eye on my table that morning, and the standing ovation was equally moving. The Katie Piper Foundation, supported by Simon Cowell now helps people with burns and scars to reconnect with their lives and their communities. You can support the foundation here.
Secondly my outfit for the day, a treat for being Next’s Blogger of the Month was lovely and I felt great in it. The dress (£25) is a simple jersey fabric, in a navy flower print. It felt smart enough for the panel but casual enough to be relaxed. The bag (£30), which got many comments is a great size and I’ve found myself using it so much this summer. I love the bright pop of orange colour. And then finally the sandals (£26), glamorous yet flat, which was essential after the heels the previous day. I’ve always been a Next fan, for clothes and for home, so knew this would work out well for me. The necklace was a gift from a very thoughtful friend, Becky from Family Budgeting, and it got so many comments across the whole weekend!
And then lastly it was onto the Panel. We were there to talk about Style Blogging, what makes it different from other blogging types and the experiences we’ve all had. Fashion bloggers, Avril from School Gate Style, Fiona from Avenue57, home and garden blogger Cherry Menlove, and then me pooled our knowledge to give, what I hope was an informal discussion with the audience about made up good style blogging. We covered topics such as how to deal with negative comments and trolls (quite common when you’re showcasing style and design) which pretty much concluded with everyone saying it’s not the ideal but you do have develop a thick skin and ride it out. Sometimes the feedback can be constructive and worth taking on board, and adjusting your content accordingly can mean growing as a writer in the long run.
We also talked about structure and the benefit of regular weekly features. Some of us use it, others not so much. We covered finding your niche and how your style will evolve over time. It was great fun and I learned lots from the others on the panel too (and I’m loving the fashion blogs!).
Photo Credit: Amanda Cottingham
And so Britmums Live was at an end, for me anyway, as I headed off to celebrate my 10th Wedding Anniversary! It was slick and professional, packed full of relevant content, great brands and hundreds of other bloggers. Was it what I was expecting? Well to be honest it was much more than I expected and I had a great time.
Thank you to my sponsors for the event, to everyone who voted for me in the awards, and to the Britmums organisers for inviting me to speak. It’s taken me a week of lying low to recover, but I think I’m finally there!