What a week! This conference really hit all the notes I needed to get moving on building this business. It’s been a few weeks, so I’m going to do my best to remember everything. So much happened!!!
Tuesday: Flew into Manchester from RDU via Charlotte, NC. Note to self: 30 minutes is not long enough to cross the entirety of Charlotte airport with two heavy carry-ons. Fortunately there was room on a later flight so I arrived just after midnight.
Wednesday: Professional Day. Well worth it! We started with a talk given by Mary Beth Temple. She’s pretty amazing! Lots of experience and knowledge about staying relevant in the changing world of crochet. Later, I sat in on sessions led by Moogly, Marly Bird, and Marie Segares. Monetizing your Blog, Turning Your Hobby Into A Business, and How To Run Your Blog. Learned so much and really reevaluated how I want to move forward. More on that soon. I ran into my buddy from Chicago, Melissa. It’s great how this business really connects us, even across time and miles. 🙂
Thursday: Started the day with an exciting session called Crazy Cool Crochet led by Melissa Leapman. I sometimes worry my skills are too advanced for a stitch based class, but this was a lot of fun. I learned a few new stitch combinations and got to see Melissa in action which was very informative. I liked seeing how she pushed through creating new stitch patterns and hearing a little about where that inspiration comes from.
I had lunch on Thursday with a new friend, Robbie, who lives in Atlanta. We got caught in a heavy rain storm 2 blocks away from the hotel and made a mad dash back. Memories are made of this!
Thursday night was the Mardi Gras party. We made Mardi Gras masks, had crepes with berries and all the works (just berries for keto me, which was a nice treat! I didn’t expect to have anything!) and collapsed into bed at 10 pm. Conferencing is hard work!
Friday: No classes scheduled, and I can’t stress enough how nice it is to have some unstructured time. I volunteered at the CGOA table for a few hours in the afternoon and gave out the goodie bags! What a big bag they were too! So much yarn! I didn’t have room to bring it all home but had fun with what I could fit in my suitcase. I got to chat with Andee Graves, the current CGOA Board of Directors Vice President and Jennifer Williams, our dedicated volunteer coordinator.
Friday night was the gift exchange. I got the cutest little earrings in the shape of yarn hanks made by Bonnie Barker’s daughter. After the gift exchange we had a sing along led by Bonnie Barker and Jennifer Ryan, along with Jennifer’s mini me daughters. We had a blast. Juliette Tebeau Bezold and I competed in a mock Price is Right game and oh my gosh, what fun! Juliette and I were of like minds and threw ourselves into character with abandon. I wish I had video of this. It was truly a night to remember!
Saturday: I had a full day class with Jenny King called Architectural Crochet Designing. This was just what I needed to fill my head with. She helped us understand structure of garments, seeing the shapes turned on their sides, studying the design of various crochet stitch swatches and how they lend themselves to various projects. Just incredible! If you ever have a chance to take a class with Jenny, just do it!
Saturday night was the banquet. I sat with Marette and another new friend, Amanda Saladin. Amanda gave me perhaps the single most valuable piece of advice I received all week – Done Is Better Than Perfect. I need to post this everywhere I look to break me out of my fear of publishing. Both Marette and Amanda had projects in the Fashion Show so I made sure to document everything for them.
Not crochet related, but this is an important thing for me to remember. Food! I am a former diabetic who is strictly keto. I did just fine this trip, aided by a Whole Foods/Amazon Prime delivery of coconut milk, heavy cream, sliced roast beef, almonds, and seltzers, and a can of Slim Fast Keto for super quick breakfasts. I carried my requisite tea carafe everywhere which made for easy hydration, dashed up to my room for quick replenishment as needed, which gave me more time to socialize and more importantly more money for yarn! I also ordered dinner from the restaurant to be delivered to me at the banquet which was outstanding and totally keto!
Whew! That was a lot! So many things to remember! This is a definite must do conference for anyone in the business. Next year is New Orleans and my friend Christine is coming along for the fun! I can’t wait!