Better Homes and Gardens Stylemaker

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Better Homes and Gardens Stylemaker Event, and I was thrilled to be invited. It was a day of design, style, creative thinking and inspiration–basically the best kind of event! I had such a great time meeting + mingling with other bloggers, creatives, the BHG editors, and BHG team, what a group! It was a full and eventful day—here is a little peek of what the event was like.

CThe event this year was at The Hudson Hotel New York, while I had a hard time finding it because of construction, I made it on time and maybe even a bit early! The hotel decor was very modern but had an urban and eclectic feel. I was loving the oversized lounge chairs in the library.

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Workshop: Secrets to Amazing Food Photos

The first workshop I attended was led by the Senior Deputy Food Editor of BHG, Nancy Hopkins. We learned tips and tricks for styling sweets, and salads and what tools to have on hand when you might be snapping or styling food. My favorite takeaways was from Libbie Summers,  who taught us how to make the perfect dollop for topping on your desserts and pies.

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Panel: The Truth About Getting a Book Deal

Next we had a panel with Sara Forte, author of The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon, Eddie Ross, East Coast Editor of Better Homes and Gardens, and author of the must have book, Eddie Ross Modern Mixand the publishing editors Rux Martin and Angelin Borsics. So great to hear from both sides of the spectrum. They shared lots of truths and even shared different opinions on the same topic like whether you should work with a book agent or not. It seems that everyone has had such different experiences and I feel like it has a lot to do with the timing, if you are ready to get a book deal, and also who you end up working with.

Workshop: Photo Shoot-Worthy Flower Arranging

After some lunch I headed to my next workshop with Executive Editor, Oma Blaise Ford and Matthew Robbins. This workshop was a lot of fun, I just wish we had more time! I think I could spend all day playing with those flowers— provided to us by FTD flowers. A few quick tips for arranging: Cut stems as you go to vary in length—and design in odd numbers to create hero blooms.

Here I am focused on arranging my masterpiece!

Final arrangements alongside Brittany, of Addison's Wonderland and Maryanne, of The Little Epicurean

Workshop: Creating a 360° Digital Brand

The last workshop of the day was with the wonderful Digital Editorial Manager, Kaelin Zawilinski.  Kaelin packed the hour with advice on to how to stand out, and how to get smart on social. She also walked through ideas for spreading your brand—by being smart with collaborations, working with magazines, creating a book or podcast if is the right fit. She ended the presentation with a few best practices for success: be kind, make it easy to collaborate, and develop a relationship. This workshop gave me the little kick in the a** that I needed and I am so grateful for it! Thanks Kaelin, you have been so helpful to all of us!

Anyone else using Trello for organizing projects? Kaelin mentioned it in her presentation and I have been using it since and I love it!

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Because this post is getting incredibly long, I think it is time to wrap it up! We ended the day with a Q&A with the editors, a stylemaker panel and cocktails on the rooftop with special guest, Brooke Shields! Like I said a jam packed day and I happily ended the night with burgers + fries in the Hudson Common with some of the other attendees. Happy + Full!

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I can't get over how incredibly talented, passionate, approachable and just really really nice people the Better Homes and Gardens Editors and team were! What stood out to me after chatting with a few throughout the day and watching them speak—is how much they really LOVE what they do! Thanks again for a great day BHG! Can't wait for the issues to come : )

All photos (c) Avi Gerver Photography