17 July 2013, 14:54
After a night pontoon cruisin’ on Lake Minnetonka, a day strolling around uptown and a cheese curd fest at Psycho Suzi’s, we were well and truly ready to teach a class full of babes.
When we arrived at Public Functionary early on Saturday morning, we didn’t know what to expect. Owned by a friend of my friend, all I knew was that it was a recently-opened art gallery that had been funded by Kickstarter. (Pretty cool.) I expected to show up and be confronted with a big, white, empty room.
...But the joke was on us, because we walked into an opulent, gothic baroque daydream. There was crimson shag carpet on the walls, golden stencilled wallpaper and a 20 foot chandelier boxed up in a packing crate. Trisha, the owner, apologised… But we loved it. It was SO cool, and so unexpected!
I think Marilyn Manson would have approved. (What will it take to get him to one of our classes?!)
When Shauna first sent us the boat design for Minneapolis, we didn’t really get it… But after experiencing lake life, we do now! (If I lived in the Twin Cities, I think I would get L-A-K-E-L-I-F-E as knuckle tattoos.)
We couldn’t resist this disco ball balloon… Or Alex in a pair of ears!
Amber won our scholarship… Remember, we offer one for each class!
Alexandra Franzen was an amazing addition to our class, and had so much juicy info to share!
It’s a proven fact: Crown And Glory ears help you think during activities.
Katie cuted us all out with her flower crown.
Check out that goodie bag bulging with treats!
Thank you to Crown & Glory for the ears, The Young Aesthetic for our chandelier-esque crystal necklaces, Cicely Margo for our rainbow-coloured ring pops, Classic Hardware for delicate but edgy earrings, Tumi for the sunglasses, and Casetagram for the custom phone case vouchers! Spoiled rotten!
Frequently asked questions: “Do you guys coordinate your outfits?” Um… Definitely!
Our Minneapolis group was so sweet!
“There’s a lot of noise & nonsense out there about how to become a “professional blogger.” The Blogcademy headmistresses bring it back down to the beautiful basics: Killer content. Artful packaging. Consistent posting. Personality & charm. If you’re a baby blogger, consider this workshop your official initiation. If you’re a seasoned pro, think of it as your finishing school. Gala, Shauna & Kat walk their talk — and blog their walk. A weekend well spent? No question, for me. Get thee to The Blogcademy!” (Alexandra Franzen)
You know, I used to think that The Blogcademy was about teaching bloggers how to get ‘er done: straight-up tactics, plain ol’ strategy. But recently I had a revelation.
The Blogcademy is really about encouraging women to have a voice. We help babes step up and claim their piece of the blogosphere. We urge women to demand their worth and to push harder. We champion individuality and coax ladies out of their comfort zone.
The feeling of support between everyone in the room is strong, and it doesn’t just fade away after class is finished. After our recent NYC reunion, Blogcademy success story Latanya said…
“I realized that the Blogcademy was more than just a two day workshop but a sisterhood. I already had an overwhelming feeling of unity between all of the wonderful women I have met and continue to meet because of the Blogcademy. This feeling is so strong. Like, Incredible Hulk strong.” (Latanya Rene)
She’s right. After spending an intense two days together, we feel like we know one another… And we’re all invested in each other’s success. Our blogcadettes know they can come to us anytime for help, and they have an in-built blogging posse that isn’t just constrained to the one class they attended; they’re part of a badass club that includes all our students.
When it comes to blogging, I think your success is my success… And vice versa! That’s one of the best things about Blogcademy, and it’s what I’m most proud of.
Girl power! Like, actual, REAL girl power!
Photographs by Gene Oh.
10 July 2013, 12:08
When we have The Blogcademy on home turf — meaning New York (where I live), London (Kat’s home) or Portland (Shauna’s stomping ground) — none of us will admit it, but we get a bit competitive. We want to have the coolest venue, the raddest students, the best photographs, so we can say OUR city was the best. And, well, look. I’m sorry Shauna, I’m sorry Kat… But I think New York kicked London and Portland’s asses!
There are a few reasons why…
The venue. Oh my STARS. Rent Patina was the perfect arena and then some. They rent furniture and props out for weddings, events and parties, and as you can imagine, their entire space is like one big treasure hunt. Their ginormous warehouse space in Bushwick is crammed full of exquisite vintage furniture and precious knick-knacks, then flooded with light. Right outside, you’re faced with some of the best street art in the city.
As you scroll through the pictures, you will understand!
The Rent Patina babes are mistresses of the perfect vignette… A fact which was reinforced when, a few days later, we shot with them! (Yes, that is foreshadowing!)
Oh hey, it’s just some boxes, cameras and books, artfully arranged.
This really needs to be what my living room looks like.
I dare say, it’s hard to go back to folding chairs after a spread like this!
“The two days that I spent furiously scribbling notes at The Blogcademy were the equivalent of an amazing thrift shop score/non-substance induced unicorn sighting/beautifully manic sugar high, without the crash.” (Tracy Poppers)
Our blogcadettes. Every class is a delight, but there is definitely some hometown pride at play when you get a group like this. What amazing women. Girl crushes for everyone!
Thysha signed up for class on Saturday morning (!!!), and hot-footed it over to Brooklyn to join us! We’re so glad she came!
Stephanie is too cool. She turned up in a unicorn horn, for crying out loud!
You know you’re fucking fabulous when you have your very own wind machine.
Jasika has one of the greatest laughs!
Nicole wears those ears, they don’t wear her!
Shauna and I getting up close and personal during activity time.
“It was great to be in a room full of women who are serious about blogging. I was shy about exposing my little blog to the world because there are so many improvements to be made. However, I left Sunday with an arsenal of resources, a clear vision of where I want my blog to go and how I am going to get there. I might wear my blogcadette ears every day to keep my journey glittery and fun!” (Rosanna)
Our assistants. Dude. We are eternally indebted to Nikki and Hillary for doing everything they possibly could to help us out during this insane weekend.
Nikki is our MAIN BABE in New York City. No one is more helpful, takes more initiative or has more sass. Nikki helped us out at our first ever class in New York, and we adore her so much that we invited her back! She also looks damn good in a glitter crown (thanks, Paige Lavoie!).
Thank the heavens for Hillary Weiss, Nikki’s brilliant accomplice, Instagram pro and wearer of holographic sneakers.
“Hands down, the best experience I’ve had – from learning, making new friends, and finding MY kind of people.” (Kristin Antosz)
Our sponsors, who always turn it out. I think this was one of our best goodie bags yet… And even better, the front of it was emblazoned with a turquoise Empire State Building!
Who could say no to a Cicely Margo ring pop?!
Everyone got a teeny tin of delightful perfume from Milk And Honey Naturals.
Rosanna balances some Zevia on her noggin…
I am SO IN LOVE with these glitter heart pouches from Alphabet Bags! I’ve been filling mine up with lipstick and jewels.
Sparklebeast created these necklaces exclusively for our blogcadettes! And Alexis is a natural model.
“The Blogcademy is fucking life-changing. I sold half of my wardrobe (no joke) in order to attend and I’d sell the other half and show up in nothing but my undies and black eyeliner ten times over: these women are legit. Their energy is through the roof. Their knowledge is powerful. Their commitment is palpable. And they will give you the necessary kick in the ass you need to own your identity, no matter how scary that might be. Between the sparkles, sea of hair colors, and resounding tribal spirit, I kept waiting for Jessie J to burst through the window on a Tarzan rope belting out ‘Just be true to who you are’. (I wouldn’t put it past these three. I believe them capable of anything). But all in all, whether you have to walk 500 miles, subsist on Ramen noodles for a month, or fly on a broomstick to get there…GO. Stop thinking about it. GO. I kid not when I say it will alter the course of your professional career and, by extension, your life.” (Madelin Smith)
Our photographer. June Cochran is our new favourite person. She flew all the way from Hawaii to shoot our class! She made us look amazing, too… No mean feat in a 100 degree room!
Shauna, hard at work preaching the branding gospel.
With our scholarship winner, Kirstin!
Now that’s a class photo!
What a fabulous class. If you’d like to attend our next one, our last US-based date for the year is in Austin in August. After that, we’re hitting up London, Brisbane, Melbourne, Auckland, and Melbourne again!
If you’d LOVE to come but don’t have the budget, don’t despair! We give out a scholarship to one person in each class. Just come up with something creative — a blog post, a video, a drawing, whatever! — and post it to our Facebook page. We pick the winners a month before the actual event, which gives you a week to make an Austin entry!
Thank you to all our blogcadettes — you make our world go ‘round! — and to the whole team for putting this together! HIGH-FIVE!
Still daydreaming about tufted sofas,
18 June 2013, 12:13
Exciting things happen when I’m reunited with my blogging babe posse… And our next rendezvous will be no exception!
In addition to teaching Blogcademy classes in New York and Minneapolis (yay! I can’t wait to visit the Twin Cities!), we’re also going to be conducting another livestream so that YOU can get your questions answered.
Don’t know what a livestream is? It’s a live broadcast that you can view through your computer… And it’s awesome.
Our last event in Portland was a wicked success, with lots of questions, plenty of laughs, and over 1,000 viewers! You know you wanna be a part of it…
And what’s on the table? The three of us will be talking about some of the lessons we’ve personally learned from teaching The Blogcademy… And there are a lot of them!
The blogosphere is evolving at warp speed, and if you’re afraid to move with the times, you get left behind. We’re going to talk about some trends we’re noticing, as well as discuss the changes we’re going to be making to our own blogs.
We each run our businesses very differently, and this is your chance to get some insight on how we do it… As well as get some ideas to steal for yourself!
After that, we’ll be taking your questions! You’re more than welcome to submit them in advance, but we’ll be answering ‘em on the fly, too. (If you can’t attend the live event, but will be watching the recording later, we recommend submitting your questions ahead of time!)
Tickets are a paltry $7 and you can watch it live or at a later date, as many times as you like. What could be better than that?!
We can’t wait to beam into your living room… And as always, if you have any questions about the event, hit us up on Twitter!
The future is now!
13 May 2013, 11:39
The first time I visited Austin, I fell promptly in love. It’s one of the coolest cities in the world… And that’s why I’m extra-excited to announce that we are bringin’ The Blogcademy to Austin this August!
The Blogcademy: Austin will be held at Vuka, a gobsmackingly beautiful and unique co-working space. I can’t wait to go back, wear cowboy boots, listen to some country music and eat some amazing food!
That’s not all, either: we are also pleased to have added a second Melbourne date — that puppy sold out fast! — and to let you know that our venue in Minneapolis is the ultra-cool Public Functionary. Good stuff!
New York City
As always, we’re offering an earlybird special for Austin and Melbourne for the first three days, so be sure to snap up your ticket with the quickness!
And remember: we offer a scholarship to every single class! The details are at the bottom of our FAQ!
If you somehow missed it, and don’t know what I’m talking about, The Blogcademy is a two-day bootcamp for blogger babes. You can read all about our curriculum, get answers to your frequently asked questions, read some testimonials and watch a video all about it!
11 May 2013, 18:37
Los Angeles was the class that nearly didn’t happen. About a month before we were due to teach in Hollywood, I was in New York City, walking along 5th Avenue, when an email pinged up on my phone. It was from Shauna, and it said, “Bad news: the LA venue have just told us they’re double-booked, and can’t host our class.”
The adrenaline surge was enormous. We immediately sprung into problem-solving mode. Within a couple of minutes, I was on my phone, chatting to potential venues and asking for information. This is always the most difficult part of doing a workshop: finding a great space. But soon, we had discovered a space — McCadden Studio — which looked even more like our style than the first place.
On the morning of class, when we walked in the door, we were immediately psyched! McCadden Studio is such a cool, psychedelic space. It’s a photo studio, so the center of it is enormous, seamless and white, but the rest of the building is decorated it with retro signs, old toys, and mid-century furniture. We fell in love with the owner, Ron, too. We came to think of him as a kind of greaser guardian angel!
You have to remember that when things appear to be going “wrong”, there is always a silver lining!
“The Blogcademy is the best investment I’ve ever made in myself.” Paige
Our Californian babes showed up bright and early, and soon it was time to kick off the weekend!
We loaded ‘em up with workbooks and goodie bags, plied them with Zevia soda and offered them cupcakes. Over the next two days, we watched as their nerves melted away, and they went from being strangers to becoming friends.
As always, we were delighted by our Blogcadettes’ style. It’s true that The Blogcademy is the perfect excuse to bust out your favourite dress and a very special pair of shoes! From sparkly Betsey Johnson kicks to turquoise star crowns, from banana-shaped necklaces to vintage shift dresses, they were a fantastically colourful gaggle.
“So, I have a list of about 50 things I want to fix/improve/write/edit on my blog over the coming months…” Patty
Blogcademy-themed manicures are always encouraged, too, and you should know for any future dates that we definitely give prizes for anyone who makes the effort like this! I mean, how could we not? We’d be the meanest headmistresses in the world!
What a wonderful bunch they were. Paige, who read tarot cards for Kat and I, brought her own teacup all the way from San Francisco. Danielle, our scholarship winner, made us smile with her totally on-brand pastel aesthetic. Kandee made me laugh until tears rolled down my face, and Erika handed me an advanced copy of her book which I devoured on the flight home! Suzy Mae and Sarah had an impromptu photoshoot in the alley outside, and Vivienne put her nekomeme ears on my head! Tiffany put us all to shame with her incredible styling, and Adri came all the way from Mexico City!
You know, it’s funny. When we started The Blogcademy, we didn’t want the branding to be so over-the-top feminine that men were put off. But as time goes on, and as classes fill up and sell out, we realise that no matter what we do, we are girls’ girls! Sure, there might be a dude in class… But probably not. It’s probably going to be a Babe Party™. There will be dresses and perfume and someone will be wearing badass hot pink lipstick. Someone will almost definitely compliment you on your shoes and you might get a crush on the girl sitting next to you.
I kinda love that. In fact, I love that a LOT. I am so into bringing women together and the unique, fantastic things that happen when we’re bouncing ideas off one another. There is a quickening as we all meet up in the same mental space. It’s magical.
“Being in the room with these three women made me want to sing! What happens when three very individual, self-actualized women stand in front of the room is that everyone in it gets zapped with energy. They have a way of creating a space where, first of all, everyone is invited to be themselves completely and fully; and second, where you feel loved. You just feel like all of those little ideas budding in your brain are welcome — these women invite them to the party, and treat them like the guests of honor.” Sarah
During class, we’re always thinking about how we can make it bigger, better, more bombastic. In the middle of lunch on day one, as Shauna and I stood on line for a couple of salads and skull-sized coffees, we realised what would make things better: CUPCAKES!
Yep, as luck would have it, there was a Baked cupcake shop just around the corner from McCadden Studio… So before long, we were stumbling back to the space with three dozen assorted treats. And while cupcakes may not be as cool and zeitgeisty as they were, say, five years ago, trust me when I say that most people will not pass ‘em up!
Needless to say, we sailed into the second half of class on an epic sugar high!
“Shauna, Kat, and Gala were seriously entertaining, hilarious, attentive, positive, welcoming and a great example of truly “living your bliss.” It made me not only want to be their friend, but also want to have more friends that were so deeply in-line with similar passions and career aspirations!” Jenna
On day two, we surprised Kat with a birthday cake, and made the class sing her happy birthday… She went as pink as her hair! Then we posed in an alleyway for our class photo, before collectively running inside to make the absolute most of Snapden, a killer LA photobooth rental company!
We absolutely flew through the second day, and before we knew it, we were taking our very last questions! Karyn presented Kat with an enormous birthday bottle of gin, and we all milled about sipping gin and tonics as we answered some final questions, posed for photos and hugged goodbye.
“Mini-Blogcademy-marketplaces have begun to spring up, with women contracting women to help program, strategize, design, photograph, model for, and promote one another’s blogs. This, for me, is the interesting part. I love to watch commerce thrive in its own little ecosystem— and when this occurs, you’re doing something right.” Suzy Mae
Look at those cuties! We had such a good time with these girls (and a couple of honorary dudes), and were so impressed by their savvy. L.A. was one of the most go-getting classes we’ve had so far, and we just know that we’re going to see BIG things from them!
“I don’t know if this is even intentional, but I think this girls just nailed it in terms of having a blogging-multidisciplinary group working together and having constant feedback… this was amazingly inspiring, incredibly rewarding… nothing compares to actually be there and exchange knowledge!” Adri
Really, it’s not an experience you can put into words. Maybe this video — sent over by our aforementioned greaser guardian angel, Ron — will give you a better idea?!
“I headed into Blogcademy without any questions prepared, any expectations + hoping to make a few friends. I walked away INSPIRED, completely blown away and so happy to learn from such fabulous women.” Ting
Of course, just like every class that came before, our goodie bags were stuffed to the brim with an assortment of fun treasures…
Crown And Glory supplied the ears…
Moorea Seal decked us out with jewels…
Saturday Sequins supplied a little extra sparkle…
Mr Yen handed out hand-cut greeting cards…
Basik 855 gave everyone a pouch, perfect for holding business cards or elusive laundry quarters!
We were all able to transform our shoes with clips from Head Full Of Feathers!
Classic Hardware makes killer art-themed jewellery, and they gave us a few pieces as prizes!
Twinkie Chan gave everyone a Blogcademy coffee cozy… !
And Margravine and Sew Mary Ann added a literal glittery bow on top!
“My time at The Blogcademy was beyond words. I can try to describe the whole experience, but I don’t think I’d ever be able to truly capture the magic of it all in just the right way. No photos or text do it proper justice, it is really something that just needs to be experienced, so if you have been thinking about joining in on the world tour, I encourage you to take the leap and sign up. It’s a two-day workshop, but the community that results from those two days continues to live on. We are all helping each other to learn, to grow, and to be our best selves. I’m officially inspired; I’m ready to take this thing to a new level!” Danielle
And hey, I hate to be a tease… But we’re announcing something exciting on Monday! Ooh la la! What could it possibly be? You’re just going to have to wait… You’re following us on Twitter, right?!
Always missing Los Angeles,
Photographs thanks to Milou and Olin.
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