The Blogcademy: Portland, aka True Love In The City Of Roses!

The Blogcademy: Portland, aka True Love In The City Of Roses!

The first morning of class always makes our nerves feel like a charm bracelet of plastic skeletons jangling on a chain (as Francesca Lia Block might say). We’re excited, anxious and extra-vigilant. We never know what the class is going to be like, who our students will be, or how it will unfold…

After a few glorious (and slightly debauched) days in Portland, it was finally Saturday morning. We woke up early, piled into cars and headed for our venue, The Cleaners at the Ace. We hadn’t seen it in person, so when we threw open the doors on Saturday, we were beyond delighted. What a gorgeous, open space!

We feel the same way about venues every time: at 8am on Saturday morning, we can’t get over how big it is, and wonder if we’ve overshot the mark. But by the end of the day on Sunday, there are people in every nook and cranny, the space is filled up with joy, and we are amazed.

As soon as we get into the venue, it’s all systems go. We lay out the chairs and goodie bags, we get the projector working, we tie B balloons to chairs and create the sign-in station. There’s never much time to rest; even before the official start time, our babes start to arrive. (It’s like the very opposite of high school!)

“It was one of the most fun and creative experiences I’ve had in a long time.” Sherold

Oh, Portland. What a special city, and that carried over to the class. Our girls were so delightful, with such sweet, gentle energy.

There was Mac Reid, artist and crafty babe, who brought us GALA & KAT & NUBBY prints. Our scholarship winner, Jessica, flew all the way from Arkansas — and it was her first time on a plane! Raye brought us an orchid in Blogcademy colours, and everyone put on their glittery Crown And Glory ears as soon as they found them in the goodie bag. There was even a Kiwi girl, which always makes me so happy!

In addition to 16 hours of talks, activities and Q&A, our blogcadettes practiced their best #bloggerface and vied for rad prizes (including books, Holga cameras and cute branded items!).

“I picked up tips and ideas that left me in a bit of a daze afterward. An excited, floaty daze of Awesomeness. I got great feedback, great ideas and met a bunch of awesome women. I was seriously depressed when I went back to work and sat in my cubicle, which has NO MAGIC WHATSOEVER, and realized that it was all over. I had graduated from The Blogcademy.” Erica

Our Portland class happened over Easter, so it only made sense to fill the room with pastel-coloured chocolate eggs. And Easter isn’t Easter without a major sugar rush — in our world, at least! — so we had a big pink box of Voodoo Doughnuts delivered, too.

Every class is different: sometimes, at the end of day one, we literally cannot move. But like I said, Portland was special. At the end of the first day, we checked into the Ace Hotel, put down our bags, freshened up a smidge, and went out to roam around downtown Portland! We had an exquisite meal at Clyde Commons — say it with me now, truffle popcorn — and then hit up Buffalo Exchange, Anthropologie and Wholefoods.

Our hotel room was divine, with a huge tub, a living room, and a stereo. We fell asleep quickly, and woke up easily in Portland’s morning light.

I had struck it lucky at Buffalo Exchange the night before, and picked up this crazy mod dress, which was a clear choice to teach in. Paired with a Crown And Glory flower crown (which I stole borrowed from Kat that morning), I was ready for day two!

“In other words, it was a workshop full of cute nerdy girl stuff! I loved it. The class was a breath of fresh air. It was the first creative event that I’ve attended that provided an intimate workshop experience which made it was very easy to meet and talk to everyone who attended.” Holly

It’s not The Blogcademy without a whole lot of Kodak moments. So after lunch — and a fresh slick of lipstick — we posed for a class photo. I decided that what the pictures really needed was a dose of bubbles, so we handed a little bottle to everyone in the class. Sitting in the front row, surrounded by laughing babes blowing bubbles, I remember saying, “This is my fantasy! I’m so happy right now!”

The Blogcademy really has a summer camp feel to it. You throw a bunch of strangers who are all passionate about one thing into a room, spend hours together talking, laughing and brainstorming, and then, in a flash, it’s over.

I know I speak for Kat and Shauna when I say that we have met the most wonderful women through teaching this class. There is something truly magical and potent about this kind of in-person creative jamming, which simply cannot be replicated online. There’s just nothing like it.

“It was so put together and full of so many things that will be beneficial to me as I push to be a better blogger and graphic designer. Though my words and photos may not express my full gratitude, I hope that the progress that I make in the upcoming months will show you how well you are doing. Girls, you are not just teaching, you are changing lives! Jessica

The video above demonstrates that, I think. You get a true peek into the atmosphere, the silliness and camaraderie that we create in every class. And you get to hear from some of our blogcadettes, too!

“Overall, between the quality and quantity of the info that Gala, Kat and Shauna share (they really don’t hold back), the beautiful branding they’ve created and the warmth and sparkle of their personalities, these gals have assembled a winning combination. I feel so lucky to have been a part of this and would highly recommend it to anyone looking to get inspired and push their blog to the next level.” Lily

Of course, our sponsors help to make The Blogcademy so very special. We love ’em, our blogcadettes love ’em even more, and I think you will, too!

You can always tell a blogcadette by her sparkly ears… They’re pretty much an essential now. We are 100% in love with Sophie from Crown & Glory for making this possible! (And check out her flower crowns. TOO GOOD.)

IF Ladies sent us a wild and wacky selection of purses, umbrellas and t-shirts… I know umbrellas get a lot of use in Portland!

MARGRAVINE x Sewmaryann made sparkly hair bows/brooches in Blogcademy blue and silver glitter. She is also offering 15% off any purchase in her shop throughout May with the code BLOG15!

Moorea Seal spoiled us rotten with an amazing assortment of jewellery, from necklaces to earrings and bracelets.

Our babe at Head Full of Feathers made sure everyone got a pair of glittery shoe clips. It is, after all, the perfect way to change your heels from drab to fab!

The Pink Samurai supplied everyone with a teal or grey scarf, and since I seem to have caught the plague yesterday, I’ve been snuggled into mine 24/7!

Every blogcadette’s nails looked f- to the abulous thanks to Lex Cosmetics and their excellent chunky glittery nailpolish!

We had greeting cards from the wonderful Mr Yen, and everyone got a rad pouch for trinkets and treasures from Basik 855.

Paige Lavoie sent us teeny-tiny top hats which made us grin! And the immensely badass Paul Jarvis supplied a free digital download of his book, How to Be Awesome Online, for everyone. (It is so great! Essential reading!)

We owe a debt of gratitude to our decor sponsors, too. We fell in love with these teal and pink tassels from The Paper Jar via Cloud Parade, and our photo backdrop was made by Hannah of The Tea Set. Ever since London, we’ve been toting that thing around the world with us… And it’s worth it!

“You’re not only investing in your site, your career as a blogger, and getting some first class help, you’re getting a wealth of inspiration, renewed energy, and some incredible memories. I left the class with the wonderful feeling that anything is possible if you set your mind to it, and that if you love something enough that you absolutely need it in your life, you can have it.” Luna

We are so blessed to be teaching The Blogcademy, to make friends with such extraordinary women, and to travel the world at the same time. And of course, we are so in love with the Made U Look babes, who drove to Portland from Bakersfield (!!!) to shoot our class. Our favourites. For real. Aren’t their photos phenomenal?

So, want to join us? We have seats available for our upcoming classes in NYC, Minneapolis, London, Brisbane and Auckland… Click here for dates and details!

We’re always looking for goodie bag sponsors to contribute and help make our class exceptional! All the info is right here, and we would absolutely love to work with you!

Missing Portland already,