The IFB Conference

Balancing Act: Business & Blogging Panelists: Natalie Suarez, Natalie off Duty • Annie Tomlin, BellaSugar • Aimee Song, Song of Style • Kristina, Pretty Shiny Sparkly • Ari Goldberg, StyleCaster • Coco Rocha, Oh So Coco

It was such an honor (and a blast) to be asked to return to the Independent Fashion Bloggers conference as a panelist on the amazing “Balancing Act: Business & Blogging” topic. (Last season I moderated the panel, Working With Brands Gracefully.)

I felt like such a little nobody among so many greats at times, but whenever I tried to make myself coherent on stage, I hope I was able to convey a different perspective as a blogger–that you can blog for the fun of it, for the pure passion of it, you can do anything you want and still keep your day job.

I know everybody wants to blog professionally full time (okay, maybe I’m exaggerating, but there were over 300 bloggers in attendance and all serious about fashion blogging)…but I wanted to share and show that you can be a professional blogger without quitting your job. And as we all learned from Ari’s sage if blunt advice: most professional bloggers cannot and do not support themselves solely via their blog. They have side projects, off-shoots, design deals, book deals, etc.

All in all, it was an amazing experience. I really enjoyed chatting with my favorite supermodel/blogger/activist, Coco Rocha, and her sweet (and handsome) husband James, before the panel. Ari Goldberg was so full of energy, even before we took to the stage, and the passion he has for what he does exudes out of his pores, I swear. The audience (and his co-panelists) lapped up every word and wanted more. Call me crazy, but people were tweeting that he is the “Ari” that inspired the eponymous character on the TV show Entourage!

Pre-IFBcon Party

Mad Props, Jennine!

Thank you to Jennine and all the amazing IFB staff for putting on an amazing event. I’m super bummed I couldn’t stay longer–I was flitting between Lucky FABB, IFBcon, the hotel, and…the airport. We had to catch an evening flight out of JFK and traffic to the airport was a nightmare with all the rain. But I’ll be back, NYC, I’ll be back…in November, for the MNG by Mango event at jcpenney!

Let me take a minute, y’all.

I would like to send out a thank-you from the bottom of my heart to all the readers and bloggers that came up to me and introduced themselves. I had such a lovely time chatting with you all and have enjoyed checking out each and every one of your lovely blogs (hey, that’s what business cards are for!). Thank you for making me feel less nervous and more like a million bucks. You really made my day, and I could choke up for all the gratitude I feel in my heart right now. Okay, enough!!!

If you’re in the Florida area, I’ll be making an appearance on a panel at the Tampa Blogger Brilliance conference this Saturday–hope to see you there!

Photos: via IFB and my own

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  1. 09.15.2011 / 12:02 am

    After reading this, now I am really kicking myself for not just having the guts to come say hi to you at Lucky FABB. Lesson learned…and hopefully I get another chance! Your blog was one of the first I started reading and it was largely a part of what inspired me to start mine. Thanks for everything you do! 🙂

  2. 09.15.2011 / 12:28 am

    Although I couldn't attend the conference, I was able to watch the live stream. Everyone had SO much fabulous information to share, including you! I will be attending Blogger Brilliance on Saturday, can't wait to see you there!

  3. ChellBellz
    09.15.2011 / 12:29 am

    yay! I was so happy to see you on there your blog has come such a long way and it was great seeing you on that panel.

  4. Stephanie
    09.15.2011 / 5:47 am

    I love your blog and loved the advice you gave on the panel. I am a new fashion blogger and am still in the process of building up and trying to promote my site to gain lots of followers and readers and have been struggling latley with whether or not I could go this full-time someday. Your advice eased my mind.

    I know you are crazy busy right now, but sometime could I email you with some questions I have about fashion blogging?

    • ChellBellz
      09.15.2011 / 12:32 am

      Steph, can i suggest, making sure you are doing this for the right reasons. There is a book out called Blogging your way to the front row, by Yuli she was a panelist on there as well at the conference it answers a ton of questions about what you want to know. I haven't finished reading it, but the point is if you are orginal, and you show people that you are blogging not just for " followers' and people believe that it's what you like to do then they will come along. It doesn't sugar coat anything either. There are a few that go out and make as full time bloggers. I wish the best of luck to you though.

    • 09.15.2011 / 10:51 am

      You can definitely email me stephanie – it's very hard for me to answer long emails though, so you have been warned…lol — also, I recommend you first check out my "Secrets to Successful Fashion Blogging" here:
      It might have all the answers you need! <3

  5. 09.15.2011 / 10:08 am

    The IFB Conference: Balancing Act: Business & Blogging Panelists: Natalie Suarez, Natalie off Duty • Annie Tomli…

  6. storybooknotes
    09.15.2011 / 11:18 am

    Congrats! Not that you need it, but that is a great honor, as you well know. I'm sure you did great!

  7. 09.15.2011 / 11:38 am

    Gosh you are one busy lady!!! But as long as bloggers love what they're doing then why stop? I know for myself there is no way I'd ever be able to give up my day job since my blog is no where near where it should be for excepting sponsors, but I do toy with the idea daily. I probably put in about 2 1/2 to 3 hours into it daily. That's like a part-time job in of itself. But I do it for the passion I have for the community:) I only wish my day job would've given me the day off for the IFB conference. I hope to make it in February!!

  8. 09.15.2011 / 2:58 pm

    CONGRATS, sounds like you did great and had fun!! You're participating in so many great things lately, it's exciting!

  9. 09.15.2011 / 5:38 pm

    I am so sad I missed seeing you. I love your blog, it is such and inspiration to me. I hope to see you on November when you are back in this lovely city, NYC 🙂

  10. 09.15.2011 / 5:50 pm

    This is such a great message. I have a job that I love and it has nothing at all to do with fashion. I don't think I would want to blog professionally or go into fashion as a career even if I could – I just love them both as hobbies. That seems to be a point of view that isn't represented very often in fashion blogging at the moment!

  11. Christine
    09.15.2011 / 6:12 pm

    Hi Kristina,
    I think actually Ari Emanuel is who Ari Gold's character is based on. I got schooled by my coworkers who are Entourage fans and wanted to let you know!

    • 09.15.2011 / 6:52 pm

      Oh man! That's totally not what everyone was saying on twitter at the conference! Okay, clearly I'm going to do a little research on this now…LOL

  12. 09.16.2011 / 2:54 am

    I'm sure you were incredible! I only wish I could have been there!

    • 09.16.2011 / 3:47 am

      Thanks alyson! can't wait to be there! p.s. thank you for including one of my outfit photos in your topknot roundup! for some reason the pic wasn't linking to my post, though, just FYI.
      see you at blogger brilliance!

  13. 09.16.2011 / 5:24 pm

    This was by far my favorite panel of the event, because I feel like keeping that balance is always so, so difficult! There were so many great voices, opinions, and thoughts to be shared that mad props should go to Grechen for moderating it– it was a very passionate panel but she managed to keep the conversation going, not let it get too off target, and gave everyone the chance to talk!
    I was glad to see you at the panel again, because you're such a great source of info for the IFB community!

    • 09.19.2011 / 12:33 am

      Thank you so much Ashe, you are so, so, so sweet! I think grechen did a fantabulous job moderating as well – she was great at redirecting us when we need it! LOL
      I'm counting down the days til I see YOU on a panel, Ashe, you are a wonderwoman writer on IFB! I don't catch up on the IFB posts often, but I always read yours!

      • 09.19.2011 / 6:31 pm

        I wasn't even worried about redirecting you all… I loved Ari, but as a powerful, opinionated man, I could see his voice easily overpowering everyone else's– and I wanted to hear all the lovely ladies too! So I was glad that there was someone to give everyone a chance!
        I can't wait til I can make it to one of the conferences, even as a participant! I'm hopeful my schedule will make it WERK in February! (Just in time for super cold & snow?) And thank you– that means so, so much to hear, especially from an uber busy lady like yourself! <3

  14. Mimi
    09.17.2011 / 8:14 pm

    Wow, you are one very busy blogger! Mustve been amazing to meet with everyone, I'd really like to attend next year, as I'm sure not only was it fun, but also really inspiring…

  15. 09.17.2011 / 8:20 pm

    It was wonderful to see you at the TBFW Blogger Conference today! I'm glad to add your blog to my reading list – and hopefully see more of those glorious Miu Miu glitter heels :]

  16. 09.19.2011 / 2:13 am

    you were great on the panel! disappointed about the pert though.

    • 09.30.2011 / 3:37 am

      Wendy you make my stomach hurt.
      (because you make me laugh so much)

      that’s a good thing. right?

  17. 09.26.2011 / 9:36 pm

    How exciting! I would really love to attend one of these confrences. I just registered with IFB… do they post information about when and where the confrences take place?

  18. 09.27.2011 / 11:29 pm

    Wow! Congratulations on your speaking engagement. I am not a fashionista but I see you are and you deserve the accolades that you receive.

  19. […] numb to the awkwardness, I guess.So my Miu Miu heels have lived to see another outfit (and another conference). Hey, I’ve gotta get my cost per wear out of these things! They are so incredibly fabulous, […]

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