Sara and I were fortunate to spend a quick two days together in New York City this past month for the Better Homes and Garden Stylemaker Celebration. BHG editors invited 75 bloggers from around the country to embark on the city with them for workshops, panels and cocktail parties.
Being in a room full of creatives is a powerful thing. It’s reassuring that following our dream of running a creative site is a shared value of all these women and men. It’s also so utterly inspiring to be surrounded by thinkers, makers and writers. Running our own creative business is a learning process. We’re constantly refining it as our knowledge grows. Opportunities like this event are fruitful in so many ways.
The team at BHG cooked up an amazing day. Highlights for us included a floral arranging workshop with the talented Matthew Robbins, food styling tips from some of the industry’s best – Libbie Summers, Jill Lust and Simon Andrews. Top it off with table setting know-how from the amazing Eddie Ross.
Sara took the flower arranging class and Matthew was amazing! She liked him from the start as he went to art school right down the street from her in San Francisco. Now here is a flower tip that we have to share: trim stems, remove leaves from stem and place each flower one by one in vase while criss-crossing stems. Perfect arrangement everytime!
The hilarious and uber-talented food stylist Libbie Summers was all about keeping it natural, nothing has to be in the perfect place. Nancy Hopkins, BHG’s Senior Deputy Food Editor shared some of her favorite features that she’s worked on with the food stylists. One tip she shared was to start with the whole recipe, then shoot pictures all the way down to one slice of the pie left. This gives you all the options you’re going to need.
The always-entertaining Eddie Ross showed attendees how to dress the perfect holiday table. He admittedly likes to break the rules with his table designs. From vintage flatware to surprising décor, he taught us the value of thinking of silverware, dessert plates and napkins as “jewelry for your table.”
We also got an inside look into the mindset of the editors at the magazine. Stephen Orr just recently took over as editor in chief. He comes with experience from publications such as Martha Stewart Living and Domino. Need we say more? He’s an inspiring person with great vision for print magazines.
The editors of Better Homes and Gardens took to the stage with questions from bloggers. The conversation was insightful and candid. Another insightful panel was the Truth About Getting a Book Deal where book publishers, authors and bloggers answered questions about the truths behind an actual book deal. The final talk featured this year’s BHG Stylemakers – Interior Designers Kishani Perera and Patrick Mele, Ireland’s lifestyle badass Clodaugh McKenna, and Blogger and Cookbook Author Erin Gleeson of the Forest Feast. From following your heart to always keeping a bowl of lemons in the kitchen, these creatives shared their daily inspiration, style icons and creative motivation.
Thank you to Kaelin and the BHG team for organizing such an incredible event. We left the city having made some new friends, feeling recharged and inspired!
photos by (c) Avi Gerver Photography