Last week we hit our very favorite blogger and social media influencer event – Haven Conference and it did not disappoint! This year we loved being able to not only attend but once again take on the role as mentor and help behind the scenes. Haven conference brings together bloggers, instagrammers, and other social media influencers and allows us to take classes, learn, socialize and rub shoulders with our favorite brands. Being a mentor is a great honor. Basically you are a guide for people attending the conference. More on that later.
This year at Haven, we also had another HUGE honor. We were asked to build the conference booth for one of our favorite brands – Behr Paint. Behr is Home Depot’s #1 paint brand and we have shared lots of projects using their stains and paints. To say that we love Behr’s product is an understatement so to create a space that represents the brand to all these bloggers and social medias finest….it was incredibly humbling that they chose us.
THE BEHR BOOTH
We were commissioned to build an outdoor-inspired area that had an area for a small craft and a bar for a happy hour hosted by Behr. This is what we came up with….
We built a striped deck with black & white stripes to give that cabana feel. Over the deck was a black pergola *I’M OBSESSED WITH BLACK PERGOLAS* strung with lots of lights. We also built a fence attached to the pergola posts (very very similar to how we did the fence in our own back yard!) and a bar that had a stenciled design in one of Behr’s 2019 Color Trends – Dragonfly. That bar had a ton of interior storage which was perfect because the Behr folks gave away SO many cans of their new chalk paint and kept all the supplies to make their crafts – a personalized coaster.
During Behr’s Happy Hour, they used the same bar to serve delicious mocktails and cocktails to all the Haven attendees.
I can’t wait to share all the makeovers and builds that we did for this booth so that you can use these ideas in your own spaces. That being said – a giant thank you to Behr for trusting us to create this space. I loved being able to see my vision come to life for this space and I am so grateful to this company.
MENTORING TEAM BOWER
In the last several years we have been mentors several times. The job of mentoring is basically just acting as a guide and a trusted voice in a group of bloggers and social media influencers. We steer the conversation to topics that we don’t get to talk about in the real world….things like algorithms and brand contacts and content calendars. Super exciting stuff. It’s really nothing exciting to anyone that doesn’t have a job in this industry….but it’s something we all benefit from as things change so rapidly in the online world. We also try to encourage all of these people and learn so much ourselves.
In the past, we have met some of the coolest folks through the mentoring program. We feel completely honored that they join “TEAM BOWER” and look up to them and know that they are killing it online!
They also constantly become some of our sweetest friends and it proves everything that I believe to be true….that this world is filled with the kindest souls and I just have to be myself.
Just to brag on some of our past Team Bower members – some of them have gone on to tackle their dreams head on – growing their business, doing this gig full-time, winning awards, becoming mentors themselves and even joining the Haven conference team. They consistently SHOCK us with their comments about how being in our group was so formative for them. The reason it shocks us is because we really don’t do anything except cheer them on. The information we share is readily available and the introductions we make take maybe three minutes. But for them, they tell us how those simple things change the trajectory of their lives.
THAT IS WHY WE MENTOR. And guys….it is an honor for US to be on Team Bower because of these people. They are amazing.
MEETING NEW FRIENDS
Haven is also really fun because I get to meet people in real life that I’ve only ever interacted with online. It’s very similar to when one of my readers comes and introduces themselves. It gets me nervous and fluttered and I am so so excited.
I feel like in the last three years there has been a major influx of new faces especially on Instagram and that allows me to really get to know so many other people! It’s so fun to follow these women and men on my phone and then finally I see them in person. Sometimes it’s shocking….like when I met Jess and she was literally so tiny I could fit her in my pocket!
But all of these people are just simply incredible and so unique! They are even more special in person because the interaction is just so natural.
My favorite times are when the bloggers/influencers bring their spouse….it makes for even more fun because you really get a peek into who they are! One of the funniest moments is when three different guys showed up to the cocktail party wearing basically an identical outfit 🙂 We call this look “Insta-husband”!
And honestly one really great part of doing this gig is just getting to give people a squeeze and tell them that they are doing awesome. I think NO ONE hears that enough in their jobs – no matter if they are a nurse, a teacher, a police officer or a personal trainer. We all benefit from that and I loved being able to tell all these friends YOU ROCK.
SEEING OLD FRIENDS
And meeting new friends is only sweet because I know that soon they will be old friends and I LOVE seeing the same sweet faces over and over each year. They are constant encouragers to me and always are so generous with information and knowledge and just plain KINDNESS.
I know it seems like this is just one big love-fest but honestly….I love my job and I love the people I get to work with and around. These people inspire me, make me laugh, educate me and uplift US ALL. Some of these people have played a crucial role in my blog….given us opportunities that I felt completely undeserving of….and celebrated along side us when it went well.
I am honored to know each and every one of them!
Also some of them just have KILLER fashion sense and I just show up to see what they are wearing 🙂
SOooo what does a day at Haven look like for us? We wake up, get ready, go to the main ballroom and prep check the booth, meet with our mentor group, eat a granola bar, talk to two different brand reps, pop in for the last half of a class, eat lunch, have another mentor meeting, meet with another brand rep at the bar, face time the kids, hit the booths to meet anyone new, make sure the Behr booth is good, try to learn a new toy (aka a power tool) in a booth, make a couple introductions, head upstairs to get changed, head to a brand dinner with friends, eat the yummiest food ever, go back to the hotel, hang in the bar with friends till 3am and then go to bed. It’s exhausting and THE BEST.
We don’t even get to do HALF of what Haven Conference plans – but that is part of the awesome part….we never feel like we left accomplishing nothing.
There are always fun parties planned and cocktail hours and all these amazing events….so even if you are the newest of new, there is something for you!
And lots of people bring their kids and spouses so there are always these random moments of fun. I love hearing when someone just came from the pool into the conference. I don’t know why but it always cracks me up.
This year I was especially excited to meet this girl! Susan is someone that I follow on Instagram (her handle is @kindredvintage ) and I can say that I am a huge fan. Her ability to style a room and her eye for texture in pieces is UNMATCHED. I naturally assumed she was a bit snobby because her style is crazy good. I don’t know why I thought that….but I guess I figured SHE HAD TO KNOW HOW GOOD SHE IS…and that it would naturally go to her head. But to be completely honest….she is so down-to-earth and sweet and kind. I just love her! Also the fact that her and her husband love to eat – well that always bodes well with us Bowers 🙂
Speaking of style – I got to see Brian Patrick Flynn again – THE DESIGNER FOR THE HGTV DREAM HOUSE. Yes. That Brian Patrick Flynn. Let’s all recover from fainting for a moment.
We met many years ago and since then, he has basically conquered the world. He is THE GOAT of the design world and yes….looks like a ten foot tall stylish Clark Kent with a bit of a beard. The world is his dream home and we are just living in it 🙂
The other perk I like to talk about is the fact that when Jeremy and I go to these conferences….we actually eat the most amazing food. I don’t know if it’s because we don’t have kids with us spilling drinks or if it’s because we actually get to eat something when it arrives or because the ambiance is just amazing….but the meals really are one of our favorite parts.
Another highlight for me this year was the fact that Hoover actually brought PUPPIES. They were showing how easy it is to clean up after your pets and so they have live demonstrations. This little guy was just the snuggliest and it made me miss Bear and the kids so so badly.
But hands down the absolute best moment came at the end of the conference. We were breaking down the booth (it was part of the job description) and it either needed to be taken home or put in the donation pile. Honestly I knew that if we put all the pergola parts in the donation pile, it would just get thrown away. It would look like a stack of wood and I felt guilty about considering that. I also knew that I had nowhere to put it back at home.
So as we are considering the options, we see a hotel employee named Juan taking photos of the booth. Apparently he had taken photos of the booth the entire day and as we were taking it apart he started taking closer photos of the way it was constructed. I asked him what he was taking photos of and he replied that he LOVED it and wanted to make one at home. We asked him if he wanted a pergola and his reply was “oh yes.” and so I asked “well do you want THIS pergola?” and he was a bit confused but said yes. So we asked if he had a trailer or a way of getting it home. His eyes lit up!
Five minutes later, he talked to his boss to secure a holding area and had some of his employee friends helping us stack up the lumber for the pergola. Every one was so happy for him and excited that he got this amazing gift! We felt like it was a gift to us because someone would really enjoy the thing we built (and isn’t that what we all want?!). So the deck portions went to the Habit’s ReStore, the pergola went to Juan and all the furnishings went home with us (expect those to be recycled throughout our house!).
We literally could not be more thrilled with this happy ending! It felt like the best option for everyone and Juan even promised that he would send me finished photos so I’m excited to update you later with those 🙂
So that is Haven in a nutshell! I hope that some of you are considering coming next year and if you can – request us for your mentors…..we are gonna beg to do that role again because it is just THE BEST.
And as for all the information for the pergolas and the deck and the bar – all of that is coming SOON! Stay tuned 🙂