Tuesday, February 9, 2010

{my story of Blissdom}

It's been over 24 hours and I feel like I'm rested enough to type out the awesome-ness from the weekend. I'm back from BlissDom, back from all the fun of finally meeting some incredibly great blog friends.

Zack was a true Prince Charming and picked me up from the airport. You see, I took the Light Rail {Minneapolis' electric train} to the airport Thursday morning. He decided I deserved to get picked up from the airport this time around. And it was soooooooooooo nice :)

Once we were done jumping up and down in excitement over my trip, he asked, So, how was it?!

The following is a recap of what I shared with Z...


I walked off the plane and into the Nashville airport and listened to some voice-mails from my roommates: Let us know when you get here; can't wait to meet you!

I knew immediately we were going to have a great time. First off, they had southern accents and when they said "Gussy" it was all I could do but fall to their feet and listen ask they spoke. Just kidding. Sort of {they really did have southern accents}! Really, the real reason I knew we'd have a great time is because they were so welcoming!

I met two at the airport, the third at the hotel. After we had dropped our bags off in our room we went down to register for the conference.

Guess who I saw?!

, Emily @ Chatting at the Sky, Melissa @ The Inspired Room. And MckMama. And Lisa Leonard. And, and, and. So many great women!!!

I walked right up to all of them with a big smile on my face and said, Hi! I'm Gussy! And then we all hugged. And it was so great. Amen.

I could have gone home right then.
Kind of.

The evening continued on with a Cocktail Party and "more meeting and greeting". It was sooo fantastic. I loved having a mental list of people I wanted to meet. And, I have to admit, I loved that a few people sought me out and introduced themselves to me.

I can't even explain how awesome that felt.

Friday morning started with breakfast with the team of (in)courage writers and contributors. Ahhhh, bliss! A few of the girls knew I was coming {*cough* Nester and Lindsey), but it was a huge, successful surprise.

They all seemed to love the Gussy/(in)courage bags :)

The team of (in)courage writers and contributors.

Me and Nester

The Keynote speaker blew away my ruffles {almost}. Kevin Carroll spoke of his Red Rubber Ball and
"Re-Discovering Play: Bringing Fun and Passion to Your Word…and Life."

Talk about crying, laughing, and being inspired. When his speech was over, I wanted him to keep talking, it was that GREAT! It became very concrete that sewing is my passion. It never seems like work, never ever. I love to sew {play} and Kevin's lesson on playing meant a lot.

The rest of the weekend winds around meeting even more great women, lots of great sessions, and hanging with my roommates/meeting new gals :)

Oh, and have I mentioned that I gathered up some courage to ask a question at two of the sessions?! Yes, yes I did. {Insert stomach twisting here.} I thought to myself, I can't go to BlissDom and not ask a single question. I have to make my hubby and family proud! Hah :)

This session I peeped-up in was on Leveraging Social Media to Build Your Business. I asked, I have a full-time job in addition to sewing. What's a good way to divide my time to make sure I'm building-up my social media? Or something similar ;)

And then they answered my question.

But the second question... Oh... You are going to like this...

This particular session was on niche blogging. I wanted to ask The Experts if they had any tips for dividing up my blog posts between Gussy as a person and Gussy as a sewer girl.

As soon as the mic was handed to me I was like "GUSSY, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!" I wanted to sit back down so badly. Then I started asking my question. Then The Nester said something like, Oh, tell us who you are...? {wink}

I had to say it out loud...

I am Gussy.

And then my brain can hardly remember what happened next. In fact, just typing it is making me a little nervous. Nester started talking directly to me. Then Rachel Matthews did. Then Sommer Poquette gave me some tips. Then The Nester did, again. Then Jennifer Schmidt spoke to me.

And somewhere in between all of that "private", yet publicly-discussed conversation, someone in the audience {hello, room of 200 people!} said, Ohhhh, you're Gussy?! What's your blog?!

And soon enough I found myself saying into the mic, Hello. Yes, I'm Gussy {blushing}. My blog is www.maggiewhitley.com --- W-H-I-T-L-E-Y.

The panelists keep talking and I keep thinking, Remember what they're saying, remember what they're saying. And I so did not, but thankfully Nester repeated it to me later. Thankfully :)

And as I'm sharing all this with Zack in the car, then later at home, he kept saying, OH MY GOSH pretty much as loud as he can. Yet we're in the car so it was super loud. And I was so tired from waking up at 4 am Sunday to meet him in Minneapolis by 10:30 am... But he was just soooooo excited for me, and I love him so much for being excited with me :) Yeow!

So the mic was handed back, I sat down, and the conference went on...

Friday night there was an (in)courage beach party. Met some more fabulous women there.

Saturday afternoon I met a blog reader, Bailey. She lives near Nashville so she drove over to the hotel and we hugged, talked, and then took a quick pic:

Saturday night I ate dinner with some new friends, including a blogger from my home town!!!

Then, late Saturday night, while I should have been sleeping, I was talking. Darn Gussy, talkin' away with her roomies. I couldn't fall asleep, and we were having so much fun... :)

Most of the time I was at BlissDom felt like a dream.

{End re-cap of my trip to Zack.}


I left for BlissDom with a small list of goals. While I didn't reach them all, and let's be honest, that is OK!, I did come home with a handful of ideas/advice and lots of new friends. I had so much fun that I took three naps yesterday when I came home. Plus, I slept a full-nights rest. Plus, I am ready for bed right now. Hah! :)

Aside from personal business goals, I was blessed to meet {in person!} my friend Lindsey with The Pleated Poppy. We both love to sew and yes, we both make ruffled zipped pouches. But we also make many other items that are unique from one another. Most importantly we share a common understanding to just be friends and support each other.

It's just so cool :)

I'm very much looking forward to this week where I can really focus on some of the ideas I jotted down while at the conference.

One point, shared by Melissa at The Inspired Room, was that I needed to change my Twitter handle from @maggiewhitley to @GussySews. It's pretty clear that at least a handful of people have heard of Gussy by now. So by changing it, I'm allowing more people to connect with me.

*If you already follow me on Twitter, this name change won't affect you at all. But if you're looking for me, be sure to visit me at www.twitter.com/gussysews -- my old Twitter handle doesn't exist anymore.

Someone at the conference asked me, What's your blog? and it just clicked {with Melissa's help} that no one knows that Maggie Whitley is the girl behind Gussy. They mostly know me as Gussy.

So for repetition purposes, you can type www.gussysews.com and that will bring you to my blog, but you can still find me by typing www.maggiewhitley.com :)

the crazy amazing Opryland hotel + my lovely ruffle laptop bag :)

Everyone at Blissdom received a Lands End tote bag with the Blissdom logo embroidered on it. Inside was PACKED FULL of amazing things, like a water bottle, Cover Girl make-up, chocolate, and a special necklace from Lisa Leonard Designs {see the above photo!}.

I feel like the most exciting/impacting events of Blissdom were from meeting the people that were there. I really do. It was so soul-soothing to meet my blog friends. I loved it. Gussy loved it.

Yeow ;)


Mandy said...

Great recap, Girlie!! I am so glad you made such great connections!! Can't wait to see what comes of it all! :) Miss you bunches!!

Renee•Candy Stick Lane said...

What a fantastic recap! Im thrilled for you!!! XOXO

Laura said...

I loved reading your fabulous Blissdom stories. I would love to go someday and meet the bloggy folks I look up to (like you!). By the way, your laptop bags that you made for (in)courage are amazing!

Meg said...

I was smiling from ear to ear reading this post Maggie, I am so happy that you had such an amazing, inspiring, fun time at Blissdom, maybe next year or the year after that you will see me there(fingers crossed)Like I said in my previous comment, you played a major role in the opening of my Etsy shop even though we have never met, never actually talked, I was thinking of you and your success, that you too were just a girl with a sewing machine with no clue how to use it, and I am just a girl with a pair of knitting needles just learning how to use them! Thanks Maggie! Take care and have a wonderful, blissful day!

Jacky {The Sweetest Petunia} said...

Oh, Gussy! How amazing for you. I am SO glad that you had this oppurtunity. Learning new things makes life more exciting, huh? ;)I will admit, I missed your blogging over the weekend, so welcome back!

Jacky {The Sweetest Petunia} said...

P.S. I was talking to Hayden {my dear sweetheart} about how all of you lovelies were gone at a blogging conference:

H: "They have blogging conferences?"

J: "Yep! And I really, really, really want to go someday..."

H: "Oh, okay. Well, I'll go with you."

J: "Oh, good! I really didn't want to go by myself..." {I'm super shy in real life, and not fond of doing new things.}

H: "And you can walk right up to all those ladies you want to meet and say 'Hi! I'm The Sweetest Petunia!'"

That just reminded me of you introducing yourself as Gussy. I would be terrified, though! But Hayden's super sweet and really supportive, and I loved it! :D

Green & Clean Mom said...

Adorable and I'm so glad you spoke up and asked a question; that is why we were there! I hope we helped, email or tweet me anytime! =)

kaylin rose and mara anne said...

Great recap of your wonderful weekend. Sounds like you had a lot of fun and meet some wonderful women. I can't wait to hear more.

Valerie said...

That is so exciting!! I'm so glad you had a wonderful trip. Totally jealous you got to meet Bailey though haha!

I'm hoping to go next year :)

Corrie said...

Loved reading your Blissdom experience! I am totally going to be there next year!!!

wishful nals said...

sounds wonderful! xo!

Laryssa Herbert said...

I had such fun meeting you...a dream come true!

Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

Hi, Gussy/Maggie! :) I'm so glad I got to meet you, and I loved this recap! I especially loved how excited your husband was for you - so sweet!

MelaKamin said...

Oh, I loved your recap and your hubby's excitement ... sweet. But, I'm super bummed that we didn't get to meet. You work is beautiful and I was in the leveraging session when you asked the question - good for you! My roomie & I are from the Twin Cities too - would've loved to have chatted. We might've been on the same flight back home too! Maybe we can connect locally. Blessings ~ Mela {@MelaKamin} & Chris Ann {@LoveFeastTable}

Cherry Tree Lane said...

I loved hearing about it. So wish I could have gone.

I'm just green.

Maggie Whitley {Gussy} said...

ya'll are so sweet! thank you for these comments :)

and yes, for those of you that want to go to Blissdom next year: GO! I want to meet you all :)

bailey said...

I'm so glad I got to meet you!! I'm really hoping to go next year and we can hang out more!! Yay!

Maggie Whitley {Gussy} said...

bailey, you are a doll! i loved meeting you, too :)

Click Clack Mom said...

What a lovely recap of the weekend! I am so happy that you were able to accomplish so much in just a few days. Your passion for sewing is awesome and your curious spirit is inspiring! So happy we got to meet.

Josey's mom said...

aiming to be there next year!

Jenny86753oh9 said...

I wish I could leave a verbal message like on an answering machine cause you'd hear me yelling at you..."I dew nought have an accccient, Guuuuhssy!" ;-)

JanMary said...

Loved your Blissdom recap.

As Nashville is not exactly close to Ireland I can but dream that some year I will make it!