I had been dreaming up hosting a blogger brunch for local influencers and shop owners for quite some time and my dream finally came to fruition last weekend. There is nothing I love more than building a community of local moms and bloggers with similar lifestyles and mindsets. As moms and businesswomen, we need a tribe or sorts or a squad of women that will support and encourage each other. Plus I love making new friends whether it’s in the virtual world or in the human flesh world. Social media introduced me to these women and this event enabled us to meet and create a closer bond and friendship with each other.
The brunch took a lot of preparation and started with me picking a date and a location. I wanted the date to be at the end of October for two reasons: one was to honor and incorporate Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the other was to celebrate my one year blog anniversary!
I also knew I wanted the brunch to be somewhere elegant and desirable for guests so I chose The Omni La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad. Growing up in San Diego, this resort is familiar to me and has been a home away from home for a long time and one of my favorite resorts in the area. https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/san-diego-la-costa I knew exactly what to expect as far as pricing, menu and food options, and even the view we would have of the beautiful golf course and rolling hills during our meal. My first call was to the restaurant manager to reserve the date and work with catering on the guest count in case it exceeded 15 guests and required a prix fix menu.
I then contacted local shop owners asking them to sponsor the event with swag for the gift bags. I had previously worked with Weestructed and 2LeggedMermaid and both shop owners are incredible women so I asked them first and luckily they both said yes!
You can shop Weestructed here https://www.weestructed.com and follow them on Instagram here https://www.instagram.com/weestructed/ I had been a personal fan of this shop for a long time before I ever created my own blog and when I was finally able to collaborate with them for the first time I was estatic. I also had the opportunity to meet the shop owner in person for the first time at a local birth and baby fair months and months ago and since then our friendship has grown personally and professionally. I own so many amazing products including a Raise Good Humans t-shirt https://www.weestructed.com/collections/big-humans/products/raise-good-humans-crew-tee and a Growing Tiny Humans is Exhausting maternity t-shirt https://www.weestructed.com/collections/big-humans/products/growing-tiny-humans-maternity-tee a Raising Tiny Humans is Exhausting travel mug https://www.weestructed.com/collections/tchotchke/products/raising-tiny-humans-is-exhausting-travel-mug as well as a few retired items. They also have items for teachers, babies, toddlers, and dads, too! And you can check out their blog here http://blog.weestructed.com PLUS, you can win the swag bag items from this shop too as I have partnered with the shop owner to give two lucky winners a mug and a keychain that all the guests received at the event. Details on Instagram TOMORROW!
You can shop 2LeggedMermaid here http://www.2leggedmermaid.com and follow them on Instagram here https://www.instagram.com/2leggedmermaid/ I have had the fortunate opportunity to be a brand enthusiast for 2LeggedMermaid over the past summer and was able to purchase many items from their store, my favorite being their hats. I own multiple hats, a tank, and various drinkware and use all of them on a regular basis. And just last weekend, I was finally able to meet the shop owner in person for the first time at a local handmade market. To shop the mermaid scale heart tank I own click here http://www.2leggedmermaid.com/collections/womens-apparel/products/mermaid-scale-heart-tank To shop my favorite mermaid hat click here http://www.2leggedmermaid.com/collections/womens-hats/products/mermaid-gliding-hat-adult-1 Plus there is $5 flat rate domestic shipping and FREE SHIPPING on all domestic purchases of $75!
I then contacted a new friend, the owner of Tubby Todd, which I had recently met at a local pop up event and luckily she was quick to say yes as well. You can shop Tubby Todd here http://tubbytodd.com and follow on Instagram here https://www.instagram.com/tubbytodd/ Tubby Todd is known for their natural skin products. I personally own their Mama Ginger and Lime 100% Natural Hand Crème and their 100% Natural Shea Butter and Mint Dream Cream and both are amazing products. They also have new travel kits, multiple bundles, hair and body wash, bubble bath, belly balm, nursing salve, and more for mamas and babies! You get FREE shipping on all orders over $50 and you can save 10% off your next order by using the code TUBBYTODDFRIEND.
Lastly I took the chance with a new shop I hadn’t worked with before and asked the owners of Bliss & Baker and they thankfully said yes, too. You can shop their sweet treats here http://blissandbaker.com and follow on Instagram here https://www.instagram.com/blissandbaker/ I love that this shop is made up of a mother daughter duo that love to bake together. The salty caramel crispie that I tried in the swag bag was soft, chewy, and more delicious than I can even describe in words. They also have sugar cookie, el churro, vanilla bean, peanut butter, coconut caramel, and brown rice salty caramel crispies. Seriously they are life changing and you have to try one or a dozen for yourself. Plus you can get FREE shipping on orders over $75!
Next I created a list of local bloggers and shop owners to invite to the event. I wanted my first event to be intimate so I kept the list small to less than 20 invites. I am usually a more the merrier type of person and love to create large events and invite everyone I possibly can, but wasn’t sure how the outcome would be and how much interest there would be in the event so instead I reached out to the 20 or so potential guests on social media and email and asked them to save the date.
Next I contacted local professional photographer Chrissy Walther Photo to take professional photos of the event. I wanted to capture as many moments as possible but also enjoy the event and not be responsible for taking photos myself. I wanted to be in the moment and also knew that, as bloggers, we would all appreciate photos that we could post and repost on our blogs and social media platforms. To see her portfolio, reserve a photo shoot, and or learn more click here http://www.chrissywphoto.com and to follow on Instagram click here https://www.instagram.com/chrissywphoto/
Shortly once I had the date, location, swag sponsors, and photographer confirmed, I contacted Loved Baby Designs to create a custom invitation. The shop owner made various edits for me (which was more than appreciated) and was so kind, patient, flexible, and easy to work with. She was also very quick and got back to me usually within the same day. Everything is made to order and can be sent via digital copy and or printed and sent to you! To shop her Etsy store, click here https://www.etsy.com/shop/LovedBabyDesigns?ref=search_shop_redirect and to shop the invitation I picked shop here https://www.etsy.com/listing/274759140/brunch-invitation-printable-digital-file?ga_search_query=brunch&ref=shop_items_search_1
Then it was time to send the invitations out to all the invitees and I was very nervous. I had the same feeling you get as a child (or parent when hosting a party for your children) where you hope at least someone shows up and wants to attend! I was so scared that no one would want to come because the majority of the people I invited I had never met or even spoken to before! I was very fortunate that I had the majority of the guests I invited say yes and overall had approximately 14 RSVP’s.
The night before the event, I bought pink gift bags for the swag in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and stuffed them full of goodies including a Working Class Mom mug and a Raising Tiny Humans is Exhausting key chain from Weestructed, https://www.weestructed.com a natural bath product sample from Tubby Todd, http://tubbytodd.com a mermaid beverage holder from 2LeggedMermaid, http://www.2leggedmermaid.com and salty caramel crispies from Bliss & Baker http://blissandbaker.com I also added some of my personal brand swag including a Parentologist pen and post-it pad!
Then came the day of the event!!! You never know how an event is going to go until you are there but it ended up being more perfect than I imagined. Everyone was so sweet and outgoing and we ended up talking for hours like we had been friends for years! I learned so much from these women and was so appreciative that they took time away from their families and children to attend. And it was such a privilege to meet them all in person as I had personally been following them on social media for a while. We ordered breakfast and introduced ourselves and then networked, as well as shared professional ideas and tips as well as stories about our children. We then heard the lovely and talented Katie Sabin from Just Add Sunshine Inc. speak about what its like to have a successful business, be a mom, and how to balance it all. To shop her store visit https://www.etsy.com/shop/JustAddSunshineInc?ref=search_shop_redirect and to follow her on Instagram click here https://www.instagram.com/justaddsunshineinc/?hl=en
I had also planned to speak about my experience with breast cancer but we were having so much fun getting to know each other we ran out of time. To read my story, click on this link that explains my story on my blog http://theparentologist.com/lets-talk-about-dcis-the-unknown-breast-cancer/
I also asked guests to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to San Diego Rady Children’s Hospital http://www.rchsd.org and or a bag of food/cans for the San Diego Food Bank http://sandiegofoodbank.org I graciously collected items for both from the event that I will deliver within the month.
I can truly say that it was a successful event and that I genuinely made new friends. I am humbled by the turnout and the positive response I had from the event. It definitely wouldn’t have been possible without the shop sponsors, everyone that attended, and our amazing photographer that highlighted the entire event. One rewarding aspect was when I starting posting photos of the event on social media I had many local mom bloggers and shop owners ask when my next event was so they could also attend! I will definitely throw another event soon and maybe even branch out and go to a different city in the future as well! Except next time I won’t be 9 months pregnant! Stay tuned!!!