Sometimes, the universe works in funny ways. Four years ago, I had pretty much given up on having friendships with women. So it’s something of a miracle that now, I not only have the kind of best girlfriend who I can say absolutely anything to and would trust with my life, but that I’ve fostered friendships with women all over the world because of this blog.
Yet, as Alt Summit drew closer, I started having nagging doubts in my mind; the kind that made me a little reticent about throwing myself into such a large group of women. But then, on my layover in Dallas, I met Ez from Creature Comforts, who is so kind and completely genuine. And we were joined by Mackenzie of Design Darling, who cracked me up in the cab on the way to the hotel. Then, I landed in my room, met my roommate Mina of Bohemian Vintage, and every last fear I had went out and evaporated in the fog that hung over Salt Lake. Mina is a rock — one of those people who could talk you down from a panic attack if you were stuck in an elevator.
This board was just too big for me and Mina. Don’t we look fantastically first-day-of-school awkward?
If all I got out of Alt Summit was the reminder that friendships with women are energizing and important and necessary, that would have been enough. But there’s no separating the friendship aspect from the incredible wealth of knowledge that came through the conference, so I got to have my meringue and eat it too.
The parties, which I’d been super nervous about before the trip, were so much fun — as attested by these smile booth shots: (In case you’re wondering, I didn’t actually do any drinking for fear of turning lobster red, so I blame this all on an Alt Summit high.)
Tan IS a Girl with Glasses. So is Mina!
Photo booth love with the most fashionable girl at the party, darling Hilary of Dean Street Society
In the spirit of friendship, here are a few lessons that I learned from some of the loveliest ladies that I met at Alt, which I’ll try to remember next January…or sooner:
From Whitney: If you’re having an emotional moment because you’ve just met one of your blogging heroes, it’s a relief to be approached by a friend (even if that friend has no idea you’re having an emotional moment).
From Gio: You WILL get jet lag if you’re coming in from the East Coast — or, like Gio — Amsterdam. Which is kind of a blessing in diguise. I woke up at 5am, parched, and went in search of a bottle of water. Instead, I bumped into Gio and we had breakfast in the empty (and opulent) Lobby Lounge. In our pajamas. This was one of the most memorable parts of my trip.
From Tan & Adina: Stepping outside of the Alt world, even for just an hour, is really refreshing. Before day two of the conference, we met up for breakfast at the hotel across the street and I swear it made me saner for the rest of the day.
From Melissa: It’s completely possible to throw a fabulous party (she and Lexy threw the Hello Social on opening night!) and still be the most down to earth person. Also, it’s so wonderfully refreshing to have a friend who’s as excited about bumping into you as you are about bumping into them.
This week’s posts were dedicated to sharing what I learned at Alt because I have so many friends who wanted to be there but couldn’t be. The entire time I was there, I was thinking of you guys and hoping to be the carrier pigeon that could bring these lessons back to you. So I hope I at least scratched the surface.
So even though my Alt Summit recap posts are now over, the conference will continue to inspire my work and the world I’m building over here. For those of you who are really tired of hearing about Alt, have no fear! (And thanks for putting up with me.) Recipes and crafts and blog posts about other stuff I love will be back next week — but, hopefully, in a fuller, more magical way.