Last year when DomiCile was still just a dream slowly coming to fruition, I was attending blogger conferences for the fist time. The fact that I’ve never blogged about these before is still crazy to me considering how obsessed I am with having gone. But DomiCile took over and blogging went on the back burner. And here I am a year later pining after an experience I had just a year ago. So, what has me all worked up?
The two conferences I attended were Blogfest and ALT Summit. Or as I like to refer to it, Blogger Heaven. Last year both were held in NYC. Blogfest was held at the Hearst Magazines headquarters which was awesome. The views from the building are some of the best in the city, and meeting Thom Filicia and Aerin Lauder was very very cool.
Meanwhile ALT was held at my mecca Martha Stewart Headquarters, also with a pretty sweet view.
At Blogfest I met wonderful ladies who I’ve remained friends with and who I’ve watched launch new parts of their careers in the last year. After attending ALT though, I can’t say I’ve ever been to another event where I felt as connected as I did with the bloggers I met there. And it didn’t hurt that I was in the front row when Gracey Bonney and Martha came out. Again, more pictures I’ve never posted.
When I got home I was astounded by not only what I had gained in knowledge, friendships and social experience, but also what I had with me. Large and small I had collected a massive amount of sponsored goods. From bags to bottles to shower heads. Yes, that’s right. I have an extra brand new shower head lying around in my office. Blogfest is like that.
Blogfest Sponsor Swag
ALT Summit Sponsor Swag (Coincidentally there’s a lot of swag at ALT that comes from the host and the participants. The ALT bloggers bring their branding game. I’ll have to do another post about them, their swag and their amazing business card designs).
The thing is, I haven’t been able to bring myself to use any of these things. I have two medium size bags and a large box filled with these items that I don’t dare touch. I think I’ve taken out one thing, drawer liner paper which has a floral smell. I used this to line the mid-century nightstand I picked up at a yard sale when we first moved in our current place. It was slightly musty and the liner paper did it’s job and completely overpowered it. I only wish it was lilac scented.
Now that I’m between DomiCile issues and attempting to get back to blogging, I’ve decided that the best way to honor these sponsors is to show at least one if not a few items each time I post. This shows the items off and gives the sponsors a nod for what an amazing blessing they have been.
Why do I think they need honoring? Well, during the course of three issues of DomiCile I’ve realized that sponsors part of what make products, and some experiences, really great. They’re sometimes the difference between an 90% great time and a 120% amazing time. Sponsors donating is sometimes the difference between what images you see and those you don’t. They’re the difference between running a cool article and not running one at all. And when it comes to DomiCile they’re critical.
While we don’t have “sponsors” per se, we have had many products donated to us for photo shoots. While the purpose of DomiCile is to support small businesses, it’s also important to note that sometimes donations aren’t easy to come by. We scour markets, send emails and message Etsy sellers to find the best products to show. Since we only show locally made and sold goods sometimes we end up talking to vendors more than once. This can be because we really love their product or because it’s the best we’ve found in the local market. So I can’t imaging how large conferences like Blogfest and ALT decide what to give to their participants out of the million products available to them.
Sponsors really are a blessing, and their donations are more appreciated than they probably know. Both the sponsors at Blogfest and at ALT Summit gave the participants an overabundance of free goods, and I hope that by showing these products they’ll receive more business and continue to grow so they can support more blogging events in the future.
Today’s feature: Handleless Aladdin Mason Jar Plastic Tumbler
Received through: Blogfest
This bottle is awesome for a few reasons.
1) Who doesn’t love mason jars? If you haven’t hopped on this trend then welcome aboard. Mason jars and mason jar crafts are everywhere, and are possibly the #1 crafting element on Pinterest.
2) The straw. This straw actually won’t slide all the way out and fall on the floor. IT has a little ring slightly larger than the hole to keep it safe and secure in the jar.
3) It’s double-walled thick plastic. While I wouldn’t put boiling water in this bottle, I wouldn’t be afraid to put it in the dishwasher.
That brings me to 4) The labels on the bottom say that it can in fact go in the dishwasher (not the microwave though). It’s also BPA Free which makes it cool AND safe. Plus it says it’s “Ethically Made in China.” I’m not sure who’s making the ethics call, but the fact that they think that’s important enough to print on the product is saying something in itself.
Oh and reason 5 why this water bottle is super cool) The last label says “Not for Canning”. I love it. I’d also love to see what happens if you do try to can anything in this. Please no one try this at home.
I’ll try to add at least one item each week, and when things are small I’ll double or triple them up. Did I mention that once I blog about an item I’m finally giving myself permission to use these things? So, these sponsors blessing me in more ways than one. They’re also giving me another good reason to keep blogging.