#033: How to Be a Super Successful Creative Entrepreneur with Gabrielle Blair

You never know who you’re going to get into a Lyft with at a conference. Lucky for me, it was Gabrielle Blair from the blog, Design Mom, and founder of the Alt Summit Conference. Listening to her, I learned so much about how to be a super successful creative entrepreneur.

Gabby was one of the first design-focused bloggers, and she paired that with being a mother to six kids.

In our conversation, we talk about how she started her blog and grew it, how she and her family started the Alt Summit Conference.

We even go deep and talk about Gabby’s battle with depression, how so much of what we both do as bloggers isn’t exactly “real,” and how we both deal with comparing ourselves to others.

Gabby is such a kind and down-to-earth human being, you will love our wide-ranging conversation!

How to Be a Super Successful Creative Entrepreneur with Gabrielle Blair | MiloTree.com




Transcript: How to Be a Super Successful Creative Entrepreneur with Gabrielle Blair

Host: [00:00:03] Welcome to The Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.

Jillian: [00:00:10] Hey everyone. Welcome back to the show today. I am excited to bring on my friend, Gabrielle Blair. Now Gabrielle and I really we just met in a Lyft on the way back from the airport to the Mom 2.0 Conference

Jillian: [00:00:30] But I have known you from afar. You are the brains and the creativity behind both Design Mom, which is a blog that you’ve had since you started in 2006.

Gabrielle: [00:00:44] Yes.

Jillian: [00:00:44] And you’re also the founder of a conference that I’ve been dying to go to called Alt Summit, which is a conference for creative entrepreneurs and influencers and you have such a beautiful blog. So Gabrielle, welcome to the show.

Gabrielle: [00:01:00] I am so glad to be here. Thank you for the invitation.

Jillian: [00:01:03] And it was so serendipitous that we were waiting in line and you said screw this, we’re taking a Lyft, and we got in the Lyft with a random group of people and you paid for the Lyft, which was so generous. And I said to you, would you be on my podcast?

Gabrielle: [00:01:18] And I said yes.

Jillian: [00:01:19] And you said yes. So will you, because I don’t know your story. I’ve known you. But I don’t know your story so you tell me from the beginning, how you started this and one other thing we have to talk about in this is that you have six children.

Gabrielle: [00:01:34] This is true. I have six kids, but they’re not all toddlers anymore. So whatever you’re picturing, it’s probably not what you’re thinking.

Gabrielle: [00:01:44] I’m happy to share my story. You bet. So Design Mom was started in 2006. This is 12 years ago this month, July and I had just had Baby Number Five two months before, and I worked and lived in New York.

Gabrielle: [00:02:02] I worked in the city as an art director at an advertising agency. And I loved my job, but after babies, once we were getting so many kids at home, I knew I needed a break where I could do sort of like an extended maternity leave, where I can maybe work at home, do some freelance that kind of thing.

Gabrielle: [00:02:19] And I also knew by this time having had lots of babies that I go crazy if I don’t have something creative to do after the baby’s born. It’s just sort of classic postpartum depression, you know you get overwhelmed. And if I had something to engage my brain that was creative and exciting, I could avoid some of that.

Dealing with depression as a blogger

Gabrielle: [00:02:37] Which is great. And I’m very open about having dealt with depression and dealing with depression daily, so you can read about that on Design Mom if you ever want to. But we won’t talk about that right now.

Gabrielle: [00:02:52] So blogs were around, but were still pretty new and most of the blogs I read were essay blogs and I really loved them. But I attempted to write an essay on a blog post once, and just went, Oh yeah I’m not good at this.

Gabrielle: [00:03:06] This is not, you know, I had barely done any writing at that point in my life, and was really just a designer. That was where my focus was, on graphic design and art direction.

Early design blogs

Gabrielle: [00:03:15] But then I found Design Sponge and Oh Joy. And they were both design blogs that are still around, but they were very new. And you’ll remember this is before any kind of social media, it was just blogs. And so a blog post might be what would be like a pin now, where it would be cute shoes. I love the cat pattern or you know what I mean. Like just something so simple. And that would be a blog post on a design blog.

[00:03:41] Like a product image and a statement or it could be so short and you might do this multiple times a day. Because again it’s like an Instagram or a pin or or a status update.

Gabrielle: [00:03:54] So I saw that and went, Oh well that I can probably handle, it’s very visual, very minimal writing and I can fit that in if I’m in the middle of a night nursing the baby or whatever. I just have a few minutes it doesn’t have to be like an intensive eight hour block of work time. So I called it Design Mom.

Gabrielle: [00:04:17] And at the time again I’m in New York, and I was 31, and here I just had my fifth baby. But most of my peers were just getting married or having their first baby.

Jillian: [00:04:29] Wow. How old were you when you had your first baby?

Gabrielle: [00:04:32] I was 23.

Jillian: [00:04:33] Wow.

Being an early pro at motherhood

Gabrielle: [00:04:34] So for my peers in New York, as they’re just having their first one like I am a total pro. Right? You know, they’re having their first and I just had number five so they’re asking me for advice as a mom, but also you know, it’s New York you want to be a cool mom. So they’re asking me like where did you find cute cute toddler shoes? And do you throw a first birthday party? Who’s invited? The kid doesn’t really have friends yet.

Gabrielle: [00:05:00] Anyway that just stuff like that. I’m getting asked advice or do you use a sling or do you you know, use a carrier pack and which brand and what was the best looking option. What about diaper bags and just everything you know maternity clothes all of it.

Gabrielle: [00:05:13] So I was getting asked questions by friends, my neighbors, my co-workers, naturally and I thought well I could cover that on a blog and talk about parenting but kind of through this design lens. Design Mom and the tagline from the beginning was the intersection of design and motherhood.

Gabrielle: [00:05:31] And this is what I’m going to cover and that’s what I did. That’s what I’ve covered it was just ideas I had, or again I’d find some great deal on something or a new product that was cool or whatever it might be, and talk about it. And I would post three times a day and that was the average sometimes more and it took off. So this was even before Google Analytics this is I mean 2006 was a whole different world.

Jillian: [00:05:57] And this was the time where, tell me if this is how you did it, but you would have your favorite blogs and you check them every day.

Gabrielle: [00:06:04] Oh yeah. Because again, no social media. This was amazing. So I didn’t have Google Analytics but there was a product called Track-See, a little software that you could put on your blog and it would count how many followers or who was coming.

Gabrielle: [00:06:21] It was revelatory for me because my blog post might get five or six comments. Usually people I knew in real life, neighbors or co-workers or family members. But I put Track See on and I could see,oh there are a hundred and fifty people that came to my blog today and I don’t know any of them, you know you would just have their IP address. And maybe their city and I would go, whoa what in the world. I was just amazing.

Gabrielle: [00:06:49] So so it was trying to figure out, well how can I get them to speak out more and you know like how could I get them to sort of acknowledge their presence. How do I do that you know? Because I think it’s amazing that these many people are reading. It just blew my mind. Of course now I have much bigger traffic. But at the time that was a big deal to see that there were over 100 people reading.

The first blog giveaway started with Design Mom

Gabrielle: [00:07:12] So I said, well what if I did giveaway and I’ve been credited for inventing the first blog giveaway. I don’t know if you can even track that down. But I thought I need to give them an excuse to comment. So what if there’s a prize and you can say anything you want and you just have a comment to win?

Gabrielle: [00:07:31] So my one of my husband’s friends from high school, I knew she had started a cool little shop called Darlybird. And I reached out to her and said, Hey would you be up for offering a prize and it will be comment to win and it’s just this idea I have, and then you know you’ll ship the prize to the winner and we’ll just randomly pick someone you know pick a number kind of thing and let’s just try it.

Gabrielle: [00:07:57] And she’s like, sure. How about a pair of earrings and a bracelet, or you know she came up with a prize. So I did it and I had the instructions that said OK we’re going to try something new. Comment. You can say anything you want, I even gave sample comments so you know to help them out.

Jillian: [00:08:15] Wow.

Gabrielle: [00:08:16] Like, Wow this is cute. Or you can say, Neato! or I want to win! You know you’re basically just really simple because I knew there was a few barriers for that. You know, people weren’t used to commenting that wasn’t a thing. And then there was a little captcha. And that the first time you see it you’re like What is this?  You know that feels like an extra hurdle.

Gabrielle: [00:08:35] And then of course it’s intimidating to know you your words are just out there and your name might be associated with them, so I let them know. Oh you can. You can leave anonymous comment. You just need to have a real email address so I could contact you. But no one can see your email address.

Gabrielle: [00:08:48] I’m kind of training them right. Teaching them how honesty works. And it was amazing so not all 100 plus readers commented but like 70 did.

Jillian: [00:08:59] Wow.

Gabrielle: [00:09:00] And I’m getting calls from all these people in real life that read my blog, you know neighbors are going. Who are these people? Where do they come from? Because of course they hadn’t seen the stats from that.

Jillian: [00:09:14] So they said this was just like a personal blog.

Jillian: [00:09:17] Right. So they just thought OK so they’re reading and the couple you know the few people commenting or reading, my sister’s friends from church, friends in the neighborhood, you know things like that.

Gabrielle: [00:09:28] And so they could not have been more shocked and I wasn’t shocked because I knew I had seen the stats, but I still was shocked in that I didn’t think 70 would, I thought I would maybe get 20 or something like that.

Gabrielle: [00:09:40] So it was very exciting and immediately like the same day I got emails from must have been 10 or 15 different bloggers saying hey can I copy this? Can I copy and paste instructions? Can I do this because it was so effective. It’s great way to sort of train people how to comment on a blog.

Gabrielle: [00:09:59] And then of course it took off, and now it’s just ubiquitous and of course are sort of obnoxious at this point. But it was a big deal at the time and I remember also having to explain to people. Every time there’s a giveaway does that mean I get the prize. It goes directly to you, I usually don’t even see it in person.

Gabrielle: [00:10:20] Because they are already troubled with the idea that like I’m getting spoiled somehow by these I don’t know. Anyway it was interesting. It’s so intimate so personal, they don’t like the idea that someone’s making money from blogging at the time.

Jillian: [00:10:38] Then how did you start monetizing online?

Design Mom starting to monetize her blog

Gabrielle: [00:10:41] OK so once I could see that there was traffic, once this giveaway thing took off. I was like, oh there’s something here. No one was really monetizing their blog outside of display ads. I remember Heather Armstrong, Dooce had display ads and that was really kind of how you did it that, was it.

Gabrielle: [00:11:01] And so but I felt like there was something there and I didn’t have like an ad network to do to do display ads although within the next couple of years I got one but at first I just didn’t even know how that worked or or how to how to go about that.

Gabrielle: [00:11:15] So I started doing sponsorships right away just for trades. So one of the earliest ones I did is we were moving from New York, and we’re moving to Colorado. And I approached I pitched moving companies. Moving moving across country is a big thing.

Gabrielle: [00:11:35] And I approached moving companies and said I’m going to take these pictures on this blog post, you know gave them examples, showed them that some of that sample giveaways and just other stats I had at the time and said do you want to do a trade?

Gabrielle: [00:11:50] I’ll write about you, showcase the whole thing will do X number of blog posts. You know when we arrived, the unpacking all of this stuff make sure we’re showing your trucks and let’s trade. And Mayflowers said yes. So which was great because it is very very visual trucks so it worked really well. The green and yellow and they’re really distinctive and for photography and stuff it was wonderful.

Gabrielle: [00:12:18] This is pre-social media too. So blog content is really what the sponsor’s getting. Then once I had that once I had built some of those trades I could actually start asking for money instead of trade.

Gabrielle: [00:14:45] Trades are great, especially if you need it, but they don’t buy groceries unless you’re writing for grocery stores. I still I mean, I’m 12 years in, I’m established, I do this full time. I have plenty of paid sponsorships but I will still approach companies for a trade. If it’s something that I need and I can get a great value out of that I’m totally fine with that.

Jillian: [00:15:08] So give me an example of a trade that you recently did.

How to approach brands about a trade as a blogger

Gabrielle: [00:15:14] Sure, so I’m working on one right now for my boys’ bedroom. My oldest son is getting home from two years abroad in Colombia. We haven’t seen him for two years. He’s been on a mission and he’s getting home.

Gabrielle: [00:15:27] We’re redoing the boys’ bedroom because while he’s been gone it’s been sort of half guestroom. It’s just been in transition. So we’re going OK he’s getting home, he’s older now. He probably won’t even live in this room very long, but I want him to have a space when he gets home that feels like his own. You know just feel like he’s got a spot.

Gabrielle: [00:15:45] So I approached Room and Board, who I’ve worked with before and said, “Hey how about how about the social media package and blog package?” And I basically will price out OK I’m going to give you X number of post and X number of Facebook and X number of Instagram and I value that X number of dollars and then they’ll trade for that amount of credit.

Gabrielle: [00:16:08] And then I can use that to buy furniture and if I still have credit left over I could use it to buy additional product although usually I max it out. You know for the room, and it really gets decked out and have a good time.

Jillian: [00:16:19] Got it.

Gabrielle: [00:16:21] So that works great for me. I know I’m going to need to spend that money. It’s great content. I know I can’t buy groceries with it but that’s fine. I can do other sponsorships for grocery money.

Jillian: [00:16:32] So how often are you doing sponsored posts now?

Gabrielle: [00:16:37] Oh it all depends. I feel like I aim for two to three a month right now seems to be a good amount.

Jillian: [00:16:44] OK. And do you use a team of people to help you? Or are you the one taking the photographs?

Hiring people to help with sponsored blog posts

Gabrielle: [00:16:55] Yes and no. So I have had big teams in the past. I’ve had big teams of contributors and now I’m pretty barebones right now because I’ve shifted a lot of energy to Alt Summit.

Gabrielle: [00:17:08] But basically what I have is I hire photographers, like I have a shoot for Room and Board tomorrow in store and I’ll hire a photographer for that.

Gabrielle: [00:17:16] So I have several local photographers here in the Bay Area that I know I can reach out to for basically a half day shoot, you know, come for two or three hours maybe up to four to shoot something at my house, or somewhere else other things I’d totally shoot myself.

Gabrielle: [00:17:30] Often I’ll shoot a shot recently for Stonyfield, my own kids. I’ll shoot books myself. I shoot lots myself because I do things so last minute and that’s just a function of a full life. I’m not trying to be a jerk about it, but it’s just a function of how full my life is right now.

Gabrielle: [00:17:51] It’s hard to hire out somethings like there are definitely posts where I think, Oh I definitely should have hired someone to do this and I didn’t do it in time and now I’ve got to do it. You know what I mean. I didn’t. Because where I can do something the day of or the night before, I can’t really ask that of someone I’m hiring.

Gabrielle: [00:18:09] So I do have a great food contributor Lindsay Rose Johnson. She’s been with me for years and years and years. If I do have a food post and I give her enough time she’s amazing it’s not like she needs months, but I don’t want to ask her the day of. So she’s amazing.

Gabrielle: [00:18:25] If I have a craft project Amy Christie is a longtime contributor for me, and she’s great at shooting. If I have an idea for a DIY but I don’t have time to execute it myself, she’s fantastic.

Gabrielle: [00:18:36] What I’m trying to do I put out a call for an editor. I got amazing applications and then haven’t actually had time to hire someone.

Gabrielle: [00:18:47] My hope is that I will hire someone that can really help maintain daily content where I can check in with like when I have like a longer form post that I really want to discuss.

Gabrielle: [00:19:03] Because Design Mom has transformed. Now it’s almost all long form, it’s one post a day. You know that kind of thing. But there are some things where it would be no problem to get a contributor.

Gabrielle: [00:19:13] Like if I’m doing a shopping post or it might be a roundup of things I’ve found online that other articles that kind of thing where I really could get help. And then when it’s something where it needs to be my voice like we’re discussing a social issue or a parenting issue that I can really get in and write that.

Gabrielle: [00:19:32] So I’m hoping to build my team up again in a way that I can keep Design Mom vibrant but also concentrate a lot of time on Alt Summit.

Jillian: [00:19:41] So I have to stop you. You do one long form blog post a day?

Gabrielle: [00:19:51] That’s a little bit of an exaggeration. So, long form compared to when I used to do three posts a day? Yes. Because my three posts a day were you know two or three paragraphs and a photo. Or it might even be one paragraph and a photo.

Gabrielle: [00:20:07] And now, a longer form might be it’s 1,000 words or 3000 words and tons of photos or only one photo and a long essay. They are definitely longer form. If I can do one of those a week that’s terrific.

Gabrielle: [00:20:21] A Home Tour I usually do on Tuesdays and I do have a man named Josh Bingham. He’s been editor of those for a while and it’s been great. So he can help with that. And really what he does is you know compile it and put it online so then I can edit it from there you know.

Jillian: [00:20:40] Wow. Yeah I mean I was on your blog today looking at your content and I didn’t realize that you were posting every day!

Getting comfortable writing as a blogger

Gabrielle: [00:20:48] Yeah. And then I don’t know if we count a shopping post, like I get pretty verbose at this point I’m like where I went from not being able to write an essay when I started in 2006. I mean I have a bestselling book now. I write a ton.

Gabrielle: [00:21:02] So writing, I’m not very fast in it but I am comfortable writing now. I did one on a recent blog post is on four picture books. It’s pretty minimal writing. So I just took more time to do the photos and the writing.

Gabrielle: [00:21:20] And then my Friday links. I don’t know that we call that long form, they do take a ton of research it’s basically me collecting links throughout the week that I think are compelling that I want to share with readers and I’ll do some introductory.

Jillian: [00:21:35] We have to discuss this. What does your work schedule look like? Especially how many kids do you have at home? Because I know a couple of them are grown, too.

Gabrielle: [00:21:45] Well this summer I have five at home. So yes my oldest is on this mission in Columbia as I mentioned. My second just spent her freshman year at Berkeley, which is just across town so she was in the dorms but not too far and she’s been home for the summer.

Gabrielle: [00:22:01] She’s working full time so I don’t see a ton of her right now but she is around. So really it’s just the four, a high schooler two middle schoolers and a third grader.

Jillian: [00:22:14] OK. So could you explain what your life looks like.

What life looks like as a blogger with six kids

Gabrielle: [00:22:19] Sure. I mean it’s pretty crazy but I want to start with, my husband and I both came from big families where both of us are one of eight.

Jillian: [00:22:30] OK.

Gabrielle: [00:22:31] Number 5 in line and number 7 in line in his in his family, so we were used to an element of chaos. It just was normal to us and we knew we wanted a big family.

Gabrielle: [00:22:40] So for sure our days would be too chaotic for a lot of people, which I totally understand and I’m not advocating that anyone else needs to do this but but it’s also kind of normal for us.

Gabrielle: [00:22:51] So a day that might stress someone else out, might seem like pretty normal at our house.

Gabrielle: [00:22:58] So in the summer it’s going to be different than the school year obviously. Last week was pretty crazy. Three of the girls were doing this skateboarding camp and then they went directly to swim team and then they had play rehearsal.

Gabrielle: [00:23:14] But the play ended this week is going to be much more casual we have it’s a much easier week but the kids are all old enough now they really can take care of themselves. They need rides but they don’t need babysitters.

Gabrielle: [00:23:28] So they can get up. They can work on an activity. They might climb our trees, we have these pretty epic trees where you have to put on climbing gear.

Gabrielle: [00:23:39] They might bake, they really love baking. They might put on a play or make a movie someday if they’re in the mood to be creative, or they might try and sneak in as much screen time as they can and just watch YouTube videos.

Gabrielle: [00:23:52] You know typical summer day stuff they I don’t really have to like take time to feed them lunch you know. Dinner yes, we’ll all gather for dinner. But they can kind of take care of themselves.

Jillian: [00:24:03] But are you working? Are you working between carpool? Or are you saying guys, I am working.

Gabrielle: [00:24:09] Well my husband and I both work at home.

Jillian: [00:24:13] OK. Is he your partner? Does he do Alt Summit stuff?

Gabrielle: [00:24:16] He is not. He is part of a startup called Teacher.co and he is super busy in that and they’re about to do an ICO. And he has a jam packed schedule.

Gabrielle: [00:24:29] Over the years he has, you know, like we had a series of videos called All Of Us. That we did for scripts. We did like 40 episodes and he was a producer for those so he has worked with me before but really he has his own things. Which is awesome. He’s does amazing stuff.

Jillian: [00:24:45] Ok but do you like kick your kids out and go guys go to work?

Gabrielle: [00:24:48] Yeah, totally so the kids know, I’m sitting with my laptop I’ve got to get worked on and they know that. But my workday gets interrupted a lot to drive. They’re going to get picked up. Oh we got to do these errands.

Gabrielle: [00:25:01] So my workday never really looks like I start working at 9:00 I end up 5 with a lunch break. That’s not a thing. It’s going to be I’m going to work from 8 to 10. But then I know we have to go run these two errands and then from 11 I have a phone call and then you know at 1:00 o’clock I’ll get two more hours on the computer.

Gabrielle: [00:25:20] But then after that, I’ve got something with the kids or something and then you know at 7:00, I can work again for a few more hours. Yeah I mean it might look like that.

Jillian: [00:25:28] Wow.

Gabrielle: [00:25:29] So I have my list of things I need to get done. I usually make that you know I’ll update that in the morning. I’ll find out my priorities at the top, the things that have to get done that day right.

Gabrielle: [00:25:44] Those go at the top and then I tackle as much as I can. But I have to build a lot of flexibility in my days because it’s real life going on, so yes you work hours but you also got to get the kids to the ortho appointment.

Jillian: [00:25:56] Totally! And then there’s food poisoning that takes the whole house.

Gabrielle: [00:26:03] Right and then we’re just out of groceries and we just have to go to the store. And there are tools I know out there, we just had a package from Amazon Prime Pantry. Have you ever tried that?

Jillian: [00:26:17] Yes.

Gabrielle: [00:26:17] You know that was delivered yesterday so there are some things I can do to try to use these services and I’m sure I could be better at that especially here in the Bay Area where all these startups began. So you can kind of access them before they even expand it to the rest of the country.

Gabrielle: [00:26:32] But really, I feel like we do a lot of this just we don’t use tools that we just go, OK we just go to the grocery store.

What is the Alt Summit Conference?

Jillian: [00:26:41] So can we talk about Alt Summit? Which is a conference that I have always wanted to go to. It seems like it is just so beautiful and cool.

Gabrielle: [00:26:53] It is.

Jillian: [00:26:54] And so you started this. So you said to yourself I’m going to start a conference?

Gabrielle: [00:27:00] Well pretty much. So basically what happened was again, it’s early blogging we were in 2009. So I’ve been blogging for a few years. My sister is a blogger. Her name is Jordan Ferney. Her blog is Oh Happy Day.

Jillian: [00:27:14] Oh I love her.

Gabrielle: [00:27:15] Yes, she’s amazing. And my sister-in-law, married to my brother Jared, is also a blogger from Say Yes, Liz Stanley. So we had this blogger family and we were all on a family trip, and we were again since 2009. I guess it actually would have been 2008 because the first conference happened in January of 2009.

Gabrielle: [00:27:36] So in 2008 we were talking and talking about conferences, and I started to go to a couple I’ve been to BlogHer and then helped start Mom 2.0 that first year, although I’m not an organizer now but just helped out that first year.

Gabrielle: [00:27:53] Laura Maiz who is one of the key organizers, she also owns a part of Alt Summit, she is a longtime business partner of mine. So anyway that’s the connection there.

Gabrielle: [00:28:02] But I’m talking with my siblings we’re all talking about these conferences, and I said well I’ve been to these conferences. It’s awesome but they’re really focused on writers or maybe kind of moms.

Gabrielle: [00:28:14] A lot of the design blogs I was reading like Apartment Therapy or as I mentioned Design Sponge, Oh Joy. All these blogs I was reading in 2006 you know they’re not at these conferences. The design blogs are not there and they’re not really geared to design blogs.

Gabrielle: [00:28:30] And so and like Jordan, who didn’t have kids at the time, and Liz, who didn’t have kids at the time, why would they have gone to Mom 2.0 Summit. And even BlogHer, they didn’t really know any of those bloggers. It wasn’t quite the right fit for them.

Gabrielle: [00:28:44] So we were saying well, what if we did a conference for the blogs we read. You know these design blogs because I overlap both worlds with the name Design Mom I get to be a mom blogger and design blogger.

Gabrielle: [00:28:56] But they were just strictly in the design blogging thing and this is before we were really even saying lifestyle blogs. So my sister Sarah who is not a blogger, but is awesome at organizing things said, yeah let’s do a conference. I can be the event or the event planner or the organizer. And you guys can handle the speakers and content.

Gabrielle: [00:29:19] Liz and Jordan didn’t necessarily want to be involved in that, but I totally did. So Sarah and I really started this conference where I handled all the content, the speakers the programming. And she did the planning and it was and great. It was awesome.

Jillian: [00:29:36] The thing about the conference is it’s so true. They sell out immediately.

Gabrielle: [00:29:41] They really do. It’s like a two hour thing. Although I have to tell you this year we expanded for the first time in a big way. We’ve always kept these very small and it’s kind of been obnoxious.

Gabrielle: [00:29:54] I mean it’s awesome to sell out, but then we get just these you know sob stories that people they really want to get there, and they didn’t happen to be available in that two hour mark. They were in a meeting or whatever the tickets are gone.

Gabrielle: [00:30:04] And we knew it was a problem and we’d try and open more. You know it was it was just a struggle. So we’re really excited because I think I’ve solved that. I mean we’ll see. We’ll see how this year goes.

Gabrielle: [00:30:17] But I had this flash of insight at some point as we were looking at locations and saying are we going to stay in Palm Springs, is time to move?

Gabrielle: [00:30:27] And all the really cool hotels in Palm Springs the ones that I really love, The Park at Palm Springs and the Ace Hotel and Saguaro, they’re amazing and they’re memorable and you just love being there.

Jillian: [00:30:38] Yes.

Gabrielle: [00:30:39] They’re not really big enough for a conference

Jillian: [00:30:42] No.

Gabrielle: [00:30:42] In fact Alt Summit was at the Saguaro the last two years. And we knew we were too big, and as we do surveys basically people would say, you guys this was awesome but this hotel is not big enough.

Gabrielle: [00:30:52] I mean like we know but if we move to another hotel. It’s just they become so generic so fast.

Jillian: [00:30:58] Yeah.

Gabrielle: [00:30:59] So you’re at a Ritz Carlton or a fancy Hilton or whatever, it’s just a big hotel with you know regular ballroom spaces they are split into classrooms. And then you compare those to these special properties in Palm Springs.

Jillian: [00:31:13] And by the way we just have to say for people who don’t know. Palm Springs is like a mid century fantasy like it is a designer’s dream place. I mean my husband and I just drive around and look at the architecture. Yes. So I understand why you do it in Palm Springs.

Gabrielle: [00:31:33] And we’ve all you know we did it had a big fancy hotel in Salt Lake for many years. We loved it. It was gorgeous. You know a five star hotel. Amazing. It’s not like we’re opposed to that, but we know having done it at these more distinctive spaces that it makes a big difference.

Gabrielle: [00:31:47] And our social shares when we move to the Saguaro which is this Rainbow Hotel, our social shares went up by 30 percent. Well because it’s basically the most Instagramable spot on the planet right now.

Gabrielle: [00:32:00] And anyway so I was trying to figure out what to do because if we wanted to get a hotel, as I said it’s really hard to find a hotel that has big meeting spaces but that is still really special and that doesn’t feel sort of run of the mill.

Gabrielle: [00:32:13] And we could transfer to something like, oh let’s have like more of a warehouse feel on a pier or something.

Jillian: [00:32:19] Right.

Gabrielle: [00:32:19] But then it’s not a one day conference, it’s a month at a conference and people want to congregate at a hotel where they can hang out. So we know this and we were really stuck on where to have this.

Gabrielle: [00:32:33] And then I thought well what if it was at all the coolest hotels in Palm Springs. None of them have a big enough room for you for everybody. But what if there was enough classes going on simultaneously at different locations where there’s enough room for more people. But we still have this small feel, small classes and these really cool spaces.

[00:32:57] So I’m really excited. We’ve expanded. We’re going to have three times as many people, we’re going to have 2,000 people there. We’ll have four locations. And then because of these multiple locations, we looked to South by Southwest. And I’ve been to South by Southwest multiple times. And I look to see kind of learn what I could from them.

Gabrielle: [00:33:19] Part of what they do is they actually do a nine day program. Ours will only be six. But the point is that you have more time to move around these locations and to fill your schedule instead of just like pack into classes and kind of get overwhelmed and and not feel like you got to do everything you want to do.

Gabrielle: [00:33:36] We could spread this out and give people more time. Because that’s some of the feedback we’ve gotten. They love the content but they want to see every class and they can’t because they’re you know several going on at the same time and even when we’ve repeated and we have tried things like that they just want more.

Gabrielle: [00:33:55] And so we’re hoping this provides that we know six days is a long time, and we know that some people will only come for part of it which of course is no problem. And they’ll it’ll be worth their while however long they can come. But we’re really excited about this.

Gabrielle: [00:34:09] And we did contract with one very big space where we can do like massive keynotes or things like that but otherwise everyone will get to go to whatever class they want to at whatever location, and we’ll have shuttles going. We’re hoping to do some kind of like electric scooters and let people get to know the city as they drive around and get access to all the cool spots in town.

Jillian: [00:34:40] What month is it? Is it in February? When do you do it

Gabrielle: [00:34:43] Well it’s actually March. So it’s been in January for now eight years.

Jillian: [00:34:51] OK.

Gabrielle: [00:34:52] Well sorry, seven years than two years in February, and this year we’re moving to March simply for logistics. It was the week that all of the properties we wanted were available the same time.

What type of blogger is Alt Summit best for?

Jillian: [00:35:03] Got it. And by the way there’ll be a link in the show notes if you want to check it out. And if you were to say who the perfect person or different types of people who would get the most out of the summit, who are these people?

Gabrielle: [00:35:18] So these are typically women it tends to be about ninety five percent women. So it’s women. And these are people that are drawn to creative careers.

Gabrielle: [00:35:28] Originally it was aimed at bloggers. But again as social media has changed, it really expanded. So all of a sudden Etsy shop owners wanted to come and and they were welcome, we did content for them and then people who are making their careers on Instagram or Pinterest, you know they were there in fact Pinterest. The the Web site launched at Alt Summit.

Jillian: [00:35:48] I knew that! Yes. Ben Silbermann talked.

Pinterest was launched at Alt Summit

Gabrielle: [00:35:51] Yes. Well and I can tell you a segue just a brief thing about Ben. First he came just as an attendee.

Jillian: [00:35:59] Yes.

Gabrielle: [00:35:59] One of our early years and he was just kind of, you know, he’s not like a crazy loud guy, he’s just really nice. You know seems kind of like an introvert you know and he would just be approaching people quietly and say hey, I have this thing. Check it out. And it was very visual obviously it’s Pinterest and so Alt Summit was all these visual bloggers.

Jillian: [00:36:22] Right.

Gabrielle: [00:36:23] And and so they would try it out and loved it because it is such a useful tool if you’re a visual person and you know the idea of being able to have a pinboard, with all the things you love is so right up any visual person’s alley. And so people loved it.

Gabrielle: [00:36:37] And the next year he came back he was on a panel, and then the next year he was the keynote because Pinterest had exploded.

Jillian: [00:36:46] OK so if you are in design or if you are an influencer or if you are an Etsy shop owner.

Gabrielle: [00:36:55] Right. So I want to say creative entrepreneurs. So if you are trying to run a business and you tend to the visual or creative. So like some really beautiful baby product companies have come.

Gabrielle: [00:37:10] I’m thinking of like Freshly Picked, they do moccasins and diaper bags and things like that. You know she came to Alt Summit many many years, learned her social media here learned a lot of her business skills there and has built a massive company. And I certainly can’t credit all them for that. but that the type of person that comes.

Gabrielle: [00:37:27] Solly Baby who does wraps as well as Tubby Todd. All these women come to Alt Summit. Those are baby products but I’m just saying they all require lots of visuals, they’re all required a lot of creativity. They’re going for like beautiful lifestyle kind of things. That’s a great fit.

Gabrielle: [00:37:43] Jessica Alba came when she was just launching Honest Company. It was such a great fit. And any of the cleaning companies that are really cool and visual if you think of Method or Mrs. Meyers they love to come to Alt Summit. You know it’s this very design appreciative crowd.

Alt Summit is for creative entrepreneurs

Gabrielle: [00:38:01] So you might not be a designer yourself, but if you’re like, yeah, but I love reading Emily Henderson’s blog or I love reading Apartment Therapy, or whatever it might be, You’re going to love this.

Gabrielle: [00:38:13] It’s people building their businesses but they’re trying to build a creative business. So that means we’re talking about how do you do photography and we have modeling classes. A lot of these people have to be in photos right you know. So it’s and then you know how do you present yourself so there might be fashion. How do you do your makeup.

Gabrielle: [00:38:30] All of this stuff ends up overlapping with creative entrepreneurs especially these days where you have to be everything right. You are the marketing team, you are the model.

Jillian: [00:38:40] Yes. You are the editor, you are the voice.

Gabrielle: [00:38:45] So we’re teaching classes on how to do all this content creation how to photograph, how to write, how to do all that but also specific marketing things, like here’s how to start an email list and here’s what you should be accomplishing with your newsletter and that kind of thing.

Gabrielle: [00:39:02] And then it might be OK. Well what about Instagram Facebook. You know maybe it’s on Facebook content but then another one on Facebook ads and how to run those.

Gabrielle: [00:39:12] And then of course a lot of these people have written books and they’ve gotten their book contracts by coming to Alt Summit. We often have publishers there, pretty much every year and they’re often taking pitches.

Gabrielle: [00:39:28] So like the Kinfolk Magazine, I brought my publisher there, Artisan Books, to Alt Summit and they met the Kinfolk team and ended up publishing Kinfolk recipe books. I want to say the big you know coffee table huge volumes.

Gabrielle: [00:39:49] And I can give a million examples of those so if you’re someone is thinking a book and it might be a novel but it’s more likely like a coffee table book or you know that kind of thing.

Gabrielle: [00:40:01] Darcy Miller who is the editor of Martha Stewart Weddings for you know the entire run basically of the magazine comes because she’s launching her new creative career as a crafter and you know everyone comes. It’s amazing.

Gabrielle: [00:40:14] So we’ll have fashion people there, and we’ll have YouTubers there and we’ll have Etsy shop owners, tons of crafters, often Joanne’s comes in as as a sponsor and we’ll just even have classes where you can just craft your heart out.

The balance between Design Mom and Alt Summit

Jillian: [00:40:28] That’s amazing. Now, how much of your life is spent doing Design Mom and how much is spent doing Alt Summit?

Gabrielle: [00:40:37] Well Alt Summit is such a seasonal thing that it’s it’s probably ends up being 50/50 but it doesn’t it doesn’t feel like that because the Alt Summit stuff ramps up as I get closer.

Gabrielle: [00:40:46] So like for right after Alt Summit, I’ll have a few months where I’m barely doing Alt Summit. The conference is over there’s sort of that dead period where we’re doing it a little bit of marketing and some follow up and that kind of thing. But mostly I can semi-ignore my inbox there.

Gabrielle: [00:41:03] But then the closer we get, the more I have to do Alt Summit until I’m at a point where I’m barely functioning on Design Mom, I’m sure the readers are furious.

Gabrielle: [00:41:17] Or I’ve hired friends to give me content for the week. You know like guest post, things like that because I just have to disappear.

Gabrielle: [00:41:25] The issue is this year with this expansion of Alt Summit, which again I’m so excited about, I think about it all the time it’s going to be amazing. I have even less time for Design Mom and it is a really tricky thing.

Gabrielle: [00:41:41] Design Mom’s comment sections are amazing the community there is so good, so vibrant, so interesting and I don’t want to give it up, it’s like personally super fulfilling for me. And also I think it’s important. It’s one of the only place on the Internet where you can discuss some of these hard things and not have fights break out in the middle of the comments you know. It’s a really special place.

Gabrielle: [00:42:04] So it’s my biggest challenge this year is going to be figuring out how do I maintain Alt Summit in a way that feels authentic and that readers are happy with, but be able to devote a lot of time to it.

Gabrielle: [00:42:15] And I think the biggest issue I have and it’s always been true is to do sort of that background infrastructure stuff. How do you fit that in? It’s almost like you have to shut down the blog for a couple of weeks to do some of the background stuff you know like to say to do your hiring and to get people trained, how do I fit that in with my normal daily schedule of posting working on Alt Summit taking calls with clients, things like that, I don’t know.

Gabrielle: [00:42:41] I’ve never been able to figure that out. Do you know what I mean?

Jillian: [00:42:46] I do. And I guess one thing that I would love just to speak to you briefly is, you are visual and you are a designer and you make beautiful things and we kind of touched on this previously.

Jillian: [00:42:59] Before we we started recording we were talking about podcasting because you’re starting a podcast, and we just were talking about it and we were talking about this idea of my philosophy with podcasting is to press record and just let it happen.

Jillian: [00:43:15] And if you know, kids come in or dogs bark or whatever, I’m going to leave it in because this is life and life is messy. How do you reconcile the fact that you’ve got six kids and as you’re describing your day, no day seems like it’s like the next day, and yet there’s something beautiful to what you do.

How to balance the mess and the beauty as a blogger

Jillian: [00:43:34] And I would say my days are messy but it doesn’t look that beautiful. And when I think of Alt Summit, I think it’s so beautiful it’s almost intimidatingly beautiful. How do you balance the mess and the beauty?

Jillian: [00:43:48] Because I think a lot of influencers struggle with the fact that they go onto Instagram and everybody’s life looks more beautiful than the next. And we all say well underneath it, it’s probably not like that, but how would you speak to that?

Gabrielle: [00:44:04] Yeah, I mean I’ve spoken to that quite a bit over the years and I don’t know that I have a great answer, but I’ll tell you give you some thoughts.

Gabrielle: [00:44:14] You know, we do as just as consumers of content because yes, I Instagram but I also read Instagram right. I follow people and as consumers of content, we do love vulnerability and honesty and authenticity. But I feel like only to a certain degree.

Gabrielle: [00:44:37] I think people think, no I want the real thing, the unvarnished and I don’t believe that’s true because I’ve tried it over the years. Again I’m in this 12 years, I’ve tried this kind of thing and I’ve seen other people try it and people want the vulnerability but they want a little bit controlled.

Jillian: [00:44:57] Or packaged with a pretty bow.

Gabrielle: [00:45:00] You don’t mind seeing the laundry but you don’t want to actually see the dirty underwear. Like it’s like, I don’t mind seeing there’s a cute little basket that has laundry in it that needs to be done or a big pile on the couch but there’s pretty filtered light or whatever.

Gabrielle: [00:45:14] But I don’t actually need a close up of your dirty laundry like no one wants that. And of course not, that’s disgusting but that’s true. Like I mentioned earlier, I write about depression, and I do and it’s a real and very real it’s part of my life but I rarely write about it or even mention it when I’m in the depths of despair.

Writing about depression as a blogger

Jillian: [00:45:36] Yep I get that.

Gabrielle: [00:45:37] I’ll write about it after, it when I feel like I’ve gotten things under control and been able to resolve it and think about it and can reflect on it carefully, and then I’ll write about it and talk about this is what helped and this is what didn’t help, and you know and be able to be helpful about it.

Gabrielle: [00:45:52] If I just told you every time I was super depressed, it’s just too depressing for everyone else. You know it’s just awful.

Gabrielle: [00:46:02] So I can write about it and they appreciate it and I can give them helpful things and I can acknowledge that this is real, and they don’t need to be afraid of it, and they can fight it. And all these things and I don’t need to have shame around it but they really only want to hear that when I’m through it.

Jillian: [00:46:17] And you’re on the other side with a little bit of a bow on you.

Gabrielle: [00:46:20] A little bit. And now now that’s not always totally true. It depends on the platform and you know that kind of thing because if this is just my friends on Facebook on my personal Facebook page and I was you know in the depths of despair and just said Hey guys I need a little love. Help me out. Well you know like that’s no problem. And I can really be in the depths of despair but I don’t feel like I could do that on Design Mom. I mean maybe a tiny bit but not really.

Gabrielle: [00:46:49] So it is real and messy behind the scenes and I don’t think people really want to see it as much as they claim that they do. And so yes you can be vulnerable and honest and authentic in all these things. But I mean I get on Instagram I have different needs on different platforms right.

Gabrielle: [00:47:07] Like on Twitter, I’m mostly just looking for news stories. I feel like I get the headlines fastest there versus even going to news apps you know. So I like news headlines and I like just funny, like people are funny responses and it’s makes me laugh.

Gabrielle: [00:47:25] On Facebook I use it more as a personal thing, so it’s going to be like someone’s birthday or it’s you know someone had a baby or that kind of thing.

Gabrielle: [00:47:38] And then on Instagram, I’m looking for pretty pictures and inspiration.

Jillian: [00:47:42] Right.

Gabrielle: [00:47:43] So content I make. Of course I try to use pretty pictures, but the things that get the best response is when I’m discussing sometimes heavy things like again social issues or politics or that kind of thing.

Gabrielle: [00:47:55] But me as a consumer, I’m just looking for pretty pictures and other people are too, and I know if they don’t follow me, I totally get it because they might just be like, No I’m just looking for pictures of parties or pictures of vacations or whatever that might be right. And that’s totally fine, you can get whatever you want out of those things. But if I’m if I’m on Instagram, I just want pretty and someone is showing me their dirty laundry. I’m going to be like, no.

Dealing with jealousy as a blogger?

Jillian: [00:48:22] OK. Do you ever have that thing where you see somebody who does beautiful things and do you ever get that pang of jealousy or I wish I had done that.

Gabrielle: [00:48:37] 100 percent. I don’t know how to do that beyond human nature right. This is just how it is.

Jillian: [00:48:44] But again I just have to say you are Design Mom, you created Alt Summit. I want to hear you too feel that way?

Gabrielle: [00:48:51] For sure. So for me it’s so I’ll see something and I’ll go. It might be business related right. I’ll see. Like even the podcast. I’m working on this podcast but I’ve been trying to, I knew I needed to do this a year ago. I’d already gotten feedback about this and then had it confirmed again earlier this year.

Gabrielle: [00:49:11] But again I’ve known this for a long time and so I’ll see someone announce a podcast, or do something and think, I’m so behind, you know like that kind of stuff will kill me.

Gabrielle: [00:49:20] Or if I see someone just doing something really smart on Instagram and I’m just a slacker on Instagram, and I’ll feel like business guilt, like I know I could have a bigger following, and that would be better for me but also for sponsors and it’s better for the business in general.

Gabrielle: [00:49:35] But I’m not doing it and I’ll feel that sort of business owner guilt, you know which I think if you a business owner you know what that is because there’s always your list is never done. There’s always something.

Gabrielle: [00:49:44] Oh I should be optimized for SEO in these ten steps that I’m not doing, I’m only doing three of the steps, you know or whatever it might be, or I was doing a newsletter every month and then I had to take a break.

Gabrielle: [00:49:56] And I’m feeling guilty because I see someone else’s cute newsletter come out and I think I know I could get help with this and hire it out and get this done and why have I done that? So I definitely feel that kind of thing from a business perspective.

Jillian: [00:50:08] And how about like somebody is launching a line of party supplies for Target?

Gabrielle: [00:50:14] Why can’t I have that? Why haven’t I worked with Target before. Am I not good enough? And you start questioning yourself, should I be pitching is that where I should be spending my time?

Gabrielle: [00:50:22] And then again business questions on like, is that how to make money, or is it better to sponsor posts or should I be doing some subscription service somewhere? You know where they get a box? Or you know trying to figure out those questions because you are trying to build a business and provide for your family.

Gabrielle: [00:50:38] Yeah those kind of things can drive me crazy. And then you have the personal stuff, like you see someone, maybe I’ve had a day where like I’ve just really been glued to the computer. I had a bunch of deadlines had to get stuff done and I get on Instagram and someone’s made cookies with their kids, and I’m like, I’m like the worst mom. My kids have been have been on YouTube all day.

Gabrielle: [00:51:04] I haven’t even talked to them, you know, I don’t even remember even saying words to them this morning. I got right on my computer. And you just feel like a jerk you know.

Gabrielle: [00:51:13] I mean that’s just I don’t know what to say. But I think everyone’s going to fill that and I definitely take social media breaks and I’m not supposed to as a business owner.

Jillian: [00:51:27] As an influencer, I know I do the same. By the way, I do the same.

Take a break from social media as a blogger

Gabrielle: [00:51:29] But I have to I think it’s just kind of kills me sometimes so I’ll take breaks, the easiest one for me to not take breaks from is Twitter because I don’t follow anyone like that where it like. It’s not really visual and I’m not following any of my business peers or really influencers.

Gabrielle: [00:51:48] It’s like again, I’m there for news or different things so I’m fine to get on Twitter and never throws me off like that. But Instagram can kill me. Oh my gosh or I’ll see someone on vacation.

Jillian: [00:52:00] Well for me on Facebook seeing people on vacation and I don’t know why, because I go on vacation. But something about here’s our family in Rome kills me.

Gabrielle: [00:52:11] Yes. Or if I see a couple and I think when’s the last time I took a vacation just with me and Ben Blair you know, where we got to get away. And I’m sure we should do that and keep our marriage healthy you know. I don’t know how to avoid that.

Gabrielle: [00:52:27] I know Facebook is a trigger for some people definitely Instagram is mine.

Jillian: [00:52:30] Facebook is mine.

Gabrielle: [00:52:32] Yeah.

Jillian: [00:52:36] Well I have to say, I so appreciate your honesty about this because I have to tell you that I’ve been a writer forever, I was a writer in Hollywood for a lot of years so the written word is very comfortable to me.

Jillian: [00:52:52] But visually, really I’ve always felt inadequate. And so to hear you say that you too have these feelings is so comforting and you are the brains behind Alt Summit, which I have always wanted to go to, but also feel like I don’t know, I’d feel like a poser.

Gabrielle: [00:53:12] No you would love it!

Why we fake things as a blogger

Jillian: [00:53:14] I say this to my daughter all the time. We’ll be doing a sponsored post, and I’ll be shooting something for Instagram and it will be a lava cake. There was this lava cake I had to make. Guess what? It got stuck, ultimately it didn’t flow out so you know what. I faked it.

Jillian: [00:53:35] I had some floaty stuff and I put the cake on top of it and I said to my daughter come in here, I want to show you this. This is fake and I want you to know that it’s going to look good and it’s going to look as if this stuff oozed out beautifully and that it totally worked. And this is fake. And I wanted to be a teaching moment. Why.

Gabrielle: [00:53:58] Did she get it?

Jillian: [00:53:59] She totally got it. And by the way, that post is up on Catch My Party and it doesn’t say that I faked this.

Gabrielle: [00:54:05] Well I don’t blame you. I mean look, that’s anyone who shot a photo ever of anything must understand that right outside the frame is chaos and mess. That’s just the reality.

Gabrielle: [00:54:18] And that was true long before blogs. I worked in New York I was in art direction. We do shoots for magazines, we do shoots for, you know all editorial and all kinds of stuff, and it’s just a chaotic mess outside the frame period. It has nothing to do with being an influencer. That’s just the nature of creation and photography.

Gabrielle: [00:54:38] It’s art. Think you have a beautiful piece of art on the wall at a museum. But to create that the mess that the artist made in their studio, was going to be nuts is going to be insane. And so that’s that’s how it is.

Gabrielle: [00:54:51] So if you’re if you’re going to be someone who creates content and as a business person or an artist or just a creative, there’s going to be a mess.

Gabrielle: [00:55:01] And if you are a reader or consumer of social media or blogs or whatever it might be and you don’t understand that this is pretend, it’s every bit as pretend as the magazines you used to read. And that was the thing. Then you’re there you’re not being fair, you’re not coming to this as a fair participant because no one has ever said this is my life all the time.

Jillian: [00:55:33] So yes and I would say that for my daughter who is impressionable at 11. These are important teaching moments.

Gabrielle: [00:55:42] For sure and for sure my kids know all of that because they’re part of the shoots often. And so they know. All right everyone pretend we like each other.

Jillian: [00:55:50] Exactly the number of times I’ve told my daughter to smile with gritted teeth, look like you like the pudding.

Gabrielle: [00:56:03] And you know my kids just finished a play. They were in a play this week and they were three performances. It’s the same thing. I had nothing to do with the play, had nothing to do with me. It was a big production. It was you know lots of adults they were kind of this children’s chorus.

Gabrielle: [00:56:17] And and you were at these rehearsals and it’s a mess, and it’s everything is behind schedule and blah blah blah. Like this is creativity. This is what it looks like. And they have to get on stage and pretend to be in a good mood even though the rehearsal went two hours too long and they’re tired. And you know what I mean, like and they should have been in bed.

Gabrielle: [00:56:38] This is not just blogging it’s not just Instagram. This has always been the thing and it always will be as far as I can tell. I don’t know how else to do it. It’s the same with any creative endeavor, if you’re a writer. You have these horrible messy drafts. Red ink everywhere and then you end up with this beautiful book.

Jillian: [00:56:58] Totally I would say this. This thing which is I was a screenwriter, and I would finish a project. And it would be done and it would be and it would be great.

Jillian: [00:57:09] And then I would start a new project and it would suck at the beginning and I would think to myself every single time, I lost it. I don’t know I don’t do this anymore because I was at the beginning.

Gabrielle: [00:57:23] Yeah.

Jillian: [00:57:24] And I’d forgotten.

Gabrielle: [00:57:26] You are someone that’s going to consume any content anywhere that was created as a creative endeavor, and whether again it’s a fashion show or writing or a movie or whatever it was an enormous mess caused you know in order to create this thing.

Jillian: [00:57:44] Right. And I bet you sucked at the beginning.

Gabrielle: [00:57:45] And I’m sure the beginning, the first drop was awful and the first you know try the first photo was awful, and you know what. This is how it is if you’re going to consume this stuff and pretend that’s not true.

Gabrielle: [00:57:56] That somehow, this book came into being perfectly. Or this movie came into being on the first take or whatever it is, I can’t do anything to help you. You’re living in a different world than I am if that’s the case.

Gabrielle: [00:58:13] But that said, and I understand that the feelings of jealousy or inadequacy are totally real. And they were real before Instagram.

Gabrielle: [00:58:33] You know that or at work because it’s the same reasons you didn’t get the promotion or you didn’t get picked for this project or whatever it might be. The feelings of inadequacy, the comparison, the all of that. That’s not a new thing that has been with us forever. And I assume will be with us forever.

Gabrielle: [00:58:51] And if you need to take a break from social media, take a break. It will be there when you get back you know it’ll be waiting for you.

Jillian: [00:58:59] I agree. All right. So Gabrielle this is terrific. How can people reach out to you see what you’re doing, all of that?

Gabrielle: [00:59:07] You bet. So the blog is still my favorite spot because I own it. And the algorithms can’t change it. So yeah you can always go to DesignMom.com to see the latest, I post there very frequently and I’m pretty decent at responding to comments so feel free to check in with me there.

Gabrielle: [00:59:23] I’m also on Facebook at Design Mom Blog, is my page on Instagram I’m Design Mom on Pinterest. I’m Design Mom I’m active on all of them. But if you want to see it first it’s usually on the blog.

Buying a ticket to Alt Summit

Jillian: [00:59:34] OK and if they want to learn about Alt Sumit, are tickets on sale now?

Gabrielle: [00:59:40] They are on sale now and prices are going to go up and up. So if you want them, now is the time to get them. The handles are all Alt Summit on all social.

Gabrielle: [00:59:52] But the web address is actually altitudesummit.com which was the original name so it was originally Altitude Design Summit and then we’re going to start calling it Alt Summit which is much easier to say.

Gabrielle: [01:00:02] But yes, so tickets are on sale if you’ve ever been before. There is an alumni discount available because we know this was kind of a leap in price if you weren’t used to it.

Gabrielle: [01:00:13] But even for everywhere else this is the best price you’re going to get, whether you’ve been there or not. Right now the best prices the best price you’re going to get. It’s going to start going up per month.

Gabrielle: [01:00:23] Again modeling that on South by Southwest, seeing how other longer conferences do that. So this is definitely a learning year for us. But I just was on the call this morning about some content programming and it’s really going to be epic.

Gabrielle: [01:00:39] With Alt Summit, the goal has been to amplify women’s voices and kind of what they’re doing, the projects they’re working on, and bringing attention to what they’re doing which is still my goal.

Gabrielle: [01:00:50] And this is going to allow us to not just focus on cool things entrepreneurs are doing, and cool things brands are doing, but you know what are cool films women are making, and what are cool bands and cool music women are making, and you know if you’re if you’re a woman and you’re doing something really interesting, maybe it’s a nonprofit maybe you’re a writer. I want you there I want you there telling your story.

Gabrielle: [01:01:14] Getting to know people and you can build your business or also just again amplify your message, amplify whatever it is you’ve created. So I’m really excited. It’s going to be epic.

Jillian: [01:01:25] Oh Gabrielle, thank you so much for being on the show.

Gabrielle: [01:01:29] Thank you so much for having me. What a treat to talk to you.

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