Monday, September 30, 2013

Thank You So Much ~ Tea w/ Sarah Richardson + BlogPodium 2013

Hello Monday!  Did you enjoy the warm sunny weather this weekend? It was just beautiful and Chris & I went for a nice walk in the park, followed by an afternoon nap on the lawn.  What more could I ask for at the end of September right?  Well ... I actually do want to ask for more:

(1) Time off for a week: the weather man forecasts high 20Cs over the next few days and I surely don't want to be trapped inside an office.

(2) Tea with Sarah Richardson: I am sure you all would like to join Sarah for a "Sarah's Manhattan" after this virtual visit of her fabulous office!

Yes this is an office, and it feels so cozy and inviting.  The moment you stepped into Sarah Richardson Design, you are greeted by this elegant "reception" equipped with the Chloe Sofa and an eclectic collection of vintage treasures.  I am crazy about the art deco inspired design on the console table, the graceful white table lamp, and of course the layering of patterns on patterns in the space.

Now that we are on fabric talk, I bet you want to check out Sarah's fabric collection exclusively at Kravet?  Sarah shared with us the design process of her brand new fabric collection in five major colorways.  From pattern illustration on paper to exquisite upholstered furniture, it requires many hours of hard work and dedication to perfection for these soothing, sumptuous fabrics to become a reality.

Don't you just want this bright, colorful, and intimate lounge right at home for you to kick back, relax, and enjoy your favourite novel? Or a cozy tea party with a few of your closest friends? I absolutely love the color palette in this room.  The eye catching tangerine is vibrant and cheerful, while the greyish blue  is subtle and refined.  The wide horizontal stripes on the walls create an incredible visual interest, and the full height drapery panels in traditional floral add a sense of formality to this sophisticated, yet playful room.  

I want the Nicole Sofa, and the Oliver Chairs, AND my dream stools: Thomas.

My inspiration board for the Tea with Sarah Richardson contest was a powder room.  Here is a delightful and glam powder room at SRD.  I love the mosaic accent wall, the vintage wall sconces, and hello to this faucet delight in brushed brass!

A delicate and simple corner at SRD showcasing Sarah's favourite blue and green palette.  Looking for inspiration to make the most out of a kitchen with challenging layout?  Check this out!  Sloped ceiling? No problem!

The afternoon at SRD had me craving for a few things: the Sarah's Manhattan by Pluck (so delicious), a pair of these newly imagined Harry Chairs (not available online yet, but here is the original Harry) with a super tailored look, these charming pillows from Sarah's new fabric line, and another nice chat with Natalie and Kate!

I had an absolute blast and what great fun to spend an afternoon with Sarah's team and a group of 20 Canadian bloggers! Inspired? You bet!  I also learned that Sarah's new book is almost ready to meet us in 2014, and so is her new paper goods collaboration with Hallmark.  Can you tell I am super excited?      

group picture thanks to Jill of the happy space project 
Speaking about excitement and being inspired, nothing gets more amazing than having over 250 like-minded creative bloggers all gathered under one roof to connect, to share, and to collaborate on inspiring ideas!  Isn't this "welcome friends!" backdrop just so much fun and perfect for beautiful photos? If you are planning a party, be sure to contact Shannon of Hoopla!

image via Anna with Love
Sarah was the keynote at BlogPodium and since Tommy was in Vancouver for IDS West, Sarah took a picture of us saying hi to Tommy at 6 am Vancouver time.

image via Anna with Love, Tommy's image via
In her presentation, Sarah shared her road to success as a designer without formal interior design training in this highly competitive industry, her passion to timeless designs, her four signature looks for clients, how she maintain work/ family balance while tackling design projects, TV production, and writing regular columns on Chatelaine and The Globe & Mail, and sneak peeks of transformations to come at Real Potential

Here are Sarah's advices to us aspiring bunch: 

image via Anna with Love
Full time by day, part-time on design projects & blog by night, and sustaining a happy relationship with your loved ones ... if you can achieve it all, I need to know your secret!  As many of you know, I have a full time day job in the finance area (I know ... why do I keep doing it?) and I often don't get to start blogging until 11:30 pm, which means my normal bedtime is around 1:30 am.  So I am pretty much on sleep deprived mode on a daily basis.  

Thanks to Jordana of White Cabana and Giulia of Audrey's, I am now armoured with their top tips on how to achieve a healthy balance between mounting demands and still be good to your inner self.   
image via Anna with Love
I have worked with brands on several projects, but I have never really attended a seminar on how to engage and work with brands.  So when I saw on the agenda that Andrew and Jordana of Environics Communications would be at BlogPodium and be speaking about "How to Get Noticed", I knew I couldn't miss their session.

The zero moment of truth has changed the game plan with traditional advertising roadmaps.  Brands are looking for new ways to engage/ connect with their targeted audience.  Bloggers, your readers are your best friends and biggest assets when you are ready for the blogger/ agency dating game.

Here are a few other key points from the session:

image via Anna with Love
More on working with brands, Kekad of Precision Marketing Group shared her wisdom on how to negotiate a fruitful partnership with brands.  Get to know your audience, learn more about the brand's values, and remember to "sell-back": give brands the reasons to work with you and how they could benefit from you!   

image via Anna with Love
Now that we've learned more on how to attract brands, let's start thinking about just exactly how much we are worth.  Karen of The Art of Doing STUFF was absolutely hilarious, and she shared with us that Google AdSense is her No. 1 money making machine!  With an average 500,000 to 800,000 page views per month, Karen earns about $3,000 extra shopping money each month.  

How to achieve these impressive figures? Here are a few tips from Karen:    

image via Anna with Love
Besides a full day of learning, BlogPodium is also the place for bloggers to meet and connect with our Internet friends in person ... and to make a few new ones along the way.  Thanks Anna of Anna with Love for working so hard throughout the day to capture every moment of BlogPodium, and all these different expressions of me!  I just realized I like to make funny faces! HA!    

image via Anna with Love
I hope you all had a great time and let's do it again at BlogPodium 2014!


  1. OMG! Love the last collage!
    It was so much fun, wasn't it??? We are lucky people!

  2. Wonderful post Tim! Really enjoyed it - lots of love! XO

  3. A great summary of the events and things you learned Tim. We are so lucky to be part of the blogging community, aren't we (even if it does mean we get to sleep at 1:30am)?