Highlights From Our Teaching Trip in NYC

March 7, 2012

Hello dear friends! I must say that being in NYC is nothing less than energizing as my head is spinning with ideas and I feel very excited about the road ahead of me since I’ve been able to build out some ideas since coming here last week. I’m in New York until Sunday night, tomorrow I begin working with Debi Treloar, but for the first half of my trip I was with Leslie Shewring working on our class called the Blogging Your Way Road Trip.

Highlights From Our Teaching Trip in NYC

Highlights From Our Teaching Trip in NYC

Highlights From Our Teaching Trip in NYC

Highlights From Our Teaching Trip in NYC

For those of you familiar with Blogging Your Way, it is a class I founded three years ago online as a virtual workshop that takes place a few times each year and it is where I teach, along with my friend and biz partner Leslie, about taking a creative approach to blogging, photography, styling and many other topics that relate to all of that. Our goal is that once you learn the technical aspects of blogging in those dummies guides, you’ll come to us to learn the creative and fun stuff. Of course, we teach some nuts and bolts too about copyright law, how to deal with copycats and template ideas but over all our approach is that if blogging is looked upon as less of an exercise of writing and more as a creative pursuit, your time online will count more and you’ll reach more people. I believe strongly in using your blog as a catalyst to live your best life, meaning let the blog motivate you to do things that you love so you can then turn around and share them with your readers. Your blog should be a motivator, not a chore.
Highlights From Our Teaching Trip in NYC

Highlights From Our Teaching Trip in NYC

Highlights From Our Teaching Trip in NYC

Highlights From Our Teaching Trip in NYC

Highlights From Our Teaching Trip in NYC

Highlights From Our Teaching Trip in NYC

When I thought about teaching this class offline I wondered often how it would translate but after this weekend I can tell that it translated quite well! I felt very honored to be among so many talented and creative woman on both Saturday and Sunday, some flew in as far as London for our workshop and others from Seattle, Kentucky, Ohio, Boston, D.C., it was quite amazing really. Leslie, who taught the class too, was amazing in her execution of her materials previously taught online through our class. Taking all of that material offline to teach hands-on was exciting for me to see her do so effortlessly and very well. She rocked it and if you were at the class I am sure you will agree with me. Saturday was more of an intense learning session and Sunday was more about interacting and moving around the room – working hands on.

Highlights From Our Teaching Trip in NYC

Highlights From Our Teaching Trip in NYC

Highlights From Our Teaching Trip in NYC

Overall, I felt the class gave students something very special in a small learning environment that just isn’t offered that often out there – most classes as huge or part of conferences and while those are great – many of our students commented that they preferred working in and learning with smaller more “niche” groups and this is exactly what Leslie and I were shooting for  – to provide our students with a very special learning environment where they could work closely with us and one another.

Highlights From Our Teaching Trip in NYC

Highlights From Our Teaching Trip in NYC

Highlights From Our Teaching Trip in NYC

Highlights From Our Teaching Trip in NYC

I’ve been teaching and lecturing for 15 years and same with Leslie, but this was a very special weekend and we enjoyed taking BYW offline and hope our students did too. We really bonded with loads of our students and want to thank Melissa de la Fuente, Michelle Verdugo and Julie Cove for helping us stay organized – these ladies were so critical to our success – and also to thank the very dear, dear Alex at Divine Studio for the gorgeous light studio where we taught. I also must thank Paul Lowe from Sweet Paul for being an inspirational drop-in guest on Sunday – his message was, “Just keep blogging, you never know where it can take you”. With his online magazine about to become a print version sold exclusively at Anthropologie stores, he is a stellar example of someone talented who was able to find their voice and audience through blogging. I must also thank my publisher, Chronicle Books (Peter and Lorraine!!!) for supplying our students with lovely notebooks from Jill Bliss, Rifle Paper and for sending out the French General books for our students on Sunday.

Highlights From Our Teaching Trip in NYC

THANK YOU STUDENTS for coming out to meet us and spend time learning together – we hope so much that you enjoyed it and will forever remember this road trip – it was wonderful!!!!!

xo, Holly

(images: those watermarked: mirror mirror and in out blogger audrey smit, all others by holly becker)


  • Reply Mandy March 7, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Oh! I am so sad I missed it! The photos are so lovely – I love Divine studio (I’ve planned events there with my job) Will you be hosting any more in NYC?


  • Reply Andrea Howe March 7, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    I kept looking at your IG images and getting so (jealous), I mean excited for your students! I so hope you bring your traveling classroom to LA.

  • Reply lebenslustiger March 7, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Oh that sounds so fantastic and fun – I really hope I can join you for one of your next classes…

  • Reply michelle March 7, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    These two days were so great, I’m still coming down from the inspiration overload. Thanks for including me as a part of the team, it was fun to have my camera/photog knowledge tested during day 2. I was pretty surprised by how much I actually know.

    You and Leslie totally rocked it. This was the first time for me seeing Leslie in action and she was so awesome and totally hilarious. Love you both.

  • Reply Tina Ramchandani March 7, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Thank you both for coming to NY! It really was a wonderful weekend and I’ve been missing every minute of it since the weekend ended. It was nice to step away from the computer and see how you and Leslie actually work with materials and great to interact with the group. Also love the notebooks!

  • Reply Ashley March 7, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    This class was a fantastic learning experience and I can’t thank you and Leslie enough! It was informative, inspirational and so well organized. My motivational levels are at a new high, and it was so great to be surrounded by such amazing, creative and dedicated women! I’m also very grateful for all the new contacts, and hopefully friendships, that came out of this event. Thank you again!

  • Reply Sandra March 7, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Taking the online BYW course last fall was the jumpstart to my blogging and it was incredible. Doing it in person and with other attendees would be amazing.

    I agree with you Holly, there is something magical about being with a small group of people doing something creative – that collaborative learning is so powerful!

    I am making a BIG (perhaps not so big) assumption that you will do this again – hopefully I can make the trek to attend!

  • Reply Kinga March 7, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Ooooh. Looks like so much fun!

  • Reply Desha Peacock March 7, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    I knew I was going to be sad to miss this and I was right :(
    You guys are awesome~

  • Reply Ilze March 7, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    So much loveliness – all in one place.
    How else could it be but fabulous to have attended !
    Nice !!
    Maybe one day…you will be in our neck of the woods.

  • Reply Somer March 7, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    I was just wondering if you had an online source for milk bottles. I’m doing a wedding in June and would love to know of a place to get little milk bottles in bulk.

  • Reply Ana March 7, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    I’d love to be part of it!! :)

  • Reply paola March 7, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Holly, I’m still coming down from the creative and inspirational high of the weekend.

    The class was amazing – you and Leslie both rocked it and I came away with so much great information and my head buzzing with ideas, inspiration and creativity.

    Thanks also to Michelle, Melissa and Julie for such a well-organized and just plain FUN weekend. You ladies are all lovely and it was great to meet you all.

    And yes, I too am looking forward to changing all the new contacts I made into new online friendships.

    I really can’t recommend this weekend highly enough. If Holly does this again, sell your grandmother (or at least rent her out for a bit) to be there…

  • Reply Gretchen March 7, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Thanks again for an amazing experience! I am ready to start implementing what I learned on my blog, and with our jewelry business. You guys selected an amazing venue to host the event at. It certainly was a trip of a lifetime that I will cherish 4ever!

  • Reply Jessica Senti March 7, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    It was such a great weekend! I feel so lucky to have been able to participate. You and Leslie (and all the rest of the girls) definitely inspired me, and I can’t wait to dive in more to all things creative. Thank you so much!

  • Reply Bonnie McCarthy March 7, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    I feel inspired just by reading this post. I love Sweet Paul’s quote about, “keep blogging, you never know where it can take you” -and I also appreciate your comment that blogging should be a motivator and not a chore. Exactly right, but sometimes it’s good to be reminded. Thanks so much!

  • Reply Laura March 7, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Ahh Holly I so wish I could have come to this! It looks to have been a wonderful weekend. Please come and repeat it in London :) Much love, Laura xxxx

  • Reply Stephanie March 7, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Thank you Holly and Leslie for sharing so much of your knowledge and experience with us, I am so grateful to have been able to participate. You are both inspiring and beautiful people, I will never forget this unique experience, and will carry it with me in all future endeavors. Thank you thank you thank you!!!
    Xoxo, Stephanie

  • Reply Fiona Humberstone March 7, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Thank you all soooo much for a fabulous workshop and for making me feel so welcome. Holly it was wonderful to work with you on the styling composition and Leslie really inspirational to see you put your mood board together. I’m really, really excited about the future and my mind is buzzing with ideas.

    You’d brought together a wonderful group of highly creative and inspirational women who I’m really looking forward to staying in touch with. Definitely worth the crazy flight from London. Thank you!

  • Reply Trina March 7, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Holly – looks like such an amazing time. I’m so glad I was able to take BYW online but now am slightly jealous about not taking the in person class. Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures. I bet it was so neat to teach the class in person for the first time!
    xo . trina

  • Reply Emily @ Peck Life March 7, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    So so SO amazing! BYW was a wonderful class for me and I can only imagine how awesome it would be to see you all in person!! Hopefully next time. :) PS – super yummy looking treats!!!

  • Reply christine March 8, 2012 at 12:40 am

    I can’t stop oggling the picture of those cookies….homemade?

  • Reply Laura March 8, 2012 at 1:07 am

    This was such an inspiring class and I’m so excited to implement some fresh ideas into our blog and just to find new ways to be inspired! You ladies were so charming, warm, and helpful and I would be thrilled to have another class with you again!

  • Reply Melissa Lee March 8, 2012 at 6:35 am

    Oh Holly, your post just refreshed all the memories of the amazing workshop for me. A Sunday never felt so fulfilling. I was just stunned by how the time flew by in a blink. The day was packed with tons of awesome tips from you guys & many many laughters we shared together. Aw…now you just have to come back to New York soon again! Will you, pretty please!?

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente March 8, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    I loved every minute of it!!! It was an honor to help you, my beautiful friend. It was just my excuse to be near you….:) Soaking in your loveliness, smarts, excellent advice and beautiful taste. Ditto for lovely Leslie too, of course. It was a beautiful atmosphere in the room, one of support, collaboration and creativity and inspiration. I was so floored by the stories of the excellent ladies around me; so many who had been through so much but, were leaping out to grab creativity by the hand. I just loved it and could do it every weekend. :) I don’t know how you managed to be so magnificent when I know you weren’t feeling your best…..I am so amazed by you. Thanks for the opportunity darling.

  • Reply Traveling Mama March 8, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    I am so, SO jealous! I do so hope you will have a European version some time soon! It must have been an absolute blast to hang out and be creative together!

  • Reply Amanda Marie March 8, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Thank you again Holly! I learned so much at the workshop and can’t wait to get started in applying all my techniques to creating my best blog yet :) I appreciate you!!

  • Reply allison@modernplum March 8, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    This class looks terrific. The way your styled the space is inspiring – not over done, but super visual – lots to look at. I think your idea about letting your blog be an inspiration means a lot – we create content, but in some ways, the content creates itself, in the process of living.

  • Reply Audrey Smit March 8, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Such an amazing experience learning from you both, and hanging out with you and all of these wonderful, talented ladies! long live the Road trip :)

  • Reply patricia March 8, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Lucky, lucky students!! It would’ve been wonderful to be there.

  • Reply MissRouge March 9, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Wonderful pictures!!!

  • Reply Shabby Chic Decor March 9, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Looks like a great event I wish you did something like that in Toronto or Montreal so I could attend!

  • Reply Haley Carpenter March 9, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    It was such an inspiring an amazing class, holly! And I am so thankful I was able to attend on Saturday! Both you and Leslie are such talented and beautiful people I will never forget such an incredible experience! Thank you both for everything!

    Haley Carpenter

  • Reply Pretty Dandy Homewares March 9, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Saw the pictures on Instagram and just loved them. I would love to take part in this if you ever do it in the UK. Wonderful!


  • Reply Patti Trostle March 10, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Love this blog! Stunning photo’s and ideas!

  • Reply Bettina March 10, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    Hi Holly, if you ever happen to come to Australia, I will sign up for your workshop!

  • Reply Kimberly March 11, 2012 at 1:26 am

    Holly, thank you you and Leslie so much for this amazing class. I’ve been so inspired all week and I can’t tell you how much it’s done for me already. Starting to think about photos in different ways and really understanding how to approach them. This was a FANTASTIC experience and meeting you both was such a treat! Thanks so much!

  • Reply Chrystina Noel March 11, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    This sounds like a blast, I hope you do it again soon!! Also, all of the pictures that I saw from the Brooklyn Flea market now make sense. Hope you had fun in New York!!

  • Reply Jessica @shimmerkai March 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Yes, please bring your classroom to LA! Great pics, looks like an amazing experience.

  • Reply ruth March 12, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Hi Holly,

    I just wondered whether you would be doing any of these classes in the UK any time soon! It would be amazing if you did come to the UK as I speak for many UK bloggers when I say that a need for more blogging community events is urgently required over here in the UK!

    ruth xx

  • Reply Lauren Elise March 13, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    This looks so fun and colorful! Hard not to be inspired by this lovely space. I’m super excited to take BYW online this year.

  • Reply Ainee Beland March 16, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    It is so very lovely and inspirational as meant to be. Thank you for sharing and inspiring us all to keep at it. Despite!

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