The Creative Connection Keynote Luncheon

Conference Event: 

The Creative Connection Keynote Luncheon

Nora Abousteit,
Becky Higgins,
Stacy Julian, Big Picture Classes

Jo Packham spoke and updated everyone.

Go into the Vendor Market with the Sponsors today. Thanks Sterling Publising, McDonald’s, Starbucks. Make them all feel at home. They help us by giving money, support, teams are here.

Thanks BlogHer. This is BlogHer Day. What we were trying to do when we combined was to introduce you to each other. Crafters meet bloggers and bloggers meet crafters.

Thank Christine Hoffman who is absolutely single-handedly responsible for decorations for all meals.

Thank Brandy Shea, without whom there would be no event. She is thrilled to be here.

First time in three weeks she’s gotten up from her computer and gotten dressed!

We are on a TIGHT schedule. Introduce speakers.

Speak for 15-20 minutes or so.

Nora “A”, Becky “H” and Stacy “J” are the speakers!

Thanking other sponsors…
Stampington Magazine
MaryJane’s Farm and her beautiful daughter Megan. Dearest friend, even born in same city.
Vogue Knitting.
Spools on tables, decorate them, photograph them and put on facebook.

PitchSlams begin at 1:30. Don’t leave early, go straight there.

Rest of you, go right to Panels.

Thank one more person, not only do we need really BIG companies, we thank Goodsie and Homemade Simple.

I picture my self as a small hometown girl who owns a company, and we so appreciate their support.

Mentioned sponsors who have product on the table. We want to thank the Little Guys. This is a HUGE expense for them! Applause to all the sponsors and partners.

I love you all. Really. I do.

Nora Abousteit from Burda Style: Just landed after a 40 hour journey coming back from India. Invited to talk about Burda Style and background.

Who is familiar with? Many hands raised. Went thru slides describing WHAT BurdaStyle is. Started 4 years ago with an online fashion sewing community.
We have a focus on Fashion. Some garments you can make, downloadable patters, pdfs. We have many projects. We have a pattern catalog with about 1000 patterns. Several hundred techniques, elaborate technical drawings.
Our focus is on Learning. 50,000 projects that members uploaded. 250 sewing clubs worldwide.

The attend fairs worldwide and have make and take lounges. And do Fashion Shows. Latest “baby” is book coming out first of November. The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook.

BurdaStyle is about Community. Has 78 designer members from many countries in the book. 600K registered users.

Philosphy is Open Source Sewing. Copyright is removed from design. Members can sell themselves.

Partnerships with leading designers. Connected in craft industry.

Contests example: Make something out of scarves. Big interest in what others create.

Invited to talk about my background. How did this start?

As a 13 year old, I was playing around with sewing machine. First Thing made was Scrunchies! The first thing she sewed to make money. Mass production. Sold in breaks at school. Still has the account with the money!
Parents didn’t sew, so parents paid for lessons with seamstress. Teenage years, always making stuff.

Studied Political Studies in Cairo. Worked for a Fast Food company, then went back to Germany. Applied for internship at Hubert Burda Media. Wrote speeches, workshops, responsible for health community, meeting with running community.

One thing that happened, bosses started a tech and media conference, DLD. She was on the formation group. DLD’s are all over the world.

Every major tech entrepreneur has been there. It was a non-hierarchical structure. Learned about culture of WHAT you do, not WHO you are.

Burda’s mother founded a fashion magazine/sewing pattern magazine. It was innovative back then. You couldn’t go to a store and buy an outfit. Women took old coats apart and made things. Mother gave women access to clothes of Europe runways. The first western magazine in Former Soviet Union.
Burda Magazine NOT as well known here in the United States, but HUGE in Europe.

Brand going down in the 90’s Mass Production came to Europe. They wanted to go into America. She had a love of patterns and technology. She had a physical reaction and was excited to be involved with this company. She kept asking to be involved.

No experience with web development, but they let her run with it. She met with Etsy, met some designers, and she learned of craft “scene” in the US.
She thought it was a “project” but it turned out to be a new company.
About a 10 member team.

What she’s learned:
1. Release Fast, Release Often
Put it out there, make changes as needed. Have a wish list, prioritize it, release it, test it, look at data, adjust as needed. If you want to make money, see where your costs go!

2. Numbers Numbers Numbers

3. Sales take FOREVER
Probably takes a year from meeting somebody to making a sale. It takes a LONG time. Be Stubborn.

She knocked on the door to get this project. She didn’t give up. People are BUSY, it’s NOT that they don’t like you. You have to REMIND them (and almost become annoying!)

4. Forgiveness Not Permission
The only way to get things done.

5. Enjoy Your Growth
This is a GOOD thing! Talk about, publicize. People will be happy for you. Relax! Everyone has problems with work/life balance.

Becky Higgins

Says she will also share her story. She has A LOT of slides, she’s very visual. Loves pictures. Shout out to husband David who is tech support.
I love pictures that are old, nostalgic, new, Instagram, big little, kids, combining old and new, making connections with pictures, her kids art is displayed, other people’s pictures (leaves Christmas cards up on wall for months).

I love pictures and stories. This is what I do.

This lead to a hobby at an early age. I was at right place, right time, the 90’s. I love pictures and organization. I put pictures, organization and my creativity into scrapbooking.

Attended college in Utah, which is a mecca for scrapbooking. She met Lisa Bearnson’s mother in Church! (Lisa is editor of Creating Keepsakes Scrapbook magazine.)

She took stuff to local stores, I’d like to be a teacher, worked for a store or 2.

She wrote an article for Creating Keepsakes Magazine and made a couple hundred bucks!

It was MORE than the money. It was the experience. First article was on creative lettering. It became her niche.

Article was huge success in this brand new magazine. Readers were really interested and felt empowered they could DO creative lettering with this “how-to”.

15 years ago was first scrapbooking show in Minneapolis! She thought, “These are my people!”

I evolved into Sketches. Taking guesswork out of layouts. Look at this sketch and let it guide you. Without any design background, I became known for this. All by accident.

I’ve taken my job as we traveled and moved to different places. Worked from home all these years.

Published 9 books in my 20’s. Didn’t expect that. Books were perfect at the time. Organize a PROJECT, perfect fit for me.

Thru all this sharing, books, articles, teaching and travelling, I started having babies.

Life gets really busy!

Scrapbooking became even more important! The documenting was important about my life.

Never felt pressure to “perform." But I FELT I couldn’t give enough of creative any more. Priorities were shifting. Jan, 1, 2008, she experimented with something.

She would start taking a picture every day. Project 365.

This is how I would document our story this way this year. Found a 3 up album at Target.

Every day, documenting SOMETHING from that day.

Scrapbooking TENDS to focus on Big Deals: birthday, baptism. But everyday was being left out. Price of milk. Errands. What’s in your pantry? Messes…oopsies, owies, work looks like.

I wouldn’t do a full scrapbook page, but I captured it one day.

Project 365 clicked for me and I knew it would work for other women.

Becky got emotional here.

I was relating to every friend and relative who said scrapbooking not for me, too much time, not creative, too expensive.

One picture a day COULD work for anyone!

She developed a kit called Project 365 so you can document one picture a day for a year. FLEW out the door. Reprinted. Couldn’t keep it in stock.
Came to a crossroads with Creating Keepsakes. Becky no longer had the passion to do scrapbooking the old way for her. She had evolved to Project 365 method of scrapbooking.

After 12 years with Creating Keepsakes, she and her husband started her business. He knew and believed in this idea. It was a phenomenon. They contacted legal, web design, product design people. No employees, just her and David her husband.

They created Becky Higgins LLC and the wheels started rolling. They had to get the project out by the new year, when people wanted to start. It was now called Project Life.

She doesn’t blog for money.

She talked about anything she was interested in. Goal is to uplift and inspire. Blog is about home décor, homemaking, floral design, organization, time management, DIY, not pleasing “audience” with her blog or to gain traffic. This is just what she did.

Whole section of recipes, freebies. Husband is an anesthesiologist! So much hard work into what they do.

She got the box “project life” and it was in the hands of people. I KNEW and we BELIEVED it would help others. People were telling stories by sticking pictures in, writing a sentence, done.

Dabbled in digital.

At some point, they realized there was no logo!

Becky dreamed and sketched, she hired her brother, and logo was born.

STILL takes a picture a day.

Passion for helping other small businesses. I am also grateful for an incredible loyal readership and customers.

8000 people on facebook, she gave away a kit. Becky hand delivered the kit to the winner. She was touched. Becky loves connecting with customers and readers.

Everything is moving. They reinvent the wheel.

She handed out photopocket pages, title cards. Everything is online.

Top 10 tips.

10. Try Again. It’s not always going to work. Example of daughter with straight hair, she tried to curl, didn’t work out, they tried again.

9. Keep one notebook for ideas.

8. Surround with talented people.

7. Because you can’t do it all, you can’t HAVE it all. Laundry will pile up, messes will be made, be realistic about it.

6. Connect with your audience and be yourself. Determine ahead of time what you will share. Facebook, Twitter, think about your content.

5. Take breaks. Chocolate, catnaps, you need to feel refreshed. Let your readers know!

4. Be open to evolution.

3. Be grateful and express gratitude. Thank the people who work with you.
(She thanked Jo for featuring her in Where Women Create magazine.)

2. Begin with END in mind. No other success can compensate for failure in the home. - David O McKay
1. Your. Family. Is. First. It’s a tricky balance. Cultivate a good live and record it. That’s what it’s all about.

Stacy Julian

3 things.

Women working in creative professions.

1. Honored to be here.

2. Prepared to talk to you, past prime in terms of cohesive presentations. I talk about what is important to ME.

3. Believe spirit of universe teaches us what we need to know.

Stacy has 5 children.

Her favorite quote. “To be perpetually thrilled with life need not detract from the solidarity of your goals or the soberness of your purpose.” -Anonymous.

If you’re not having fun, re-evaluate.

She’s a storyteller at heart, writes down the things her children say.

She likes her workspace.

Likes projects with a beginning and an end. Likes the documentation process.

Founder of Big Picture Classes. She shared a short video about The Possibilities are endless.

She didn’t know e-Learning would be the future. She knew women liked telling stories and women liked projects. Wanted readers to see more of the behind the story.

Lots of demand for travel, she didn’t want to travel.

1. Solve Your Own Problems. Any big problem is a big opportunity.

2. Take care of Your Vision. As soon as you figure it out, don’t compromise it. You can grow a worldwide platform on your brand. Take care of your vision: You must take care of YOU. Mind, body, brain. Don’t be tunnel vision. Look at other areas. Subscribe to Wired magazine. Leann from everyone else. Fill your heart and your spirit. (with color or music)

3.Cultivate Relationships! Social media has completely leveled the playing field.

Hire People who are smarter than you are!

She talked about the Target “experience.”

Talked about Dutch Boy Paint, and one person said they don’t want better paint, they want a better paint Experience. Can, drips, etc.

New favorite book. “I Am Her”

A lie: you must be everywhere. Make sure the things you say no to are not your top priorities.

Balance is like juggling several balls. Some are rubber, some are glass. Don’t drop the glass ones.

Think big.
Be happy.
You will absolutely make a difference.


Jo says “go directly to your panels” don’t stop and talk.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.


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