ALT-SF 2013 – Roundtables and Opening Keynote

July 29, 2013

Alt SF 2013

{Skyline of San Francisco in the Fog – all photos for this post were sponsored by atly and taken by Brooke Dennis for ALT-SF}

On July 18, I attended my 2nd Altitude Design Summit (or ALT for short). This one day conference took place in San Francisco and brought together designers, bloggers, small business owners and entrepreneurs from the Bay Area and beyond to talk about the business of blogging.

Alt SF 2013

{Acura Dessert Party – Fairmont Hotel}

Highlights of the conference for me included dinner with Michael Miller Fabrics, a dessert party with Acura and of course the closing, Alice in Pinterland Party sponsored by Pinterest. In addition to fabulous entertainment, I also got to hone in on small business skills and how I can make my blog work better for my business.

Alt SF 2013

{lovely new friends I met at the Michael Miller dinner}

To begin the conference, I attended several roundtables that discussed how to advertise on your blog. While I do not intend to use my own blog in this fashion, I gained a greater understanding of why and how many design blogs I admire use advertising to help their own blogging businesses.

Alt SF 2013

Here I am listening in on Victoria Smith of sfgirlbybay and Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day discussing how they use advertising and collaboration on their blogs. I have found many new design products through Victoria’s site and use it each year to advertise for the Create Explore Discover Art Retreat. I have also been following Victoria and Jordan since I began my business 4 years ago and frequently go to their websites  for design inspiration.

Alt SF 2013

{Jordan Ferney and Victoria Smith}

Alt SF 2013

{Victoria and Jordan’s roundtable discussion}

After an hour of moving around different roundtables, it was time for the speakers to begin their program.

Alt SF 2013

{Mariam Naficy of}

The opening keynote speaker was Mariam Naficy, founder of (a online curated stationery shop and blog). Mariam spoke about Sustaining Yourself while Managing a Creative Business. She spoke in depth about what she termed Conviction, Consumers, Courage, Cash, Creative Management, and Collaboration. According to Mariam, successful entrepreneurs do the following:

  • Conviction: does not care what other people think. They have an idea and do it.
  • Consumers: knows who their customers are and talks to them.
  • Courage: knows an idea rarely works on its first try but is not afraid to keep trying.
  • Cash: knows CASH is KING and that milestone planning is important. Always knows their numbers.
  • Creative Management: asks the question? “whats in store for you if you succeed and your team grows?”
  • Collaboration: is not afraid to open up creatively

As a small business owner and entrepreneur it was really refreshing to hear how to sustain your creative energy because although you know these concepts in the back of your head to hear them and write them down solidifies what being in business for yourself is all about. Mariam also talked about how she balances children and family while being a female entrepreneur. I know this one first hand and also know family is my priority and my greatest support network.

Stay tuned for the next ALT post on The Business of Blogging. Special thanks again, to ALT-SF for the use of their photos for this post and special thanks to atly for sponsoring the fabulous photographer, Brooke Dennis.



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