As I continue to catch you up on what I’ve been lately let me show you what I got up to at the recent #BigBloggerConference which I attended.  I wanted to wait until I’d officially launched my new store to post so that I could show you my MADE by Jade table at the conference. I’m quite sure that I’m the last person to post about this now but still, it’s always good to have another perspective!

When blogger event organisers @LDNMeet announced the #BigBloggerConference on Twitter a few months ago now, I was beside myself with excitement. Having attended a few #LDNMeet events before, such as chocolate making and Hulafit, I knew it would be a winner. This time the event boasted the chance to not only meet brands but actually sit in on workshops and learn about how to enhance out blogs – something I’m always interested in learning more about.
A few weeks before the event we were granted access to a fantastic event360 app designed by Works Digital that gave us every smidgen of info we’d want about the event from attendees, speakers and brands to detailed venue information including a floor plan of the venue (very handy as I tend to get lost a lot) and a social section kind of like a noticeboard so that we could all chat about the event in one place. This app made the usual post-event struggles, like trying to follow people you met on the day but forgot to get info from, a dream and it’s easily the most impressive and useful app I’ve used in a very very long time. I’m still using it now!

So, fast forward a few months and on one (incredibly hot) Saturday morning I jumped on the tube to Russell Square Gardens and headed to the gorgeous Russell Hotel. The venue did not disappoint. A stone’s throw away from the tube station, the grand Russell Hotel is a beauty to behold, complete with revolving golden doors and a doorman. I felt like Blair Waldorf hanging out on the Upper East Side.

Once inside I took a second to gawp at the marble staircase and plush carpet before following the signs to the conference rooms. On the way there I ran into the Event Manager and my friend and fellow blogger, Lauren, of blondevision.co.uk who announced with an incredible amount of cool that there was a mix-up with adapters (naughty Russell Hotel) and there wouldn’t be projectors for the workshops but that she was on the case. And she was. Not more than five minutes later had Lauren uploaded slides of each presentation onto the conference app so that we could follow each one on our phones – genius! This is why she is a super event organiser.

In the morning we had the pleasure of hearing from three speakers who each gave us advise on my to promote and monetise our blogs. The first was Elizabeth Seller of Pinterest, who gave us tips on how to optimise our blog imagery for Pinterest and how to use rich pins. Blogger and Tech Consultant, Jasmin Charlotte, then gave us some great tips on Search Engine Optimisation during which I was making furious notes –  SEO is the bread and butter on successful blogging! Last but certainly not least we were treated to full-time blogger Sarah Moody, whose blog I already follow and love. Sarah had some fantastic and innovative tips on ways to make money through blogging and really inspired me to have the confidence to go out and find work opportunities in relation to my blog. I can’t wait to do a lot more of this in the future.

The most beautiful notebook I’ve seen in ages! 

Sugar to keep us going, I forgot my much I LOVE  jelly beans!

After the talks, we were treated to cakes and tea before breaking for lunch. At this point I made a mad dash to the Tesco around the corner for some ‘lunch’ a large bag of salted popcorn (the quickest semi-healthy snack I could think find) and then dashed back to the hotel to ready myself to switch from blogger to brand mode as Lauren had so kindly let me showcase my MADE by Jade pieces from my online store at the conference, what a sweetie! <3.

I shared a table with Lauren’s store, The Gifting Lounge, where you can buy all kinds of adorable accessories and stationery, all for under a tenner – bargain! I think that this is such a great idea as, if you have a big group of girlfriends like me (there are 12 of us in my core group – financial nightmare!!), then it’s great to be able to find affordable gifts that are still cute and useful. Lauren’s mum had also baked some incredible fluorescent mini cupcakes which drew everyone in to our table tehehe.

Shop my store at madebyajde.co.uk

Funny story – I’d strategically placed my scented dessert candle on the edge of the table for people to smell but after the tenth person bypassed it giving me a funny look as they did so I decided to start invited people to give it a whiff. It was then that I was met with a chorus of, ‘What? Really? Ohhhhh it’s a candle!! I thought it was real food!’ and I realised what was going on haha. Clearly they all thought I’d randomly just left part of my lunch on the table. Thank you to Ashleigh of ashleighsworld.com for being the one to confirm this for me! I swiftly made a label for the candle to save everyone further confusion.

Once everyone realised what the candle was it went down a storm and I even got a couple of pre-orders! They’ve been so popular that I’m going to order some more scent oils (my supplier has about 300 to choose from, woop woop) so that I can do more fragrance combinations. So far I have Vanilla, Gingerbread and Chocolate fudge (seriously all sooooo good!). I’m also designing some exciting new shapes which will be out this Autumn and will do some fruity, floral and woody ones for people for who don’t like sweet scents.

I’d actually pulled an all-nighter the day before the event to get all of the MADE by Jade pieces finished and ready to show so I was extra anxious about whether or not my fellow bloggers would like my collection but I needn’t have worried. I got really great feedback on everything which is such a great boost of confidence after all of the hard work I’ve put into developing the collection and building the website. I think that, besides the candle, my quote easels and frames were most popular, I think because they can be personalised which is always such a nice touch. My blogging buddy, Sam, of beautifie.com also suggested that I should do these with people’s blog names on which is a genius idea and something I will definitely be offering. If you want one just email me at mailmadebyjade@gmail.com.

Towards the end of the afternoon I did manage to steal myself away from my stand to have a nosey at all of the other brands who were there. My absolute favourite was Shoeaholics who offer hugely discounted prices on designer brand shoes such as Kurt Geiger, Isabel Marant and Charlotte Olympia. Lots of other great brands were there too from hair and henna stylists to the charity Scoliosis Association (UK) for whom a fantastic charity raffle was held at the end. I gave away a £50 MADE by Jade voucher which was won by the lovely Leah who writes, Devoted to Pink, so that made me super happy!

Some beautiful Henna creations from Designed by Henna

A selection of raffle goodies from Look Fantastic

Anna of fadedspring.co.uk looking GORGEOUS! 
House of Fraser were there to show of some of their A/W collection accessories 
I had no idea that My Protein also did beautiful sportswear as well as nutrition!

Leah with her MADE by Jade voucher raffle prize! 

At the end of the event we were given what is undoubtedly the most generous goodie bags (yes, there was more than one!) I have EVER received at an event! They are literally crammed full of delights from cool hair accessories to delicate jewellery, makeup and even delicious snacks and drinks (often my personal fave haha). I literally cannot wait to go through it all and try it all properly. Keep an eye out for reviews coming up over the next few months!

At the end of the day, once we’d helped Lauren pack up we all headed to the nearest Nandos for a much need refuel and to catch up on the day’s events! After the event we got an Uber home (it literally arrived within 60 seconds of ordering it, those things are no joke), in which I fell asleep, mouth wide open as usual but hey, I hadn’t slept at all the night before, I had an excuse! I then headed straight to my friend Jess’ house for a girly catch up, some ice cream and a squeeze of her adorable baby, Charlie before I promptly fell asleep on her sofa, probably drooling and all haha. It was at that point that I called defeat and headed home for a much-needed slumber and thus my day was over.

My Nando’s usual – quarter chicken (medium), creamy mash, a side of Halloumi and a refillable Fanta – heaven!

If you attended the conference remember to use your MADE by Jade discount code written on the business cards I handed out to get your 25% OFF EVERYTHING on madebyjade.co.uk! It’s valid until the end of September, perfect for pay day! If you’ve forgotten your code just tweet me and I’ll PM it to you (it’s supposed to be exclusive to attendees so I don’t want to write it here).

For those who didn’t attend,  I’m also holding a prize drawer where one lucky person will win a £50 voucher to spend on madebyjade.co.uk. I’ll be drawing the name at random this Sunday, 27th, so make sure to follow my store on Twitter to see if it’s you! If you haven’t entered yet then there’s still time, just add your email to my store newsletter list here – it’s not spammy I promise! I haven’t even drafted any emails yet and knowing me I never will haha but you can always unsubscribe later anyway!

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x Jade Mercedes Fraser x