Sponsor Spotlight // HelloSociety

HelloSociety brings the most talented and creative influencers across the web opportunities to partner with brands on exciting social campaigns. We think social media should be a beautiful and engaging experience—for brands, followers and influencers alike. That’s why we put together multifaceted campaigns that allow you the freedom to create content that speaks to the brand’s creative intent as much as your own. Whether it’s Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter, HelloSociety makes sure you work only with the brands that excite you, so everybody wins.

We are excited to be at TxSC because we are looking to expand our network with talented content creators and social media influencers. 

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Sponsor Spotlight // LUNA

LUNA is the Whole Nutrition Bar for Women.We say no to guilt, deprivation, and dieting—yes to intuitive nutrition, pleasure, quality ingredients and, of course, chocolate. We also say yes to community. From the LUNAFEST film festival and partnering with the Breast Cancer Fund to Team LUNA Chix, we support strong, creative and committed women, coast-to-coast. Most of all, we say yes to all women who wake up every day and make it happen—at work, in class, on the running path or at the playground with your kids. Whether you need a snack, need a break or just need to connect, LUNA has something for you.

We are SO excited to be at TxSC and are looking forward to being inspired by creative women who get it done…like a boss!

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Sponsor Spotlight // WallsNeedLove

WallsNeedLove specializes in adhesive wall decor, removable wallpaper and room striping and posters. The quality of our art is important to us, so we contract with the best and brightest to bring their work, as well as our own, to your walls.

We are excited to be at TxSC because last time we attended this conference as attendees and fell absolutely in love with the people and the environment. We made friends, we learned new things and got to understand the thought leaders of our industry a little better. We are proud and excited to be coming back this year! If you see us around campus please don't hesitate to come and talk to us. We want to hear from you and encourage you to stick with love! 

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Five Questions With // Jess Lively

                              Jess on podcast / website / instagram / twitter

                              Jess on podcast / website / instagram / twitter

Jess Lively teaches how to live an intentional life through her podcast, The Lively Show, and Life With Intention courses. She also designs intention tattoos (temporary!) as well as designs and collaborates on jewelry and prints. Jess recently moved to Austin via Chicago with her husband and pup. If you see her this weekend, make sure to say hi!



Q: What is the best piece of advice you’ve received or what is the one piece of advice you try to live by?

A: When I graduated and moved to Chicago and started my business full-time in 2007, it was hard.

Mega hard.

After a few months of business, I called my mentor (and the only woman I knew with a full-time business back then) and asked her if I should quit the business and get a job instead.

She told me I had to give it at least a year.

I took her advice and did what she said. She was right.

"Start where you are and just keep going" has been my mantra ever since.


Q: What’s one subject you’d like to learn but have never touched?

A: I don't know if this as a "subject" as much as it is something I'd love to be able to do well: abstract painting! I tried it once, but my husband humorously and accurately named the painting "Bird footprints on clown vomit."


Q: Do you have a go-to activity or practice for when you're feeling burned out?

A: Great question!

A little Maggie Smith on Downton Abbey goes a long way. And this this writing exercise is incredibly powerful.


Q: What is the best way for someone to reach out via email to connect? Put another way, what makes you accept requests for coffee dates or a lunch?

A: Honestly, it often has to do with my schedule, priorities in my life at the time, and the depth of connection I have to the person before the coffee date is mentioned.

I'd suggest reaching out and forming a relationship through social media and email long before asking for the coffee chat if you don't know the person well.


Q: What are your top two book recommendations?

A: Right now my two fave books to recommend are The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

Both are so good and truly life-changing when applied consistently!


Bonus Q: What is your favorite drink to order at a bar? (Selfishly asking this question since I never know what to order!)

A: A New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or champagne. : )


Sponsor Spotlight // fashionABLE

The fashionABLE mission is to create sustainable business in Africa, with a focus on vulnerable women and women-led businesses. We believe that the solutions to ending poverty lie in creating economic opportunity, and that lasting change happens when we move beyond charity and focus on producing jobs that promote dignity.  Our line of hand-made accessories include woven scarves & blankets, leather bags & clutches, and jewelry. Each product is named after one of the heroic women we work with, and comes with a note about what she is ABLE to do because of your purchase.  

We are excited to be at TxSC because we know that this group of women not only cares about looking good, but you also care about slow fashion, and know #whomakesyourstuffmatters.  We love partnering with women who want to use their voice to share about both our beautiful products and the stories behind them.  We can’t wait to connect! 

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Sponsor Spotlight // Minted

Minted is a design marketplace connecting consumers with the world's best artists to create something one-of-a-kind. Minted's community of independent artists and designers are located in 48 states and 43 countries. They are illustrators and textile designers, painters and packaging designers, marketers and stay-at-home moms. They share a deep love for creative expression, personal development, risk-taking, and most importantly, paying it forward by helping each other. 

Minted would love to connect with bloggers who adore great design and want to support indie designers.

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TxSC + TOMS Tribe

WHO: TOMS is in business to improve lives. Through our supporters’ purchases, TOMS helps provide shoes, sight, water and safer birth services to people in need. At TOMS, we know our community of supporters helps to take our movement further. We aim to provide community programming, resources, and opportunities that invite our supporters to get deeper involved with our brand, beyond our products. 

WHAT: Grab your paintbrushes and bring your glue sticks! This year at TxSC, we are welcoming all attendees to join us for a TOMS Style Your Bag craft night. This month, TOMS launched the TOMS Bags Collection. Each Bag purchase helps us to provide a safe birth to someone in need. The Style Your Bag event is a great community activity to support our newest product collection and we are looking forward to sharing both (and having fun) with each of you!

HOW: TOMS was built with the support of our community. We want to invite each of you to encourage others to create positive change along with us. We hope you will join TOMS  in sharing the power we as individuals have to disrupt the common ways of thinking about business. Empower your online communities to participate in purchases that give back! Feel like taking it a step further? Participate in our annual awareness days:

  • World Water Day: March 22nd, 2015
  • One Day Without Shoes: May 21st, 2015
  • World Sight Day: October 8th, 2015

WHERE: Three cheers for the internet! Not only has it led Bethany Joy Clark, attending on behalf of TOMS, to meet all of you fabulous bloggers – it is also how she met her husband. A quirky coincidence she and TxSC Founder Indiana Adams share!  

We look forward to learning more about each of you and your passions at TxSC this week, friends! 

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Five Questions With // Megan Silianoff

                               Megan on blog / instagram / twitter / pinterest

                               Megan on blog / instagram / twitter / pinterest

Megan Silianoff is a writer and blogger based in Houston, Texas. In addition to publishing her memoir in 2013 and blogging at Greetings from Texas, Megan offers consulting on social media strategy and copywriting and speaking at conferences and companies such as Facebook and Alt Summit (and TxSC, this is her second year speaking!).

Now that you’ve “met” Megan, let’s get to the know her even better. And say hi if you see her this weekend, she is just as witty as her writing suggests!


Q: Who is inspiring you right now? Or, who is your long term muse?

A: I have a lot of “muses” for different things but I’ll answer in regards to fashion. The Olsen Twins always are always interesting, skinny, and well clothed. Olsens Anonymous is one of my blogroll staples.

Mucho Mucho Bueno Bueno is my other fashion go-to. Every time I see Brandi either on her blog or in real life I'd like to immediately switch outfits.


Q: What’s one subject you’d like to learn but have never touched?

Art. I want to get into art. Like, straight up art history course style. My current knowledge level is the same as Lisa Turtle (Saved by the Bell) when she famously said,  "What is art? Are we art? Is art, art?”  But I want to get well versed in the subject and eventually have paintings in my home and be able to recognize a Picasso, for example, when I see one. Or just be able to name another painter besides Picasso really.


Q: If you could have coffee with anyone tomorrow, who would it be and what would you talk about?

A: Judd Apatow. I’d try and sell him my screenplay. If that didn’t work I guess I’d settle for a Judd/Megan selfie…and maybe Jonah Hill’s phone number.


Q: What is your favorite drink to order at a bar? (Selfishly asking this question since I never know what to order!)

Being the good Wisconsin girl that I am, I love an Old Fashioned but you have to be at the right bar. Either somewhere classy that knows what they’re doing or just anywhere in the cheese state. That said, if I’m looking to get particularly rowdy or do a bit of binge drinking, I’ll go *RBV all night long. (And then typically vom the next day.)

*RBV = Red Bull + Vodka.


Q: What is #1 on your wish list right now?

Have you seen these GINORMOUS beanbag chairs on Amazon?  You can get them up to 8 feet long which is completely ridiculous in the best possible way. Macy is starting to jump out her crib on the regular and I’m thinking a mammoth beanbag is a more fun option than a toddler bed. Either that, or a Chanel bag, and Mace can just sleep on the floor.



Five Questions With // Becky Murphy

                 Becky on instagram / twitter / pinterest / blog

                 Becky on instagram / twitter / pinterest / blog

Becky Murphy is an illustrator and author based in Austin, TX. Becky spends her days illustrating and writing books (check them out here and here), doodling flowcharts (need to decide if you should wash your hair today?), and illustrating/lettering client work. Pretty dreamy, huh?

Let’s dive in and get to know Becky. And if you see her this weekend, she loves to give high fives!


Q: What is the best piece of advice you’ve received or what is the one piece of advice you try to live by?

A: I'm not sure what the biggest and best advice is, but something I keep coming back to are the words on one of my favorite Marc Johns pieces:

Don't forget to play.

My best work happens when I'm having fun, just doodling or expounding on an inside joke. When I don't give myself space to play, everything becomes rigid and formulaic. There is a time and place for grinding, but to me, play is essential in creating meaningful work.


Q: What’s one subject you’d like to learn but have never touched?

A: Sewing and textile design. I dabbled in it in high school, but I tried to make towel shorts and sewed the crotch shut, so I don't think it counts.


Q: If you could have coffee with anyone tomorrow, who would it be and what would you talk about?

A: In this moment, I'd say Lorne Michaels. I'd want to know more about the production of SNL and what it was like when it started. Did he have any idea of what kind of legacy it would have? Did he let it take on a life of its own or was he just that kind of visionary from the get go? I'd also ask him about every single cast member and host and find out everybody's secrets. I'd hope this coffee date would lead to subsequent coffee dates with Tina Fey, Kristen Wiig, Jimmy Fallon and Kyle Mooney.


Q: What is your word for 2015? Or your mantra?

A: It was abundance. Abundance of time, energy and everything. But I'm already having second thoughts and lately replaced that mantra with "create space." There's a Japanese practice (hara hachi bu) that tells you to eat until you are 80% full. I'd like to be able to schedule my life to only be 80% full.


Q: What is one thing you think TXSC attendees would be surprised to know/learn about you?


  1. I have really bad breath in the morning

  2. I was home schooled in first and second grade

  3. I'm really jumpy. So jumpy that I once injured myself after being scared by my own shadow.



CAMP TxSC // It's on!

One of the things that I'm most proud of regarding AdoredAustin.com and my time in Austin is the Texas Style Council Conference. 

I'm a gatherer. I love getting a crowd together to have a good time, so in 2010, when I found myself lamenting the fact that I could not afford a SXSW Interactive badge, I decided to go rouge and throw my own thing for likeminded women. I sent out some emails to some women I admired for a get together at my friend Tracy's place for quiche and crafts. News 8 tagged along, fellow blogger Grechen suggested that a learning component be added for the following year, and boom! Before we knew it, Texas Style Council had become a full blown three day conference, with attendance from all over the world with amazing sponsors and lovely attendees and knowledgeable / nationally known speakers, including The GlamouraiSusan Koger from Modcloth, Lucky Magazine, Kendi Everyday (keynote in 2012), and Emma and Elsie from A Beautiful Mess (keynotes in 2013). 

A snapshot of some of the attendees at our the very first TxSC in 2010.

A snapshot of some of the attendees at our the very first TxSC in 2010.

And although I love gathering a crowd, the minutiae that's involved with planning events escapes me. Event planning is not my forte, it's not something I enjoy, and never in my wildest dreams did I think TxSC would grow the way it has. I have been very fortunate to have the hardest working support team come alongside me since year two to help put it on. This cannot be said enough!

After every year's conference, I ask, "If we do it again, how can we do it better and differently than what we just did? How can TxSC be different from what's already being done?" And every year, I'm flooded with emails from happy attendees and a handful of emails with really honest and helpful constructive criticism. I'm proud of the work we've all done-- all of us! And best of all, I have found something I really care about: helping people use their online presence to create offline connections. Some of my most lovely friendships have been born from TxSC and I've watched women meet through TxSC to partner together to form new businesses. It's been a trip!

Nathan Russell's TxSC photobooth in 2011 was a game changer. 

Nathan Russell's TxSC photobooth in 2011 was a game changer. 

At the conclusion of TxSC 2013, there was this moment where I was thumbing through the program, marveling at all the people who had come. We had nearly 400 attendees, an amazing set of speakers, three very full days of programming, and incredibly supportive and well received sponsors. My staff was so hard working and so well balanced. We had found our stride. Despite the hard work and how personally I take every bit of criticism, I wanted to do TxSC14 for sure.

But as the year came along, I couldn't find an answer to my annual questions. "How can we do it better and differently than what we just did? How can TxSC be different from what's already being done?". I had already scrapped the panel format. I had already provided smaller workshops.

I'm still in love with pictures from Peter Tung's balloon photobooth from 2012's TxSC.

I'm still in love with pictures from Peter Tung's balloon photobooth from 2012's TxSC.

The landscape of blogging has changed a lot since 2010. The amount of resources out there for bloggers is astronomical. Aside from the networking part of the event, I couldn't figure out how TxSC14 could be something that added anything new to the conversation or provided anything of value to the attendees. There were other conferences out there doing what we did, but on a professional level.

Is TxSC happening or what?
— everyone

Potential sponsors kept emailing me. Would be attendees kept emailing me. Wannabe speakers kept emailing me. But TxSC was dead in the water. Add in that my family is moving from Texas to Georgia and I have a new baby (and two other kids!), I just wasn't able to get the inspired idea that would help me flesh out what TxSC14 could be. I took the website down and was bummed.

My amazing staff and a portion of our hardworking volunteer corps from TxSC13.

My amazing staff and a portion of our hardworking volunteer corps from TxSC13.

On top of this, TxSC had a branding problem. We had pivoted. What had started off as an event for the fashion-minded, evolved into something that in 2013 was attended by 2/3 bloggers and 1/3 business owners and brands. Of the bloggers, a less than half were solely fashion focused, whereas the other half+ were bloggers who identified as lifestyle bloggers, parenting bloggers, photographers, or food bloggers. "Texas Style Council" had become a misnomer. If some kind of TxSC rebirth happened, I knew I'd have to rename it, thus risking losing any brand equity we had in the TxSC name. But it could not be denied: TxSC desperately needed to evolve.

At my going away party at Langford Market, I was chatting with some fine folks about the possibility of doing TxSC like a retreat. Strip it down of all its glitz and glamour and dial in on what's important: content and connections. I didn't think the fancy TxSC crowd would go for it, but the amount of enthusiasm that people had for my little glimmer of an idea was unreal. Best of all Melissa Massello, who had run TxSC's clothing swap in 2011 and 2012 had recently moved to Austin from Boston, and she felt she had the time and energy to join me and Kristin as a partner. And because I'm relocating, I needed another set of feet on the ground here in Austin.

I sent a feeler email out to a group of women I loosely refer to as the TxSC advisory team (they always get these long, rambling brainstorming emails from me at 2 am). It said this:

Like a zombie, TxSC has risen from the dead.

It's going to be different... REALLY different... from our past events. Less polished. Less stiff smiles. More dirt. Hopefully more authenticity. We're pitching this as a "retreat". 

Blogging has changed A LOT since we started TxSC in 2010 and so many of us feel stuck in a weird place of being inspirational / adding value to the web vs. being real and authentic and not deemed a sell-out because we work with brands. I've felt stuck and stagnant for years and I'm just now coming out of that fog. I think some of you feel the same way, too. 

I think the best way to get wind behind our sails and the best way to remember why we started blogging in the first place is because at our core, we're story tellers. We have stories to share and we want to hear the stories of others. 

So... that's the theme this year. Story telling. How can we do that as best we can, via photos, social media, branding, writing. We're really taking a step back and focusing on content. 

If I have to sit through one more talk about "How to make money from blogging" or "How to gain more followers" I am going to pull my hair out (incidentally, these are great questions, but they are questions that have been answered at ad infinitum on forums such as IFB and Blogher).

This TxSC (Texas Storytelling Camp?) is not the place for THAT. It's a retreat to refocus and re-energize. 

I want to scrap the idea of doing a day full of presentations. Instead I see us offering a bunch of very small, hands on workshops, so casual and so simple that it's more like a gathering around a campfire versus a seminar

The initial response to this has been very warmly received. I feel confident saying that TxSC15 is ON. We're looking at March 2015, and we've scouted out a venue about 45 minutes northwest of Austin. There will be camping. There will be s'mores. There will be bunk beds. Did you ever go to summer camp as a child? It's going to be like that but with a bunch of post-college internet ladies, okay?

Peter Tung's Squarespace photobooth from TxSC13 was amazing, too.

Peter Tung's Squarespace photobooth from TxSC13 was amazing, too.


We are currently dreaming up a new name for this thing, and I think taking 2014 off was good. It gives us the space to say that this is something completely different. 

Our theme this year is CAMP: Create A Meaningful Presence. It's an event for any woman who has a presence online, be it a blog or simply social media as part of their brand. We're a little biased, but we really think TxSC15 (or whatever we rename it) is going to be awesome. 

Plus it's given me the opportunity to watch Troop Beverly Hills and Moonrise Kingdom on repeat. If you have any questions or just want to give me a virtual fist bump about TxSC15, feel free to leave a comment or contact me