The Downtown Dreamer: {Recap} Spark Sessions: A Fashion & Beauty Blogging Conference

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

{Recap} Spark Sessions: A Fashion & Beauty Blogging Conference

This weekend I had the opportunity to attend a two-day Fashion and Beauty Blogger conference called "SPARK Sessions". I first heard about this conference back in the summer, and I knew I had to attend. When I purchased my ticket, the organizers had not yet released the schedule or list of speakers, but I knew it would be a worthwhile experience.

The idea for the conference was developed by Marissa Anwar from Chic Darling, and with the help of seven other amazing and influential bloggers, they came up with an informative, relevant and fun conference. The topics ranged from how to brand your blog and build a media kit to how to turn your blog into a business. Aside from the great panels, I had the opportunity to network with some other wonderful bloggers and PR Professionals. Essentially, it was a blogger's dream...especially for this newbie.

Day one discussed the foundations of blogging. From developing your brand, utilizing SEO, networking and building a media kit. It covered the basics that every blogger needs to know in order to make the most of their blog. The day ended with an after party/clothing swap, including drinks from Fresita and Bio Seaweed Gel manicures.

The Business of Blogging Panel with (L-R) Nicole Wilson, Alexander Liang, and Jessica Desjardins

The highlight of the conference for me was the opening keynote address by Jeanne Beker. When I was younger, I always watched Jeanne Beker host and report on Fashion Television, so it was truly a pleasure to hear her speak. She spoke about her life, career and experience in the fashion industry.

During her speech, she said one thing in specific that really resonated with me. She said that women often tell her, "I want your job!" and her honest reply was, "Get your own!" In fact, I once tweeted her and said the very same thing, "I want your job/life". Although her reaction was shocking, it was justified. It's so easy to covet someone else's life or career because they appear glamorous on the outside, but the truth is, we don't know what's happening “behind the scenes”. We need to find satisfaction in our own lives, and in doing so, we are able to forge our own unique paths that we wouldn’t wish to trade with anyone (I'll admit, I'm still working on this).

The PR Perspective with (L-R) Anum Khan, Cheryl Willberg, Kelsey Cole, and Valerie Stachurski

Day two was another information rich day and it built on the sessions from the first day. The panels discussed how to take great photos, turning your blog into a business, the PR perspective, and how to get published.

The conference ended with a closing keynote by the queen of gossip herself, Elaine Lui (aka Lainey Gossip). Her Q&A was blunt and refreshing. You gotta love her brazen in your face personality. She had the room laughing with some of her outrageous comments.

Conference attendees also had the pleasure of testing out the new Almay Shadow Softies. The eyeshadow comes in a variety of colours and is soft and pillowy to the touch. The great thing about this product is that you can layer it to achieve the desired colour intensity you want. A couple of swipes will give you a subdued look, but add a few more swipes and you get a colour that really pops. Almay's make up artist Jacquie Hutchinson was also on hand to dish out tips and tricks. She was hilarious and so sweet! I loved getting my make up done by her.

When I left on Sunday, I was beaming. It was great to be surrounded by like-minded people who are striving to create something beautiful (figuratively and literally). I felt so creatively refreshed and motivated. There's no greater feeling than being inspired to continue doing what you love. On that note, I've got lots of ideas and blog posts coming your way soon.

The amazing goodies & gift bag from SPARK Sessions

What inspires you?

Till Next Time,


  1. Hi Ree! You are a gem, you know that? I really enjoyed "rolling" with you, Donna and Jaimie over the weekend. We made a fantastic foursome. Keep up the great work, hun; the sky is the limit!

    1. You're the gem, Cindy! I'm so glad I had the chance to meet and hang out with you on the weekend! I absolutely love "Who is Arlette", and I can't wait to see more great things from you!