Tips for Alt First Timers

me and jeran

oleanderandpalm- great homemade facinator!

1. Get roommates. I booked a room at the Grand Hotel in SLC immediately after booking my ticket to Alt. It must have been inspired because I was a first timer and did not really know how intense the alt schedule is, or how difficult it would be to get other accommodations close by. At first I thought this was going to be a dreamy well earned alone time vakay, however since we are moving to Switzerland (VERY EXPENSIVE) I decided to share the cost of the room with some other Alt attendee’s. It was easy to find roommates and easy to replace one who had to cancel at the last minute. I got stuck in Detroit on Wednesday night and it was so nice to have someone to text and communicate with who was already there. It was also nice to have some smiling new faces to greet me when I arrived. Throughout the whole conference it was awesome to have someone you know to go to the parties with and to recap experiences at the end of our long days. I was supper lucky to get Lauren from a stylizedexistence and Jeran from oleanderandpalm for roomies.

me in the bathroom – “dressed down”

Isn’t she Glammed!?- by justin hackworth photography

2. Try not to take all the fashion of Alt too seriously-except for Alt’s feature soiree. Be yourself.: I think Alt Summit organizers and Alt Channel did such a FANTASTIC job of educating newbies on what to expect through free online classes in the month leading up to the conference. But I have to admit I kind of worried a little too much about it the fashion of Alt. I wanted to feel like myself but I knew my yoga pants and tennis shoes weren’t going to cut it. I am glad I made more effort than my normal day-to-day uniform, but I really think that, with the exception of the parties- particularly the clue party- its what ever you feel comfortable in that will suit you best. The clue party is the one exception~ can’t wait to see what they come up with for next year! The vintage outfits and “costumey” ensembles were AWESOME! At the last minute I opted for a “dressed down” low profile outfit that I felt really comfortable in, but I regretted it a little- I should have gone for my first instinct and really glam-med up!

alt cards

so which were my favorites?

3. Bring plenty of business cards and hand them out to everyone you meet. Really!
I heard other people apologizing for being out of cards by the last day. Every time you meet someone its totally fine and kind of expected to hand them a card. It helps later to remember your name or at least have a visual- color, logo, etc. on you.

Oleander and Palm, not just because she was my roommate- but seriously these are brilliant!

Striped Cat Studio – were just so darn clever- a place for notes and a cool cat paper-doll! I knew what to expect from her personality and she made sure I remembered her all with one handout! Awesome job KATE! Oh and she also carried a bag that said KATE really big down the side- this is one smart girl!

Here are some more worth note-
Whitney English card does a good job of standing out- hot pink- beautiful paper and gold edge paint.
Faux Martha- had a homemade marshmallow she handed out- she said it was a last minute idea- I think its memorable and I love the name too.
Storiedstyle- I am in love with the chalkboard design and I like that it is a booklet- It gave us a lot of info about Grace- who couldn’t be nicer!

4. Stay at the conference location. I can’t stress enough how exhausted you are at the end. How every minute is cram packed. I am so glad that I didn’t have to add transportation hassles, timing etc. to my days. It was nice to run back to the room for lip gloss or more business cards!

Grand America, beautiful bathrooms, large spacious rooms, valet parking. photographed by Justin Hackworth

5. The classes are worth it! Don’t schedule a massage instead of attending the classes. Out of all the hours I spent last week at round-tables, Break outs, design camp, and keynote addresses. I only felt like I would rather be somewhere else for about an hour. Over all the amount of helpful information is like packing in a semester of grad-school over 4 days.

Karen Walrond- from Chookooloonks spoke on finding your voice. She was a WOW, I wish she would come to my dinner party of people I admire and talk all night long!

5. Don’t forget/ or be afraid to meet people you admire. Remember to get a photo with them! After all, you probably won’t see them again until next year!

Meeting Gabrielle Blair was the highlight of my day! This was the first moment I saw her at the conference- she was announcing our keynote speaker Chris Anderson.
photographed by Justin Hackworth

I met THE Darcy Miller! That’s really her- standing next to me like we are BFF’s!

Alt Roomie Sursee’s

I am rooming with 2 total strangers for the Alt Summit in Salt Lake City this week. I wanted to share a little southern hospitality so I prepared a little welcome sursee.

  • Tiny notebook- I have heard to write everything down so that you dont forget any of the loads of info you will hear at ALT Summit
  • Some Charleston Pecan Pralines to snack on (I am allergic to pecans but I am told these are DEE-LISH).
  • A bag of Chaleston Grits – many people living outside of the south east have never had this famous staple of southern cuisine.
  • Lastly, I wanted to give them something really special and homemade. I decided to make them a postcard to send home to themself’s each day. On the front side it reads “we met at ALT” and the backsides read different one liners to tune of “Dear Self, I wanted to write you so that I will remember how I felt right now…”
    My roommates will simply write just a quick line or two and leave the card at the front desk -the postage stamps are already affixed and ready to mail home. (I told my mom and she tear-ed up, just the reaction I am hoping for! )

I loved the postcard idea so much I made a few extra for myself and a few to pass out at ALT.



Preparing for Alt Summit

I leave for Alt Summit in about 36 hours. I have spent months thinking about what to wear to Alt. I even took an online class offered by Alt channel about “What to Wear to Alt”. It was terribly helpful- and brilliant on the part of organizers, but I am still struggling. Here’s why: Fashion v/s comfort! I love getting dressed up and lovely a few days a week, but part of the reason why I love “working from home” is that I can stay in yoga pants from morning till night if that’s what I feel comfortable in. I will not be leaving my yoga pants behind, but plan to wear them only to work out (I have good intentions). The reputed fashion scene at Alt design summit is intimidating, and as a first timer I would rather fall in line than stand out because I am slumming it. Maybe after 24 hours of being just Hollee instead of mom, etc. I will feel rested and rejuvenated and like I want to dress beautifully and fashionable everyday? Maybe I will want to jump out of bed and go running on the treadmill before 7:00am? Maybe I will really enjoy shaking hands and passing out business cards and talking to strangers for 4 days? What I do know is that  I am terribly excited to be there soaking up lots of inspiration and learning day-in day-out for 4 days. I am super excited to have a few days off of my normal life to feel like a professional and I suppose dressing like one will help me believe it too. I am much more comfortable sitting behind the scene in my yoga pants with my aquaphor lip-gloss but starting Wednesday I will be wearing real clothes and real lipstick and hopefully I will recognize another part of my self for a few days. I love you Alt~ thanks for organizing this conference and allowing regular people like me to share a piece of the blog sphere.