Altitude Design Summit NYC 2013

Altitude Design Summit NYC 2013

image by justin hackworth

image by justin hackworth

Last week I was super excited to attend the Altitude Design Summit in NYC at the Martha Stewart Omnimedia Studios.  It’s hard to believe my first time at Alt was exactly one year ago – how the time flies!  However, it was nice to not have to escape to a bathroom every few hours for a discreet session with my breast pump like last year.

Of course, since I have attended Alt a couple of times now (I also went to the big event in January in Salt Lake), I definitely felt more confident and comfortable in general.  Even though I felt calm, cool, and collected, there were a few things that made me get all fluttery and excited.

Like this.

grace bonney via my instagram - @astoriedstyle

grace bonney via my instagram – @astoriedstyle

Hearing Grace Bonney, creator of Design Sponge, speak was just as you would imagine – exciting, inspiring, challenging…I was actually sad when her speech was over.  I did get to talk with her for a few minutes and joked with her that “she brought the name Grace back”.  She is the first Grace my age I have ever known, and we both related to the “Your name is Grace?  My great-grandmother/great-aunt’s name was Grace” comment which we have both heard like a billion times.  Nowadays, there are tons of little Grace’s running around – all because of Grace Bonney, of course.  I like my name – thanks Mom and Dad.

I so wish we had gotten the chance to take a photo together because I could have tagged it “Giant Grace & Tiny Grace”.  I had no idea how small she was until I stood next to her, peering down.  She is teensy…and awesome.  I really liked her.  It’s interesting to be at these conferences because there are lots of “big names” in this world you get to meet.  Some are nice to everyone, generally pleasant to be around, and don’t make you feel…well, beneath them.  Grace is one of those people.

Without a doubt, everyone was anticipating Martha.  Yes, THE Martha.  Although we did not know when she would make her appearance, I was so happy I was sitting in the front row when she did.  (I’m the blue, floral blur)

image by justin hackworth

image by justin hackworth

I would venture to say every creator in that room knows she deserves a lot of credit for paving the way, and in some aspects, giving validity to what we do.

It is surreal to be in the same room with her and hear her speak.

image by justin hackworth

image by justin hackworth

This is what the room looks like when Martha is around in case you were wondering.

image by justin hackworth

image by justin hackworth

And I am posting this photo solely because Miss Martha is 72 and has better legs than I do.  This image hardly does them justice – they are long and toned and incredible.

image by justin hackworth

image by justin hackworth

Assuredly, hearing her speak is cool, but meeting her is pretty amazing and probably a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

image by justin hackworth

image by justin hackworth

Only a handful of people got to have a conversation with her, and I was beyond excited that I was lucky enough to be one of them.  And of course, I was thrilled to have a photo to document the experience.  (Thanks Justin – happy to share it with you, Amy!)

image by justin hackworth

image by justin hackworth

In case you are wondering about my dress, it is vintage, and a $3 estate sale find.  I love it, and felt beautiful in it.  Sadly, it ripped from the underarm to the bust at the conference so I had to go back to my hotel to change before the after party.  Someone commented that “showing your bra” is the style now, but I’m not a “show your bra” kind of girl.  I changed.

So obviously, talking with Martha was a highlight of the trip, but I really loved getting to chat with some of my favorite friends from this little blogging world.

Like Jenny from Little Green Notebook. (she’s in the mint shirt and black pants)  Love her, wish she lived closer.

image by justin hackworth

image by justin hackworth

And Mara from A Blog About Love, who is as dear in real life as she is in her writing.

image courtesy of melissa hope (thanks again melissa!)

I really, really enjoy talking with people and getting to know them.  It is so inspiring to be in a room full of some of the most creative people in our country!

image by justin hackworth

image by justin hackworth

I stayed at the super chic and super cool Hotel Americano.  The food was amazing (seriously, you should go eat there even if you’re not staying there – see my instagram @astoriedstyle for photos of their food, so delish!), and I really liked the decor.  Can you find me?

photo of the hotel americano via my instagram - @astoriedstyle

photo of the hotel americano via my instagram – @astoriedstyle

The rooms are sparse, with concrete floors and just a pop of chartreuse yellow.

photo of my room at hotel americano via my instagram - @astoriedstyle

photo of my room at hotel americano via my instagram – @astoriedstyle

Alt Summit usually comes with some nice swag, but my fave this year was Martha Stewart’s new craft book for kids.  It. is. beautiful.  You should check it out for sure.

image by justin hackworth

image by justin hackworth

Paige Meredith of Approaching Joy shot this image of me taking a photo of Photographer Extraordinaire, Justin Hackworth, and his sweet wife, Amy.  I love it – it’s nice to get an artsy photo of oneself.  (thanks Paige!)  Plus it made me happy that my five-second hairdo looked so nice from the side, ha.

photo by paige meredith of approaching joy

photo by paige meredith of approaching joy

I enjoy going to Alt – it is exciting, and I always come away feeling like I have learned so much, yet wondering how in the world I will find time to implement all I desire to.  I fully realize many of the opportunities I have been given in my first year of blogging have come from the relationships I have made there.

image by justin hackworth

image by justin hackworth

However, even though I had a great time, I still changed my flight and came home a day early (I had planned on having a get-some-work-done/relax/play day).  I just missed these little faces too much.  And my husband’s, too.

photo via my instagram - @astoriedstyle

photo via my instagram – @astoriedstyle

A special thanks to for sponsoring my trip to Alt Summit NYC.   You should check out their new Bing Boards!  (they really are neat!  more to come on these later)

image by justin hackworth

image by justin hackworth

And another special thanks to Kat Phillips of who designed my business cards everyone oohs and ahhs over.

Until tomorrow.

More Alt posts (for those of you who are interested):

Alt NYC 2012:  A Look Inside Martha Stewart Studios

Alt NYC 2012: Sunday Suppers

Alt NYC 2012:  Wrap-up

Alt SLC 2013

If you have any questions about Alt, I would love to answer them for you!  Please feel free to leave them in the comments!

Written by Grace

  • Sarah Mayo
    Posted at 08:00h, 25 June

    Okay….that’s so awesome! I live through you and still don’t know how you do it! You one more than me and somehow get it all done and still are an awesome devoted mom! Super impressed! So cool you got to be with all of those great bloggers and Martha….very awesome! So cool:) Sarah

    • Grace
      Posted at 02:39h, 26 June

      Sarah, thank you so much for your kind words! I so appreciate your encouragement, but I must admit, I don’t get it “all” done. There is usually something that is getting left out of my day…like laundry or fixing my hair. 😉 You are precious! G

  • Joanna Willcox
    Posted at 09:26h, 25 June

    VERY VERY Cool Grace!!!! Love you sweets!!!!

    • Grace
      Posted at 02:37h, 26 June

      JO! Love you too, dear friend! Thank you for the encouragement and taking the time to comment. Sending tons of hugs across the miles, G

  • Elizabeth - The Note Passer
    Posted at 14:02h, 25 June

    What a lovely post about Alt. Aren’t Justin’s photos amazing?! I got your beautiful business card, but I don’t think we properly met. I hope to remedy that in the future. Keep up the great work!

    • Grace
      Posted at 02:36h, 26 June

      Hi Elizabeth, love your blog name! Yes, Justin’s work is awesome, and I hope to meet you in the future! Thanks so much for reaching out. P.S. your blog graphics are awesome, I would be ecstatic to have your skills! I’m learning…G 🙂

  • dervla @ the curator
    Posted at 15:32h, 25 June

    Hi Grace, i didn’t get a chance to actually chat with you at Alt, but wish i had. What a great recap of a wonderful day. I loved every minute of it. So excited to discover your blog and become a regular reader. And that shot with your kids is simply amazing.

    • Grace
      Posted at 02:32h, 26 June

      Hi Dervla, I wish we had met, too! Thank you so much for sending me this! I’ll be following along, too. 😉 xoxo, G

  • Emily
    Posted at 06:53h, 26 June

    I enjoyed following you on Instagram while you were there. So excited for you!
    And, I get the name thing. No one had my name in the 70’s. It was my great grandmother’s name.
    And now, there are TONS of Emily’s.

    • Grace
      Posted at 08:10h, 26 June

      Emily, thank you so much! It was a great time, it was such a privilege for me to go! G

    • Grace
      Posted at 17:40h, 30 June

      Emily, thank you so much! I LOVE the name Emily – I have never met one I didn’t like. 🙂 G

  • tj wilson
    Posted at 09:43h, 26 June

    friend – you AND your experiences amaze me. Goodness!

    • Grace
      Posted at 17:54h, 30 June

      TJ – YOU will always and forever amaze me! Love you! G

  • Shelley
    Posted at 12:06h, 27 June

    You look so beautiful in both of those dresses. I can’t believe that was a 5 minute do!! It looks awesome. I’d wear my hair like that everyday – if I had long hair. Martha Stewart – wow! Congrats on your time with her. I so enjoy reading your blog. Your kids are the luckiest kids to have an adoring mom like you!

    • Grace
      Posted at 18:22h, 30 June

      Shelley, you are so kind! I’m the one that is lucky to have them!

  • Justin Hackworth
    Posted at 15:12h, 27 June

    Here’s the truth. I had to consciously stop myself from taking more pictures of you. It just wouldn’t seem fair to everyone else, if, after all was said and done, you were in 90% of all the pictures. Glad you were there, Grace. It’s always a pleasure talking to you.

    • Grace
      Posted at 18:23h, 30 June

      Justin, you are so kind! I too so enjoyed my time with you and Amy. Y’all are so fun!