On Texas Style Conference (and style conferences in general)


I loved the badges and passport style itinerary for the weekend

To say that I enjoyed myself at the Texas Style Conference would be an understatement!  Over other conferences I’ve attended or observed from a distance, I LOVED the fact that I had an entire weekend of events to socialize and get to know the lovely bloggers of attendance, not just have my picture taken and/or exchange cards, which is what happened during my one day experience at the IFB conference. I truly enjoyed meeting blogger friends I’d only interacted with on the web, seeing blogger pals I’d met before, and making new friends with bloggers from across the United States!  For me, this is the benefit, return on investment, and true wealth of knowledge that I gain from attending blog conferences.

I appreciated having a printed schedule for the day

The fact of the matter is, most blogging conferences (I’ve only been to IFB and Texas Style Conferences, so I am no expert) have panels composed of people “teaching” us how to monitize and grow our blogs, which can be learned through some research on the internet.  However, based on the panels and discussions I attended, that did not seems to be the purpose of Texas Style Conference, where there were topics like, “Creative Consumerism”, which was my favorite of them all, “Blogging Lessons Learned,” and “Why Your Blog Is Not Your Llife,” and more.

The lovely ladies from my favorite panel, “Creative Consumerism,” from L to R: Pamela (not seen), Merl, Elissa, and Grechen

I honestly tend to zone out during these panels, and actually missed a panel or two during Texas Style Conference because I was having a very important and wonderful discussion with some ladies about the lack of diversity among the attendees,  panelists, and speakers.  As a black woman, when I mention diversity, it is often assumed I only mean seeing more black people, but that is no the case.  When I say I was discouraged and disappointed by the diversity on the panels (and in the attendees), I am referring to black women, white women, latina women, asian women, thin women, short women, curvy/plus-sized women, not thin or curvy/plus-sized women, tall women, long haired women, short haired women, made up women, make-up less women, 20/30/40/50/60 and older something women, dreadlocked women, thin haired women, thick haired women, afro wearing women, and amongst this MEN, who meet any of the characteristics above and more. (I didn’t say men and women in my descriptions because the amount of male style bloggers is small and saying men and women for each characteristic would have resulted in an even longer post that, lol).

Wonderful bloggers with great style

The belief is supposedly that if there is more diversity, then people won’t come, but I truly believe that the lack of diversity is a preference of each individual conference organizer.  Or maybe the conference organizer only invites those she knows or knows of.  Though I have not attended other style conferences, I know that it’s not just an IFB and Texas Style Conference thing, as I see many pictures from other conferences, and every body looks the same :-(.  Do you know how excited I would be to attend a conference bursting with beautiful diversity?!!  I would be overjoyed and more likely to pay attention to all of the panelist because I think the variety in voices, opinions and personalities would be so much more interesting.

There were so many beautiful prints and colors worn, but I am beyond smitten with Elissa’s floral pants

While you probably will see and have seen many post recapping what has been learned from the panels of the Texas Style Conference, my greatest lessons and experiences from the conference (which took place over a weekend of various activities, which I absolutely loved!) came from all of the lovely women that I met!  So instead of my sharing what I “learned” from the panels and discussions I did attend,  I want to share with you lovelies, the great people that I met or had any interaction with, in hopes that you too will enjoy getting to know them on their blogs and websites as well:

The lovely Kyla and Reiko

There were hundreds of bloggers in attendance, but a girl can only meet so many and remember so many names :-).  I enjoyed meeting these ladies (and more that I am sure I missed).  If you have never attended a style blogger conference, it is in the relationship building that the true reward and lessons can be found, and it for this reason, that I will attend Texas Style Conference and other conferences for style bloggers in the future!!

P.S. For my regular readers, I apologize for the wordier than usual post…<3 y’all!

  • Wait, what? No one commented on this? (Or you installed Disqus later and it wiped out your earlier comments?)

    I came back to this after so many years, because I needed a good photo of the TxSC badge, etc, (which I didn’t have) to stick on a Pinterest board for an event I’m beginning to plan.
    What you say here still rings very true. Perhaps it’s gotten a little bit better. Mostly because all the non blond-with-beachy-waves-and-model-thin bloggers have formed their own events. I recently went to an over-40 get-together (not a conference. no panels) in Vancouver, BC and it was my FAVORITE blogging experience yet.

    Diversity is important. Through it, we learn that deep down, we’re all humans, trying our best to get through the day. Thanks for being you, and thanks for continuing to blog. xxox

  • I’m sure it was nice meeting other bloggers too! 🙂 It seems that you had so much fun exchanging conversations with them. Thanks for the share!
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  • OH KAAAAY, so obviously we need a face time date. I want to hear about EVERYTHING! Really for me I really wish there was not only more diversity also in terms of the kiiinds of bloggers there are and the kinds of successes there are. I want to hear everything everything everything. This coming week is crazy for me but how about we make a date the following week?
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  • Jen

    It was so great to meet you Rocquelle! And I have to agree with you and Merl, I was left with a sense of “was that it?”. I hoped and expected something different than what this year’s conference was. Despite all that, I am still very grateful for the experience and happy that I was part of it. And glad I got to meet you and all of the other wonderful women that attended TxSC!
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  • Great post. I have been thinking of doing a style blog for a few years and am a curvy, tall, black Texan. I found your blog while looking up diversity at the TXSC. I thought about making the mecca this year and didn’t due to the lack of diversity displayed on past TXSC conferences. I check out everybody’s stuff whether black, white, purple, or other, but I would like to see more diversity too. Guess next year I will have to carve out some time to attend. Thanks for sharing your experience.
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  • First of all- kuddos to you for networking like crazy! That’s an awesome detailed list of lovely ladies you met…LOVED this post! I hope it ignites a conversation about, not only the lack of diversity at conferences- but also among fashion, beauty and media in general.

  • Hello darling! First off, I have some photos of you during the thrifting seminar so shoot me an email @ info [at] merlkinzie.com and I’ll send them do you 🙂

    Second of all.. AMEN. I don’t identify myself as a plus size, merely because I dislike size in general. Though I have nothing against women being a proud plus woman, I just think it’s another label I can’t be bothered with. I do know I have curves for days and though I’m working on getting healthier, I never want to lose them. It’s shitty that the bloggers that receive national or international attention are 90% skinny & white but I try to look at it like this: they want someone bone thin and unobtrusive so as not to upstage the clothes/jewelry/makeup. If they had someone REAL and beautiful, no one would be paying attention what they want to sell. Though obviously that’s not true -as everyone likes to believe they are the ideal client- but the style of advertising is what it is. I agree with other folks that a more diverse conference needs to take place.. but why not make it more of a workshop? To be frank, I’m done with conferences. Not enough useful, viable information and too much “look at where I’VE gotten, but you can’t follow because my path was solely unique to me!” A workshop on the other hand, that promises information applicable to your blog/business/etc offers so much more bang for your buck. Just my 50 cents 😉

    So so happy to have met you!
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  • I enjoyed the post. Diversity becomes more and more important every day. I’m glad you had a good time, and thank you for sharing the links of the lovely ladies that you met. Oh how I wish there were events like this going on here in Minnesota that I could attend. =D
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  • I absolutely loved this post! Well put girl:) I wrote a similar post a while back, it gets frustrating and discouraging when you see the same prototype everywhere you turn, so I get what you’re saying. Seriously, amazing post!!

    XO, Joanne

    P.S. here is a link to my diversity post:

  • AMEN! As a plus-sized gal, there are times in the back of my mind I feel I don’t measure up because I’m not 20, white, and a size 2. The only of the factors I am is white, and even then not necessarily a desirable shade 😉 It’s kind of cyclical– the conferences book people who are some measurable degree of successful, and a significant portion of successful fashion bloggers fit in to this mold. That being said– why can’t we have Nicolette Mason, Gabi Fresh, Marie Denee, Jay Miranda, Afrobella, or any number of successful women of various sizes?

    That you for writing this post!
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  • GFS

    AMEN Rocquelle AMEN! I love your point of view. It really is about hearing from everyone. And most of all, “reaching out.” There are so many bloggers that deserve to be heard in mass media but only the “regulars” are ever asked.

    I love that your point is to include everyone…not just people that look like me. But people that like you and her and him and them!


  • Great post, Rocquelle. I have various opinions on this, obviously with me hosting the Style Bloggers of Color conference, but I think it’s a variety of things. I think that unfortunately it’s still thought that in fashion light skinned, lightweight & light haired is best. But aside from the inevitable, I do believe that brands and organizers alike only know so much. They don’t how to reach certain audiences or who to reach to. It’s 50/50. I’ve discussed it to the point of making a change myself. I’ve always been a “Change instead of complain” kinda girl.
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  • Nic

    bravo and well said!!

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  • Oh, I agree 100% with everything you said above! I’m not a style blogger exactly–I am a cartoonist/designer/sewist/knitter, etc–but I have been to many cartooning and media and sewing events and someone chose to invite/encourage certain people… and not to do the work to seek out more diversity. And they would ALL have been improved by more diversity!

  • OMG…. Im planning something like this here in DC because our events lack substance. So excited to see this and will be picking your brain VERY soon! Thank you for posting this!!!!

    p.s. yes Im trying to bring MORE diversity to my group that I am starting here. Fashion isnt just about thinness and being pastel.


  • Great post! I think an important step in increasing diversity at conferences is, increasing diversity in bloggers; encouraging others to blog, who we may feel have a interest or passion for various topics. You gave a great example of an area, ripe for growth, fashion blogging for men. Again, great post and it has encouraged me, to encourage a young man I know to take a stab at blogging since he has expressed an interest in it.

  • It was a delight reading this post. I had SO MUCH FUN spending time with you and talking with you. I do agree with your sentiment here. There probably needs to be more diversity and more warmth. TxSC is at least more interactive than IFB but yes over all we all can root for a bigger/better change! 🙂 Thank you for the mention. I am delighted to have met you.

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  • Excellent break down. I appreciate this post as I have been considering attending the IFB Conference. I definitely agree with your statement about information about growing and monetizing our blogs being readily available online. Mostly everything we need to know is available for free with a little research. Sounds like this was a worthy investment.
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  • I notice the same thing about blogger events here in Miami and also when I see other bloggers attend events abroad. I want to see and hear from everyone! People that look like me, people that don’t look like me…creativity does not fit inside a mold. All of us collectively can be a movement. So glad you wrote this post!
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  • Hope Grant

    You are absolutely right… but in the same breath that means that it means to be more diverse bloggers period. Maybe you should host a diversity blog conference that highlights individuality!!

  • I think in general there needs to be more diversity
    In the blogging world, so it makes sense these conferences represent that. My blog list is fairly diverse- I follow girls from
    All ethnicities and styles, but yea- most of the big time bloggers are skinny
    White girls. How boring.