2014 Speakers

Speakers for 2015 will be announced later in the year. For an idea of the type of speakers we bring in, check out last year’s speakers…

Cara Brook headshotCara, Maskcara    Cara Brook is a makeup artist and beauty blogger. Her passion for showing women how to look and feel more beautiful and her down to earth approach is contagious. Since beginning her blog in 2011 she has amassed a great following, reaching over 1 million viewers a month. Cara was named Allure’s Beauty Blogger of the year for 2013 and is featured now as a contributor to the magazine each month. She also recently launched her own line of makeup products.
 Dana Willard headshotDana, MADE     Dana Willard authors the popular DIY sewing and design blog MADE and is the host of MADE Everyday–a fresh new sewing show that gives a relatable and simple approach to modern sewing. Her book Fabrics A to Z is essential for any sewist new and old. And her signature designs have been featured in multiple creative books, publications, online communities, and in award circles. Dana lives in the hot city of Austin, TX with her husband and three kids.
Kara Zitnick headshotKara, LaunchHER     A creative for life and an attorney for 12 years, Kara knows what it takes to launch and grow a business. Through her firm, LaunchHER, Kara works with creatives of all kinds and at all stages of business to grow and protect their brand with legal services, consults and legal education. Kara works with clients from around the country and world-wide. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons.
Angie Holden headshotAngie, The Country Chic Cottage     Angie Holden started her blog The Country Chic Cottage over 3 years ago on a whim. She now creates daily on her blog as well as several other sites. Angie is a wife, mom to three kids, an engineer, and one crafty lady. She currently resides on a farm in Tennessee. Angie is currently on the design team for major brands such as DecoArt, Consumer Crafts, Buttons Galore and More, Old Time Pottery, and occasional projects for Momtastic.
Beckie, Infarrantly Creative   Beckie Farrant is a tri-blogger at Infarrantly Creative, Knock off Décor and Roadkill Rescue.  She lives in Indianapolis with her soulmate of almost 15 years, Tim, and her kids, Isaac (6) and Kayla (3). Beckie loves mentoring and helping bloggers make the most of their awesomeness by consulting bloggers on how to monetize their blogs.
simple simon square photoElizabeth, Simple Simon & Co.   Elizabeth is a wife and mother to three. She first learned to sew as a teenager and then picked it back up as an adult after having her second child. She loves vintage patterns, especially children’s patterns.
Chari Pack square headshotChari, Persnickety Prints    Chari found joy in documenting through photos even as a young child. At Orchard Elementary, in the late 80’s, she took it upon herself to publish her own DIY 5th grade yearbook. 20+ years later memory keeping is still her passion. In 2009, Chari converted to digital scrapbooking documenting the lives of her husband and 3 boys. She could not find a quality, archival 12×12 print at an affordable price. After her long search, she saw a need and created her own, Persnickety Prints.
Amber Price headshotAmber, Crazy Little Projects    Amber Price is the mom of 4 little boys, wife of one great guy and a busy body. There’s a reason why her blog is called *crazy” little projects. She don’t like to sit still and is always doing something. She loves sewing, baking, reading, doing crafts with her kids and being around other people.
Bruce, Minwax   Author-craftsman Bruce Johnson has introduced millions of do-it-yourselfers to the world of wood finishing and antique restoration. Bruce has published more than a dozen books and currently hosts two television shows on the DIY cable network. He is the spokesperson for Minwax,  the leading manufacturer of wood finishing and wood care products.
Kristyn Merkley headshotKristyn, Lil’ Luna    Kristyn Merkley is a mother of 4, a wife, a blogger, a creator, a movie junkie, and a lover of life. She started her blog, Lil’ Luna, in the summer of 2010 to share her favorite craft, recipe and DIY ideas. Since then, her blog has become an escape for thousands of women and creative minds who are looking to make their lives richer through creativity. Sharing recipes, DIY projects, crafts, printables, fashion accessories, to home décor and everyday advice to survive the day.
Melissa Mortenson headshotMelissa, Polka Dot Chair    Melissa Mortenson considers herself lucky to be living in Kentucky. She is the girl behind the Polka Dot Chair blog and has been an avid sewist for over 25 years. She loves all things creative, diet coke, dark chocolate and leaving town whenever possible. She is the author of Project Teen: 21 handmade gifts to Sew, to be published with Stash Books in September of 2014.
Mark Butler headshotMark, Toughpress    Mark has been a WordPress blogger, nerd, and business owner since 2007. He’s built and sold three WordPress-based businesses, and his current goal is to keep your WordPress blog running smoothly while you produce beautiful content.
Amy Smart headshotAmy, Diary of a Quilter    Amy Smart learned to sew and collect fabric from her mom but began doing both in earnest after the birth of her first child 15 years ago. She has since worked in a local fabric and quilt shop where she designed numerous quilts, taught beginning quilting classes, and petted the fabric. She started writing her blog Diary of a Quilter in 2008 and has become one of the go-to resources for beginning quilting tutorials. Her first solo book, Fabulously Fast Quilts, will be released in April 2014.
Heather Patterson profile pictureHeather, At the Picket Fence    Heather is, first and foremost, a wife of 21 years to the love of her life and a mom to two great kids! From her home in the Atlanta area, Heather co-authors the blog At The Picket Fence with her sister Vanessa. A self-taught DIYer, who isn’t afraid of power tools, Heather’s home has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens magazine and Romantic Homes.  She serves as a regular contributor to HGTVGardens.com and Houzz.com.
Vanessa Hunt headshotVanessa, At the Picket Fence    Vanessa is co-author of the blog At the Picket Fence along with her sister Heather. She has been featured in several publications including Good Housekeeping and Cottages and Bungalows Magazine. Vanessa has a strong desire to help other bloggers carve out their own corner of this ever-changing industry, but she relishes most of all her roles as wife to her husband of 15 years, mom to her two precocious kids and homemaker.
Delia Randall headshotDelia, Delia Creates    Delia is the author of Delia Creates, a blog about creating a beautiful yet practical handmade life. She shares weekly sewing, crocheting, recipe, and crafting inspiration. When she’s not busy taking care of her three kids, or working on her latest project, you can find her on Instagram or binge-ing on Netflix and dark chocolate. 
Ashley Hackshaw headshotAshley, Lil Boo Blue    Ashley is the creative force behind the DIY/Lifestyle website Lil Blue Boo. After spending six years in the ruthless world of investment banking, Ashley decided to pursue her passion in the creative world. Her writing about the unexpected loss of her father, her battle with cancer and infertility has resonated with readers across the world. Ashley resides in Palm Desert, CA with her husband, 7-year-old daughter, “Boo,” and 2.5 pound yorkie Diesel. 
Helena Swyter headshotHelena, SweeterCPA    A licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with her Masters in Taxation from the University of Illinois, Helena Swyter helps people turn their passions into careers. After seven years in corporate accounting, Helena formed SweeterCPA – a company dedicated to providing tax, accounting, and business advisory services to creative entrepreneurs and independent small businesses. She lives in Chicago with her husband and two cats.
Gina Luker headshotGina, Shabby Creek Cottage    Gina Luker is the founder of The Shabby Creek Cottage blog & the author of How to Start a Home-Based Etsy business. She writes daily on her DIY blog, as well as for magazines and other publications. She has been featured by Etsy, Romantic Homes, Brides Magazine, and many others all over the world. She lives in rural Tennessee, with her husband and two girls, in their shabby little cottage by the creek.
Melea Johnson headshotMelea, Freebies2Deals.com    Melea Johnson, founder of Freebies2Deals.com, is a stay-at-home Mom with a 4-year old daughter and a 1-year old son. Her focus has been on helping others how to save money and become financially independent. Since its launch at the tail end of 2009, it has now become one of the largest and most popular money-saving websites in the country. Melea published her first book entitled “Choose Your Own Money-Saving Adventure” in February 2014.
 Rayan Turner headshotRayan, The Design Confidential   Rayan is the Founding Editor of The Design Confidential, a writer for HGTV.com, and a maker of things. A retired interior designer and a bit of a lazy furniture builder by trade, she is admittedly a hoarder of project supplies and lumber. A Mommy of two crazed little boys by day, and a DIY daredevil by night, Rayan is constantly pushing the DIY boundaries to find the limits of what can actually be done ‘yourself’ and what is perhaps better left to someone else…
 Meagan&Kelly-RYOBI headshotKelly & Meagan, RYOBI    Kelly Cavan and Meagan Gambone are Marketing Managers with RYOBI Power Tools, the number one consumer power tool brand in North America.  Beyond marketing RYOBI ONE+™ power tools, both ladies love having the opportunity to teach new power tool users about RYOBI tools and empower them to take on their own projects. Kelly and Meagan are inspired by DIY blogs and love to look through RYOBI Nation for their next home project inspiration.
 Katy DillKaty, No Big Dill    Katy Dill is a wife to the great Ryan B Dill and mother to 5 girls and a boy who are her sewing muses. If all she did was create all day (sewing, baking, music on the harp, and images with her lens) with her family around her, she’d call that heaven. No big dill.
 TidyMom-profile-picCheryl, TidyMom   Online since 2002, Cheryl has been navigating the world wide web and its changes as they pertain to blogging and social media. Since the inception of TidyMom in 2008, she has worked as a Brand Ambassador for companies such as Bush’s Beans, Whirlpool, ConAgra, California Milk, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Arm & Hammer, Alexia Foods, Rug Doctor and many more. Cheryl juggles her passion for life and family with baking and photography and has built her brand and online persona, TidyMom, via social networking.
 Miriam Illions headshotMiriam, Hometalk    Miriam Illions is the Director of Community Development for Hometalk, the largest home and garden social network. Since its launch in 2011, Miriam has taken the Hometalk website and built it into a bustling online community of over 300,000 members. Originally from New York, Miriam grew up in Israel and is fluent in Hebrew. When she’s not connecting with others and sharing inspiring home decorating and repair ideas, you’ll find her reading, running, or out enjoying the city!
 Lindsey Petersen headshotLindsey, Mom It Forward    Lindsey Miller Petersen is the Social Media and Community Manager at Mom It Forward, a digital agency and blogger network. Lindsey started in social media as an original member of the JetBlue Twitter team. Before her time in social media, Lindsey was a professional in the fine arts industry as a patina artist and a wax engineer at a bronze foundry. A mother of 4 and an east coast native turned Utah local, she’s a life aficionado and fun facilitator who prefers warm colors, places, and people.
 Jillee headshot 2Jill, One Good Thing by Jillee    Jill Nystul is the creative force behind the blog “One Good Thing by Jillee”. She launched her site in 2011 on a simple premise – to sort through the clutter of life and share one good thing with her readers each day. Millions of people now look to “Jillee” each month for tips on living a more frugal and healthy life. The success of her blog lead to a deal with Putnam Books to publish a book about her life and blog that will be available November 2014. She and her husband have 4 children and live just outside of Park City, Utah.
 Erica-Domesek headshotErica, P.S. – I made this…    Erica Domesek is the founder of the innovative DIY lifestyle brand P.S.- I made this… and a distinguished design and style expert living and creating in New York City. Her mission is to inspire and encourage people everywhere to embrace the concept of “I see it. I like it. I make it.” Domesek has appeared on many national TV shows and magazines. Her first best-selling, globally published book “P.S. – I Made This…” was released in 2010, and her second book, “P.S.- You’re Invited…”, was released in September 2013.
 Alicia Richmond headshotAlicia, Chic on a Shoestring    Alicia Richmond is a trained wardrobe stylist and founder of Chic on a Shoestring.  She’s been styling women for 15 years, had a weekly TV wardrobe segment on both ABC and CBS for 10 years, but she’s new to blogging. Her passion is helping women of all shapes and sizes, but her clients aren’t the celebrities you see walking the red carpet in designer gowns, she focuses on helping the everyday woman to look and FEEL great for the “red carpet” moments in her life.
 mitchell-wright-headshotMitchell, Rare Media   Mitchell has worked in internet marketing for the last 5 years, with a focus on SEO. He founded Rare Media to help bloggers make more money from their blogs, through increased ad revenue and linking up with brands.
 Donna Williams headshotDonna, Funky Junk Interiors   Donna Williams, a self proclaimed junker, authors the blog Funky Junk Interiors. Her ultimate passion is creating cool things for her home out of salvaged finds. Blogging now for 6 years, she still claims she can’t build nor do a multitude of other things, however she DOES IT ALL ANYWAY and takes you along for the ride, encouraging a no fear approach. She’s also passionate about photography and inspirational writing. She’s a mom of a teen son and 2 tuxedo cats, residing in BC, Canada.
 Alissa Circle new headshotAlissa, Pollinate Media   Alissa Circle is a wife, mother, Editor of Diary of an Addict, Co-Founder of Pollinate Media Group, a lifestyle blogging agency and Circle of Moms Top 10 Mompreneur of 2012. Alissa loves finding ways to build up the blogging community; sharing stories of what she has learned through her blogging journey and vast experience working with brands. She has a consulting program she built to help blog + biz newbies navigate the world of social media and create goals for how to continue to grow. She also travels, speaking at conferences and events around the nation.
 Sarah Crosby headshotSarah, CJ Affiliate   Sarah Crosby is a Content Development Director at CJ Affiliate by Conversant. She is responsible for promoting the benefits of affiliate marketing and making it easier for content publishers and bloggers to monetize their sites and connect with advertisers. She has over seven years of affiliate marketing experience and is passionate about helping both advertisers and publishers strategically grow their affiliate programs.
 Sara Wells and Kate JonesKate, Our Best Bites    As a young newlywed, Kate began cooking and baking nearly everything from scratch. Once she got comfortable in the kitchen, she started experimenting with different tastes, recipes, and methods. She graduated from college with a degree in English and considers herself beyond lucky that she gets to do her two favorite things: write and cook. In her spare time, she loves to read, entertain, and travel (or, at the very least, think about traveling!).
  Skye McLain headshotSkye, Skye McLain   Skye McLain is just your regular southern girl, living in Louisiana with her husband, two fur babies and a new son! She is a total type-a, list-making, obsessive-compulsive, task-oriented, perfectionist maniac. She works as a virtual assistant to creative bloggers and handmade business owners. She recently produced a virtual assistant directory, where business owners can browse for the perfect VA for them.
 Melissa Mondragon headshot Melissa, No. 2 Pencil   Melissa is a wife, a mom, and the blogger behind No. 2 Pencil. She is passionate about creating and sharing original recipes, fresh craft ideas and fun DIY projects.
 Jessica Kielman headshotJessica, Mom 4 Real   Jessica is a mom on a mission to show other women that you can live well without breaking the bank. She likes to share the thrifty, creative ways that she make changes in her home in the hopes that it will spark the creativity in someone else! She loves to share DIY projects, crafts, simple recipes, cleaning tips and also do blog reviews and consultations for bloggers who are looking for a boost!

Courtney, Cents of Style   Courtney Brown is the woman behind the fashion accessory company, Cents of Style. Courtney founded Cents of Style in early 2007, when she took her love of fashion and bargain shopping and began an accessories company. Cents of Style lives by two mottos. One, you do not have to spend a lot to look great, and two, when you look good, you feel good. Cents of Style offers women the latest fashion accessories meant to enhance any wardrobe and confidence level.

 simple simon square photoLiz, Simple Simon & Co.   Liz is a wife and mother of three who has a passion for sewing. In addition to sewing, she loves Dr. Pepper, drawing, staying up late reading, watching old TV shows on Netflix, painting, the smell of pumpkins, thrift store shopping, home grown tomatoes, virgin mint juleps, pearl necklaces and white T-shirts.
 Sara Wells and Kate JonesSara, Our Best Bites   Sara was born and raised in the Seattle area. Inspired by the lush green surroundings of the Pacific Northwest, she earned a degree in horticulture and put her talents to work as a landscape designer. Her knack for design, as well as a lifetime passion for culinary exploration and entertaining on the spur-of-the-moment, resulted in catering opportunities, which allowed Sara to showcase her belief that food can taste great and be beautiful as well.
 Aris headshotAris, InLinkz.com   Aris is the founder and owner of InLinkz.com, a service that provides tools for creative bloggers to monetize their blogs and increase their following. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the university of Thessaloniki, Greece and a Master’s degree in Information Technology from University of Manchester, UK. He started InLinkz because his wife Vicky, who is a popular craft blogger, needed a tool to share projects & run crafting challenges.
 Wendy Jackman headshotWendy, The Dating Divas   Wendy Jackman has been a part of the Daring Divas team since it was founded. She currently helps run the marketing and backend of the site and loves being a part of something so inspirational! She is married to the man of her dreams and has 3 busy kids to keep her on her toes!
Sarah-Westover-McKenna-square-headshotSarah, Bombshell Bling   Sarah is a full time stay-at-home-mom and a part time jewelry designer and blogger. Her blog, Bombshell Bling (formerly Craft Quickies), is a creative blog that ranges in topic from jewelry making and holiday crafts to recipes and home decor. When Sarah isn’t busy chasing children, blogging, putting glitter on things, and generally trying to keep up with her crazy life, she loves to sing and dance. She has a true weakness for all things colorful, holiday and s’mores!
 Tara Carson headshotTara, The Dating Divas   Tara Carson is the founder and owner of the popular website, The Dating Divas. The team behind this inspirational site is comprised of a group of outrageously fun and outgoing women who LOVE being married and want their excitement to spread to couples everywhere. Tara is married to a super good-looking and amazing guy whom she calls her BFF. Besides being madly in love with her husband, this shameless chocoholic loves laughter, colors, creativity, and her darling Yorkie.
 KariAnne Wood headshot
KariAnne, Thistlewood Farms   KariAnne writes the lifestyle blog, Thistlewood Farms from the back porch of her turn-of-the-century farmhouse in the beautiful rolling hills of Kentucky. Thistlewood Farms was one of three blogs recently nominated for Country Living Decorating blog of the year and has been featured in numerous publications.
 Jo Packham headshot
Jo, WHERE WOMEN CREATE    Jo Packham is the creator/Editor-in-Chief of WHERE WOMEN CREATE, WHERE WOMEN COOK, and where women create BUSINESS and has been a leading innovator in the handmade publishing market for more than 30 years. She is a successful entrepreneur with her own publishing company, WWC PRESS. Jo has personally authored more than 40 titles, including her best selling titles: Where Women Create, WWC QUILTERS, and Pie-ography.
 Shanty2Chic HeadshotWhitney & Ashley, Shanty-2-Chic    Whitney and Ashley are two sisters from Texas.  Through their blog, Shanty-2-Chic, they aim to share tips, tricks and projects on how to decorate and DIY on a budget.  Their goal is to motivate readers to DIY, and they are passionate about sharing time and money saving tips along the way.
Susan, Freshly Picked    Susan is the CEO and founder of Freshly Picked, a moccasin company that she started after becoming frustrated by the lack of well-designed baby shoes. Susan’s biggest thrill is not seeing her moccasins in the glossy magazines, although that is fun, it’s spotting her moccasins at the grocery store or the library on the feet of her loyal customers. Susan lives and plays at the base of the Utah mountains, with her carpenter husband and her two adorable children.
 Marian ParsonsMarian, Miss Mustard Seed   Some girls get giddy over a new pair of shoes. Marian gets giddy over room makeovers. With a lot of ingenuity, a little bit of effort, and a tight budget, she has transformed her home into a beautiful space and filled her heart with a lot more contentment. Miss Mustard Seed has grown to a blog with over 1 million hits a month, a Milk Paint line sold in over 230 retail locations around the world, a book and so much more…
VivienneWagner headshotVivienne, The V Spot   Vivienne Wagner writes The V Spot, where she shares crafts, DIY projects, recipes and funny stories.  Her projects have been featured on sites like Apartment Therapy, LifeHacker and Fox News Magazine, as well as some of the most popular craft and lifestyle blogs around. She is a wife, mom of 4 boys, loves thrift store finds (but is picky about brands of toilet paper) and is afraid of spiders, heights, and pressurized rolls of biscuit dough.
 Bev headshotBev, Flamingo Toes   Bev grew up in a family of artists and seamstresses so it is no surprise that she loves to create. She began sewing as a teenager and made her own clothes and jewelry even then. That love for DIY and creating has grown to include jewelry making, sewing, embroidery, furniture refinishing and anything else she can learn. Her style could probably be described best as a mix between modern and vintage —she loves taking old styles and making them new and fun again.
 Monica Jess EC2 BlogMonica & Jess, East Coast Creative   Monica & Jess have been best friends since they were in high school. They co-author their DIY blog East Coast Creative and host ABC/Disney’s DIY show “Knock It Off!” on The Livewell Network. Mon and Jess are passionate about showing homeowners that you don’t need to spend a ton of money to have great style! They believe that everyone has some inner DIY skills! The girls also love the blogging community and host the annual DIY competition Creating with the Stars.