You Have Influence

by jenna on October 16, 2012

Last weekend I had the honor of attending, along with 200 other amazing women, the first annual Influence Conference. I’ve been to plenty a blogging conference in my day but I have to say, this was my absolute favorite conference that I’ve ever been to. Why? The answer is really simply: community.

Community.

There was a sense of community at Influence that I’ve never felt at any other conference. At Influence, everyone just came as they were and were completely accepted and loved by the entire group. There were no weird conference cliques. No separate social circles. No rockstars. There was nothing fake or forced to be found. It didn’t matter if you came alone or with five blogging friends. Once you were there, you were part of the Influence community.

We laughed, we cried, we reconnected with old friends and made new ones as well. Real relationships were formed and much wisdom + truth was poured out. Whether your intention for attending was building your online brand and blog traffic or just enjoying a total girl’s weekend, I truly felt like all needs were met. The speakers were fabulous {this one brought me to tears while this one made me nod my head yes fervently and take notes at lighting speed} and the handmade market? Well, just take a look for yourself.

Yeah, it was pretty much Etsy in real life. Amazing.

It didn’t matter if you were a mother of five or a single college girl, either. I met some of the kindest, most genuine people in my entire life.

I shared a teeny hotel room with three girls and you couldn’t even see the bathroom counter with all the hair products that were happening. We did all those girly things like share clothes {Kacia and Raechel might have made a Stitch Fix believer out of me, but more on that later!}, talk about boys and curl each others hair. Naturally, I was exhausted at the end but realized when else in my life do I get a chance to do this? A chance to share a room with my amazing sisters in Christ and just bask in sweet community. I mean, let’s be real: usually I’m just home alone with my cat.

Anyway, those are just some of my thoughts that I couldn’t help but share. I hope y’all will consider joining us next year….same place, in Indianapolis…on September 26-28 {yes, we already have dates!}.

Thanks for letting me share my heart! I love you guys. If you’d like to stay connected with what’s happening with Influence, please check out the new Influence Network site.

And, here are some of the other recaps by my fellow community leaders and friends — for your reading pleasure!



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{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

Sonal October 16, 2012 at 3:40 am

This conference looks awesome. :) Seems right down my alley and I could not agree more with the postit ! Perhaps I will come join you girls next year :)

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Jenn October 16, 2012 at 4:05 am

That last note stole my heart. I hope I find that power one day. You and your friends/these women are inspirations.

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Sam October 16, 2012 at 4:28 am

Looks like an amazing time! Indianapolis will be a fun city for next year! PS – you guys all looked so adorable!

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat October 16, 2012 at 4:45 am

Oh I am totally marking those dates on my calendar!! One thing I love about the blog community is just that – the sense of community. I would love to connect with others on a faith-based level too, and this sounds like such a perfect event for it. So glad you had such a great time!

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Molly @ RDexposed October 16, 2012 at 4:59 am

I am jealous of cute handwriting.
Clever stripes picture!

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jane October 16, 2012 at 5:03 am

haha i would say stripes and big necklaces are in!

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Michelle @ Eat Move Balance October 16, 2012 at 5:05 am

Sounds like an incredible experience! What wonderful people to spend time with and learn from. Very cool.

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joelle (on a pink typewriter) October 16, 2012 at 5:23 am

Love, love, loooooooooove that note at the end of your post. SO true.

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Abby@ Totes Delish October 16, 2012 at 5:47 am

What an amazing conference to attend! It looks like it was filled with the sweetest people and awesome speakers, perhaps going on my “to attend” next year! ; )

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Stephanie October 16, 2012 at 5:59 am

That sounds like such an amazing conference! I want to be at that handmade conference – so cute! I definitely will look up conference info for next year.

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Runner Dad October 16, 2012 at 6:00 am

Sounds like you had a great time!

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amy walters, aDESIGNdock October 16, 2012 at 6:12 am

What a beautiful post to re-cap this amazing conference. Sounds likes such an amazing conference…..thanks for making us feel a little as though we were there.
Cheers, Amy
Ps. Love all the striped-shirt/dress wear. They’re my fav ; )

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deva by definition October 16, 2012 at 6:42 am

Taht sounds like a great conference. I loved seeing all of the instagrammed pictures throughout the week, while I couldn’t attend I am eager to see what next year brings.

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Heather @ Heather's Dish October 16, 2012 at 6:54 am

i absolutely love this “review” if you will of the conference. i was really hoping to get to join y’all this year and it just didn’t work out, but i would absolutely love to make it next year! plus it’s over my birthday – that’s a sign, right? ;)

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Kacia October 16, 2012 at 7:50 am

you better be there, Heather!! we’ll have a birthday cake!

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Sarah October 16, 2012 at 10:28 am

And I expect Kacia to sing “Happy Birthday” to you. ‘Cause I like hearing angels here on Earth.

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Jenna | The Paleo Project October 16, 2012 at 6:57 am

While I am not religious whatsoever, this sense of community really speaks to me. Thanks for sharing, I especially love the idea of no cliques and no rockstars, just united on all sides. I’m so happy for you, Jenna

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Lindsay October 16, 2012 at 7:30 am

I love love love your gold necklace in the first picture of this post. Where did you find it?? I MUST have it!

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jenna October 16, 2012 at 7:53 am

It’s actually a chunky yellow necklace and belonged to my roommate for the weekend, Raechel! I believe she got it from this online shop: http://carolineg.bigcartel.com/

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Lindsay October 16, 2012 at 8:03 am

Oh my goodness, what an adorable online shop! Thanks for sharing!!

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Tami@nutmegnotebook October 16, 2012 at 7:41 am

It’s wonderful to be with other like minded people. It recharges our battery and feeds our soul when we feel validated and accepted for just being the person God created.

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Kacia October 16, 2012 at 7:51 am

I adore your guts. xoxoxox

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Amanda October 16, 2012 at 8:04 am

Thanks for sharing. Sounds like a great weekend. Random question – where did you get the jeans you are wearing in the pictures above… LOVE them!

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jenna October 16, 2012 at 8:09 am

I actually found those at the Saks off 5th Outlet store in Hilton Head, South Carolina – they are AG and I got a killer deal on them!

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kim@hungryhealthygirl October 16, 2012 at 8:06 am

Sounds like a wonderful weekend! Lots of stripes!

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Mel October 16, 2012 at 8:15 am

I’m a dork and just copied that note for myself onto a sticky note and hung it up on my bathroom mirror. Words are powerful.

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polly October 16, 2012 at 8:18 am

eeeee! :) love you.

and that last little note made my heart flip.

XOXO

and 5 oh wifey is adorable with her belly. had to say that.

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Sarah October 16, 2012 at 8:36 am

That conference looks like SO much fun! I really want to start going to some blogging conferences… it just seems like such an amazing experience!
Love the picture of the four of you- so cute! Also love, love, loveeee the idea of stitch fix! May have to try that out myself :)

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Natalie @ NS Pottery October 16, 2012 at 8:45 am

SO glad I got to meet you at the end! I’ve never felt more welcome by a community of women in my life. Thanks for being awesome!

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Jane @ In the Pink and Green October 16, 2012 at 9:02 am

I have read so many blog posts this week about how amazing the conference was and I definitely want to go next year!

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Andrea October 16, 2012 at 9:02 am

That sounds incredible! A community of blogging believers?! It’d be like meeting a hundred best friends! Glad you had a good time… If I get more serious about blogging this year maybe I’ll consider going!

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Averie @ Averie Cooks October 16, 2012 at 9:30 am

Looks like a wonderful event and so glad it was your fave blogging conference ever! I know you’ve been on tons of trips and conferences over the years, so that’s awesome that this one goes down as The Best for you!

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Addy@ Six-Kick Switch October 16, 2012 at 9:39 am

Wow, what a cool time. I’d never heard of the Influence Conference before, but I will be looking for more information!

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Caroline L. October 16, 2012 at 10:18 am

Seems like a wonderful experience – would definitely like to participate next year!

Stripes on stripes on stripes… you girls are so adorable! :)

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jenna October 16, 2012 at 10:25 am

hehe well, it was a stripes party! all the stripes were intentional :)

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Sarah October 16, 2012 at 10:30 am

Loved our time together, love your recap, love Polly’s note, love your heart. Here’s to becoming who He meant for us to be and having sisters right there to embrace us the whole time.

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Suzanne de Cornelia October 16, 2012 at 11:42 am

All of that plus pretty penmanship too! ;)

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sarah k @ the pajama chef October 16, 2012 at 12:21 pm

love this! i live an hr south of indy and wanted to attend this year, but couldn’t work it out. glad the dates are set so i can put on the calendar for next year. :)

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Deirdre @ Oh Well Whatever October 16, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Love it, I am so intrigued by this event, I would love to go next year. Glad to hear you had such a wonderful time!

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kristen October 16, 2012 at 1:24 pm

fun! fun! fun!!!

do you mind telling me what jeans you are wearing? i love the wash!

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kristen October 16, 2012 at 1:25 pm

never mind…i saw your reply above ;)

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Elisabeth October 16, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Wow! This conference sounds like a fabulous experience :)

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Emily @ Life on Food October 16, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Sounds like such a cool experience. Those connections just don’t seem to happen any more these days.

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Kim @ Raising The Barre October 16, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Beautiful! I love the note at the end. <3

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Corey October 16, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Is there a way to buy anything that was in the shop online now?? Looks like SUCH cute stuff! :)

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Kari@Loaves and Dishes October 16, 2012 at 5:32 pm

I love everything that you shared about this conference; the sisterhood, the Etsy like shopping & I love that you are all wearing statement necklaces! How fun!

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Alissa @Rags to Stitches October 16, 2012 at 5:56 pm

I’m pretty sure we’re destined to be friends forever now!

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jenna October 16, 2012 at 7:09 pm

We absolutely are! Today I took a photo of a bag of baby carrots and then tried to text it to you but realized I don’t have your number. We need to change that– stat!

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Anne Bogel October 16, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Jenna, I just love your recap–but it makes me so sad we didn’t get to chat in Indy! (I’m an introvert, too, so we could have had a lovely deep talk at Starbucks!) The beauty of the blogging world though is that we can still connect in this space. I just ordered your book; can’t wait to dive in!

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jenna October 16, 2012 at 8:24 pm

It was wonderful to hear you speak, Anne, and I’m sorry, too, that we didn’t get a real chance to connect! Your words really resonated with me though and I’m so excited for you to read the book!! :)

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luv what you do October 16, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Thank you for sharing your experience! That first picture (with everyone in their horizontal stripes) is my favorite! I love a reason for women to get together and support each other!

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Bri October 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Jenna – so nice to chat with you briefly at breakfast one morning. Best wishes for continued success with your book and blog!! So excited to watch what God has in store for you!

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Adri {Food-N-Thought} October 17, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Jenna! Amazing sense of community indeed, of family, of sisters and daughters of the One and only… Listening to your publishing story was totally my “aha! moment” for the “internet is real”, the influence is real! Thanks for sharing your heart.

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Lea October 18, 2012 at 7:46 am

This sounds like a very awesome weekend. We need more things like this in the world.

And Stitchfix! Get on that! I love them!

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Em (Wine and Butter) October 18, 2012 at 10:35 am

Hi Jenna,

Im only just reading this recap now but I just wanted to say how much it warms my heart (cheesy but true!!) to read about people finding community. I love that your faith has been able to do that for you as (and this is REALLY cheesy) I feel like community can be one of those things really missing in the US today.

Wish I could have been at the conference and met you all! xo

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Mary October 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Please try Stitch Fix and then blog about it–I’m so curious but also afraid (why am I afraid?! I just am!).

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Katie A October 20, 2012 at 2:55 pm

You are an amazing witness! It is wonderful that you use your blog in this way. Thanks for always inspiring me!

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Kim October 21, 2012 at 7:27 am

Love it!! I want to go next year! Thanks for sharing all the links and your experiences… You ladies are adorable in the pics. :)

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Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner October 22, 2012 at 5:43 pm

What a wonderful event!! :)

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