I recently flew to New York to present a Copyright/Trademark Workshop at the Independent Fashion Bloggers Conference. This trip was an unforgettable experience, and if it’s any indication of what’s to come, then 2013 is going to be a fantastic year.
I met so many wonderful people, including IFB Founder and social media dynamo Jennine Jacob, model Tyson Beckford, Warby Parker Co-Founder Neil Blumenthal and Erica Lynn Young of Truth + Fashion. The panel discussions were insightful, and I walked away not only with blogging ideas and inspiration, but also new connections and friends within the fashion blogasphere. Here’s a recap of my favorite panel speakers, guests and products.
[Panel] Business in the First Year of Blogging (View Live Blog Here)
This panel addressed the hills and valleys of the first year of blogging. Insightful and honest, I appreciated the panel’s candor about the hardships of every blogger’s most important year. One theme amongst the panelists was surprise at the notion of being able to make money blogging. Tina Craig, of Bag Snob fame, admitted she didn’t know what a blog was back then and joked that the word “blog” sounded disgusting. But two months after launching, the Bag Snob earned $400 and she was hooked.
I also appreciated Craig’s no-holds-barred approach to reviewing handbags- sheer honesty is her policy. If she doesn’t like a bag, she says so with no apologies, and still maintains meaningful relationships with PR professionals.
MODEL MOMENT with Monster Headphones Spokesman Tyson Beckford, who was on hand for photographs- swoon!
CEO Talk: Lisa Salzer, Founder of Lulu Frost
Admittedly, I’ve heard of the Lulu Frost brand, but was not very familiar with it. That changed after hearing Lisa Salzer speak. Salzer creates the perfect balance of vintage classics with modern touches. Her family has been in the estate jewelry business for generations, and the brand name is a touching combination of Lisa’s nickname (Lulu) and her Grandmother’s last name. Lisa’s connection with family resonated with me because the historical aspect of vintage jewelry is what makes it so appealing and special. I cherish the pieces in my collection that belonged to my Great-Grandmother and Grandmother, because they keep me connected to these amazing women.
When Lisa was contemplating whether or not to launch the Lulu Frost line, she was sitting at home on her bed and saw a red robin land on her window sill. It was her grandmother’s favorite bird, and Lisa took it as a sign that she should move forward with the jewelry line. Today, Lulu Frost is a beloved brand, worn by celebrities, brides and women everywhere.
[Panel] Keeping it Fresh: The Secrets to Blogging Longevity (View Live Blog Here)
- It’s ok if your blog needs to change format or design; remember your passion and creativity are the constants.
- Remain in tune with your readership, don’t dumb down your content, readers are sophisticated and will rise to your level.
- Video is the next ‘big thing’ and a great way to have a conversation with your readers.
With all the buzz around Vine, Twitter’s new video app, I just may consider adding video to the Thread Conscious repertoire.
Keynote: Katia Beauchamp, Co-Found and Co-CEO of Birchbox (Read Review Here)
I’ve been an admirer of Birchbox for a while and wrote about it in 2010 during its “try, learn, buy” debut. An innovative new business model marrying the convenience of product samples with the familiarity of retail proved irresistible. Birchbox has become an international phenomenon, expanding to France, Spain and the UK, as well as adding a men’s vertical, Birchbox Man.
The other remarkable aspect of the brand is that it’s run by two women who are best friends, Katia Beauchamp and Haley Barna. These women rock tradition and challenge expectations- you can go into business with your friends and be successful!
[Workshop] Law of Fashion: A Blogger’s Guide to Copyright and Trademark Law (View Live Blog Here)
I was beyond thrilled to teach a Copyright/Trademark Workshop at IFB. I want to sincerely thank everyone at the Conference who spoke with me and let me know that he or she found the presentation informative and helpful. Remember, you can download the entire presentation here or visit the “Survey and Resources” link in the right-hand column of this page.
If you haven’t already, please submit feedback on my presentation, blog and vintage boutique by Friday, March 1st.
It was so much fun not only attending the Conference for the first time, but also being a part of the Workshops! Here are some quick highlights from my presentation:
- Copyrights exist the moment you create your photo, blog entry, etc.
- Copyright doesn’t cover names, and just because you appear in photo doesn’t grant you copyrights to that photo.
- Federal Copyright registrations cost a minimum of $35.
- One of the main purposes of Trademark Law is to prevent customer confusion about what they’re buying.
- For stronger Trademark protection, choose a unique blog name and use it consistently.
- Rule of Thumb: If you can think of a blog name in 10 seconds or less, it’s probably already taken.
- Federal Trademark registrations cost a minimum of $275 per class.
CEO Talk: Neil Blumenthal, Warby Parker Co-Founder/Co-CEO
This session really meant a lot to me because Warby Parker is a great example of the power of fashion and philanthropy. As I’ve thought more and more about how I want to live my life, I know that helping others should be an integral part of it.
I believe one of the most effective ways to do this is through a thoughtful combination of entrepreneurship and community service. It may be difficult to incorporate charitable giving, due to the inherent financial uncertainty that comes with start ups, but companies like Toms Shoes and Kendra Scott prove it can be done and it does make a positive difference.
Neil Blumenthal helped start Warby Parker to provide quality eyewear to the world, not just the affluent. As stated on its website:
“Eyewear with a purpose
Almost one billion people worldwide lack access to glasses. This means that 15% of the global population cannot effectively learn or work – a problem that Warby Parker is determined to address. We’ve partnered with non-profits like VisionSpring to ensure that for every pair of glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need.
We believe that everyone has the right to see.”
[Workshop] Beyond Ads: New Ways to Monetize Your Site (View the Live Blog Here)
Shop My Label is a revolutionary way to monetize your WordPress blog beyond conventional affiliate links and ads. Along with Glossi, I’m most excited about this e-commerce technology. You can actually embed an e-commerce shopping window within your blog, ensuring that once the reader completes their purchases they stay on your blog, rather than being pulled away by another shopping site. And you earn a commission on the sale. This is an innovative solution built to benefit the blogger. Watch the video to learn more, courtesy of Shop My Label.