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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sponsor Spotlight on Crystorama Lighting

On the eve of the Southern Bloggers Conference, we wanted to introduce you to another of our generous donors: Crystorama Lighting.

Crystorama is a family-owned design house and manufacturer with a 53-year-legacy of creating beautiful, fashion-forward lighting. Offering the service of a boutique design firm but with national distribution, Crystorama is a dominant producer of crystal, brass and wrought iron chandeliers in North America with an unsurpassed reputation for design, craftsmanship and value. They also have an easy to use shopping cart system and a secure checkout with, so you will have peace of mind knowing your processed credit cards are safe.  

The company was founded in 1958 by Abraham Kleinberg, and his children remain the principals, overseeing the entire design process, from pen-to-paper to CAD drawings to prototype to final product.

Brad Kleinberg, the company's president and creative director, finds inspiration everywhere for the company's gorgeous lighting designs.

In a gleaming Fifth Avenue shop window.

In the galleries of the Modern Museum of Art.

On the fashion runways.

In the hidden treasures found at antique stores and flea markets.

Lighting is jewelry for the home. It's often the finishing touch that makes a room. 

Crystorama gets that.

And as DIY, design and home decor bloggers, we get that. None of us would be caught dead with with builder-grade lighting fixtures in their home. 

Crystorama has lighting designs to fit ever design style. Traditional. Contemporary. Transitional. Youth. Ultra modern.

And Crystorama loves bloggers. They've partnered with bloggers many times on design projects and giveaways.

When you get your swag bag tomorrow, you'll find a gift from Crystorama, plus contact info for their PR agency.

(Sorry, our swag bags are great, but we couldn't fit a chandelier in each one!)

But one lucky blogger is going to win a chandelier from Crystorama, this beautiful Maria Theresa style chandelier draped in hand-cut crystals, a $450 value.

Go show Crystorama some love on Facebook and Twitter, and maybe you'll get some good karma points and win this chandelier Saturday at the Southern Bloggers Conference.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Join us for a Twitter Party

Just one week left until the Southern Bloggers Conference. We are getting very, very excited.

How about you?

We're kicking the conference fun off with a little Twitter pre-party at 8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 8.

Heather and Vanessa of At the Picket Fence have all the details about our party at their blog. 

Make sure you follow all the party hosts on Twitter:

Heather & Vanessa of At the Picket Fence

We'll also have some of our sponsors at the party, and you'll want to follow them, too. Watch our Twitter feed and Facebook page this week for the full follow list.

We'll be tweeting using the hashtag #SoBC2012.

We also recommend that you use a tool like Tweet Chat or Tweet Grid to follow along with the party. Check out this Twitter party tutorial for more info.

Can't wait to Tweet/meet you all! 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Meet more of our amazing sponsors and donors...

Being a part of the Southern Bloggers Conference organizing team has really boosted my confidence.

I used to be afraid of rejection, so afraid of hearing "no" for an answer. But lately, all I've been hearing is, "Yes." 

As in, "Yes, our company would love to be involved with the Southern Bloggers' Conference."

Our team has recruited some amazing sponsors and donors, some of which you've already read about here and on our SBC team member blogs: 

Today, I'm going to introduce you to a few more of our swag bag and giveaway donor-sponsors.

Perhaps you've heard of some of them...

Like Vera Bradley, a company that has been infusing color into women's lives for more than 30 years. 

Friends Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and Patricia R. Miller founded the company in 1982. They were wives and moms, just like many of us bloggers are, and they pored their hearts into building their dream business.

While on vacation, Barb and Pat were waiting for a flight in Atlanta when they noticed all the luggage was boring and black. There weren't any pretty or feminine bags in the terminal that day. The friends had it in their minds to change that. 

They each borrowed $250 from their husbands (really!) to buy fabric to make colorful handbags and luggage. Within a year, they'd turned their husbands' $500 investment into a $10,000 profit.

Today, Vera Bradley is one of the most recognizable brands of handbags, luggage, accessories and gifts. The publicly traded company has annual sales of $461 million through its 52 retail stores, online store, eight outlets and more than 3,400 specialty retailers. Through the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer, established in 1993, the company has raised more than $15 million and pledged an additional $5 million to breast cancer research. 

We are proud to have them Vera Bradley as a supporter of the Southern Bloggers conference. I won't give away all the surprises, but everyone who attends the conference will be getting special gifts from Vera Bradley! I will say that one of the patterns is very appropriate for North Carolina.

Like Vera Bradley, many of our sponsor companies are led by exceptional women entrepreneurs.

That's how Forbes magazine described Alison Prince, the founder and president of Pick Your Plum.

The company offers one amazing craft deal every day in limited quantities. And when I say, amazing, I mean amazing prices, amazing products, amazing customer service.

I've ordered lots from Pick Your Plum -- washi tape, baker's twine, wooden cutouts, personalized ribbon, a return address stamp, ribbon, trim....and the list goes on. That reminds me, I need to check today's Pick Your Plum deal!

And when you get your swag bag at the conference, be sure to check it for a special gift from Pick Your Plum.

When I was choosing companies to approach about potential sponsorship of the Southern Bloggers Conference, I reached out to those whose products I love and use. Like the Popcorn Fanatic.

When I first heard about Popcorn Fanatic, I sent my husband on a special trip to buy a selection of their gourmet flavored popcorn. 

I happen to live near their retail store in Winston-Salem, N.C., but Popcorn Fanatic also sells online and has a secure checkout too. So, no matter where you live, you can get your fix of delicious gourmet popcorn.

Popcorn Fanatic sells sweet, savory and candy flavor popcorn. I'm a big fan of the Chicago mix and the white chocolate peanut butter, and I'm also dying to try their pimiento cheese and sweet butter. 

The Popcorn Fanatic has agreed to make up a special flavor just for our swag bags. You can vote in the poll on the Southern Bloggers Conference Facebook page.

Will it be pimiento cheese, sweet potato, sweet butter or N.C. BBQ in our swag bags?

And speaking of North Carolina barbecue, you definitely need to try some while you're here for the conference.

Our sponsor, the NC BBQ Company, will make that easy.

They'll have a booth at the conference on Friday night, and they'll also be providing a gift box of authentic North Carolina BBQ for a lucky door prize winner. The company is also very eager to work with bloggers, so make sure you stop by their booth to talk to them.

And don't worry about how you're going to get that barbecue home if you win. The nifty thing about the NC BBQ Company is that they ship barbecue gift boxes all over the country. So, you can have authentic N.C.-style pork barbecue no matter where you live.