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My first Blogger Meet-up and 40+ fashion

30-40+ Blogger Meet-up

It took me over a week to pluck up the courage to buy a ticket to the 30-40+ Blogger Meet. I thought it would be full of fashionistas who had thousands of followers and who’d been born blogging about glamorous frocks, expensive bags, false nails and eyelashes. It was taking place in the Kings Road, which is way outside of my East London comfort zone. I assumed I would feel out-of-place with my hair half grown out to grey and my work-in-progress, midlife blog. But with a big push from my other half I did attend and my fears were unfounded, it was just what I needed to get me focused.

I met a lot of kind, creative women, ate a very pretty lunch, learned a bit more about blogging and discovered a new fashion brand for older women. Catherine Summers of Not Dressed as Lamb organised the blogger meet and gave a presentation of her own tips for blogging success. They included being prepared to take risks in revealing your personality online and creating an authentic experience for your readers. This resonated with me – the posts where I’ve written about my dad and finding a care home for my mother have been the most carthartic for me to write.

 

Hope for us all

Nayna McIntosh, founder of Hope at the 30-40+ bloggermeet

Nayna McIntosh, founder of Hope

The Blogger meet was sponsored by the fifty plus fashion brand Hope Fashion UKfounded by the gorgeous Nayna McIntosh. Two things struck me about Nayna– first was how great her short salt and pepper hair looked (serious growing-out-to-grey envy going on here). Second was her warmth and authenticity which made it very easy to engage with her brand’s ethos. Made here in the UK (and Italy) Hope is challenging the mainstream fashion industry to think again about older women. Despite spending the most on fashion fifty-plus women are woefully neglected by the high street.

There was a lot of talk about confidence and body image which is a real issue for older women. Hope’s clothes have been thoughtfully designed for relaxation and comfort as well as style. They’ve also re-introduced the concept of ‘social shopping’. Pop-up Hope boutiques and party events are held in customer’s homes creating an emotional shopping experience that is shared with friends. Who among us could resist making a purchase when it’s given the thumbs up by the people we love and trust? It’s a great idea and one which nurtures the circle of friendship which is at the heart of the Grown Gals community.

I tried a few items on and the quality is undeniably good. But as a 53-year-old still trying to pretend I’m not – the style is just a bit too old for me – I’ll be there in a few years time. Meanwhile I can think of a few girls in my WI who might appreciate a Hope party night.

In an extremely generous gesture Hope gave us all a fabulous fuchsia pink fine merino and cashmere poncho and so, being shy, I sought the help of my dog Ricci to photograph it for you:

Hope_Poncho

 

Goody bag

Diamante wrap bracelet in Blogger Meet goody bag

Diamante wrap bracelet from Lizzy O

To tell the truth I would have been happy with the bottle of Evian and two macarons I found in the goody bag. In addition, though, I received a pretty diamante wrap bracelet from Lizzy O – run by blogger Elizabeth Yeowart of What Lizzy LovesOnce again I got Ricci to help me with photography. There was a lip pencil from Laura Geller; an eye serum sample from Verso; a delicious lemon scented body spritz from I Love…; a caramel coloured lip balm from Burts Bees; a copy of Blogosphere Magazine and a notebook and pen. Wow.

Last but not least there was the most fabulous raffle prize – a work bag made by designer Jennifer Hamley and won by blogger Amanda aka Ginger Mum.

 

The 40+ Blogger Meet roll call:

Grown Gals is all about sharing our midlife experience and one thing that the 30-40+ Blogger Meet made me realise was that there are lots of fabulous women doing the 40+ fashion / beauty / travel thing really well. They are all slightly different, so it’s about following the women you connect with. There’s a full list of the 30-40+ Bloggers on the event website for you to discover and explore. The list below are the women I bonded with over the shared lunch table… it was great to meet you all and I am so pleased I wasn’t the only newbie!

Alternative Ageing – fashion and lifestyle by the gloriously individual Suzi

Fabulistic fashion and skincare for women of colour by Kathleen

Funkyforty fashion, travel lifestyle by Yvonne in Zurich

Life Begins at... – lifestyle and a bit of everything by Diane and Lucy

MelissaJaneLee – lifestyle by Melissa

Petite Silver Vixenpetite fashion by Jacqueline

StyleSplash – fashion and beauty by Emma 

Vanity and Me fashion and beauty by Laurie

 

14 Comments

  • Ooooh Avril, you’re speedy at putting your post up about the meet. I’ve not even started writing mine! Really enjoyed reading your account. I love the photo of you wearing your poncho with Ricci. I couldn’t believe how generous Hope were at giving us all one. It’s beautiful.
    Thank you so much for the shout out. How kind of you to include blog links of all of us who were on the same table. I would’ve loved to have chatted with you some more.
    I didn’t realise you lived in London – I’m south of the river along with Laurie. We will have to meet somewhere in the middle of town and have a mini London posse meet up!

    http://petitesilvervixen.blogspot.co.uk/

    • Oh thanks for taking the time to read it – I really almost didn’t go but I’m so pleased I did. I would love a London meet up – you two were down the other end of the table! x

    • Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. It’s good to step outside of our comfort zone. Summer drinks – yes please!

  • Avril this post is such a wonderful write-up – thank you so much for the kind words!! I’m so pleased you DID decide to go in the end and enjoyed it, I was really determined to make it as friendly and relaxing as possible for everyone. The reason I had the idea to start this type of meet was because I was sure there were older bloggers who felt that they wouldn’t “fit in” at events which generally were attended by a lot of 20-something bloggers. And from feedback I’ve had I think I was right… Bravo to you for making the decision to come despite your fears, you made the right decision, girl!! hehe 😉

    I do hope you’ll help spread the word to others who may be unsure about going to the next one…? I hope to see you again when we can have a longer chat I hope 🙂

    Much love and thanks again
    Catherine xx

  • I’m not sure that my last comment got posted….
    I am definitely up for a London meet up as I’m sorry I didn’t get to speak to absolutely everyone on Monday. I’m sure we all learned a lot and the generosity of Hope Fashion UK in giving us glorious pink ponchos was another beautiful surprise!

  • Great write-up for a fab event. I’m sorry I didn’t get to speak to more of you, including you Avril. I’m in London and would love to meet up, swap ideas and just chat some more. Lovely to talk to those of you I did manage to meet.

    • Thanks to everyone for taking the time to read the post – but don’t feel bad that we didn’t all get a chance to meet – it’s just so nice that no-one felt left out (or at least I don’t think they did). With so many interesting women there it would have been like speed-dating to get round everyone! Hope to see you all again soon. Avril x

  • It was lovely chatting to you on Monday! Thank you for including the blog links…I’m now on a mission to follow everyone on all platforms! Hope to see you at the next blogger meet. It’s great to discover your blog – I’ve subscribed so I don’t miss anything 🙂

    Emma xxx
    http://www.style-splash.com

  • Hi Avril. So glad you went to the meet. It’s only my third one and I’ve been blogging for three years. I felt daunted at the first one but came away buzzing as I have done from the subsequent two. You made me smile about the eyelashes! You look great and thank you very much for mentioning me along with the jewellery and well done to Ricci! Have a lovely weekend, love Liz xxx

  • Hi Avril, it’s lovely to read your post on the meet up. It’s so interesting to read how so many of us were so nervous in the run up to it! I couldn’t tell at all and thought it was just me.

    Thank you for the link back to my blog. It was lovely to meet you and I hope we get the chance to chat again at a future meet up. In the meantime I’ll be popping by to read your blog again. Melissa x

    • Thanks Melissa – I’ve been reading everyone’s great posts about the event too – what a talented bunch! Its nice getting to know everyone through their writing (and pics). Hope to see you again. x

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