I recently attended the rewardStyle conference (#rSthecon) for the first time and I wanted to do a little recap for my readers because I know many of you … especially my readers who are women of color … have been curious about my experience.
When I started blogging, I remember dreaming of attending this conference. I’d always see girls posting from the event and I would say “one day … I’m going to get there.” Then another year would pass by and it didn’t happen for me. Something else I noticed, over the years of following the conference, is that there wasn’t anyone in attendance who looked like me. Black. African-American. Brown. Diverse. How ever you want to call it. It wasn’t there. So then I began to question if this platform was even made for me. Maybe it just wasn’t in the cards. But I kept at it because I knew that if anyone was going to get there and make a way for others to get there … it was going to be me and my extremely talented friends in the industry.
Then it happened. I’ll never forget it. I was in New Orleans with the former DSW Style Squad ladies, and Shay and I both got our invite at the same time. I was surprised, curious and excited.
What is #rSthecon?
To give some context, the blogger conference is an invite only, performance based event hosted by rewardStyle/LIKEtoKNOW.it. It happens once a year in Dallas, TX and has been hosted at Hotel Crescent Court for the last few years. #rSthecon prepares/educates leaders in the industry for what’s next in growing their businesses, while also recognizing their hard work along the way.
Should I attend #rSthecon?
If invited, I definitely think that you should attend! I had several questions running through my head when I got my invitation, including “should I attend?” I knew that I wanted to go, but I also wondered … Are they just inviting me because they need to check a diversity box? But I pushed all of those thoughts out of my head and registered! Because, regardless … this would be an incredible opportunity to open doors for so many of you who may want to attend in the future.
I’ve been doing this blogging thing for awhile now. I’ve also been on rewardStyle for a while. So having this opportunity present itself seemed like the perfect marriage of hard work and preparation.
Diversity at #rSthecon
If I could sum up my DMs from the weekend, you guys were basically saying … “WOW! I’m so happy to see some diversity this year … FINALLY!!” I heard you loud and clear and we did our best to represent our fellow women of color!
I don’t usually dive into racial topics on the blog, but I wanted to touch on this one because I know that so many of you, my readers, are like I was years ago. You guys typically either fall in 1 of 2 categories.
You either follow rewardStyle and LIKEtoKNOW.it to shop but you’re frustrated that you don’t see women who look like you enough. Or you are a woman of color blogger and you are wanting to attend the conference. I am here for both audiences and want you to know that we are working diligently to create content that you are excited about.
I want to also stress that I don’t believe in forcing yourself to fit into an environment that doesn’t want you, which is why I’ve wrestled with using LIKEtoKNOW.it consistently until recently. Because of the positive changes I’ve seen the company making, I will say that my attitude has changed dramatically and I truly believe they are working hard to level the playing field. We just have to show up to play. Nothing will ever get handed to you. We have to show up and do the work. Affiliate linking is a small portion of my income in terms of blogging, but it is a great source of residual income! And using the platform effectively to grow this area of my business is important to me. So this is why I show up to play.
#BLACKGIRLMAGIC X #RSTHECON
Representation matters. I can’t tell you how proud it made me feel to get your messages and comments saying that you were happy to see me and my friends at the conference. You guys noticed the lack of diversity, just like all of us did. I hope that you too see the positive changes that rewardStyle is trying to make and that you will support us so that we can continue to be successful on the platform. We cannot do this without you (literally!!!) I’ll be doing a why and how to shop on LIKEtoKNOW.it soon. I know some of you may not fully understand how it works, so hopefully a post will help. In a nutshell, when I post an outfit to LIKEtoKNOW.it it has all of the outfit details so that you can shop with ease! I also make a commission off of what you buy, which in turn keeps me in business. Here is the LINK to my LIKEtoKNOW.it page => CLICK HERE. If you just can’t get down with the app, you can shop my looks directly from my SHOP page! It’s the same thing!
Per usual … we danced the night away and stuck together. Here are a few pictures, although if you watched my Instagram stories, then you know that we were LIT. Always up for a good time.
Be on the lookout for more recaps coming your way soon. Thank you so much for your support and for reading!
XO – Steph
Here are links to everyone’s blogs that you can support!
2 thoughts on “Diversity & Inclusion at #rSthecon”
I’m so glad you addressed this. Because I’ve definitely felt these things about LTK. Especially when I know the founder has explicitly made comments about how Black bloggers having the content that intrigues or resonates with their core following. It’s awesome you accepted the invitation and showed up and OUT. Those communities need to know our worth and understand that Black women/ people drive culture. Not supporting us is a step in the wrong direction.
Also, don’t be afraid or shy away from discussing race – it’s real and people should hear and understand it. Keep it up girl.
Leslie / @hautemommie / http://www.thehautemommie.com
Hi Leslie, thank you so much for your comment! You are so right. We are a force! And the conversation needs to be had!! XO – Steph