This weekend over the 9th/10th May at The Royal Institution in Central London a slice of social media history will be made in the form of Blogtacular. The event created by Kat and her partner Kat Goldin has been designed to be… “a place for people who create vibrant and original content to discuss their work, fill their minds with new ideas and to collaborate with fellow bloggers”.
No doubt it will be the ‘place to be’ for those keen to learn more, who are either “It’s just a hobby” bloggers, brands looking to cosy up to charming, successful bloggers, or the fully fledged ‘head of school’ types, who knows their data science from their GitHub.
On her admired blog Housewife Confidential, Kat introduces herself as a “...shameless know-all and self-taught geek with an unquenchable curiosity“.
As I have decided that ‘geek’ is the new black, and I’m campaigning for a Bsc degree in ‘Curiosity of all things worthy’ to be a new addition to the LSE timetable, I had to get a piece of the action, and find out more about her world. Cue : drum roll, and read on…
If you sneak around Kat’s charming blog, you will find it sparking with articulate features, fresh photography and inspiring creative-craft and lifestyle posts. You will then hardly believe that she has the time, energy and commitment to run a further cluster of businesses.
Well be impressed, as her talents range from film making courses, coaching and consulting services, speaking and creative campaigns, website creation, an online film and photography school (with her partner Kat again), founding Blogtacular, and caring for a happy family of 3 small kids, 1 supportive husband, and taking on various personal photography (instagram), craft and cooking projects.
On that note, I will make a note to self to instagram/blog/study/photograph/quilt/bake more, what have I got to lose?
Where did you go to school and which jobs did you most enjoy – do you have any mentors that helped you along your way?
I went to school in Winchester. I’ve worked in lots of big companies from the NHS to Starbucks to the energy industry mostly as a small cog. I didn’t really have any mentors but what my past work life gave me is a good grounding in customer service, branding, marketing and process. I frequently draw on my experiences now I work on my own business.
Which were your favourite parts of education, and if you could go back (fees all paid by us!) then what else would you study?
I love learning. If I could learn without having to write essays I wouldn’t hesitate. I really loved science and maths and could happily spend the rest of my days discovering what they have to offer. I was very drawn to visual subjects at school and really wanted to do graphic design, sadly my mother wouldn’t agree to it. I find it ironic that all these years down the line I spend a great deal of my time learning about design and applying it in my work.
What are your aspirations for Blogtacular, and what have you learnt from the process so far?
I dream of Blogtacular becoming a cornerstone of the creative online community. Having yearned for somewhere to connect with the online community for so many years seeing it come to fruition is almost unbelievable.
My big takeaway is that year one of a business is as hard as they say! This is the first business I have run which required investment and sales to make it happen and that has been a steep learning curve for me. I’ve developed a thicker skin to rejection and have knocked on more doors than I thought possible. I’ve also found that people share our vision and we have been given help from people who want to see Blogtacular succeed as much as we do.
Martha Lane Fox has just called and is giving you £10k to spend on your business, which areas of your business will you spend the money?
Wow Martha, thanks! I would probably invest in year two of the conference, use some money to secure the venue and the rest to book more amazing speakers. With year one being a lean year making sure year two happens is incredibly important to us.
What are the 3 most important items in your handbag?
I don’t have a handbag! I always have my iPhone, keys and wallet with me. Not incredibly exciting, just the essentials.
You get front row seats, One Direction, Andrea Bocelli or Blondie?
Blondie! But Blondie from the 80s, having seen them a few times I would love to hear Debbie Harry perform as she was then.
Who are your favourite craft bloggers for kids, and have you a simple craft tutorial for kids you can share ?
Where would you love to spend an afternoon with your favourite people?Given free reign it’s always the beach or the woods. My favourite beaches are Studland on the Isle of Prubeck.
Which are your 3 favourite shops ?
What treats are on your birthday list this year?
I just got an early birthday present! It’s a long slider for my camera, totally geeky but I love the opportunity to add to my bag of tricks. I would really like to be surprised with a massage or spa trip. I’m feeling pretty run down at the moment and I’m in need of some pampering.
You have a ‘whole’ day off where would you spend it to take in some creative inspiration ?
Name a couple of your favourite books from your bookshelf.
I adore Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials Trilogy, I have lost count of the number of times I have read it. About a Village by Owen Jones and E J McCabe is a new favourite, I am finding so much inspiration amongst the images of Firle.
What tools, software or photography equipment do you use for your work that you can not live without?
Canon cameras, always, I currently shoot with a 6D. My go to equipment is a Manfrotto tripod with pan and tilt head, an interval timer, wireless remote and Rode mic. I edit with Adobe Lightroom for photos and Premiere Pro for films. I spent a long time resisting learning editing software which was a huge mistake.
Name 3 blogs in your reading list.
Which cookery book/s are well thumbed, and loved ?
We cook a lot of our meals form Jamie Oliver’s books. Nigel Slater’s books are for inspiration and culinary dreaming. My best thumbed book is my kitchen notebook. I’m always trying new versions of food I’ve enjoyed and most of our family recipes are written in here.
Can you share an inspirational quote with us ?
Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Steve Jobs
We are good at keeping secrets, can you share with us a blogging tip?
Write about what you love the most. Put your energy into what gives you energy and your blog will thrive.
Thanks Kat, super good luck with the first ever Blogtacular event this weekend.