It sounds like a cliché, but it’s the truth: each year the competition gets tougher! This year, 17 business-minded and daring individuals entered submissions to the Perfect Pitch IV contest. Let us begin by saying CONGRATULATIONS to all 17 contestants, because we know that submitting required a lot of courage, preparation and energy. After tallying the scores from our illustrious panel of judges, we are ecstatic to announce the following three finalists:
In the fall semester of 2014, I had a couple of textbooks that I tried to sell to the bookstores, but they were offering me next to nothing in return—$10 or $20 back for books I bought for about $150 and so on. Feeling discouraged, I decided to try to sell them online as an alternative and a found a website that bought them back for $50 and up per book (still only 1/3 of what I had spent). I then started to wonder: if the bookstores are going to continue to drive prices upwards whilst keeping buy-back percentages low, why can’t we recycle the textbooks and resell them to other college students who would buy at a less expensive and negotiated prices? I immediately contacted Kareem Garriga, our technical writer, about this bare-bones idea and together, we conceived the implementation of a software platform where college students could buy,sell,swap, and rent their textbooks.
EVER FEEL LIKE YOU WANT TO GET A MESSAGE ACROSS? BUT YOU RATHER NOT SAY IT OUT YOUR MOUTH? HERE’S THE PERFECT SOLUTION, WEAR YOUR MESS. OWN IT! DON’T BE AFRAID TO SAY WHAT YOU’RE THINKING ON YOUR SHIRT.
MESS IN A BOTTLE IS A NEW T SHIRT COMPANY DEVELOPED IN THE HEART OF BALTIMORE CITY BY ARCHITECT AND DESIGNER, KALILAH WRIGHT. BEING A FREE SPIRITED AND SOCIAL INDIVIDUAL, SHE FREQUENTLY SPEAKS HER MIND. SHE DECIDED TO CREATE THIS T SHIRT LINE TO TELL OTHERS WHAT SHE’S THINKING WITHOUT EVER OPENING HER MOUTH. IT THEN CLICKED. THESE SAYINGS ABOUT LOVE, CAREER, AND LIFE ARE WITTY CATCH PHRASES THAT SPEAK TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC.
THESE MESSAGES ARE FEATURED ON YOUR SHIRT AND THEN PACKAGED IN A REUSABLE GLASS BOTTLE.
ColoredContent is the premier source for quality Black web series. The platform was created to amplify the voices of Black media makers by showcasing narratives from a variety of genres, including: comedy, romance, and action. We believe that by creating a place for Black people to share their stories the community will be empowered. ColoredContent.com is a subsidiary of the CLRED Media, Inc.
Make sure to follow each one of these rising stars, congratulate them and get your seat front and center to see them pitch live next week on Saturday, November 5th @ 10am at Blogalicious Weekend 2016!
Remember we announced our Who’s That Girl? contest in May? We needed you to help us name the mysterious woman in the Blogalicious logo, because after all, she’s been down with us the longest. That feat alone deserves a naming ceremony.
The rules stated that whoever came up with the best name for our mystery woman would win a complimentary two-night hotel stay at the Grand Hyatt hotel during Blogalicious Weekend. After months of deliberation, Team Blogalicious came together and chose the Who’s That Girl? contest winner. (P.S. thanks to all of you who participated in our final poll in the Social Suite.)
You might know her online as @andinsommary. From Team Blogalicious, Sommar, we’re so excited to meet you at #Blogalicious8 and hope you have an amazing time! Thank you for your very cool name submission: Lady B!
Show her some love, guys.
Deya Smith (aka Deya Direct!) is warmly regarded as ‘The Go-to Girlfriend’ as a result of her producing high-level media content that counsels, empowers and caters to women and their lifestyle. In her quest to help women with self-love and love relationships, Deya Direct also developed the “The Man Whisperer Series” which is a multimedia panel and course that teaches women the art of connecting to a man’s heart. A former Miss Black USA, she brings her unique skills as a national correspondent/host; her passion and knowledge as a veteran producer; her charisma and sense of humor as an actress, blogger, personality, inspirational speaker, and most recently author; to the world of multimedia. She is also the creator of the social media community Fly and Fabulous Women of Purpose.
This best-selling author has been writing blogs for the benefit of millions for over 12 years. Known for her direct and provocative style, Deya works as the Lead Content Producer for the nationally-syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show (TJMS). The TJMS reaches 8 million listeners daily. DEYA DIRECT, who speaks directly to the hearts, minds and souls of women, pulls no punches with her engaging approach, is becoming an influential voice to be reckoned with.
Originally from New Haven, CT. Deya now resides in Dallas, TX. She is a graduate of Howard University. And engaged to be married.
With her vast experience producing content for radio, for web and most recently with her newly released book, Soft Is the New Power (affiliate link!), Deya is the perfect fit for this year’s conference theme #ContentIsLife!
Connect w. Change The Cycle at the Conference
They’re back for the 3rd year in a row! You love them and so do we – Change The Cycle will be hosting a Hospitality Suite on Friday, Nov. 4th and Saturday, Nov. 5th where you can visit them to have engaging conversations about your cycle. If you’ve been to the last two Blogalicious Weekends, then you know their Suite is always the place to be! Make sure to also catch them and their expert panel on Saturday at 1:30pm in the Grand Ballroom – more on that to come, as well as one more fun surprise.
About Change The Cycle
Change the Cycle is an online community, funded and developed by Hologic, Inc., where women who suffer from heavy periods can share their experiences and learn about solutions. As a leading global healthcare and diagnostics company, we strive to make advances toward greater certainty for our customers by providing them with cutting-edge technology that makes a real difference. We move to narrow the gap between doubt and confidence and work to achieve both incremental and transformational progress to improve patients’ lives. We are passionate and resolute in our purpose; we call it The Science of Sure. This ethos is extended throughout our core offerings: Breast & Skeletal Health, Diagnostic, and GYN Surgical Solutions. We believe it is our responsibility to offer our customers ever-greater certainty – what we call progressive certainty – by pushing the boundaries of science
Connect w. Jack Daniels at the Conference
This year at Blogalicious, Jack Daniel’s invites all of you to become “Friends of Jack.” Throughout the weekend, you can stop by the “Friends of Jack” Lounge in the exhibitor hall for fun demos, tastings, prizes and more. And onFriday, November 4, Jack Daniel’s will host an elite offsite event for all “Friends of Jack”- both old and new. Keep up with Jack Daniel’s activities throughout the weekend using #FriendsofJack.
About Jack Daniels
The Jack Daniel’s Family consists of the world-famous Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey, Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select, Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails, and the seasonal Jack Daniel’s Winter Jack Tennessee Cider.
No matter which you prefer, we hope you enjoy a little Jack!
Connect w. Jack Daniels Online
JackDaniels.com | Twitter: @jackdaniels_US | Facebook: /jackdaniels | Instagram: @jackdaniels_US | YouTube/jackdaniels
Connect w. Hasbro at the Conference
On Friday, Nov. 4th and Saturday, Nov. 5th, meet TORCH, My Blazin’ Dragon pet, an exciting and spunky baby dragon from the FURREAL FRIENDS line from Hasbro, in their Hospitality Suite. They’ve got a mystery for you to solve, so brush up on your detective skills! This adorable plush baby dragon takes pet play to the next level featuring 50-plus sound and motion combinations. Don’t forget to feed him his treat – a tasty, toasted marshmallow! Follow the search to find out where you can find Torch at Blogalicious and receive a special treat of your own! #WhereisTorch
Hasbro is a global company committed to Creating the World’s Best Play Experiences, by leveraging its beloved brands, including Littlest Pet Shop, Magic: The Gathering, Monopoly, My Little Pony, Nerf, Play-Doh and Transformers and premier partner brands. From toys and games to television programming, motion pictures, digital gaming and a comprehensive lifestyle licensing program, Hasbro fulfills the fundamental need for play and connection for children and families around the world.
The Company’s Hasbro Studios creates entertainment brand-driven storytelling across mediums, including television, film and more. Through the company’s commitment to corporate social responsibility, including philanthropy, Hasbro is helping to build a safe and sustainable world and to positively impact the lives of millions of children and families every year.
Connect w. Hasbro Online
Follow us on Twitter @Hasbro for company updates and initiatives &@HasbroNews to get the latest news on our world-class brands.
Check out our checklist to ensure that you get the fullness of the Blogalicious experience. We want you to learn and have fun. If you do these things now, you’ll spend more time doing just that come November 3-5!
These Exhibitor sponsors can’t wait to connect with you.
Connect w. IZEA at the Conference
Welcome back, IZEA! As influencers, we are always looking at new and smart ways to monetize our content. Stop by IZEA’s booth on Friday, Nov. 4th and Saturday, Nov. 5th to learn more about their platform and how it might be a fit for you.
IZEA provides bloggers, Viners, Instagrammers, YouTubers and other online personalities the ability to monetize their online influence. Use our platform to connect with brands you love for sponsorships. [You might even recognize a familiar face!]
Connect w. Domain.ME at the Conference
We’re excited about this one. Next month, Domain.ME will be putting the ME in MEdia Kit. You’ll be able to stop by their booth on Friday, Nov. 4th and Saturday, Nov. 5th to sign up for a special workshop on creating an effective media kit. Every content creator building a brand should have one! Welcome back for the 3rd year in a row, Domain.ME.
Are you trying to find a way to take control of your online identity? Maybe trying to position yourself as a thought leader in your industry? .ME is uniquely positioned to provide you with the space you need to build your personal brand and create a captivating online persona that’s a direct reflection of YOU.
But maybe, you are more interested in giving your business a more personal feel? No problem! .ME provides you with an easy way to build on your Me Selling Proposition and create a community around your brand.
Connect w. Domain.ME Online
Domain.ME | Twitter: domainME | Facebook: /domainME | Pinterest: domainME | YouTube/dotmechannel
Connect w. Phonetic Eyewear at the Conference
Raise your hand if you spend hours in front of a computer monitor each day. We thought so! For that reason, we are excited to have Phonetic Eyewear at Blogalicious. Phonetic Eyewear was created by optical industry professionals determined to find a solution for digital eyestrain that was both fashionable and affordable. Learn about the technology behind this innovative eyewear by stopping by their booth on Friday, Nov. 4th and Saturday, Nov. 5th and see if this could be a solution for you.
About Phonetic Eyewear
At Phonetic Computer Eyewear, we offer glasses with clear, prescription quality lenses that have a special coating to deflect a portion of unwanted blue light. We put these lenses into our frames designed for you – someone who wants to protect their eyes and still look good. Available in plano (no prescription), add powers for a little extra magnification, and with prescription lenses, our frames are perfect for working at your computer or tablet, and stylish enough to wear all day long.
Connect w. Phonetic Eyewear Online
PhoneticEyewear.com | Twitter: phoneticeyewear | Facebook: /phoneticeyewear | Pinterest: phoneticeyewear | Instagram: phoneticeyewear
Want the conference schedule at your fingertips? If you want quick access to the most up-to-date conference content, visitwww.blogaliciousweekend2016.
Connect w. Coca-Cola at the Conference
Kicking off our event on Thursday, Nov. 3rd at 7pm, join Coca-Cola for their Welcome Reception in the Grand Ballroom at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta. They’ve got an enchanting evening in store! Then, on Friday and Saturday, stop by their Hospitality Suite in the Buckhead Ballroom to refresh your world.
The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, one of the world’s most valuable and recognizable brands, our Company’s portfolio features 20 billion-dollar brands including, Diet Coke®, Fanta®, Sprite®, Coca-Cola Zero™, vitaminwater®, POWERADE®, Minute Maid®, Simply™, Georgia®, Dasani, FUZE® TEA and Del Valle®.
Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of 1.9 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce their environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world’s top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system associates.
Connect w. Coca-Cola Online
For more information, visit Coca-Cola Journey at www.coca-colacompany.com, follow them on Twitter at twitter.com/CocaColaCo, visit their blog, Coca-Cola Unbottled, at www.coca-colablog.com or find them on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/the-
Connect w. Kia at the Conference
With the big way that Kia is supporting Blogalicious Weekend, there’s no way you’ll be able to miss them! From taking part in their Ride and Drives to visiting their Kia Lifestyle Hospitality Suite to hearing from one of their top executives at the Brand Bosses panel on Thursday, Nov. 3rd – and more, Kia is making it their business to connect with you on a meaningful level.
World-class design and engineering. That’s our mission.
At Kia, we’re inspired by the idea that you should love driving and owning your car. Designing, engineering, building, and bringing you that car is what we do. And we love what we do. Turns out we’re not alone. Auto experts and everyday drivers love what we do, too. The 2017 Sportage won the Red Dot Award for Product Design in 2016. The 2016 Optima received Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com Midsize Car Best Buy Award. The word is out. The superlatives are gratifying. Yet we’re determined to keep evolving. To that end, Kia has been making news with a remarkable run of firsts. We introduced the superb K900, our first rear-drive, full-size luxury sedan. We debuted the Soul EV, our first all-electric, zero-emissions vehicle. The soon to come 2017 Optima Plug-In Hybrid is our first vehicle of its kind. The exciting firsts go on and on. From design to technology, materials to safety features, Kia continues to innovate and upgrade our entire lineup.You deserve to own a car you love. We invite you to discover the “New Kia.”
Connect w. Kia Online
Twitter: @kia | Facebook: /kia | Instagram: @kiamotorsusa
Connect w. Dove® at the Conference
Our Friday Morning Opening Session will feature a #SpeakBeautiful Panel Conversation presented by Dove® with some of your favorite influencers (those juicy deets coming soon!). Then, please make sure to stop by their Hospitality Suite on Friday and Saturday for some pampering. They’re also going to send us off with a bang during our Closing Day Party, with even more surprises! During the conference, Dove® will showcase a portfolio of product collections, including:
Dove® Dry Oil Moisture Body Wash features a unique formula with a blend of Moroccan Argan Oil beads to replenish 12x more skin natural nutrients than competitors
Dove® Dry Oil Beauty Bar features ¼ moisturizing cream and Moroccan Argan Oil to gently cleanse and care for your skin
Dove® Dry Spray Antiperspirant goes on instantly dry and delivers 48 hours of odor and wetness protection with all the care of Dove for softer, smoother underarms.
Dove® Regenerative Nourishment provides perfectly nourished hair that’s 100% visibly damage free
Dove® believes in making beauty a source of confidence, not anxiety. We’re honored to be part of this year’s Blogalicious to continue bringing awareness to our message of confidence, empowerment, and beauty for women of all ages and backgrounds, both online and off.
At Dove®, we know that social media bombards women and girls with messages that can be hurtful and destructive to their self-esteem and confidence. Dove® research shows 82% of women feel the beauty standards set by social media are unrealistic. In the African American community, not only do those unrealistic beauty ideals come from social media, but are also filtered through the lens of mainstream society. To address these issues, Dove will introduce its #SpeakBeautiful initiative to the Blogalicious community and lead an empowering conversation focusing on using self-acceptance and understanding how personal online and offline behaviors can impact and inspire women and the next generation of girls.
Did you reserve your hotel room for #Blogalicious8?
The Grand Hyatt Atlanta is offering conference attendees a special rate of 169/nt. There are only a few rooms left and the cut off date is Wednesday 10/12! Local folks, you might want to consider booking a room because our conference sponsors have some amazing guest room surprises in store. *wink wink*
Book here: http://bit.ly/b8hyattrsvp
More Blogalicious Weekend Updates are on the way!
Team Blogalicious is excited to announce New York Times Best-Selling Author, Luvvie Ajayi will be in the hooooouse! Her debut book: “I’m Judging You” launched on September 13th and became an instant best seller. From Blogger to Best-Seller: Luvvie truly epitomizes our conference theme: #ContentIsLife
Luvvie will be at Blogalicious Weekend on Friday, November 4th at 6:00pm. Following her chat with Blogalicious Co-Founder, Stacey Ferguson, Luvvie will host an autograph signing + photo session. Bring your copy of “I’m Judging You” for her to sign. If you need to order a copy, you may do so here.*
In just a few short years, Twitter – and Instagram for that matter – have quickly moved from this ‘quirky-hipster’ kind of technology to a powerhouse social media platform used to promote awareness on so many different issues. The hashtag, in all its simplicity, has been rebranded as a conversation starter. Whatever you choose to put behind the hashtag symbol has the potential of driving a conversation to the next level and before you know it, you’ve joined a movement you care about all from the comfort of your smartphone.
But is it enough? How does this platform get people off their devices and connect to people on the ground? As a blogger or thought leader, how can you effectively engage your audiences on these issues? Most importantly, how do you balance your personal and professional life/view without alienating your audience?
With all that is happening in the country, this conversation is essential. We carefully curated a group of social media influencers in our community to lead the conversation: #Hashtag Activism during Blogalicious Weekend.
This is a HOT TOPIC and we want you to be a part of the conversation! Meet us at Blogalicious Weekend in Atlanta November 3-5, 2016. Tickets are still available.
See you there!
Sonia Smith-Kang, owner of Mixed Up Clothing, shares her heartfelt experience after taking the Blogalicious stage last year. She, along with two other finalists, competed for the Perfect Pitch III contest, where the prize was $5,000 cash and financial mentorship from Wells Fargo. With our fourth contest racing around the corner, we asked Sonia for words of encouragement for anyone interested in submitting for this year’s contest. Read what she had to say below.
I walked up to the stage at Blogalicious ’15 ready to pitch my butt off. I had spent numerous hours memorizing all my facts and figures about my small business, Mixed Up Clothing. I created a beautiful slide show and brought in samples of my children’s clothing line that represent cultural diversity. I felt ready! I was given the “ok” to start my pitch.
My voice cracked immediately and I couldn’t shake it. I was nervous but I finished and waited for feedback from the judges. What they had to say wasn’t pretty…
“You had all your samples yet you never showed us any of them”, one remarked.
“You rehashed all your facts and figures which we already had as part of your application. That time could have been spent talking more about what you would do with the money”, another commented.
Needless to say I didn’t win the competition and I’m not going to lie, it sucked. I felt like a failure and I after the winner was announced, I headed back to my room as I could feel the tears welling up. I took the back way to an elevator when one of the judges caught up with me.
“Can I be honest with you?” she asked. I nodded and she told me
“You needed to own your s-it! You went on stage shaky and rehearsed. You shared all you had accomplished: being on the Today show, The Real and other media outlets. You included celebrities that you have worked with as if to give you cred. You gave others the credit for your success and as a woman, I get it. I’m telling you this because I want you and other women to take ownership of your accomplishments and not give anyone the power.
“It is YOU who made your business happen. YOU got your clothes in boutiques and in the media. YOU are the story behind your brand. You failed because it wasn’t YOU who was on the stage today.”
She continued, “Right now, right here, I want you to tell me why YOU left being a critical care nurse and started your kids clothing line?” I opened up and shared with her my background and how my business came to be as a result of struggling to find clothes that represented my children’s mixed-race background.
“That’s it,” she yelled. “Your face lights up and I see what this means to you. We couldn’t see that on stage. You are the brand and when folks are trying to decide whether or not to give you money, they want to get behind the person who is making things happen.”
It’s been a year since I was on stage at Blogalicious ’15 and I have learned a great deal since that wonderful event. I wish the next finalists the best and would share this last bit of advice I take with me every day: if you don’t believe in you, why should anyone else? Know that you belong there, on stage and in business so own it!
Thank you to all the wonderful folks at Blogalicious who saw the need for us to get together and learn from one another. To my co-finalists: wishing them continued success. To sponsors like Wells Fargo who want to see small businesses succeed and to the judges who take the time to offer feedback to those like me who want to improve. And finally, to the judge who saw something in me and helped me find my voice, thank you.
Follow Sonia on social media:
Wells Fargo is back again at Blogalicious Weekend with the Perfect Pitch IV. Submissions are currently being accepted until Friday, October 7, 2016. More details here: http://bit.ly/ppivb8
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions!