The 5 Best Things I Learned at Alt NYC

alt nyc / a thousand threads
Where to start? I’ve heard a lot of things about Alt over the years, but nothing could have prepared me for the experience itself. My head is still reeling from the events of the day, which were entertaining, enlightening and — most of all — empowering.

My mind wasn’t necessarily blown. I didn’t come home with the secret password that unlocks the door to bloggy success… but I did come home with something that’s, arguably, a lot more important. Confidence.

And come to think of it, I suppose that kind of is the key to bloggy success.

Despite hearing from so many different voices, speaking from so many different perspectives, there was a constant that ran throughout the day. You have to have confidence in yourself and your goal to succeed. You have to be willing to put yourself out there, to take risks and to suffer the consequences with grace, and willingness to turn around and do it all over again. Because that is the only way you’ll make it.

I feel so lucky to have heard from such inspiring speakers as Grace Bonney and Garance Doré, and to have the chance now to take their lessons and run.

The five best things I learned at Alt NYC are more specific than the lesson above, but they all ultimately hold the same truth.

Believe in yourself, and others will begin to believe in you too…

alt nyc / a thousand threadsalt nyc / a thousand threads
1 // Be proactive.

The people you want to work with won’t just come to you; you need to go to them. Reach out and don’t be afraid to hear no. Don’t be afraid to hear no a lot.

2 // Be provocative.

Don’t cuss at your readers all the time, but don’t hold back either. Be as honest with your audience as you would be with your best friend. Don’t underestimate their awesomeness.

“Blaze your own version of a path.”Grace Bonney

alt nyc / a thousand threads
3 // Grow, learn, and adapt to change.

You should always be watching and learning.

Don’t avoid the newest thing, jump on board (because it might turn out to be Pinterest) but don’t invest all of your time in each new thing either.

“Stay in touch with what’s going on but don’t freak out every time someone launches a new app.”Garance Doré

When you start to notice that everyone is flocking to one thing, start looking elsewhere. You have to be one step ahead of the crowd.

Survey, analyze, and watch what’s happening around you closely.

alt nyc / a thousand threadsalt nyc / a thousand threads
4 // Your blog is a business.

Invest in it, think of your time as money, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re not thinking of your blog as a business, you risk beginning to think of it as a hobby, and that’s dangerous.

5 // Don’t be afraid of change.

You are your brand. As you change, and as times change, your brand will change… and your readers will not freak out. Stop worrying so much.

“What I need to do is lighten the fuck up about a lot of shit.” – Valentine Freeman, Ace Hotel

alt nyc / a thousand threadsalt nyc / a thousand threads


  1. Posted June 24, 2013 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    You hit this spot on- great post.

    • Laicie
      Posted June 24, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Paige!! Such an awesome time, I think I’ll definitely be going back. 🙂

  2. Posted June 24, 2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Nice tips, Laicie! Glad to hear you had a good experience!

    • Laicie
      Posted June 24, 2013 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Ana!! It was really great, I’m glad I can share a little of what we learned. 🙂

  3. Posted June 24, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    What a great summary of all the things we learned! I’m so glad we got to meet up 🙂 Did you end up finding some ramen while you were in town? Yummmm

    • Laicie
      Posted June 24, 2013 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      I’m SO glad we did too!! Such a great time — we drove up to Totto Ramen on Friday but we couldn’t brave the line!! I don’t blame you for skipping it so far. We ended up heading to Mekong for some pho. 🙂 And to sit outside… Friday was such a gorgeous day!

  4. Posted June 24, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    L O V E .

    • Laicie
      Posted June 24, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      Thanks lady! Glad you’re back!!

  5. Posted June 24, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    This is a great summery! Working on my own now. There’s so much material to sift through!

    • Laicie
      Posted June 24, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Tina!! There was a ton! I really felt like I walked away with so much.

  6. Posted June 25, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I completely agree about the whole confidence thing. AltNYC was a great experience, I truly realized that my blog is different than how others do things, but that’s ok…it’s what’s good for me and what makes me unique.
    It was an absolute pleasure to meet you, Laicie!

    • Laicie
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      It was such a pleasure to meet you too, Tanya!! And you’re so right — that’s what makes your blog great!

  7. Posted June 26, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    So glad you shared these awesome tips. Thank you!!

    p.s. holy crap, martha stewart was there!!

    • Laicie
      Posted June 27, 2013 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      So glad I could share!! (Crazy, right?!)

  8. Posted June 28, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing – I wasn’t able to go (boo hoo), so thanks for the recap and photos (ooh so pretty photos!!!!).

    • Laicie
      Posted June 28, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Ada!! I’m so happy to share. 🙂

  9. Posted July 1, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    This is an awesome recap thanks for sharing this we don’t have Alt summits in South Africa but I do adore reading all about it.

  10. Posted July 8, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lacie!
    I just found your blog (through Katie’s Pencil Box) and pretty much love everything already 🙂 Thanks for sharing and I can’t wait to keep reading more!

    • Laicie
      Posted July 9, 2013 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Hi Alejandra! So glad you found your way here and are loving it so far! Hope to see you around more! 🙂

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