Haven Conference 2018

Hey friends!  I’m back from a very busy week at Haven and a little mini-vacation to Charleston. It was nice to unwind with Mark after Haven was over and get a little down time after the hustle of Haven.

On another note, I’ll go ahead and let you all know the big news.  There are 3 of us bloggers on the team, me, Traci and Chris.  The 3 of us have left the Haven team and won’t be back next year.  It was a big step, but one I was prepared for.  Haven has been one of the biggest blessings I’ve been a part of for 7 years and we all knew that it wouldn’t last forever.  I have been thinking of backing away the last year or so and this year was the year to step away.  Our events planner, Kristin, is taking over Haven as the new owner so I’m not sure the direction it will take.  It’s been a wonderful run and I’m so happy to have been a part of putting this event together and having it be so successful for so many years, but this is a business decision that was made with a lot of thought and prayer. Sometimes relationships change and evolve in a business endeavor, necessitating a directional shift for all involved.

All of us who were part of creating Haven feel like we birthed something really, really special.  We got up at Haven closing to say our goodbyes and the tears came for all of us.  It was bittersweet and hard to say goodbye, but Haven has evolved and changed over the last 7 years, just as everything else has.  Haven has launched so many bloggers into doing some wonderful things with their blogs and social media and it’s a personal feeling of accomplishment to have been a part of something so special in the home/DIY blogging community.  So now we say goodbye and on to whatever God has next for us!

We went to Charleston, SC this year and it was fun to be in a new city with a different atmosphere.  I so enjoyed staying a couple days after with Mark.

As always, the brands were in attendance and they have been a special part of Haven over the years too.  I’ve made some wonderful connections myself and look forward to working with some of these brands in the future.

Ryobi has been so supportive of Haven and I’m happy that I’ll be working with them as well on my blog.

I’ve also had a relationship with Rustoleum over the years and they have been a huge Haven supporter.

Jeffrey Court tile is another one I’m connecting with and hope to do a few projects with their tile.

We have had some amazing sponsors and they are all a huge part of the Haven experience.

Ryobi outdoor products

Elkay sinks were there as well.

Haven represents some wonderful brands.

The Behr booth had a giant paintable bear that everyone painted on all weekend.

And this is what it looked like by the end of Saturday.  So pretty and colorful!

Home Depot has been a wonderful  Haven partner for all 7 years.

Blanco sinks were there and I’m hoping to work with them on a kitchen refresh at our house this year. I’ve installed 2 of their sinks in my previous homes and love them, the Silgranit composite granite sinks are great.

Our opening speakers were Chris and Peyton Lambton, from several HGTV shows. They were so entertaining and fun to listen to.

Haven is always a fun time to connect with blog friends who I’ve known for many years, like Katie Bower and Cassidy, from Remodelaholic.  Chatting and catching up on blogging with friends is a highlight of these weekends.  Blogging has changed all of our lives and it’s nice to be able to talk about it with friends who get it and are living it too.

Katie had her sweet baby girl, Ella, with them and she is such a doll.

There are always hands on classes and this year the Shanty 2 Chic sisters, Ashley and Whitney, were there to do a competition.  They had a group who brainstormed on making something out of wood in one hour and competed against 2 other building teams. It was fun to watch them in action.

Here’s what their team produced in one hour, which I thought was pretty darn cute!  A pineapple in honor of southern hospitality in Charleston.

Dremel had some fun make and take sessions.

We had a Friday night party in with several activities going on that night.

Ashley and Whitney closed out Haven with a closing talk and it was so good. They got their start early on and Haven was part of their journey as well. They came to Haven and partnered with several brands including Ryobi and have gone on to have very successful blogging careers.

The Home Depot has been the Haven Platinum sponsor for 7 years now and they were there to choose 3 winners for their Orange Tank contest. It’s where they choose 3 people in 3 catagories of dollar amounts and the participants pitch the Home Depot at Haven their remodeling ideas and what they want to accomplish.  Home Depot picks 3 winners for each category of $500, $2500 and $5000 prizes.  It’s so exciting to see the winners and what they pitch!  Can’t wait to see these ladies do some great things.

{Chris, Sarah, Katie, me, Beth}

Haven has meant so much to me personally and I’ll forever be grateful that I had a part in making it happen.  God has certainly used Haven to give to me personally and for all of us who were on the team along the way, to give back to the home decor/DIY community that blogging has grown.  It’s amazing to  look back and see how far and wide this niche has grown and I’m so happy to still be a part of it.

It’s been a fun ride and now I’m ready for what’s next!  I’m looking forward to slowing down a bit and enjoying my family and my husband and his family.  I won’t miss the planning sessions and the stress that went with it at times, but I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Haven!

- Rhoda


  1. KittyLuvr says

    Thank you for the many hours that you put into planning Haven…although I am not a blogger, I truly enjoyed seeing all the posts about Haven and learning more about different bloggers. Can you post a link to Kristen? I would like to follow her journey for next year’s Haven conference. And enjoy your well-deserved downtime!

  2. Thank you so much for putting together this wonderful event for the last seven years! I’m grateful for the friendships and connections I’ve made because of Haven. I hope you enjoy the next chapter and hopefully have a little more free time to enjoy yourself. 😊

    • THank you, April, we are very happy to have created this conference and it’s a joy to watch all of you grow in your blogging journeys as well. I will enjoy having more free time, that is for sure!

  3. jean l anderson says

    I don’t blog, but I love seeing the Haven posts and I always like to look up the gals that you show and
    see what they are doing.
    You always made it sound like such fun.
    This is a business and sometimes things grow so large and take so much time, you have to walk away as hard as it is. I know from experience that it’s always hard to turn over “your baby” to someone else no matter how much sense it makes. Once you “rip the tape off” it gets easier.
    I think about doing a watercolor blog for my art classes. If you were starting what platform or host or whatever it’s called would you use and what word processing? As you can see from these dumb questions, I’ve so not looked into this.

    • HI,Jean, thank you and yes, it is a business and not always easy behind the scenes to navigate. Relationships can change and evolve over time and you’re right, it’s not easy to walk away from “the baby”.

      I would advise anyone starting a blog to do WordPress. I’m on Genesis platform and as far as I know, that’s still a good one, but a good blog/website designer would be able to answer that better.

  4. Haven will not be the same without your steady hand as guidance. You did a fantastic job growing Haven over the past seven years. Congratulations!

    • Thank you, Nancy, I appreciate those words. Sometimes business relationships change and therefore circumstances change as well. It’s sad, but part of life.

  5. Awwww, this made me get tears in my eyes! What wonderful memories I have and I’m SO thankful to know you through this wonderful online world. You are a gem! XOXO

  6. Thank you for letting us see Haven vicariously through your posts. I remember when you started it and wanted it to be small and affordable. I guess the baby grew up….but we all do eventually grow. You have worked hard and will undoubtedly enjoy the fruits of your labor with less to do now.

    • Thanks, Gina, we’re very proud of what Haven has done for this community and as with most business endeavors relationships can change to neccessitate a different path for all of us.

  7. I’m now deciding a kitchen sink for a kitchen remodel. Considering either Silgranit or a cast iron. Sometimes I lean towards the cast iron because of the color and I have had one before. But kinda intrigued about the Blanco sink. But I know no one that has one. I have read the lighter colors stain probably go with the truffle color. Which is grayish brown. Would live to hear your opinion on these sinks. Thank you

    • HI, Kris, I have had two Silgranit sinks by Blanco, one in black and the other Metallic Gray in my previous house. I’m getting the exact same sink again in my current house in Metallic Gray because I love it that much! Easy to clean, never chipped at all and I love the big deep bowl. The lighter ones may stain so that’s why I am sticking with gray. Love them, even though they are not the trendy sink now, I don’t go for trends, I go with what I like.

  8. Congratulations on a job well done, Rhoda!

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