Where it all began…
When I started this blog back in September last year it was an outlet for me to showcase our home improvements with the aim to inspire (or at least try!) other like minded bargain obsessed ‘home faffers’ like myself. Never in a million years did I think people would actually listen to what I had to say, let alone like what I wrote and keep coming back for more. How very wrong I was!
This little Savvy spot of the Web has now received over 21,000 views to date, with over 8,000 unique visitors. Numbers that are beyond my wildest expectations of what I ever could of wished for this blog to achieve in such a short space of time! Not only that but earlier this year I received a very suspicious email with the subject tilted ‘Congratulations you’ve been nominated’. Assuming it was spam and so not paying it another thought I let the email get burried with the rest of 100 plus emails I receive a day (I know, I need to familiarise myself with the unsubscribe button! ?). It wasn’t until a week later the same email aerrived again at the top of my inbox, I thought it was strange for such a well established interior company to missend an email twice so I humoured myself and opened it.
It wasn’t a joke or a mistake, my blog, my tiny little blog had been nominated for in my opinion one of the most prestigious awards within the interior design blogging sector! With so many questions whizzing around my head I called my Husband to tell him the news, I remember saying ‘but how, how can I have been nominated’ to which Scott replied with ‘I told you, you’re good at this stuff.’ ?. Taking this as a massive compliment I started to begin believing in myself and my blog.
In the weeks that followed Simply Savvy Me started receiving more readers, more subscribers and I began to receive collaborative emails more than ever before! The extra exposure I received for being nominated for ‘Best Newcomer’ gave my blog the exposure it craved and I couldn’t be more thankful to Amara and their incredible team for this.
Filled with a new found confidence, coupled with an ignited spark of passion I set about promoting my blog in any way I could! I enlisted the help of my family, friends, readers, Instagram followers and whoever may love my blog to help me gain as many votes as possible, enabling me to reach the final.
The shortlist was made up of just six blogs from the original 25 that where nominated, to be part of that final six was the biggest honoured I could of ever received. I was amongst truly inspirational interior designers with equally inspirational blogs and there I was with no interior design experience writing on a blog still set to the free preset template ?. To say I felt like a fish out of water would be an understatement, but still I was a fish swimming in the same deep and uncertain waters as all the other nominees and this filled me with so much pride!
Having also admired and read so many of the shortlisted blogs within the other categories I was filled with so much excitement and anxiety at the thought of potentially meeting the creative geniuses behind these creative outlets!
The awards night arrived swiftly came around. I had imagined myself spending hours getting ready for this once in a blogging lifetime event, however this was not the case! In actual fact I spent ten minutes topping up my half a day old make up after just having changed into my gorgeous, glamorous outfit in the not so gorgeous, not so glamorous tiny cubicles of McDonalds! ? It was the most unglamorous thing I think I’ve ever done, but with not wanting to draw attention to myself and get changed at work (how embarrassing! ?) and with a 7pm kick off getting dressed in Mcdonalds and catching the train straight from work was the only option we had. I still left the toilets (basically portaloos) feeling like a million dollars and was told by two total strangers how lovely I looked (quote, unquote!) one of them even wished us a wonderful evening, my theory is that everyone is happy whilst tucking into a big Mac and fries! ?
Obligatory train selfie! Arriving at the ceremony on time and feeling pretty happy with ourselves we were greeted with an extremely warm welcome in the form of Sipsmiths Gin!
We checked our coats into the cloakroom, took another selfie or two, grabbed a sparkling beverage and made our way into the glamorous crowd to begin some serious mingling! You can’t beat a blurry selfie! #selfiepros ? It’s often been said that I can ‘talk for England’ and so when it comes to meeting new people I thrive. Scott on the other hand, being the man of few words like he is was dreading our ‘moment to mingle’ (as I’d very cheeseily put it) but was on absolute form; introducing himself, talking day jobs, cracking jokes and just embracing every minute! An absolute sterling effort from The Ryder Beside Her, I couldn’t of been more thankful.
Let the most mingling commence! I’d spotted the very lovely Mrs.Rackley from Mrs. Rackley Home and instantly made a bee line for her. Having followed Mrs.Rackley and her inspiring Instagram account since forever it was such a surreal moment meeting her in person, I felt like I already knew her!
Posing in true Insta style! (poor husband’s!)
During our posing, being the ever so bold person that I am I had asked an absolutely gorgeously dressed member of the glamorous crowd to take our picture. Having asked this lady only moments previously to take a picture of Scott and I! She was incredibly nice and kindly obliged, I knew I recognised her from somewhere, but just couldn’t think where.
In true mingling style I couldn’t help but introduce myself to her, when in doing so she explained she was Sarah Mailer from the ever so chic interior blog Girl About House and was in the same category as myself (Best Newcomer). I instantly knew who she was as I’d read her stunning blog and just felt compelled to tell her how amazing it was! (If you think I’m cringey on Instagram, you should see me in real life!)
BBF’s! (Blogger Best Friends ?)
Sarah and I Instantly hit it off, with having so much in common and sharing the same passions for all things beautiful in Interiors and fashion. Our Husband’s seem to get on well too!
Chatting with Sarah and hearing about how far she’s come and how successful she is inspired my passion for interior design even more. Sarah’s timeless blog rightfully took home the award when she went on to win ‘Best Newcomer’. It’s honestly one of the best blogs I’ve come across in a while, my money’s on her at next year’s awards already! To ensure you never miss a post from Sarah you can subscribe to her winning blog here.
En route to the stunning Bakala Auditorium where the ceremony was being held, I spotted Oliver Thomas! Oliver made it to the final of BBC’s Great Interior Design Challenge. He was my absolute favourite personality of the series, I loved his style and charisma and so meeting him was such a pleasure. You can find more of his impeccable interior styling here.
Trying not to look so star struck! As if that wasn’t enough I then spotted the gorgeous Catherine from The Dainty Dress Diaries. Catherine was absolutely beautiful, one of the nicest, most down to earth people I’ve ever met. I introduced myself to her whilst walking into the ceremony and so sadly didn’t manage to snap a picture with her, I knew it wasn’t the best timing but I couldn’t miss the opportunity to say Hi! Catherine went on to win Best interior Lifestyle blog, an award so well deserved. I was over the moon for her and let out a little ‘whoop!’ as she received her award (crazy fan alert! Sorry Catherine ?).
The awards were hosted by the very glamorous interior stylist, designer and journalist Sophie Robinson along with the incredibly charming, witty interior designer and architect Daniel Hopwood. The two paired together were comedy gold and had kept the auditorium highly entertained!
Icon pair, Sophie Robinson and Daniel Hopwood getting ready to present.
Me and my old friend Daniel!
The ceremony saw deserving blogs go on to win Awards in their categories or gain new blogging status by receiving ‘Highly Commended’ by the panel of credited judges.
The very best of the best! You can find links to all the winning blogs here.
It was an evening filled with so much joy and achievement. Even for those of us who didn’t win, just being shortlisted or in my case even nominated was the most incredible success. There was such a sense of unity, the interior blogger community coming together to celebrate one another and raise each other up! It was an amazing evening, one I’m truly humbled to be able to say I’ve been a part of!
Thank you to everyone who voted for me, without you I wouldn’t of experienced such an incredible experience. And thank you Amara for a beautiful evening and for such generous goodie bags!
Yup! We couldn’t believe our eyes either!
It was one of those nights I know I will always remember.