Working in the digital age, particularly when working freelance and/or telecommute, can imply several things:
- You can be on a very important conference call while eating a triple-scoop ice cream sundae with gummy bear vitamins on top.
- You are alarmingly hyper-dependent on Google and all of its products. Communication is held in G-chat or email form rather than face to face and can be minimized when drat, you’ve ran out of ice cream.
- You have never met the majority of your lovely co-workers, despite regularly communicating with them and greatly admiring their contributions.
Points #1 and #2 are likely still to occur. But last week, the #teamTEGcon held in Chicago made the last one moot.
Alaina and Danielle, the co-founders of The Everygirl, a site that I have been contributing fashion features to since February, generously invited all of us out-of-state TEG editorial board members to fly in from our respective cities — Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Charleston, Washington D.C. and Madison — to discuss and help shape the future of the website. The Chicago ladies joined as well, of course.
Removing the hazy digital screen and actually meeting everyone in person was surreal. Though my time at the conference felt like a whirlwind due to a less than 24-hour time frame, getting to know all of these intelligent, ambitious and career-driven women and their ideas made the nonstop hustle worth it.
One of the many gorgeous views — hello, Navy Pier! — from W Chicago Lakeshore, where we stayed. The recently renovated luxury hotel is located at the edge of Lake Michigan, thus offering serious eye candy from essentially every window, even the ones in our conference room.
I had the best travel buddy every step of the way: Allyson, the other Los Angeles TEG editor who also works at Lulu & Georgia and runs her own fantastic blog, Mimosas in the Morning. We ended up being roomies for the night due to a slight mix-up, which made sense after narrowly avoiding a missed flight together (darn you, lure of vino and french fries) and various other mini-adventures.
Got to meet my kindred spirit and fashion co-editor at last! It feels like I’ve known this girl for ages. Jess also has a fabulous blog (and style) that you can check out: The Golden Girl!
After a long but productive day of working, I had a little under an hour before my flight to run out and take in as much of Chicago as possible with Jess and Allyson. Summer evenings in Chi-town = perfection.
Luckily, I’ll be back in the fall for a wedding and plan to consume much, much more deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati’s. Yum. See you in October, Chicago!