Bloggers and Business Owners Collaborate, Share, Inspire at FemCon13

femworking sign

Magical. This is the only word I can think of to describe what it felt like to sit in the audience of the conference I had painstakingly organized with Kelley Sanabria, Founder of Femworking.

I sat and listened to speaker after speaker sharing their hearts and truth with the audience. It was as if they knew exactly what Kelley and I had envisioned. They understood what everyone in the room needed to hear.

The energy and positivity in the room overwhelmed me. I was an observer and then a participant in an extremely surreal experience.

Everything about the day surpassed my expectations and people relished in the idea of being authentic, having values and leading with integrity. Secrets were swapped and faces were finally put to Twitter handles and blog names. I wasn’t seen as Tiny Steps Mommy, but instead as Nicole Dash.


For three months, FemCon13 was Kelley and my baby. When we embarked on this idea – to bring bloggers and business owners together – Kelley and I had no idea what we were doing. We were naïve. We made some mistakes and learned important lessons. We had so many moments of doubt and almost cancelled the entire thing at one point.

It was a risk, to say the least. What if no one comes? What if it comes across as amateurish or disorganized? What if we can’t break even and we have to pay for this conference out of our own pockets? What if we can’t find quality speakers who are willing to speak for free?

We were unproven. Companies wanted proof of our ability to pull off a conference before they would offer us a sponsorship. Yet, we had to have sponsors to pay for the event. Some people even asked for money to speak or participate.

But, we held strong and learned that there are amazing people and businesses willing to take a risk on us. People and companies that could see the value and power of supporting women entrepreneurs and social media influencers. People who understood the value we were trying to bring to others. This was never about making money for us, but instead about bringing an educational and networking opportunity to deserving and hard-working people.

It is astounding what happens when you put a diverse group of women, from first-time bloggers to solopreneurs to best-selling authors to founders of multi-million dollar companies together in a room and ask them to put aside their status or level of success to collaborate, share and give to each other as equals without an expectation of anything in return.

This is exactly what happened on Saturday when 130 women gathered for more than eight hours at the Femworking Blogger and Small Business Conference. We gave and gave to each other and yet walked away completely fulfilled. To me, it was inspirational and I am not saying this simply because I planned the event. I truly believe that the majority of the people present would agree with me.


I am proud of what Kelley and I accomplished, but I am even more proud that I was able to witness the brilliance and light that was created not by me or Kelley, but by the amazing women who not only attended, but opened their hearts and minds.

Thank you to everyone who supported this conference. I am grateful, humbled and in awe of each and every one of you.


Photo Credit (top two images) – Precious Wisdom Photography
Photo Credit (third image) – Shoot Photo Inc.


Nicole Dash is a writer, blogger and business owner who lives in the suburbs outside Washington, DC with her husband and four children. She started her career as a journalist and copy editor. She also managed public relations and corporate communications for a national franchise company, but in 2006 started a child care business. In 2012, she launched Tiny Steps Mommy, a lifestyle and parenting blog that quickly gained a following and connected her to an expansive group of women-owned businesses. In 2013, she started a digital marketing consulting business that focused on growing community in an authentic way. Through those connections she was inspired to open Play, Work or Dash, a coworking space that also offers onsite childcare up to three hours per day. It is where like-minded professionals pursue their business goals with the extra level of support parents desire; a place where you "bring your kids to work." She is an active member of the Washington, DC blogger community. She has been published on The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Mamalode and Pop Sugar.




  1. I couldn’t have said it better myself! 🙂
    Carin Kilby Clark @Mrscpkc recently posted…Halloween Throwback – She’s Not a Baby AnymoreMy Profile

  2. Absolutely magical!!! One of the BEST conferences I’ve ever attended! You & Kelley have created something truly special in the world of networking… warmth, generosity, non-judgmental, down-to-earth and unstuffy! As Katie Morton said at the conference, take off those sucker-upper thingies & throw them in the trash cause we don’t care! That statement says it all. 🙂
    Thanks again to you & Kelley for organizing such a meaningful event! xoxox

  3. I was incredibly impressed with the speakers at the conference. The A-ha moment for me was when multiple speakers spoke of “being authentic”. It is overwhelmingly easy to compare yourself to every blogger on your left and right, but “you” is what makes your blog a special place to be. It was wonderful meeting so many Virginia Blogger’s Club members too! I will be at the next Femworking conference for sure!

  4. I had such an amazing time at the conference. I met new gal pals, shared business/blog stories. I learned a wealth of knowledge and enjoyed a day of simple GIRL POWER!!!!
    Michellette “Mimi” Green recently posted…Life on Furlough – 10 days inMy Profile

  5. This sounds awesome Nicole, congrats to you and Kelley!
    Alexe @ Keys to the Cucina recently posted…Creamy Deviled Eggs with Greek YogurtMy Profile

  6. Absolutely brilliant! Here’s to MANY more xo

  7. Amazing, empowering, engaging, and informative! Many thanks for all of your efforts in putting this together and bringing many different women together! Exceeded my expectations, have shared with many people, and will be coming to any future events! Hugs and a big thank you!!!!

  8. You gals did AMAZING. I had a great time at the conference and am relishing on the lessons i learned 🙂 Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for your hard work and for putting this together 🙂 🙂 🙂
    Heidi recently posted…Weekly Weigh In: Week 1My Profile

  9. A huge congrats! What a great event!

  10. Kelly Hoffman says:

    I got goose bumps when I read this, what a turnout!! I saw first hand how much work you put into this and while on VACATION! Can’t wait to see what you do next, you inspire me! Kudos!

  11. I had an amazing time at Femcon! I learned a lot and made some amazing connections. I’m excited for next year!
    Kristina Grum recently posted…Egg Cupcake take 2My Profile