Life Instyle • Through a first timer’s eyes

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The Life Instyle community is made up of imaginative and business minded professionals who strive for excellence in their chosen fields. We’re always happy to welcome fantastic new people into our illustrious community and with that being said, we want you to get to know Kelly McDonough, from The Styling Mama. Kelly had her first Life Instyle experience at our event in Sydney last February and my oh my did she have a good time.


It’s the vibe. The feeling. You can almost taste the buzz in the atmosphere.  And it tastes like the ultimate combination of inspiration, talent, beauty and drive, all rolled into one delicious morsel.
It’s the Life Instyle vibe and I experienced it for the first time in Sydney in February.  I use the word “experience” on purpose, because one does not simply “go to” Life Instyle. There’s way more to it than that…


If you’re a décor, interiors and all-things-pretty addict, you’ll understand that feeling you get when you’re surrounded by all the things you dream of.  Now imagine walking into a huge building, surrounded by people as passionate as you (or partners being dragged along for the ride), as well as people who have built their business around this passion. THAT’S the vibe. That’s the experience I’m talking about.

I had pretty high expectations, and Life Instyle definitely didn’t disappoint. I donned by lanyard, snapped a photo of the beautiful entryway and my feet (of course) and stepped into paradise with a nervous smile and a mind like a sponge ready to soak it all in. I must have looked like a deer in the headlights as I walked in. But that’s ok, because everyone does. It’s amazing.


This feels like the right time to point out that I don’t get a lot of adult interaction, so to be surrounded by adults with the same interests (rather than 5 children with the same gene pool) was a novelty in itself. I felt like a teenage girl at a Bieber concert, going all fan-girl and doe eyed as I attempted to casually chat with business owners, wholesalers, makers, designers and anyone else who wasn’t frightened away by my level of enthusiasm.

My advice? Scout around first to get the feel of the layout and familiarise yourself with the venue (I mean food, water, toilets, floor plan, bar…). This also gave me ample opportunity to eyeball all the products and stalls that I had highlighted on my list as “must go to”. To be honest, it would have been easier to just highlight the whole map.

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The trade show itself is extremely well organised.  If you’re like me and you have to rotate a map to work out where you need to go, then you needn’t worry.  There was ample signage for me to meander through the aisles and still be able to pinpoint my location, as well as plenty of friendly faces to ask along the way. From a blogger/stylist perspective, Life Instyle provides that face to face contact with brands and businesses that is sometimes missing from the online world.  Real time touching and feeling (of products, of course) is priceless, not to mention connecting with the people behind the logos and fully understanding the brand’s identity.


Don’t even get me started on being a retailer at this fair.  My hat goes off to you if you find it possible to show some restraint and not order 500000 of everything at the trade show.  Beautiful displays, helpful and knowledgeable stall holders and the best of on-trend and up and coming products laid out in front of you to choose from? Paradise.  And torture if you’re indecisive and want one of everything (ie: me).
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As a newbie, it was the inspiration that hooked me instantly. It’s like Pinterest becomes a real place, not just an app on your phone. And you needn’t be worried about talking with strangers, because you know that everyone in the room shares a common interest. To all the stall holders and visitors that I bombarded with questions, enthusiasm and incoherent, excited babble, I can’t wait to see you all again in Melbourne for the next Life Instyle. No doubt a different venue and different city will be a whole new level of excitement.


If you’re thinking of going – DO IT! It opens up a whole new world of inspiration and contacts. Just make sure you clear some space in your camera and warn your partner that you *may* be redecorating the whole house on your return, because you’ll carry the inspiration from Life Instyle home with you.

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