Six Years of LA Dolce Vita + a Big Giveaway!

La Dolce VitaJuly is a special month for me. July 1st is our wedding anniversary. We just celebrated eight years of marriage and today officially marks six years since I started La Dolce Vita back in 2007! It’s amazing to think about all of the things that have happened in that time and I can honestly say that I could not imagine my life without my blog. It has become a huge part of my daily routine and is ingrained in who I am now. I am especially thankful to my readers and sponsors for allowing me to make it this long. Your readership and support has motivated and inspired me beyond measure.

La Dolce Vita This blog has been the source of so many incredible things in my life—friendships with people I respect and admire, opportunities I could have only dreamed of before, and its opened the doors that have allowed me to change the entire course of my career. If it weren’t for La Dolce Vita, I would probably still be a teacher, longing to do something more creative and more true to who I am. Instead, this blog has given me the courage and skills to chase after my dreams. Whether you visit La Dolce Vita everyday, or just check in every once in a while, thank you for being such a huge and important part of my life. Here’s to another amazing six years!

image In honor of LDV turning six, I have partnered with Lori Dennis and Kelli Ellis, the fabulous founders of Design Camp to give a ticket to the upcoming Design Camp in Orange County to one very lucky reader! I was able to attend Design Camp in Atlanta (read all about my experience here) in January and it served as the catalyst for me to decide to take the plunge and start my design firm. Design Camp is a powerful two-day seminar seminar hosted and instructed by celebrity interior designers Lori Dennis and Kelli Ellis, with special guest segments led by local and national industry experts in niche fields. Design Camp Orange County will take place October 11-13 and features some impressive speakers – Million Dollar Decorators’ Kathryn Ireland and Nathan Turner, Digital Sherpa’s Adam Japko, renowned builder John Finton of Finton Construction, Pamela Jaccarino founding Editor-in-Chief of LUXE Interiors + Design along with yours truly! I will be speaking about social media, branding, and blogging.

image {Design Camp Founders, Kelli Ellis and Lori Dennis}

They cover everything at Design Camp— from design trends, blogging, photography, and social media to tips for getting published and billing and contracts, all with incredible insight and unbelievable candor. Nothing is off limits! Having been a designer camper before,  I felt that it was so refreshing to go to a conference and have successful professionals share the strategies that lead them to where they are today without holding anything back and to have so many real, tangible take-aways that I could immediately put into practice.

image {In Atlanta with fellow Design Campers, Mimi and Lauren}

Individual tickets to Design Camp run $1,297.00 ($2,094 if you and a friend join in), but through the end of July 2013, early birds can take $500 off their registration fee, making the cost of an individual ticket just $797.00! When you register, enter “EARLYBIRD” in all caps/one word in the coupon code box.

If you want to get your design business on track this year, are looking for inspiration, want to network with other designers, or you want to delve into the business of interior design, I highly recommend Design Camp! Enter for a chance to win a free ticket to camp below. Good luck!

P.S. If you aren’t able to attend Design Camp or have already attended in the past, be sure to check out the newly launched Design Campus which gives you access all of the tools from camp along with unprecedented access to valuable information to make your design practice as successful as possible.


1. To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this blog post telling me why you would like to attend Design Camp. Giveaway winner will receive one ticket to Design Camp valued at $1,397. Airfare and hotel stay are not included.
2. Leave ONE comment on this post between today, Friday, July 12, 2013 and Friday, July 19, 2013. A winner will be announced on Monday, July 22, 2013.
For Extra Entries:
3. Follow Design Camp on Twitter @thedesigncamp and tweet about the giveaway with a link to this blog post for another entry (follow @ladolcevitablog on Twitter in order to show me your tweet). It is up to you to return to this post to enter your additional entry after tweeting about the giveaway.
4. Like Design Camp on Facebook. It is up to you to return to this post to enter your additional entry after becoming a fan of the Design Camp page on Facebook.
Anonymous entries will be ignored, so please include your e-mail in your comment. Your e-mail address will never be used for anything other than to notify you if you are the winner.


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Tell Me What You Think! leave a comment...

  1. I just started my own interior decortating business, and design camp would be a HUGE help to get me through the learning curve! What a great giveaway!

  2. I would love to attend because I’m an academic and I need to understand the details before I do anything. People have been telling me for years that I need to step things up and generate some revenue off my blog/design work, but I am intimidated by taking that step.

    Design Camp would provide some much needed information and confidence.

  3. I’ve been hemming and hawing for the past 6 months about taking a leap of faith and following my heart into textile design. I’ve been in finance for 8 years and the pull to do what I love has never been stronger than now. THIS would be just a fantastic opportunity to actually get a feel for the design world and engage with like minded creatives. What an amazing giveaway!!

  4. I have always loved interior design and dreamed of going to SCAAD. I took the advice of others and pursued a career “that I could fall back on”. 20 years later I am taking the steps to pursue my own dreams.

  5. At a crossroads in my own design career, I am looking for that boost of confidence and the networking that Design Camp offers to really launch a successful business. I’m sure the value of this opportunity for me is much more than I can articulate here, but it would be an honor and a privilege to be surrounded by so many inspirational women such as yourself.

  6. When I entered college I wanted to pursue my passion for interior design. Unfortunately I let others convince me to major in “something I could fall back on.” I have lived their dream for 20 years and now I am taking the steps to pursue my own. Design Camp will help me realize my dream.

  7. Design is my passion and a hobby. I wold love to have this opportunity to turn my passion into a plan of how I can make a living of making spaces beautiful for other people!

  8. I would love to attend Design Camp. I’d love to learn more about the industry and connect with like-minded designers to help flesh out if this is truly a career path I want to follow. Thanks for such an amazing giveaway!

  9. It would be such an amazing opportunity to attend design camp! I’ve just taken a leap of faith and am in the pursuit of following my dreams in the design world. What a fab giveaway!!

  10. I’ve been dreaming about going to Design Camp the past few months, and then this giveaway comes along! I’ve been thinking about going out on my own as an interior designer, but it can be very intimidating. Design Camp would be super informative and a great start to my solo career!!


  11. Attending Design Camp would be an incredible opportunity as I’m looking to make a career jump to interior design but can’t afford to go back to school (or for a conference like this). Having the chance to hear first-hand from experienced professionals whom I admire would be an incredible addition to my personal education. And I’m LA based so having the chance to hear from and network with “locals” would be great.

  12. At 49, my family has moved seven times and I have redecorated/renovated each one.. Realtors and friends have told that me that I am talented. I have always felt that some professional training would give me the confidence to pursue it as a career, but am overwhelmed as to where to begin. Hope this is my start!

  13. I am at a major crossroad! In high school, my two senior electives were Marine Biology and Interior Design. For my career, I went the marine biologist route! But when I put my scientific career on hold to have a family, interior design resurfaced. I’ve been decorating friends homes for years as a stay at home mom, but I need the tools to make this my new career!

  14. Maybe, a. Chance to finally put my money where my mouth is, to follow a dream. This opportunity could either make or break the dream… But, maybe….after 9 years as a stay at home mom, after putting aside a 20 year career in publishing, this might just be the ticket….. Maybe?

  15. Why would I like to go to Design Camp? Why wouldn’t I?! In all seriousness, I am trying to blend my 12 years of hotel/travel marketing with design and I know Design Camp would be a great learning experience for me. I need all the education in the space I can get (no pun intended!). Pick me, pick me! I liked DC on FB, followed on Twitter, etc.

  16. Um Design Camp would be amazing. Is there really more reasons than that to want to go?! But seriously, I would love to meet other designers, refine my skills, and learn best practices from the best. I’m a self-taught designer so any additional education would be so valuable to me. Besides, I think Design Camp wants me to come! – I’m a good time 😉

    I also liked them on FB. Please pick me!!

  17. I’d love love love to go to design camp! I’m an interior design blogger working a day job in graphics for a TV show… I’d love to figure out how to merge these two passions into one amazing, rewarding career! I could undoubtedly learn from the experts at Camp, but also hopefully, contribute some of my expertise to the esteemed group!

  18. Yay, Design Camp is right in my back yard and I would love to go! A dream of mine is to learn to design better. With me and my 4 girls loving interior, my hubby loving exterior I’m sure I would learn a lot from all the expertise.

  19. This would totally be just the thing this dying-to-bust-outta-my-design-shell gal needs to jump start my new venture in life!

  20. I have been a loyal reader of LDV for the past 4 years and have been in awe of your success!

    I recently resigned from my corporate ad job to pursue life as an entrepreneur and dive head first into my passion for interior design and blogging

    As part of this new adventure, I am moving to Orange County next week, so when I saw this posting – it felt meant to be!

    I would love to #1) meet you! and #2) attend design camp to help jumpstart this new adventure!

    Good luck to all!



  21. I totally need this! Have been feeling in a rut with interior design and it would be great to feel inspired and challenged.

  22. I’m trying to make the transition from working behind the scenes for an amazing design firm to designer. I’m a little intimidated and think Design Camp would be just the encouragement I need to take the plunge!

  23. I would LOVE to attend Design Camp! I’m an interior designer and I want to take my company to the next level. I think Design Camp is the ticket….literally! As a business owner in the design industry, there are so many uncertainties and challenges that I face, so having a forum/camp to attend and learn from these amazing designers will be a game changer in my mind. I’m the biggest fan of the Real Designing Women and would jump at the chance to meet Lori and Kelli in person! I just sent a tweet and liked the Design Camp Facebook page. Fingers crossed!

    Amanda Evans

  24. Excited to hear Design Camp is coming to OC! Having a design background, I would love to attend and soak up as much knowledge as possible. Paloma- please bring mark d. sikes with you!

  25. Wow! It sounds like there are so many out there asking the same question I am – what are the next steps I need to take to make a living as an interior designer?

    I’ve been advising friends and family on design for years, even overseeing renovations on some of their homes, not to mention designing my own spaces. I know that I have the ability to create beautiful, functional spaces, yet I feel like I don’t know how to monetize my talent. I know Design Camp would be a great opportunity to not only be inspired creatively, but also give me the tools to begin to live my dream and get paid to do it!

    On another note, thanks for your beautiful blog! You have been my lunch date many times, and my office is covered in your quotes – “Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows your or makes you happy” is a favorite. I look forward to making that happen!

    I know that there will only be one “winner”, but I hope that everyone interested uses their talent to make the world more fabulous one space at a time!


  26. I have been “staying tuned” since your Design Camp post in Feb. I just got back from vacation and this is it!!!After reading that post I longed to be right beside you and Lauren on your adventure. At the time I was in the crucial final stages of a 6 month kitchen/den renovation which is now Calacatta Clad with a Circa Crystal Cube chandelier. I never knew such a camp existed and I am so ready to be a Camper!!!

    You have motivated ME beyond measure as I see you have recently taken the next step into a design career. I would love nothing more than to attend camp and come back to Houston and work for YOU as my MENTOR! As a local Houstonian, I was “starstruck” when I turned around at the Circa Sale in Nov. and there you were! I casually asked you (by name) to put something aside for me. (I think it was the brass table in my profile pic).

    We have a lot of the same obsessions—greek key, gold, lucite, starbursts, Nate, Old Hollywood glamour and all things Visual Comfort!!! Although my degree is from UT Austin in marketing, I realized design is my soul.

    For me it began accidentally, when a couple came to our home for dinner and to drop off a wedding gift. They walked in, their jaws dropped and they hired me on the spot (I was shocked as I had never thought of getting paid for what I loved to do!) They left with giving me the biggest gift of all—a challenging, rewarding hobby that I have been doing for years. I am thankful to them and for that night.

    I would be so thankful to you if you picked me as I long for a “kick” to the next phase. Whether it is full time on my own, or my dream of working with a team everyday, this Design Camp would steer me in the right direction.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    -Ashley Wetzel