Unless you’ve been keeping a particularly lazy eye on the social media of this country’s bloggers, you will absolutely have heard of the Bloggers Blog Awards by now. What started as a twinkle in Hayley’s eye when usual Blog Award season started and there was no sign of Cosmo coming to the party (they have since announced their belated shortlist of nominees, albeit AFTER the conception of these Community-driven awards), has since grown in to a phenomenal thing of beauty. For, it was supposed to just be a bit of fun; nominate your favourite blogger in a range of categories, get a few people to vote, and announce the winners by email… right Hayley?

Well, not on our watch. When we heard Hayley’s great idea for a range of completely Community-lead awards, we wanted in. And we said so. And then we made her let us help. Although, probably not enough in fairness, as she has completely run with her idea and achieved the impossible, almost single-handedly; she got sixty bloggers from up and down the country, into an event space in Leeds, on a Saturday afternoon in October, without the promise of a goody bag OR a free drink.

Because: Community.

And if there’s one thing we’re all about here at TT Towers, it’s Community. And that’s what got our boss on board, to let us help out by being there for Hayley during this process, to get some totes amazing goody bags made up for the winners, to be AT the awards to help with any last minute nerves, sell some raffle tickets (and WELL, let me just tell you), and generally just BE among the community we’ve tried so hard to grow over the last few years. And what an amazing experience that was! Being based in London, we so often miss out on meeting those of you who live outside of the capital; now that we’ve seen the massive response and turn out from our Midland and Northern neighbours, we know we will definitely be back to host more events in the future. Watch this space!

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But back to these awards. I suppose you’d like to know who came out victorious on the night? Well, lucky for you, I have the winners right here:

UP & COMING BEAUTY 

Highly Commended: Ravishing Roses

WINNER: Pint Sized Beauty

LONGSTANDING BEAUTY

Highly Commended: London Beauty Queen

WINNER: Tea Party Beauty

INTERNATIONAL BEAUTY

Highly Commended: Expat Makeup Addict

WINNER: Life Set Sail

UP & COMING FASHION

Highly Commended: Holly Loves The Simple Things

WINNER: Hello Miss Jordan

LONGSTANDING FASHION

Highly Commended: Popcorn & Glitter

WINNER: The Lovecats Inc

INTERNATIONAL FASHION

Highly Commended: Little Lady Little City

WINNER: Lazy Cat

UP & COMING LIFESTYLE

Highly Commended: Little Miss Katy

WINNER: Dorkface

LONGSTANDING LIFESTYLE

Highly Commended: Becky Bedbug

WINNER: Hannah Gale

INTERNATIONAL LIFESTYLE

Highly Commended: Crumbs in the Bed

WINNER: What Sundays are For

BEST SOCIAL MEDIA

Highly Commended: Popcorn & Glitter (instagram)

WINNER: Dorkface (twitter)

And let me tell you that not a single one of these nominees or winners was undeserved, and the resounding squeals from the crowd proved that when just about every single name that was read out by the presenters was basically given their own round of applause. It was testament to not only Hayley – who went out of her way, in her own time, to tirelessly plan, manage and execute these awards, but also to each and every attendee on the night who went out of their way to plan, finance and attend awards that they weren’t even nominated in, JUST TO BE IN THE ROOM. That, ladies and gentlemen, is Community. And it’s what gets me to work everyday, so thank you so much for letting us be a part of your big day.

[And let me also just tell you that your faithful author even went and won Best Dressed on the night – in a room full of FASHION BLOGGERS. I do ok.]

We put a small spiel in the official booklets, but we do want to just say right here and now how imensely proud we were to stand behind Hayley in the hosting of these awards. So maybe technically they were in Association with Talented Talkers as per all the marketing material, but nowhere in any of that branding was Hayley’s face or blog address. It was all her, and we just backed her up when she needed some help. She approached hundreds of PRs for samples for the winners’ bags. She arranged the event space and negotiated terms for the cost-free hire. She designed the booklets and the winners’ certificates. She did everything herself. She is not an event planner, has a full time job, and a blog of her own to maintain. And not once did we hear her complain.

She regularly kept us up-to-date with where she was for all the ‘stuff’ for the prizes, which brands were on board and which wanted to donated raffle prizes. She was nothing short of INCREDIBLY organised, and we MUST thank her for all of her hard work. She is too modest to accept that she’s done something wonderful by allowing a peer-lead award ceremony to happen, but from the amazing reach she’s had on the hash tag (#BloggersBlogAwards) that saw over two thousand users globally and 32 million impressions on Twitter, she must now understand the strength of what she’s accomplished.

We say it a lot, but we are some of the luckiest people in this industry; to be allowed to be on your side of this digital fence, because your side is the side that matters the most. This event proves that Community is what’s important to bloggers, not “things and stuff” like a lot of people expect.

Thank you everyone. You’re all winners to us.

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