Rust-Oleum Blogger Innovation Summit highlights
Last week I had the amazing privilege of flying to the Midwest to spend three days attending the Rust-Oleum® Blogger Innovation Summit. Before I left for the trip, I candidly shared my feelings about the invitation and the reasons why I won’t quit my daydream here.
Eighteen bloggers joined the folks at Rust-Oleum from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 for an in-depth look at the brand’s products and processes. Along the way, we were treated like royalty and enjoyed some of the best sights in and around Chicago, such as this breathtaking view of the Chicago skyline.
Upon arrival at the Chicago airport, this sweet Serbian gentleman was waiting to drive me to the hotel:
I’m sure he thought I was a little weird for taking his photo, but this stuff doesn’t happen to me every day. 😉 We chatted on the way to the hotel and he told me his story of coming to the United States to start a business and build a better life for his family. I was inspired after those few minutes talking with such a courageous, hardworking entrepreneur.
The Westin Hotel in Wheeling, Ill., was gorgeous. The shower was a frazzled mom’s dream.
After we got settled into our hotel room, our blogger group headed to the Rust-Oleum plant in Wisconsin. There we got to see exactly how the products are created, mixed, packaged and shipped. What a huge operation!
We even got our very own lab coats. Now I can look more official when I’m spray-painting in the front yard. 😉
On the second day of the trip, we traveled to the Rust-Oleum headquarters for a tour and to learn about the company’s history.
We were able to snag a group photo while at the headquarters building.
(Photo courtesy of Rust-Oleum)
After that, we headed to the Rust-Oleum Studio for a sneak peek at some secret squirrel products that are coming out soon. (Spoiler alert: You are gonna love them!) We also got the chance to get our hands dirty with some fun DIY projects.
Of course, the sweet folks at Rust-Oleum thought of every detail to make us feel welcome.
I have to admit, as a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants DIYer, a lot of times I’ve just rushed to the store to pick up whatever can of spray paint had the lid color I needed. I never really paid attention to brand. At the studio, we practiced spraying several different brands of paint and it was a real eye-opening experience for me. If you want to see a surprising example of how widely spray paint performance can vary, check out this Instagram photo from Jamie at the C.R.A.F.T. blog.
Here’s Ann from Rust-Oleum demonstrating some Varathane® wood stains.
I got to try a handful of them out on this project.
I love the richness, intensity and coverage of the Varathane stains.
In between all the DIYing, we spent time mingling, eating and taking in the sights.
On the last day of the trip, we took an architectural tour of the Chicago River. It was so much fun.
During the river tour, I took a picture with Christy from 11 Magnolia Lane. She’s smart and talented and I am glad I got to meet her on this trip.
In fact, I feel so blessed by all the people I met, activities I did, and sights I saw while at the summit. The only bummer was that, on my way home, I had to stay an extra night in Detroit after I missed my connecting flight, due to the Chicago air traffic control situation. It was a small price to pay, though, for an amazing trip with amazing people.
Thank you, Rust-Oleum!