In the latest installment of our occasional conversations with Fort Worth newsmakers, Roxanne Bennett, organizer and co-founder of the Texas Pinners Conference, spoke with Cristo Rey High School intern Rosalinda Franco about the conference and what it will bring to Fort Worth this year.

Rosalinda Franco: OK, so first off, what is your role in this year’s Texas Pinners Conference? 

Roxanne Bennett: I am the organizer and co-founder of Pinners conference. This is our fifth year coming to Texas and second year in Fort Worth. 

Franco: What can we expect from this year’s conference compared to the past? 

Bennett: The thing that’s so great about our conference that makes it different from any other event out there is that over the course of the two days, we’re going to have 108 classes on popular Pinterest trends.

In addition to that, we’re going to have a full shopping floor. This year, we have over 300 vendors, which is awesome. The shopping is going to be over the top and out of this world. You can get all your Christmas stuff done ahead of time.

But the thing that makes it so cool and different is these classes are unique and different every year. We don’t let anyone teach the same thing over and over, so we always have something new and exciting and really try to stay focused on current trends.

If you go

Time: Friday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
          Saturday 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Date:
Friday Sept. 30, and Saturday, Oct. 1
Location: Will Rogers Coliseum
3401 W. Lancaster Ave
Fort Worth 
Tickets: Free for educators if reserved in advance; $10, general admission; other packages available here.

Franco: You said you’re introducing a shopping aspect of it this year? 

Bennett: We’ve always had the shopping aspect, but this year we have even more shopping options than we’ve had before. 

Franco: Oh, all right. What is the purpose of this conference? 

Bennett: There are a ton of events out there that are intended for business owners or for bloggers or influencers. But there was nothing really available for the consumer. We really wanted a place where just the average, everyday person could come and learn in a face-to-face environment. Our whole tagline is ‘Learn, Create and Connect.’ How great is it that you can come and connect with the fun shops or the fun influencers that you’re following or seeing online in person? And then they actually show you and you make with them and create a project. There’s just no other place that you can do this at such an affordable price.

Franco: Yes. And what is the attendance that you’re expecting this year? 

Bennett: Well, we want everyone to come. So if you live in Fort Worth, make sure you come to Pinners Conference. It’s going to be so great. Or Dallas, wherever. But the whole objective is we want as many people as possible. We’re planning on 10,000 to 12,000 people over the course of the two days.

There literally is something for everyone, whether you’re a novice DIY-er or you want to try something new. Maybe you want to try hand-lettering or watercolor this year. One of the cool things that we’re adding that we’ve never added before is Ryobi Tools is one of our sponsors. And they’re coming in and bringing a brand new craft and hobby line of tools that are just super easy to use, that you can create things at home. Whether you want to do your own shiplap wall. Their tools are incredible and people are going to be able to try and use these tools in several classes as well as at the Ryobi based space. 

Franco: That’s very nice. 

Bennett: Super fun. 

Franco: How have the conferences in the past years played out in terms of feedback and how people liked it? 

Bennett: Honestly, Texas is one of our favorite places to come. People absolutely love it, and we have people who come from all over in the region. It really is just a matter of all of these incredible opportunities to really learn and try new things and has just exploded.

And it’s a great opportunity for businesses to showcase their cool things that they make. Maybe you’re not a DIY-er. Maybe you don’t want to try something like that. I am always embarrassed when I say this, but I am not a DIY-er. It’s hilarious, but I’m just not. But I do love to cook. And we have a full kitchen with people who are demoing kitchen stuff. I will take those DIY classes … and the teacher is there to help me when I’m doing it all wrong. I walk home and I’m like ‘Hey, look what I made,’ when, really, all the people around me are helping me so that I don’t fail. And I think that’s the beauty of it.

There’s times where people come and try something new, and then they create a whole business out of it because they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m so good at this.’ This is the opportunity where you get to try things that you’ve never tried before. You get to have an experience, and then you also don’t have to go buy all those supplies and have them in a drawer, and you never made the thing. This is what makes it so fun and so perfect for anyone who is in that creative mode, whatever it may be. 

Franco: And so speaking of the classes, how do you get these teachers and these crafters and the business sponsors on board?

Bennett We have a whole team of people who are looking for what the coolest, latest and greatest trends are, and it’s been fantastic because they all just come on board and they’ll say, “OK, these people do this.” And then we just reach out or they reach out to us and say “Hey, let’s partner, let’s do some things together.” 

Franco: Yeah. And for someone who isn’t crafty, what would you recommend that they try first? 

Bennett: Obviously the shopping’s incredible, so just come and shop. If you aren’t crafty, there’s tons of other workshops that are so inspiring. You can come and you can learn about how to organize. There’s home decor classes. Everyone is always looking for ways to beef up and decorate for the holidays. You might want to try some of those cooking classes or go and sit in on some of those demos.

But there’s a lot of different things. There’s organization, there’s mindfulness. Not everything is hands on, although we do have a lot of hands-on experiences. There really is something for everyone. There’s hair and beauty and makeup classes. But when you learn something from someone in person, the elements of the things that they teach you are so much more than if you’re just watching something online. 

Franco: That’s amazing. And is there anything else you’d like us to know about the event? 

Bennett: Of course, buy your tickets ahead of time. Go to pinnersconference.com click on Texas and you can pick whatever ticket you want. You can just shop general admission for $10, you can get that girls night out ticket. You can buy a two-class punch, you can buy classes for all day. You can just pick whatever program is going to be best for you. It’s always good to get your ticket ahead. You can also buy your ticket at the door. And, of course, it’s at Will Rogers Coliseum there in Fort Worth. Come early so you can get in. I know that some of our sponsors hand stuff out to the first people who get there, so that’s always fun. But we would love to have everybody come out and just check it out.

Rosalinda Franco is a reporting intern for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at rosalinda.franco@fortworthreport.org or on Twitter.

Creative Commons License

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

Rosalinda Franco

Rosalinda Franco is a reporting intern for the Fort Worth Report.