2015 Haven Speakers

Jon Acuff : Keynote Speaker

Jon Acuff

Jon Acuff is the New York Times Bestselling author of five books including his most recent, Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work and Never Get Stuck.

For 16 years he’s helped some of the biggest brands in the world tell their story, including The Home Depot, Bose, Staples, and the Dave Ramsey Team. Most recently he’s spoken to hundreds of thousands of people at conferences, colleges, companies and churches. Featured regularly on national media, Jon has been seen on CNN, Fox News, Good Day LA and several other key outlets.

In addition, Jon is also a big proponent of social media with blogs that have been read by 4 million people and more than 230,000 twitter followers. In 2010 he used his influence with his tribe to build two kindergartens in Vietnam. Jon lives with his wife Jenny and two daughters in Franklin, TN.

Karianne Woods

Thistlewood Farms KariAnne writes the lifestyle blog, Thistlewood Farm from the back porch of her turn-of-the-century farmhouse in the beautiful rolling hills of Kentucky. 

Thistlewood Farm was awarded Country Living Decorating blog of the year as well as named one of the top 10 decorating blogs by Better Homes and Gardens. Thistlewood Farms has been featured in a variety of publications including, Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Ideas, Country Woman, Redbook, CountryLiving.com, Flea Market Style, She Knows, GoodHousekeeping.com, and many more.  

KariAnne loves to paint mismatched chairs, listen to the crickets singing in the back pasture, walk hand-in-hand with her knight-in-shining armor as the sun sets over the river and drink sweet tea with lime during a thunderstorm. And she has never met a decorating project she didn't like.

Jamison Rantz

Rogue Engineer

Jamison is the author of the new hit DIY blog Rogue Engineer. By trade, Jamison is an aerospace engineer, specializing in mechanical design but when he’s not designing planes you can find him in the garage designing and building furniture. 

Using his expertise with CAD (computer-aided design) he publishes amazingly easy DIY furniture plans on a weekly basis.  His furniture plans are designed for the beginner to advanced level DIY’er so no woodworking experience required. 

Jamison’s plans have been featured on The Huffington Post, Good Housekeeping, Make Magazine, and many others. He’s also had the privilege of working with brands like Ryobi, Rustoleum, Kreg Tool Company, among others.

Jen OBrien

City Farmhouse

Jen is the creative vision and voice behind the decorating blog City Farmhouse where she writes out of her coastal New York home. 

When she isn’t busy decorating & bargain shopping, she is keeping up with her outdoor lovin 2 boys & husband. Jen left behind the teaching profession in 1998 to pursue her love of interior design and has been designing ever since. 

She has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens and Cottages & Bungalows. She currently writes for Better Homes & Gardens as a Style Spotter and was awarded the Top 10 Decorating Blogs of 2015. Her home will also be featured in the 2015 BHG Christmas Ideas Magazine. She can also be found at HGTV.com, Apartment Therapy, Country Living and BHG. 

Buying a renovated beach cottage in 2011 Jen felt pressure to get it decorated ASAP. With little time and an even smaller budget she took a step back & decided to create her own design path, choosing to take it one project at a time. By changing her outlook and opting to enjoy the journey she quickly found the purpose for her blog, which she launched in spring of 2012.

Her love of whites, neutrals, anything worn and full of texture is evident through her modern farmhouse style. She is a beach girl at heart, lover of anything DIY and firm believer that gratitude changes everything.

Dusty Rogers

All Things G&D

With 7 years of home and entertainment blogging under her belt, Dusty Rogers has taken her experience from the laptop to the small screen, sharing her DIY projects on live television appearances for major networks throughout the Midwest including WGN Chicago, NBC 5 Chicago, WISN 12 Milwaukee, Fox 6 Milwaukee, and Wake Up Wisconsin. 

Her introduction to TV began in 2013 as a television spokesperson for Hometalk. Since that time, Dusty has made more than 20 live television appearances, representing the Hometalk brand and her own blog All Things G&D.  

She is excited to share the lessons she's learned through on air “trial by fire,” formal training, and feedback from producers with this year’s Haven attendees to help them break into the television medium, best represent themselves, and amplify their brands.

Ursula Carmona

Home Made by Carmona

Intrepid DIY’er and trailblazer, Ursula Carmona of the blog Home Made by Carmona is rock’in the media world one innovative idea at a time. She likes to take the “road less traveled” in her brand development, which has proven to be a successful venture in a highly saturated blog market. 

Ursula has expanded her brand as a DIY speaker for Home and Garden expos and shows around the Midwest. This has opened up a whole new area of opportunity, allowing her to work alongside HGTV stars, network with local and nationwide companies, receive other media appearances, and much much more… 

She is thrilled to speak at Haven this year and share insider tips. She will only be available to speak for the Friday class of How to Develop a Local Blog Presence (in television and Home & Garden Shows), so don’t miss it!

Jen Woodhouse

The House of Wood

Jen Woodhouse is the author of popular DIY and design blog, The House of Wood. By trade, Jen is a performing songwriter based in Nashville, Tennessee.

She has released three albums, toured the world, and licensed her music to national television shows and commercials, including Keeping Up with the Kardashians, MTV’s The Real World and Road Rules, Starbucks, United Way, and more. 

Most recently, Jen has added ‘DIY Blogger’ to her eclectic resume. A military wife and mother of two, Jen documents her adventures in woodworking, furniture-building, and home decor, offering in-depth tutorials and design plans on her blog. Jen’s work has been featured on Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Good Housekeeping, Country Living, and Apartment Therapy. 

Jen is a TV spokesperson for Hometalk, the largest home and garden community on the web and has worked with brands such as The Home Depot, RYOBI Tools, Minwax, Kreg, and General Electric.

Kirsten Thompson

Sweet Tea and Saving Grace

Kirsten Thompson is the Southern drawl behind the blog Sweet Tea & Saving Grace, the rebirth of a blog that began five years ago as an outlet for Kirsten’s creativity.  After a six-month hiatus & major rebrand in May 2014, Kirsten came back with a fresh outlook on both life and blogging.  

She shares posts about living a simpler life with her husband and daughter in Georgia, as well as tips for creating your own style with DIY projects & home decor, and a fresh perspective on blogging from someone who has learned from her own mistakes. 

Stop by for a visit and she’ll pour you a big mason jar full of sweet iced tea!

Bre Doucette

Rooms FOR Rent

Bre Doucette is the author and creative voice behind the blog Rooms FOR Rent where her passion for interior design and her simple approach to decor is evident. Bre’s style is famous for it’s farmhouse feel which is carried throughout the home she shares with her childhood sweetheart and their two small children. 

Bre believes that it doesn’t matter where you live, if you own or rent, if you are just starting off, buried in diapers and squeaky toys, or empty nesters, everyone can “Love the space they Live in”. 

Along with writing her blog, being a wife and a mom, Bre started and runs her own Interior design business, Doucette Design, where she helps her clients achieve a space they love. 

Growing up in New England has shaped Bre’s love for historic architecture, country settings, and coastal homes, all things that inspire her when she’s creating spaces that are relaxed, comfortable and yet still have a classic appeal. 

When she’s not working with clients or blogging, you can catch her sharing her passion on Instagram, where she loves to connect with others and inspire people to create beauty where they are.

Lucy Atkins

Craftberry Bush 

Lucy Akins is an artist/photographer/blogger/speaker living in Toronto, Ontario. Created 3 short years ago as a means of video archiving arts and craft activities with her children, her blog Craftberry Bush has since blossomed into a business, having gained domestic and international recognition.

Her work has been published in several magazines, including: Cottages and Bungalows, American Farmlife Style, National Geographic Kids, Artful Blogger, Somerset Life, gracing the cover of Somerset Home twice. She is also an author for eHow.com. 

Lucy enjoys sharing her passion for watercolor, decorating and creating as she believes there is an artist in all of us. When not creating, Lucy can be found enjoying time with her husband, their three children and their energetic Aussie pup, Brody.


Sawdust and Embryos

Nick is half of the talented husband/wife duo that blogs at Sawdust and Embryos; a DIY/lifestyle blog where he and his wife Beth document their adventures in renovating their 115-year-old farmhouse, woodworking, furniture transformations, and everyday life with twin toddlers and a newborn. Nick has recently started another blog (The Sawdust Maker) where he shares intermediate to advanced woodworking projects and furniture plans.

Nick started woodworking when he was a young lad, helping his dad and grandpa remodel houses. Nick had a few great tutors during his teen years that guided his woodworking/design skills; not knowing at the time just how much it would impact his life later.   

When Nick isn't in the wood shop, you might find him hanging out with his smokin hot wife, tinkering with his RC airplanes, changing a dirty diaper, and designing furniture.

Melissa Michaels

The Inspired Room

Melissa Michaels is the creator of The Inspired Room, founded in 2007 to inspire women with simple ways to love the home they have. The Inspired Room voted Reader's Favorite Decorating blog by Better Homes & Gardens in 2014 and again in 2015.

Melissa is also the author of Love the Home You Have, published by Harvest House publishers in 2015. She is in the process of writing seven other books, including a coffee table decorating book called The Inspired Room, due in October 2015.

Melissa is passionate about helping others find joy and contentment in their homes by embracing authenticity. She believes when your life inspires your home, your home inspires your life in unexpected ways! 

Melissa is a wife to a church planter, and a mom of three great kids and two impossibly cute doodle pups, Jack & Lily. They make their home in the Pacific Northwest.

Lesley Clavijo

Chaotically Creative

Lesley Clavijo is the co-author of the mother/daughter Lifestyle blog Chaotically Creative based in Knoxville and Nashville, Tn. Both Mother and Daughter are on a search to find the key to calm in the midst of daily chaos. 

Lesley started blogging to share her renovation of her home when she found a passion for web design and all things “techy”. As a self-taught web designer Lesley strives to create beautiful designs with optimal functionality. She’s worked with top bloggers in the country in order to bring beauty and function to the web. 

Seeing a void in the market for fluid web design, social media, product development and coaching; Lesley joined with three other talented women to form the network Launch Girls. 

Lesley’s DIY product, Fix A Bra has been feauted on The Today Show with Kathe Lee and Hoda. Lesley is a regular guest on Talk of the Town Nashville News Channel 5,  and has been frequently feature in The Tennessean.

Jenna LaFevor

Rain On A Tin Roof

Jenna LaFevor is a dreamer and a shaker. She has two degrees in education, which now collect dust and she couldn’t be happier about that. 

She’s the voice behind the popular home décor and DIY blog, Rain on a Tin Roof. In two years time, she took her blog from nothing to a full time income.

Her work has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, Redbook and This Old House. 

She’s a lover of Conway Twitty, 80’s rock, and cheap beer. If she isn’t painting something, you can find her screaming her motto, Be a Freak, from the rooftops.

Gail Wilson

My Repurposed LIfe

Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right. No one believes this as wholeheartedly as Gail Wilson, a former teacher and Kentucky native, obsessed with finding potential in the most unexpected places.

As a young mother, Gail was always handy, cutting out bean-bag tosses and puppet playhouses, long before DIY became a household word. And as it does, life moved quickly—she got busy as a pre-school teacher and mother, and the tools took a back seat. 

But in 2009, after losing her job, Gail realized it was time to get back to what she loved again. She began repurposing salvaged material, but at the same time, those projects were bringing new purpose to her life. 

A teacher at heart, Gail relishes in the chance not to show off her projects, but to help others find their inner handywoman, step-by-step. Her blog, MyRepurposedLife.com, chronicles her scrap-saving adventures.

Marion Parsons

Miss Mustard Seed

Marian is also the author of Miss Mustard Seed, a DIY/Home Decor Blog, a freelance writer for HGTV.com,  a stylist and photographer for Cottages & Bungalows, an antiques dealer, the author of the book Inspired You (published by Thomas Nelson, November 2012)and creator of the Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint line (sold in over 300 stores world wide). 

Her home, blog and paint line have been featured in Flea Market Style, Women’s Day, Better Homes & Gardens, American Farmhouse Style, Fresh Style, Make It Over, Romantic Homes, Romantic Country, NBC and Fox News.  

She currently lives near Gettysburg, PA with her family and a parade of painted furniture.

Mandi Gubler

Vintage Revivals

Mandi Gubler is a DIY/Shelter Blogger known for her fearless approach to all things Do It Yourself. She is a self proclaimed thrift store junkie, craigslist stalker (not the killing kind) and garage sale maven. Mandi started her blog Vintage Revivals in July 2010 with zero DIY/Design experience. Mandi has been named the DIY Blogger of the Year by Better Homes and Gardens, Best Home Project/DIY Blog by Apartment Therapy and has been featured in HGTV Magazine, on The Nate Berkus Show, TLC’s Craft Wars, and numerous online and print publications. Mandi lives in St. George UT with her husband Court, 2 daughters, and the ever growing lifeform in her garage that her husband lovingly refers to as The Hoard.

Charlotte Smith


After 10 years cruising the big bad streets of New York City, Charlotte’s family up and went suburban in June of 2012.Ciburbanity (city + suburb + sanity) was born as a suburban diary, record book, and sounding board.

Charlotte writes about life (which basically means the lack of a social life), kids (four under the age of 6 with one more due in June), her 200 year-old home, and anything else (read: crafts and design) that crosses her diaper and thrift-filled brain. 

Charlotte has appeared on Flea Market Flip, Better Homes and Gardens and has a monthly appearance on Good Morning, CT.  Her design style is frugal repurposed eclectic (look it up, it’s probably a thing), and she may or may not have 8 chairs, 3 coffee tables, and a dresser in her garage.

Jaime Costiglio

That’s My Letter

Jaime is a DIY project enthusiast who writes the blog, That’s My Letter, which focuses on building, painting and sewing. Each post is titled with a letter from the alphabet.

She builds, paints and sews just about anything in true DIY fashion. Jaime’s focus with each project is to work smart, efficient and economical by making the best use of space with a custom build or designing a craft using unconventional supplies.  She loves making a great knock off or doing a simple makeover with paint. Jaime posts her projects in a tutorial format in order to share her experience with readers.

Jaime’s home is also one big project – it is a 1740 saltbox farmhouse and is truly a treasure and a diyers dream! The great thing about such an old house is that the projects keep on coming, which means she will be building, painting, and sewing for a long time to come and sharing all of her work on That’s My Letter.

Camila Pavone

Effortless Style

Camila has been decorating spaces for as long as she can remember. She made her first major decorating decision at 12 years old when she had a custom bedroom set designed in two toned purple Formica. What? It was the 90’s. While the Formica is now a distant memory her love for design remains the same.

Camila believes that your home should be a reflection of your personal style. It shouldn’t look like it was copied from the page of your favorite catalog, but an effortless reflection of you. Her personal design style is traditional with a modern twist filled with vibrant colors, and playful patterns.

Along with her interior design work she also blogs daily at Effortless Style about her design musings, client work and life with her hubby of 9 years and their two little boys. 

Laura Putnam

Finding Home

Laura Putnam has spent more than a decade helping others create welcoming homes for their families. Now, along with her husband, they are going for the BIG dream - making a life AND a living doing what we love best – crafting maple syrup and creating a welcoming home. We have built a sugarhouse and online store so we can share these great passions with you. You can shop for maple syrup right along with home decor and holiday items.

Their blog, Finding Home, is the place to share all of their ideas, inspiration and the day to day of figuring out of this business and daily life. And sometimes, just trying to figure out what to make for dinner.

Laura is somewhat obsessed with galvanized-metal-anything and has never met an old door or vintage toolbox she didn’t want to get in a committed relationship with.

Mandy Rose

House of Rose

Mandy Rose is a boy mom, fountain coke addict and DIY wanna-be.You can typically find Mandy chasing her 3 young boys around with her Canon 70D trying to capture the next epic Instagram moment. She is the founder of HouseofRoseBlog.com, a lifestyle blog where she shares her love of home decor, DIY tutorials, mommy mishaps and fitness tips. She is also the co-founder of HappyMommyBox.com, a care package service for moms to help brighten their day. Her latest project is a joint project with her husband called MarriageMore.com. They co-host a podcast where they help couples design their perfect marriage.

Cyndi Spivey

Walking in Grace and Beauty

Cyndi began blogging in 2009 as a hobby. After a couple of years, she realized she could mix her passions for Jesus with her love of fashion. 

She is now the writer at Walking in Grace & Beauty, where she shares tips on fashion, make-up, and beauty, as well as reminders that true beauty begins on the inside. Cyndi has worked with many brands including Rack Room Shoes, J.Jill, Boden, and Cabi. 

She is a top producing blogger for Stitch Fix, and they are one of her highest affiliate incomes. She has tripled her income in the last two years with affiliate income using Rewardstyle, Commission Junction, Shopsense, and Amazon.  

Cyndi was a speaker at Bloggy Conference 2012, and she speaks regularly at women’s conferences and marriage retreats. She is married to Wayne, and they have two grown children, and one grandson who has stolen their hearts.

Eddie Benites

Jalepeno Photography

Eddie owns Jalapeño Photography and blogs on The Haute Sauce and Oxido . Eddie has been a professional wedding photographer for four years.  Eddie’s work has been featured on The Knot, Tutto Bella, Kiss My Tulle, Bayside Bride, Papermoon Weddings, Capitol Romance, BlushLoveWed, The Wedding Yentas, The Modern Jewish Wedding, GayWeddings.com, de Lovely Affair, The Fête Blog, and United with Love. 

  Eddie lives in rural Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C.  She recently purchased a nearly 300-year old farmhouse, which doubled as turn-of-the-century nursing home.  She uses the historic property for her photography and home where she lives with her husband and young kids.  They have dreams of rehabbing the home for weddings and/ or a bed and breakfast.

Copyright 2015 Haven Conference

Design: Deluxemodern / Development: Launch Girls