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Meet a BASHHer: Kristin Sheppard

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BASHH Big Ass Social Happy Hour

Meet a BASHHer: Kristin Sheppard

Sometimes it’s easier to go to your first BASHH or feel compelled to seek out new people if you have some familiar faces to approach, so in that spirit, meet Kristin Sheppard, she’s the brains behind one of our favorite Austin blogs, Mad Betty, where she’s not afraid to introduce you to new food trucks while making controversial statements about local influencers and celebs. You can creep her at the Mad Betty Facebook Page, or on the the Mad Betty Twitter handle.

The following interview is unfiltered, uncensored, fun, and a great way to meet a BASHHer, so let’s go!

Who are you? What do you do, Kristin?

What do you do as your day job?

I’m a copywriter. I’ve been fortunate to have steady freelance work in Austin. There’s no shortage of people looking for content in this city! While I would be happy to go back to agency life one day, as I miss working side by side with artists and account people, it’s also nice to work in my pajamas. Right now I’m doing a lot of digital writing and also consult on strategic promotion and social media.

I started my blog in 2011 as a creative outlet. Working in advertising means you need to stay sharp on what’s cool and relevant in pop culture. I am really passionate about TV, movies, music, books, restaurants, and even celebrity gossip and commercials. Madbetty is a way for me to write about the things I love in a casual voice that’s all my own. As a copywriter, I am paid to NOT use my own voice, but rather the voice of my clients. Blogging is a way for me to be me.

I’m a member of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance, so I write about local restaurants all the time. I love checking out the hottest new spots with blogger friends, all of us snapping a million photos before we ever take a bite. But the posts that bring thousands of readers from around the world are my movie reviews and TV recaps. My irreverent take on shows like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and Downton Abbey get the most attention. Every day I get emails from people who want to talk about the shows they love. It’s just a fun thing I get to do and I never tire of it.

Tell us about your first BASHH

Tell us about your first BASHH – how did you hear about it, end up there, and how did it go?

I learned about BASHH in the same way probably most people do, on Twitter. It sounded fun and fell on a night that was convenient for me. A friend of mine decided to join me and we were pleased to not be the only new people there.

As a matter of fact, on that night it seemed that most of the attendees were first-timers. So we settled in, had some drinks, and mingled. We made a few new friends and ran into some familiar faces, too. We ended up staying for hours, long after the evening was supposed to end.

“It’s a different experience every time.”

What keeps you coming back?

It’s a different experience every time. Some nights feel more like professional networking while others feel like a casual party. Everyone has a different agenda, so you can really make the night what you want it to be. My friend and I make this our monthly ritual.

We have dinner at Whole Foods and catch up on things, then head over to BASHH. Some nights we’ll work the room and some nights we’ll just hole up in the corner and gossip, soaking up the BASHH vibe and waving hello to acquaintances.

For anyone who is shy or afraid to show up, I’d strongly encourage him or her to go. Introduce yourself to the friendly volunteers at the door and tell them it’s your first time. You’ll be welcomed with a smile and a nametag.

Once you start introducing yourself to strangers, you’ll realize you’re all in the same boat. Before you know it you’ll be attending every month with your own Twitter badge.

“My new friends have enriched my life”

What connections have you made at BASHH that have been the most meaningful and successful to you?

I haven’t attempted to find any job leads at BASHH, although I’m not ruling that out for the future. The connections I’ve made have primarily been social. My new friends have enriched my life in more ways than I can count.

Sounds awesome, right? We know!
Come to the next BASHH and make new friends – maybe Kristin will be one of them!

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BASHH

What is BASHH’s return date?

When is BASHH going to return? You’ve asked and we want to tell you what’s going on…

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Remember in January 2020 when we cancelled BASHH because of the possibility of COVID being deemed a global pandemic? When it was a threat but not a certainty?

What you may not remember is how much hate mail we got. How much I received personally. I was aggressively labeled as spreading panic, being called weak-minded, being harassed for overreacting.

And here we are, over a year later. You know what has happened since.

So now, I’m being asked when BASHH is coming back because bars are full, restaurants are back at capacity, and small events are starting back up (even in the tech space, like at Capital Factory).

The answer is that it remains unclear. We can feel it coming back, but we’re not there yet.

We’ve worked out a roadmap for how we’ll emerge as safely as possible, and we’re talking to many of you about your own comfort levels and considering our own.

Hang tight, we’re almost there.

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BASHH

BASHH will be back, please stand by

We’ll be back… here’s why it might take longer for us to gather than other networking events.

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Many folks were angry with us for canceling BASHH in January for COVID-19, and we were wildly reluctant to host an event in February. We insisted no one hug or touch each other, and that was long before many had even heard of the coronavirus.

We didn’t even schedule an event in March, because by then, we were all on the same page across the nation. Here we are in April, wondering when it will be safe to get “back go normal,” but the truth is that we’ll probably be last to get back out into public.

Several of us are immunocompromised, and we’re going to be a little trigger shy, so please be patient with us.

We will keep you updated here and via email, and appreciate your understanding.

We miss you too, pals. I mean it.

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BASHH

Why did we partner with Pressable for the rest of 2018?

We don’t just partner with any company to introduce you to and offer our social capital to, so why have we bet big on Pressable? We promise you’ll deeply respect them by the end of this story.

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pressable team

BASHH has been partnered with Pressable for months now, and if you haven’t made it out to an event yet, (1) change that immediately, and (2) we want to tell you about them even if you can’t come be with us in person.

They offer Managed WordPress Hosting for agencies, developers, and you. They say “It’s Where #WordPress Works Best.” We can vouch for that. Why?

Because BASHH is actually owned by a national news organization that has long used Pressable. Don’t get me wrong, we used another company before them, but continually got the equivalent of “did you try unplugging it and plugging back in?” with annoyance that we existed.

Not at Pressable.

They’re one of the only companies that still believes in doing the right thing to help their clients, and they’re based right here in Central Texas, so we want you to reconsider who you’re currently using.

And if you’re not convinced, here’s a personal story about why we want the world to know about them:

Pressable is so special to us, professionally and personally – they’re sponsoring BASHH for the rest of the year because I very sincerely want you to get to know them as we have.

It was exactly four years ago today that my husband, and the co-founder of BASHH was in a hospital bed.

His chest had been sawed open, his heart removed and poked, and sewn back in. #quadruplebypass

He founded the company I work for, and is a brilliant leader. But bypass surgery is completely debilitating, so I had to take over for a bit.

And I did.

And then I broke our website. Websites. All of them.

I’m not sure to this day what I did, but I was sitting in a hospital, and trying to work in between hollering at nurses because the most precious person in my life was having massive complications (like guys, there was a suction hose INSIDE his body that was suctioned to the bottom of his heart, literally bruising and damaging it – that’s just for starters).

I was in tears.

I just wanted him to be okay, and for our company to run itself.

But I broke our websites, they went completely down, and the entire company came to an abrupt stop. The entire team was messaging me that they couldn’t work. Readers were emailing in anger.

It was the last thing we all needed. What the hell was I going to do?

I put in a customer support ticket to Pressable, our web host, who is just up the road from us, hoping to God that they knew what I broke.

Our last WordPress host would typically put problems back on us, and always condescended us, and while in tears, I expected the same.

And one hour later, they emailed that they just fixed it. FOR me.

WHAT!? THEY… JUST….. FIXED IT.

They didn’t ask questions, they KNEW what I was going through, and they simply fixed it because they could. It wasn’t part of any package we had paid for, they just did the right thing.

Imagine sitting in a hospital room with a laptop trying to hold a company together that your beloved founded, and they’re in extreme pain and confusion and need your focus, and you’re split in a trillion directions and crying your eyes out.

Pressable didn’t worry about a ticket time, they just helped.

They bailed me out of an impossible situation.

If you have a WordPress site or have clients that do, I want to personally invite you to come meet their team in person at the next BASHH. We’ve been with them for so many years now, and are sincerely proud to introduce YOU to them.

And then, we want you to choose them for everything WordPress in your life.

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