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I have been promising you all a life update because there have been a lot of changes happening in my life recently (career-wise), and I’m so excited to share them with you all!
As many of you have probably learned, I am a dreamer. I’ve been that way forever. I see a vision in my head, and once I see something that I want, I pray about it and then go after it with my whole heart. Trust me, there are plenty of times when I want to give up because nothing seems to be working out, but after I get over the hump and remember that God’s got my back, I regain faith and won’t let anyone or anything stop me from reaching my goals.
I have been building my career in fashion since before I even graduated from college. I’ve taken jobs in the past that I never would have even imagined working just to basically pay the bills so that I can continue to try and make my dreams come true in the fashion industry. I can’t begin to tell you how many times people have said to me “Well can’t you just send in your resume to apply at a company in NYC or LA?” .. and I mean, yes, you can do that if that is the type of job you want. But, many of those jobs are not what I have in mind. I’m not a ‘sit at a desk all day, 8am to 5pm’ kinda girl. I’ve tried that multiple times, and every single time, there is just a part of me – the creative part – that is SO eager to jump out and let my talents be shown. Punching in numbers all day is just not my thing. Some people are amazing at that type of work, so props to those peeps! With that said, the type of work that I am interested in in the fashion industry is more of a freelance line of work – which is scary. Any type of freelance work is scary because there’s no guaranteed paycheck, there’s no set ‘boss’, there’s no set schedule, everyday is different (but I love that!), and you basically never know when the next job is going to come your way. You have to hustle. You have to go out and make opportunities for yourself. You have to pitch yourself and your talents to complete strangers in hopes that they will (for some reason) trust you and believe that you will be beneficial in some way to their own personal brand. It’s definitely a challenge every single day, and really, the work never stops. But, that’s what I love so much about it. I love the challenge. And I love the feeling I get when I have finally made things happen – when I see a look come together for a rising star, when I have completed a long day of photo shoots and/or blog posts that will tremendously help a brand in some way, when I have seen the genuine smile on that girl’s face after she struts her stuff in the outfits I put together for her photo shoot. It’s HARD work, but more so than that, it’s very rewarding. I genuinely loooove helping others and making them feel their absolute best! So, the fact that my job (or technically, jobs) allow me to do that, makes my growing career even more meaningful to me.
So, back story. About a month or so ago, I was somewhat at a standstill – or so I felt. My blog was growing pretty rapidly (so I guess it wasn’t a total stand still lol), but the fact that it was growing so quickly, made me anxious to get more brand deals, dive deeper into the blogging industry, and bring better content to you guys. 😉 I caught myself getting frustrated from time to time because I just simply didn’t have the time I needed (and wanted) to have in order to maximize this blog. And frankly, I still don’t because it is a full time job in itself (that’s a post for another day!). On one of those days when I was just fed up and actually felt like giving up, I was on my way home from one of my styling jobs (at 10:00pm, after a long 8-hour workday at my day job) and just started talking to God. I just literally poured my heart out to Him and let Him know what I was feeling. I was feeling beaten down, literally exhausted, like I was just spinning my wheels – not really getting anywhere closer to where I wanted to be in my career. As a go-getter, this was challenging for me. I am constantly thinking of ways to grow my own brand and to reach my biggest goals, so to feel like I was literally just spinning my wheels (and still giving my all in 4 different jobs) for the past few months was somewhat discouraging and exhausting to say the least. I prayed all the way home that night. I asked for Him to just give me a clue – a God wink. I didn’t ask for something to happen right then and there, but I did ask for a hint. I needed to know if I was on the right track. I just needed Him to let me know what path I should be on and which way to go. I was to the point of working myself to death and never really feeling like it was going to take me in the direction I want to go. I even asked Him if the fashion industry is what He had planned for my life because I certainly don’t want to be on the path that He hasn’t chosen for me. All in all, I just needed Him to give a clue as to which path to take for my life. After praying about this, I had an opportunity arise that very next week that literally almost made me cry because I knew it was God’s wink. He is truly so faithful.
As a fashion wardrobe stylist and now, as a fashion blogger, I clearly have a special place in my heart for all things style. However, I recently got married and went through the wedding planning process too. That led me to become very intrigued by the wedding industry. I love love – y’all know that! Since my wedding, I have made a lot of connections with wedding vendors and The Pink Bride®. You all have seen me post about my cover on The Pink Bride Magazine. I was asked to attend The Pink Bride Wedding Show® on the weekend that it was presented. It was such a blast to meet so many amazing brides! While I was at the show, the executive VP walked up to me to chat about a potential opportunity. I had not been looking for another job. Just praying for direction in my career. Well, fast forward a couple of days and I get a call from The Pink Bride® offering me a position as one of their bloggers and social media specialists – whaaat?! This was amazing. This is the same type of thing that I do for my own blog and my own personal brand! I mean, blogging and social media for a living? That’s what I love. I love to write. I love weddings. I love the fast growth and challenge of social media. To keep it short, I was super pumped and so eager to start helping this brand grow. Not to mention, I’ve always loved the company.
This would be a part-time, remote position, which allowed me to keep my freelance styling gigs and continue to grow my blog. Want to hear something even crazier? Since this was only a part-time position, I was thinking that it would be best to have another something on the side – whether that be more styling gigs, another part-time job, etc. Well, lo and behold, my friend Sarah of Sarah McAffry Inc., who is a photographer, called me a few hours later on the exact same day that The Pink Bride® called, proposing another styling opportunity for me. Okay, at this point, I literally did shed a tear right there on the phone with Sarah haha! I mean, God is so faithful. He truly works everything out for our best interest! With that said, I am now the wardrobe stylist for all of Sarah’s Designer Photo Shoot sessions! (So, go book one today!! 😉 )
I’ve also gotten even more involved with the local boutique that I help with here in town – Spoiled Rotten Boutique. I’ve been helping with their social media for about a year now, and I’ve developed such a special bond with the owner. We have been working on some special projects recently that I can’t share just yet, but this will all be happening soon so stay tuned! I’m so pumped about this!!
All in all, my job title now consists of many different titles – as it pretty much always has! And what I love most about it all is each job relates to the other in some way. My love for writing about fashion and weddings is expressed here on love ‘n’ labels and on The Pink Bride®. Social media gives me an intriguing challenge everyday when I am posting for The Pink Bride, Spoiled Rotten, & for my personal brand. And then of course my love of wardrobe styling is expressed in all aspects of my work – with Sarah McAffry Inc., love ‘n’ labels, Spoiled Rotten, my freelance gigs, brand partnerships, and even with The Pink Bride® as I help influence brides on fashion trends in the wedding industry.
Needless to say, I very seldom have any free time or an extra time slot in my planner, but I wouldn’t trade any of it! There are some really tough days when I work for 15 hours straight, but everyday is different, and that’s what I love so much about it. I’ve had so many people say to me or to my husband, “Oh, your life looks so glamorous” or “Bloggers have it made – they just take pretty pictures and get free clothes” or “Oh, you just go play dress up with people” or “You get to work from home? I bet you have so much extra time on your hands” … ahem, no. I love so many things about each of these opportunities, and I cannot wait to see where they lead me in my career. I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. BUT, it is hard work. I’m way busier now than I was when I was cheering at a D1 school for volleyball, basketball, and football, attending appearances and being a full-time student. I thought that when I finally graduated that life would slow down a little. That’s not the case – it has only sped up, which is awesome! But can be exhausting. So much time and hard work goes into each of these jobs behind the scenes. The funny thing about the fashion industry and the wedding industry is that every job I am involved in, most people only see the *pretty* final product – not the *messy* BTS stuff. That’s how most things are in these industries. Most people only see the glamorous parts, so I can’t blame people for thinking some of these things. Hardly anyone sees all the blood, sweat & tears (literally) that go into it behind the scenes in order for that final product to look and feel genuinely amazing. But that’s ultimately the beauty of it and the part that makes the job so rewarding at the end of the day.
If you are in the same boat I’ve been in and you are struggling with your dream, a goal in mind, or even your job, I urge you to first talk to God about it – lay it all out there – and then when He answers (because He will), be ready for the change. If you are a dreamer like I am, then you have visions in your head that are way bigger than people think you can accomplish. Sadly, there are going to be so many people out there who will roll their eyes, laugh at you, and tell you that you are crazy to think that you can accomplish such a large dream. BUT, there are also the few that will stand by your side and support you each step of the way. Cling to those people! Leave the negativity behind and don’t look back. It’s not worth your time. One day, when you’ve made it to the top, those people who never believed in you will be wishing they would have.
Am I satisfied with where I am at now? No, never. I won’t ever stop trying to be a better version of myself or to further my career. I have many more goals and dreams to accomplish first.