RStheCon Recap | How I started Blogging

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All the bomb hair in this post is thanks to my amazing sister in law Ariel. Her instagram is @hairby_amermaid.

This was my most shopped look last week! My military jacket is 30% off right now and available in ALL SIZES HERE (I’m wearing a small)! My go-to white tee is 33% off making it only $15.90! I linked a couple of different place you can get my platform sneakers, but they’re $30 cheaper if you get them here. I’ve worn these sunnies so much lately! They’ve sold out multiple time or are usually on back order but they’re actually in stock right now so grab them here. This black denim is super soft, super stretchy and super flattering! They’re a splurge but I’m OBSESSED with mine. If you’re in between sizes you can go down one!

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This peachy romper is the perfect swim cover up for summer. The color makes you look so tan! I’m wearing the S/M size. I also commonly get asked what color I’m wearing in these flip flops, mine are “Makeup”. All other deets linked above!

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I re-wore my sneakers, tee, and sunnies from above for this coffee run look! My gingham skirt is SO FLATTERING! It runs true to size and the cut of it makes your legs look super long. My little pink crossbody bag is only $38 and comes in a white and green version too!

 

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This little dress I wore to the pool party was super flattering and I just paired it with flat sandals to be comfy (ALL SIZES AVAILABLE HERE)! You’ll see I wore these sunnies so much on the trip too. They’re my new favorites! I get lots of questions about this Chloe Bag every time I wear it. It’s the mini size, mine is in the color “Abstract White”, and no my spray tan and jeans have not stained it at all.

 

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Can you tell I am feeling the 70’s vibes lately? I’m blaming it on “This Is Us”. I’m wearing a Medium in the chambray jumpsuit and this little crop top ($36) is perfect for laying underneath for more coverage. Purse, Shoes and Sunnies are all linked here.

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My white tank and blazer have already sold unfortunately 🙁 I did find some similar ones though that would give you the same look! I also linked my exact loafers, bag, sunnies, and shorts.

 

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This green ruffle dress comes in a regular length and a petite version. I found this out because I accidentally ordered the petite one haha. I’m almost 5’9 so I was surprised when I actually liked the length on the petite version (that’s what I’m wearing above).  My wedges are only $79 and they’re perfect for Summer! All other details are linked above.

 

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Re-wearing my sunnies, bag, and sneakers! This skirt and top are selling out quickly just FYI. I didn’t get a great picture of this look so I’ll try to take another one for Instagram this week!

 

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My favorite dress (and girls) of the week! This one is selling out quick but there are a few sizes left! It also comes in a black version and then I linked some similar fringe dresses above. My bag, sunnies, and shoes were all the same ones I was wearing all week (probably a fashion faux pas, but clearly I’m a fan).

 

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How cute is this Blonde sweater?! It also comes in a black version, and you can also get ones that say “Brunette” or “Redhead” too! I re-wore the same sneakers, sunnies and shorts for the plane ride home.

 

Happy Friday Everybody! Whew, I think I’ve finally recovered from my whirlwind weekend! For those of you that don’t know, I was in Dallas for 4 days for #RStheCon (aka The Reward Style Conference). 

I was going to write a long post about what I did while I was there, but honestly I could sum it up pretty easily. I hung out with a ton of other boss babes, I learned a lot, I didn’t really sleep, and I had so much fun. So instead, I thought I’d share a little bit about how this blog began, and how I came to work with Reward Style (a company I hadn’t even heard of two years ago). 

It’s so weird to think of myself as a “blogger”. I almost never tell anyone that’s what I do. I didn’t plan on having this career, but at the same time, I feel like it was always meant to be. When I was about 12, I took this quiz at our local library that was supposed to help you find your perfect career. I answered questions about myself for a few minutes and at the result said I should be a “visual set designer”. Social media wasn’t really a thing back then, but they said I should work for a magazine, or marketing company, or T.V. station designing and creating for film or photo shoots. I thought that sounded so fun at the time…

Fast forward 10 years and I was 22 and a newlywed. I was born and raised in Florida, but Kent was from Indiana so after we got married, I moved there to be with him. We were just starting to build a house, and I decided to start a blog, so I could keep my family and friends back home updated on the progress. After the house was finished, I kept blogging. I loved it. I loved the writing, I loved “meeting” other women through blogging, and I loved the photography aspect of it (still probably my favorite part). I didn’t make any money from blogging (I didn’t even know that was an option). I really don’t even know if anyone was reading it besides my family back in Florida. I just did it because I loved it. 

I was working at a bank in Indiana and I knew I didn’t want to do that forever. Kent and I were talking one night when we first got married and he asked me what my dream job would be. I said, “I just want to travel a lot and take pretty pictures.” Instagram hadn’t even been created yet so at that time this didn’t really seem like a viable career option. But I did love photography and so I decided to start pursing it harder, in hopes of being a destination photographer someday. We used our entire tax refund check that year to buy my first “big camera” so I could take better pictures for my blog and I started using it to shoot family and friends on the nights and weekends when I wasn’t working at the bank. My photography soon grew from a hobby to a business and when Roman was born (6 years ago), I quit my 9-5 job so I could pursue wedding photography full-time. I worked on emails and editing and home with him during the day, and them planed my shoots for the nights and weekends when Kent could watch the baby. Between being a new Mom and running my own business, my hobby blog came to a screeching halt in 2012. 

The next couple of years were a crazy blur as I raised one baby, got pregnant with another one, ran my photography business, and modeled for my neighbor’s growing boutique. Not to mention that my husband was building his own company, getting his college degree, and joining the Army. Like everyone else in the world, I downloaded Instagram and began documenting our crazy life in those little 1×1 inch squares. I switched my account to public so I could share the photography I was working on and advertise for new clients. My active social media presence totally worked. I had more photography inquires and bookings than I could ever keep up with. I was working 70 or 80 hours a week and booking weddings 2 years in advance. But something else was happening too. I was getting more and more questions and feedback about us, my family and I, and my life behind the lens. People wanted to know what kind of lenses I shot with, but also what paint colors were on my walls, where I shopped for my boys, and how I curled my hair. I found my following growing, and I felt so guilty that I didn’t have time to keep up with all the comments and messages coming in about where products were from. 

Then, in 2016 I got an email from RewardStyle. It was actually my third email from RewardStyle but I had deleted the first two because I didn’t know who they were or what they wanted. Haha! When I actually read the third one and understood what they were offering me I was so excited. They had created this technology called liketoknow.it, where followers could “like” your photo on Instagram, and they would receive an email with a list of all the products featured in the image. I was fascinated! This was the answer to my prayers! I was feeling so guilty about not being able to keep up with comments and thought this would be the perfect solution! Now my followers would be able to get all the info they needed with just a “like” and I wouldn’t feel so guilty at night trying to stay awake and scanning my pictures trying to make sure I hadn’t missed a question. They told me that if anyone purchased something in my image, that I would earn a small commission on my sales too! Apparently I was living in LaLa land because I had no clue that people could earn money from their Instagram images. I had no clue if anyone was actually buying the stuff that I wore in my pictures but anything that would save me time and help make life easier for my followers was a win win in my book so I signed up, started linking away, and the rest is history. 

I attended my first Reward Style Conference about one year later. I’m a pretty confident person overall. I’m outgoing and I love traveling and meeting new people so I was really excited to go. It didn’t take long though for me to realize how “out of my league” I was there. These women were BOSS chicks who had been blogging for years and years and here I was and I didn’t even have a blog. But I also realized something else. These women were amazing and kind and smart. Their tips and advice helped me learn more in that weekend than I’d been able to figure out on my own for the year leading up to the conference. They encouraged me to start blogging again and I’m so happy I did. 

This year I felt so much more relaxed at the conferece, but left just as inspired. I’m so excited to get to work on my blog and my business and make it better than ever for y’all in 2018!

It’s so funny how everything kind of came full circle. The quiz I took as a kid, the dream job I wanted but didn’t even exist at the time, the hobby I did in my spare time…I get to do it all now full-time! I’m so indebted to the genius people at RewardStyle, not only for their ingenuity, but for creating a tool that empowers women like me to run their own business and be their own boss. And I’m so thankful for each of you! Without my followers and readers, this blog and my job wouldn’t even exist. So Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

xoxo

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2 comments so far.

2 responses to “RStheCon Recap | How I started Blogging”

  1. Thanks for this post- I am just starting out with blogging as a hobby right now (I am a first grade teacher full-time). I have always loved writing and fashion, and started really getting into following so many wonderful bloggers a few years ago. I have been day dreaming about starting a blog for the past two years, and about a month ago decided it was time to just go for it! It is inspiring bloggers like you who are motivating me every step of the way, because it’s hard not to overanalyze and get in your own head. So, again thanks for sharing your beginnings and journey with us!

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