A little and a lot has changed since then. I had an internship at a Philadelphia style magazine and quickly realized I wasn’t quite so passionate about moisturizers, the hottest clubs or the word “nosh.” But I still strive to be an amazing business woman and to continue to grow my passion, Southern Fete. I found in life, though, you can have more than one passion. My newest? Being a great wife.
Hmmm. And I thought I was busy enough!
I want to pay bills on time, not forget what I need as soon as I get to the grocery store, I want to make food from scratch and keep my family healthy. I want to remember peoples birthdays. I want to send out cards that just make people feel good. And if I’m totally honest, I want it ALL to look pretty too. And if you’re like me, a new cute notebook or pen ALWAYS inspires me to get organized.
So being a designer, I of course realized I could create exactly what I was looking for and could potentially do the same for other ladies. The result, our new everyday collection, SOUTHERN LIFE.
This collection is for every new wife or new wife at heart. AND every single lady conquering her dreams. Life can be simpler. We may not be able to “do it all” but we can still cover a lot of ground if we get organized and leave more time for what’s important.
I have been utterly inspired by Jess Constable from the blog Make My Life Under. It’s reminded me that sometimes stuff just clutters up our world and keeps us from achieving what we want: healthy relationships, financial freedom, dream jobs…
Will our Weekly Meal memo pad shake your world upside down and make all your dreams come true? Doubtful. But it may cut down on last minute grocery trips for unplanned meals or that afternoon dilemma thinking “what’s for dinner??”
When I started working on the designs for the calendar, I wrestled with trying to make it “fit in” with all the designs I was used to seeing. I came up with several half complete designs because it just wasn’t me. The calendar that you will see fully designed is completely me. It was from a response to encourage myself to live a positive life, focused on the important things. It’s my hope you’ll be inspired to live simply and enjoy life’s little pleasures, too!
Like I’ve said before, I had two goals in mind when developing this collection: 1. create products that could enhance my life both by making it simple and bringing positivity into my life 2. make it something I’d want to use. Sorry a composition notebook ain’t gonna cut it.
A phrase came to mind “Elementary my Dear Watson.” And soon enough my inspiration was born! Fully inspired by Sherlock Holmes: It’s old world London. It’s practical, it’s simple, all with a lady-like twist. Here our a few photos that inspired the collection! Check back on Wednesday when we unveil SOUTHERN LIFE!
This fall I have been craving that mountain air and and cozy cabin fires. Today’s inspiration is just that: warm and cozy with reds, browns and shades of orange. Give a twist to this traditional fall palette by incorporating different textures (i.e. fur, tortoise shell, tweed or kraft paper). Enjoy!!
Lately, I’ve been hit with this topic a few times.
I was with Jason Cohen on a shoot for a bride we are both working with. On the way to her bridals, he asked me if my audience knew the value of hiring me. I honestly wasn’t sure what to say. I hoped they did, but knew I probably didn’t do the best job of sharing that because I absolutely HATE selling myself.
This week I got to meet photographer and new friend Cat Guidry. She asked me what all I did for brides and I told her EVERYTHING. Maybe I was able to share more because I knew she wasn’t “buying” so I wasn’t “selling.” We just talked.
I realized our services have immense value to brides planning their wedding in this day in age. AND so much more than when I was a wee little wedding planner just starting out. Here’s what I realized:
Our services are worth the time it saves the bride communicating with vendors.
The time it saves a bride coming up with creative concepts.
The money it saves a bride with the discounts we receive and tips we offer to save money.
The resources it saves a bride when we have those here at our office already.
The time it saves a bride executing those projects.
The stress it saves the mom and friends on the wedding day.
The energy it saves to research etiquette, rules, marriage license requirements, etc.
The fights it saves between mother and daughter and between bride and groom.
And what do I personally offer?
My brides become like friends. They value my opinion. They appreciate my listening ear. And they enjoy sharing in this process from someone who can relate to them.
Attentiveness to our clients – On weddings days, me and my assistant (my lovely sister Natalie) make sure the bride and groom, the parent’s of the bride and parent’s of the groom and many times grandparents too, are taken care of. Last time that meant Natalie getting flipflops out of the grandmother’s car and literally taking her heels off her feet for her. (She got a raise after that by the way). We don’t stand around and chit chat once the bulk of the job is done. We grab the groom’s coat as he takes it off and looks for a place to put it. We bring water to a thirsty bride. We know how to cut cake if your facility doesn’t provide someone to do it or create a bouquet in a snap.
An office to meet in that brides feel comfortable in. One actually told me “I just want to sit in here all day. It’s so peaceful.”
An editor – For your newspaper announcements. (Using that journalism degree!)
A designer for all your paper products.
A calm demeanor in the face of conflict – I stand up for my brides in a respectful way.
A new online system that keeps bride’s organized and give them tips on wedding related events and beyond my scope of service like showers, rehearsal dinners and more.
Great vendor relationships – (Read “plays well with others.” ) One of the compliments I most love to hear from vendors is that we don’t try to tell them what to do like they may have seen in the past. We work WITH them.
Two years ago, I was just starting out and naive about my talents. I’d offer large discounts because who was I to be charging a bride so much? I wanted to help them stay under budget, didn’t I?
Now two years later, my goal is still the same. I’ve just spent the last two years perfecting that craft to offer brides even more! ; ) I’m of course not perfect. My learning is by no means done. That’s because there is one thing I think is the most valuable trait you can possess: a teachable spirit!
Today, I’m escaping to this peaceful beautiful place! I was completely inspired by the Jose Villa photo of the emerald-y waters and evergreens. Shades of green and blue in every color with a touch of gold. Enjoy!
I looked through my wedding pictures yesterday to narrow down my favorites. I smiled when I saw my handsome husband. I felt blessed when I saw my best friends cutting up. I got emotional when I saw us sharing our vows. Then one creeping thought arose when I saw a decor pic: “I should have done…”
That’s right. It’s only been about a month and I already would do something differently?? It’s true and it will happen to most brides. If you’ve looked at oodles of inspiration throughout your wedding planning, rarely do new wives go cold turkey. It’s still fun to look at. Which means new ideas and new inspiration. Knowing that as you plan could be good though. When you’re in the thick of swatches and tastings just remember, make a plan and stick with it. You may think, noooo but it’s not PERFECT yet. Perfect can change. Do you love it? Did you pick it for a sentimental reason? Then go for it! And don’t look back!
After I finished my little negative thought, I realized something. We’re married! I can’t go back and rewrite the day, nor would I want to. It was absolutely perfect just the way it is. And just the beginning of our wonderful life together.
New wives, just remember any new ideas you come up with after the big day can always be shared with current brides-to-be or can be a great excuse to throw a party!
I pull images a lot when things catch my eye. I’ll let it inspire me later or leave it on my desktop just to look at something beautiful amid the wordy emails. Here were just a few images that are lingering on my desktop. I unfortunately don’t remember where I pulled them. Let me know if you do! ; ) Enjoy!