Last week in Part Two of my story, I shared about how I chose my college and how I started my blog. Thanks to my dad (yes, my dad-- read the story here!) I started my blog in 2010. Because of my blog, I've been blessed with numerous opportunities, most of which wouldn't have happened if I didn't have this space on the Internet.
*photo credit: Jennifer Jacobson
- First, when I was a sophomore in college and initially started my blog, I had already been following a few other design blogs. One was Simplified Bee. One day my mom came home from work and told me one of her friends from work was friends with the author of the blog. Because of this connection, I emailed Cristin, the author of Simplified Bee, and asked if we could set up a time to grab coffee so I could learn about her experience blogging and becoming a designer. Thankfully, she said yes and we hit it off. I ended up interning for her for a few summers in a row and learned a great deal from her. I'll be forever grateful for her taking me under her wing. I'm not sure if she would have taken my email seriously if I didn't have a blog to show I was serious about design.
When interning for Cristin, she invited me to come with her to Mary McDonald's book signing in San Francisco. It was such a fun day and I'm grateful I was able to meet one of my favorite designers in person.
- When I was a junior, I was personally invited to the West Elm grand opening in Seattle and was offered an initial tour of the space. They reached out to me and wanted me to blog about the event, because one of the reps from the company found my blog! Again, this shows what a huge impact blogging can have on the opportunities that may present themselves. I now have a great relationship with West Elm!
- I moved to Los Angeles for my 4th year of interior design school and I emailed the owner of a new online home decor boutique to see if we could get lunch and get to know each other, since I was new to the area. I told her I was a blogger and would love to write a post on her shop, so I think she politely agreed to an afternoon coffee (or in my case, tea). We got to talking and she ended up hiring me on the spot to help with the social media, blog, products and creative aspects of the shop. I've been working for Lulu & Georgia ever since. My sweet boss later told me, she wouldn't have met with me if I didn't have a blog, because that gave me credibility and presented myself as determined and serious.
- When I moved to Los Angeles, I probably had the biggest star-struck moment ever. I'm a big believer in putting yourself out there and asking for opportunities, instead of sitting around and hoping they come your way. After all, the worst a person can say is no, and even then I can assure you that another opportunity will come a-knocking really soon. I have adored Emily Henderson from the start; I read her blog back before she was even on Design Star. After she won and had her own show, I was even more in love with her work and style. Her bubbly personality, fun approach to design and approachability were all so appealing to me.
I decided to go out on a limb and email her, asking to shadow her on a project in Los Angeles. I told her I was in school for design and had been blogging for years. It's safe to say I about fainted when I read her reply! I really didn't expect a reply, but there I was reading Emily's email back, saying she'd love to set something up. You can read about what I learned during my shadowing day with her here.
- When I graduated college and moved back home to California, I met Caitlin of Sacramento Street at an ASOS party for bloggers in the city. Caitlin mentioned to me she was looking for a part-time assistant. I couldn't be more excited about this possibility! A few weeks later, I started working for her a few hours a week. For the 6 months I worked for her, I learned so much! She is genuine, kind, and showed me tricks of the blogging and design trade. I'm so grateful for this opportunity.
Finally, and most importantly, because of my blog, I've been able to start my own design business and a shared business, The Bloom Workshop, with my friend. My dad was right when he told me building up an audience while in school through a blog, would then afford me the ability to start my own business quicker. Because readers would turn into potential clients when I started offering services, I knew I would be able to make it. I knew it wouldn't always be easy, but I trusted my ability to make it work. Trusting that even if it didn't work, I would still be OK, was also part of the equation. Finally, I trusted God to carry me through entrepreneurship. If I wasn't supposed to be in business for myself, He would show me. Thankfully, I'm two years in and still in business, due in large part to this very blog.
I hope my journey of blogging has encouraged some of you! I recognize there are many ways to start a business and run a successful company, but for me, blogging has played a huge role. I'd love to hear how some of you got your businesses off the ground in the comments!
Next week I'll be sharing a bit of my experience from when I started my business and things I've learned since then. Stay tuned! Catch up on the series here:
Part One: Floor Plans & High School Papers
Part Two: College & Starting My Blog