Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Why YOU Should Start A Blog

Baltimore, MD, USA
Recently I've received the same question from many people, and honestly, I'm quite honored each time it happens. 
I've been asked the story behind why I started blogging
Because of that, I decided that it's probably a good idea to tell you why I started my blog, and why you totally can and should too.

Reason #1 
I Love Writing
I'm not saying this is a requirement for blogging, but it's helpful. I always knew I wanted to study business in college, but there was a brief time where I considered journalism. English was always my favorite class in school, and I loved the long creative writing papers. 

Reason #2 
I Wanted To Learn More About The Community
Being a blogger enabled me to go out in the community and have a reason to do so. No one ever believes this, but I can be super shy and anxious when I'm in a crowd and don't know anyone. It used to be much worse, I'm getting used to it now. Being labeled as an extrovert isn't new, because once I'm in a crowd I know, I am very extroverted. 
Getting out in the community told me so much about Baltimore that I never knew (and I'm from Baltimore). It allowed me to learn more history, and meet many people who I wouldn't have otherwise met. It opened my mind more and more and allowed me to collaborate with now friends.

Reason #3
 The Biggest Reason- A Creative Outlet
I needed a creative outlet. I tended to work FT jobs that did not allow for much creativity of my own. My blog was my creative outlet to talk about whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and put my own spin on it. Without a creative outlet of SOME kind, I suffer, my work suffers, and my world is much more dull. I love being able to step back, explore, create and write. 

So, what is holding you back?

The reasons are many when I ask others why don't you start a blog too?
-I'm too old
-It's too late to start one now
-The market is too saturated
-Would people want to read it?
-Are people really that interested in what I have to say?
-What if I fail?
-What if no one cares?
-How do I even get started?
-It's too expensive
....and on and on.

I understand fear, I was scared too. This is my THIRD BLOG. That's right. The third one. Why? The first two weren't really a success, but I also wasn't dedicated. I didn't try to grow it. It was on me, I didn't put the work in like I do now. It does take a level of commitment, but it's not unrealistic. 
But, I also was fortunate to meet my friend Kim who is a very successful blogger, through twitter SEVERAL years ago because of my first blog. I met others as well and learned so much. It was not a waste of time. 

My biggest tip for you, is to unapologetically be yourself. 
The market IS saturated with the same content, but there's only one you. 
Bring YOUR uniqueness to the table. Don't copy others. BE YOU. 
That's what the blogging community needs. Different, authentic, unique, and well, you.
Tell your story.
I love other people's stories, everyone always has a story to tell, every single person.
You could help someone. 
You could be a changing point. 
You could influence someone to chase their dreams or go after that goal.
Don't do it for any other reason than for yourself. You can do it. 

Also another tip is to explore where your community is, get to know other bloggers and make some friends. The support is everything. There's no club or pre-requisite to be a blogger. Find your niche, talk about what you love, be yourself, and you'll be great. 

If you start one- TELL ME! I want to read it. 

Much love,

Monday, October 22, 2018

SURPRISE! It's Pet Friendly

Baltimore, MD, USA
There have been several times lately when I've been to different stores around town with my dog Ella, and people have said to me 
WHAT? I didn't know dogs are allowed there!
So I thought I would share my favorite places where dogs are allowed, that you may not know.

This list is going to be on-going, because I keep finding new places around town. 
But I think it's a great starter list.

I want to emphasize that the below places are conditional on your dog being well-behaved and on leash at all times.
Well-behaved means they aren't jumping on people, you are conscious of people being nervous or afraid and keeping your pup with you so no one is uncomfortable, no growling or lunging, and make sure your pup uses the restroom before going inside. We want to make sure to protect this awesome ability to have dogs with us. We should be mindful NOT to ruin the shopping experience for others.

(also HomeGoods & Marshalls)
That's right, TJ Maxx as well as HomeGoods and Marshalls all allow dogs that are leashed and well behaved. If they can fit in a cart, that's even better, but it's not a rule. 

We love going on trips to Ace to get what we need for our home, and the people that work there are SO POLITE!

Ella is a big fan of Home Depot, she seems to love the open warehouse style and you can often find her relaxing in the aisles. 

Dogs are allowed on the outside right now where there are activities going on for fall, and in the greenhouse. We love this because at most places like this, dogs are not allowed.

They also give your dogs bacon bits left over! So awesome.

Dogs are allowed, but also they sell pupcakes that are Ella's absolute favorite.

*Several restaurants also allow dogs that have outdoor seating like restaurants in Fells Point (there's even water bowls at several places), The Daily Grind (doggie door), Mothers Grille Federal Hill,  Blue Pit BBQ,  Red Brick Station, & Bmore Licks (doggie door).

Drivethroughs That Give FREE Treats to Dogs
Chick Fil A Drivethrough (milkbones)
Rita's Italian Ice (gelato with milkbone)
Starbucks (Puppuccino)
Most Banks (milkbone)

I will keep this list going but I hope that you find a few that you didn't know about yet. 
Also, please let me know if you have more additions! 


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Interview: Fathia Savory (Stylist)

Baltimore, MD, USA
How is your fall style shaping up so far this season?

I had a meeting a little while back with Fathia Savory at Zia's cafe (link) to talk about her company, where she is a stylist for other entrepreneurs, government employees, working moms (she herself is a mom of a 3 year old), Christian music artists and your every day adult professional. 
Fathia was kind enough to tell me about her background as well as her work that she does today. 
She loves her job because she loves helping clients feel confident and making a difference. 

baltimore fashion stylist
Fabi Maranho Photography

Fathia started as a stylist 5 years ago this December. She attended school for fashion merchandising and design, and also has a background in marketing. Admittedly she is still learning about business on a daily basis (but aren't we all!).
I'm currently all about a daily routine over at the Boho Marketing Co , so I asked about hers:
Her daily routine consists of checking emails, scheduling her posts (socia
l media), networking opportunities as well as planning her schedule around her clients. She tries to be as available as possible to their schedules, especially since she works with so many professionals. 

baltimore fashion stylist
Alicia Renee Photography

Fathia shared this story with me:
"One of my favorite styling projects, was a video shoot for Christian music artist, Maya Elizabeth. The video was shot in a few locations here in Baltimore. One of the more challenging locations was the rooftop of a city building. We had to climb out a window onto a fire escape, up another ladder along the building, just to get to the rooftop. As someone who really doesn’t like heights, I found myself having to face my fear head on. We also braved the scorching sun beating down on us. It was all worth it, the artist looked fabulous and the final product turned out incredible. Music video link “Come Ye” https://youtu.be/36W32XyrXRc "

As far as types of fashion, Fathia favors sustainable fashion, chooses some fast fashion for trendy/discounted pieces, and tends to pick more classic and timeless pieces for herself.
Her current style icon is Tracee Ellis Ross.

Where is she located?
The entire DMV area but she also does virtual styling where she helps you style your outfits from the comfort of your own home and computer!

She prefers a couple of weeks notice. This is because it will get you the most affordable piece but also gives you plenty of options so that you aren't scrambling at the last minute to find a piece. Last minute is possible, she admits, but it just doesn't afford as many options and can tend to be pricey. This is especially good to know for us budget friendly types- am I right?

baltimore fashion stylist
Bliss Culture Photography

3 Most Important Things That Every Woman Should Know?
1. Style Personality
2. Body Shape & Styles that work well
3. Your colors

Each appointment can be completely customized (which I love!) and she will go shopping with you, wait while you try on the different outfits, do a style evaluation (including the top three things), and she currently has four different packages available for your needs. 

If you need to get in touch with Fathia she can be reached via email at stylist@fathiasavory.com or you can also find her on Instagram @fathiasavory .

baltimore fashion stylist
Alicia Renee Photography

Thanks so much Fathia for meeting with me, I love what you do, and that you are so passionate about it as well.
And Happy Five Year Anniversary in December!


Monday, October 15, 2018

Creative {Holiday} Cards

Baltimore, MD, USA
Are you the type of person that likes to create their own holiday cards each year? 
I do too.
Usually mine has a photo of my dog Ella on it, because well, she's adorable (I'm only a little biased).

I like to have several creative options so that I can customize my cards as much as possible, for either personal or corporate cards. With my first year in business for the Boho Marketing Co coming up, I wanted to also be able to use my style on either corporate Christmas cards or corporate holiday cards to thank clients and friends who have helped along the way. 

For personal cards, I love customized Christmas photo cards and with Basic Invite, I found the perfect cards this year. I'm so excited to show you a few styles that I loved.

Some of the samples I tried out. I did different types of paper, different color envelopes and different styles and shapes, to see what I liked most.
Basic Invite Website

How did I choose? 
Well for starters Basic Invite sends you a FREE sample to see what your card feels and looks like before you order. I like this because Basic Invite has such a large color palette, and I chose this year to do a colorful envelope (something I've never done) because they had so many choices. The free sample allows you to feel the quality of the paper too, so that you know exactly what you are getting. (see below). You can even get tri fold holiday cards.

Options of colors, paper type, texture, and card shape.

When it comes to colors, Basic Invite has just about unlimited colors down to the smallest detail, with over 180 color options. Then there's over 40 different colors of envelopes to choose from as well. I'm telling you, if you like unique, Basic Invite is the company for you. 

But let's talk about my favorite part and then I'll show you some of the personalized designs that I created
I think the part of holiday cards that I dislike the most, is the addressing of the envelopes. 
This is the first time I've seen this, and it's so awesome. 
Basic Invite has an Address Capturing Service. Basically what happens is you share a link to your clients, family and friends, and it requests their addresses, which are then stored in your Basic Invite account, and you simply select them during the design process. Then Basic Invite prints them out for NO COST on the orders. 
It doesn't get much easier than that. 

Here were my personal choices- do me a favor- vote on the one you love most!
Choice 1

Choice 2

Choice 3

Lastly, I'm including some inspiration from Basic Invite as well, for your cards too! 
You can also do Halloween & Thanksgiving, see below.

Just so you know, there are over 500 Christmas and holiday card designs and the BEST PART is Basic Invite is having a SALE of 30% off with coupon code holi30!

I wanted to post this early enough so that you could order some samples and get a feel for the exact card that is right for you- and also have time to reach out to everyone for their addresses.

Please show me what you create or tag me on instagram- I'm so excited to see what everyone chooses.

Have a great week and is it too early for holiday music yet?


Thursday, October 11, 2018

Interview: Laura Hodges Studio

Baltimore, MD, USA
Have you ever been inside of a brand new built home?
The fresh paint smell, the barely touched floors, & everything is just so perfect. Now imagine taking that home and transforming it into your dream house, where everything has been made just for you, down to the knobs on the cabinetry.

interior design baltimore
photo by: Jennifer Hughes

This is what the fabulous Laura Hodges does for her clients.
When she first told me this, I just floated in imagination for how I'd do my house if I could build it from scratch.
But it doesn't have to be built from scratch! Laura can help decorate and design your rooms to be exactly what you want as well. 
When I met with Laura you could just feel the passion for what she does exuding out of every word that she spoke to me. It was awesome and I love when you can tell someone is living out their exact passion and are exactly where they are meant to be in life. 

interior design baltimore
photo by: Jennifer Hughes

Of course I had some questions. How did you start? Where are you from (I detected a slight accent)?

Laura is originally from Manchester England, and was five years old when she moved to the US.
She still spent her summers in England and France (so dreamy) and has a slight accent if you listen close enough. 
Laura started her career in Marketing (this was so interesting to me, because she discussed different guerilla marketing tactics that she used to do), and initially she had a business degree. She then went back to school and received her interior design degree, working in NYC for years, and then once she was married, she had her two boys shortly after.
She took time off to spend with them, and then decided she wanted to pursue interior design.

 Laura started Laura Hodges Studio in 2016, but opened up the new space for the studio and also her home decor shop Domain by Laura Hodges studio in June of this year. 
From her website:
Laura Hodges Studio is a boutique design firm located in the in the Baltimore / Washington DC area working on full service interior design projects.  We focus on creating the ultimate in beautiful, tailored spaces while fully expressing every client’s individual style and taste. 
Domain by Laura Hodges Studio is our home decor shop with a curated collection of local and globally sourced fair trade and sustainable home decor, original art, unique gifts, and one-of-a-kind pieces.  Domain is located on Frederick Road in the heart historic Catonsville Maryland.  Come and shop the studio for a hand selected collection of throw pillows, vases, planters, jewelry, scarves, ceramics, blankets, and much more.

interior design baltimore
photo by: Jennifer Hughes
What type of service does she offer?
Well if you haven't built your home yet, she can start directly from the beginning with you, making it your dream home from the get-go.
She works directly with contractors, and gives you the options for each part of the design for you to choose. She can pick out every single detail down to the towels that best suite your style and personality.
It's truly incredible.
If it has already been built, or if you are currently in your home, she can help you re-design/decorate your space to match your style and taste.

Everything is customized when working with Laura, she will do an in-take form (located on website) where you can let her know your interests.
Then she will schedule a phone call or consultation to get started.

9-5pm Monday to Friday- Studio
11-5pm Wednesday-Saturday- Shop

The easiest way to get in touch is by in-take form, you can also find her on instagram at @laurahodgesstudio.

interior design baltimore
Photo by: Tara Hope

Thank you Laura, for talking to me about your passion. I can't wait to see so many more homes that you design!


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

19 Things

Baltimore, MD, USA
The last post in the dating series and I want to go ahead and focus on ME (and YOU!).
Because a common theme that has come up throughout this dating series has been that if you are single, work on you first, and then your relationship will come after. 
Several people have mentioned it, both as a way to better ourselves, not focus on having a relationship, and also to be prepared for that relationship when it comes around. 

With that knowledge in mind, I've created 19 things I'll do for myself as a single person before 2019.

(this is my favorite thing and gives me an excuse to do it)
I'm going to finally use that Merritt Membership for more than the pool.
Not to lose weight, but to stay healthy. No more MG problems! I know REAL FOOD COURT will be helping me with this.
More girls nights, with more new girls.
Getting myself out there, even more than now.
The Boho Marketing Co is still in it's first year, now is the time.
Read to learn, read to stay current, read to increase my talents.
I plan to do so much hiking until it's too cold.
9. FIX 
So far I've learned to fix my own lawn mower, and start a fire in my fireplace by myself, I plan to learn a few more home fixing skills before the year is through.
Ella is a great pup who has had alot of training, but she could always learn more or perfect her skills!
Not very far, but I'd love to take Ella somewhere where we can hike and just enjoy nature/mountains, etc.
12. MOM
Spoiling my mom is always a good idea, right?
Reflect on 2018, see what I liked, what I'd like to improve, and set my goals for 2019. 
My home constantly feels like it's messy. I need to get my organization in order, and I've been so impressed with Di Is Organized.
Get serious about a solid schedule, and have more time to do things!
I'm going to try one thing that really scares me before Dec 31st.
17. SHOW
I'd love to see a broadway show before the year ends. I'm going to make it happen.
I'm looking to volunteer this holiday season. If you have reqs let me know!
Whoa, bet you weren't expecting that one. But a psychic told me that I should focus on me this year, and so far she's been right. So I'm going to stick with it.

Looking for reqs for several of these so please send them to me!

Happy Wednesday

© sarahbethramsey. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.