Hi friends!! It has been quite some time since I have updated you via the blog and I thought it was time to dust my little babe of a website off because I have some exciting changes taking place with South Coast Style, and I have been dying to share the news with you!
So as you guys know, I launched my blog, originally South Coast Movement, at the end of 2013 and went head first in 2014 sharing everything I loved and everything I was up to on here. A few months after launch I found out I was pregnant and happily shared my journey through pregnancy, early stages of motherhood, and eventually before I knew it, my little hobby turned into a fully operating business. Making this a full time job was never something I imagined to happen, I was a preschool teacher and director and honestly just started a blog because I was craving having a space to share my outfits, love of fashion and travel, and to get my adult creative juices flowing since most of my day was spent reciting the alphabet with 4 years olds and finger painting (that I was ever complaining about the gig, BEST years of my life). After having Raj, I decided it was time to retire from my job at the preschool after 10 years in the preschool industry; it was such a difficult decision but I knew that for my son and our family, this was going to be the best choice. I had my first job when I was 16, and I knew myself and knew that if I didn’t find something to put some personal energy into, staying at home would drive me absolutely crazy. I needed something flexible so I could be home full time with Raj since Darshan was practically working two full time jobs starting up our other company, but I knew I had to find something to help keep me feeling like myself, something that felt like mine that I could be proud of. That is the point I started putting real and honest energy into my blog full time. Routine blog posts, building my social media pages, attending weekly events to network, I did all of this pretty much for free just to keep myself sane for a solid two years while being a stay at home mama, and I loved every minute of it.
Finally around 2017 I realized how much time was being put into my blog. So many of my peers around me were running their blog as a full time business and making an income doing so, and I thought to myself, ‘why have I not been doing that?’ I was making money purely from posting affiliate links on here, and it was fun, but I knew if I wanted to make this a respected business, I had to learn the ins and outs of business and managing the operations full time. I will be completely honest, even with the encouragement of Darshan, I still didn’t feel I had what it took but I knew if I didn’t start taking opportunities as they were in front of me, I would be missing out on an incredible opportunity to build something that was mine, something I could be proud of.
A few months after I started learning how to monetize my blog, and was in the process of creating this as a business model I could maintain while still keeping control of my integrity and authentic voice here, what I shared, and producing high quality content, I decided I wanted to learn more about this industry so purchased tickets to a huge Social Media conference, Altitude Summit. I was sold when I found out this wasn’t necessarily ‘for bloggers’ but for any woman who was creating and building her business and wanting to maintain and share all of her creative dreams. Basically, women just like me. I was still in so much newness, learning how to build and manage a business in an industry I knew nothing about, teaching myself how to contract deals, read legal contracts, negotiate fees and rates… from preschool teacher to CEO of a business in a growing industry working with brands I had dreamed of shopping at since childhood – the words daunting and terrifying do not even do justice to how I felt in those early days. I felt SO out of my element, I knew the education and state laws of managing children and classrooms, but don’t even dare ask me to create spreadsheets on blog analytics and conversion rates. Altitude Summit was exactly what I needed.
My first year at Alt. Summit was incredible. I had been running my blog as a business for a year and I was proud of the content I was creating and the few deals I had landed at that point, but still I knew I was missing so many opportunities simply because of the things I didn’t know how to do. While attending Altitude Summit I met my dear friend, Hannah of Mad Rad Media, and immediately I knew she was everything I aspired to be. She knew this industry like no one else and it blew my mind hearing her spout out operations and how she managed her media consulting business, she also has the sweetest blog, Ruby Makes Three, and her content was so beautiful and relatable. I was so inspired by her and knew she was someone who I wanted to stay connected with.
After Altitude Summit I can say without doubt is when my business went from standard to incredible. I had learned so much at the conference and came home and really started putting it all into my business, and results were showing for themself after just a few months. My inbox was growing by the day, my brand collaborations were at an all time high, and I was proud and working my ass off and it was showing… the only problem, there was only one of me, and I realized after some time that it just wasn’t enough. There weren’t enough hours in the day, enough help at home, I was still mother and wife, daughter, sister, cousin, but now also full time photographer, photo editor, content creator, writer, lawyer, PR/Marketing manager, and most importantly the face of it all – of my entire business. There just wasn’t enough of me to pull in any other direction and although I was growing and at the greatest high in my business, personally I was feeling like a failure. Over time, I could see and feel my creative content suffering, emails were being responded to days later, my house felt like it was in chaos, and one day I sat and cried wondering if I had made the biggest mistake in building this business. It made me so proud, but also made me so crazy. I felt like such a failure and I wondered if from the beginning, I just wasn’t cut out to keep up with it all – I saw so many of my peers and other influencers online who seemingly did it all, why couldn’t I keep up?
Between family obligations and growing in my business, I decided to slow things down a bit on the business front early this year. I started declining deals and collaborations more than I was saying yes, I slowed down blog and social posts, and I took time to reflect and decide what I wanted to do with this space, and truly started searching for the parts of it that brought me joy again. Around this time, I was preparing to attend my second year of Altitude Summit and was approached by my friend Hannah whom I had met and stayed in touch with from the to speak on a live panel with her. Even though I was in a space of not knowing exactly where I was headed with my business, I knew from the previous year at Alt. that when an opportunity presents itself, you just take it and roll with it because sometimes the greatest changes happen when you go in open to learn and grow and push yourself. The previous year had catapulted my career, who knew what this year could bring. Through preparing for our presentation, I was able to spend professional and personal time talking, texting, and working with Hannah and her and I vibed so well. It was incredible to see her business growth over the last year, her client book was growing and in addition to creating our presentation, we even had the opportunity to work on a campaign together for one of her clients. I admired how effective but relatable she was, I was in a growing but drowning state, and I knew I just knew it was finally time to come to her for advice and maybe some hopes of joining forces: something I had dreamed about since meeting her in 2018.
After spending some time with Hannah at Alt. Summit 2019, having so many discussions and meetings about the potential of what I could do if I would let go of control and outsource my business, I came home from Palm Springs and immediately had a serious discussion with Darshan of next steps I needed to take for my business. I knew in my heart that tabling this beautiful community I had spent 5 years growing wasn’t the answer, I needed to figure out a way to take some of the pressure off the side of the business I didn’t love and that weighed me down and kept me from creating the content I was proud of, and suddenly the answer became clear…
The big news??
YOU GUYS! I have a management team!!!
All of this post to announce that I am now officially part of the Mad Rad Media family and I couldn’t be more proud to share this with you. One of the most difficult decisions I had to make was expanding my team as I never wanted to feel or give the impression that I was just here for monetary reasons or that I was ‘selling out’ but the truth is, I learned that if I want to continue to create and share content that I am proud of and grow this space into what its worth, I have to learn to ask for help where and when I need it. You guys, I spent the last two years putting so much more energy into the part of this business that drained me the most, and I had to just sit back and ask myself, WHY? I love this space and I was beginning to resent it, that is not why I started this all. I stared this to connect with people, to share my story in hopes of inspiring or helping others, and to have a place to be me and share what I love. I think one of the biggest lessons I have learned this year: do what you are great at and its ok to ask for help in areas that are not your strength. Ultimately, that is why I made this decision for my business, and since signing with Hannah in June, I don’t think I have been more exciting to get this back on track than ever!
So why am I sharing this here? Well you guys know I come from a place of full transparency. For years I looked at other bloggers and friends in this industry just comparing myself to their success in both business and personal life, and I always felt like such a loser. How come I couldn’t keep up? Why couldn’t I DO IT ALL like they seemingly were and I learned over time, wait a minute… they aren’t! They have managers, assistants, photographers on staff, etc. No wonder I was falling behind and in the process making myself feel like shit. HOW COULD ANY ONE PERSON DO IT ALL? I realize this isn’t something many of my peers like to share, and I just don’t see why it isn’t something to be proud of. Also, I never want to make anyone else feel how I have the last two years: like I wasn’t enough. What I have learned is that asking for help when I need it is one of the strongest things we can do as humans, on all fronts.
From here on out, I am so excited to share with you all where this new journey of my business takes me. We already have some incredible content coming your way, I am so stoked to gain control of my focus here and begin to share content that makes me proud. My hope is that over the next few months you will all be part of this growth process with me!
I recently did an interview with Hannah on her Mad Rad Media blog about my decision to join her team, and I wanted to share that all with you.
Read the interview here, and let me know what you think!!
Thank you all for being here, for trusting me, and for helping me to continue to follow my dreams and goals, I truly wouldn’t be here without the support from all of YOU!!
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