O U T F I T D E T A I L S
Okay, this is going to be quite a long blog post so grab a coffee/tea or wine if it’s after 5pm and get ready to read a novel. I share a lot of personal information and real experiences that led me to where I am now. I’m going to start from the very beginning to when I started my blog in August 2015 up until now. Get ready, set, LET’S GO! <3
During high school back in 2006-2010, I was always asked where I got my clothes. I normally shopped at Forever21 and Charlotte Russe until Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch became popular. If you had a moose on your shirt, you were obviously cool. LOL. You know the typical for a teenager. Anyways, fast forward to 2015, I thought since I was always receiving these questions, why not just come up with a blog to post all of the answers in one space.
So my blogging journey started in August of 2015 (I was 23 years old) and working as a server and going to school at UF. To be honest, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and I didn’t even follow bloggers back then, I literally just created a free WordPress account one morning and started a blog without thinking about it before I went to work that day. My first blog name was “chictwentysomethings”. I really didn’t think anyone would read it, but I was excited to have this little corner of the internet that was completely mine. I’m not going to lie, I had a few people who made fun of me because of it for a while. It started off with a few fashion/beauty posts, but it was mainly lifestyle and positivity.
I really didn’t put any effort into blogging the first year and a half. I would meet up with my friend Tanner who started blogging a few months after me and we would take pictures of products we bought from Marshall’s/TJ Maxx which wasn’t a problem because I still shop there all the time. People would ask us where we bought items and not all Marshall’s and TJ Maxx’s are the same so there was no way to actually link a product (especially when there wasn’t a website linked to these department stores). Anyways, the point of that was that I had a VERY slow start. I did finally discover some bloggers on IG though. I just wasn’t 100% into it at this point. I wrote a blog post probably 5 times a month, if that.
In August 2016 (one year after I started blogging), I finally received my first collaboration email. It was from Shein. I was literally so excited when I got that email. I very carefully viewed their website up and down, side to side trying to pick out the perfect outfit to showcase. HAHA. I remember it so vividly! I was sitting on my best friend, Margaret’s, bed scrolling their website. Finally, we decided on an outfit! I was so thrilled! Next collaboration I received was with Jord watches. Again, SO excited.
I feel like blogging is so different now-a-days and the term “influencer” is used more loosely. Back then, I never considered myself one because I didn’t commit myself to my blog. The collaboration emails started coming in more frequently (small ones), but I never asked for money ever. I just didn’t think I was worthy enough to be honest. During all of this, I was still going to UF and working as a server. Finally, December 2016 hit and I was graduating the University of Florida. This was it, I really needed to decide whether or not I was going to continue this “hobby” because if I’m being completely honest, I was spending a shit ton of money every month keeping up with my wardrobe without any extra income coming in.
….here we are, January 2017 and I decided to continue blogging. I was already past the point where I thought I would miss out on something if I quit all together. Have you heard of FOMO?! Ya, that was me. In May 2017, I was in the Bahama’s and finally hit 10k followers on IG! I was SO excited – I thought that would NEVER happen. I promised myself that when I hit 10k, I would start charging a little bit per post. Maybe $75-100 depending on that company.
At this point I was working at a wedding venue that was a little over an hour drive each way. Talk about a long commute. I worked weekends and sometimes wouldn’t get home until 7-8pm. That gave me like NO time to work on my blog. During that year, it happened again, I barely posted. I was always consistent with posting once a day on IG though, but probably threw a blog post together once a week IF THAT. There were times I would go weeks without posting on the blog and barely made money but still shopping like I was. I’m an addict, what can I say?! LOL
At the end of 2017, I started making more of a name for myself per se. I think I hit 20k-ish followers on IG. I’m not sure if I was there quite yet, but I was super close. Also, I started making more friends in the blogging industry. I slid into Aubrey’s DMs and we started hanging out. We are pretty much sisters/work wives/best friends/whatever you want to call it now. LOL. We share everything with each other. So I won’t bore you with the details because in 2017, I was still learning about what I wanted my brand to look like and who I was as a person/blogger. I also got married in October 2017, so that took up A TON OF TIME. Working at a wedding venue plus planning my own wedding = no time for extra activities!
Here we are…. 2018! I’m sorry to say that the beginning of 2018 – I still didn’t take my blog seriously, but I was still consistent in posting on IG. SO WHAT THE HELL WAS I DOING?! I thought this to myself a lot. I had serious conversations with Lane and Aubrey about what I was trying to do with my “hobby”. Why couldn’t I just post on Instagram and not have a blog? A blog took up too much of my time and I couldn’t keep up with it. I was never one of those people who would EVER think I would be able to go full-time with it, because I had NEVER put in 100% of my effort. I was spending way too much money to keep up with the trends and new arrivals and was in debt and could never come up for air. I was literally drowning and it was because of blogging. I would put everything on my credit card and then just pay it off in the next few months a little bit at a time. This was going on until the middle of 2018. LIKE SEVEN MONTHS AGO. Might I remind you, I was still not making much money because I was “too nervous” to ask for it. I would ask for $100 here, $150 there. Not much to support my bad habits.
By this time, I had a new job. I was working as a Advertising Strategist for a local publishing company in Gainesville. Since I was in sales, my time was pretty flexible and I was able to finally put in that extra effort in For the Love of Coffey. In April of 2018, I went on my first blogger trip with Natalie Kennedy, Ashley Beary, and Andrea Besson. It was a blast! I saw how passionate they were at this so it was a little bit of a turning point for me. I didn’t want to miss out on these types of trips and I knew if I quit blogging, I would have! I was still nervous to ask for compensation for the work I was doing though.
Time went by and it was August 2018. Things were going pretty good. I was consistent with my blog and IG, for once both of them at the same time. I was in a pretty good job that was flexible. Only negative was I was still living paycheck to paycheck and in a tad bit of debt. I was so embarrassed because I literally could never pay my credit card off. I’ve always had money in the bank and my CC paid off, but then I started blogging in 2015, and it kind of all spiraled out of control.
August was great! It was officially my three year blogging anniversary!! It was the beginning of the rebirth of For the Love of Coffey! LOL. Not really, but it sounded good. I finally knew what I wanted to do. While always staying consistent on Instagram, I was able to grow in that platform thank goodness, but my blog was lacking. I really needed to focus on that and my brand. One day I decided that I was going to start charging for EVERY SINGLE COLLABORATION. If I was going to do this, I was going to do it right. I was going to do it in order to go full-time one day! This was not going to be just a hobby. If I was going to put in all of this extra effort, it was going to mean something!
The last few months have been some of the greatest, most rewarding months ever! I am the happiest (and less anxious) person I have ever been as well! I have signed the biggest contracts I have ever imagined so far and it’s just the beginning. In September/October I was able to completely pay off any and all debt I had because of blogging. In November, I quit my job and decided to pursue blogging full-time because my work load was becoming quite a bit to handle. I was making enough money and had a few plan b’s just in case it didn’t work out. In November/December, I was able to hit my goal of $10k in my savings all while continuing my love for shopping (remember in August I was still living paycheck to paycheck). Now-a-days, I don’t feel bad for shopping like I used too just a few months ago.
If you made it all the way here, THANK YOU SO MUCH. I am so thankful for all of you. I truly mean it. I wanted to share my whole story with you because I want you to NEVER GIVE UP. Your story spotlight doesn’t have to be about blogging, it can be about landing a dream job, having a baby, saving to buy a house, anything and everything. Just don’t give up! I didn’t realize I was super passionate about blogging until I gave it my all and I never gave it my all because I had every excuse in the book that I didn’t have enough time. I could’ve started blogging full-time years ago if I knew what I knew now. Everything happens for a reason and timing is everything. I believe I have big plans in this industry and I am so excited to see what they are! The harder you work for something, the better chance it becomes yours. Cheers to 2019! I am so ready for ya!!! <3
LOVE YOU GUYS!!!