#HerStyleTheory is born!
Life is about change. Its about growth, its about taking chances, the ups & the downs, the journey toward self-discovery, the people you meet & along the way and, I believe, finding what ultimately makes your heart happy.
Along my personal journey toward learning what it means for me to “style my life happy” and diving full force into my passions, I’ve had the great fortune of meeting some of the most incredible women who are on a similar mission with very similar core values. Getting to know these women has been such a comfort to me as I’ve made my transition into becoming a full-time business owner. And, while yes, I may be a little insane for taking the path I’ve chosen, they’re living testaments as to how your life can transform in a blink of an eye if you listen to your heart, which is so inspiring & encourages me to continue to push forward!
As I meet more and more female creatives, entrepreneurs, makers, movers and shakers, I can’t help but want to share their stories with as many of my friends, family & followers as possible in hopes of inspiring, encouraging and empowering each and every one of you to go out there and live your most fulfilling life!
Hence, #HerStyleTheory was born!
Captured by: Corinne Louie Photography
I’m sure a number of you know about the brilliant, internet marketing extraordinaire Kallie Branciforte creator of style blog & YouTube channel But First, Coffee & her super handy, informative resources & e-courses over at Caffeinate & Conquer! I had the pleasure of meeting Kallie at Ipsy’s Creator Day this past summer and after subscribing to her channel and witnessing her desire to help fellow creators find success, I felt infinitely inspired by her generosity and openness, qualities I find admirable in a field of mindless competition!
Side Note: Two days ago, as I was cleaning out my MacBook Air (for the 1000th time!), I discovered that I had downloaded an e-book created by Kallie recommended to me by a fellow blogger earlier this year & literally had NO IDEA it was THE Kalllie Branciforte up until this point!
What I love most about Kallie’s story is her belief that every decision you’ve made along the way has molded you into the person you are today. Your life’s course may not seem clear at first, but it somehow all comes full circle and the pieces begin to fit as you navigate your way through. And, remember–“it’s not up to anyone but yourself how you decide to live your life”.
On a random day in late May of 2013, I posted my
first ever blog post.
At the time, I didn’t know anything about blogging. Besides casually reading a few blogs here and there, I was completely unaware of the industry and community that surrounded blogging. I couldn’t have known that hitting the publish button that day would end up being one of the biggest moments of my life.
You see, I went to school to be a teacher. I studied Education and can’t remember wanting anything more than to be a teacher. While I was in college I taught as a Preschool teacher. During my summers I worked my way up the ranks at a day camp. Everything I did was to position myself to be the best teacher I could be come graduation.
I remember the day my Teaching Certificate came in the mail. It took a college degree and a passing score on six different standardized tests, of which my state, Connecticut, had the highest required passing score. It was the single greatest accomplishment of my life up until that moment. I don’t remember a time I ever felt more proud of myself than that mild July afternoon holding a plain, unadorned piece of paper in my driveway.
I started my career as an English as a Second Language teacher. It was not what I had gone to school for, but the job was vacant and I was bright-eyed, eager, and in serious need of a steady paycheck. I fell in love with teaching ESL. My students had come from all over the world. They spoke languages I didn’t know, had traditions I’d never heard of, and had an unquenchable thirst to absorb the English language. I learned with my students. As I taught them how to conjugate the verb to-be, they taught me how to make proper tzatziki. As I taught them Christmas traditions in America, they taught me about the Chinese New Year. Working with ESL students was a whole new obstacle and I relished the chance to tackle it.
ASTR Velma Jacket, Willow White Button Up, The Fifth Label Undertow Skirt
When my first summer as a teacher came around I was faced with an empty summer with nothing to keep my hands busy. Not someone who does well without a task, I decided to start my blog, But First, Coffee. I expected it to be a summer hobby but as summer came to and end it was clear this wasn’t something I was just going to quit. And so, But First, Coffee went on.
Over the next two years I continued teaching ESL while also becoming completely enthralled with the industry of internet media and marketing. I couldn’t stop learning about the online landscape, social media, analytics, SEO, SEM, and more. As I came to the end of my third year as an ESL teacher, I began to wonder if life was offering me a fork in the road. You see, I’m a strong believer that we choose our own destiny in life – as opposed to the idea that it’s all laid out for us – but also believe life gives us little hints and pushes in directions we should follow.
Top Left-Right: Navy Wool Plaid Scarf, Moon River Ella Tie Front Dress Bottom: ASTR Rue Dress
And so, somewhere in there, I made the decision to quit my job as a teacher to follow a career in Internet Marketing full time. Many people close to me thought I had lost my mind. They had watched me work so hard to become a teacher, only to give it up after 3 years. But, I knew making this career move was the right choice for me. While many people didn’t understand it, I knew it was the right thing to do. So often in our lives, we worry about what others will think about our decisions. But at the end of the day, we’re the ones who live with them. No one can truly understand your journey like you can, and so it’s not up to anyone but yourself how you decide to live your life.
As it turns out, my decision did turn out to be the right one. After only 4 weeks at my new job working for an Internet Marketing company I was promoted to the manager of the team. The job has allowed me to continue to learn so much about SEO, search engine marketing, online analytics and trends, growing and developing an online presence, and so on. The job has also allowed me the freedom and time to continue to grow But First, Coffee. This past fall I was able to launch my second website, Caffeinate and Conquer, where I’m able to finally merge my love of teaching with my love of online marketing, and teach others how to grow their online presence. I launched my first ever e-course, and then another.
I haven’t always known where my life will lead me. I don’t know what’s in store for my future. What I do know is that as long as I stay true to myself and follow what I know feels right, I’ll find my version of success.