As we’re wrapping up our 2018 Bridal season, I can’t help but reflect on our busiest, most impact season yet. In March, as my bookings in Raleigh, NC started to grow, I decided to throw in the corporate towel and pour all my soul into growing my own business. I remember a phone call with my friend Amanda, late at night, as I drove home from the latest long work trip. I was exhausted, overworked, and it was putting strains in every area of my life. That rant filled conversation left me blurting out, “What if instead of constantly developing business’ for other people — I actually invested in my own”. Amanda’s response was one I’ll never forget: “I’ve been waiting for you to say this for 6 years. If there’s anyone I’d bet all my money on, it’d be you.”
And thus, after little deliberation from those closest to me, I put in a two week notice and geared up for a total overhaul on my website and brand. I was bound and determined that this year was the year I hit the ground running and made no excuses for not making in the industry I loved.
Over the past year, I’ve felt a lot of different feels about branching out and really trying to find where I fit into this industry. I spent time identifying what set me apart from those around me, who are all unique and offer such incredible services. I even streamlined my booking process and making my business work not just for my clients, but for myself — I remember spending hours and hours responding to emails and buried under piles of inquiries that ghosted me after my heartfelt welcome letter and pricing sheet (worst first date ever, right?). I’d sometimes send out 30 emails a day and get one booking from all that hard work, and well, those are the average statics, right? But the trouble was, I was spending all this time sending out these personalize emails to people who weren’t my people. I was drowning in inquiries and feeling the same feeling of being overworked, and overwhelmed. I had to find more creative ways to find my tribe and pour my personalized emails to them.
I eventually learned how to balance out the time I spent working on location, working in the office, and what’s most important, spending time with those I love without being a giant ball of stress and exhaustion. It took a couple personal setbacks, lots of tears and struggles. But I have to say, as I sit here typing this post, I’m hopeful for 2019. I’m thankful for the time I share with my beautiful clients + amazing family/friends and the fact that every person bet on me, and convinced me to bet on myself to make 2018 MY year regardless of the challenges.
Over the past year, I’ve serviced:
20 Boudoir Shoots
18 Commercial Gigs
14 Branding Sessions
3 Resources Created
2 Classes Attended
+ Loads of Private Makeup/Hair Sessions
We’ve still got 3 weddings left in 2018, and a handful of boudoir sessions as well.
Needless to say, for our first year as a full-time gig, we’ve really hit the ground running. Most of that came from being open and honest with others in this industry and being welcomed into that community. It’s been an amazing journey, and I’m looking forward to the extensive growth that’s going to happen (because I’m going to make it happen) in 2019!
How’s your year going so far?