Monday, October 24, 2016

Happy Anniversary Mavelle!

I am putting on my party dress and celebrating! 
Three years ago I decided to start a little thing called a blog. I was inspired by all the bloggers I was following and continue to be inspired by today as well as seeking a creative outlet.

I have always wanted to be a writer and the idea channeling my inner Carrie Bradshaw was kind of exciting. I guess if I was really channeling my inner Carrie I'd write about the search for love but considering I was a newlywed when I started Mavelle Style I had already landed my "Big" so fashion it was. Plus, I am kind of obsessed with fashion so it was a natural decision that style would be the primary focus of my blog.

I started Mavelle style without a plan or clue what would come next. I just wanted to write, inspire others, style fun outfits and document my from scratch recipes. If it went nowhere that was okay with me and if I wasn't enjoying it anymore then quitting was okay too. After all it was just a creative outlet...right?

Well, three years later I am still creating content and still enjoying it and can say I have zero plans of quitting and I definitely have more of an idea of where I want this to go and what I hope for it to be. Over time it has become less of a creative outlet and more of a side business. 
Mavelle style turning three is not the only reason I am celebrating today. Exactly one year ago I announced here that I was leaving the corporate world to not only work a little more on lé blog but to launch Mavelle media, my boutique Marketing + PR firm. This was something the hubs and I had been discussing for at least a year and I had been dreaming about much longer. He knew how much I wanted to do it and was supportive from the beginning...it was convincing myself that took so long. To go out on your own is a huge leap...it is scary...it is exciting...it is scary...it is fun...it is scary...did I mention scary? I am not a risk taker so this was a big change that forced me out of my comfort zone.



As an entrepreneur some days are tough and I am not going to lie...knowing what tomorrow looks like between 8 am and 5pm and that every other Friday there will be a check for X amount sounds pretty awesome...and way easier! But overall I am pretty stoked at how my first year of business is wrapping up.

I did not fail...I still have a ton of room to grow but hey, I did not fail. I kept myself pretty busy in the past year. Mavelle media has clients and Mavelle style has brands to partner with. 
This is my "Heck Yeah...I didn't fail y'all!" face.

Below are 5 things I have learned, am still learning, and would share with anyone about to embark on the same journey I started three years ago with my lifestyle blog and one year ago with my marketing public relations business. 

1) Don't cheat yourself. When you are a newbie it is easy to just want business and then suddenly you realize you are pretty much working for free. Your ideal client is out there and they are willing to pay what you're worth. Trust me, you don't want to work with someone who doesn't understand the value of the services you are providing.

2) Don't take it personal. This may come as a shock to you, it did for me, but not all of your friends and family will understand what you are doing and why you are doing it. This is especially true for the blogging side of my business. It was hard not to take it personal in the beginning when my friends weren't also my "fans" but as Elsa once said..."let it go." Yeah I went there...Frozen is a great movie by the way. On the flip side, the support that I do receive is amazing and I am so thankful for it all and would truly be lost without it. I have found cheerleaders in people I wouldn't have imagined and it is pretty awesome how starting a business has connected me to new people I now consider friends. 

3) Be patient. You will not be a success overnight. It will take time and probably some tears. You may even doubt your decision to go out on your own a couple of times and you may even, occasionally, check craigslist to see what kind of jobs are out there. It is hard not to get discouraged when everyone makes owning a business look so easy, pretty and successful on social media. You know that behind those pretty Instagram Images and #LoveWhatYouDo's they are working their butts off just like you.  

4) Don't be afraid to say, "NO!" If something is not a fit for your brand or lifestyle then don't do it. For example I will not promote products on my blog that are not true to who I am and my style just to accept a partnership with a brand. That really is just one example. I cannot stress how important saying, "no" is just in general. I always feel guilty saying "no" to friends and family and if I say "no" to a price or one item in a hundred to a client I am worried I will lose the business completely. What I have learned though is saying "yes" all the time makes business way harder. If it doesn't make sense for your end goal and is just going to create more stress then just say, "no."

5) Find your tribe. Join committees, groups, or online forums to chat and connect with like minded people. I have even found some really great Facebook groups for #GirlBosses and bloggers and we motivate each other, give feedback and support one another. It is great because as I mentioned earlier not everyone in your inner circle will get what you are doing and why you do it so it is important to have a solid tribe of people who do. 

The above is just a small portion of what I have learned as a blogger and entrepreneur and I am sure it is nothing compared to what I still have to learn. 
I am looking forward to continuing with both Mavelle media & Mavelle style. This last year has been exciting and I cannot wait to see where I take these little start ups of mine next.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Mavelle style and Cheers to wrapping up year one with Mavelle media!

XO,
Jenna 



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