I can't believe it's been an entire year since I started sharing my life in tiny Instagram squares. I feel incredibly grateful & blessed to have such a supportive group of people, who "follow" the content I create, converse in the conversations I start, and "like" the story that I feel like I was born to tell.
If you've been a follower of mine for a while you'll know that I truly believe that Instagram is so much more than tiny squares and hashtags. It's given me the ability to connect with people across the country, or even across the globe, who share my love of fashion, amazing deals, and photography.
I've also learned more about myself than I ever thought I would in this life. I've learned how to push myself creatively, to heights I never before knew. I've challenged myself as a writer, as a "stylist" and as a human.
But overall, I'm having the most fun.
I asked you all last week to shoot some questions on my first year as a full-time blogger my way. Today I'm answering some of the most requested ones. I hope the answers inspire you, to go after your dreams and never look back.
1.) Q: Who inspired you to become a blogger?
A: Good Question! Other bloggers actually. I followed so many accounts of people that i felt so connected to (although I actually never had met them) through "following along" on their blog and Instagram. I wanted to be able to connect with people in that way as well.
2.) Where do you shop?
A: Anywhere! I am not a brand snob at all. I don't care if it costs $2 or $200, or if it comes from Walmart or Gucci, if I like it, I'll get it. Although, I do try to be mindful of price points when promoting things to y'all. I don't own many things that cost over $100.
3.) Is it hard working with your husband?
A: Yes! I give my all 365, 24 hours a day to building my brand. I have to constantly remind myself that he works a whole other job, and that he's working for me out of the kindness of his heart. I have to turn "business Rachel" off and "wife Rachel" on quite a bit, and remember to not be bossy! We are both really strong personalities, we are both stubborn, and we both are really invested in Style Stories. At the end of the day, who gets to say that they work with the person they love most all day long. I wouldn't be doing this without him.
4.) Your husband seems really comfortable behind the camera, did he go to school to be a photographer? Does he have another job as well?
A: lots of Reuben Questions! Reuben's probably the more creative person I know. But he hadn't picked up a professional grade camera until this year. He taught himself how to shoot, and edit videos and photos and I am so so blessed that he took this all on the way he did. He brings amazing vision and creative direction to every shoot. He inspires me!
And yes! He works full time as a Deputy for our County Sheriff's Department. He's pretty bad a**!
5.) How do you work all day with your kids?
A: I try to work really early before they get up, and really late after they go to bed. But I'm really lucky to have a job that allows me to work from my phone and laptop, so I can get my work done while the kids run around and play. Being a mom is my #1 priority in life, so I try to make sure I can give them my all in a day. Some days are easy, others aren't. I'm still trying to find the balance in that!
6.) How do you work with brands?
This deserves an entire blog post itself! And this is probably my most asked question. Blogger/Brand partnerships are really beneficial in today's world where more people turn to bloggers on social media for fashion, lifestyle, beauty tips etc rather than magazines or websites. I've been really lucky to secure partnerships with over 200 brands this past year. I work with brands similar to how advertisement agencies work with brands. I curate high quality content (either by form of video or static image) that showcases their product in a positive light. And they pay the blogger a fee based on their engagement rate and the size of their audience. The key to partnering with brands, is to only take on partnerships that fit with products you actually use, love, and would purchase yourself. I have some limits as to what I wont promote on my feed (any kind of drug or medication for example). And I turn down partnerships all the time, if it doesn't seem like something my audience will want to hear about or something I won't actually wear, I pass.
Thanks for all the questions guys! And for the last AMAZING year! Here's to many more