Happy Monday! We’re recovering from a 4 day weekend. We flew to Texas to visit one of my girlfriends who just had her second baby. I thought I would never come down with baby fever again after having Zano…there’s just something about a newborn! And I’m happy to report, flying with an 18 month old wasn’t too terrible.
The days leading up to a holiday are always the best. Commuter traffic is light, my house is clean, I’m mentally on vacation for a couple days before actually taking vacation.. it’s fun! Another reason I love the holiday season, as a blogger, is I usually participate in some fun giveaways! Today I’m sharing two exciting giveaways!
The second giveaway happening right now is over on Lauren McMullen’s feed. Lauren is giving away $175 to The Vintage Rug Shop! YEAH BUDDY! One lucky winner will win $175 to spend on rugs, throws, or the ever-fast-selling pillows!
I encourage you to enter, as these giveaways are pretty exciting! Of course I’m biased since they include me, but hey, who wouldn’t die if they won $1000 to Target???
Hope you’re having a great Monday!
Don’t tell my husband, but I’ve been thinking A LOT about finishing our living room. He thinks our house is done. Done? Done as in “we’re done, no more spending money on the house!” But, uh… what about the built-ins flanking the fireplace, or our (socially acceptable) desert of a lawn, or the planter beds that are empty, or our laundry “room” situation, or our roof, or repainting our house? Clearly I have a list a mile long of things left to do in the house. Sadly for me, he threw his list out once we finished our last project.
Well, I’ve started taking a few matters into my own hands, like buttoning up our living room. I’ve had two of these chairs in my possession for a year and a half, just sitting in my garage waiting for their moment. One of my besties gave me these chairs, for free. Yes, FREE. They’re a hot mess now, but you just wait until I’m finished with them! I’ve been saving my pennies to get them professionally reupholstered. I usually upholster things myself, but these are behemoth chairs and besides, I literally have no time to spare so I’ll be paying someone to upholster them for me. Heck, getting these two chairs reupholstered professionally costs less than buying two brand new chairs of similar style. At the end of the day I’m saving us money! (Which is totally not an accountant thing to say, ha!)
Here are 4 upholstery styles I’m considering for these chairs.
Which one do you like best?
You know that feeling where you’ve done something you think is really good – maybe you built a bookcase or painted a piece of art – and you feel like patting yourself on the back? You also feel like sharing it with everyone you encounter, but worry about looking like an arrogant a-hole? Well… I kind of feel this way about my kitchen. I really love my kitchen, I think we did a great job (smell the arrogance yet?), but I tend to jump back and forth over the line of being humble and low key, allowing the internet to “discover” it… and annoying boasting over it’s awesomeness. My kitchen is no where near being the best, it’s kind of like your child, you will love your child more than anyone else, and that’s normal! Anyway…
Blinds.com loves my kitchen, so much so they have it as their landing page! WHAT! I’ve tested it out on a few browsers, you can’t see it on a mobile device as the formatting is different, and I think IE shows something different? Anyway, it’s there! I promise! I’m looking at it right now on Safari and Chrome.
the Signature Roman Shade in Camden Dark Storm
I don’t think I got to thank blinds.com enough for their amazing product and sincere generosity. They supplied our cordless pull down roman shades for our kitchen and living room, with out them our kitchen would be naked. They were beyond easy to work with, their team is full of the nicest, friendliest, encouraging folks. They accommodated our living room window, which is HUGE, like over 100″ huge, and they made sure the roman shade on that window matched our smaller windows. Anyway, I really wanted to give them a huge thank you, it really is validating when a company loves the results so much they feature it as the landing page on their website.
I have another duo to thank! Megan + Dawn over at E.Interiors are featuring me today over on their beautiful site! They really know how to make a girl blush. They’ve been featuring their favorite bloggers every friday, from House of Jade to Danielle Oakey Interiors, both super talents! I know you all will enjoy their site as much as I do. Thank you again Megan + Dawn for all your enthusiasm and support!
ALRIGHTY, it’s Friday! Peace out everyone!
Since launching The Vintage Rug Shop, just about 6 weeks ago, I’ve been asked a lot of questions. I want to share with you the most common questions I’ve been asked, maybe it will help nudge someone into launching their business, or give a little perspective! I’m not a professional (yet) but I’ve gone through the scariest part – actually launching!
“How is the shop going?”
The shop is going great! Beyond great, actually! It’s still very much a baby, but It’s more successful than I imagined it would be, and I’m enjoying every second of it. I spend literally ALL my free time working on it, thinking about it, planning, scheming, shopping, editing, posting, & socializing. I truly believe this can be big – huge even – if done right. In the past, whenever I’ve had a wild idea, the appeal or drive usually dissipates (as it probably wasn’t a great idea), but with the VR shop, It’s like I’ve found ‘the one’, and my energy is being invested into him. My optimism is contagious, even my husband is pumped for me, and that’s saying something!
“What have you learned so far?”
I’ve learned so much over these last 6 weeks, well, even more than that honestly, since prepping the shop & launch took about 6 months. I’ve learned the ins and outs of an eCommerce solution, the best method for shipping, how to REALLY clean and care for a vintage rug (don’t do it yourself, people), how to marry customers tastes with my own, how to not be disappointed in returns, how to build relationships with vendors & customers, how to identify rugs (working on this one), how to deal with the whole secret world of ‘wholesale’ (which is still half a mystery, if I’m being honest)… I’ve learned so much, and yet still have so much to learn.
“Is it what you expected?”
I wasn’t sure what to expect in launching an online shop. I’ve never worked in retail before, so it’s not like I could bring forth any knowledge of the ebbs and flows of a retail business. I do, however, know what it takes to run a company, as I’m the Controller of a digital marketing agency. I know how to manage cash flow projections, prepare financial statements and budgets, and focus on positive ROI. Going into the decision to launch the VR shop, my mission was to take my expertise in finance and marry it with my growing obsession of vintage decor (rugs specifically, obvs). I’ve been successful in my career, but it’s not what brings me joy. I am very much a goal setter, and ever since starting this blog, it’s been my goal to turn my passions into my successes.
I haven’t felt this excited about a project in a long time. I have so many ideas swirling in my head, I wish I had more time to execute! This is a trial for patience, that’s for sure. I am excited for the holidays, and hope I can bring a little bit of joy and energy into people’s homes with my products.
If there’s anything you’re curious about, ask away in the comments! I’m more than happy to share!
I’m a sucker for secrets, not of the gossip kind, but of the “OH! So this is how it’s done?!” kind. I love behind-the-scenes anything, especially photography, which is why I’m finally following up on the post I wrote earlier this year about my camera equipment. Today, I’m going to share with you my photography process, from start to finish.
I’ve had this post half written for longer than I’d like to admit, but was hesitant to post because I know how much I don’t know, and I didn’t want to come across as if I was a know-it-all. Trust this, I’m no professional! But, I have learned a lot over these last 4-ish years of blogging, mainly out of trial and error, and I think it’s only fair to share.
(I truncated this post because it’s huge, click through to read on!) ————————– read more
West Elm released a bunch of mid century style planters at the beginning of this summer. My immediate favorite was the chevron planter, I basically ran to West Elm the day it hit shelves, and sadly, it’s been sitting empty in my house ever since! #shame
Here’s my dilemma – there are gazillion plants out there that would showcase beautifully in this planter, but I only have ONE planter. The odds are against me that I will choose the wrong plant, which will end up on the internet somehow and be super sad for the rest of my days!
Whenever I share my dilemmas with my husband, his initial tenancy is to solve the problem for me – “just plant this shrub! (points to a baby succulent)”. After I explain how that won’t work (scale, size, won’t photograph well, lame-ness etc) he helps me break down the look I’m going for, in logical pieces. So, let me do just that a-la my husband’s technique: I want something large scale, sculptural, unique, drought tolerant, and most importantly, non-poisonous. I would like the planter to be inside our house, but we keep our shades closed all day while we’re at work, which really only leaves our sunroom as the option for this plant to get any light source.
Anyway, while I mull over my options, I wanted to share 9 variations of what folks planted in this exact planter:
*many of these images were picked up on West Elm’s #mywestelm tag
I’ve been leaning towards planting two tall euphorbia ghost cacti, similar to what Amber planted for her fab client. I also love how the cloud juniper looks, but I’ve had the hardest time sourcing one of those.
Do you guys face the same planter commitment issues as me? If this was your planter, what would you do???
There’s something strange about Fall. Every year, without fail, I catch my money just flying out of my wallet. I suppose there are a few obvious things going on… the holidays are near, there’s an unbeatable sale happening every other day, colder weather is on the horizon (hopefully! it’s still 85 where I live, ugh). It’s embarrassing how many times a week I go to Target, lately. But how fun and perfect are these items!? And they say money can’t buy happiness…
Here are 6 things I recently purchased. I think this list is more fun than a Friday favorites, mainly because it’s a list of things I ACTUALLY LOVE AND BOUGHT, rather than a list of things I wish I could afford. Emily Henderson’s new book – amazing. That weekender? PERFECT. That pillow? I don’t care if everyone on the planet has it, I love it. The flannel – perfect seasonal transition piece, as it’s not quite time to wear red flannel. The photograph? Can’t wait to hang it!
We had our first family photos taken by Jamie of Studio13Designs, who just so happens to be my sister’s best friend from grade school. I LOVE having a close friend who is a professional photographer! I’ve always believed everyone needs a professional photographer friend, just like you need a doctor or dentist, or plumber, in your family.
I always refer to Jamie as one of my good friends, but credit is all due to my sister who befriended such a talented individual! Jamie and I have a lot in common, we both share an insatiable need to be creative. While I am half-creative half-finance guru, Jamie is a pure artist, and when it comes to her camera, she thrives! She can capture beauty in unimaginable ways (and shares everything on her Instagram, @studio13designs). Her photos speak with depth and soul, which is strangely difficult to do! We bloggers tend to photograph immobile objects, like kitchens or sofas or bookshelf vignettes. We rarely have to think past placement and light source, Jamie thinks about personality and timing and laughter and genuine glowing happiness.
I didn’t spend a ton of time coordinating our outfits or ironing out wrinkles in our shirts. I wanted to have a casual session that represented our little family of three, and Jamie captured just that. I needed a haircut, and my husband forgot to gel his hair, but whatever, this is us and we’re pretty cute. And that baby, THAT BABY! We have ourselves a little Italian hunk, who looks increasingly more like my husband every day.
If you’re looking for a talented, bubbly, glowing, beautiful & amazing photographer – hire Jamie!
(this post is not sponsored, I truly love Jamie to death) and admire her talents
Alrighty. Confession time. I’m always guilty of letting a few days pass between posts, it’s normal for me (I blame the day job). What I am increasingly guilty of lately is allowing days that contain extremely exciting things, pass, which build up and build up and then I’m completely behind and don’t know where or how to share in a blog post. So let’s consider this blog post a compilation of things to get everyone (aka, me) up to speed, m’kay?
Remember last week? It was my 30th birthday (which I also have words for, btw) and I decided to celebrate by launching The Vintage Rug Shop. I gave all my readers and followers a few days advance notice to get the excitement up. Then people started asking me “well, what TIME are you launching?” Oh, I hadn’t thought that far. OK, um, MIDNIGHT PST. How’s that? So I stayed up until midnight, pressed the “launch” button thinking ‘everyone’s asleep I just hope I wake up with a sale or two’. Nope! 3 rugs sold within an hour. People had stayed up waiting for me to press “launch”! What the! I had the biggest fatty grin on my face and couldn’t go to bed until 2am. By 10am I had sold 7 of 9 rugs, and 10 of 18 pillows! Holy crap!!! I’m trying not to boast here, but I am quite literally in shock. With that said, I don’t know how to thank you all! Thank you for reading. Thank you for supporting me and following along this journey. I am SO excited to grow this thing. All I can do is hope you’ll spread the word
In case you’re worried about inventory, like “how many rugs can she actually have for sale?” trust me, I got this! My suggestion is, if you want to know when rugs will be launching, subscribe and you’ll be the first to know. With vintage rugs, each one is unique, and if you’re already on the hunt you definitely want to be first in line to see what we’re releasing.
Next fun topic – I have two legitimate client projects going on! Like, real people who want to hire me to help them with something! I actually really hate saying the word “client” because I feel like it should only be said by folks who are professionals, have a professional line of business and actually service clients on the regular. In the blog world, if you say “client” it feels less real, less genuine, as if I’m trying to appear like I’m a big shot. Trust me, I’m not. It’s just plain ol’ me squeezing all these fun things in between all the debits and credits of my day job. I’m just glad somehow I’m finding time to help these people. I’ll share more about these projects with you soon!
Have a happy hump day, friends!
What better way to
pull the attention away celebrate my 30th birthday than launching an online vintage rug & textile shop??? It’s 1am here, and there’s already been a handful of issues that needed fixing. Sounds like a typical launch day, huh?
Anyway! THE SITE IS LIVE!!! Here’s a quick preview of the site –
Some of those rugs up there are already gone! Also, everything ships for free! (in the US, that is).
Hope you enjoy browsing the shop! HAPPY LAUNCH DAY TO ME!