A New Home and A New Chapter
A New Home
Well, it’s been a bit of a long time coming. I’ve been thinking and praying about this post for months. Seriously, months. 2019 has been an unexpected year for me in countless ways. It’s been a year of reaching new heights and experiencing challenges/setbacks I hoped I would never have to face. I have experienced victory and I’ve experienced loss. Most of all of this (good and bad) has been unexpected. Unexpected joys and unexpected sorrow. I’ve rejoiced with the success and victories while working through and finding the good in the losses. In everything, the Lord has been my rock and guide through each day- through each success and each challenge- leading me to abundantly more. His hand has been evident in every bit of this journey and I’m so thankful for the ways His love and spirit guides me in each of my days. I would not be who I am, where I am, or doing a single thing I’m doing without His grace and perfect love. I’m most thankful for His patience with me while I navigate these years of discovering and growing.
One question I’ve received over and over again over the past few months is- “Did you move… are you living in Palm Beach?” And the short answer to that question is YES!
But I feel like we have a lot of catching up to do, so I think it’s time I share a little bit more behind this story.
Let’s rewind to last summer/ fall 2018. I had just signed a year long lease for the most charming little apartment in Birmingham, Alabama (my hometown) and was thrilled to keep growing in my career as a fashion and travel blogger after college. However, I never felt confident that Birmingham would be a place where I would stay forever. I had a huge desire to explore a new city and dreamed of living closer to the water. More and more travel opportunities were opening up for me through my blog, and I loved every minute of exploring new cities with deeper fashion roots. I was at a point in blogging where I felt like I was in 85 long distance relationships communicating with brands and PR agencies in other cities across the US, and I wished so badly to be in a place (perhaps a bigger city) where more of my job was “in person.” Around the same time I was feeling these growing pains in blogging, I headed up to NYC for NYFW. It was during September 2018 that I completely fell in love with NYC. The energy thrilled me, the people inspired me, and the fashion opportunities captivated me. I felt like I could accomplish in three days what it would take me months to do in Birmingham. In late 2018, I started contemplating making a move to NYC… as well as praying for other cities across the southeast that I felt may be a potential next step for me.
In early December, while on a trip to Argentina and winding through the country roads outside Buenos Aires exploring farms with my family, I refreshed my inbox to find an email that shifted the direction of everything for me. It was an email that I couldn’t believe I was receiving- an email opening the door to bring my greatest career dream to life- to design and create a fashion collection.
I was in shock, speechless, and completely thrilled by the possibilities of all of this. Once I returned home, I had a few phone calls with the team in NYC then a meeting in late January to discuss the moodboard, fabrics, and designs of the first collection. Things were moving full force ahead with tentative plans to launch a fashion collection in spring/ summer of 2019.
I don’t want to give too much away about the collection, but my moodboard for the first launch was based on Palm Beach, one of my very favorite places to travel to at the time. I had loved each visit to Palm Beach with my family (we have spent time in the area usually visiting for polo) and fell in love with the color, the ocean, the sunshine, the flowers, the architecture, the weather, and just about everything else about it. Palm Beach was a place that always inspired me and felt like a culmination of so many things I loved and that I wanted to share with the world.
After returning home from this design meeting in January in NYC, I scrolled through my emails to find an invitation from a favorite brand of mine, Lisi Lerch, to visit Palm Beach a few weeks later to “model” for their spring lookbook shoot. The timing of the invitation felt so ironic as I had just finished a meeting talking all about my love for Palm Beach (and how to translate its beauty into a collection of fashion designs) only to return home and receive an invitation to visit again for a brand partnership! I was ecstatic.
A couple weeks passed, I continued working on the fashion collection and contemplating the details of it- everything from researching fabrics, to branding, to marketing, to the launch, etc. As thrilled as I was about this opportunity, there was a deep gut feeling building of all of this happening so fast and potentially too quickly for me to feel “ready” for it. I knew this was going to be a giant step in my career and the last thing I wanted to do was rush into it.
I pushed those feelings aside while I left for Palm Beach on Valentine’s Day and spent the day shooting with Lisi Lerch’s team at the adorable Pineapple Pad (designed by Beth and Danielle of Palm Beach Lately). Palm Beach was as beautiful and inspiring as ever. I felt so lucky to spend the long weekend there soaking up every bit of sunshine, warmth, and color. I remember telling multiple “strangers” on this trip about my “far off dream” of living at the beach one day. I even remember a very long conversation I had with an Uber driver named Esther (we became best buds and she ultimately became my on-call driver for the weekend - still have her number :) about my dream of living by the ocean. We shared our life stories with each other and she kept reminding me that “I would find my way to the beach,” she kept saying don’t worry “it will happen,” … little did I know how soon it would happen.
After much prayer and conversation with my family, it was at the end of this trip to Palm Beach that I came to the conclusion that it was best to put the design project/ fashion collection on hold for now. As difficult as it was to turn down this unbelievable opportunity, I knew that waiting and putting this project on hold was what was best long term. There were a few things happening in my personal life that required more of my attention as well and led me to rearrange my priorities for the coming months.
So with this design project now on old, my mind started dreaming in a new direction. While my dreams of designing were put on hold, my dream of moving to a new city with more abundant fashion/travel career opportunities was really getting stirred up.
After I returned home from my trip to Palm Beach, I felt a bit of a stirring in my heart for this place. Palm Beach was a place I loved deeply, a place my family loved as well, and a place I really felt I could grow and learn in my career, in my faith, and as a person. Palm Beach is a place with a plethora of fashion and travel opportunities … as well as sunshine, water, and color- just a few of my most favorite things.
I started praying in February for the Lord to make a way for me to move to Palm Beach and that He would provide a home, career, and community for me there if it was His will. At this point I was loosely but very seriously dreaming. I tried to have open hands about it. And man oh man did the Lord answer each of these prayers in the sweetest, most specific, and truly unbelievable ways. I really had no clue at the time how quickly the Lord would open doors for me in this city over the next three months.
By late May/ early June, the Lord had given me a home/place to live, new career opportunities, and introduced me to new friends and churches in Palm Beach. Door after door kept opening in Palm Beach, and in faith I said yes to this new chapter and the unexpected adventure ahead of me! On July 10th, I moved to Palm Beach and began calling it home!
“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.” -Psalm 16:11
“Every day God invites us on the same kind of adventure. It's not a trip where He sends us a rigid itinerary, He simply invites us. God asks what it is He's made us to love, what it is that captures our attention, what feeds that deep indescribable need of our souls to experience the richness of the world He made. And then, leaning over us, He whispers, ‘Let's go do that together.” -Bob Goff
A New Chapter
And if that wasn’t enough news to share, there’s more! I have taken on a couple new career roles here in Palm Beach!
A little back story- I love working as a fashion and travel blogger, building relationships and expanding my knowledge in the world of digital marketing, photography, fashion/travel partnerships, and so much more. However, I reached a point this spring where I no longer felt quite as challenged and was not learning or growing intellectually at a rate I desired. I felt like I was going through the motions with blogging some days, and yes, there was plenty of excitement when a new partnership or collaboration came up, but I was craving a new challenge and possibly taking on something new in addition to blogging. At 23, I knew I still had so much to learn about fashion and business as a whole. For a while I thought that launching a fashion collection was going to be the answer to this craving, but little did I know the Lord had abundantly more and something far beyond my wildest dreams in store for me.
After more thought this spring, I knew it was time for me to take on something new in addition to blogging- time to step out, learn from others, and contribute to something bigger than myself and my brand.
Upon moving to Palm Beach, I began working for Stoney Clover Lane, a NYC based travel and accessories brand started by two sisters from Palm Beach. Their brand instantly became like family to me in Palm Beach, and I’m so thankful for the opportunities Stoney Clover has given me to contribute to their team through social media and event photography in Palm Beach and NYC. Head over to their instagram here, give them a follow, and show their photos (most of the recent posts taken by yours truly :) a little extra love!
Prior to my move, I had also spoken to The Skinny Dip, a designer collective with fashion/ lifestyle stores in Palm Beach, Nantucket, and Charleston, about career opportunities… and I have just started my dream job working with their team as Director of Marketing! The position is remote which gives me the flexibility and freedom to continue blogging/traveling while also getting to work for an incredible company with an inspiring team and awesome mission - learning and growing so much along the way! If you have been following along for a while, you may remember back in April 2017 when I attended The Skinny Dip Charleston’s grand opening event. I had absolutely no idea at the time what this brand would come to mean to me. It absolutely blows my mind that I get to work with this awesome brand that has inspired me for years. And it has been so cool to look back at all the little steps and details that the Lord wove together through my blogging journey to bring this all to life.
And not to worry, this blog is not going anywhere! In fact, things are really starting to ramp up for the fall/winter season, and I have been working behind the scenes on a number of really exciting upcoming fall partnerships that I cannot wait to share over the next several weeks. My hope is that taking on these new positions while in Palm Beach will not only fuel my creativity but also give a little more structure to my days and keep me accountable here on the blog too!
Needless to say, the past several months have been a bit of a whirlwind filled with a lot of change and transition. Thank you so much for your patience with me here on the blog while I take these steps and figure out how to balance it all! Now that I’ve shared the news of my move, I will be shooting outfits and sharing lots more content from Palm Beach! Let me know if you have any specific post requests or questions. So thrilled to get to share more of this beautiful, inspiring place with you.
To each of you, thank you so much for being a part of my journey! Here’s to the next chapter in the sunshine state!
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever.” -Ephesians 3:20-21