A Fresh Start

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I couldn't help but laugh at myself when brainstorming the name for this post. I've done this a couple of times over the 9 years I've had my business, where I've rebirthed my brand with a new look, new focus, or new services, with an accompanying post announcing the "New Direction" or that I'm "Starting Anew." I guess that's part of being a business owner - remaining open to change and, as Gary Vaynerchuck says, not being "romantic" about what you always thought your business would be. The Life Styled has gone through a few different identities. It started in 2008 as a styling business for individual clients where I helped people connect with their ideal authentic style, and teach them how to make their wardrobe reflect their core self through services like Fashion Feng Shui, Closet Detox, and Personal Shopping. Then it expanded to being a fashion blog, and then a lifestyle blog, with some wardrobe styling for TV and brands on the side. I always loved every aspect of it but had a hard time choosing between priorities, and therefore spread myself too thin at times.

If you've been around these parts lately, you know that this topic is no stranger to my blog. After becoming a mom, I quickly realized that prioritizing was about to take on a whole new meaning. No longer did I have the luxury of endless amounts of work hours in each day, the ability to take wardrobe jobs that stressed me out beyond belief just for the sake of not saying no to work, turning out countless blog posts that were really more of a hobby than a lucrative business, or doing styling services in a way that didn't feel the most efficient/beneficial for my clients (or myself). This year, I had a major moment where I realized I did not want to spin my wheels to keep up with the way things used to be, and something needed to change. So I started to dig deep, and learn what matters most for my life and for my business.

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Reconnecting with Fashion Feng Shui was the first on my list. It's what started it all when I got certified back in 2008, and I really missed working with people to connect them to their ideal style from within. I have SO enjoyed the workshops I've been doing this year, and the way it has been bringing women together to validate themselves and learn how to live their authenticity in this way. Through that, I realized how much I have been missing working with personal clients. Well, I never exactly stopped working with personal clients, but I've been doing less of it these past two years. So, the next thing I did was take a long hard look at the services I had been offering and ask myself how they were serving my clients. There were some kinks to work out for sure. I won't bore you with too many details on this, but I'll give you an example. For personal shopping, I used to bring a car load of clothes to clients' houses and do an epic 3-hour fitting with them where they would have to decide on the spot what they wanted to keep and pay for it all at once. While this was a great way to give them options in the flesh, it gave them zero flexibility to shop at their own pace, space it out, or think about something for a few days before pulling the trigger. It was stressful! I realized that little issues like this were making me not enjoy my job, and I was distancing myself from it. But rather than let it fade out, I decided it was time to go back to the drawing board.

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I proceeded to spend the next couple of months researching, brainstorming, reconnecting with past clients, working with an amazing business coach Heidi Stevens, and testing out new ideas. Life only gets more busy and complicated as the years go on. Like me, many of my clients have become moms since we last worked together and now have a whole new way of looking at their style. We need convenience, ease, flexibility, and efficiency. We want to feel beautiful even when we feel exhausted and bogged down, and we want our wardrobes to work effortlessly with our busy and complex, often unglamorous lives.

With these things in mind, I can finally say that I've come up with two new styling packages that encompass the best of all worlds, and give my clients the most ideal experience for their investment. Both options equip you with a new wardrobe that honors you and your goals, the flexibility to purchase pieces when you're ready, on-call styling assistance for a month, and the tools you need to create your own killer outfits with all your new duds. The best part? You don't have to live in LA to get it. Both packages are mainly virtual (though the second one does have the option for an in-person closet assessment if you are local). You can read all the details about them here. I'm also thinking of doing an Instagram Live (my first ever - eek!) where I'll talk more about this, and the background behind these new changes, answer any questions, etc. Would you join me if I did? Comment below and let me know if you'd be in, and feel free to post a question if you have any (don't worry, I won't name names)!

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Of course, I couldn't be breathing new life into The Life Styled without a new look, could I? The entire site is completely brand new thanks to the talented ladies at Go Live. My favorite part, aside from being super pretty, fresh, and *finally* mobile responsive, is that it will always be up to date with the latest of what's going on - special offers on styling, upcoming workshops, a shortcut to the latest blog post, etc. Updating the pages with new info was something that was hard to do with my last site (if you're not a professional web developer or designer) which meant you guys had to search the blog for the workshop details - not ideal. Speaking of, workshop info is here! I've got an extra special one coming up in January for those of you in the midwest, and more being added soon in LA!

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Lastly, if you're reading this it probably means you're already on my email list which is GREAT because I'm going to be sending out a lot of really fun stuff - exclusive styling tips, workshop announcements, giveaways just for the email squad, offers, etc. If not, you can get on it in the pink box at the bottom or side of this page.

I'm SO excited to be on this journey, and having you along for the ride makes it even better. Thanks for all your support! I hope you love it as much as I do! The fun is just getting started.

Photography by Ashley Burns 

 

The Art of the List

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If you're a metal like me, chances are you LOVE to make lists. There's something so satisfying about sorting through all your thoughts, writing each one down as you go, and coming out of your thinking sesh with a clearcut plan of what needs to happen. Lists are what make my world go round. Whether it's To Do's, blog post ideas, shot lists for photo shoot days, groceries, home projects, I have a constant list going for it. One thing that stays true throughout all my list making though is that I like to do it with apps. I used to love writing them out on sheets of paper, but then I would lose them or not have them with me when I needed them. A list would also start to feel too cluttered after a few things were crossed off (I'm just a little crazy). But with apps, there are all sorts of cool features that make your lists even more amazing for everyday life. So without further ado, here are my top 3 list apps!

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Trello. This is the mother of all list apps! You can keep separate "boards" of different categories of life, each filled with as many lists as you want. I have one board for my personal stuff, one for The Life Styled, and a family one which is shared with Ian and we can both edit. On my board for work, I'll keep lists for urgent To Do's, less urgent To Do's, blog post ideas, shot list. You can access it on your phone and computer, customize the colors and backgrounds, and easily check things off when you do them. It can also go even more in depth than that, so this app would be amazing for business owners who juggle a lot of different clients and have a lot of To Do's for each client.

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Wunderlist. The best for shopping lists. Ian and I both use it for groceries, Target trips, etc. It's updated in real time as you each check things off, so we can both be in different parts of the grocery store working off of the same list. Or one of us can run to the store while the other one is going through the kitchen and adding things to the list. It's a GAME CHANGER. You can do this with Trello too but I think it's slicker in Wunderlist because checking things off is a bit quicker. One thing Wunderlist is good with is deadlines and prioritizing since there are settings you can utilize to make sure you get things done on time, so if you're using it for To Do's, it works well for that too. I just don't use it for that.

Amazon Alexa & Echo - I hesitate to include Alexa in this roundup because the app itself isn't great. There's a lot going on, and it's confusing. BUT since we got our Echo, my number one favorite feature is being able to be in the kitchen making breakfast, using up the last of the peanut butter, and immediately being able to say "Alexa add peanut butter to the shopping list," with messy hands and no phone in site. It means that our list is always up to date and we never have to worry that we're forgetting that we're out of something when we get to the store. That part is so awesome, it's worth abandoning Wunderlist for the grocery list.

Honorable mention: TeuxDeux. This used to be my go-to app for everything. It's super simple, organized by the days of the week. But I admit I had to abandon it when I found the others and because it wasn't syncing up between phone and computer.

Am I missing any? I'd love to hear about your favorite ways to make lists!

Photography by Ashley Burns

All Business

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When my new website launched a couple months ago, I can't even tell you how excited I was to have new business cards made. Admittedly, I had been using some old ones that didn't even have my new logo on them (new logo- as in the one I've had for like 4 years now). They didn't match my brand at all anymore, and for the longest time I just didn't even hand them out to anyone. So when it was time to start anew, I was ready to spring for some quality, thick, black and gold, statement making cards.  MaeMae & Co made them happen for me in a big way! I still can't get over how awesome they are, so I just had to share them with you guys.

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 Photography by Heather Kincaid