What an amazing week! I started in Park City, Utah skiing with my family. Since I was pregnant last year, this was my first time skiing in a while, and I had a wonderful time! On Tuesday my mom and I went to the St. Regis Spa, which was a wonderful experience. The offered a paraffin wax food wrap, which was heavenly.
Aren't those images incredible? A Vogue photographer came and documented their trip for the St. Regis PR team and The Ivory Lane. Sure, bloggers get magazine covers and front seats at high fashion shows, but working with a high end hotel would be a dream come true for me. This really opened my eyes to the opportunity of working with brands I love, which would be such an honor. It showed me how powerful bloggers really are, and that makes all the work I put into this seem worth it and like there is an end goal. This feature got me thinking about the direction of the blog and where I want it to go.
One of the highlights of the conference was hearing Nate Berkus. To be 100% honest, I was neutral on Nate Berkus before I saw him, but I still got a little star struck when I realized I was sitting this close to him.
Yes. He was sitting right next to me, and I snuck this photo by "checking my email" sideways. Nailed it.
Nate Berkus' talk really spoke it me.
A few years ago I had an idea to create a website about life in Atlanta. I thought about bringing in experts in different areas like houses, fashion, beauty, food and events. I would have them write about their areas of expertise, and I would be the editor. I would be the voice of the site and control the content (especially the featured homes). It would open up the opportunity to work with larger brands (like The Ivory Lane did with St. Regis). It would bring more readers and cover more topics and showcase the city of Atlanta the way I see it.
I see such a need for this.
The idea of starting the site at once terrifies and excites me. I've spent hundreds of hours going back and forth about the idea, and right now I am leaning toward just keeping and growing this blog. I really really love this blog, and after my family it is the thing I'm proud of most. When I was in 4th grade I did a project where I had to explain what I wanted to do when I grew up. I knew right away and wrote down, "I want to be a writer and photographer."
I went to college to be a photographer, and somehow during that journey lost my way. I changed schools and majors, and 4.5 years later I graduated with a degree in History. I never lost my love for writing and photography. After I graduated, I was so confused and had no idea what I wanted to do. To find some peace, I took my camera and drove up to Roswell to the Tully Smith House for a day of shooting. During that shoot I had a revelation. I called my mom and said, "I want to take pictures of houses and write a book about them." Always practical, my mom said, "you're never going to find someone to pay you to do that, and it's expensive."
As luck would have it, a few months later my mom launched Beacham & Company and hired me to do just that, giving me the ability to photograph the most beautiful homes in Atlanta. Starting this blog in 2009 gave me a voice. I picked the houses, photography, words and topics. This blog changed my life and made me into who I am. It gave me confidence when I needed it. I built this myself. Nobody gave it to me. It's success came from my work and my ideas. It made me into my own person.
The thought of giving that up for a collaborative site where I do not have total control makes me sad... like I'm losing a part of myself. Nate Berkus made the following points, and every one felt like he was talking directly to me.
- Give yourself permission to be what you want and need. If a project feels wrong, pass. Don't do what you feel obligated to do. Give yourself permission to do what's best for you.
- You have to blog what's interesting to you because it's really your perspective that keeps people coming back.
- Bet on yourself. You'll figure it out. Stay focused on what you love and stay really authentic.
Based on those points, I think I would like to stay right here and see where this blog goes. The last few months the blog has been going in a new direction, and I'm so excited about it. I love having some guest posts and featuring people I admire who are experts in their fields. I do not want to make it seem like this blog is all about me AT ALL, and I don't want to be self important, but I do think it's my voice and perspective that adds value to this content. Without that the content loses perspective. I think. But then again I've thought about it from every possible direction and am so confused.