I started blogging in January of 2008 (here is my very first post if you are curious!) When I first started, I literally blogged about whatever I had going through my head.. which was mostly about decorating.. (and on a side note, I sometimes cringe at the things I used to put out there in the universe, ha! But I've never deleted any posts.. so you are welcome go back in time... but most of the image links are broken, etc.)
Some of you have followed me from the beginning (talk about humbling!) and have seen me go through some major life transitions. When I first started blogging, I had such a passion for interior design and I had a background in graphic design, so I started making design boards for people. Then people started paying me, then after a couple years and a transfer with my husband's job to Charlotte, NC.. I decided to leave my day job in Advertising/Marketing and do what I love full time!
When we moved to Charlotte from CA, the cost of living was much more affordable and it allowed me to launch my career as an interior decorator, Bryn Alexandra Interiors. However.. I still wanted some sort of steady income (because I really had no idea if anyone would hire me here in Charlotte as a decorator!) so a friend of mine (Thanks, Sarah!) mentioned that a local interior design shop here in Charlotte has an opening. I interviewed, and got the job!
For the last three years, I have run my own decorating business (Bryn Alexandra Interiors) while working at Isabella every Tuesday and Friday. I have been blessed, and my own business really took off and things were insanely busy. It started becoming a struggle to juggle both. I knew deep down that in order for my business to continue to grow, I needed to eventually leave Isabella. That was a year or so ago... and the problem was, I never wanted to leave Isabella.
So I had to sit down and really evaluate what I wanted in my life. I obviously love doing interior design and being a decorator. But I would see other bloggers-turned-interior-designers continue to grow their business, hire employees, get studios, etc and the idea, to me, was daunting. Because let's be honest - being an entrepreneur/business owner is scary. And I had to really be honest with myself and ask myself... is it for me? Did I want to have employees, accountants, overhead, etc?
And while struggling with this question, I continued to work at Isabella and loved it so much that no matter how badly I needed those extra two days a week for my own business, I never wanted to leave. There are so many reasons I love working at Isabella. Every day at Isabella I grow as a designer and I learn something new. I learn from one of the most talented designers I've ever met, and I love being able to bounce ideas off of her. I get to work with beautiful, high end products that I normally wouldn't be able to work with on my own. I also have fallen in love the retail side of things, too.
So, one day I decided to bite the bullet and approached Erin, the owner of Isabella, to see if she ever thought about me possibly coming on as a full time employee. And I was ecstatic to hear she had been thinking the same thing! And when I heard the news, I knew which direction I was meant to go in.
I'm sure some of you have a million questions for me. I'll try to answer some of them!
What will you be doing at Isabella? With my new position, I wear many hats. I'm a full time interior designer at Isabella, but I'm also going to be in charge of the website, blog and social media (which you know, I love to do!) I also, of course, will work on the retail side of things. Helping customers and also going to market and selecting products, etc.
What is going to happen to Bryn Alexandra Interiors? For local design clients, I will now only be working through Isabella. But it will still be very similar to how I worked through Bryn Alexandra Interiors. When working with a designer through a store, sometimes you have to purchase all of the items through the store. But we are flexible at Isabella, and still source pieces at West Elm, Restoration Hardware, etc depending on the budget. So if you ever thought of working with me locally, you still can!
However, my schedule at Isabella is Tuesday-Friday. I have every Monday off and I still will be taking on e-decorating clients. It's funny how life turns out.. because it's like a full circle from where I began (working full time and doing design boards on the side).
Are you sad to leave your own business? Yes, it's a little bitter sweet. It was obviously really great to have the flexibility of being my own boss. But with the pros, there were definitely cons. I realized that I missed working with other people, having a steady paycheck.. and I am very excited to not have to deal with business taxes and accounting anymore! ;)
What will happen with this blog? As I mentioned, one of my new roles at Isabella is to work on the website/blog/social media. Right now I'll be blogging here at Bryn Alexandra on a regular basis, very much like how I always have. But I'll be posting more about the shop now, which I think will be very fun for you guys, the readers! We'll be starting some new blog features, like Home Tours, Scenes From The Shop, Design Schemes, Good To Know (featuring other talented people around Charlotte), etc.
While I continue to blog here at Bryn Alexandra, I'll also be working on developing a new Isabella blog. Then, once it launches, I'll be blogging from there on a daily basis. I hope you will follow me!!! But I'll definitely keep this blog to post on about my life, etc... very much like I did from Day 1 :)
Tomorrow I'll be posting some pictures of the shop that I took last week so you can see the beautiful place I work in!!!
Thank you, my dear readers, for always supporting me and sticking by me. It's amazing to think many of you have been "with" me through all of life's transitions.