OMG! We turn 8 this month! I cannot believe that a little idea has brought me through 8 years of living life, chasing a dream, and finding my purpose has brought us here! The Curvy Fashionista turns 8 today and honestly, I am so damned grateful.
It has been a journey and a hell of a process, but HOMIGAWD, we here y’all!
In all of this excitement, I was curious and wanted to know what 8 stood for or signified… I was curious, so you know I looked it up!
What does 8 mean or signify?
“It is true that the number 8, more than any other number, puts the emphasis in the areas of career, business, finances and authority. However, as with many other single-digit numbers, the shape of the number reflects its most important attribute, and in the case of the number 8, that is, first and foremost, balance. The 8 is the great Karmic equalizer…”
Hrmmm… very interesting.
Well, to bring in the month, I thought I would share eight lessons from this process and what I have learned as I reflect and sit in this space… are you ready?
8 Things I’ve Learned Through These 8 Years of Blogging
I am rocking out in this Rumor Ruched Dress by Kiyonna.com
It is Bigger Than You
Starting out… I was curious about what was out there in the world of plus size fashion. I have seen brands come and go. But one thing I learned early on is that this journey, belonging to this community is sooo much more than me.
As the blog grew, so did the resources and platforms within the industry and community. As the blog grew, so did the audience who was searching to find validation for their being. As the blog grew, so did the conversation demanding more for and in plus size fashion.
While I thought my little space over here was just a tool for me to launch my wild dreams of owning a boutique, this blog took on a life of its own; providing resources and a community to celebrate, acknowledge, and to congregate around issues that matter to us!
Through business and this journey, I have learned that there is an inherent social responsibility to be that change, to use my voice to affect change, and to encourage others around me to take that leap of faith and/ or step outside of their own box.
Sky’s the Limit
One of the beautiful things about this accidental entrepreneurial journey, is that it can be anything and all I want it to be. HOWEVER, it has been through this journey did I realize just how big I could dream, just how crazy an idea can be, just how much I can grow. Even when you think you are thinking big, I have learned to think even bigger.
“Why Not?” became my thought process. A blog anniversary party? Eeek! Scary, but why not?!
Move across the country to Atlanta? Sure!
An expo? (Now this is when I walk by faith and not by sight, because honey… that process is scary!) My 2017 plans? WHY NOT.
I would rather say “I tried” rather than living in a space of “What if.”
Self-Care is Vital to Your Growth
If you have been reading along these past few months, I recently shared my process into really taking better care of me: addressing past issues I buried, unpacking old processes, and working on what it means to take care of me.
How I handled stress was horrible. My body absorbed it as I powered through working some more… and then my body slapped me in the face.
So now, I get out more. I turn off the computer and binge watch Insecure or Luke Cage. I head out with my girls and get a bit more social. I share a bit more about me. I laugh. I let myself feel. But most importantly, I go to therapy.
A vacation is coming in there somewhere…
But I have to create and find my balance for the betterment of Marie and for all things near and dear to me.
Work Smarter Not Harder
There is no need to always think to reinvent the wheel. No reason to have to start from scratch when you have so much at your fingertips! There are so many tools out here now that give me life. LIFE! That ease the process or need to sit behind the computer and type away.
CoSchedule is my best friend on the blog. Mailchimp is my email jam. Digging into old docs and posts remind me where I wanted to go/grow.
And getting help to run and grow the brand is key and actually relinquishing a few things to HELP my mind grow through it all? It is everything.
Utilizing the tools and resources around me, hell even Google? Has become a lifesaver in time and peace of mind!
Looking to streamline life? There is probably an app for that.
Looking to figure out how to change some code on your site? There is Google and Codeable.
Find the tools and resources around you that will assist in your day to day activities to help free your mind and time! Which leads me to…
You Will Need to Fire Yourself
Honey, we all have our limits. I am not the greatest visual person… I barely know how to work Photoshop. I love working on new layouts for the sites I have, but even I get stuck and can end up down a rabbit hold of techy stuff.
I am forgetful.
Not the best with Instagram.
I have all of these ideas but never enough time to put them to paper or to execute them.
Find a VA. Find an intern. Find a contributor. Find a developer.
Basically, you need to know yourself and your own personal shortcomings and fire yourself from a few roles. Peace of mind and productivity will thank you later.
You Will Be Stretched, So, Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
I cannot tell you how many times I have stepped, jumped, or leaped into an unknown. Relying solely on faith!
As you go on this journey of being a blogger, business owner, and entrepreneur, you will be forced to rethink old assumptions, change your perspective, and try new things you would never see yourself doing.
And guess what? It is quite alright.
There is so much to learn and if you open yourself up to these new things, you will get to know who you are, what you are made of, and if on the right track, to own it and walk in your purpose!
Not everything will be sweet and pretty.
It can get ugly, it can test your patience, your drive, and your self-worth, but as you grow through to the other side, whether successful or a lesson learned, you will find that on the other side of your comfort zone is growth and personal success.
Your Faith Will Be Tested
I am a woman of faith. I do not talk about it much, but I will now. This walk for me has gotten even more serious over these past two years.
You learn just how strong you are, what you are made out of, and just what it means to “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. But in all thy ways, acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
No matter what you believe in, your faith in God, yourself, and this process will be tested.
Just how much do you believe in the vision you have? This business you are building? This journey you are on?
Know that you are not alone in this process and it is important to surround yourself with like-minded business women/men and friends who can help inspire, check, motivate, and challenge you to continue to grow and thrive!
You cannot have a testimony with a test! I promise you this!
I am rocking out in this Rumor Ruched Dress by Kiyonna.com
It is a Constant Evolution
How and why I started my blog is far from the place I am now. I have grown. And growth means life, so with this process, I am grateful for the evolution of the brand! I mean… the styling of the site has changed, the events have gotten bigger, the goals have gotten grander, and sometimes my ideas scare me. As they should.
But as you grow along your own path and journey, I would share that you open yourself up to this constant evolution and growth! Unless you end up like many of the staid newspapers who refused to adopt (or adopted too late) to the growing digital atmosphere!
A little change is good! You never know what you will learn about yourself along this process! So open your mind, business practices, and heart to the newness that will continue to happen around you!
So, what is next for The Curvy Fashionista?
Well, for starters, if you have been a long-time follower, then you know that we have a month filled with a few goodies and giveaways for you! Starting next week, we will kick off an awesome run of giveaways JUST FOR YOU! A way to say thank you for rocking with us over the years!
Make sure you tune in next Friday!
As far as 2017?
More video, more video, more video. Oh, and did I mention, more video? Yes! Thanks to J Nicole, we will be on a mission to have a bit more fun with our videos, showing, sharing, playing, and teasing what is going on at the TCF headquarters! Woot!
Our 2017 TCFStyle Expo planning is on and poppin! I hope you are ready and that you have signed up for that mailing list so you can get first dibs on all of the news!
There will be more events! I am so excited about this and how it will unfold!
We have a few new contributors, but be on the lookout for newer contributors joining the team! No man is an island and in order to bring you more of what you have been asking for, we will be adding more writers to Team TCF! Soooo hyped about this!
Our Shop TCFStyle store is getting a new look and a relaunch! I have been so overwhelmed with other things, that I have left her just over there by her lonesome. But! This will be rectified, as we will have more designs, more newness, and more to add to the store… so stay tuned! I cannot wait to show you!
There is more that will be coming down the pipeline, but for now, this is what I can share with you as there are more goodies to come!
Here’s to 8 years of The Curvy Fashionista, personal growth, and many more years to come!
Thank you for rocking with me and I am curious… how long have you been reading the blog?