SM Style Loft has been in business for one year! I can't believe it! I have wanted to own my own business since I graduated college (15 years ago 😫) I finally got the courage to just do it, scared and all March 31, 2019. I took the first step and started a fashion blog at the beginning of the year January 2019. That was great talking about one of the things I love the most; fashion. I even became an affiliate for a few of the brands I love like boohoo and prettylittlething. Working a full time job, being a mom, and wife, and starting a blog/business was so hard and stressful. I was struggling to find time for everything. Not to mention, doing everything for my blog and business myself was so exhausting! Although I love everything about fashion, just blogging did not feel like it was quite right for me. Plus with being an affiliate, the payout was not at all what I wanted or expected. So March of 2019, I decided to start my own online boutique, which is what I really wanted to do anyway. Since I graduated college, I spent so much time and many years going back and forth on if, when, and how I should start my business. My original plan back in the day, was to open a brick and mortar store. I was so close to getting started back in 2006/2007, but I let my fears and life get in the way. I also felt like so many other people were doing it and there was no way or no room for me to do the same thing. I let that mindset hold me back for years. So, in turn, life happened. I have switched many jobs, because none of them make me happy and is really what I want to do. I got into a relationship in 2008, got engaged in 2010, had a baby in 2011, and got married in 2013. There were so many more life events during that time that definitely got in the way of my dreams. My husband and I have dealt with job loss, repossession, bankruptcy, and financial instability 😥 I felt like my dreams were pushed to the side, and honestly, I would never be able to do it.
I always felt a piece of me was dead, gone. I had to work a job(s) that I hated because I have a family to help take care of. We have bills that need to be paid. This happened for years. Once my husband and I were able to become financially stable, things felt better, but of course, I still wanted my business. The ideas and the feeling never went away. I felt better about life and where we were because we were able to financially turn our lives around. I pretty much was content. But then, those thoughts came back like they always did. "What if I start?" "I could do that better..." "I know about fabrics I studied them in school..." but I was scared to get started and came up with every excuse to not move forward. I let fear paralyze me for a long time. My friends would encourage me, but I just would not "jump off the ledge." Once my husband and I bought our first house, I saw how easy it is to save money, and waste money. Once I realized that, I started to notice when I say I don't have money, I really do. I have money to get my hair done, nails, eat, shop, and buy and expensive bags. If I can do that, I surely can find the money to start a business. That still wasn't enough for me to get the courage to start. While I was on a trip to Vegas with my best friends in November 2018, my best friend really motivated me to get started. After that, I had made up my mind and told myself that I would not deviate from getting started anymore. As soon as I got home from Vegas, I applied for a business license, got a website, and created a social media page. I had already been following a few people who I looked up to and felt provided good information. One of them being Skye Harris (@iamskyeharris on Instagram) I had previously bought guides and information from her over the summer to help me start and launch a business. I finally put that to use in December 2018 and started to buy merchandise. I didn't even have money saved to start a business. I just used what I had, and then sold some of my expensive bags for cash.
I used that money to get started. March 31, 2019, I made my website public and items available for purchase. The money I would make from sales, I would keep buying merchandise and supplies I needed to keep the business going. This wasn't as hard as I had put in mind, I can do this I thought! Fast forward to now, one year later and it has been very rewarding, humbling, stressful, and an overall roller coaster to say the least. I have learned a lot, I even wanted to give up, but I didn't and I won't. I am still learning and growing. Having an online business is hard, but I like doing it; it's always what I wanted to do. I have learned that having an online boutique is not just about taking pictures and posting them online, it is waaayyyy more than that! There is so much that goes into running a business, and even more to run a successful business. I am for sure learning as I go 😊 I am committed to my dreams, and I want to continue to provide good products, and good customer service. My plan going forward is to engage more with my customers and current social media followers. I want to get to know you guys and what you are looking forward to seeing from SM Style Loft. More pop up shops will come (once we move past the coronavirus pandemic) so that I can meet and mingle with my local SM Babes as well! 😉 Thank you to everyone who has supported me thus far, and cheers to one year in business with many more to come! 🎉🥂