Remember that reader survey we posted in September?! Well, I finally sat on the couch and dove head first into it! Not the couch… the survey. ; ) You all provided some really wonderful feedback and I’m so thankful! It was so interesting to read different opinions and what readers like from the site. Your feedback helps us for the site redesign and creating content for 2016! From removing the middle ad, to maybe even posting less “filler” stuff and more solid, quality content! I soaked it all up like a sponge! I was happy to know that many of you have made one of our recipes or DIYs and that you all like easy, charming ideas!
And I have to say, it warmed my heart when I read your responses to the question, “What do you love about Sugar and Charm?” Here are just a few of the sweet responses written… and no I didn’t write them myself!
“It is approachable, while being fun & chic in a relaxed, unpretentious way.”
“Down to earth blog, great photos and inspiration.”
“I love when your posts inspire me to plan a date or throw a party or just a girls night. I love the posts that inspire everyday entertaining and adding dashes of sugar and charm to the mundane.”
“Authentic, charming, great ideas.”
“I love the easy feeling of everything posted. Nothing is too overdone, pretentious, or stuffy. Really feels like easy and approachable.”
“Eden! Such a sweet and genuine heart.” – That definitely had to be my mom, hahaha!!
“Creativity; fresh ideas; the ease of the ideas; photography; styling”
I mean, can you all be any nicer?! True charmers for sure!! I’ve also answered a few of your questions below…
How do you manage creating with a little one running around?
I’ll be honest, it was very hard to create during the first year of Romeo’s life. I didn’t have any help, I was a new mom and he was really my main priority. But once Sugar and Charm turned into a career a few years later, I was able to hire employees, which helped tremendously. We’ll work on ideas together and create content while Romeo is at preschool. I juggle both parenting and work at the same time, even when I have my employees there helping. I’ll put him down for his naps, make him snacks, etc., all while we’re cooking up something fun for S&C. I’ve never had a nanny!! This year, I’m excited we’ll be building a barn studio and office on our soon-to-be property! It will be nice to create in a separate environment, but still be just a few feet away from my family.
Baby #2? You guys make the cutest babies! Is this my mom again? Haha! Just kidding. We are thinking about baby #2 since Romeo will be 4 in May!! I actually want 3 children! I grew up in a large family and can’t imagine having less than 3, so we’ll see!
How did you decide to blog? Was it scary at first, and how did you overcome the fear?
When I was 25, I started an event design business, called Sugar and Charm (hence the name!), and a blog to go with it. The blog showcased my work and fun little ideas for brides. After planning some weddings, I felt it wasn’t really my passion so I stopped events, but I kept the blog going.
I really loved coming up with recipes and ideas for the site. There were other bloggers who started getting partnerships and since I wanted to work, I thought I could do the same thing. So, for 4 years I put as much work into it as if it was my career. I was working part time and would post when I could. I can’t even tell you how many times I wanted to quit because I was pouring so much into it and wasn’t sure if people were even reading! I also wasn’t making a dime! It was very frustrating and I had my fair share of tears. Every time I wanted to quit, I would miraculously get an email or some encouragement from a reader that I didn’t know and it would push me to keep going. It was truly such a blessing! Actually, it happened the other day too! Blogging and building this as a career can be pretty difficult at times, especially with the industry constantly changing, since social media has become more prevalent. Recently, I was feeling a little down about some things with the blog and then someone wrote me the sweetest email. I couldn’t believe it! Like, wow people are actually reading this and like it too, haha!
My husband was a huge supporter too and I guess I was driven to succeed because I always believed, if they can do it, I can do it!! So I just never stopped and luckily you all kept coming to read! Thank you!
How do you see the future of blogging? Do you think it can be a lifelong career, and if not, how can it evolve?
This is something we talk about a lot! It’s weird because it’s a completely new career, as is social media, and no one has yet to “retire” from a long career in blogging! It’s definitely not going anywhere soon, but it’s much more than blogging these days. You need to have a social presence, a brand and a following. I think partnerships will continue and it will continue to grow as blogs turn into businesses, brands, stores, shops, products, etc. I think it can be a lifelong career if you make the right choices, but you have to want to evolve, take risks, work hard and continue to grow in a very fast paced environment!
How do you juggle it all? Wife, blogger, friend, mama…and time for yourself!
Sometimes I feel like I don’t!! But that’s really not a viable answer, so having a team of people for Sugar and Charm and delegating work has helped me juggle my entire LIFE! I’ve started keeping Tuesday mornings free for myself. I also have a husband who helps tremendously with everything, which helps me find balance. As a friend, I try to set dinner dates, FaceTime sessions or just a phone call. For myself, I’m addicted to going to the spa, HAHA! I also love girl trips with my closest friends and family, which cover friend and me time!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In 5 years, I hope to grow our family! We’re also about to embark on a new property venture and we’ll be building onto it. I thrive on goals and achieving them, so hopefully in 5 years we’ll have our house finished. For Sugar and Charm, I just hope that we can continue to grow it as a brand too! More videos, product partnerships, truly charming inspiration, etc. I just love what I do so much and I adore sharing my creativity with you readers. So here’s to hoping the next 5 years are joyous, happy, healthy and successful!
Photos by Mary Costa for Sugar and Charm