A Glamorous, Gatsby Engagement Photo Shoot

My fiancé, Kyle, and I got engaged in September 2019 and within four days I had a concept for our entire wedding – from colors to invitations to music, it was incredibly easy.

But for engagement photos, I couldn’t come up with a concept at all. Clothes, colors, poses, location, nothing.

I’m a big fan of branding and knew that I wanted something that reflected a bit of our overall wedding concept and that was different than typical engagement photos.

Kyle came up with this Old Hollywood Glamour/Great Gatsby vision that is completely *us* and I will cherish these photos forever.

A huge thanks to Tessa Tillet Photography, Laurel Hall, Ashley Rene’s, and Leslie White Hair and Makeup for helping us bring it all together.

4 Original Ideas Your Business Needs To Succeed

Small business owners can find it difficult to stand on their own two feet. Clear evidence of this is found in Silicon Valley where so many successful tech startups end up selling to multinational tech giants.

No one has stopped to wonder, “Why would a small business that’s beating its bigger rivals, sell themselves to those very same rivals?”

It’s simple: they didn’t have things they needed to stand up on their own two feet. Having a great idea is one thing, but a business infrastructure takes a lot of time to create. Luckily, this subject has been studied in greater detail in the past few years.

Here are some of the things you need to not get swallowed by the sharks.

How you work and live

Company culture is almost like a dark art. It infiltrates every corner, it permeates every department and everyone working for you. Small businesses risk losing their individuality if they decide to copy the company culture standards of another company.

Don’t try to be more like Google. Don’t try to copy the image of another CEO. Don’t try to be cool and hip, by creating games and entertainment areas in your headquarters, just because Apple has them.

It takes a lot of guts to create your own culture in your business and demand that employees stick to it. It’s not just how employees interact with each other, but how work is approached, completed and evaluated.

Specialist image projection

Why would you want to advertise your business as just another alternative?

Why would consumers choose you for their everyday shopping needs when they have a large multinational company covering that base?

If you’re a niche business, market yourself as a specialist product and or service provider. Choose a marketing company, specific to your profession. If you’re a lawyer, pick this kind of law firm marketing team. Their attorneys are experts in different areas of providing legal commentary to national media outlets, authoring books and penning widely-read blogs.

If your law firm is going through a very public case, use a specialist marketing team to project your image the way you want. If you’re an eCommerce business, work with a marketing company that knows about your industry.

Your own presentation style

When you go to business exhibitions and conventions, it’s your opportunity to share with the world your views. Don’t try to follow the lead of another company, don’t try to copy their gimmicks and entertainment razzle-dazzle they brought on stage. Just be you.

Present your ideas and your business, uniquely. Don’t try too hard to buck the trend. Explain your business to the crowds using tools and props, that you find relevant to your character.

Your own social voice

The best advice for a small business looking to develop their social media is to not hire a social media manager. Be yourself. Customers don’t want another human-robot, they want to read your posts in your tone.

Small business owners have to believe that they are leaders in waiting. You are not supposed to bow down to your larger rivals, you’re supposed to take them on and win. Don’t copy your company culture: make it yourself.

How to Brave a Style Change

Most of us, at some point, get bored with our style. We’re fed up with wearing the same things all the time. We’ve had enough of always being in the same colors or always wearing the same styles of clothes. You might even wonder if the clothes that you’ve always been wearing still suit you, or even if you like what you are wearing. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to fashion and style, and hard to see a way out. 

It’s hard to make changes when you’ve been wearing the same kinds of things for a long time. If you’ve had the same hairstyle for years, you might worry that another wouldn’t suit you, and if you’ve always been a bit of a tomboy, you might worry about what other people would say if you suddenly wear more girly clothes. Making changes is tough, but sometimes you need to do it to make yourself happy and boost your confidence. If it’s time for a change, here are some tips to help you brave it. 

Start Small

You might be tempted to completely change your style overnight, but it’s not always that easy. You’ll be worried about what other people will think, and a full style change might need some experimentation, not to mention shopping, to get right. 

So, start small. You could change your piercings to ornate hanging gauges, start wearing flats instead of heels, gently change the makeup that you wear, and begin introducing outfits slowly. This gives you a chance to experiment and find out what suits you, without diving out of your comfort zone. 

Make Changes During Holidays

If you are worried about how other people will react, sometimes it’s easier to make changes during a holiday, or when you aren’t at work. It can be easier to brave a change when you are away from your usual friendship group. Take the time when you are away to experiment and try new things, using a different audience for a trial run so that you are already confident in your new look when you get home. 

Don’t be a Copycat

It’s a great idea to take inspiration from other people. Look at people that you admire, whether celebrities or people that you know and take inspiration from them. But, don’t try to copy completely. Look for simpler styles and colors, but try to always put your own spin on things. 

Ask for Honest Feedback

It’s hard showing your new look to people that you know well, but these are the best people to ask for options and advice. Ask them what they think, and what they think suits you. But be prepared for some honest answers. 

Be Prepared for Questions

People will ask questions. They’ll want to know why you want a new look, or why you’ve made changes. They may assume that there’s something wrong, or that something has happened in your life. You don’t have to tell them anything, of course, but you need to be prepared for them to ask. 

Find What Feels Good

Whatever anyone else thinks, it’s important that you are happy with your look, and that you feel comfortable. Find a style that you like, and feel good in and go for it.

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4 Reasons Why Customers Don’t Trust Your Small Business (And What You Can Do About It)

Is there any waste of talent, intellect and a perfectly good life more egregious than staying in a job you hate? To dedicate your hard work and effort to inflating the profit margins of a company that never says “thank you?”

If you’re discontented with your job, there are a number of things you can do about it. But why trade in one corporate paymaster for another? Why not take the plunge and create a living for yourself as a freelancer or small business owner, taking your life, your career, and your finances to the next level on your own terms?

Yet, while starting your own business may seem like the perfect antidote to dissatisfaction in the corporate world, that’s not to say that it’s without its caveats. You’ll find that the business landscape is fiercely competitive, and in a world where consumers have been conditioned to trust big brands, they can be more fickle than ever. If you start out with plenty of leads, but few customers it may be because you have yet to build enough trust in your brand. 

Here are some reasons why consumers may not trust your brand, and what you can do about it…

Your contact details scream “amateur”

It can be tricky to build a professional presence for yourself, especially if you’re building your business in your free time as a side hustle. Still, if your only means of contact are a Gmail address, a cell phone number, and a postal address, this can scream “amateur” and that may be a red flag for some consumers. Still, this is easily (and affordably) remedied. Invest in a postal address from physicaladdress.com and you can get a prestigious office address for less than $8 a month.  

You have no social proof

Social proof is enormously important in gaining the trust of your target audience. No matter how well written your marketing copy, they’ll always take whatever businesses say about themselves with a grain of salt. When prospects can see lots of positive reviews on Google and people saying nice things about you on social media, this can go a long way towards building trust. So make sure you incentivize customers to leave positive reviews or post pictures of themselves enjoying your products in their social feeds. 

They’re not convinced that you can meet their needs

If you’re targeting business customers, you’ll need to offer a different type of reassurance than your B2C counterparts. You’ll need to demonstrate that a small outfit like yours can demonstrate excellent value while also meeting their needs to ensure harmonious operations and cost-efficiency. So, before sitting down with a prospective B2B client, make sure you carry out as much homework on them, their operational structure and their organizational needs to ensure that you’re equipped to meet them. 

You’ve not let them peek behind the curtain

Finally, consumers like to be able to see how the sausage is made. So letting them take a look behind the curtain at how your business is run (even if you don’t make sausages) in your social feeds and content marketing can go a long way towards building trust. 

Show consumers that your operation is transparent, ethical, and sustainable.

It’s Never Been Easier To Start Investing

Plenty of people have a desire to start investing. The issue is that a lot of the time they’re simply not sure where to start. The big problem is that, historically, investing has been a pretty closed affair.

As a novice, it was hard to be able to see and understand exactly what’s going. Jargon was thrown around with wild abandon, and the whole thing seemed virtually impossible to get into as a beginner.

Fortunately, that’s no longer the case. In fact, it’s never been easier to get started in the exciting and profitable world of investment. Here are just a few ways in which it has never been easier to become an investor.


It’s safe to say that there have never been more types of investments available than ever. Whatever it is that you want to invest in, there’s a way for you to get started. Whether you’re interested in mutual funds, penny stocks or property, the world is your oyster.

The best thing that you can do is to speak to experts in specific areas of investment, from stock market traders to real estate agents like William Pitt Realty. If you can get the right advice from the right people, it’ll give you the best possible start.

“Found” in translation

The internet has changed everyone’s lives and this applies to investment as much as anywhere else. Thanks to search engines like Google, it’s never been easier to look up a term that you don’t understand.

That means that you no longer need to be stuck wondering what the investment jargon means and can jump straight in. It also means that investing is something that you can take into your own hands. Previously, you might have needed an expert to help you with understanding your investments, but now it’s something people can take care of on their own.

Staying up to date

The other major impact of the internet is that it’s never been easier to get up to date information as quickly as possible. Where it used to take long periods for information to find its way to you, with the internet, you can discover new information within seconds. This means that modern investors are easily able to keep up with all of the most up to date market trends. In a world as unpredictable and constantly changing as the stock market, being able to stay up to date is absolutely invaluable. 

Even though it’s easier than it’s ever been, investing is still a complicated and potentially risky pursuit. The best thing that you can do is to make sure that your decisions are well thought out and carefully considered. It’s a good idea to do as much research as possible before you even start to think about putting money into anything.

But once you’re sure that you’ve figured out where you want your money to go, there shouldn’t be anything standing in between you and your future as an investor!

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