I’d love to tell you my life as a blogger is rainbows and butterflies, but it isn’t.
I’d love to tell you that documenting my life and sharing it with the world is effortless and easy for me, but it isn’t. I’d love to tell you that turning this piece of the Internet into something that works for me and not the other way around has been crazy easy, but it hasn’t. I’d love to tell you that every second of the time I’ve poured into creating Southern Made Simple has paid me in dividends, but I can’t. I’d also love to tell you that I keep a batch of homemade cookies on hand at all times, and that I receive an endless supply of cuddles from my babies all day long as a “stay at home mom,” but I don’t.
And if I ever give off the impression through this blog or through my social media channels that I’ve got it all together, I’m doing you a disservice. I owe it to you to bring you real life truths, and as a blogger I follow an unwritten code of ethics that reminds me to bring you honesty and truth though my creative content. Please know that the things I share with you are always my real, truthful feelings. And speaking of truth, while I can’t say the previously mentioned things about my blogging career, here’s what I can say about it:
Time invested in yourself is always time well spent. Time spent working on the things that bring you personal fulfillment and happiness will bring a harvest that is overflowing and overwhelming, and making time for things that matter can bring about the greatest rewards for our labors.
I’ve spent a little time reflecting on the 3 years that I’ve spent carving out this space of the Internet. I’ve been revisiting the thoughts I had going into creating a blog back in 2015, and the goals I was hopeful to achieve through my “platform,” so to speak.
I started Southern Made Simple for me.
Blogging isn’t a hobby for me. Quite honestly, blogging is something I have to do. Not for financial reasons, but for an outlet to express the creativity that God has placed within me that I cannot keep bottled up. Before creating Southern Made Simple, I struggled with not being able to use my talents to make and create in a way that I wanted to. At the time, I had recently made the decision to leave my job to stay at home with my beautiful baby girl, and I could not figure out why in the world I wasn’t being completely satisfied in my new role as “Mommy.” While being a mother is my #1 responsibility, and it is a role I will forever love and cherish, it wasn’t wholly me. I still had a major part of me that needed to be more than Mommy.
When I was in high school, I was inspired by a teacher to pursue marketing. It was something I understood and loved, and I longed to know more about how it worked. From the first day that I stepped foot on my college campus, I was a proud marketing major and never thought once about changing my decision. I felt like I was made for it. Through my courses, I felt like my niche in the marketing world was the study of consumer behavior. I was fascinated with the psychology behind the natural flow of a consumer as they walk into a store and what their “path to purchase” looked like. I wanted to be the person who thoughtfully and intentionally mapped out storefronts for businesses to help them earn the most profits. You know how you have to walk to the very back of the store, passing ALL of the other wares just to get the gallon of milk you need? That’s intentional. That’s what I wanted do.
In order to do that, I knew I’d need to likely live in a larger metropolitan area. That was never something I wanted to do. That wasn’t going to make me happy. And so there I was, a recent college graduate with a marketing degree living in a small, rural community with no actual marketing experience. Over time, I felt like the degree on my wall was just a frame holding a very expensive piece of paper.
But I still had this great desire to use my talents for something, even if there wasn’t any financial gain in the outcome for the time being.
That’s how Southern Made Simple was born.
Anyone can start a blog. There is no degree required to do what I do. I’m happy I have one, but it’s not a source of my happiness. I put in months of hustle before I was able to connect with companies and brands to really begin my entrepreneurial pursuit of marketing and advertising on my own. Earning my first paid gig set me on fire to grow the brand I had created. But I would be remiss to leave out the One who really gave me the gift of Southern Made Simple.
My God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is as work within us. (Ephesians 3:20)
God took my desire for a creative outlet and cultivated it into so much more than I could have ever done on my own. What started out as a side hustle in a closet-turned-office became a brand with a new office space showcasing my name hanging on the wall behind my desk. God called me to be a Mommy and to fulfill my talents, and He will always receive the glory for it all. I’ve learned a lot about myself and the marketing world over the last 3 years, and it’s been such an incredible ride.
Southern Made Simple isn’t just for me anymore. It’s for you, too, and I hope that as Southern Made Simple makes another trip around the sun, it stands as a source of inspiration for you. Thank you for being a part of this journey with me.
A HUGE thank you to Shimmer and Confetti for supplying the foil and confetti balloons to help me celebrate this milestone! If you’re celebrating something great in your life, too, then they’re the place to shop! 😉
Dana Rodriguez says
Congrats on your milestone!
Tiffany Merritt says
I’m so proud of you and the wonderful work you have done on this site! Congratulations!