2017 was the year of growth for this blog but I want 2018 to be the year of community and connection. I’ve started to realize that I don’t care one bit what the follower count says anymore, I care about connecting with the ones I already have because it is SO fulfilling and I already have everything I need right here.
I am so happy that you are a part of the IACTM community and I am excited to make IACTM an even better outlet this year! It wasn’t until the very end of 2017, my “you only live once” phase that I just didn’t care what I put out there- the good,bad, the ugly. And you know what? Y’all seemed to really love it. I thought I had hit rock bottom but y’all loved it. Not the rock bottom part per say but the “screw everything, this is the real me, take it or leave it” part of rock bottom. And it made my rock bottom seem just the opposite. I realized I thrived at rock bottom. I realized what it meant to have and be a part of a community. So that’s exactly what 2018 is all about.
Things Happening in 2018
You all loved my 12 Days of Christmas giveaways so much that Santa Shelbi is coming out of retirement to bring you giveaways until you say “NO MORE!”. Since I want to get you more engaged and build this community, the giveaways will involve getting to know you better. That being said, as long as you follow along on Instagram and Instagram stories these are going to be EASY. You won’t have to follow any other bloggers or tag a million friends. The winner for the week will be chosen every Sunday evening.
The way it works: the first 100 comments on every Instagram post will be entered to win. This means you might want to have post notifications turned on or check Instagram each day. I usually post around 12 pm and 8 pm CST but that’s not always the case. The key is you will have to watch my Instagram stories each day to know how to enter. I will ask a question on my stories and you will then have to answer the question in a comment on the most recent Instagram post. I will also occasionally give fun ways for extra entries that might involve a secret emoji or something else simple and ultimately FUN!
How the winner is chosen: at the end of the week I will add up how many Instagram posts I did and generate two random numbers. The first random number will select which Instagram post, the second will select a number 1-100. That will be the number of the comment on that specific Instagram post aka the winner! I will do the drawing during the Instagram Live each week so that y’all can get the hang of how it works and be able to see who wins at the same time that I do!
Weekly Instagram Lives (“Chic Chats”)
So many of you want to see more real life shenanigans so from now on, I’m going to host a quick (30 minutes TOPS) Instagram Live every week. The majority of you picked Sunday nights at 8 CST/9 EST so that is what we are going to start off with for now but if I get enough people that want them on a different day I might trade off each week. For each live session there will be a topic of YOUR choosing. For ex: how to start a blog, best jeans under $100, spring trends, etc. I’ll have you guys send me your suggestions each week and then I will announce the topic the day of the live. This way you can decide if you want to tune in or not. I plan on giving away a $5 gift card to the most engaged person EVERY single week so it will help to tune into the live even though it will be saved for 24 hours.
After many requests to shop my closet, I finally figured out a way to make it happen! Every Tuesday (or that’s what I’m aiming for) I will be selling 10 brand new or like new items from my closet at a MAJOR discount. This does not necessarily mean all clothes. It could be skin care, make up, fitness items, purses, shoes, vacuums (yes I get random stuff!), etc. While the clothes will primarily be my size (Top: XS/S // Bottoms: 25 or 0), this is not always going to be the case. I do get sent stuff sometimes that is not my size! I will host the sale every Tuesday evening on my Instagram stories at 8 pm CST. This will be first come, first serve. If you are interested in an item, you will email firstname.lastname@example.org to claim it. I will give each person an hour to pay before someone else will get a shot. I will put prices on each item and there will be a standard $10 shipping.
So many of you are either bloggers yourself or just want to know more about how all of this blogging stuff works. You asked, so I am answering. I am going to start doing blog tips twice a month! Everything from how to start a blog, beginner photography, how to grow on social media, how to make gift guides/collages, etc. If you have topics you want me to talk about, please send them my way!
Styling/Business Coaching Services
I’ve been trying to figure out for the past year how I could connect more with you guys and bring my passion for fashion and building your own business to life. I love blogging but I’m also behind a computer all day. I am so much of a people person and find so much joy from sharing what I love best with others, I just haven’t known how. *Insert blog here* The blog has connected me to all of you and in 2018 I will be offering personal styling sessions as well as business coaching for beginner bloggers/entrepreneurs both locally in person and virtually. Stay tuned for more information on this 🙂
Frequently Asked Questions
How old are you?
I am 26 years young! I have 2 younger sisters and we are all within 4 years of each other.
What was your full time job?
I was a supply analyst for a retail power (electricity) company. My job in a nutshell consisted of forecasting power usage, buying/selling power, hedging our exposure, data analytics and lots of excel spreadsheets.
Why did you quit?
Ultimately I quit because of timing and I knew it was not what I wanted to be doing long term. Between my two hip surgeries, moving home, travel opportunities, and a burning passion to give the blog my all, I decided it was the right time for me to quit. Granted this would have never been possible if I was not living at home and the fact that I built my savings up over the last 3 years.
How did you manage your full time job with the blog?
Long story short – not very well. I would keep my blog email open at work so that I could star important emails and answer any time sensitive ones. I would write posts and answer emails after work. I would take pictures every other weekend, usually Saturday mornings where I would shoot 4-8 looks at one time with my photographer which would give me enough content for about 2 weeks. I didn’t have much of a social life between working 2 jobs but I didn’t mind at the time.
Do you plan on going back to work?
Yes! I am starting to look for work now and am hoping to go back to work in March or so. I still don’t really know what I want to be doing but I’m thinking something along the lines of marketing, public relations, social media, or event management. If you have a job that you love, I’d absolutely love to hear!
What surgeries did you have?
I had two PAO surgeries to correct hip dysplasia. I had the left side done in March and the right side done in October. Each were about a 2 month recovery. You can read all about it here.
How did you rehab after?
Yes, but not like I should have. After the first one I only went to physical therapy for a month because I was in so much pain. I don’t think the place I was going was very attentive to what my body needed and instead of finding a new place, I just quit. This go around has been harder because now I have 2 bad hips instead of just 1 so we are working both sides in physical therapy. I also have had 2 falls since my last surgery which have not been good for my hips. On top of that, I had to get my own health insurance and it’s been a constant battle so I am currently not doing physical therapy but desperately need to be!
Where did you go to college/what was your major?
I went to Texas A&M University and graduated with a Finance major and International Business minor. I actually studied abroad my sophmore year all over Europe – London, Paris, Nice, Monaco, Austria, Venice, and more!
Instagram Live Winners
Please contact me to claim your prize! And if you didn’t win this time, I will be doing it every week!
2017 Feedback Survey
Thank you so much for making 2017 such a great year. I am so happy that you are a part of the IACTM community and thank you for answering these quick questions that aim to make IACTM an even better outlet! Remember these are anonymous and your HONEST feedback helps me the most! Thanks in advance for your response and taking the time to make IACTM a community – I am so glad that you are here!
*You can answer the questions below + submit the survey directly below!*