Travel Diary | Colors

I find most inspiration by the sea and its colors...

Scans by: The FIND Lab

Family Portraits

Film Scans by The FIND Lab

Lauren & Xavier

Film Scans by The FIND Lab

Bridal Portraits | Part 2

Credits:
Workshop & Concept:  Heather Payne Photography  http://heatherpaynephotography.com/workshops | @heatherpaynephoto     
Planning/Design: Lacy Geary | http://lacygeary.com | @lacygeary     
Dresses:  Lee Grebenau of Spina Bride | http://leegrebenau.com & https://spinanyc.com | @leegrebenau @spinabride     
Florals: Myrtie Blue | http://myrtieblue.com | @myrtieblue     
HMUA: Eulanna | https://www.facebook.com/Destin.makeup.artist.LannaBloodworth | @eulanna     
Model:  Bailey Mccracken of Izon Models | @bai_mccx @izonmodels     
Paper Goods:  Alley & Co | @alleyandco     
Rings:  Erstwhile Jewelry | http://erstwhilejewelry.com | @erstwhilejewelry 

Bridal Portraits | Part 1

Credits:

Photography: Edelle Photography | http://edellephotography.com | @edelle_photos
Workshop & Concept:  Heather Payne Photography | http://heatherpaynephotography.com/workshops | @heatherpaynephoto     
Planning/Design: Lacy Geary | http://lacygeary.com | @lacygeary     
Dresses:  Lee Grebenau of Spina Bride | http://leegrebenau.com & https://spinanyc.com | @leegrebenau @spinabride     
Florals: Myrtie Blue | http://myrtieblue.com | @myrtieblue     
HMUA: Eulanna | https://www.facebook.com/Destin.makeup.artist.LannaBloodworth | @eulanna     
Model:  Bailey Mccracken of Izon Models | @bai_mccx @izonmodels     
Paper Goods:  Alley & Co | @alleyandco     
Rings:  Erstwhile Jewelry | http://erstwhilejewelry.com | @erstwhilejewelry 

Healthy Bites With Jess Perotti

As Seen On Fount Collective

Stylist & Nutrition Expert: Jess Perotti // Kitchen Utensils: Target Home

Detox water:
8 - 10 Oz of Water
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
Juice of 1 Lemon
2 Cinnamon Sticks
1/4 TSP of Grated Ginger

To Prepare:

Boil Water.
Slice lemon and squeeze contents into mug.
Add cinnamon sticks.
Grate ginger and add 1/4 tsp into mug.
Add cayenne.
Pour boiling water over contents, steep for 4-5 mins.
Enjoy!

To Make Blueberry Smoothie Bowl:

1 Cup of Frozen Blueberries
1/2 Cup of Almond Milk
1 TBS of Dried Goji Berries
1 TBS Chia Seeds
2 TBS of Pomegranate seeds
1/2 Pear, Sliced
Handful of Blackberries

To prepare:

Slice ripe Anjou pear
Rinse black berries
Blend blueberries and almond milk into a creamy consistency.  Empty contents into a bowl.  
Top with berries, pear, and seeds.

*All recipes are Soy, Gluten and Dairy free :)

Love & Bisous | Branding Photoshoot

I love working on branding photoshoots. Getting to know business owners at a deeper level is a dream come true. In photoshoots, I get VIP access to the masterminds behind great business. Each entrepreneur I have had the pleasure of meeting has offered to me valuable education and tips that I cherish dearly. 

Meeting Kim from Love & Bisous was probably one of the coolest things I got to do last month. Specializing in carefully crafted curated gifts, Love & Bisous has the unique gift you want, no, need to send to your friends and loved ones. Kim has always had a knack of finding the perfect gift for anyone. Wanting to get your Foodie BFF the perfect birthday gift? Kim will arrange a special box for her filled with unique sweets and handmade pasta. Looking for the perfect anniversary gift for your mountain-biker husband? Kim will definitely find the best beers, snacks and small mountain-bike guide books for him. I''m not kidding you when I tell you she's the gifting goddess. 

For our shoot, Kim was looking to have photos that focused more on her and her passion rather than her products. With her new site launch, she wanted to offer to clients a behind-the-scenes look of her home and office.

"My clients already see a lot of my work and gifts on my site & social media channels, but they don't get to see much of me. I wanted photos to reflect my casual, relaxed self and I how I work from home."

Kim is simply awesome and I can blindly recommend her for your next gifting frenzy. I cannot feel any more grateful to have had met her.

Natalia from Papel & Co | Small Business Series

As seen on Style Me Pretty Living

You know when you meet someone for the first time and feel like you've known them forever? Well, this is how I felt when I met Natalia from Papel & CO.  This true boss lady is one to admire - not only becuase she runs a successful business, but because of her contagious positiveness, passion and ability to create unique and beautiful paper goods. 

Natalia, or Nat, started as a product designer at a small agency. After a few years and sleepless nights, Nat decided to open her own graphic design business with a few of her friends. They all worked full time from 9 - 5 and then met every night to work on their business. Yes, they soon realized that they could not keep up with two jobs and decided to let go of their small start-up. Nat, however, wasn't ready to go quit her dream of owning a business, so she decided to quit her day job and open Papel & Co. I can speak for everyone when I say we are all so happy she decided this!

Offering modern calligraphy & branding services, Nat has made her own path and created a pretty large following with her unique style and personality. Whether you're looking for the perfect wedding suite or logo, Nat is the person you want, no, the person you need to hire. I'm really excited to share with you her perfect work space as well as her tips for owing a business!  Read below.

1.     What made you want to get started in your own business?

I’ve always been really independent and working under someone’s supervision made me feel a little trapped and my creativity was getting affected. As a way to escape from it I opened a Design Studio with a couple friends and I loved having the freedom to make creative decisions. While the Studio lasted only 1 year due to our physical and mental exhaustion of having a full time job and many other projects to finish at the Studio, I learned I was ready to make the leap working on my own as soon as I had the opportunity. 

2.     What was one of the biggest moments (as of now) that your business had?

Many good things have happened to my business and me ever since I founded Papel & Co. But, the one moment I remember the most was when the first Wedding Planner I admired reached out to me to work together. I won’t forget the excitement and happiness I felt when I was reading that e-mail. I think biggest things in terms of growing my business have happened but I will always remember that moment.  

3.     What would you recommend to a person who is having doubts of opening a business?

When I started my business I didn’t really have a plan. I was bored with the full time job I had and out of desperation I just decided to quit and to see where the future would take me. Looking back I think I would’ve saved myself a lot of headaches for the first months if I had an action plan. I think specially because my creativity felt like it was finally freed I just wanted to create stuff but didn’t really take it anywhere (and most of it is still in my sketchbooks). So, it took me a while to have a routine and a focus for my company. So, definitely have a plan A and even a plan B.

4.     What is the biggest lesson you learned as a business owner?

I think it would be kindness and staying humble. As a business owner, designer and customer service representative (because you do it all with a small business) I’ve learned that being kind, fair and patient with your clients would take you far. There have been a few situations where I’ve let myself believe that my company is bigger than it actually is and it has made me loose some opportunities that I would have probably enjoyed working on. So, definitely be kind and stay humble.

5.     If you could describe your business in three words, what would they be?

Feminine, Aesthetic, Poetic

6.     One fun fact about you.

80% of the time I photoshop my hands in pictures I post on my social media.

I do Crossfit and against my mom’s constant requests I DO NOT want to use gloves.

7.     Favorite quote for motivation?

“We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes -- understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” - Arianna Huffington

8.     Any other tips you can offer to fellow entrepreneurs?

I think specially for people that are taking that leap and going on their own I would say don’t overthink and go for your ideas. When I started I asked too many people for their thoughts on the look of my brand, and what they thought the best services would be etc. And after a few months of having my branding, my services and products up on the website I ended up going back to what I initially wanted. So, in other words don’t doubt yourself too much. Your company is a little branch of you so it should reflect exactly what you want.

Small Tea Company | Small Business Series

Today's small business feature is simply awesome. Although I wasn't able to meet the owner in person, I loved how his personality oozed out of every answer in his Q & A. I personally found a lot of motivation thanks to his excitement and passion.

To better introduce this shop, I need to first start off how I got to know of this hidden gem. 

While working on a photo shoot with pottery artist Carolina Alamilla, we strolled around Coral Gables looking for the perfect spots to photograph. Caro, as we all call her, has an intense love for tea; almost as much as I have for coffee. With the 90 degree Miami heat, we were in desperate need of a quick pick me up when Caro suggested Small Tea Company. 

The first thing you'll quickly notice is their store decor. You guys. This. Is. Perfect. I just loved how they made the shop an entire experience through their decor and style. A few steps in, you'll be captivated by their Tea Stand - more like THE tea altar where you'll find their custom flavored teas. As your eyes keep wondering around, you'll find my personal favorite area, their ceiling. It's made of squares boxes and burlap, evoking a very earthy and rural vibe that adds the perfect touch to the shop.

What's even better? Their tea, of course! I've never been much of a tea person, but these guys really know how to make tea. I ordered the "Venezuelan Childhood" iced tea. Being from Venezuela, I had to try it - and my, was it the best decision I made that week. It had this sweet mandarin flavor that made you just smile after every sip. 

I can go on and on about Small Tea Co, but I would much rather leave you with a taste and have you look over at the gallery and read owner Daniel's Q & A on how he started his business.

1. What made you start Small Tea Co?

I’ve been a tea fanatic all my life, and wherever I went, I was on the search for great tea, but always ended with low quality tea in my cup. I had to go online to source good tea, but doing this on my daily basis was quite difficult and looking for local shops was even more so since all the cafe shops near work and house where specialized in coffee and honestly serving really bad tea. 

So I said to my self that there should exist a place specialized on tea; a place where I could feel comfortable, that I would enjoy going on a daily basis and get a perfect cup of tea. I wanted to be in a place that no matter if I was on the run, or not I could have good tea on the go. 

This is why I created Small Tea Company: for the lack of tea shops, my love for tea, and my desire to have an amazing place dedicated specially to tea. 

 

2. What was one of the biggest moments (as of now) that your business has had?

This is  a very hard question; I can unashamedly say we’ve had so many good moments. Running a tea company is a very hard business because of the industry we're in, but I believe that my best moments are when customers tell us how much they love Small Tea, how much they love my concept, how much they want us to succeed. To me, these are the biggest moments because they give me the strength to continuously improve and to keep getting better and better. 

 

3. What would you recommend to a person who is having doubts of opening a business?

Start. You will never know what you can do until you start doing. It's better to fail in something you've wanted todo than not do anything at all.

Believe in your business concept. Make your business as best as you can.

To have Patience. A Lot of patience.
 

4. What is the biggest lesson you learned as a business owner?

To believe in yourself. That if you set your mind right, you can achieve anything. 
 

6. One fun fact about you

I'm Addicted to tea… and…Coca-Cola. 
 

7. Favorite quote for motivation?

"A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." - Laozi

 

8. Any other tips you can offer to fellow entrepreneurs?

Don’t be scared of sharing your ideas and asking questions. You have no idea (pun not intended) how much you can get out of discussing your business plans with a friend or mentor.

Start Doing!! Don’t just sleep on it. One thing leads to another, and the next thing you know, you started your business! 

Never stop improving your ideas, yourself, and your business. Don't settle for less under any circumstance.

 

Alexandra Gioia Jewlery | Small Business Series

Meeting Allie has been my dream ever since I moved to West Palm Beach.

I love anything hand-made and this girl can make some of the most awesome jewelry designs. Alexandra Gioia, or Allie,  started her business by chance. It all began when she had an interest on designing her own necklaces and her coworkers were asking her to make some of her necklaces and bracelets for them. Allie's business took off after her jewelry line first sold at her small office, and continues to grow nation-wide. 

This girl really inspired me; her passion and enthusiasm is so contagious! Her vision, positiveness, determination and passion for her craft are her best tools that have made her business thrive. I adored chatting business with her - Allie is like the perfect business buddy you need. 

Grab a pen and paper and scroll below for her business tips and a behind the scenes look of her business. 

1. What made you want to get started in your own business?

I kind of fell into my business. I began designing jewelry as a simple hobby and I had no plans to ever turn it into a business. Once I saw just how many pieces I was selling in my small office of OK, shopaholic co-workers, I wanted to open it up to others and created an Etsy shop. From there, the line has really evolved and turned into more than I ever imagined. I love being able to express myself creatively. The process isn’t always pretty and I’ve designed some pretty questionable things but it always leads me to a design that I end up loving.

2. What was one of the biggest moments (as of now) that your business had? 

By day, I do the marketing for an amazing organization and a big part of that includes website management. This made it especially rewarding when I launched a website of my very own, www.AlexandraGioia.com. It was so much fun being able to make all the decisions on the design, layout and photography. I still have so many ideas on how to enhance it and make it a more user friendly. I’ll get there! 

3. What would you recommend to a person who is having doubts of opening a business?

Always follow your dreams! That’s really the meaning behind our Dreamcatcher Necklace. A great opportunity isn’t going to come knocking at your door, you have to go out and chase it and work really hard at it. Even if you try and fail (in your eyes) it will lead you one step closer to where you’re supposed to be. #DreamonDreamer

4. What is the biggest lesson you learned as a business owner?

Go with your gut. So frequently people want to tell you how to run your business even if they don’t own one themselves which I find funny! It’s important to stay true to who you are and stay on track for what you envision your brand to look and feel like. 

5. If you could describe your jewelry line in three words, what would they be?

Natural, Effortless & Fun!

6. One fun fact about you. 

My hubby and I are expecting our first little miracle in June! We are beyond excited to meet her and become parents.

Heart Swell Co | Small Business Series

Intentional & Meaningful. These are the first words that come to mind when I think about Renee. You see, Renee not only has successful stationery shop, Heart Swell, but the reason why she makes stationery goods is what sets her apart from so many. 

Once you spend some time with Renee, you understand why her business is so special. She has been an advocate of living a life with gratitude, service and love and wanted to help others help, well, others. Creating stationery goods with uplifting words was her way to help us spread that love. 

From "You're a Gem," to "I'd Be Lost Without You" printed on her cards with authentic leaf designs and Arizona landscapes, Heart Swell knows a thing or two on how to make any ordinary day extraordinary. These paper goods offer more than just creative lettering and designs, they offer hope, love and most importantly, a smile.

If you ever find yourself in need of a good friend, inspiring words and motivation, Renee is just the person. Her soul is translated in her business, and I deeply admire the community movement she has built all by herself. 

Scroll below for an inside look of the Heart Swell office and her tips on starting a business. 

 

1. What made you want to get started in your own business?

I love making people feel special - whether it's cooking them their favorite dinner, making a big deal about their birthday, or sending them a thoughtful card that lets them know I'm thinking about them. My company is an extension of that - I love to create unique, personal messages that allow people to slow down for a few minutes and make someone else feel loved. Life can get really busy and I think it's incredibly important to stop and say; "hey, I'm thinking about you. "

2. What was one of the biggest moments (as of now) that your business had? 

In the fall of 2015 I attended Tradeshow Bootcamp. I feel like that weekend was the turning point of my business; it made me really focus and come up with my own distinct, cohesive style that truly reflects me. Meeting so many other small business owners going through the same thing was really helpful - not only to hear that they've had similar experiences, but seeing other people in my industry succeed is so motivating and really inspired me to work hard. 

3. What would you recommend to a person who is having doubts of opening a business?

If you really love it, do it. It will DEFINITELY be hard. There will be lots of times that you continue to question if you're doing the right thing - but doing something you love every day is such an amazing, lucky way to live life. And don't be afraid to ask people for help! 

4. What is the biggest lesson you learned as a business owner?

It's something I'm still learning every single day - do what you love for you, and be yourself. Everyone's path is different, and especially with social media, it is so easy to compare yourself to other people. Remember this: they're not you. You're not them. You've had your own journey, your own experiences, and your own unique story that has gotten you to where you are. Find inspiration from that, and run with it. Not every single person will love your work, but if you truly do, others will see that and love it too. 

5. If you could describe your business in three words, what would they be?

Thoughtful, Natural, Personal

6. One fun fact about you. 

My husband and I have lived in four states - PA, AZ, MD, and FL in the past five years - we've loved everywhere we've lived, but West Palm Beach is where we're staying! 

7. Favorite quote for motivation?

Sigmund Freud said "Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength." Putting yourself out there can be really hard - and as a creative small business owner, you're forced to do this all the time. I've found that when I share my personal thoughts or take inspiration from something difficult that I've been through, it often lands me in an amazing place. 

8. Any other tips you can offer to fellow entrepreneurs?

Be good to people - help someone when they need it, and get involved in your community as much as you can. Try to find a group of other creatives to surround yourself with. They will teach you, inspire you, push you to be better, and give you ideas you may never have come up with alone.  And don't forget to show yourself some grace once in a while -- it can be really easy to put a lot of pressure on yourself, but remember to have fun and that you're doing the best you can. 

Small Business Series | Introduction

Ya'll. I'm so excited for May to start.

May is officially the very first time the Small Business Series kicks off!

As you may know now, this blog is all about editorial photography and business ownership + work/life balance. I am crazy in love with entrepreneurship and want to share with you that passion to motivate you as you're starting your business, are hitting a little plateau during the process, or help you determine if business ownership is the right thing for you. 

These small business series are all about you. 

I'm thrilled to share with you the lineup of awesome entrepreneurs who so willingly are sharing their tips about starting a business:

  • Renee from Heart Swell : a feel-good stationery business

  • Daniel from Small Tea & CO : your go-to place for perfect tea & ambiance

  • Alexandra from Alexandra Gioa : your one-stop shop for unique jewelry

  • Nat from Papel & Co : expertly made modern calligraphy & graphic design

All were given the same set of burning questions to help you and I get a closer look on their struggles and successes when opening their business. Take notes, ask questions, and most importantly, be inspired. I am beyond grateful of how much love Renee, Daniel, Alexandra and Nat poured out in their interview. Thank you all so much!

See you next week!

 

 

 

 

Ileen Girl Boutique | Store Tour

Meeting Ashley was a dream come true. You see, Ashley owns Ileen Girl Boutique, a boutique clothing store for women and young girls over at Downtown Abacoa, and I have always loved her cute, industrial store when I passed by it. For a very long time, my dream has been to photoshoot a store, more specifically, a store like hers, so when the opportunity came up thanks to a friend, I was beyond excited! 

I had the chance to meet her family (her husband is an all-star DJ on the side), learn the story behind why she started Ileen Girl and see all the awesome new pieces she was bringing to the store. Ashley started off as a graphic designer, then decided to design clothes for wholesale (to very big brands like H & M!!), and finally opened her own lable, Ileen Girl. What's pretty awesome about this gal is that not only does she design every single clothing piece, but also every single clothes rack, decor and even wall color. Seriously, this girl is what a real #girlboss is all about. Want to learn more about her? Scroll below for her interview, tips and inside look at her store! 

1. Why did you start this business? 

I started off in graphic design, but my love for clothing led me into fashion design. When I first started a boutique, I use to buy pieces from different wholesalers. However, I always I wanted to design my own pieces. Essentially, I am a designer at heart. Starting my label arose from my need and desire to create and design. 

2. Have you always wanted to have a clothing store or was a "spur of the moment" idea? 

I wouldn't say spur of the moment, but it wasn't something that I thought was in my career path. After my two initial boutiques and the success of my wholesale business, opening a boutique that only carries the clothing created by me under my Ileengirl label, seemed like the next natural step. 

3. What was the biggest challenge you overcame and feel so proud of succeeding over? It's OK to show off a little!

As a designer, you always want to stay true to yourself and your aesthetic, but you also have to make sure you are on top of and ahead of the trends. Making sure that my designs reflect who I am as a designer and remain current and modern is always the most important part of what I do.  When large brands like H&M and Forever 21 first purchased my designs through my wholesale business, I would say that was very proud moment! Now, I am happy to also create my designs with high quality materials and manufacturing for my Ileengirl label that I sell at The Ileengirl Boutique. 

4. What would be the #1 advice you can give to any small business owner? 

Treat your customers like gold! I always make sure that I remember their names and little tidbits about their lives. I also think that it is important to surround yourself with people and employees that you trust and admire.