We all know that blogging itself can be a full-time job, so when we come across bloggers that are also entrepreneurs and Mom's we are just in such awe of what can get accomplished in a day.
Today we're speaking with a girl who's just that. A Mom, entrepreneur, and blogger. Alexandra Nicole of CityChicLiving.com gives us a glimpse into her jam packed schedule of being a Mom and juggling her six, yes six, retail stores and even an online store called ivorycloset.com. Alexandra's definitely got a lot on her plate and we love hearing about how they're making it all possible. She gives us some tips on how she balances this all out and when she realized that she could potentially become a full-time blogger.
Read on to learn more about Alexandra's blogging life and daily schedule.
How long have you been full-time?
What is the focus of your blog:
Mainly Fashion and Beauty, but I like to throw the occasional lifestyle post in there. I love to take challenges and when I do, I post about them. For example, the Kickboxing Fitness Challenge or the Juice Detox Challenge
Best thing about blogging?
It is my outlet, almost like a journal where I store all of my exciting adventures, favorite outfits, and the occasional inspirational story on my thought of the day. I feel like blogs are purely inspirational, for the blogger and the reader alike.
Worst thing about blogging?
Keeping up in a busy week. I own a cosmetic line, Adel Amor Cosmetics, a fashion Brand, Ellen Anchor, boutiques, The Ivory Closet and The Attic, I am a blogger, published fashion stylist and beauty writer as well as a mommy and wife. I have to admit….the weeks fill up fast. Sometimes I wait until the last minute to do a shoot and then I feel like I am cramming to make ends meet.
What piece of advice would you give to new bloggers? Stick with it and don’t compare yourself to other bloggers! It takes time. I have had my blog for 3 years and it is just now really starting to take off.
When did you realize that you could be a full-time blogger?
After a few posts. I learned that blogging is a stress reliever and a way to share my passion, fashion, and beauty, with the world.
How do you currently monetize?
Through featured posts and customers seeing items I have blogged about coming into the shop and purchasing.
Biggest Accomplishment as a blogger?
I was named one of the top 20 under 30 in Memphis this year!
What are you working on next, or excited for? I am working on my photography skills. I have been taking photo classes and am also planning to acquire a photo studio for shooting the blog in the next month!
I see that you're a multi-entrepreneur with many businesses! How did you start these different boutiques and brands? Can you give us a little background about those businesses as well?
I began working at the ripe age of 16 as a makeup artist. I have worked for many lines in my cosmetic career and when I graduate college I began to work for a Fortune 500 company. I still hold makeup near and dear to my heart so I set off to start my own cosmetic brand, Adel Amor Cosmetics. (www.adelamor.com) I loved my corporate job but felt like I was an entrepreneur at heart, so I quit my day job, used my life savings (or what I had saved by 26) and started my own boutique, The Ivory Closet (www.ivorycloset.com), then opened The Attic (www.theatticapparel.com). Since then I have franchised The Ivory Closet brand into 4 stores with one more opening in Oxford, ms in August. During this time I graduated with my Masters in Business, picked up a beauty writing job, a fashion stylist gig, and became a blogger.
What came first, the business or blog? The businesses game first and the blog soon followed.
How do you manage to juggle so many businesses and your family life? I really am not sure. I just do. I make it work…it has to. I often find myself reminiscing and looking back on life only to wonder….how the heck did I do that? I imagine I will do the same one day of this moment in my life.
Any productivity tips/organizational advice you can give us?
Prioritize. I make a list every morning with what I want to accomplish in a priority order. Don’t worry if you don’t finish your list. I almost never do, but it keeps me on track with the most important things at the top!
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF ALEXANDRA NICOLE OF CITYCHICLIVING.COM
7 am - WAKE UP AND START MOMMY DUTY
I have a 1 1/2 year old and he attends “baby school”. I wake up every morning at 7 am to get myself and him ready to conquer the day!
8:30 am - IN THE OFFICE
I have an off site office and warehouse location for my boutiques. This is where I do behind the scenes work on the blog as well as buying for my shops and our online store. I usually check emails and my calendar to prep for the hours ahead.
10 am - PHOTOSHOOT TIME!
We shoot twice a week for our online store, 6 retail locations, and my blog. Ideally, we have a photographer and 2 models. The outfits are styled before the models arrive. Once the models arrive on set we dress them up and set off to shoot. Memphis has lots of great outdoor locations for shooting so we generally pack up and shoot off site. If I am not on set for the photo shoots, I am generally working on our website as we are about to do a big relaunch in the next month, SO EXCITED, or in some sort of meetings geared at generating more revenue.
12 pm - LUNCH
I am FOREVER on a healthy eating kick. I will usually enjoy a fresh deli cut sandwich on thin wheat bread of course, and some sort of fresh fruit. Raspberries are my favorite. If I am with colleagues, we will pick a patio at one of the many awesome local Memphis restaurants. By lunch I can be pretty overwhelmed so I have to admit, ordering a mojito is never out of the question.
1 PM - LEAVE THE SHOOT TO CHECK UP ON THE STORES.
I make my rounds to the retail locations after lunch. Here I make sure everything looks the best in merchandising and cleanliness. I also take note on inventory levels so that I can make sure our shops stay stocked.
3 PM - CONTENT CREATION
I usually make it to my home office by 3 PM where I will work on next weeks content creation for the blog! I spend this time writing and planning for marketing… and when I have writers block, I look for fashion and beauty questions that people are asking on FB groups and other forums for ideas to write about. I am a part of the Women’s Entrepreneur Society and they have TONS of content on bettering your business and blog. I will usually try to read at least one post from them for idea generation and creativity.
5 PM - MOMMY TIME!
Baby is ready to come home! After picking up my son, Jack, we will usually try to make it by the Children’s Museum, or if it is a nice day, take a stroll around the neighborhood in his wagon. Being a mom is a very important, yet the most rewarding job I have. I make sure to take time out of the day to talk to, read to, or communicate with my son, just him and I. This is my favorite hour of the day. The bonding is food for my soul and his. It is just so sweet
6PM - BUYING
My husband gets home around 6 pm and, lucky for me, he starts to cook! Him and Jack usually cook together. While Ben is cooking and Jack is in his highchair watching, I take this hour to quickly make my shop purchases. I place orders with my vendors for inventory and always keep outfit ideas in mind for the next big blog shoot.
7 PM FAMILY TIME -
We generally spend our meal time in the living room together watching one of our favorite shows or enjoying a movie. My husband usually picks the show or movie while Jack and I share a plate of his scrumptious dinner!
9PM - BEDTIME!
Baby usually hits the sack at 8:30 and we are soon to follow.