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The What, Where and WHY Behind My Social Media & Blog

Social Media.  Something we are all spending more and more of our time on.  So much that it’s becoming the way of life for some people.

I was at an event this weekend and after introducing myself was asked if I was raised “to be perfect”.  I then went out of my way to tell her about some trouble I got myself into in high school to reiterate that I was not perfect, nor was I raised to be.  But this little statement sure got me to thinking that maybe I haven’t written a clear blog about my intentions.  I aim for progress over perfection.

I want to share my WHY, my WHAT and my WHERE with you so maybe you understand a little more about me and my influencing/blogging path.

WHY do I choose to share my life and title myself a micro influencer?

I love to lead by example.  I believe I was born a risk taker who is brave, extremely driven and perseveres.  When I started my boutique business (Southern Jewlz) during my college years, I used social media to share products I had for sale.  I used facebook for business before business pages were even a thing.  I would upload albums to my personal profile and people would purchase them through commenting online.  I actually had an online store before any type of brick & mortar location.  Looking back now, it’s easy to see that I was growing a personality and lifestyle brand far before I ever even knew what that meant.  As my business grew, I tried to hide behind the brand and use models and employees as the faces of the company.  After years of having girls who would move on and leave (since I’m based in a college town) as well as customers that would request to see more women their age modeling, I started to brave the camera myself.  I have always primarily used social media to help grow my business.  So over the past 10 years, I feel I have felt lots of growing pains and changes that social media has thrown my way.  I’ve never had a social media manager because I’ve always wanted to keep the personal touch with my followers and keep the personality as bright and bubbly as I wanted it to be.  Social media in itself is a full time job these days, so I’m just holding on until I have to let go and hire some of this out.

About a year and a half ago, I started noticing that people were more interested in following a person rather than a store.  They trusted an individual more than a brand.  So that was the first little seed that sparked the Randa Carrabba lifestyle blog.  Instead of me trying to work with different bloggers, I thought to myself that I would just BECOME the ideal influencer that I needed.  There was so much more that I had to share with and offer the world about myself rather than just the latest styles for sale at Southern Jewlz Boutique.  When I closed my retail store in January 2017 to get married, I started promoting that I wanted a more balanced life.  I wanted my marriage, personal life and all of my special relationships to have higher priority than they were allowed when I was engulfed with running a big business.  (Keep in mind big business does not always mean efficient business!). I still have worked far more than 40 hours a week with this change, it’s just allowed for a more flexible schedule.  It’s nice to be able to spend evenings catching up on email or work projects sitting in the deer stand with my husband or just beside him in his man cave!

I wanted to embrace the new phase of life I was entering and lead by example trying to be the best wife that I could be to my husband.  To show that it’s okay to detour or change the route that has previously been followed.  I had a couple of business mentors (more specifically other #girlbosses who had similar but larger companies than mine who I was envious of from the outside) that I followed who had each gotten married and divorced in less than 2 years.  I can’t imagine the struggle of running a business and going thru the pain and adversity that comes from divorce.  You can never judge that things are perfect from the outside, everyone has struggled.   I wanted a victorious marriage and I knew that the first year of marriage would take the most work of all.  Choosing online only would allow me more flexibility at the time. So this was the first evolution of me sharing and promoting myself online as something other than the Queen of Southern Jewlz.

WHAT do I want others to see and take away from my social media content?

I chose to have a lifestyle blog because that is a fairly broad category.  I learned that I would grow the fastest if I focused on one specific category, but there is no way I could have chosen to be a more specific blogger.  I personally wanted to share my fashion picks, my fitness journey, my marriage, the important people in my life, lessons I’ve learned from running a business, life’s travels and adventures and all the sweet and precious moments in between.

I did however choose that the consistent thing I wanted people to gather from my blog would be positivity, living gratefully, to be confident and carefree of what others think and say about you, to always strive to be the best version of themselves, to be content rather than comparing to others, and to fall in love with their life and everything in it.  I really do want to leave shimmer and sparkles wherever I go, I want to make the things around me beautiful and I want to leave people better off than I found them.  I love to be a cheerleader, to support and encourage others and to especially show women that we are better together as a community than we are as comparing ourselves as competitors.  I don’t have an instagram feed that flows together beautifully nor do I only post professional pictures.  My life is REAL and as stated above, my goal is progress over perfection.  You’ll see me post with no makeup and messy hair and you’ll see me post things that might not look “blogger worthy” at times.  Life for me is so much more than just the photo shoot days.  There are trials, errors, pains, struggles, detours, new phases, emotional days and so forth.  I want to be more transparent to show all of my readers more of what is BEHIND the photo shoot or the highlight reel.  Progress means moving forward even through the bad days and dark times.  I had a day last week where I felt super discouraged for no particular reason and decided to be vulnerable with my followers about it.  In case you missed it, you can read that post here.  I want this blog to stay my thoughts, beliefs, personal style, challenges and my HONESTY (to myself and to others).  That is the one thing that I wanted to make me a more memorable blogger.  You won’t see me lining up just to post about product or brands just to get freebies.  I want to empower and influence so much deeper than that.  One of the many things my family taught me was that my word was powerful and to always stay truthful.

WHERE did I come from?

I believe remembering where you can from and being grateful for those who helped get you to where you are today is so important.  I grew up in a small town called Bremond, TX where there are less than 1,000 people.  My dad is the county Sheriff so I was raised to respect authority and follow the rules.  You can read more about my parents in these blog posts that I wrote for them on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day last year.

My grandparents have always played a big part in my life.  They are the hardest working people I know.  They are in their 80’s and still mow their own yard, work their own cows, do all the chores around the house, their garden is bigger than their home’s foundation and they don’t have a dishwasher because that’s what the women in the family are for and it saves water.  Grant and I went last week to help my Nana plant her green beans, squash and cucumbers.  I’m so thankful that I have focused more on balancing my life rather than always working so I don’t miss out on sweet moments and life’s lessons like these.  We will be checking up on our veggies in a couple of weeks.  I showed up wearing overalls and my sparkle boots because I obvi love to dress up for most occasions.  I can still hear my Nana saying, “You’re a trip, girl!”  I changed straight into my work boots that I keep at their house, but not until after we took pictures.  I told them I had to share with my blog readers where I came from and who I got my strong work ethic from.

Meanwhile Grant is wearing his floppy hat.  Might not be the most attractive hat he owns, but at least it’s blocking the sun.  One thing I’ve learned about marriage is you have to pick your battles and to laugh the silliness off.  Life is too short to be taken too seriously.

I hope you all enjoyed learning a little more about me and the story behind why I share my life with y’all.  Cheers to a great week ahead!  If you want to come see my new set up in The Beauty Market, plan to stop by this Thursday evening for a fun little party we are hosting!

xo,

30 Comments

  1. Reply

    Wow

    March 26, 2018

    Was expecting more content about “how you were raised”.. other than your grandparents are hard workers that wash their own dishes.
    Was this post designed more to make your subliminal jabs at other bloggers, or to keep convincing yourself you’re doing the right thing by not (really) working? You have a hard time staying on topic and making any specific points in your blogs. Maybe you should stick to the photo shoots?

    • Reply

      randa

      March 26, 2018

      💋

    • Reply

      randa

      March 26, 2018

      You can click through to the blogs that overview each of my parents if you want more content on how I was raised! I linked them in this blog post!

  2. Reply

    We get it.

    March 26, 2018

    I’m very curious to know if you truly think people are buying everything you are selling about yourself? I’m not a regular Randa blog reader, but I can say that the times I have stopped by to read, you’ve touched on the same subjects over and over, and all while managing to do it in the most braggadocious way. For example, how many times do we need to hear about you putting your business on the back burner to focus on your marriage? Do you think this makes you relatable? I would make the argument that it has the opposite effect. Essentially quitting what you do for a living to nurture a marriage is not a realistic thing that most people do not have the privilege to do. Your point about other women you knew getting divorced has the most condescending tone- it’s almost like you’re saying you were envious of their business until they failed at an aspect of life (divorce).

    I would encourage you to more carefully choose your words if you’re going to continue to be in the blogger community. Your blogs consistently come off arrogant, and you might be the least transparent blogger I’ve taken the time to read yet.

    • Reply

      randa

      March 26, 2018

      I gladly welcome all readers to my blog, even those who do not view things the way I do or feel I am a “braggadocios” person. Good thing confidence is a key thing I focus on and promote, that way the negative remarks won’t get me down. I just hope you don’t go around to other bloggers or people’s social media leaving ill comments without even stating who you are. I do thank you for helping to boost the traffic on my site and I hope you have a wonderful evening. Nothing but love on my end!!!

      • Reply

        We get it.

        March 27, 2018

        Lol, sure seems like nothing but “love” with your passive aggressive response… But the fact that you didn’t address a single topic that I pointed out just really reiterates my point about you- you’re overall obsessed with yourself and frankly delusional about how you can come off to readers. It seems that if a comment isn’t left to completely inflate your ego or flatter you that you can’t even hear it clearly. Good luck to you though, nothing but LOVE <3

    • Reply

      But do you?

      March 27, 2018

      Hello, just have a little thought for ya. I do not think you can accurately make a judgement statement call like that without reading everything. I have never met another person that is more open with their life than Randa. There is nothing wrong with being happy. If you don’t like the content- unfollow it. But to cut down the information that is released that is truly real and positive shows how unhappy you are as a person. And for that, I hope you find peace. To imply that Randa does not work hard is ridiculous. If you “read” all the content you would see how she starts her day at 5:45 am and ends it around 11 pm. The information is real and true blue. To call someone “transparent” that posts pictures of herself without makeup and talks about the highs and LOWS is inspiring. Negativity spreads throughout this world. I hope you don’t cut down someone that would take it too hard. Because that would be on your hands. Instead of cutting someone down, why not try building them up? The time you took to write out this post, you could have been bettering yourself. When you look down on someone, your crown is falling dear.

      • Reply

        randa

        March 27, 2018

        I am much like you and if I don’t like or relate with someone’s content, I do not follow or engage with it. More positivity and less negativity. Love you girly!!!

  3. Reply

    Emily

    March 27, 2018

    Randa, I love that you became the blogger/influencer you needed for your brand! I do think it’s the new age of marketing and that honestly the fact that you are behind the brand you promote on your personal blog is actually a true influencer move, unlike MOST bloggers whom accept money from brands to promote the same items as thousands of other bloggers paid by the same brand. Influencers should be handpicking what they post and steering their personal brand instead of being steered by big brands. Also running a blog and a business even an online one is lots of work! Anyone who thinks it’s not work has probably never worked retail. You do make Your life look easy and perfect ish, but I know I would struggle/die doing your workout, your blog, owning/managing an online retail store plus keeping up with inventory at the pop up store you have at that beauty salon- let alone your makeup routine! Can people inhale and exhale deeply before gritting their teeth over a happily married woman that has found a creative way to own and run a business while blogging? Demeaning your decision to run a store online versus a brick and mortar because you think it is a better fit for your marriage….like ok are we attacking this because we feel triggered by what we think feminism is? Are we mad about your personal path to a healthy marriage?Divorce rates are high, perhaps the pursuit of a healthy marriage is unrelatable or too unrealistic. But I think most people try to have happy marriages even if they can’t have the same occupation as Randa. You’re definitely not prescribing readers a happy marriage formula on a one size fits all assumption. Thank you for not generalizing your content like most bloggers do. Saying some of your role model boss brand women have gone through divorces while juggling their business development is being open about your insights and fears, it’s not saying that you think women can’t have both. It’s not hating on women who do both. It’s saying you are trying what you think will work for you and that you are mindfully prioritizing your family in a way that you were capable of. It’s not saying hey ladies jump on the kitchen front and abandon business goals for a hubby because I think it’s totally the only way and everyone is bad if they don’t especially when it’s so easy financially. I think that’s ugliness and insecurity to absorb what you’ve said in that way, but if someone feels that way I’d hope they would think about how Randa can only control Randa. That works for Randa, and it might not work for you, but that doesn’t mean you’re not amazing or headed for a successful marriage. Randa isn’t demeaning women and her life is every ounce a result of hardwork and commitment.

    Ps I’m sure this comment will be grammatically incorrect and all that but I’m at peace with that y’all.

    • Reply

      randa

      March 28, 2018

      Thank you aoooooooo much Emily!!!!! I am lucky to have a reader like you! 😘😘😘

  4. Reply

    Jessica

    March 27, 2018

    After reading the comments I’m pretty shocked. What happened to people lifting each other up. I don’t view what Randa does as bragging, but confidence. She’s worked extremely hard to get where she’s at. Business wise… in the gym.. in general. If you don’t like what someone’s blogging about, move on. Maybe pick up a Bible and see what grace is about. Keep it up Randa!!

    • Reply

      randa

      March 27, 2018

      Thank you sweet Jessica! I’m not for everybody and not everyone will relate with every aspect of my life because we are all different! I know sometimes my verbiage may not be the best, but I hope my real followers and supporters know I’m pushing confidence and loving yourself and lifting up others. I do believe those things will make this world a better place!

  5. Reply

    So insecure

    March 27, 2018

    Confidence is important… so is self awareness. A dose of it would not hurt.

  6. Reply

    Lindly

    March 27, 2018

    Wow!
    People are really mean! Randa, your crown is sparkling and everyone can see it! Most of us are proud of you for all the elbow grease you have put into shining it but a select few are jealous that they don’t have the same sparkle in their lives. I find it ironic that people chastise you as if it will bother you when you eat, sleep, and breathe girl power and support to all women. Your accomplishments are unparalleled and undeniable so these petty negative comments certainly won’t dull your sparkle.

    • Reply

      randa

      March 27, 2018

      Thanks love! Cyber bullying is super easy when you hide behind a fake email address and don’t state your name. Enjoy your new little slice of heaven you’ve got in your home. Thanks for ALWAYS being a big supporter of me and SJ and a cheerleader to so many others! Good vibes only! xo

  7. Reply

    Jennifer Wiesemeyer

    March 27, 2018

    The first video I ever watched about a green smoothie happened to be yours. I love it and still drink it every day. Who cares if you relate to other people. Do you and the right followers will be there. I happen to be a nurse and have career and currently attending nurse practitioner school. (My career path and journey is always going to be different than others) Cyber bullying, if you don’t like something… be an adult and keep scrolling. I do want to be an entrepreneur and start a home health company! Go girl and keep it up.

    • Reply

      randa

      March 27, 2018

      Thank you for following along! Glad you love the smoothie video and utilize it! I’m not for everybody and obviously not everyone is going to relate to everything, but I’m loving sharing my life with others. Have a great week!

  8. Reply

    Lauren

    March 27, 2018

    Hi love! I just wanted to send a quick note to let you know how much of an inspiration you are! Whenever I am feeling down, or need ideas on a quick confidence boost I come to your page and I either do some shopping or find some new work out ideas. Thanks for posting and being so incredible!

    Lauren Nabers 🙂

  9. Reply

    Deb Stalbaum

    March 27, 2018

    Oh sweet girl, haters gonna hate! You stay the way you are. Nobody will steal that sparkle. Love your & Grants adventures!!

  10. Reply

    Katie

    March 27, 2018

    But do you, nailed it! Couldn’t have said it better.

  11. Reply

    Tracy

    March 29, 2018

    I can’t believe all the hate in the world today. People just can’t say anything nice about anyone! I will say this I think when people say hateful things to you or about you they are jealous and apparently you are saying everything right to make them lash out. Keep up the good work! Sending Love and Prayers from Lubbock, Texas❤️❤️❤️

    • Reply

      randa

      April 10, 2018

      Isn’t it sad? Whatever happened to the Golden Rule!? Thank you for being a sweet and supportive follower!!!

  12. Reply

    Christan

    April 2, 2018

    Randa — I first off want to tell you how amazing it is to see a woman that is very well known throughout B/CS and surrounding areas to put something on the back burner to focus on your marriage. We live in a culture that is all about “ME” and “How can I further my reputation as a woman”. Not one that wants to honor her husband and really take the time to invest in that union. That in of itself is commendable. Love to you sister!

    • Reply

      randa

      April 10, 2018

      Thank you thank you!!! I am proud of the direction I went and will continue to promote marriage over business! Glad my true followers love this kind of content! 😘😘😘

  13. Reply

    Jessie

    April 5, 2018

    Hi Randa,
    Personally, I loved reading your blog about your what, where and why. I totally relate. I have started an online business myself….still progressing. 😉 My husband and I own a restaurant business as well. My message to my followers is about living and creating a Happy, abundant life. Your message really clicked with me. I am still figuring out how to use social media and get my message portrayed and to help others jump on the happy life bandwagon. Having an online clothing store wasn’t my dream in life, but it is working and it is fun. 😊 I am learning and progressing. Thanks for sharing so much. Btw, I grew up in a small town too in Tennessee. 🙂
    Thanks for the inspiration.
    Stay Happy,
    Jessie

    • Reply

      randa

      April 10, 2018

      Thank you so much for the sweet words and for supporting my blog!!! Means the world! I’m not for everyone, but I am for my people! Thanks for being one of them! 😘

  14. Reply

    Chance Okonski

    April 10, 2018

    Love you friend. I’m proud of ALL your triumphs, defeats, successes, and future endeavors. Thank you for always finding the light in every dark situation. Stay positive doll!

    xx
    Chance

    • Reply

      randa

      April 10, 2018

      Far more darkness in this world! May we always find and keep that light burning bright! Take care of you!!!

  15. Reply

    Dancey

    April 10, 2018

    Good gracious… the audacious and grouchy comments; embarrassing for humanity. On to the next one… for real. You’re rocking it. Keep it up, love.

    • Reply

      randa

      April 10, 2018

      Thank you so much for the sweet words and for supporting my blog!!! Means the world! I’m not for everyone, but I am for my people! Thanks for being one of them! Might need to sick ole Dale on them lol 😘

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