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!