2018 was one of the most challenging years in my life, both business-wise and personally. Earlier this month I shared with you my 2019 resolutions and my word of intent, “thrive” – you can read all about it here. I also opened up to you last week about working for myself and my promise to you, my readers and friends, to show you more behind-the-scenes of my life and businesses. It may sound silly, and I know some of you might be resolution skeptics, but now that I have been able to close the chapter to 2018, I am full-heartedly ready to take on the new year.
For the past three years in New York I was in survival mode. Looking for the next paycheck, opportunity and one small step towards something bigger. I was trying to grow two side hustles while trying to maintain multiple part-time industry gigs. At the beginning of 2018 I told myself that I wanted to focus on my businesses, and eventually step away from the part-time jobs. I was burning out from working around the clock, I didn’t feel like I could give anything or anyone 100% and felt like I was failing. I held onto these jobs because they were a consistent paycheck, I really loved the work and the people I worked with, but also my security blanket. I knew I would be making ‘X’ amount of money each month to live off of, and then everything I made from the blog or styling could go back into my businesses and towards my team.
In January 2018 I was incredibly lucky to travel to Hong Kong and attend their fashion week for work. While I was there, I received a full-time offer with a brand I had been working with back in NYC. I was completely torn in half if I should jump back onto the corporate train, but have to potentially stop everything else I was doing, or take a huge risk on losing the client if I turned down the job. I ended up turning down the job, and luckily kept the client.
Fast forward to March when I launched the Fashion Fundamental ebook. About an hour after I launched the ebook I received an email from a publication I was writing for saying that they were officially acquired by a larger publishing house and asked if I was interested in applying for a full-time position with them. Same scenario as the last offer, I would be able to go back into corporate but have to leave the styling jobs I had and most likely push Simply Audree Kate and Audree Kate Studios to the back burner. If I didn’t accept, I would most likely lose my budget to work with them. I felt as if the universe kept throwing me curve ball after curve ball. Was this a sign to have paycheck security or a test to challenge myself and push my career forward. After many tears and anxiety ridden days, I turned down the position. I had promised myself at the beginning of the year to take a chance on myself.
I continued to freelance with both companies for the remainder of 2018 and on the day that I launched The Holiday Edit digital magazine, a third full-time offer rolled in. I kid you not—the universe has funny timing. I received an email from a brand I had been freelancing with and they asked if I was interested in signing a long-term contract with them. I felt like I took another hit to my stomach. Part of me wanted to throw my hands in the air and be like, okay okay, I can take a hint to drop these side hustles and go back to corporate, but another part of me looked past this and thought, wow, all three offers have come to me during a extremely high-point in my year—my first international work trip and the days I launched two personal projects.
I have learned that big risk equals big reward. In order to grow, you have to step outside of your comfort zone and say ‘Yes’ when it feels like the universe is saying ‘No.’
It made me realize that I need to trust my gut and believe in myself. I will admit, I have half-heartedly believed in myself. I was always about 75% sure I could pull something off, skate by and hope for the best when taking a risk. I have never 110% believed in myself and knew I could, and should succeed. I’ve been really good at faking confidence and saying ‘yes’ to opportunities when in the back of mind I am waiting to fail. At the end of the day, I am my biggest fan and my worst critic. I feel like this mentality has slightly held me back the past year of looking for a security blanket or just surviving until the next week, next paycheck or next job.
I have learned that big risk equals big reward. In order to grow, you have to step outside of your comfort zone and say yes when it feels like the universe is saying no. Saying no to three full-time offers in 2018 put this unspeakable fire in me to take 2019 by the horns and move forward. This year I am betting on myself, my businesses to solely support me and my team, and I’m pretty damn excited.
Sure, I’m scared beyond words, I have woken up several days this month already rethinking my decisions, but below I’m going to share with you some exclusive details of what I’ll be working on this year. This way you’ll know what to look out for this year, we can hold each other accountable (mainly so you hold me accountable) and if it’s writing, I mean I can’t take it back, right? 😉
So what’s new in the Simply Audree Kate and Audree Kate Studios world? Keep scrolling to find out!
#1 – First of all, we are officially, an official corporation! SAY WHAT! For the past year I have been operating as Simply Audree Kate LLC, and last week my paperwork came through and we’re officially, Audree Kate Studios Inc. (EEK!) Under the studios umbrella I still have SimplyAudreeKate.com and then my personal title of Audree Kate. Since my website is personal and my focus has primarily been styling, I wanted my team to live under the Studios title. This is a huge step for my companies to have them live together, and will allow me to grow my team this year.
#2 – In my resolution blog post I talked about how I will be focusing on creating more content for both profiles. I will ramping up the styling tips/tricks content, adding more styling videos, showing in-depth looks at my styling career, photoshoots and my team. I will be adding some really exciting menswear styling content this year, and my team is so excited to show you what we have planned! Also, I plan on collaborating with more brands this year to bring you exciting giveaways, community opportunities and introduce you to brands I love wearing and using.
#3 – More Youtube videos! I dove into video content last year and realized how much I love it! I will be producing really exciting styling, vlog, beauty/hair and travel videos for you guys this next year. Make sure you’re subscribed to my YouTube channel HERE!
#4 – We are expanding the Fashion Fundamentals program! Over the past two years I have been traveling the country hosting industry workshops at colleges, I launched the ebook in March 2018, and this year we will be taking things to a new level! I’ll be sharing all the details in a couple weeks after New York Fashion Week!
#5 – THE SUMMER EDIT MAGAZINE! Guys… I wanted to keep this a secret, but I cannot contain my excitement. More details will be coming your way very soon 😉
DRESS (C/O THREE FLOOR) | COAT (VINTAGE) | BOOTS (LULUS) | PURSE (ITALY) | SUNNIES, EARRINGS (C/O LULUS)
PHOTOGRAPHY: ASHLEY GALLERANI