The Courage to Become | Erin Ruoff
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I'm Erin and I came to Austin at almost 6 years ago to get out of the little bubble I was living in. I needed some “weird” in my life and boy, does Austin dish it out. Within five years here I years got hitched, moved to the burbs and had a baby. A quick 5 years! I'm a mom and agency owner by day and a blogger by night. My day normally consists of a Starbucks caramel macchiato, chasing the little chunk around the house, managing to help run an advertising agency and manage a household, followed by some home-cooked food, and then finishing off the day with the Bachelorette, netflix or a movie.
My blog Hi Lovely is a place to share outfits, babies, treats and travels. Focused on photography, fashion and greater well-being of this new mama's life. You'll find me easily seduced by a lovely cup of coffee, a well designed hand bag or a margarita. I might be covered in baby poop one day and diamonds the next. Thus the life of a mom who blogs.
What was one thing you always dreamt of doing, were afraid to do, but did anyway?
I’ve always dreamt of having a boutique or successful fashion blog. I yearned over the gorgeous photos of Blair Eadie and A Beautiful Mess. I would spend my breaks running a boutique (for an awful company) and just longed to have a blog like theirs – so full of life and fun. Thankfully my husband helped me pick a name, bought the domain and I started by taking pictures outside work. Nothing fancy but it felt right!
How did it feel getting started?
It was scary. I lost my job a month or so after I started the blog. I got fired, y’all. And I was scared. Scared of what I was going to tell my parents. Scared of what my husband would say. Being laid off for giving my mom a “friends and family discount.” A discount that was sewn into the company culture. I was devastated. I sat on the ground of our rental and “let go and let God.” I prayed for answers, guidance and strength. That day my husband offered me a piece of the advertising agency he owned and I got off the floor and started blogging.
Tell us about some of the obstacles you faced when you got started blogging?
Lots of obstacles: time management, maintaining a regular posting schedule, taking quality pictures, etc. etc. But the biggest thing was self esteem. I worried so much about what others would think of me posting photos of myself. I’m no model nor to I pretend to be and I didn’t want people to think that’s what I was doing. I really just love playing dress up and putting together outfits. I had to get over that and it took a while. I love who I am and the outfits I put on. I hope that my “friends” see that and those that don’t can unfollow me.
What motivates you to be a life and style blogger?
My blogger friends in the mommy and style business are so motivating. They just show that the industry of fashion is changing from fashion shows and glorious magazine ads to fashion bloggers of all shapes and sizes. They radiate happiness, yet are so real and are able to blog full time. It’s an amazing feeling to get your first big client that sees who you are and wants you to showcase their brand. I know God had plans for me to do something creative and I think this is it.
Which living person do you most admire?
My dad. He’s had hard times and worked his life to the top of the newspaper business only to be laid off due to the demise of the industry. He got back up at 50 and got a great job. Though it might not be his passion, he persevered and didn’t let the age statistics of unemployment get him down. He’s the greatest grandfather to my son. Though we don’t see eye to eye on politics, we still are able to have rational conversations and I love that about him. He also taught me to love sports, writing and photography. It pretty much runs in our blood.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Singing. I’m terrible. And the natural ability to talk on camera. I get this weird girly, high-pitched voice when the red light comes on. I don’t know how to stop….
What is your most marked characteristic?
I’m a very loyal friend. Once you have me in your tribe, I’m a lifer.
What is your motto?
Let go and Let God. And my funny one “Hi Lovely!” (You automatically smile saying it.)
What are some things you are proud to have accomplished?
Being a Social Media Director of a million dollar ad agency, running social media for Austin’s largest parenting resource and getting off my feet when I hit rock bottom to accomplish those two things.
What are some hopes you have for your future?
I’d love to make an honest living from blogging. Although our agency is our main income, it’d be nice to have a second income so we can tuck a little more away and start really contributing to charities around town.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to women who are about to embark on the journey you are on?
“Let go and let God” guide you to your blogging journey. Don’t let self-esteem, nay-sayers or competitors get you down. Trust in Him to see the value in YOU and what YOU are doing. Don’t be afraid to “pitch” a companyeven if you have small numbers. Do spend time growing your audience and engaging with your followers. And don’t EVER let it be chore! Have fun.
Essay by: Erin Ruoff
It seems like BECOMING the woman you were meant to be isn't easy for anyone! Each one of our roads has speed bumps and turns and sometimes outright blocks! But as Erin showed us, it's possible to get up and RISE.
I'm Catia, a woman, wife, mama, sister, sister friend, you know -- I wear a million hats just like you.
One of my biggest whys is that I want people to feel good about ALL of who they are. Including you.
If I could choose ten words that best describe me I would say: honest, welcoming, giving, curious, loving, earnest, empathetic, spiritual, playful, and sassy. Let's add: adventurous. That's 11.
Nice to meet you!
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