Why Raleigh?

in my mind i'm goin' to carolina :)
via Pen Meet Paper

It’s my first full week of being a resident in Raleigh, North Carolina! I wanted to share a little bit behind why I decided to move to Raleigh, in case you’re interested in that story. I shared a plethora of details of my journey to working full-time with Stephanie Scholl Events (Part One and Part Two).

I lived in Washington, DC for six years, ever since graduating from UNC Chapel Hill in 2009. I truly loved living there, and it’s somewhat of a bittersweet good-bye. But I have known for a while now (well over a year) that I was starting to be ready to move away from DC. There are countless incredible things about living in that city, and I am utterly thankful for the six years I spent there. I made so, so many lifelong friends, grew so much as an individual, challenged myself in so many ways, had two great jobs (that I was very much ready to leave by the end of my time at them, though!), met so many lovely people, went on dozens and dozens of adventures, traveled nonstop…

But it was also time! DC is a very transient city, and very few people move there and intend to actually live there permanently. There’s definitely a feeling of instability as to the amount of time you live there, and many, may of my friends have moved away. It’s been pretty cool, though, to see new friends enter my life when other friends move away. I love looking back at my birthday celebration each year & seeing who is in attendance. It changes hugely each and every year – not because friendships have ended, but simply because friends have moved away. I still keep up with every one of those dear friends, but I’d say 15 of my closest friends throughout the years had moved away. Anyway, I never really moved to DC in 2009 thinking that I would live there permanently. I don’t think I really thought I’d live there six years, but that’s perfectly fine.

The two biggest reasons (really, the only big reasons!) that I wanted to move away from DC were simply the cost of living and the traffic. Oh my, those two factors were pretty awful parts of DC. I always said the only parts of DC I didn’t like were the cost of living and the traffic, and it’s completely true. I have very much been wanting my own apartment, especially since I’m working from home now, and I definitely cannot afford a $2000 – $2500 one-bedroom apartment. And the metro cost me at least $300 every month for those six years. That adds up! And traffic… oh traffic. Insanely awful – always! I don’t know how many hours I wasted sitting in traffic (countless), and it’s one of those things that only gets worse in DC. If I ever drove to work from my home to the heart of the city (six miles), it would take at least 1.5 hours. Each way.

Anyway! I knew I wanted to move away, and I landed on Raleigh as the best fit for this next step in my life! I debated Charleston (it’s definitely my favorite city in the US), but I don’t know anyone there at all. I wanted to be closer to my parents who are in Charlotte (while, ironically, moving further from my sister + brother-in-law who just moved back to NYC) and I wanted to get back to my Southern roots. I went to college in Chapel Hill (go Heels!), and I have friends in the area. I also have attended something like twenty weddings in the Triangle (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill), and I’ve been able to either maintain relationships with a lot of wedding vendors or connect with dozens more via social media. The Triangle, at least to me, is a huge hub of the wedding industry, and so much happens in these cities. Southern Weddings, a company I’ve loved for years and years, is also in the area, so there is a plethora of local talent and activity. All of these factors led to my decision to make Raleigh my new home! And North Carolina is very much home.

And I’m so excited to be here!! I cannot wait to dive in: working with amazing brides, designing styled shoots, connecting with incredible vendors, collaborating on projects, serving in as many ways as I can, networking and getting to know others, exploring the area, and spreading as much beauty, joy, & love as I can.

If you’re local, I would LOVE to get to know you! Please do reach out to say hi!!

Read more of my story:

On the road to full-time, part one

On the road to full-time, part two

The Everygirl

#TuesdaysTogether

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Last Tuesday night was a pretty amazing evening, to say the least! It was my first #TuesdaysTogether, an incredibly inspiring, educational, community-building movement and gathering.

The founders of The Rising Tide Society can sum up what, exactly, Tuesdays Together are better than I can:

“It is our hope to cultivate a society of creative entrepreneurs who believe in community over competition and have a desire to lead with love. From this dream, #TuesdaysTogether was born. A meetup on the second Tuesday of every month where creatives + entrepreneurs gather together for coffee and conversation. An open space for idea sharing and goal building. Separated by distance, but beautifully united by a hashtag and a shared desire for community… Tuesdays Together meet-ups are gatherings for small business owners who have a desire to share their knowledge, learn from their peers, and grow together. The meetings, coordinated by local industry leaders, are designed to be approachable, authentic, and uplifting. Each month, we’ll be releasing an overarching topic to kickstart the conversation and allowing the gathering to flow from there!”

I joined up with the Bethesda group (just outside of DC), and it was a pretty spontaneous decision to attend! I had been following along with the DC group, but they were meeting out in the suburbs of Northern Virginia during the work day, so I knew I wouldn’t be able to attend. I happened upon the Bethesda group details that Tuesday afternoon (when my new friend Alyssa of Lovely & Bubbly Events RSVP’ed to the event on Facebook), and made the instant decision that I’d rearrange my Tuesday evening plans to be able to make it. And it was SO worth it!

The lovely Jamie of Marigold & Grey, an artisan welcome & gift basket boutique, hosted about twenty-five or thirty local creatives in her home. It was so gracious and inviting of her to have us over, especially with such a large group. I rarely am in Maryland, even though it’s really not too far from me, and it was fun venturing to a new part of town and meeting so many wonderful creative entrepreneurs! Everyone was truly so friendly, talkative, and full of energy and excitement. There were fellow wedding planners & designers, photographers, bloggers, calligraphers, florists, jewelry designers, and more in attendance. After some great mixing and mingling, we got down to business and had a great discussion on best Tools of the Trade, this month’s topic. It was such a great discussion, and I loved how candid, open, encouraging, and helpful everyone was! I think the entire point of The Rising Tide Society truly shone during our Tuesdays Together — that it really is about building community and not competition. That “a rising tide lifts all boats.”

You can read many more details (including what we chatted about and learned from each other!) on Jamie’s Marigold & Grey blog. She even sent us home with an adorable make-your-own trail mix bar! I’m already looking forward to July’s meetup, and it’s been so fun connecting with so many creatives I met last week. And please let me know if you’re interested in joining us, or if you want to find a gathering in your area!

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