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

August 2015 Goals

dahlias

Well. July was an incredible month FILLED with some huge announcements + changes! I don’t even know where to begin, but let’s just say I am thankful!! I wrapped up a two week vacation at the beginning of July, came back from vacation and resigned from my non-profit job, finished up my last days at that job I’ve been at for three years, took Stephanie Scholl Events full-time!announced my move to Raleigh, NCspent four days in Charlottesville doing a huge SSE wedding, found a new apartment & signed a lease, went kayaking and also went tubing with friends, and had an epic surprise going-away party thrown by my best friends! WHEW!!

I had known for a while that July would be a big month, and it certainly lived up to that. It’s hard to believe the month has come and gone now, and what an exciting, amazing, roller coaster of a month it has been! I’m currently in Charleston for a week for The School of Styling + a few days playing tourist with friends, and then I’ll head back to DC to finish packing up my house. I’m moving to Raleigh in just over a week & have a to-do list a mile long! I haven’t moved in six years, so it’s going to be quite the under-taking. I cannot wait to get the show on the road, and settle into a new chapter. (But… don’t get me started on how much I’m going to miss DC and my friends!!)

And on to my goals for August! I’ve decided to make both business and personal goals, and I’m excited to begin doing so…

PERSONAL

1. Move to Raleigh, North Carolina!

2. Try not to cry too much when saying good bye to DC friends, and enjoy the last couple days in this incredible city I’ve called home for six years

3. Really and truly get back into a routine with exercise (tennis, running, and biking)

4. And cooking meals again

5. Find time to read at least four books – and get a new library card

6. Enjoy the process of decorating my new home without rushing into purchases or thinking it all has to be complete right away

7. Start looking for a new church home (any local recommendations?!)

8. Dig into the new Write the Word journal from the Lara Casey Shop

9. Start meeting new friends! I also want to join/start a supper club and a book club!

BUSINESS

1. Assist at The School of Styling in Charleston and serve the attendees well

2. Pull off a fabulous wedding in Charlottesville later this month (I’m doing the full floral design, too!)

3. Officially make Stephanie Scholl Events an LLC

4. Connect, connect, connect!

5. Explore 17 Hats and decide if it’s the right fit for streamlining my business (any insight or recommendations, friends?)

6. Finish planning out a styled shoot for September & get rolling on a few new ones, too

7. Set up a functional, intentional, inspiring home office (finally! and with a desk!)

8. Set a schedule (and stick to it) for working from home/productivity/work-life balance

9. Bring 2016 brides on board with Stephanie Scholl Events!

10. Decide on client gifts and refine the SSE client experience

I think those are plenty of goals to begin with, and I’m looking forward to seeing what this month brings! I would love to cheer you on, too – link up to your goals, if you’d like!! And… what’s the one thing you’re most excited for in August?