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MCO Turns 5! | Day 2 Giveaway | How It Started…

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Catch up on day 1 if you’re new here and wondering what this is all about. If you’re returning, welcome back to my 5 days of giveaways to celebrate my 5 years of running this website!

I am and yet I’m not surprised that I have an online business. I’ve always been a creative person and the truth is, I always had a hard time working for someone else. But the fact that I could turn blogging and creative passion into a legit job? Now that I’m a little bit surprised by! But my path to get here wasn’t always filled with passion…

How It Started – A Little (okay, a lot of) Background

I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. When I was 19, I quit my job at a grocery store cutting fruit and bagging groceries (real glamorous) to pursue my photography business. I was very lucky to have Titus’ support because looking back now, wow, that’s quite a risk to quit a job with a “steady” income to be a starving artist when you are newly married and pretty much already broke haha.

It’s worth mentioning that during this time I already had a blog (Spoonful of Sparkles) but it was just for fun and I didn’t think about making a business out of it at this time. My photography business was gaining momentum but still very new. I threw everything I had into this, but to be honest, I was doubting my choices a little bit.

I loved photography and the act of taking pictures, but I wasn’t sure I wanted it to be my business. I did not really enjoy working with clients and having such a service-based job. I was questioning my job future when Titus and I started to talk about leaving our apartment and buying a house. This led me to get the first job that popped up, a job in the childcare industry. I’ve had a lot of good experiences working with kids and I wanted a paycheck to buy a home, but it really wasn’t a passion of mine.

After working, saving, buying a fixer-upper, and funding home projects, I started to look for a different job. Working with kids was not what I wanted to do long-term and like most people, I struggled to figure out what I wanted to do.

I was getting my degree in marketing throughout this time so I figured it was only logical to look for a marketing job which led to me being a “marketing” assistant for The Guy In The Basement.

The Guy In The Basement (TGITB) is how Titus and I describe this odd job experience haha. I worked for, you guessed it, a small business owner in his basement and it was weird and awkward. What was supposed to be a marketing assistant role turned into a personal assistant role and then I’d go to work and the job position would change into call center then saleswoman then event planner. TGITB didn’t know what he wanted and every day the job kept changing into something I never signed on to do. TGITB liked to dangle job security as an incentive and this was causing me an extreme amount of stress and it was best for everyone to part ways.

However strange this experience was, I am very thankful for it as this was the turning point in my work life. Not only that, but it taught me a lot about being a good boss and business owner, even if I didn’t realize it all then. I believe God had this job for me to help me get where I am, but it wasn’t the end goal.

But as you could guess, I felt frustrated with my work experiences up to this point. The job with TGITB was the last straw, so to speak. Once I quit that job I knew I had to make something for myself work. Not because we “needed” it or Titus was forcing me to get a job, but I knew I was meant to be a creative entrepreneur and I love working. It’s one of those things that I feel deep in my soul. I can’t not create. This led me to blogging.

Why Blogging?

Blogging seemed like the perfect thing for me. I already had a hobby blog so I already knew that I liked doing it and it was something I could keep up with. It combined all of the things I loved to do (writing, photography, styling), my love for fashion, and putting together outfits.

And a big pro is that it can be passive income and you don’t have to work with clients (like photography). I could do it on my own time and work around (future) kids. When researching this new endeavor, I read about a blogger that was actually making money from this, and I thought, that could be me. Once I decide to do something I am all in. So I brainstormed a more grownup website name (time to ditch Spoonful of Sparkles haha) and googled my way through how to set up a real blog.

I took my laptop to bed and worked on it all night. By the morning, My Chic Obsession was born.

Though I was excited about eventually being able to make money doing something I loved, money wasn’t the most important thing on my mind. I had a specific vision and mission that I wanted for my online space. Something I felt called to talk about. Below is my very first blog post on my hobby blog 6 years ago.

“Yesterday I did the unthinkable. I went where no man has been before.

I cleaned out my closet.

A couple days ago I was feeling the terrible illness of “I have nothing to wear.” I bet no one has ever felt that before. I would look in my closet stuffed to the brim of items I have never really worn or didn’t even like. I was tired of not knowing what I had, and not being able to see what I actually liked. So I did what causes many girls anxiety and took them out.

This actually helped me learn about my personal style though. All the items I took out were weird patterns, prints, and textures. What remains are basics in my opinion.

I think my love for Paris is so strong that it spilled over into the way I dress. Parisian women dress very simple and minimalistic. They usually wear neutral colors and layer, and accessorize by scarves and accessories.

As I was looking into my bare boned closet I decided I wanted to embrace every article of clothing left and have style. Not just awareness of fashion trends and having a closet full of kimonos and crop tops, but a true style where you mix and match pieces and look like you actually know what you’re doing. I started off in Polyvore, making outfits of what was already in my closet when an idea suddenly popped in my head. Having a blog where all of my outfits would be accessible at the click of a button would be so awesome. Not only that, but a blog would improve my writing skills for school, entertain me because I enjoy it, be a good way to document my fashion and one day family, help if I ever wanted to get a job in fashion and writing, and just be FUN!

So.

This blog is NOT a high end luxury page that tells you what the latest runway fashions are and what Chanel purse to go with your $3,000 shoes. It is NOT a page from someone that travels all around the world and brings you the latest fashions from Tahiti and Japan. Unless by traveling you mean from my couch to the kitchen.

This blog IS a page that will show you how to wear and maximize what you already have in your closet or by adding a couple new basic pieces. It will show you how to mix and match a style that looks like you work as a fashion editor at a magazine. It will show you new ideas to reinvent pieces you already own and by adding just a spoonful of sparkles.

And this, ladies and ladies, is how a blog was born.”

6 years ago I felt extremely passionate about bringing easy-to-copy outfits and do-able style tips to women. I felt passionate about helping you put together outfits with clothes you already had, instead of constantly showcasing the latest shopping haul. Even if I didn’t voice it all then, I wanted women to have an online space that was helpful and inspiring. I’m proud to say that 6 years later that passion and mission remain the same.

Slowly but surely, the views, comments, and emails trickled in. Women were telling me that I was helping them have confidence, save money, become better stewards, style their outfits better, and look at their clothes differently. I felt like God had me right where He wanted me to be.

Of course, this didn’t mean things were all sunshine and roses. But that’s a story for tomorrow…

Now it’s time to talk about today’s prize!

Tuesday’s Prize: Elegant Coffee Cup, Vintage French Inspired Notebook, French Preserves (Made in France)

*I used my own cup to photograph these pictures

Okay, maybe you skimmed to find this headline or maybe you read all the way through. If you read all the way through, kudos to you!

As you know, I’m passionate about simplicity, in both fashion and life. And though I can’t exactly give you a simple life or a quiet moment, I can set you up for one with this Simple and French-Inspired Lifestyle Kit.

Make yourself a nice cup of coffee, espresso, tea, or hot water with lemon. Toast some bread or break out your secret stash of croissants. With your notebook tucked under your arm, find a quiet spot at your home, whether it’s your favorite comfy chair or your bistro set in your backyard. Sit. Slow down. Sip your drink. Slather the jam on your croissant.

Think about what you’re thankful for and write it down. Handwrite a letter to your friend. Let all your frustration out on paper. However you decide to have a simple moment, just enjoy it.

How To Enter*

To enter to win today’s prize, comment on this blog post with your answer to the question below + follow me on Instagram.**

Question: What are your biggest wardrobe struggles?

Happy commenting and good luck!

I’ll see you in tomorrow’s blog post for day 3! I’ll announce the prize for that day as well as share the highs and lows of this blogging journey. And oh my, there have been many!

Au revoir!

*Winner will be selected at random, picked from the best quality answers, and chosen by the end of the week. The winner will be notified by 9/13 via the email commented with. If the winner is unable to provide a shipping address by 9/17 then another winner will be chosen.

**Selected winner will be asked to send screenshots to verify

Carolyn Arentson
Carolyn is the founder and creator behind My Chic Obsession. When she's not dreaming up new content, you can find her watching a funny tv show with her husband, raising her two boys, or planning her next trip to Paris.