Inspirational Wedding Expert Abby Larson Talks 'Style Me Pretty'
Style Me Pretty founder Abby Larson shares her proudest moments, career advice, and even what her own wedding was like.
Who: Abby Larson
Where: Boston, Massachusetts
By Day: Founder and editor of Style Me Pretty, a chic wedding blog for the style-obsessed bride
By Night: Mother of three adorable kids, seeker of all things lovely in life
Can you tell us about how you started Style Me Pretty?
I started Style Me Pretty nearly 10 years ago in a world where inspirational blogs were just beginning to pepper the web.
As someone in the wedding community, I saw that brides were waiting three months for the next seasonal wedding magazine to come out.
Within those coveted magazines, perhaps five weddings were actually shown. I decided to create a space for the hundreds upon thousands of other weddings that weren't being shown in the glossies, but that in terms of style and taste, most certainly should have been.
Proudest moment of your career?
The day I sold the majority share of my business to AOL. As a blogger, it's easy to forget that we aren't just writing about pretty things...we are putting food in our kids' mouths and saving for retirement and weddings and college. Hopefully not in that order.
My husband and I are entrepreneurs at heart and Style Me Pretty has been a vehicle [with] which we could challenge ourselves, grow creatively and technically and really immerse ourselves in an industry that we love.
But we are founders to the core and being able to sell what we built to such an incredible organization, bringing a sense of security to our future at the same time, was such an enormous dream.
How do you stay mindful while juggling motherhood and a media empire?
I don't always stay mindful. I cry regularly. I give myself time-outs. I drink wine in the evenings, I exercise in the mornings. It's a messy and very imperfect dance that some days goes off beautifully and others falls flat on its face. My son has some special needs, my 2 year old is in the throws of the two year old crazies and my 8 year old needs her mom more than ever.
And with a thriving business, I find that there is very little time left in the day for myself or my marriage. So I've had to really give myself priority. Sort of like putting my air mask on first so that I can stay healthy and calm and focused in the rest of my life.
I take little moments throughout the day to make sure I'm at level set. I stop and have a cup of coffee, or go for a walk. I started taking an adult gymnastics class once a week and I get a sitter every Thursday night so that my husband and I can go to a movie. Little moments that have a huge impact on my ability to juggle the juggle.
What’s one personality trait you have that you think helped get you to where you are today?
I'm speedy. I write fast, I think fast, I move fast. I think it allows me the make decisions quickly, to crank out work quickly, to move through ideas quickly. It means that I sometimes spell like a second grader but I truly feel like it has allowed me to succeed in this industry that seems to move at the speed of light.
What's one thing you would have done differently?
Finding an amazing office space. Sounds nutty. But after many years of running a virtual company, I have realized that so much of our passion, our excitement, our frustration and our ideas can't be translated over email. They need to be designed face to face where we can thrive off of each other's creativity and fuel each other's drive.
I have always loved the fact that we were such modern gals that we could easily communicate via email or gchat or hangouts but as the years go by, I do believe that we missed out on a lot creatively and professionally by not being in one space working towards the same goal. Not to mention that my house is an ever revolving set, conference room and stomping ground that would have loved a little vacation from the chaos.
Best piece of advice you have for aspiring entrepreneurs, bloggers, and other creatives?
I used to say that bloggers need to either do it better than or different than anything that is out there right now. If you can't be different, be better...it was basically my motto. But the world is changing. Content used to be king. Maybe it still is. But creating content is so easy, the world is completely saturated. So it's more important than ever to find your voice. To remember that it's YOU - your stories, your perspective, your humor, your passion - that will earn you that ever important following.
And once you nail that, you must remember to change alongside the world. To understand your strengths and your audience and leverage those rather than trying to be everything to everyone.
What was your own wedding like? Tell us about it!
I was a baby –– 25 years old. My husband and I met when I was 22, which means we've been together for 15 years. We got married in Boston –– my husband's hometown –– in an old ballroom that overlooked the entire city. I wore the biggest Vera Wang dress I could get my hands on and covered every last detail in glitter. Just a nod to my Texas roots, I guess. I still look back at my wedding as being one of the best days of my life and even now, a million years later, I wouldn't have changed a thing. Except maybe our massive guest list!