It's a 204 Park Party
Well you guys this little blog of mine turned 3 last week and although I'm a few days late, today - I'm celebrating! 3 years ago myself, Sarah and Kali sat down and typed this blog post. Who knew 3 years later, how far this little blog would come and how much would change!
Now I know some of you are probably wondering - who are Sarah and Kali? lol If you're an original 204 Park reader, you'll remember the two other founding ladies but if not - you probably don't know that 204 Park started as a trio.
Sarah, Kali and I met at the U of A taking the residential interiors program. The 3 of us became fast friends and just a few weeks back, we actually celebrated our 8 year "friendiverssary" - because that's totally a legit thing and let's be honest, what group of girls doesn't want another excuse to get together and have a little vino?! After babies, career changes and some re-shifting of priorities, 204 Park changed from a trio to a one woman show as I decided to take on 204 Park solo and have been doing so for the last year and a half.
In that past year and a half so much has changed! After a bit of a hiatus, I began taking on design clients again, I gained more freelance writing work and now I find myself as a Community Manager, all as a result of the hard work I've put into this blog.
I've learned a lot of lessons in the 3 years of 204 Park but today, I thought I'd share my top 3 starting with...
1. Community Over Competition, Because You Can't Do It Alone
Ooh you guys, this one is HUGE! I would be nowhere, I repeat nowhere with 204 Park if it weren't for the incredible community of love and support and people who push me to be better and to take care of myself. I was lucky to start this blog with a built in support network with Kali and Sarah and thankfully, I was able to grow my community so that when I took on 204 Park on my own, I had so many amazing people ready to support me on my solo venture. You can see some of the people I'm lucky to call my Tribe in this post and I'm so lucky to have them in my life. I'm also so grateful to have such a supportive family. My younger brother is always keeping me in the loop of what "the cool kids" are up to these days and gives me tips and advice that I so appreciate, as well as helps me out with taking photos when James can't. My dad who didn't quite get the blog at first, is now a huge help when it comes to photography advice and lending a helping hand and when James was in England last summer for a few months he even took a few blog photos for me! My mom is always sending me pins and articles and inspiration for the blog. She's constantly a support and encouragement and offers to help in any way she can (even if I'm too stubborn to accept haha). And lastly, I couldn't do any of this without James. Without getting too sappy here folks, James is without a doubt the biggest help and the man who is truly behind the scenes of 204 Park. He helps in more ways than I could even go on to say and I'll spare the sappy love note here but he truly keeps me sane, keeps me organized and keeps this blog running. When you're building a business or a blog or a brand, find your community and keep them close. There's enough room for everyone so drop the competition and work together and I promise the results will be magic!
2. Sometimes, You've Gotta Work Your Ass Off
Growing a business, running a blog and starting from the bottom is a LOT of work. And truthfully, it's exhausting. Balance is important and I'm thankful that I'm getting better at making time for myself and recognizing when I need to step back and press pause. That being said, if you want to grow, you need to hustle. There will be late nights. There will be sacrifices. There will be tears. But, it will be worth it. My aunt sometimes says that once you're on the right path, the universe will test you. You need to work hard for what you want but if you put in the time and are doing what you love it WILL come together for you, just give it time. It's taken my 3 years to get to where I am and it certainly hasn't been easy but I wouldn't change a thing.
3. Comparison Is The Thief Of Joy
I know this is cliche but you guys this is so true! Especially being that my work is mostly internet based it's so hard not to compare yourself to others. There will always be someone prettier, skinnier, wealthier, more successful with nicer things and more followers. The internet is also a shady place. Don't be fooled - anyone can buy followers and likes and I'll tell you that might pay off short term but it will come to light in the long run. Focussing on creating high quality content, growing your community and doing what makes you happy should be where you spend your energy. When I started it was hard not to be jealous of why this person has more followers or this person won the campaign that I applied for but I can tell you in all honesty that once you let that go you will be so much happier! Plus I truly believe that letting go of that negative energy allows for the positive to come to you. Focus on you. Do what you love. Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle. I could go on with the cliches forever but they are true. Put your head down, get your grind on and don't let jealousy get the best of you. Ain't nobody got time for that!
When it all comes down to it, these are simple tips in theory that become a bit more difficult in practice but I promise you, it's taken me three years to figure these out and they're so true.
I want to share a huge thanks to Brianne Gabrielle Cakes for graciously donating their beautiful cake and delicious gems for my celebration! If you want to make your own tassels like mine, I've shared two ways to make them on the blog. One with wire, one without so check out those tutorials. I'll be sharing how to decorate your own cake with flowers next week so come back for that and if you love my bar cart as much as I do- you can check that out here!
I so appreciate every one of you who stops by to read the blog, leaves a comment on IG or tweets or messages me on facebook. I'm so lucky to have an outlet where I can share happy and positive things that bring me joy and I hope, do the same for you.
So let's end this post on a thank you. Thank you for reading, following, liking, tweeting, sharing and just being here along for the ride with 204 Park - whether you've been following along for 3 years or today is your first visit, I so appreciate you more than you can ever know!
Here's to the next 3 years! ;) XO