Wow....I truly cannot believe that Gracefully Taylored is turning TWO today!! It seems like just yesterday I began this blogging adventure. I can still remember sitting on the couch with my sweet husband talking about this "dream" of mine. At the time (after about two years of wanting to start the blog) I was using the excuse that I did not have a name. I mean, that is extremely important and I wanted it to be right. But I wont lie, I was still scared of the commitment. It was a new relationship, first date jitters kind of thing. What if we didn't work out? What if it wasn't right? What if we didn't mix well? Then you have to bring the outside world in to it. What if people didn't like it? What if I fail? There were ONE MILLION questions going through my mind honestly. So many in fact that it was truly hard to focus on the potential good. But going back to that night on the couch, talking about the name...that is where it happened.
JL and I were throwing ideas around (or I was and he was sweet enough to listen), and I knew I wanted to use my name with "Taylored." Of course being the golfer he is, he wanted me to use "Taylor Made," but that obviously didn't fly. Anyways, he looked at me and asked me what point I was trying to get across with the name and it was difficult to explain. I wanted to explain that up to that point in my life, I had been shaped, molded and pressed into the woman I am today. In a way I have been tailored; taken in, let out, made to fit into my role as a wife, a friend, a daughter. Sometimes it was beautiful, others not so much. For the most part though, the journey has been beautiful and one that I wouldn't change. After completing my thoughts, my husband looked at me (God love him) and said, "you've been gracefully made in to this woman." And that was it; I've been Gracefully Taylored.
In the spirit of our two year celebration today, I wanted to take a minute to answer some questions I get often. Whether it be friends, family, or direct messages on social media, they are all important to me (so thank you!), but I selected a few that seem to appear the most. Enjoy!
What made you want to start a Fashion + Travel Blog?
This is a funny story. So if you have followed me for a while then you know that I was a collegiate tennis player. If you ask some of my friends from when I was younger, they would probably tell you I was a tomboy and didn't care about fashion (which might have been true at the time). Anyways, I ended up going to college NOT playing tennis. I wanted to be a normal student at an SEC school. I rushed a sorority, I lived in the regular student housing, I ate a lot of Waffle House...you know the drill. About two months in I ended up finding a group to play tennis with because I quickly learned that I missed it. So I started playing again, and joined the varsity team and well...you know the rest. SO...with that being said I found my identity in tennis. That was who I was, what I knew my entire life. Through out the years, I developed more of an interest in fashion because I wanted to look cute off the court. I wanted to be normal I guess so it was something that was "on the side" for me. Well, then I graduated and was no longer a tennis player. Talk about an identity crisis. I really didn't know who I was, or what I wanted in life, so I began working in athletics...again, what I knew. When we moved to Baton Rouge though, and I had no job, I realized that I really LOVED fashion. I enjoyed putting outfits together and helping people pick out their clothes for the day. Accessorizing was fun and seeing it all come to life through images was exciting! And that was it. I continued to dabble in it and fell even more in love with the blogging process and eventually...Gracefully Taylored happened.
Where did the name come from?
See above for the full story, but basically Jon Luke and I hashed it out on the couch!
Why travel? And what is your favorite place you have visited?
I just like to be on the go. Seeing and experiencing new cultures is thrilling to me! If I could do one thing differently in college, I probably would have studied abroad multiple times (I went once to Italy) so that I could have experienced more. When Jon Luke and I started dating, I was clear that travel was the top of my list. Yes I want a family and yes we will have a baby one day, but for now I want to grow as a person. I want to see the world and all it has to offer so that when my son or daughter wants to hear a bedtime story, I can share one of my own.
As far as my favorite places...this is hard. As I said previously, I studied abroad in Italy the summer before my senior year of college. That was my third time in Italy and I am IN LOVE with it. I minored in Italian so that I could learn more about the language and culture, and pretty much love everything about it. Florence in particular is a favorite spot of mine so Italy is definitely up there. Last year though, Jon Luke and I went to Greece and I am amazed by Santorini. It was stunning and I felt like I was on a movie set the entire time, so that little island took a piece of my heart as well.
What is your favorite item in your closet?
Oh my. Well...I LOVE handbags. I feel like I can put a statement handbag with a tee shirt and it looks good. Last year, I purchased my first Chanel bag and I am pretty smitten by it. It is classic and I can wear it with anything (which I love because it was an investment), so I guess that. BUT a love a good pair of denim also!
What was the most difficult thing about starting the blog? Any advice for new bloggers?
First, I still consider myself a "new blogger" as I am learning things all the time. You can ask my girl Candace (see her blog here), I was like a lost puppy. I think that was the hardest thing for me that I didn't have someone here, easily accessible to talk to. I mean, yes Candace was only a phone call away, but there is still something about physically being with people who know what your doing/going through. Now, as I have been doing this for a couple of years, I have made friends in the area and it is SO nice to just go to lunch and talk about life, blog stuff and whatever else I need. SO that is my best piece of advice. Find a circle. Do not be afraid to reach out to people for help. Whether they are in your city, or a phone call away, have a group that you know you can count on!
I cannot express how thankful I am for the love and support I have received over the past two years. It is so encouraging to know that people enjoy the blog and I am going to do my best to keep bringing you content that you love. I am so excited to see what the future holds for Gracefully Taylored and cannot wait to continue this journey!!
Photos by Darian Kayce Photography