Thursday, May 25, 2017

I’ve Launched My Own Company! Introducing Pinckney Palm…

That’s right, the secret is out! Officially announcing this here is so exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time!

I’ve officially launched my own company: Pinckney Palm, Social Media Strategy

Go follow us on Instagram and Facebook! Coming soon - our website!

For some of you, this may not be new news as I've been teeing it up on my personal Instagram and sharing lots of fun on the Pinckney Palm Instagram too. Yet the most recent update is that I'm going "all-in" on my little business vs. previously I was still working with the Fortune 200 company I've been with the past four years. 

PHEW! Wow. Seriously, this is scary and surreal and EXCITING! 
Something had to give between still working with my last company, launching and running this new company and being a Mama and Wife to my 2 year old and hubby. While it was hard and a risky move, saying a very, VERY bittersweet goodbye to my previous company is the decision our family made (see ya security blanket πŸ˜³). 

So that's it, I’ve really done it y’all. Now I’m excited to share more, and yes, this post is in fact a little longer. But hey, launching your own company seems like a BFD to me J.

On this little blog I actually don’t talk a lot about my full-time job, since in fact, Attention to Darling is my creative outlet. So how did I get to the point of launching my own social media company?

Well, since taking a PR class focused on social media (namely, Twitter and blogging) back in 2008 at Clemson, I knew this was the field for me. After starting, producing content for and running Facebook and other social media pages for clients on the advertising agency side, I moved to a financial Fortune 200 company (What’s in Your Wallet? ;)) where I worked in the Agency Relations and Social Media Departments.

Even better, upon moving from DC to Charleston, this amazing company (which I can’t even begin to say enough wonderful things about!) allowed me to keep working remotely until I found my next career move. 
Well, if you live in Charleston, you know that it’s a very local and loyal small business town. Whenever I would mention that I work in social media and that I blog, I would usually get a lot of questions about social media and asking if I could help their small business with social. 

It became glaringly apparent that there was a gap in the market in Charleston and surrounding areas (hey there, St. Simons!). There was no one in the middle of a recent college grad or a blogger doing this on the side and a larger, pricey agency who doesn't even focus on social media as their core offering.

My wheels started to turn and after MUCH consideration and debate, I made the decision to make the leap from my awesome remote career where I had a steady and solid income and benefits to the huge gamble of creating my own company. 

Oh my gosh y’all, the conversations had between me and Ryan and family – if walls (and cars) could talk! Unanimously though, everyone was 100% on board and knew it would be a great move (even if I questioned it more than I’d like to admit).
Then when I told my previous company of my decision, they proposed continuing to work together! So amazing! That was almost three months ago and now here we are. I've been able to grow the Pinckney Palm side of things enough that I'm now at a crossroads where, as I mentioned, something had to give. So 100% Pinckney Palm it is y'all!

If you're wondering what I'm actually doing through Pinckney Palm, it's all things social media. We do robust social strategies, high level consulting, content creation (copy, graphics, images), paid campaign management (think: Facebook Ads), scheduling of content and analytics. 

Essentially, we help businesses who don’t understand or have time to do social media (but know it’s incredibly important) do it all strategically and without stress! They've got a lot more than their next Instagram post to focus on!

So that’s it y'all, I did it! Stay tuned for our website launch (and company launch party here in Charleston). Until then, go check out some of my wonderful, wonderful clients - PillowGrace, Dudley VanDyke and Room422

I’ll tell y’all – and here’s where I get sappy – God sure has a plan and a reason for everything. He is oh SO. GOOD! I feel blessed beyond measure. You know that scene (for any of you Mamas out there) where the ocean picks up a swimming Moana and just propels her to where she needs to go? Well, yeah, that’s what I feel like has happened with me and my life lately. He’s just picked me up and propelled me to where He wants me to go. And I’m oh so very, very, very grateful.

If you’re still with me, THANK YOU. Thank you for reading this blog, thank you for following along and supporting me. Your words, reads, clicks, follows, comments, emojis and love mean the world!

Stop by my office (so cool, I have my own office πŸŽ‰) if you’re ever in Mount Pleasant and we’ll cheers over a class of rosΓ©! And don't forget to follow along with Pinckney Palm!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Our 5th Anniversary Photos in Paris!

This Sunday I will been have officially been married to my Mister for six wonderful years y'all! No better time to (finally) share the photos we had taken while we were in Paris for our five year anniversary in September. 
As is probably true for many girls, going to Paris has always been a bucket list dream. So when we decided to go there after the Amalfi Coast, I was ecstatic. Getting pictures with the Eiffel Tower seemed like a no brainer, especially to celebrate five years of happiness with my man. 
I couldn't be happier with the photos from Kiss Me In Paris, Gloria was insanely good! She would kindly yell (yes, she really was kind in her yelling haha) at people to get out of our shot to ensure we got the best photos. Couldn't recommend them enough, I mean, just look at their Instagram!
We shot at the Trocadero with the Tower behind us and in a nearby garden. It was a perfect place for photos! 
Now, this wouldn't be an anniversary post if I didn't say a little something about marriage and love for my main man. I'm not fudging when I say Ry and I really have had a fairy tale life together. It was love at first sight, engaged 9 months later and married a little over a year after that. We've lived in seven different homes, three different cities and bought three houses in this short time. We have our sweet two(!) year old Sully girl and two sweet pups. And now we live back home in South Carolina in our dream city of Charleston! 
Marriage has been the greatest gift and while it is a ton of work, I am so incredibly blessed that I get to do life with this man. He treats me like a princess and is THE best father. He works hard and is the smartest person I know. My love can't be put into words for this man, just writing this it feels like my heart is going to explode!
Cheers to doing life with you Ryan Alexander! I love you more than you could ever know.  

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Creating a Book Small Group: Lara Casey's "Cultivate"

I know that a lot of you friends are also Cultivate What Matters // Lara Casey // Southern Weddings fans out there and have been following along on Lara's journey in writing her new book Cultivate. When I preordered my copy and dug in further to the preorder bonuses which feature a Cultivate Leader Guide, I was really struck by the idea to lead a small group to read, discuss and ultimately work together to cultivate a life that matters. 
Right now I'm loving this season of life and definitely in no rut that's leading me to do this. Rather, what's driving me is actually that I've gotten a taste of the good stuff y'all - I've seen what happens when I dedicate time to what matters (more coming soon on this!) and I want to keep it up. I don't want to lose it. And I want to make sure I have time to thank God for this and pray for others in the same season, or looking to get there. Plus, we all have moments of doubt that we needs words and prayer to lean back on. That perfect formula lead me to Lara's new book and study of it with others.

So for those of you in Charleston, let me know if you're interested in joining together! Those who aren't in Charleston, I hope you start your own group and share your progress and tips with our group :). 
To familiarize yourself more with the book, you can see Lara's Cultivate video here. Of course, Amazon provides the direct book description which caught me when it started with...  

"Women often feel like they have to have it all together in order to live a meaningful life. Instead they feel inadequate, overwhelmed, and exhausted as they to figure out how to do it all."  

Can I get an Amen! πŸ™ŒπŸΌ

It then goes on to describe the actual content of the book: 

"Written as part encouragement anthem and part practical guide, Cultivate offers wisdom from God’s Word alongside lessons Lara has learned in her garden. Woven throughout is her personal story that helps release readers from the pressure to achieve and gives them freedom to move from planning to planting a meaningful legacy."

As you can see, it's going to be more intense than your average book club or Bachelor viewing party πŸ˜‰ because I think to be successful it really needs to be a group of committed women willing to actually read, discuss and open up to each other. 
I'm thinking I'll do a meet up every other week starting the week of July 10th so that everyone has time to get the book and dig in when it releases in late June. There are 10 chapters, so if done every other week it will run from the week of July 10th to November 13th, ending right before Thanksgiving. 

Our meetings will be full of good snacks and drinks (yes way rosΓ©)! Yoga pants and cozy blankets encouraged! We'll use the Cultivate Together Guide in the back of the book which has 10 questions per chapter to help our discussions. Then at the end, we'll use the summary and prayer in the Leadership Guide to finish out our time together. 
I've been looking for a way to connect deeper with a group of women here in Charleston and my hope is this is that chance and is so nourishing for all of us! 

Go here to see your preorder options and get the preorder bonuses that I mentioned above! 

Who will be joining in?! Can't wait to dig in!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Sully's Moana 2nd Birthday Party

Not even going to lie y'all, Sully's 2nd birthday sure did sneak up on me. Maybe that's why I had a harder time with this birthday than her 1st (see that post here). I felt like I did a lot of prepping for her 1st birthday party (theme Babies Who Brunch πŸ˜‰) and we always were documenting and celebrating milestones every month throughout that year. 

This year, I decided to throw a little party together at our house that was Moana themed. Not to mention, this theme lent itself to easy and fun luau decor. Sully is in love with "Mooonnaaa" and "Pua Pua Oink Oink" (the cute pig in the movie) so it was a great fit. See how excited she was when she saw all the decorations after her nap?!

I of course turned to Pinterest for inspiration and knew that I wanted to do a really fun cake for her and even more fun balloons - her two favorite things. From there, the rest was just luau decorations which I ordered from Oriental Trading, a fun print out from Etsy of Pua (+ invitations that I #momfailed and never sent) and Ryan in charge of some heavy apps since the party was at 3pm. Huge props to my Mom for the awesome photos!
You might recognize this lady from her blog The Southern Sophisticate (see, blogger friendships are the best!)

Just when I was looking for good balloon solutions and ideas, Cannonborough Collective owned by my friends Liz at Charleston Weekender and Mimi at The Tiny Tassel announced it was opening it's doors soon and would have all the cute balloon solutions a gal could ever want. They were sweet enough to do Sully's party before officially opening, but you can now go see them at their cute shop downtown!
As for the cake, after looking at multiple bakeries around Charleston, I read great reviews about Ashley Bakery and was especially drawn to the fact that everyone said their cakes were as yummy as they were pretty. The banana chocolate chip cake that was decorated like the ocean and included Moana figurines I put on there turned out SO cute and it was indeed delicious! 
I did fun dining table decor, including the awesome palm and pink balloon runner from Cannonborough Collective. I may just be keeping these straw and palm leaf place setting out all summer long. 
Speaking of balloons, how fun are these large gold ALOHA letter balloons that fit perfect across our uppers in the kitchen?! The perfect hello and goodbye :).  
On our island, we did food with more of the same decor. We served Polynesian meatballs (fun fact - Moana is actually Polynesian, not Hawaiian), cowboy caviar and chips, chicken salad mini croissants, fruit on hibiscus screwers and black/white cookies. 
We had a small bar area where Ryan mixed up his famous pain killers for the adults (we had non-alcoholic drinks in coolers & put water in Sully's cup). I put out little pineapple cups with flamingo straws too!
The backyard was super simple with some garland because it was so ding dang hot and humid! We did everything inside pretty much because of this (and because the her big birthday present, her play set, didn't get set up in time).
I did a little bit more in the front to welcome everyone, like flamingos, a bamboo sign and some tropical garland. Don't mind our dingy front porch, it's about to get a big makeover. 
The best part though was having all our family under one roof!
Overall, Sully had a blast and loved hugging on all her people! She even went around and collected everyone's leis and wore them all at the same time like baby Moana does in the movie. Heart. Melts.
Happy 2nd Birthday Sullivan Louise!!!
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