Sep 6, 2012

Pursue. {part 4}

I am so excited this week to introduce you to my friend, Alissa. We actually met almost 6 years ago when I was teaching middle school and very pregnant. She was the one who took over my position. Because of this meeting, we became friends. We have kept in touch... 6 years and 5 babies later. She is an awesome mommy, blogger, crafter, entrepreneur...really, she's great at whatever she puts her mind to.

Please meet my friend, Alissa....

It's funny because if you had asked me a year ago if I thought my life would be where it's at, I would have looked at you sideways and said, "are you crazy?! No way!" But that's just how God works. He takes people who are willing to be molded and opens doors in front of them just to see if they will walk though. This is the story of my life. Unexpected randawesomeness. Although with God, nothing is random... it's all just plain awesomeness. My name is Alissa and I have a lifestyle blog called, Rags to Stitches. I began blogging in 2007 as a way to document our journey... to leave legacy for our children. When it began it was a space where I shared pictures of my belly bump, talked about all the things mommies to be talk about, minus nipple shields because someone held out on me on that secret gem! Those babies transformed nursing for me.


 Then in 2009 I started my the Rags to Stitches Shop, where I created and sold iPad, laptop and clutches for the modern mom on the go, who wanted to look and feel trendy. It was during that time that I learned a lot about how to market myself, customer service, creating a great product that stands out against others in the same space and ways to stay ahead of the trend. Knowing when to move on and adapt or change your product style can be a difficult thing to navigate without losing your original branding. Over time I began blogging more, putting myself out there to meet other bloggers, first in my area, then from other areas of the nation. I started attending conferences, which led to opening up and sharing more about myself on my blog. While I was still running the shop and loving it, my passion for blogging and sharing began to outweigh my love for my shop. I found myself developing my own little niche on my blog. While I call myself a lifestyle blogger and that can mean a lot of things, I consider myself a niche lifestyle blogger, meaning that I try to write posts that stay within 3-4 categories: faith, family, fashion and community building. Then in 2011 I began working with blogging agencies to share amazing brands and products with my readers. I was writing about products and brands I already shared with my readers, but I was able to being monetizing my blog in a way that I hadn't been able to before. It was fun, allowed me to still be creative on my blog, but also make a little bit of extra play money. Then about 6 months ago, God opened a door for me that I never expected. A good friend of my husbands came to me with brands who were looking to use bloggers for marketing and he asked me if I wanted to start a blogging agency with him. He actually spoke with my husband first, who quickly jumped on board and said I'd be all about it.... Well I was, but it was still scary!

So 6 months ago, Pollinate Media Group, was born. In the last 6 months I've seen God open more doors that I could've ever expected. We have built an amazing executive team, we're working with awesome brands like Cost Plus World Market, Child to Cherish, Fox/Universal, Dr. Pepper, Minute Maid and just landed a deal with People Magazine. Trust me when I say I'm still pinching myself somedays, but the glory is all God's. Now looking back I realized that He used my little shop to help me learn about branding, marking, creative strategy and customer service and my blog to teach me how to be transparent, build community and share passionately for this moment. I'm still in awe. Each day I'm reminded of His goodness in my life. I guess what I'm trying to say is that God has a plan for each one of our lives and He creates moments and learning opportunities to train us up to do what He has planned. Don't every underestimate what God has in store for you or what He might call you to do. And when He does call... be sure to answer. It may not always be an easy ride, but I promise with Him on board, it'll be a great one.

 I just want to say thank you to Kelly for asking me to share. When she emailed me I was floored and honored to be able to share alongside the other amazing women who have also shared. I'd love for you to pop by the blog and say hi, I love meeting new people.

If you've missed any of the last weeks, you can click here or here or here.


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