Okay, so the last nearly 3 months have gone by in the blink of an eye at S&S. I haven't kept up with this blog (Hello, only my first introductory entry post...) or even my website (for my online(!) store-eek!). To say that we've been a bit busy around here (a great problem to have!), would definitely be an understatement.
If you don't know me personally, let me introduce myself and my family. I'm a thirty-something, former high school teacher (6 years), turned stay-at-home mom, turned entrepreneur and lover of fashion and home design. My husband is a self-employed farmer/rancher. We live in a very rural area in SW Kansas and are related to a good portion of the community :) We have three littles (Jack-8, Samuel-5, Claire Sutton-1 next week!). Keeping up with our kids and businesses pretty much sums up our hobbies at this point in life and we wouldn't trade it for anything, well, maybe an occasional date night, but we'll get there at some point! ;) We will celebrate our 10 year Anniversary next month.. Let me backtrack and give the story as to why and when I started S&S..
2015 was pretty much a nightmare year for us, to say the least. The cattle market crashed, I quit my job as a teacher to stay-at-home with said littles (before the market crashed, obviously...), found out I had a high risk pregnancy and was put on bedrest for 21 weeks of my 36 week pregnancy (thank goodness for great friends and family to help out with meals, cleaning, keeping up with 2 very active little boys, etc.), our newborn baby was diagnosed with a blood disorder and spent most of the remainder of 2015 in the hospital, at doctor's appointments, getting labs done, running tests, etc.(over 70 days of 2015, to be exact!)..We actually spent our 9th Anniversary in the NICU with the doctor telling us that our tiny baby had some unknown blood disorder and assuring us that they would do anything and everything they could to save her.. She got her first blood transfusion that night and we were told that she would likely need one every month for the rest of her life. By the grace of God, that is still her first and only transfusion, although we do still have to closely monitor her. Her blood disorder is still yet to be determined, but we do know it is a form of hemolytic anemia, but she is thriving and doing great. All of her blood levels are now within the "normal" ranges, PTL.
Anyway, long story short, we were very thankful to survive 2015, and I'm not even joking.. I have always been a "creative" type and knew I eventually wanted to start my own business, I just wasn't sure exactly what venture that would be. I prayed for months on it- whatever "it" might be. I knew my baby was finally doing well (chunky monkey!) and my boys had adjusted to all the crazy changes in our life, and I was really needing an outlet and opportunity.. I have always loved fashion- I remember drawing dresses on church bulletins every Sunday throughout my childhood and planning out my outfits every night before school the next morning. Well, I felt like a boutique was what God placed on my heart, but I just wasn't sure how to go about it in such a tiny, rural community. I decided online was the way to start up... And, I am in the process of updating and revamping my entire website in the very near future, so stay tuned ;) It is a top priority on my to-do list! I am just having a blast with it all and seriously have the most amazing customers!!! There are BIG plans for S&S and I can't wait to share all of the exciting things that are in "store" ;) in the near future!!!
My goals at S&S are to provide trendy, affordable pieces that make women feel beautiful and comfortable in their own skin and provide top-notch customer service! :)
Okay, so on to all the fun stuff: Fall Fashion Tips & Trends---
1. If you don't own a steamer, buy yourself one asap! Seriously, you can get a great one off of Amazon for $25. It takes like 2 minutes to steam something and your clothes will look SO much better. I personally hate ironing, steaming is fun and easy! ;) I use a "travel" one because it is compact and I can easily take it while traveling.
2. Invest in transitional pieces that you love. For example, I LOVE a great duster and wool hat. To me personally, they change up any outfit, feel warm and cozy, and allow you to express your own style. Whether it be a great cardigan, bootie, whatever, invest in pieces that are fun, express your style and can be styled in a variety of ways.
3. Get yourself a great pair of booties- wear them with dresses, skirts, skinnies, shorts- seriously, anything and everything! There are SOOO many cute, fun styles out there- express yourself in this trendy staple! Or, better yet, buy several pairs in varying heels, colors and textures to change up your look even more ;)
4. Fall colors, patterns, & textures: Think plaid, wine, navy, black, stripes, floral, leopard print, suede, lace... Any of mix of these and you will look fab, I promise... Think stripes mixed with plaid, leopard print mixed with florals, etc... A little here and there goes a long way!
5. Pair a strong bold lipstick (go easy on your eye makeup) with your fabulous outfit- Take cues from your wardrobe- wine lips and red lips are huge trends this Fall. If you need a long-lasting lip color that won't smudge, smear, kiss off, then I can definitely hook you up! ;)
6. Statement t-shirts are here to stay! :) Can I get an Amen?! Buy several that you love (just wait until you see what S&S has coming!) and pair them with cardigans, blanket scarves, jeans, leggings, you get the idea- anything. They are comfy and fun, and a great way to express your personality! If you love a cactus, wear it. You have a favorite verse? Buy a t-shirt with it on there.. :)
7. FRINGE! On anything and everything, yes please!!!
8. Black on black on black on black: You get the idea- and, no not in a boring and gothic type look. Think chic, sophisticated, and effortless.. Sprinkle in a few key accessories (big earrings/statement necklace/great handbag/pop of color on shoes & lips, etc.).
9. Accessories, please!!! Again, have fun, be funky~ a bold turquoise ring, leopard print blanket scarf, big leather earrings, bold colored booties... Express your personality through accessories and change up your look easily.
10. Don't be afraid to express your own style- embrace it! Style is not a one-size-fits all. If you love it, go for it! There are truly no rules when it comes to feeling great about yourself. Be bold! Remember, each day is a gift, so don't be afraid to express your own unique fabulousness (a new word!)..
XOXO- Rachel Willems
I promise, I will blog again, sooner rather than later :)