It’s amazing that sharing your passion for life’s adventures can lead to such exciting opportunities, deep-rooted friendships and a community I’m so grateful to be apart of. I’ve continued to blog for the past eight years because of these very reasons.
My hope is to inspire those around me to be more creative; while also embracing and staying optimistic through life’s biggest challenges.
Over the years, I’ve used blogging for many different purposes. My initial intention was to have my blog serve as marketing tool for my accessory business that I started right out of college. This was back before social media was a ‘thing’. I’m talking like Twitter wasn’t even around yet. I then started sharing projects I was working on and highlights from my life while living halfway across the country in Austin, Texas.
You know the question when living in Cincinnati: “Where’s you go to high school?”
No, really, it’s common and seems odd to those who aren’t from here. When I answer with Florida State University’s High School, I get the next question: “Wait, I thought you were from here?!”
So here’s a brief summary of how I got to where I am today:
I grew up in Cincinnati’s westside (with the exception of a short stint in Crittenden, KY). When I was twelve, my family relocated to Tallahassee, FL for my dad to pursue to dream of obtaining his PhD at Florida State University.
I met my husband in 9th grade and after we graduated from high school, we followed our dreams and moved to Savannah, GA to attend Savannah College of Art & Design.
Even with scholarships, SCAD isn’t cheap, so we decided whomever got the first job right out of college, no matter where it might be, we’ll settle there. We needed some sort of job security with student loan payments averaging over $1,000 a month. Yeah, we took some risks.
John accepted a job in Austin, Texas so we relocated to a suburb of Austin at the end of 2006. We liked living there when we did, but knew it wasn’t going to be somewhere we wanted to live forever. I didn’t like being so far away from my friends and family and that summer heat … whew.
Because there wasn’t really any ‘fashion’ jobs in Austin at the time, I decided to start my own business. That’s where FENNOfashion,com came into the picture. As mentioned above, I started this blog as a cost-efficient way of marketing my fashion and accessory business.
Meanwhile in my personal life, John asked me to marry him in front of the capitol of Texas in 2007. (It was super sweet!) In 2008, we got married surrounded by our closest friends in Greenville, SC, where my parents were living at the time.
In 2009, we made another bold and risky decision by deciding to buy a house and move to Cincinnati. I missed it and knowing the area, it made it easier to concentrate on the area where we wanted to live; because buying a house halfway across the country is no easy task. We were able to close on the house from Texas, but it was only after things were official that John told his company we were moving. By that time, I was running FENNOfashion full-time, but still, it was a bold move. Thankfully the company John worked for as a product designer liked him and kept him on board working remotely. And yes, he’s still working for them ten years later, but from home.
I was once again settled on Cincinnati’s westside again 14 years after I moved away the first time; but now as a home owner with my husband from Florida.
Fast forward to 2011, and our son Myles was born. And several short months after that, I accepted a job at Hubbard Broadcasting as the Fashion Editor & a Radio Personality.
Then in 2013, I started working for WCPO-TV, an ABC affiliate here in Cincinnati, covering fashion, local businesses and lifestyle topics. In 2014, I became a Community Manager.
In my personal life, well … that’s an entirely different story (which has been documented here on the blog). I always said for the past two years that this is a fashion blog turned medical log, but there was a lot of truth to that.
My experience having Myles was anything but a fairytale. 56 hours of labor plus a lengthy list of health problems came right along with what many think of as one of the happiest times of their life.
But despite having four surgeries over the last two years, I wouldn’t change a thing. It took me awhile to feel comfortable with taking on this optimistic approach.
Our family is stronger than ever. I’ve learned how precious life really is and I value those who are in my life on a whole new level. I’m grateful to have this new perspective on life, because man did I earn it.
Additionally, in 2014, we decided to sell our home and moved downtown to give urban living a spin. While it was a nice ride and fun experience with the exception of my health problems, we knew it’d never planned for it to be a permanent living situation.
After much research and driving around looking at potential homes to get me out of the apartment while on perpetual medical leave from work, we purchased a lot and decided to build our next house. It will be done next month!
And that’s where we’re at today. Of course most of the many stories just summarized are documented with photos and more details here on the blog. We’re just really looking forward to what the future holds for us and starting the next chapter in our new home.
If you’re still reading this, just know I’m VERY appreciative and flattered. That’s one long background story, no?