To blog, or not to blog… that is the question.
Okay, seriously full disclosure. I haven’t event typed a word until now because I have so much “blogger” anxiety and I don’t even know where to begin, I’m actually sweating just thinking about it. I’ve been debating googling “how to write a blog” or quite frankly, looking up the definition of what a blogger is for starters but I haven’t because I don’t want to get in my own head more than I already am. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE reading a good blog or following all of those adorable bloggers on Instagram however, until today, that wasn’t me; I’ve always appreciated being on the other end of the screen.
Over the past 10 months, my world has been completely turned upside down, and for a planner like me, well let’s just say that wasn’t in the plan. Let’s rewind a few months… I was in a very corporate male dominated world for 14 years and coming back from maternity leave after having my first baby was the most surreal experience of my life. I tried, and lasted a whopping 2 months until I decided that being away from my baby for 15 hours a days wasn’t something I could handle if I had the choice, so I retired (aka: quit). Something I thought I would never do. My career was my entire world for so many years and my life… until I met the man of my dreams and looked into the eyes of my baby boy.
So, here we are. Beginning of 2019… New Mom, quit my corporate job to stay home with my baby and totally rediscovering myself at the ripe ol’ age of 35. I just recently, and organically began my new business and am following my true passion thanks to an amazingly supportive man, great family and a couple of strong and pushy girlfriends. I’m not sure if I would have followed this path had it not have been for them. I shared a glimpse of my previous life in the corporate world because I truly feel that my amazing experience there all led me to where I was truly meant to be. This is where I found the man of my dreams, which led us to our beautiful baby boy, Noah. This is where I met so many of my best girlfriends and found my true identity and calling. This is where I learned what it was to have thick skin and respect myself in a way I never knew was possible. This is where I learned my true character and also where learned what the definition of self-love really was.
My best friend, that I met from my previous trade, and I began an internal “Women in Wine & Spirits” group in 2012 and looking back a good 7 years, this is what brought me so much joy and inspiration every day, both personally and professionally. The group of women that surrounded me was beyond incredible, and we worked so hard to be taken seriously, all while having a lot of fun. The group that we created was a mentorship program in which we would basically take turns empowering one another and sharing tips and tricks on how to survive the intense and competitive world we lived in. We shared how to educate, inspire, motivate one another and the many around us. How to dress and most importantly in our roles, how to be confident with ourselves when we weren’t sure how to be.
One of my favorite roles in this environment was just this. Building confidence from within. But where do you start? It began with a network of supportive individuals around us and being educated in our topics and specialties, but not just that… we had to also look the part. We were surrounded by well dressed men in power suits so showing up in mini skirts or with an ensemble that seemed unprepared or unkept would not do us any favors. So, as much as I believe that power and self confidence starts within, it is also a reflection of YOU and if you do not have self-respect, you will not always be respected in return. It took me a while to learn this and once I did, I realized how much better I felt when I was more put together and how much more successful I became in return. I looked professional which made me act more professional and in turn, made me more confident in my presentations, meetings, interviews, and in finding my future husband, etc.
I began to dress my girlfriends for their big upcoming meetings, business travel, events, panels, interviews, and even dates and you know what, it made me SO happy, fulfilled and inspired to see how good they felt after we created the perfect look for them from their very own wardrobe. Seeing your friends stand up a little taller on an intimidating day can do a lot for not only their self confidence, but yours as well! I gained so much from these women and we all learned that self-respect is so important and dressing for the role you want and not necessarily just the role you have, can lead to great things. It is not just looks or what is on the outside that counts, we all know that. What matters is how you feel about yourself when you put YOUR power suit on or your favorite shoes or necklace on a day you need an extra dose of strength and hope. It’s those motivating words from your best friend when she reminds you, “you got this” that keeps you going.
Which is actually what led me here. I still pick out their outfits! I still make them step outside of the box. I still remind them how beautiful, powererful, worthy, strong, and smart they all are. I still remind them that when they respect themselves, they deserve to be respected in return. And I still remind them that we can all do anything that we put our minds to. This is also why I am practicing what I preach and following my dreams… For them, for my new baby, but most importantly, for myself.
Thanks to them, I have recently launched “Nikki’s Chic Boutique” (@occhicboutique) to continue to work with strong business women and/or Moms who want to feel beautiful and strong; to feel like themselves again. It always starts with creating a weekly wardrobe which leads to so much more. Building your weekly wardrobe will save you so much precious time and money and most importantly, remind you how beautiful and important you are and that you can conquer every dream you set your mind to! I have so many tips and tricks that can guide you in doing this whether it be figuring out how to tie in your favorite pair of shoes or accessorizing to repurpose your outfit instead of going out and buying an entire brand new one. Over the past few weeks I have worked with a few incredibly strong, influential women in the Orange County area, both in the real estate world and also the adult beverage community. They mention that they want to feel as strong and self-assured about themselves as they know they are in their professional roles. We work together to build a week or a month’s worth of outfits for every perfect occastion: meeting, travel, speaking engagement or whatever daily events necessary. The look on their faces are always the same. Radiating confidence, smiling, having fun and excited and more ready than ever to attack another challenging day!
It’s not just picking out a good outfit, it’s building upon the strength that lies within. Finding your inner beauty and staying strong to your individual authenticity and self confidence makes it all worthwhile. And this, is true happiness. “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” – Oprah
- Nikki @occhicboutique