Hi friends and happy Monday! Today’s post is near and dear to my heart as it marks Sabby Style turning FOUR! Technically 2/28 is the official birthday but better late than never, right! I can’t believe I’ve been pouring my heart and soul into this little space of mine for four years now and what a journey it’s been. When I started this blog, I had no idea that it would evolve from a part-time hobby to a full-time business. This June will be two years since I quit my 9-5 nonprofit career to take Sabby Style to the next level and to this day I am amazed and feel so thankful for the opportunity to bring fresh & fun content to you girls every week!
Let’s go back to how it all started – first blog post here – and then I’ll share what I have planned for Sabby Style in 2018 and beyond!
FAITH, FEAR, AND HUSTLE. I started Sabby Style in February of 2014 and what began as a hobby and sometimes getting free product to share with my fellow fashionistas, has evolved into a full-fledge career and business. And it would not even be possible without all of you! Honestly and truly, I thank my lucky stars every day that I get to pursue my passion for fashion and I can inspire women to dress well and most importantly, feel confident! It’s crazy because the confidence and empowerment that I strive to convey and bring to you – well, in turn, you have given that to me! I would not have been able to make that life change and dive into the unknown future without confidence in myself and in what I’ve built. My cup runneth over with the deepest gratitude and humility that you trust in me and come back each and every day!
I want to touch on the three things I mentioned above that are the three pillars of my business! So first, FAITH. As I mentioned before, I had zero intentions of becoming a blogger, let alone a blogger that can do it as their full time job! But God has amazing plans for us; the grandest plans that we could never even dream up for ourselves. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Child, Youth, and Family Studies and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration & Economic Development. My dream was to work in the nonprofit sector or local city government so I could serve and help people by making their communities the best places to live, work, and play. During my last semester of Graduate School, I began interning for a nearby city. This first “big girl job” meant that I needed an adult wardrobe! But I could not bring myself to dress in a black pant suit every day. Just because the industry is male-dominated, does not mean I have to dress like one! So I went to JCPenney and J.Crew Factory and bought myself some darling skirts, blouses, and blazers. I put together a really cute outfit on my first day, and because I loved it so much, I decided to snap a mirror pic and post it to my Instagram. That iPhone picture changed the trajectory of my life!
Within months I started to gain thousands of followers and my love for pattern mixing and creating fun, yet office-appropriate outfits, bloomed. I had never been so excited to get dressed in my entire life! I continued to post my daily looks and after receiving many compliments and positive comments saying I should start a blog, the seed was planted and I made it a goal to start said blog. The name Sabby Style was invented by my cousin’s husband while we were hanging out in the pool, drinking adult beverages, and throwing around different ideas and names! Then he said Sabby Style and it just stuck! I had a list of potential blog names but none of them sounded or felt right. I’m so proud of my long last name and Lithuanian heritage, and now that I’m married, I love that I have my blog and business to tie me to my maiden name, because being the daughter of Paul and Collene Sabaliauskas has made me who I am today! So after a year of Instagramming my daily looks, I published my first blog post on February 28, 2014. Again, this was strictly a hobby at that time. No professional photos, no fancy website, no rewardStyle or LiketoKnow.it; just a girl with a website and a passion for fashion!
I landed my dream job (at the time) in April of 2014 and began working for a local nonprofit doing Development and Event Planning. And I LOVED it. I never imagined quitting that job! But Sabby Style kept growing and I was working more and more on it, and it came to a point where something needed to give. I was emotionally checked out at work because all I wanted to do was work on SS stuff, but then when I got home from my 9-5 (and in event planning, there’s always after-work networking events and gatherings to attend), I was physically checked out, which left me with zero energy to get on the laptop and crank out quality content. In June 2015, Tony and I went to Hawaii and usually after I would come back from a vacation, I would feel rejuvenated and refreshed; ready to take on whatever was coming my way! But after getting home, I felt deflated and sad. I believe that while we were in Hawaii, God put His grand plan on my heart! It was then that I had to make a change. And I knew if I didn’t try to work for myself and give my all to Sabby Style, then I would regret it!
That’s when I put the dream in motion. After years of working solely for free product, I realized that free clothes and jewelry would not pay my bills. So I created a media kit that explained the value I bring to the businesses that wanted to work with me, and much to my surprise, they saw that value and were willing to pay me for my time!! Of course this didn’t come right away, and I definitely paid my dues when I worked on a product for promotion basis. I then hired a lawyer and established Sabby Style, LLC as a legal business and trademarked my name and tag lines. After doing that, there was no going back, because #lawyersareexpensive ha! June 2015 is when I shifted my thinking from hobby to business and the moment I took myself seriously, so did everyone else! But I was not quite ready to leave my job just yet. I wanted to be sure all my T’s were crossed before I made the jump because when I did do it, I wanted to do it right and enjoy the moment, and to not feel panicked or worried!
I also didn’t feel that I had accomplished all I wanted to at my 9-5. Again, I loved my job, especially my coworkers. And together, we were doing some pretty awesome work! One of my biggest responsibilites was our annual Iowa fundraiser that took place every June. I was in the middle of planning this fundraiser when I was operating at max capacity and boy oh boy, was I ready to throw in the towel. But I didn’t want to go out like that and quit before the event was over. And I’m so happy I saw it through, because the event was a success, we surpassed our fundraising goal, and everything went off without a hitch! It was such a beautiful moment and it was the perfect send off. June 29th was my last day there, but was also the first day of the rest of my life!
Having the flexibility of being my own boss, having the financial freedom to say YES to projects I love and to say NO to the ones that don’t align with my brand, and to have the opportunity to create content I’m proud of and that you love – well I’m living a dream I never knew I wanted! And none of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for my faith in Him and His faith in me! I also couldn’t have made that life changing decision without my sweet husband, Tony. We’ve been together for 10 years and he’s supported me in all of my endeavors! He’s definitely the best Instagram and Blog Husband aka my Hubager!
Now onto FEAR. It may sound crazy, but I was not scared to leave my job, but I was deathly afraid of not doing it!!! That’s when you know something has been placed on your heart and you can’t ignore it. I think we associate the word fear with negative connotations and feelings. But it can be such a powerful, beautiful motivation. The fear of never trying was far greater than the fear of failing! I kept telling myself, “We will be ok. We’re not going to loose our house. I’ll shop less. But we’ll be okay, I know it”. That was my mantra! And if I failed, I had my education and work experience to fall back on and would find another job. But guess what, the moment I opened my heart and fully gave myself to my business, the opportunities came pouring in! God knew I wasn’t ready for those just yet, because I would not have been able to give it my all!
And finally, HUSTLE. This industry is not easy and quite frankly, it has become over saturated. There are a million cute girls with cute clothes and lots of followers and great websites! But there’s only one me. And it’s on ME to be successful, to make money, to run my business, to provide quality content, to deliver for my clients, and to make the dream work! And it.is.not.easy. Don’t let the highlight reel fool ya, blogging is not as glamorous as one may assume! Note – I’m not complaining; I just want to be transparent and real. Yes, there are amazing perks & opportunities, and I’m beyond blessed to have had such experiences, but there is so much hard work and hustle that goes into making sure you stand out! In order to succeed in this industry (well, in any career for that matter), you have to have gusto and an innate drive to kick ass and to find a way to make it work!
So what’s next for 2018?!?
In 2018, I plan to bring you a range of content outside of my fashion focus; such as beauty posts + tutorials, documenting our home renovation process + decorating our new space, more blogging + business posts, taking you through our journey in trying to start a family, and incorporating VIDEOS!
I would also love to hear what you want to see more of, so please drop a comment or shoot me an email with your ideas!
From the bottom of my heart (that I’m wearing on my sleeve in the cutest top!), thank you for your ongoing love and support and I couldn’t do this without my amazing readers who I consider you all to be my sweet girlfriends!
I’ve teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers
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Simply enter below by completing the rafflecopter.
You’ll receive one entry per completion.
This giveaway is open internationally and runs until end of day 3/19.
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*this giveaway is in no way sponsored by Nordstrom.