Hi, before I get into this post I gotta throw in a little explanation. I’ve been trying to write at events, on transit, and in hotels so I can remember what’s going on and give more details. I was writing on the train the other day when I thought I had almost reached my destination, just keep reading and see where it went wrong, hah. I almost edited it out but thought I’d share one of the many mistakes I’ve made this trip in real time! Thanks so much for reading, all the comments and support means the world!
9/15 Excerpt from the train:
Hallo from Germany! I have been up and traveling since 4am and successfully navigated the tube, Stansted airport, Munich airport, and three German train stations. To say I need a nap would be an understatement. I really thought that the adrenaline and excitement would make me immune to exhaustion and jet lag, but I got played. I finally managed to dose on a train when the poor conductor had to try and wake me for who knows how long and look at my ticket, sorry sir. Navigation in Germany has proven to be a bit more challenging then London because of the language barrier, and this is my first experience doing any kind of solo travel. But, I gotta admit I’m a little impressed that I was able to make so many transitions alone. Hopefully my good luck continues! Like in London, the people here are very kind and helpful. So with my limited experience, I would recommend to anyone traveling here to ask for help as the local people have been keeping me on track. I should be at my destination in the next hour and I cannot wait to get off public transit and relax for a bit with some familiar faces!
FRIENDS, I just got served a big slice of humble pie. Literally 30 minutes after I typed this I realized I was supposed to be at my stop and I wasn’t bc the train I got on SPLIT IN TWO at a Y and mine went the opposite direction. I’m never writing about good luck again until I actually get to the destination. In my defense though, how was I supposed to know the cars split?? Luckily I was within driving range to my destination so a quick pickup solved my problems.
I spent three days in Weiden and Nuremberg, Germany. My once English teacher now friend, Mrs. Jannings, just relocated to Weiden and invited me to come stay for a bit so I was so excited to take her up on the offer before starting school. The first night I was there, her and her family treated me to a delicious German meal where I got to sample some of the local cuisine and we were able to catch up. I quickly learned that meat and potatoes are the staple meal, the potato dumplings are a personal favorite. We then had an early night and I was able to finally catch up on some sleep. The second day was a much needed lounge day: I slept until 11, ate a delicious meal, and Mrs. Jannings explained a lot about what life in Germany is like and I caught her up on the bit of Cobden news I still know. The third and final day we took the train to Nuremberg, German. I had never even heard of the city but it is packed with a ton of history, shopping, and food. They took me on a walking tour around all the significant landmarks and explained that much of the city was lost in the WWII bombings, but they recreated it to look like the old city, her three kids are expert tour guides. I was able to sample a local pretzel with cheese (Annie Em’s you got nothing on Germany) and a Nuremberger, which is basically a sausage. I am so thankful I was able to stay for a bit and get a more authentic German experience and to Mrs. Jannings and her family for being such wonderful hosts.
Hi friends! Today was a bucket list day: London Fashion Week. London is one of the four fashion capitals of the world and twice a year designers host a series of shows to showcase their line at what is called, Fashion Week. I’ve always dreamed of attending one of these events but usually they are extremely exclusive for celebrities, influencers, buyers, etc. This year London has become the first of the four fashion weeks to open up shows to the public and it just so happened to be the weekend of my arrival.
I planned my outfit weeks ago and many of the items are old, but I have linked some similar products below if you are interested in recreating the look. The suit is still available, and on sale, on Revolve, it was a bit of a splurge item for me but its fashion week so it felt necessary. The shoes are from Kohl’s Candies line, and the purse is a Bethany Mota for Aeropostale purchase, both from high school.
When I walked up there were paparazzi everywhere and a couple asked to take my picture, which was a total first and likely last. But, it was fun to pretend to be a celebrity for a couple minutes. I splurged on the VIP experience which provided me front row seats to a fashion show, cocktails and snacks in the lounge, a goodie bag, and access to several exhibits curated by designers. The theme was Positive Fashion and the event highlighted really prevalent topics like sustainability, inclusivity, and environmentalism. I had the opportunity to speak with many business owners/designers and it was so enlightening to hear how they are using fashion to spread good. I have found in my three days here that Europe is much more environmentally conscious than the United States. For example, it costs extra for plastic bags at the store and a lot of disposable items at restaurants are compostable or made from recycled materials. Fashion is a particularly harmful industry for the environment and there was a whole curation of designers dedicated to making pieces of recycled materials.
I am so grateful to have had this experience, not only to be exposed to the lovely European styles, but to also dip my toes in the culture here.
Tomorrow morning I catch a flight to Germany and I am off to the next adventure!
Hi friends! I am writing from my “flat” in London. I have been here for two days now and I seriously just keep walking around saying “I can’t believe I live here.”
I flew here on Wednesday, September 11. I didn’t think twice about flying that day until it was pointed out to me, but I did feel extremely safe, they were probably even more thorough at security because of the date. So thanks airport security for your excellent service, I didn’t mind waiting in line at all.
I was however anxious about navigating the Heathrow airport by myself with three suitcases, because naturally I was going to wayyyy overpack, but the English got it going on over here and getting through was a breeze. For anyone wondering what the packing situation looked like I brought: 15 pairs of shoes, at least 10 jackets, 10 pairs of pants, around 30 shirts, an entire bedding set and towel, and a bunch of other things I decided I couldn’t leave behind, ha. My mom and I were playing quite the game of Tetris as we managed to stuff everything in two 50 pound checked bags, a carry on suitcase, and a backpack. The secret to making it all work: vacuum seal bags, packing cubes, a luggage scale, and this 5ish pound suitcase.
The past two days have been a whirl of unpacking, locating the University, finding the nearest grocery store, and visiting Big Ben and the London Eye–just a casual Thursday/Friday. Traci, my friend I’m living with, and I (with the help of her dad) are getting the hang of the tube. The city is actually very accessible and relatively easy to navigate, and if all else fails the British seem to be as interested in American accents as we are with theirs so they can very immediately tell we are not from here and usually offer to help. It has been so fun exploring and the people here are incredibly nice.
Our flat is super nice and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I had my own bathroom and a full sized bed instead of a twin, something about college I will not miss. There are five of us living together, Traci, who I went to school with, two girls from another school in the same study program, and a fifth girl we don’t know. We each have our own room/bathroom and a shared living space with a kitchen and seating area. The four of us in the program have been talking throughout the summer and have plans to travel together, I seriously can’t wait for everyone to get here.
Tomorrow I will be attending London Fashion Week (so excited), then I’m catching a flight to Germany to visit a friend on Sunday, and taking a train on my first solo trip later in the week. Stay tuned for the destination, and how my mom is handling it, ha. Here are some pictures of the week!
Hi friends! I cannot believe I’m writing another blog post on this site. I really thought originalsamsmith.com had seen the end… But here we are, and I’m PUMPED. I started this blog originally to share what was going on in my life, make some connections, and explore my love for fashion. I had access to a photographer, a lot of local support, and I truly enjoyed it. As I started college, I didn’t have the same passion for it when I started so I let it go and enjoyed my 3 years at Lindenwood, here are some of the highlights:
I won a national championship at 2018 NCA college nationals (flex).
I spent the last two summers in Chicago nannying, going to concerts, exploring the city, eating all the food, and hitting up all the fabulous stores here (St. Louis you have my heart, but you’ve got nothing on Chicago shopping).
I went on my first international trip as a nanny—best job, best fam, best experience, ever.
I wrapped up my last semester at Lindenwood with some of the best friends in the world.
And I turned 21, cheers!!
This Fall, I’m finishing up my marketing degree in LONDON and I realized I want to have a place to document my memories and share what’s up with my friends and fam back home… so we’re back in business, ha!! Here are some pictures of my favorite memories, and stay tuned for all the European adventures!
Hi friends! I often receive a lot of questions about why I started the blog, how it works, what opportunities it has presented and I wanted to fill you in on a bit of that today. It has inspired me to launch a mini series all about blogging and what I have learned. I am going to be interviewing and sharing stories of other girl bosses in the industry, some of the resources I have discovered for creating an online brand, and how this site has impacted my life.
So to start telling the story of originalsamsmith.com I need to back track to way before this site was even a possibility. Ever since I was little I have been super passionate about clothes. I never felt like I fit in in elementary school and even into jr. high and high school. Clothes were an identity for me. It was a way to express myself without having to talk to others and it was a way for me to feel more confident in who I was. So as I got older, clothes became more and more of a passion for me. My style was evolving, I was feeling more confident in wearing things that were a little out of the norm or things that not everyone was going to like, and I became okay with it. It helped me to develop a sense of identity and realization that the opinion of others really didn’t matter that much. It kind of became a game, like when it came time to pick out my prom dress or an outfit for an event I would think: what will be the most different thing I can come up with that will be a conversation piece, that not everyone will understand and that will still be trendy.
As high school continued I realized that I REALLY loved clothes and that I wanted to be able to incorporate style into my whole life. In high school as I’m filling out those career surveys for the ACT, applying to colleges and envisioning a career, I kept going back to fashion. Being passionate about clothes is one of those things where when people ask what you want to do after high school, you’re not sure if you admit being involved in fashion will impress the person or if they will look at you the same way if you said you wanted to be a princess or a rock star. It’s like one of those things that every little girl wants to be but few actually make it happen in their adult life. I wanted to be one of the few, but I kind of kept it a secret and would admit it in passing but always fess up a backup plan like “oh I will probably do something in marketing somewhere but eventually I want to open a store.”
Well as I entered my junior year of high school, I was signed up for a class called CEO. To sum it up quickly, CEO is a class all about entrepreneurship, and in the end each student is required to start their own business. This class really changed my perspective on careers. We would meet each morning at different local businesses, be instructed by the owners or employees of that business, and hopefully gather enough tools to start our own business. As soon as I started I knew I wanted my business to be about fashion. I mentioned earlier a store… Well for a brief minute I was feeling very ambitious and was like I want to start my own online store now. I quickly realized that as a senior in high school getting ready to move away for college, that was not quite feasible. Well for a while I had been reading a few blogs and following some Youtubers. I had been thinking about doing one, but the idea of putting myself out there on the Internet was SUPER intimidating (and still is a little bit). There is so much opportunity online, but with that comes a lot of opportunity to receive hate and negativity. Because of the fear, I never really considered launching my own site until I was in CEO, January was rolling around and I needed a business idea FAST! That is when I started considering the blog more seriously.
Quickly the question I kept receiving from my teacher, my classmates, and any one else involved was “how is blogging a business?” Over and over I kept explaining the amount of opportunity that there is online to create a personal brand and that it was about more than just blogging, it would give me the opportunity to generate a following that I could hopefully turn into customers in the future (going back to the store here), and that it would help me to build a network of connections in the fashion industry. Plus with blogging, there are sponsorship opportunities (Rendlemann Orchards), collaborations, product reviews (Tobi), and so much more. So with some convincing, I got the go ahead that this would be my business for the class.
Now it seems a little strange that all of this started as a school project, but it did. I developed the idea in January 2016, and pretty much as soon as I thought of it I got to work. From January to March I spent at least 1-2 hours a day researching what it takes to start a blog. From website design, social media following, trends, and everything in between I was constantly brainstorming and coming up with ideas for what I liked and didn’t like and how I would make it happen. In March, I approached my dad (who has experience in web design) about helping me design the actual site. He agreed to help me, and together we spent the entire month of March purchasing a domain, designing a site, and navigating WordPress.
Also in March, I was faced with a huge decision. How I was going to feature clothes on my site? I knew I wanted pictures of myself in clothes but I didn’t have a nice camera and I couldn’t afford to hire a photographer. This is where Emma comes into play. We had been eating lunch together all year and I thought of her as a good friend. She was a couple years younger then I and she had mentioned a couple times that she was interested in photography. I didn’t really know to what extent she was or how good she was but at this point I was desperate and I didn’t really have anything to lose. I approached her about being the photographer for my site and she agreed. I literally had no idea if she had a good camera and I had never seen any of her other pictures but she agreed to work with me and that was all I needed. The first day we were scheduled to take pictures I was pretty nervous, not for her but for me. I didn’t have any experience modeling and I didn’t want to look unprofessional or dumb. She pulls out her camera, and I don’t know much about photography but I immediately recognized the name Canon on the strap and I was shocked! How did a freshman in high school have this high quality of a camera and actually know how to use it? Sure enough she did… And the longer our photoshoot continued the more comfortable I became and the more I realized that she is good, like really good! I actually refer to Emma as the glue holding this site together because without her it wouldn’t be possible. For any of you that have been following the blog and are interested in having Emma take pictures of you, like her Facebook page EGS Photography and reach out to her, she is awesome!
April 1, 2016 I launched the site! That was such an exciting day and I was overwhelmed by the positive response. Since then I have met so many people and this blog has opened so many doors for me… As this series continues I will share some of those opportunities with you. If you have any specific questions please leave them below!
This tank from Tobi is seriously the cutest! It is so comfy and easy and I plan on wearing it so much this summer. This is my last post in the Tobi series and I am so sad its coming to an end but I had so much fun sharing some of my favorite Tobi styles with all of you! What one was your favorite?
Yesterday I went and shopped the Victoria’s Secret semi annual sale and PSA barrettes are $5!! Guys I have bought 11, its borderline ridiculous but you seriously can’t have too many (in my humble opinion). And last night I went to an open gym here in Springfield and met a bunch of the Missouri State cheerleaders and they were the sweetest. These past few years I have been on the ground but last night I got to fly a little bit and it was so fun (I think I will stick to basing though). I love how many friendships I have made because of cheer, people always ask what I love most about college cheer and the people are easily my #1 favorite. Cheerleaders are always stereotyped as being mean and dumb but I can honestly say that many of the cheerleaders I have met are some of the nicest and most fun people ever. I can’t wait to go “play” with them again!
Hi guys! I’ve rounded up some of my favorite summer items! Once I start looking for new summer stuff I feel like its a trap and I get sucked into thinking I NEED everything! Summer styles this year are just so cute.
Jumpsuits: I am literally obsessed with wearing jumpsuits and rompers. They are so easy and can be thrown over anything. I love this one from Tobi and this one from Asos (under $60).
Luggage: Right before I went to Daytona I got a brand new Steve Madden suitcase and once you get nice luggage there is no going back. Plus I am digging the fun prints that they come in.
Makeup: I am not one to wear a lot of makeup (clearly) but I do like to throw on mascara every once in a while. I’ve tried Too Faced, Covergirl, Tarte, and so far this Benefit Mascara is by far the best. The applicator is super nice and it doesn’t clump. I love it.
Boyfriend shorts: I love these because they are so cute and so flattering, plus they are a more modest option of shorts without looking boring.
Metallic flatforms: Metallic shoes are on of my favorite trends and I’ve been wearing platforms for a couple years so I am pumped that the two combined are finally in style!
One piece swimsuits: I am so glad that these are in style and they are making so many trendy options that still look young and modern.
This week has been such a good one. On Wednesday I went to see the new Wonder Woman movie and it was sooooooo good. We used to have superhero outfits and watch the old tv show so the fact that Wonder Woman got a movie was a childhood dream come true (ps, thanks dad for passing on your superhero taste to me). Last night after work a group of us went out to a Tap House in Springfield and today I spent the day lounging around the pool and going to garage sales. It has been so fun.
I absolutely LOVE this dress from Brickwood Boutique! It is so flowy and casual and perfect for any of the above summer plans, except maybe the pool!;) It comes in black and taupe and I can’t decide which color I like more! Christen, the owner of Brickwood and one of my favorite people, is always posting photos on the Brickwood Instagram of new arrivals so make sure you’re following so you don’t miss anything, clothes fly off the shelves in there.
If this yellow romper doesn’t scream summer I seriously don’t know what does! It reminds me of sunshine, warm weather and fun. It is so versatile and would be great thrown over a swimsuit, for parties, or for a travel day! Traveling and exploring are my favorite things to do. I love to try new foods, see new places, and experience new things. With all the traveling we did for competitive cheer growing up I’ve always felt like I lived out of a suitcase but this summer I’m doing it quite literally, and I’m so glad I get to call a new place home for the summer. It is so crazy that this time last year I was at home in my little comfort zone and now I’m in a third place this year. If you get the chance to live out of a suitcase too I hope you take it!
Hi friends, this is my second week in Springfield and I am having so much fun. Speaking of seconds, this is my second Tobi post, see the first one here. Below are some random thoughts about my outfit, my life here, and other random things!
I love retro styles and burgundy so this jumper was love at first sight.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can’t wait to have my own online store when I’m older. I am constantly thinking about the clothes I want to carry, the girls I want to style, and the site I want to have. I swear I’m inspired by everything these days from Instagram to street style, other bloggers, other sites. I’m totally soaking it all up right now.
I don’t think I have mentioned it on here yet but I am going in for round 2 of college cheerleading next year. It has been so weird not having practice everyday this summer but I am enjoying a little bit of extra free time. But I can’t wait to see all my teammates in the fall, I miss them so much.
I am obsessed with Girl Boss, the Netflix show and the book! The clothes are so cool, I seriously wish I could pull off flare jeans and platform boots the way Sofia does and her willingness to take risks and ignore what others think makes her my actual spirit animal. She rocks!
Springfield is so fun, they have some really cute boutiques and lots of cool restaurants, I’ll round up my favorites in a future post.
I am babysitting some kids while I am here and they are the coolest, I’m loving it.
I am obsessed with PLL this season, for any of you that are as crazy as me and like to read A theories this one is insane.
I am sitting at Starbucks right now because the new apartment doesn’t have wifi yet, I got the peach green tea lemonade to try and it’s pretty yummy, would recommend.
I finished the book American Dreamer by Tommy Hilfiger earlier this year and it was sooooo good. I love Tommy Hilfiger style and for anyone interested in fashion business I would highly recommend. Are any of you as obsessed with the Gigi X Tommy collection as much as I am because I can’t get over it.