Why I Started Blogging

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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.

Why I Started Blogging. Original Sam Smith
Freshman prom, this was SO fun!

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.”

Why I Started Blogging. Original Sam Smith
Sophomore Prom
Why I Started Blogging. Original Sam Smith
Imagine Dragons Concert
Why I Started Blogging. Original Sam Smith
Maroon 5 Concert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

This is my CEO mentor, Melanie Lasley! She was so sweet and offered so much advice!
This is our entire CEO class, our facilitator Mrs. Bailey, and a speaker!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

We had to participate in a trade show at the end of the year presenting our businesses and this was my display!
And this was me explaining my concept to one of the attendees!

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!

This is Emma and I!

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 was my very first blog post and taken during my first photoshoot with Emma!

Thanks so much for reading!

Xoxo,

Sam

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Pink Suede Summer Dress + A Life Update

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Original Sam Smith. Causal Summer Pink Suede Dress + A Life UpdateOriginal Sam Smith. Causal Summer Pink Suede Dress + A Life UpdateOriginal Sam Smith. Causal Summer Pink Suede Dress + A Life UpdateOriginal Sam Smith. Causal Summer Pink Suede Dress + A Life UpdateOriginal Sam Smith. Causal Summer Pink Suede Dress + A Life UpdateOriginal Sam Smith. Causal Summer Pink Suede Dress + A Life Update Original Sam Smith. Causal Summer Pink Suede Dress + A Life Update
Original Sam Smith. Causal Summer Pink Suede Dress + A Life Update   Original Sam Smith. Causal Summer Pink Suede Dress + A Life Update Original Sam Smith. Causal Summer Pink Suede Dress + A Life Update

Outfit details: Pink Suede Summer Dress: Tobi (only $31 with code Tobi50) | Bag, Similar: Red Dress Boutique | Bracelets, Similar: Brickwood Boutique | Shoes, Similar: Red Dress Boutique

Hi friends! I hope you’re having a great summer so far. We finished with finals and cheer tryouts the first week of May so I have been home the past couple weeks hanging out. This week I am moving to Springfield Missouri for the summer for a job and to live with two of my best friends, Wendy and Savannah. I am so excited to see them and hopefully work a lot. There are so many fun things to do in St. Louis and last summer I was able to work enough to fund most of my fun/shopping trips this past year so I am hoping to do the same thing. I saw a post on Twitter a few weeks ago that said something like “summer in high school is all fun and games but summer in college is a matter of how much weight can I lose and how much money can I make in three months.” I thought it was so funny and true.

After finishing my first year of college I can truly say that college is the best. I have loved it so much and was genuinely sad when the year was over. Last year on my first day, we had cheer practice and I remember all of the returning girls running in and hugging each other and acting so excited to be back. I literally was thinking who gets this excited for school? I get it now! I have made lifelong friends and done so many fun things. Lately I have been thinking a lot about my first year and I am seriously so glad that my parents encouraged me to go away and I got the opportunity to live on my own and do so many exciting things.

I have been a Tobi fan for a while and think they have so many cute things and are super affordable. They even offer 50% off on first orders with the code Tobi50. They sent me a few items that I am so excited to share with you over the next few weeks. The first look is this pink suede dress. I love the shape of it and think it will be so cute for summer graduation parties, weddings, dinners, etc. Suede is one of my favorite materials because it adds some texture to such simple items. It is only $31 with the code Tobi50 so it is pretty affordable and can be worn to so many different occasions. I styled it a little dressier with my favorite platform sandals and mixed gold and silver to accent the mauve color.

I hope you have a great week!

Xoxo, Sam

**Photography: Emma Staley, like her Facebook page EGS Photography

This post is in collaboration with Tobi, but as always all opinions are my own

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Workin’ It with Mod

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Workin' It with Mod Workin' It with Mod

Workin' It with Mod   Workin' It with Mod

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Workin' It with Mod

 

Workin' It with Mod

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Romper, Hat, Purse, Sunglasses, Jewelry: Mod | Shoes: Red Dress Boutique

Hi friends! I can’t believe how long its been since we’ve chatted last. Life has been pretty crazy lately. Last time I made a post, winter break had just started and family time and the holidays really distracted me. I did’t realize how much I missed being at home until I was back… No school, no practice, no responsibilities. It was like a mini vacation.

On January 5th, things picked right back up. I literally drove straight from my house to our cheer practice facility before I could even go to the dorm for the kick off of NATIONALS SEASON!! We got straight to work… I thought all star cheer was hard but its got nothing on college cheer. Fast forward to this past weekend we had our first performance to practice getting in front of a crowd, we hit our routine (for non cheer people that means we had no falls) and it was the highlight of my college cheer career (all 6 months of it). It was so exciting to see the hard work pay off and is really inspiring to get ready for nationals.

This semester I got to move in with my best friend Gabi! Since then, dorm life has gotten way better. Every Tuesday after cheer we watch The Bachelor together, we go on Starbuck’s runs, we get sushi, and we literally stay up until 2 in the morning talking. I know people say living with your best friend isn’t always a good idea but it is working for us. Its like having a sleepover every single night. Classes this semester are definitely harder than last. I am not getting to take as many business classes so I can knock out my gen-eds and I am ready to be done with them.

I recently got a job this semester at another boutique, Mod! I’m only about three weeks in but so far it has been awesome. They really had big shoes to fill because my last job at Philanthropy was probably the best job in the world, but Mod girls are pretty awesome and I think I’m going to like it here! It has been a great way to make new friends that aren’t cheerleaders and to finally get to dress up in cute clothes (I may have a fashion blog but I wear leggings and no makeup to class every single day). I am so excited to be working with Mod not only in the store but also on the blog! Everything I am wearing (except the shoes) is all from Mod.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with Mod, they are a small business that started in Edwardsville IL and have grown to four locations (Edwardsville, St. Charles, Kirkwood, and O’Fallon). Almost everything in the store is under $75 so they are super affordable and they are always running sales! Be sure and follow them on Instagram and like their Facebook so you can be in the loop. The family also owns Marta’s Boutique which is a little higher end and another trendy option. And, if you stop into the St. Charles location you may see me every once in a while, I’d love to help you pick out an outfit!:)

In my break from posting, I have been brainstorming some exciting stuff for originalsamsmith.com! The first thing is, I am working with Sarah Christine Photography while I am here in St. Charles. She is super talented and I can’t wait to see what we do together. But, don’t think I have forgotten about my homegirl Emma because I’m sure she will be back with me as soon as I’m home for a break. And if you didn’t know, SHE STARTED A BLOG TOO! Be sure and check her out here, I am so proud of her and miss her so much. I am in the process of designing a newsletter so I can share exclusive content, my favorite sales, and get to know you better so be on the lookout! I made a new blogger friend, Molly Brianne! She just launched her blog last Friday and it looks fabulous! Be sure and check her out and be on the lookout for a collab coming soon. I love having such talented friends!

If you’ve made it this far, thanks girl! I am so excited to be back and I can’t wait to tell you more about college and my life here! Please reach out to me in the comments, on social media, or the contact page and let me know what you’d like to see! I post a lot of my college cheer and adventure pictures on Instagram so make sure you’re following me if you want to see those!

Have a great day and I will talk to ya soon, pinky promise!

Xoxo, Sam

**Photography is by Sarah Christine Photography, be sure and like her page and contact her for all things photography!

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Christmas Gift Ideas Under $30

Hi friends!  I am so excited for Christmas coming up! I seriously have not bought a single gift yet so I need to get started… We have this tradition where we all go the mall on Christmas Eve and split up and get gifts for everyone! Obviously procrastination runs in the family! I have been searching to get some ideas for people and found some really great options that I wanted to share! I’m working with a poor college student budget so I’m trying to make it stretch, so all of these gifts are under $30! Some could probably be wrapped under the tree but they are also perfect stocking stuffers!
Click on any of the images below to be directed to the site!
Happy shopping!
Xoxo, Sam

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Give ‘Em “Pumpkin” To Talk About-A Day At The Pumpkin Patch

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Give 'Em "Pumpkin" To Talk About-A Day At The Pumpkin Patch. Original Sam SmithGive 'Em "Pumpkin" To Talk About-A Day At The Pumpkin Patch. Original Sam SmithGive 'Em "Pumpkin" To Talk About-A Day At The Pumpkin Patch. Original Sam SmithGive 'Em "Pumpkin" To Talk About-A Day At The Pumpkin Patch. Original Sam SmithGive 'Em "Pumpkin" To Talk About-A Day At The Pumpkin Patch. Original Sam SmithGive 'Em "Pumpkin" To Talk About-A Day At The Pumpkin Patch. Original Sam SmithGive 'Em "Pumpkin" To Talk About-A Day At The Pumpkin Patch. Original Sam SmithGive 'Em "Pumpkin" To Talk About-A Day At The Pumpkin Patch. Original Sam SmithGive 'Em "Pumpkin" To Talk About-A Day At The Pumpkin Patch. Original Sam SmithGive 'Em "Pumpkin" To Talk About-A Day At The Pumpkin Patch. Original Sam SmithGive 'Em "Pumpkin" To Talk About-A Day At The Pumpkin Patch. Original Sam SmithGive 'Em "Pumpkin" To Talk About-A Day At The Pumpkin Patch. Original Sam SmithGive 'Em "Pumpkin" To Talk About-A Day At The Pumpkin Patch. Original Sam SmithGive 'Em "Pumpkin" To Talk About-A Day At The Pumpkin Patch. Original Sam SmithGive 'Em "Pumpkin" To Talk About-A Day At The Pumpkin Patch. Original Sam SmithGive 'Em "Pumpkin" To Talk About-A Day At The Pumpkin Patch. Original Sam SmithGive 'Em "Pumpkin" To Talk About-A Day At The Pumpkin Patch. Original Sam SmithGive 'Em "Pumpkin" To Talk About-A Day At The Pumpkin Patch. Original Sam Smith

Pumpkin Patch: Rombachs Farm

Yesterday my friends Gabi (follow Gabi on Instagram here), Paige (follow Paige here), and I went to the pumpkin patch! This was my first time ever at a pumpkin patch but I felt totally at home with all of the corn fields, horses, and hay everywhere haha! We walked around eating a funnel cake and drinking lemonade, exploring all the different things to do and taking a TON of pictures. I definitely wanted to get a few “basic” pictures at the pumpkin patch for Instagram and Gabi jokingly mentioned a blog post… And now we are here!;) If you’ve been wanting to visit a pumpkin patch I definitely would recommend Rombachs in Chesterfield. It is free to get in and they have a ton of things to do (some of the attractions cost but it is super reasonable). There was live music, pumpkin displays, a little haunted house, pony rides, and a bunch of other stuff, I would totally come back next year!

I met both of these girls through cheer and they make it so much more fun! All of the people I have met are probably the best part about cheerleading. Gabi is also a freshman and she was one of my very first friends here. We ride to every practice together (our practice facility is about 20 minutes away from campus so we get a lot of quality bonding time in) and hangout all the time, I seriously don’t think I could have survived the first month of cheer and school without her! Paige is a sophomore and we just became friends more recently. Gabi and I go hangout in her room and watch movies with her roommates (who also cheer and I love)!

All of these pictures were taken by us or a stranger with our phones so they are not quite as great as what Emma (my usual photographer) does haha! But an exciting collab with Emma all about photography is in the works, so stay tuned!

Have a great week! Xoxo, Sam

Shop our outfits here:

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Workout Style

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Workout Playlist, Accessories, and Outfit. Working out in a Nike athletic tank, Victoria's Secret leggings, and Nike tennis shoes.Workout Playlist, Accessories, and Outfit. Close up of "After This We're Getting Pizza" water bottle and gym bag.

Workout Playlist, Accessories, and Outfit. Close up of "After This We're Getting Pizza" water bottle..Workout Playlist, Accessories, and Outfit. Modeling a Nike athletic tank, Victoria's Secret leggings, and Nike tennis shoes.

Gym Bag: Bloom Studio and Gifts | Water Bottle: Bloom Studio and Gifts | “After This We’re Getting Pizza” Yoga Mat (not pictured): Bloom Studio and Gifts | Sport Bra: Victoria’s Secret | My Favorite Leggings Ever: Victoria’s Secret | Sneakers: Nike, Similar

Are the water bottle and gym bag not the #truth? For real, though! Honestly, if it weren’t for cheer, I would hardly ever get a workout in! But whether it’s cheer practice or on my own time, I am a sucker for cute workout clothes and accessories. Pizza after a good workout is always good motivation for me and I think these hilarious accessories are the perfect reminder to do some extra lunges and crunches so you can indulge later, guilt free. I got this adorable Nike tank top on the clearance rack at Macy’s for less than 6 bucks. I REPEAT, LESS THAN SIX BUCKS… And these sneakers, only $27. If you’re looking for cute Nike workout gear that is affordable, Macy’s clearance is where it’s at. This sport bra and these leggings are my absolute favorite. I’ve tried many brands and I always go back to VS. They are so comfortable and fit so well and I hate working out in anything else. When I bought this set it was buy the bra and get the leggings free! I hope they do that sale again soon because I need more!

I hope you find a good workout sale this week! Xoxo, Sam

**Photography: Emma Staley, follow her on Instagram @emmabeenice

This post contains affiliate links

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15 Things I LOVE About My Mom

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15 Things I love About My Mom. My mom and I at homecoming 2015.

I know everyone thinks they have the world’s best mom, but I am pretty convinced I struck gold! Mom, you rock, and you are my rock! I don’t know what I would do without you!

Here are 15 of my favorite things about my mom!

  1. She always puts others before herself and is one of the most genuine and generous people that I know.
  2. My friends love her like she is their own mom.
  3. She is hilarious… when she isn’t trying to embarrass me.
  4. She taught me to be kind and to treat others how I would want to be treated.
  5. She committed to being a cheer mom because that’s what I love… From driving back and forth to practice, taking us to cheer competitions, putting our hair in ponytails when we wouldn’t sit still, she’s done it all.
  6. She also stepped up to coach high school cheerleading, trust me people, it’s a lot of work.
  7. She has always encouraged me to be an individual and not follow the crowd.
  8. She is the best cook, EVER.
  9. She has taught me to love Jesus.
  10. If I ever need to talk to her about anything, she is always there to listen.
  11. She enjoys eating at a good restaurant as much as I do.
  12. From going to the movies in our pjs to a Maroon 5 concert, she is almost always down for an adventure.
  13. It’s usually pretty easy to convince her to let me listen to my Justin Bieber cd on a roadtrip.
  14. She has fed my shopping/clothing addiction.
  15. I have never, ever, doubted her love for me.

I Love You!
Xoxo, Sam

 

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Last Minute Mother’s Day Gift Guide

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Last Minute Mother's Day Gift Guide. "Thank You Mom" book, candle, and card.

Last Minute Mother's Day Gift Guide. "I Love You Mom" book, candle, and card.Last Minute Mother's Day Gift Guide. Wrapping gifts for my mom.

Last Minute Mother's Day Gift Guide. Candle, and card.

Last Minute Mother's Day Gift Guide. Cards.Last Minute Mother's Day Gift Guide. Wrapping gifts for my mom.

Last Minute Mother's Day Gift Guide. "I Love You Mom" book, candle, and card.

Last Minute Mother's Day Gift Guide. "Thank You Mom" book, candle, and card.

Last Minute Mother's Day Gift Guide. Writing a card for my mom.

Shirt: Philanthropy  (Cape Location) | Gifts: Annie Em’s at Home | Location: The Old Feed Store

Okay people, if you’re anything like me, you wait until the very last minute to get gifts for EVERYTHING! I need two hands to count the holidays I’ve been scrambling the day before to find the perfect present, and Mother’s Day is no exception! Annie Em’s at Home is a charming little store in downtown cape with a wide variety of gifts and home decor that are perfect for Mother’s Day. Above are some of my personal favorite items for the occasion.

From the books to the card, all of these things are super customizable which I think is really special and I’m sure your mom will adore. The books are my favorite of the bunch. The red one has topics that you fill in about your mom describing the reasons you love her, and the floral is already filled in for you. Not only are they super meaningful but the beautiful covers would look great on a coffee table or shelf. The candles match perfectly and they smell super yummy, I can’t decide which I like more. And the cards… The covers are so cute, but I love that they are blank so you can write your mom a personal note on the inside.

Be sure to give your mom some extra love next week!

Xoxo, Sam

**Photography: Emma Staley, follow her on Instagram @emmabeenice

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Senior Pictures: Style Guide

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Senior Picture: Style Guide. Modeling a printed dress and oversized cardigan with a floppy hat and brown booties. Posing in a brick alley. Senior Picture: Style Guide. Modeling a printed dress and oversized cardigan with a floppy hat and brown booties. Posing in a brick alley. Senior Picture: Style Guide. Modeling a printed dress and oversized cardigan with a floppy hat and brown booties. Posing in a brick alley. Senior Pictures: Style Guide. Modeling a Live Original tee shirt, oversized cardigan, denim shorts, floppy hat, and rain boots. Walking around downtown Cape Girardeau MO.Senior Pictures: Style Guide. Modeling a Live Original tee shirt, oversized cardigan, denim shorts, floppy hat, and rain boots. Posing against a storefront in downtown Cape Girardeau MO.Senior Pictures: Style Guide. Modeling a fur vest and flare jeans. Posing on a staircase. Senior Pictures: Style Guide. Close up image of my face.Senior Pictures: Style Guide. Modeling a fur vest and flare jeans. Posing against a brick wall. Senior Pictures: Style Guide. Modeling overalls and a crop top with a hat and flannel. Posing in downtown Cape Girardeau MO.Senior Pictures: Style Guide. Close up image of my face. Posing with sunglasses. Senior Pictures: Style Guide. Modeling overalls and a crop top with a hat and flannel. Posing in downtown Cape Girardeau MO.Senior Pictures: Style Guide. Modeling a leather jacket, maroon jeans, and a beanie. Posing against a brick wall.Senior Pictures: Style Guide. Close up image of my face wearing a beanie. Senior Pictures: Style Guide. Modeling a striped dress, oversized cardigan, floppy hat, and high top converse.Senior Pictures: Style Guide. Close up image of my sister, Amanda, and I.

Heidi Grippo from Bella Bambino Photography took my senior pictures and I just love them! She does such a phenomenal job and completely exceeded my expectations! I wanted my pictures to look similar to something you would see in a magazine and I thought we really achieved that! literally just showed up to the shoot with clothes and Heidi did everything else…. Poses, locations, editing, I mean she literally did it all. Since I only had one job, I made sure to do it well. I brought sooooooo many clothes. Probably too many. I made sure to bring things that could all be mixed and matched together and we threw the outfits together on the spot. Several of the outfits I would never wear in public but they turned out to be some of my favorites on camera. For example, what appears to be a crop top in the overalls outfit is a black tee shirt tucked in so it looks like a crop top. The hats were my favorite items of the entire shoot. I thought they added a vintage vibe, and really pulled it all together. She had me wear at least one piece in each outfit that had a pop of color too. I had an absolute blast shooting these! Be sure to check out Heidi’s website to see some of her other work, she rocks!

Thanks again Heidi!

Xoxo, Sam

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Hello!

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Hello, welcome to my blog! I am modeling overalls with a crop top and hat.Hello everyone! After talking myself in and out of it for months, I have decided to take a leap and  launch my own blog. I have always loved expressing myself through my clothes and am so excited to share my style with you! Original Sam Smith is a place to document my style and other things that I love.

I find a lot of inspiration in celebrity styles. My posts will include many styles you see in magazines and on tv but will be a little more “everyday ready” and budget friendly ;). My faith, family, and friends are very important to me and I pray that my love for them will shine through.

I would love to hear from you! If you have any questions or would like to chat, please email me at samanthajunesmith22@gmail.com.

I am so honored that you are choosing to follow me and my life. Please visit often.

Xoxo, Sam

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