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.
Last week when I was home, I spent about 1/3 of my time at Brickwood Boutique with one of my favorite people, Christen. She owns Brickwood in the Indie House and it is seriously one of the best and most affordable boutiques that I know of (if you don’t live in the area just Instagram message her and she will ship). I’ve worn so many pieces from her store to events in college and I always get compliments on my outfit, plus the items there are always unique so it’s something that no one else has.
Brickwood is in the process of launching an online store (coming soon), and I was lucky enough to get to see a ton of the new arrivals and take pictures in them. When she pulled out this adorable off the shoulder top I was pumped. Lately I have been loving off the shoulder tops. I think they are really trendy and fun and show a little bit of skin without showing too much, ya know what I mean? The stripes and fringe are so cute, I know this top will be a summer staple.
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.
Hi friends! I hope you had a great weekend. It was my very first Mardi Gras experience here in St. Louis and it was a blast. St. Louis is host of the second biggest Mardi Gras celebration in the country and they literally shut down the streets in the old French District to celebrate.
This outfit is perfect for spring festivals and parties. I love mixing neutral colors and metals and think this outfit is so simple and cute for spring. This babydoll tank is from Marta’s Boutique, the sister store of Mod that I mentioned in my last post. It is so simple and easy to style. Long hemlines are my favorite and this tank hangs perfectly, plus the lace and zipper detailing really add to the look. I threw on a pair of distressed white skinny jeans and my oversized cardigan, both clearance items from when I worked at Aero. My sandals are $3 kids shoes from Old Navy, they are one of my favorite pairs that I own because they mix silver, black and brown and really tie any outfit together. I added some gold accessories and this edgy purse from Stash to add a pop of color and complete the outfit.