Video: What's Inside My Medicine Cabinet

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Savannah Influencers Featured In South Magazine

What a proud moment this is to be featured in South Magazine with the other board members of Savannah Influencers.

"One of this year’s most talked about social media buzzwords is “influencer,” meaning one whose social presence generates a following large and consistent enough to pay attention to said influencer. On paper, the term might reflect a tired exercise of selfies and shameless self-promotion, but one group of Savannah women is rapidly changing the name and game of what it means to influence in the digital age for the better."  

Click here to read the article in full, written by Emilie Kefalas. 

To learn more about Savannah Influencers, visit www.savannahinfluencers.com

 L to R: Kate Haslam (Treasurer), Me (Co-Founder & President), Natalie Butler (Communications VP), Andrea Kinnear (Co-Founder and VP), Megan Fowler (Community VP)

L to R: Kate Haslam (Treasurer), Me (Co-Founder & President), Natalie Butler (Communications VP), Andrea Kinnear (Co-Founder and VP), Megan Fowler (Community VP)

March of Dimes Shamrock Run Fundraising Challenge

Hi! One of my best friends Kate Haslam and I are teaming up to raise $1,500 for the Shamrock Run! Kate is serving on this year's Executive Leadership team for the run and asked me to join her on this fundraising challenge. March of Dimes supports healthy moms & babies during pregnancy and at birth. Click below to watch our video! Also you can donate directly to our team by clicking here.  

There will be a ton of activities next Friday, March 9th downtown Savannah for the Shamrock Run. Several food trucks, music, activities and beverages!  Thanks in advance for your donations! 

xoxo, Meredith 

Appreciating Minimalism in "Blogger" Culture

I don’t know about you, but more and more when I scroll on Instagram I’m feeling like I’m constantly being advertised to. I can’t tell you how many bloggers I’ve unfollowed because I just don’t feel like they are being authentic with their posts anymore. (Note: this post isn’t to bash blogging/Instagram as a business. I think it is a brilliant business venture where a lot of money can be made but this is addressing the parts of it that I don’t like.)

Today, big bloggers means big business. Those who’ve garnered a large following are able to make a considerable amount of money from affiliate links, sponsored blog posts and sponsored Instagram posts. I’ve done a ton of research about affiliate links and sponsored posts with my own website & Instagram. Last year I also attended a Create & Cultivate seminar in NYC that was geared towards social media business. 

You see - when bloggers (and myself) post shopping links to their outfit as I’ve done at the end of this post, they can get paid per click or paid with a sale is made. This is called an affiliate link. Because my following isn’t that big yet, I haven’t really made that much money at all from these links. But, if you’ve got 200K followers that are clicking on your shirt link - the money really starts to add up! And bloggers should get paid for this - they are showing you where an outfit came from and providing you with the exact link to make your shopping easier. I think it gets excessive when bloggers link several options though - for example - I may link this jacket I’m wearing and then link 5 other jackets. To me this is time wasted for the viewer but it delivers more clicks. I could link 5 jackets that *look* the same but how do I know what the quality of the jacket is? I haven’t worn those other jackets so I’m not going to be okay linking a jacket that may be shitty quality just to get more clicks. 

Look at Instagram posts and you may notice hashtags such as #spon #ad #sponsored #paidpartnership - these are signs that the blogger is being paid to post about the product. I know a lot of bloggers who are ethical who really only do sponsored posts with products they either currently use or have tested for a few weeks before sharing. However, there are a lot of bloggers who do sponsored posts for items that, in my opinion, they don’t use. Even though I don’t have a lot of followers, I have gotten a ton of emails offering me paid posts. Examples include: teeth whitening kits, cheap jewelry & sunglasses, and Jord watches to name a few. I have refused these partnerships because 1. I got my teeth whitening kit from my dentist 2. I don’t wear a lot of jewelry and 3. I have one vintage watch that I love and I wouldn’t necessarily buy a Jord watch because it’s not my style. 

Another topic I’d like to discuss is that I’m sure you’ve noticed when bloggers get free stuff. Of course that is a pretty fun perk! Who wouldn’t want to receive free skin care, makeup & clothes? Sounds like a dream to me. BUT - these full-time bloggers are then able to wear 4-5 different outfits during a day, photograph them all and then have so much content to share with you several times a day. They are of course using affiliate links for these free items - affiliate links that they are getting paid when you click on them - and they didn’t even have to pay for the sweater or accessory. 

The excessive NEW NEW NEW that we are being force fed is exhausting. Normal people don’t have 2 different outfits for every day of the month. What happened to someone showing you a sweater that they absolutely LOVE and not only that - but actually photographing it and posting it more than once? I don’t know about you - but when I invest $200 in my favorite pair of jeans - you better believe that I’m going to wear them 3-4 times a week and be photographed in them constantly. After all, that’s why you invest in a closet staple, no? I love having my go-to jeans t-shirts. That I can wear over and over again and feel confident and beautiful in. 

I wouldn’t say that I am obsessed with following fashion trends, but I do appreciate fashion and I like to have a certain aesthetc when I dress every day. I choose to invest in staple items like jeans, shoes & bags and then buy a few trendy pieces to fill in the gaps. It’s not normal to buy *50 must - have items for Spring* (literally the title of a Shop Style Instagram Story link that truly pissed me off). 50? Fifty? How about FIVE trends you should try for spring? This link is pressuring you to feel like you need 50 items for spring when truly you don’t NEED any of it. 

I know this post is getting lengthy but I just had to get a few things off of my chest. I will always be honest and authentic with you guys. I wouldn’t turn down sponsorships or paid posts if it was something that I really like and would purchase anyway. But I also wouldn’t have every post I put on Instagram be sponsored, you feel me?  

Please avoid the feeling that you don’t have enough or that you need more. True style isn’t about how many shirts you have - it’s about how you wear the shirts that you do have.  

What are your thoughts on all of this? Do you think the sponsored content is getting excessive or have you not even noticed it? I’d love to know!  

Xoxo, Meredith  

 

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What I Wish I Knew When I Quit My First "Real" Job

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Ugh - the agony, anxiety, and pain of quitting your first "real" job. I got a great part-time in college that transferred into a full-time position when I finished up with my Master's degree. At the time we were considering building a home in Statesboro, GA - I would be super close to work and we would only be 30 min away from family. I really loved the people I worked with there and I had a lot of opportunities to move up in the company. However, something felt off. I didn't feel right but didn't know what it was. Out of the blue one night, either Brandon or I said something about not really feeling "at home" in Statesboro and toyed with the idea of moving to Savannah. We both instantly knew that's what we wanted to do. I texted my BFF Kate about a job in Savannah and the wheels were in motion. I dreaded telling my boss that I was going to be resigning.

Everything happened really fast - I interviewed for a new position and got the job offer the next day. Now came the hard part - quitting! Seriously I was SO WORKED UP about it. I wasn't sleeping well, felt sick, everything. But I did it... and I cried.... and looking back - how embarrassing! Honestly, I've always been a people pleaser so the thought of disappointing my boss (whom I really respected and look up to) was too much. But of course, everything was amicable and I didn't "burn any bridges" (something my parents and Nana kept telling me was important). 

In hindsight - I had no reason to feel guilty. What I wish I knew when I quit my first job was this: 

1. Business is business. It keeps going way after you're gone.

2. If you've been a good employee - of course they don't want you to leave! It costs money & takes time to train employees and anytime turnover happens, the employer has to incur costs to replace you.

3. You have to do what's right for you - always! 

4. Be confident in your decisions. You know what your instincts are telling you - don't waiver from your truth. 

5. The anxiety goes away immediately. I felt so much better after I had just told them. And I was able to move on to being excited about my new opportunity and moving to Savannah. 

I worked at my next job for 11 months before we made to decision for me to go full time with the family business. Quitting the second job was much easier. I was nervous still but felt more confident. I learned that I didn't owe anyone a super detailed, personal explanation. 

How did you feel when you quit your first full-time job? Were you as scared as I was? Was it amicable?!? Let me know if you enjoy these kinds of posts. I really want to get more personal & engaged with you guys - I look forward to sharing more with you! 

P.S. - I still email my old boss whenever I have an accounting question. 

xoxo, 

Meredith

 

Trinity Got Her Fence!!

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So happy that I can finally say that sweet Trinity and her family were blessed with a big & secure backyard fence today! As many of you know, I met Trinity back in June after seeing her Go Fund Me Page flyer in a local restaurant. At that time, she was raising money to get a service dog. A few weeks after I met her she was blessed with a Judah, her new Australian Labradoodle. I decided to then focus on raising money for her family to get a backyard fence for Trinity and her new puppy. 

I reached out to Renee LaSalle - she wrote an article about Trinity in Savannah Morning News and we even had an appearance on WSAV The Bridge! That same week I hosted a Pop-Up Shop at RMC Boutique downtown to continue raising money.  A few weeks went by, but I stayed positive because I knew that someway, God would bless Trinity's family. I received a phone call from Pam Cole, who had seen the newspaper article & wanted to help. I got her in touch with Nina, Trinity's mom right away! 

Today, Trinity's fence was completed. I can't say THANK YOU enough to Pam Cole and her companies, Trace Staffing & CORBAK - Office Technology Solutions for providing the fence. This was such a beautiful and generous donation to someone Pam had never even met. Now, Trinity & Judah have a safe place to play, and Nina doesn't have to worry about Trinity wandering off anymore.

I want to thank each and everyone one of my followers who shared Trinity's story & donated to her Go Fund Me Page. Thanks to Renee for helping us get Trinity's story out there. Thank you to Skye Doodle Atlanta for giving Trinity's family a HUGE discount on this wonderful puppy, and to Stan Perkins of the Wounded Warrior Dog Project for donating FREE service dog training for Judah.  

I am still blown away by all of the great things that have happened for Trinity in a few short months. It just goes to show you that it only takes a few acts of kindness to make an impact on someone's life.  I hope this inspires you in some way to pay it forward. xoxo, Meredith 

 

 

12th Annual Buddy Walk

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This past weekend I participated in the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society 12th Annual Buddy Walk on Team Trinity. If you don't know who Trinity is, here is a little background on how we first met (click here!) The purpose of this walk is to raise awareness of Down syndrome & celebrate the journey that the families take together. THOUSANDS of people showed up for the walk & festival afterwards. Trinity was joined by her parents - Gregory & Nina Gardner and her 4 siblings Sariah, Zion, Jordan & Christian, as well as her grandmother and a few family friends! 

Nina recently did an interview with Savannah Morning News and this is what she had to say about Trinity - 

“I want Trinity to do everything that I want for my other kids,’’ Nina Gardner said. To have a job and earn her own money. Have a spouse. Have a family. Have happiness. We don’t see her as any different.’’

The Buddy Walk was definitely a celebration! Here are a few pictures of all of the fun - can you believe how big Judah has gotten?!? 

 Trinity & her younger brother Christian with the Savannah Banana! 

Trinity & her younger brother Christian with the Savannah Banana! 

 Trinity & one of her MANY friends

Trinity & one of her MANY friends

 Trinity and I about 1/4 of the way through the walk. 

Trinity and I about 1/4 of the way through the walk. 

 Trinity & her dad next to her picture for this year's LCDSS calendar. 

Trinity & her dad next to her picture for this year's LCDSS calendar. 

 Team Trinity! 

Team Trinity! 

 Trinity & Judah next to her poster section. 

Trinity & Judah next to her poster section. 

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 Pumpkin decorating after the walk. 

Pumpkin decorating after the walk. 

To keep up with Trinity, her family and Judah - you can follow them on Facebook (here) or Judah's very own Instagram page (here)!  Nina also wants everyone to know that you shouldn't put limits on people with Down syndrome, and I agree!!! 

xoxo, 

Meredith