How To Grow Your Instagram- What We Have Learned

They say everything happens for a reason. It took a lot of pushing on Sandi’s part and a lot of prodding on my part to get to where we are today. Sandi and I like to throw in the phrase “It’s a God thing” because, honestly,  we never envisioned The Spoiled Home being anything other than an outlet for us to share inspiration and to connect with others who have the same passions as we do.  Some of you have heard our story a million times. Many of you have not. Let me start from the beginning.

I first met Sandi a little over 12 years ago. I was a high school English teacher and cross country/track coach. Sandi was a hairstylist who had just opened Head Rush, a hair salon in town. I was looking for someone to cut my teen daughters’ hair, so I volunteered them as guinea pigs to see if Sandi was qualified enough to cut mine. After she passed the test, I decided to give her a try. I actually said to her, “You better not mess up my hair.” Fresh out of hair school and showing no signs of intimidation, Sandi confidently cut my hair. We have been friends ever since.

At appointments, we would talk about home decor and soon realized that we were the only two people we knew who weirdly and excessively got so excited about paint colors and design and decorating. We spent the weekends painting furniture or helping each other redecorate each other’s houses. I was coaching during this time, too, and Sandi confided in me that she wanted to run a marathon. I later found out that she thought a marathon was a 5k, but she only willingly admitted this to me a couple of years later after she fully committed to marathon training.

Since she had never run in her life, I started Sandi on a Couch to 5K program in January of 2011. We would run 5 days a week at 5:00 A.M. We NEVER missed either. In a weird way, I think that was God’s way of letting us know we would make the best future business partner for each other. We were accountable. Once, though, I remember it snowed and there was still ice on the ground. It was cold, too, like 8 degrees. In Oklahoma the gauge temperature is never the same as the real-feel temperature. Once humidity and wind chill are factored in, the 8 degrees that day actually felt like negative 15 degrees. Sandi said she didn’t think she could run because if she slipped, fell, and broke her arm, she wouldn’t be able to cut hair and make money. I said, “Yeah, you have a good point. But there is no such thing as bad weather. Just soft people.” (It’s a Bowerman quote I stole, but I think she thinks I came up with that). So, we ran that day, and she didn’t fall (thank goodness).  In three months, Sandi ran her first 5k. The following April, she ran her first l/2 marathon. Two years and 4 months later of consistently running, Sandi and I ran a marathon together. That was in April of 2013.

By that time, both my girls had graduated high school, and I gave up coaching to simplify my life. Sandi and Rob had  just purchased their 4th flip house, so that gave us new projects to discuss. Sandi approached me about starting an Instagram page where we could share our ideas and projects with others.  She wanted to document her flip house and add other pictures of inspiration to our Instagram page.  I told her no. Being a teacher, I had an aversion to social media and just didn’t want to “put myself out there.” I was also afraid of failure. By comparison, our houses aren’t that special. Sandi kept telling me that would be part of the appeal, showing people how we update and transform our homes. Still, I would decline her offer. I had just simplified my life. I didn’t want to commit to something new.

Sandi and I both share a personality trait: neither of us likes being told no. When I didn’t let her get out of skipping a run, she paid me back by not letting me out of starting up an Instagram page. In January of 2015, Sandi showed up at my house and began taking pictures with her phone. She and my daughter Lexi conspired to create an Instagram page, and with my reluctant consent, we launched The Spoiled Home with a picture of a bottle of wine or champagne (I honestly don’t know). If you go far enough back on our page, the picture is still there as a reminder of our humble and extremely generic beginning. Sandi’s friend Paula came up with our handle. We are so grateful; otherwise, we would be called “My Two Home Girls.” We keep that caption on our website, too, as a reminder of those early days when we didn’t have a partnership agreement or a plan. We just had a hobby.

In the beginning, we didn’t blog or have a website; we just shared pictures daily.  Sandi would post one day then I would the next. We began taking on side jobs decorating houses for people. Although Instagram was a hobby to us, we were passionate about  actively engaging with our audience and working hard at building our following.  Some big accounts shared pictures of our homes: One of our living room pictures was named one of Pottery Barn’s Top 10 Pinterest Pictures of 2015; Tuesday Morning featured a picture of our home in their spring catalogue; General Electric paid us to feature a light bulb. We did not even know that making money on social media was a thing! We received an email inviting us to be influencers through the affiliate program RewardStyle. We were initially skeptical about signing up, but we decided to give it a try.

We started linking items through LIKEtoKNOW.it, meaning we could monetize off our posts and earn commission from linkable items. (To read our blog post explaining How Liketoknow.it Works, click here.) By January of 2016,  our page had grown immensely. Sandi and I gained the attention of a local furniture store, and we were hired to do showroom designs. Since the pay was good and it gave us the opportunity to work together and tap into our creative side, we agreed. Rob and Sandi had recently bought their 5th flip house and moved about 30 miles away from my family.  She was still working as a hairstylist. I was still teaching full-time. We would meet in the evenings when we would get off work and drive together to the city. It was an hour drive for me and about 40 minutes for Sandi one way. We would work until 9  or 10 at night and then drive home. We did this until May when Sandi decided to give up doing hair and work at the furniture store full-time. I agreed to return to teaching in the fall part-time so that I could continue to work part-time at the store with Sandi.

Instagram story and 2017 were the year that changed everything for The Spoiled Home. When Sandi and I first started working together again, Snapchat was huge. We would go through our day, telling our story through Snapchat. When Instagram Story launched, it was such an easy transition for us since we had been doing Snapchat stories for so long, and we were beyond elated. It was a new way for us to engage with our Instagram audience and for them to “get to know us” outside of a square.

Each morning before heading off to school, I would say “Good morning” and make small talk on Insta Story. When I started getting questions about “where my blouse was from?” etc. I thought, “This is so weird. Who cares what a 50+ year old is wearing?” I love sharing good deals, however, and would discuss other bargains on the story such as my Marshall’s or Target finds. Before long, we were making money through our Insta Story. I told Sandi we had to get an actual blog and website.

We launched our blog in May of 2017, but I was the only one doing swipe ups and stories. I had this vision for how we could grow, but Sandi wouldn’t listen. For seven months straight, I felt I was working my ass off but sharing the profit with someone who didn’t have the same commitment or vision as I did. I needed pushed in the beginning, but it was  Sandi who needed prodding now, if we were going to grow.

In September we were invited to Aurora, New York, to the Mackenzie-Child’s headquarters. After visiting with other bloggers and hearing their stories about how they had turned their blogs into their businesses,  Sandi grew closer to seeing my vision. I wrote down a list of goals I had for The Spoiled Home and handed them to her. Then, I started prodding some more. In November of 2017, Sandi began helping me on Insta Story for the first time, by sharing Christmas gift guides and Black Friday sales. When she saw the difference her contribution made, I heard excitement in her voice. She soon began working alongside me in setting goals for The Spoiled Home.

Each month we would raise the bar a little bit higher. In April we were invited to RewardStyle’s Blogger’s Conference in Dallas, Texas, as one of the Top Global Influencers in the nation. All our goals were being met, but I felt as though I was a hamster on a wheel just running. When I would leave my teaching job, I was driving one hour one way to work 4 hours to get in the car to drive one hour one way back home. Construction on the highway started turning my one hour drive into sometimes 3 hours. I was exhausted. Sandi was exhausted. We knew we couldn’t keep up this pace, juggling it all. Randy and Rob have always been supportive of us, but we were getting more and more dirty looks about being on our phones constantly. During this time, our families were paying the price for our long work hours. Sometimes, we questioned if what we wanted was even worth it.

Family has always been Sandi’s and my top priority, and it felt as though family was taking a backseat more often than not. We confided in each other that sometimes we found ourselves hiding in the bathroom to answer DMs or respond to comments or to post to Instagram. Lots of tears were shed during those months. Lots of prayers were said. I know I prayed for direction. I know Sandi prayed for direction. We both questioned whether or not we even wanted to continue growing our business.  We were reaching goal after goal, but we had lost our purpose. I said to her, “Remember when you were my hairstylist and I was a teacher, and our lives were simple?” We longed for that simplicity. Sandi and I had to reevaluate our vision for The Spoiled Home and find our balance.

In May, I decided to leave the furniture store to focus full-time on our blog throughout the summer. My hamster wheel started rotating less, and I felt so much relief. Sandi and I surpassed all goals we set for The Spoiled Home that summer. Seeing what our business could do with me concentrating on it full-time while Sandi worked at the store began a new dialogue between us. What if Sandi and I switched roles, and she ran the business full-time while I went back to work for one more year? I just needed one more year to fulfill my teacher’s retirement. Plus, it was my son’s senior year, and I felt it was nice closure to a 29 year career if I went out the year he graduated.

In September, The Spoiled Home was featured in @liketoknow.it’s book Stories From the Influencer Next DoorSandi and I were invited, along with several other bloggers, to visit the Delta Faucet Headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana. In October, Sandi’s hamster wheel slowed down, too, when she quit the furniture store to focus her energies on managing The Spoiled Home full-time. I look forward to joining her in May when we can once again work alongside one another.

Right now, our day looks something like this:  I am an early riser, so I get up at 4:00 A.M. and begin checking emails, answering DMS,  and searching for bargains online to link. If it’s a morning that I run, I plan my linkable items the night before. Sandi gets up about 6:30 and joins me in the hunt for bargains. We rarely discuss with each other what stores we are searching, we just go on the hunt. Big sale days like Black Friday, we most definitely communicate and have a plan. Before heading off to school, I say “hi” and chat for a moment on story, post to Instagram if it’s my day, then Sandi takes over, handling the emails, DMs, business calls, comments, collaborations, blogging, creative content, etc. throughout the day. When I get off work, I touch base with Sandi and pick up where she left off. She goes to bed later, so she may end the day with “bedside chats” and linking more items for the next day. We are a team dependent on each other. We joke all the time that we grew our business by winging it. I don’t ever want to discount the hours and hours that we both invested into building our brand. By ‘winging it,’ I mean we never set out to have a business. We set out to have a hobby. The rest has been a “God thing,” and we are just along for the ride.

So what’s the lesson? How do you grow your Instagram? We could tell you exactly what we did. You could write it all down. You may make it, you may not. I can only tell you what I know:

*First you have to have a vision and know that you’re going to have to work your ass off. Sandi and I joke all the time that we sold our soul in the beginning. That was before money was made and before algorithms. Our goal was (and still is) to work hard and be kind. We answered every comment. We played every #WIDN (What I’m Doing Now) hashtag game. We knew everyone we followed on Instagram by Name, not handle.

*Engage with your community. We have always responded to all recent comments on our posts. Up until recently, we responded to all our DMs. Sandi and I have a difficulty letting go of answering all DMs, but we understand how necessary it is for us to maintain our work/family balance.

*You have to be consistent. We have never missed a post on our page since its inception.

*Set goals. If you don’t reach them, don’t see them as failures, see them as setbacks. Drop back and punt, and get back in the game.

*Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. I remember Sandi saying, “But I am not skinny!” and I said, “And I am not young!” We are like the odd couple of Instagram.  We aren’t like anybody else. We’re just us! The best thing about Instagram or about starting your own blog–you can find your niche. Just be you.

*Be remembered- through being creative, through getting embarrassed, through your willingness to stand out.

*Find your purpose- Remember, we never began our blog to make money. We did not know that was a thing. When it became lucrative for us, we had to remind ourselves why we started in the first place. As a teacher, I struggled. Why didn’t people find the same value in me as a teacher as they did in Shalia sharing a Loft sweater? As a teacher, I impact the future,  for heaven’s sake! My co-workers are real heroes, touching the lives of children every single day. That’s badass. I don’t want to seem ungrateful. I don’t want to come across as unappreciative of everything Sandi and I have worked so hard for. I just want you to know that we have to feel that there is a reason for this platform. Sandi and I grew up in homes that taught us to serve others. When we lost our purpose, we lost our love for what we do. Now, we make sure that we find ways to give back. By serving others, we gain spiritual renewal and balance.

Our goal from the beginning was to Work Hard and Be Nice. Our goal hasn’t changed. We hope to uplift, inspire, share a bargain, a laugh or two, and maybe even a life hack. At the end of the day, we want to make a connection. What we do here isn’t terribly important. Relationships matter. Friendships matter. People matter. We feel blessed beyond measure, and we can’t thank you enough. The title was to suck you in and get you to read our message. Sorry. This is more about how we feel than how to grow a blog. We could put it step by step on paper, and you could follow those same steps. It may or may not work for you. People can see through people who aren’t authentic. People can see through people who aren’t passionate. Have some grit, throw in some mental toughness and perseverance, stay authentic and passionate, have a good friend to lean on, a family who supports you, and stick to your purpose. Above all else, just be nice to people because how you make people feel is what you will be remembered for anyway.

God bless you and may your 2019 be filled will all the good stuff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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52 Comments

  1. Sarah
    January 2, 2019 / 11:30 pm

    Shaila,

    Your skirt is just perfect :). I was so enthralled I even put my readers on so I wouldn’t miss a word.

    I am a 46 year old mom whose ready for her second act. I have one in college, once going to college next year and the youngest is about to drive – which means he won’t really need me either.
    You and Sandi have inspired me to get out and do something. Although I’m not quite sure what that is but I won’t know till I try right??

    Good luck and God Bless.

    • Shalia
      Author
      January 2, 2019 / 11:54 pm

      Sarah,

      I love that you put your readers on. I am constantly looking for mine! I hope you find what it is you want to do. Just have the courage to go for it and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks.

      Good luck and happy New Year!
      Shalia

  2. Michelle
    January 2, 2019 / 11:31 pm

    Wow, I love your story and so happy for your success! You two really are so different from the rest of the influencers I follow, and it’s totally refreshing. 👊

    • Shalia
      Author
      January 2, 2019 / 11:52 pm

      Michelle,

      Thank you so much. Have a great New Year!
      Shalia

  3. Melissa Steele
    January 3, 2019 / 12:02 am

    This is the first blog post I’ve ever read in its entirety. I’ve been following you ladies for years and you have continued to inspire me in more ways than you probably realize. I was a teen mom (im 34 my son is now 15) and most moms my age don’t have teenagers! You guys both mentor me in ways thru IG & stories that help me not just find good deals, but be a good mom. By good, I mean be present and show grace. I know I’m not alone! Both of you play such a big role in my life and don’t even know it…NOW THAT’S GOOD STUFF! I I am also a working mama, and I am working on making my IG account more home decor/lifestyle related. I am gaining confidence through influencers like you to truly share and not be afraid to be myself. Truly, The Spoiled Home is something special and I am so grateful that I came across your account many moons ago. Love you ladies! ♥️

    • Shalia
      Author
      January 3, 2019 / 12:43 pm

      Melissa,

      Thank you for your heartfelt post. You sound like the best mom. Sand and I weren’t teen moms, but we were both young moms who did a lot of solo parenting because of the line of work our husbands did. If you are teaching presence and grace, then you will raise a compassionate young man. I hope you have the courage to follow through with whatever it is you dream for yourself. Best of luck and happy new year!

      xoxo,

      Shalia

  4. Donna
    January 3, 2019 / 2:30 am

    Thank you for starting your blog! A customer of mine ( small ladies boutique) told me I should ck out your insta feed. You both inspire me every day ! Love both the clothing and home decor!
    Thank you both!
    D

  5. Wendy Sparks
    January 3, 2019 / 2:36 am

    Loved what you wrote! Have a great year!

    • Shalia
      Author
      January 4, 2019 / 4:44 pm

      Wendy,

      Thanks for always believing in us and for being a friend. Have the best 2019!

      xoxo,

      Shalia

  6. Marissa
    January 3, 2019 / 2:49 am

    Love this and both of you! Thanks for sharing and being transparent. 😊

    • Shalia
      Author
      January 7, 2019 / 1:48 am

      Marissa,

      Thank you so much for your sweet words and thank you for following our journey.

      xoxo,

      Shalia

  7. January 3, 2019 / 2:50 am

    Love you girls. Love this post 💗

    • Shalia
      Author
      January 7, 2019 / 1:47 am

      Carissa,

      Well, we just love you, too!

      xoxo,

      Shalia

  8. Cory
    January 3, 2019 / 3:02 am

    I love the not to work hard and be nice. Y’all are amazing, this was a great blog post! Happy New Year!

    • Shalia
      Author
      January 7, 2019 / 1:47 am

      Cory,

      Thank you so much and Happy New Year to you!

      xoxo,

      Shalia

  9. Alison
    January 3, 2019 / 3:05 am

    Thank you for sharing your story. The two of you continue to inspire me. I am an elementary art teacher and I absolutely adore my students, but I often find myself wanting more. We will see what 2019 brings. Thank you both for inviting us into your homes and making us smile. Cheers to 2019!

    • Shalia
      Author
      January 4, 2019 / 4:43 pm

      Alison,

      Thank you for being a teacher and for following our journey. I hope you find that 2019 fully fulfills you.

      x0x0,

      Shalia

  10. Tracey Melcher
    January 3, 2019 / 3:19 am

    I love your transparency as you share your story. You and Sandi (and Rob) are a breath of fresh air! You are relatable, positive and funny. Thank you for sharing! It’s an inspiration!

  11. Lori
    January 3, 2019 / 3:30 am

    Thank you for sharing this. I am a Jr High Pastor and I don’t want to change that but I feel called to start a blog/IG to encourage and help people. I follow you two as well as other designers (my passion and hobby) and I love the laughs and advice I receive. I want to give this way as well. I’m really not about making money, that would just be an extra blessing. Right now I’m reading blogs like yours to hopefully glean good advice to start this journey.

    • Shalia
      Author
      January 3, 2019 / 1:04 pm

      Lori,
      Thank you for doing your line of work and pastoring/mentoring young adults. Blogs are a great way for your message to reach a broader scope of people. We wish you the best luck with your calling. I think too many people start out to make money, and when that doesn’t happen quickly, they become discouraged. I hope 2019 is the year that your IG/blogging journey begins.

      xoxo,

      Shalia

  12. Penny
    January 3, 2019 / 3:35 am

    I love both of you and feel like y’all are my best friends! I’m a retired PE teacher and started following you the first year I retired and I’m so glad I did! I love your home and your clothes! Thanks for sharing all the things with us. I believe in God things…that’s good stuff!

    • Shalia
      Author
      January 3, 2019 / 12:58 pm

      Penny,

      Thank you for being a teacher. My aunt was a PE teacher for years, and I still believe that teachers have the most important job. I hope your retirement is everything I look forward to. God things are always good things and reminders that we need to trust in Him always. Happy New Year!

      xoxo,

      Shalia

  13. Alex
    January 3, 2019 / 4:22 am

    This makes me love you both even more! Thanks for sharing! Can’t wait to see what 2019 holds for you❤️

    • Shalia
      Author
      January 3, 2019 / 12:55 pm

      Alex,

      Thank you so much! Thank you for following along on our journey. We look forward to 2019 and wish you the best in the upcoming year as well.

      xoxo,

      Shalia

  14. Heather Odeh
    January 3, 2019 / 4:54 am

    I’m another old lady (53) on instagram and I am so glad I am not alone. Having you and a few others ladies I can relate to helps me get inspired me to continue my healthy and fashionable home inspiration and clothes sales for the middle aged women instagram posts I do. I am not as huge as you guys and it must be some sort of magical special potion you all have plus some hard hustle! love you both!

    • Shalia
      Author
      January 3, 2019 / 12:53 pm

      Heather,

      I rarely look at something and think, “I probably shouldn’t wear that because it’s not age appropriate.” I hope you don’t either. Classy and fabulous comes in all shapes and sizes and numbers. Good luck with your Instagram, and here’s hoping that 2019 brings you all that you hope for!

      xoxo,

      Shalia

  15. Tina Rhodes
    January 3, 2019 / 4:56 am

    What a great story! I have had an Instagram account for awhile but just started posting. I love seeing the inspiration and “meeting” people! It is so much freaking fun! My husband doesn’t agree because because since I started following you guys I am enjoying shopping! I’ve never been a big shopper because I couldn’t find my style..in my home furnishing or my personal style. So as someone you guys have influenced tremendously..thank you…thank you for pushing each other because you guys are golden together!!!

    • Shalia
      Author
      January 3, 2019 / 12:48 pm

      Tina,

      Thank you so much for your kind words. Since Sandi and I don’t communicate what bargains we find each morning, we find ourselves shopping each other’s links all the time. Haha! Sometimes, the deals are just too good to pass up! Keep on styling. I’m sure your husband secretly loves that you care about how you and your home look and feel. Have the best new year!

      xoxo,

      Shalia

  16. Michelle
    January 3, 2019 / 6:29 am

    Love this and both of you. Honesty and integrity and humility and humor all in one is a rare find. And, you are still inspiring others, you just don’t get to see us all sitting in your classroom staring back at you 🙂 Keep up the good stuff 💕

    • Shalia
      Author
      January 3, 2019 / 12:36 pm

      Michelle,

      Thank you so much for the reminder that we can all be a daily inspiration and have the power to change other people’s outlook on each day. Your analogy will stick with me! Thank you!

      xoxo,

      Shalia

  17. Tammy
    January 3, 2019 / 6:39 am

    Wow! Loved ready your story and how you got started! I created a jewelry business with a friend that started as a hobby! Such fun times! Thinking about doing something again. I love your stories, blog and swipe ups! You two caught my attention by being yourselves and sharing deals that are on trend. You shared your homes, ups and downs and the humor! Keep it up Girls your so inspiring! And you’ve become like a friend! I also want to see what Sandi and Shala are up to! Happy New Year!

    • Shalia
      Author
      January 3, 2019 / 12:33 pm

      Tammy,
      Isn’t it the best when you can share a business with a friend? Congratulations on your jewelry business! Thank you for taking the time to read the post and for following along on our journey. Happy New Year to you too.

      xoxo,

      Shalia

  18. Ashley
    January 3, 2019 / 7:23 am

    I have followed you both from the beginning and it has been so fun to watch the growth. I remember how camera shy Sandi used to be and I feel like now she just owns it and even shares a hug or two!!!! I love when you tease her about her polls that she does that don’t make sense lol! You don’t just make it all about the swipe ups and links but you both share your family, funny stories, and memories with us too. You make me smile every day and I love how authentic you both are. Thank you for just being you XOXO

    • Shalia
      Author
      January 3, 2019 / 12:31 pm

      Ashley,

      Thanks for following from the beginning. Haha! The polls with no way to really answer. Those Sandi polls are the best! If we can bring a smile to just person or uplift in some way each day, then we feel we have succeeded.

      xoxo,

      Shalia

  19. Coleen
    January 3, 2019 / 8:38 am

    Love your Insta! As a fellow teacher and diy’er and fellow 50ish year old (with my youngest graduating from high school this year )I am drawn to watching you and Sandi everyday. It is refreshing to see my generation rocking the ‘gram! Thanks for sharing your story!
    That’s good stuff!

    • Shalia
      Author
      January 3, 2019 / 12:21 pm

      Coleen,

      First of all, thank you for being a teacher. I have such mixed emotions about my youngest graduating, but with each new season comes new joys. Thanks for following Sandi and me. I hope your second semester of school is fabulous!

      Shalia

  20. Nancy
    January 3, 2019 / 12:41 pm

    It is so fun to read your stories everyday! You are both so real and honest… in this sometimes trying world we live it is so refreshing!! Thank you for your time and expertise in finding the best deals out there… my pocketbook appreciates it!! And that’s “good stuff”!

    • Shalia
      Author
      January 3, 2019 / 9:26 pm

      Nancy,

      Thank you so much for appreciating those deals! It seems like such a simple task, shopping on line, but we do put a lot of time into searching out what we feel are the best bargains. Thanks for making us feel like our time is worth it! We hope you have a very blessed 2019.

      xoxo,

      Shalia

  21. Marshelle Goss
    January 3, 2019 / 2:21 pm

    I love your story and the skirt wasn’t to long. Found your account through a friend from college that decorates homes. God does have a perfect time, to see you both blessed and blessed others with your work. Both your stories daily are amazing, thank you and your families for the laughs. And I never thought my walls would be a color of white again or up my fashion until the Spoiled Home. Thank you and may 2019 be a blessed year!

    • Shalia
      Author
      January 3, 2019 / 9:19 pm

      Marshelle,

      Thank you so much. I wish The Spoiled Home had been around when I had a red kitchen and Sandi had yellow walls. Thatsgoodstuff. Thank you for listening to your friend and for following us. I hope you have the best 2019.

      xoxo,
      Shalia

  22. Nellie
    January 3, 2019 / 2:24 pm

    I’ve been following you girls for a little over a year now on instagram and honestly, one of the main reasons I’ve kept my instagram was I LOVED following your account. Its nice to know I am not the only OCD person out here in this world and who likes to vacuum everyday. I spend hours looking at other peoples stories and post and I sit here thinking, I can do this. Lots of the topics you guys share are things I love and love to do. Your blog post was very informative and helpful.

    You girls are awesome! Thanks for sharing your passion and inspiring me to do the same.

    • Shalia
      Author
      January 3, 2019 / 9:09 pm

      Nellie,

      Thank you for following us. We are glad you kept your Instagram. Thank you for that. I hope you following your passion and that 2019 is your best year yet!

      xoxo,

      Shalia

  23. Alyssa
    January 3, 2019 / 3:13 pm

    I have never read a full blog post from any influencer I follow because I’ve never related to them…they were all about outfits and beauty things they received telling me how great they were, insert my finger scrolling. I may not be able to relate to everything but the meaning behind your blog I can relate too. I’ve been feeling stuck in a rut for months maybe longer for work and always wanted to start a blog just to be more relatable to people because I found many of my influencers were not.. I decided this weekend that’s it, I’m doing it. This post really really just encouraged me in ways you can’t imagine so thank you! I followed you on a whim after moving into a new condo and finding myself decorating my first ever big girl place with my boyfriend. I have a vision of what I wanted it to look like and feel like but also find myself drowning between a full time job and trying to make this vision come to life. I DMed you guys about a West Elm couched I splurged on and it was the first time ever I received an answer back and it made me tell everyone- Wow they answered and helped me! I love your blog and the two of you!!

    Thank you for the words of wisdom & have a Happy New Year!

    Alyssa

    • Shalia
      Author
      January 3, 2019 / 9:04 pm

      Alyssa,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to message us. I hope you love your West Elm couch, by the way. We both love ours. It means so much to us that you are encouraged to follow your passion. We hope you have nothing but the best of luck in following your dreams.

      xoxo,

      Shalia

  24. Kerry Chesnutt
    January 3, 2019 / 3:23 pm

    ❤️ loved it! That’s why y’all are my number one Instagram girls. So real and fun with the right amount of dry sarcasm. God bless! K.

    • Shalia
      Author
      January 3, 2019 / 8:57 pm

      Kerry,

      Thank you so much. And thank you for appreciating the dry humor. Some people just don’t get it. They’re no fun, by the way.

      xoxo,

      Shalia

  25. Lori
    January 3, 2019 / 7:37 pm

    Hi Shalia and Sandi,
    I have loved following you two on instagram. If there are no other accounts I look at each and every day, I try my best to always look at yours. I enjoyed meeting you at the furniture store when you worked there. You’re entertaining and I love seeing all the incredible changes you make to your homes. Thanks for sharing your inspirational, life changing story of how you two built your business. Keep it up, ladies. You’re making it happen. 👏👏

    • Shalia
      Author
      January 3, 2019 / 8:53 pm

      Lori,

      Thank you so much and so glad we got to meet you at the store. Our houses are ever evolving, but I guess thats the way it should be. Otherwise, we would get bored too easily. I hope you have a great New Year. Happy 2019!

      Shalia

  26. Lea Ann
    January 3, 2019 / 7:40 pm

    I can’t remember when I first started following you guys but I was hooked the minute I did! It felt like I had two new friends. That is what I love about you both, you are so real. I am the old one, 60 this last November, but your stories have no age boundaries. Thank you for sharing your time and lives. Have a great 2019.

    • Shalia
      Author
      January 3, 2019 / 8:51 pm

      Lea Ann,

      Thank you so much. I we feel like friends, then that is the best compliment we could ever receive. Thank you for following along with us.

      Shalia

  27. January 10, 2019 / 9:30 pm

    How did you ever add any links to your insta. I’ve had a blog, insta, FB account for years but I’ve never done a whole lot with it because I’m also a pediatric nurse mom of 2 under 4 and so time. I’m a previous graphic designer, photographer, crafter, home decor crazy lady. I’ve been so inspired by you guys but I’m nowhere near close to 10k follower more like under 500. How would I even link anything is my question. Thanks for everything you guys are amazing.

    • Shalia
      Author
      January 11, 2019 / 1:00 pm

      Hi, Alejandra,

      We began by tagging items we purchased and telling people where we bought items. It is a slow process. Eventually, we were invited to be an influencer for the RewardStyle affiliate program where we are able to link items for commission. You can go to their website and see more information there, and I linked a blog post explaining how their program works within this post. Prior to being picked up, we just made sure we shared content everyday that had products of interest, and we tagged those items.

      Good luck,

      Shalia

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