November 2009

Meet Designing Mom: Abby of Style Me Pretty

by Cat on November 30, 2009

Our newest Designing Mom is one who is dear to my heart as a designer, entrepreneur and beloved friend. She is Abby Larson, the uber talented visionary behind the cult status wedding blog Style Me Pretty. I’m sure you’ve heard of her blog (and if you haven’t you absolutely must check it out!). I don’t have to be biased here, just ask any bride…it is simply the best one out there. It is filled with stunning one of a kind inspiration boards, real weddings and my latest favorite, a series called “From Inspiration to Reality.” I personally don’t know how Abby does it…she manages to scour the ends of the wedding world for the best content, manage a thriving business, respond so honestly and positively to her readers and be a mom to her beautiful little girl, Audrey. She is an inspiration to all. Overjoyed isn’t even the word to describe how I feel about Abby joining us on Designing Moms. Please help me give her a big welcome!

A little bit about me:
I am so excited to be joining such an amazing crop of women…creative, energetic (albeit a little tired), smart women who are balancing their two loves. Family and Business. My name is Abby Larson and I am the editor of Style Me Pretty, a wedding blog for the style savvy bride. I have a 15 month old daughter who has more spunk than I ever thought possible in a child and more personality than I could ever imagine. And she is all girl, which you know I love. Poor thing has no idea what’s coming when we start planning HER wedding.


Originally from Houston, Texas, I come from a family of entrepreneurs. My dad has built and sold so many businesses, it’s hard to keep track. A frozen yogurt company, a costume jewelery line, an ear laser company. My dad single-handedly taught me just how fun, just how challenging and just how incredibly rewarding being an entrepreneur is, so at the ripe old age of 24, I dove in head first. I started in the wedding industry while living in San Francisco by launching a line of wedding invitations called Abby Jean. I refer to that time in my life as my hard knocks school of business because it was during those three years that I learned everything you can imagine about running a small company. From working with very little cash flow, to marketing yourself, dealing with clients, sales, operations, outsourcing, the works. I sold my business in February of 2007 and although I miss it every now and then, I am very glad to be running a blog instead.


Typical day-in-my-life:
My work day now is from 8AM to 5PM. From 5PM to 7PM, it’s all about Audrey. After she falls asleep, I usually pick back up working until about 10PM or so. We have a nanny come in 4 days a week and although I do mostly work from home, we also have a small office down the street. My husband, Tait, quit his Silicon Valley job a year and a half ago to work full time on Style Me Pretty. We have about 10 employees, 4 of which are family members. It’s a complete and total zoo of a life but I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. Like many of you who are running their own businesses…we grocery shop without lines, we visit the museum without the Saturday crowds. We can stop at any moment and give Audrey a hug or a kiss and we get to hear her squeals of glee from the next room over. As Kate (yes, of Jon and Kate plus 8…lame, I know) would say, “It’s a crazy life, but it’s our life.” And we love every bit of it.


What inspires me:
…people who are living their dreams and succeeding. Babies who wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed in the morning. Perfect details, amazing typefaces, succulents. The crisp Fall air, the sound that my computer makes when I hit “publish,” the artists and designers who are finding motivation and drive in this sad, sad economy. There is so much that really inspires me but mostly, it’s the life that I am living. The fact that I can run a business like Style Me Pretty, with my husband and my daughter one room over. That I get to travel all over and meet such interesting people. That I get to work in my PJ’s and watch The View while I write. It’s a very, very good gig and I am very blessed little girl to call it my own.

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Giveaway Extension: ISanctuary.org

by Cat on November 30, 2009

Because of the short Thanksgiving holiday week, the International Sanctuary giveaway is being extended until this Wednesday.
It’s not too late to enter for your choice of earrings or bracelet and Tori Higa cards from their online shop.

Click here to enter!

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Giveaway Winner: Cardstore.com

by Cat on November 30, 2009

Thanks to everyone for participating in the February 13 Creative Cardstore.com giveaway!
Congrats to:
Kawaii Crafter and
Cerise

Each of you will receive your pick of a set of holiday cards!
Please contact me at designingmoms@gmail.com.

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Story: A Mom’s Thanksgiving

by Cat on November 25, 2009

This was originally posted November 25, 2009

We are ending this week short due to the Thanksgiving holiday and will be back Monday with lots of great posts! Before signing out: Designing Mom Tori had recently requested for us to write about our holiday traditions and this is my contribution…


by Designing Mom Cat

It was the day after Thanksgiving last year that I received the call from my dad that my mother had passed away. I was in the second trimester of my pregnancy. My sister was in her third. To be honest, I can’t even quite remember what we did last Thanksgiving…just that everything was chaotic, pensive, incomprehensible as my mother lay comatose from a sudden brain hemorrhage in hospice.


In the weeks leading to her hemorrhage, my father said she was frantic, insistent on completing a set of albums that chronicled my siblings and my childhood. He remembered she had a look of utter relief when she placed the last photo into one of our books as she breathed, “finished.” On the plane ride back to San Francisco I carried my set back…two albums filled with meticulously documented photos from the time I was a newborn. These were the photos I pored over after the birth of my son, staring at photos of myself at 6 weeks, 3 months, 5 months to see when I was rolling, propping myself up on elbows… Finding answers to all of the questions I would have asked my mother about.


My mother was absolutely beautiful, modest, hard-working and she adored my father. I’ll be sharing those details about his paw-paw and the albums of my childhood with my son each and every Thanksgiving. We will make her favorite cranberry orange relish together. We will indulge in the luxury of simple pleasures and memories which were all the things my mother treasured most. There is so much to be thankful for.

It is hard to believe I am writing this on the one year anniversary of my mother’s passing. But I wanted to share this because this is how Designing Moms started. As an ode to my mother. An outreach to surround myself with moms for creative and personal support when all I wanted to do was retreat. For that I am so grateful to have the support of all of my Designing Moms, read their amazing posts and projects, and to have the support of all of you readers out there. I wish all of you a heart-filled Thanksgiving with your family and little ones.
xxx-ooo, Cat

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Story: A Mom’s Thanksgiving

by Cat on November 25, 2009

Originally posted November 25, 2009

by Designing Mom Cat

It was the day after Thanksgiving last year that I received the call from my dad that my mother had passed away. I was in the second trimester of my pregnancy. My sister was in her third. To be honest, I can’t even quite remember what we did last Thanksgiving…just that everything was chaotic, pensive, incomprehensible as my mother lay comatose from a sudden brain hemorrhage in hospice.

In the weeks leading to her hemorrhage, my father said she was frantic, insistent on completing a set of albums that chronicled my siblings and my childhood. He remembered she had a look of utter relief when she placed the last photo into one of our books as she breathed, “finished.” On the plane ride back to San Francisco I carried my set back…two albums filled with meticulously documented photos from the time I was a newborn. These were the photos I pored over after the birth of my son, staring at photos of myself at 6 weeks, 3 months, 5 months to see when I was rolling, propping myself up on elbows… Finding answers to all of the questions I would have asked my mother about.

My mother was absolutely beautiful, modest, hard-working and she adored my father. I’ll be sharing those details about his paw-paw and the albums of my childhood with my son each and every Thanksgiving. We will make her favorite cranberry orange relish together. We will indulge in the luxury of simple pleasures and memories which were all the things my mother treasured most. There is so much to be thankful for.

It is hard to believe I am writing this on the one year anniversary of my mother’s passing. But I wanted to share this because this is how Designing Moms started. As an ode to my mother. An outreach to surround myself with moms for creative and personal support when all I wanted to do was retreat. For that I am so grateful to have the support of all of my Designing Moms, read their amazing posts and projects, and to have the support of all of you readers out there. I wish all of you a heart-filled Thanksgiving with your family and little ones.
xxx-ooo, Cat

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