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Farewell from Nicole

by in In The Office, Main on

My first desk in the Southern Weddings office was actually more like a nested side table situation in the corner by the closet. It had room for a computer and… that was it. Back then, we worked in Microsoft Publisher to create all of our graphics and real wedding posts. We hand wrote every single address for every single magazine that was ordered. Making Things Happen was on its first full year of touring, and Cultivate What Matters wasn’t even a phrase we said during our most eloquent of times. iPhones weren’t yet ubiquitous, y’all.

(2010: My first photo booth with the team when I was an intern in, and our annual holiday photo with Santa!)

A lot changes in seven years. My desk has prime office real estate now, we run two shops that have their own shipping team, Making Things Happen is now on its 53rd intensive, and our team has more than doubled (not counting all the babies that have been born!).

(2011: My first team photos! Millie Holloman took these — look how long my hair is!)

I’ve changed a lot over the past seven years, too. I started my internship at Southern Weddings as a college student with a long-distance boyfriend and heart eyes for weddings before heart-eyes were even a thing.

As the company went through its transformations and growing pains, so did I. We outgrew our office and started honing in on the South and on marriage. I broke up with my boyfriend and learned that dating well doesn’t mean blind commitment and hopefulness, but hard work and the confidence to find a partner who will work just as fervently as you will (and make life more fun in the process).

(2012: Shipping magazine orders out from our garage, and playing assistant at the first photo shoot I helped envision and organize.)

In 2012, I graduated from college and met my now-boyfriend, Taylor. The same year, the Lara Casey Shop was born out of a single, powerful sentiment.

(2013: I traveled to the National Stationery Show for the first time — a dream come true! Lara and I fed goats for our team photos the same year.)

In 2016, the Lara Casey Shop was transformed into Cultivate What Matters, and we took a deep dive into living more purposefully, more joyfully, and with a stronger community. At home, Taylor and I started working on passion projects, we got a puppy, and we started setting goals that we could both work on together.

We’ve been growing like really good, flowery weeds since then.

(2014: We frolicked in fields with ball gowns. Taylor made his modeling debut at our team BBQ.)

This year, as Cultivate and Southern Weddings learned to prioritize and focus on a long term vision, I did, too. Each conversation we had in the office, each magazine we made, and each iteration of the PowerSheets we created — those were all seeds that got planted in my personal life. They showed up when Taylor and I snuggled on the couch after a long day, when my friends were going through loss and change, when my sister got married, when my parents were sick. I found myself subconsciously weighing each decision I made: does this honor my value? Does this make other people feel empowered to live their best lives? Does this matter??

(2015: It doesn’t matter how big our team grows — we WILL fit into the photo booth! We had a dreamy day with Katelyn James for our team photo shoot. Jess and I met for the first time when she volunteered to pack PowerSheets!)

This company is a little seed that buries its roots in all parts of your brain and heart.
It changes everything.

(2016: The best squishy hug photo at the Gingerbread Barn Building Competition — favorite part of my legacy! We took the holidays pretty seriously with fruit-themed Halloween costumes. Amber, Jess and I became a terrific trio working on Cultivate What Matters.)

It is with no small amount of humility and gratitude that I say farewell to the team and you all this week to leap into new adventures in 2018! I’ll be freelancing full time while occasionally popping in to cheer on the Southern Weddings and Cultivate businesses.

(2017: Taylor’s and my first modeling debut inside the magazine! Silliness and laughs at our spring Team Summit.)

I’m looking forward to diving into a new season of helping other small businesses grow their design and visuals, but this transition has been both scary and rewarding. I am floored with gratitude that my coworkers are now some of my biggest cheerleaders. I can’t wait to see what they do in the next seven years. Most of all, I can’t wait to see how your lives might change for the better just by letting us be a part of your blog feeds, social feeds, and inboxes. Seven years from now, I hope you’re as blown away by the transformation as I am.

With love,

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Kyla Shattuck reply

    Cheering you on Nicole in your future endeavors and celebrating all that you have accomplished with these two beautiful brands over the years! :)

  2. avatar Erin / Floret reply

    What a beautiful post and what a brave, exciting, inspiring next step. Our little team is rooting for you over here in Washington. Congrats Nicole!!!

    • avatar Nicole reply

      Erin — you guys are the best cheerleaders! Thank you so much for this sweet comment!

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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While we’re always sure not to step on dear Thanksgiving’s toes during the holiday season, it is a sort of the opening ceremony for holiday cheer, gatherings full of joy, and lots of sugary treats. We’re not going to waste another minute, then, to invite you to our Seventh (!!) Annual Gingerbread Barn Building Competition!

This holiday tradition has become a favorite for us and for our competitors—we can’t wait to see how y’all up the ante this year! Anyone can come—so if you have a love of sugary holiday treats, a competitive spirit, and a festive apron, please RSVP! Most attendees choose to work in groups to build their gingerbread barns, so grab your friends, family, or fella and join in on the fun. (Just make sure everyone in your group purchases a ticket individually so we know how many graham crackers and icing to buy!)

Buy your tickets here.

Want to start scheming and need some gingerbread inspiration? Take a look at our past recaps:
Gingerbread Barn Building 2013
Gingerbread Barn Building 2014
Gingerbread Barn Building 2015
Gingerbread Barn Building 2016

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
1 Comment
  1. avatar Cynthia Logan reply

    Do you have a date for the 2018 contest?

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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My home is light, airy, and quite colorful. And I love it! But, like clockwork, as the calendar flips to fall, I start craving deeper colors and comfier textiles to up the cozy factor in our little nest. The intentional decisions about what we choose to bring into our homes can make such a difference in how we feel when we’re there, in our relationships, and how we feel when we go out into the world, can’t they?

Thinking of what you’ll want and need in your home through each season is a great way to structure your wedding registry and make sure you’re not missing anything. Today, we’re sharing a few favorite picks from Crate and Barrel (where I registered six years ago!) to help build a comfortable, stylish home no matter the season – but especially in the cooler months :)

1. Aiden velvet apartment sofa | 2. Brenner velvet pillow | 3. Lakin recycled teak sideboard | 4. Garbo leather wingback chair | 5. Twig standing coat rack | 6. Siesta blanket | 7. Birney round grey rattan basket

Don’t be afraid to register for a few larger items, like a sofa or beautiful wooden piece – your guests might want to go in on them together, or your parents or grandparents might be looking for the perfect larger gift!

Like I mentioned, I was a Crate and Barrel bride six years ago. I love their clean, warm, and exclusive collection of housewares and furniture; their style is flexible, and a perfect fit for so many homes. I also loved that instead of a one-time registry discount post-wedding, they offer 10% off anything in store and online (even furniture!) for six months after your event, for as many shopping trips as you want! You can read more about their registry benefits here.

1. Marin white dinner plate | 2. Couture copper place setting | 3. Stainless steel cocktail shaker with copper finish | 4. Set of Roscoe platters | 5. Artesia bread baskets| 6. Heritage serving boards | 7. Welcome mug | 8. Laguiole olivewood cheese knife set | 9. Le Creuset French oven | 10. Crawford serving bowl | 11. Gabriel taper candle holder

Registering can be both a very fun and very pressure-filled part of your engagement. (It was hard for me to narrow down the pieces for this post, and they’re not even going to end up in my home!) At Crate and Barrel, creating a registry is a celebration, starting with their Private Registry Events where you can get one-on-one attention and advice from registry experts and get a free gift. Find one near you here!

Ready to get cozy? Create your Crate and Barrel registry right now! And tell me: do you have a seasonal nesting urge like I do? :)

This post is sponsored by Crate and Barrel, a brand we’ve loved for years. Thanks for your support of the brands who make Southern Weddings possible!

emily Written with love by Emily

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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