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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,
Nicole

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
3 Comments
  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
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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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One of the greatest joys of my life is that I get to spend 40 hours a week working with women who are smart, talented, sweet, and hilarious. I think everyone on this team can agree that our personal and professional relationships with each other make up a good portion of the reason why we are able to do our jobs well. This makes us particularly excited to announce that we are hiring!

Photo by Ally and Bobby

Founded in 2007, Lara Casey Media is the parent company of the Cultivate What Matters and Southern Weddings brands. Our collective brands serve an online audience of over one million in over 20 countries. You will be joining the team of a growing business that serves to help women cultivate intentional lives.

We are looking for a seasoned, joyful, and dynamic senior designer to add to our team! For each member on our team, the work we do for these brands comes from a place of personal passion and a love for our readers and customers. We’re thrilled to add another designer to our team who can help us kick up our marketing efforts, new projects, and everyday communication a notch.

We love to see our team members take on flexible job roles that both play up their skill strengths, but also fire them up on a personal level. With that being said, we do anticipate our new designer will work very closely with our Art Director and our Marketing Director to produce products and assets that help us better serve our audience.

Are you interested in working with us? Read on to find more details and qualifications.

Tasks and responsibilities may include:

  • Creating graphics for our blogs, shops, social feeds, and video content
  • Styling and shooting product imagery
  • Editing product photography
  • Basic videography
  • Digital product design (e-books, opt-ins, and guides)
  • Physical product design (namely the Cultivate What Matters PowerSheets and Write the Word journals, and Southern Weddings Magazine and Joyful Wedding Planner)
  • Creating internal marketing assets like media kits and one-sheets
  • Creating web assets and managing web development projects
  • Managing production and import of overseas product
  • Ad design and client interfacing
  • Editing CSS and HTML for basic webpages and newsletters

The person most fit for this position:

  • Is a creative problem-solver, and self-motivated to learn
  • Has basic knowledge of HTML, CSS and WordPress
  • Is a great communicator, and can tactfully and efficiently express ideas
  • Has a love for great branding, and can build out appropriate interpretations of our brand assets for visual diversity and interest
  • Has a strong knowledge of our brand and heart for our mission
  • Has a joyful spirit and thrives on “situation solving”
  • Approaches product creation with user-focused design, keeping in mind marketing tactics and print production techniques
  • Has a positive attitude and is a team player
  • Is well-spoken and has a great grasp of grammar and punctuation in written communication
  • Is energetic and enthusiastic
  • Has experience with digital marketing/marketing strategy
  • Enjoys goal-setting and encouraging others
  • Thrives on relationship building and exceeding expectations with charm

Job Requirements

  • Has 3+ years of experience in graphic design, product design, or editorial design
  • Fluent in Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop
  • Experienced in print production
  • Must be able to lift at least 50 pounds
  • Must be able to begin working full time by October 1, or earlier
  • Must be able to work in our Chapel Hill office
  • Must be able to commit to 4-5 interviews (including at least one in-person interview)

To apply, fill out our application, and have these items ready to upload:

  • Your PDF resume
  • Your portfolio, if it’s not online
  • A one-sheet PDF you have designed about yourself. Feel free to include anything you think is relevant, but be sure to include answers to the following questions. Get creative!
    • Your name and any nicknames you have
    • What fires you up?
    • What is your greatest strength?
    • Tell us a fun fact about yourself (or a few!)
    • What are your professional goals?

We’d suggest giving yourself 30-45 minutes to complete the application. Applications will close August 14th. Salary commensurate with experience.

We highly recommend reading Lara’s tips for getting hired!

Apply here.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
1 Comment
  1. avatar joshua wyborn reply

    Passed it onto my sister who is a graphic designer! :)

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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