Belles, we are so excited to have a special feature on The Everygirl today! Be sure to hop over and check it out right here; I know you’ll love hearing what Lara and Nicole had to say! They’re sharing a little peek inside our office, which reminded us that even though we’ve been in our new space for more than two years, we’ve never done a proper tour. For shame! It’s time to flesh out the behind-the-scenes sneak peeks we love to share on instagram, so step inside and pour yourself a glass of sweet tea. We also sprinkled some info in between the photos, because we realized not all of y’all know exactly what each of us do!
When you enter the SW office, my and Lisa’s desks are against the far wall. Hello!
Above: our custom color chalkboard wall — I generally take it upon myself to add the message of the day :)
Above: the shelves above my desk and my bulletin board. The little monogram canvas was a gift from one of our past interns — you can buy them in her shop here! My bulletin board has a few favorite photos and tears as well as a seed packet from our Family Heirlooms story and a bouquet locket with one of my parents’ wedding photos (if you have sharp eyes, you’ll spot it in V6!).
How long I’ve been at SW: 4.5 years
How I got my job: Lara and I connected over a lovely journal through my personal blog. I then wore her down until she hired me post-graduation :)
What I do: I conceptualize, plan, and execute editorials for our print edition. I also field all submissions and determine the content and schedule for the blog and print editions. I also am lucky enough to work on many of SW’s special projects.
What I love most about working at Southern Weddings: I love that I love what I do! I feel so much ownership in our company and our mission, and it’s exciting to see the fruits of our work in the hearts of our readers and partners every day.
What I love about our office: I love the color of the walls and the angles in the ceiling — it feels cozy but also airy, kind of like a manicured tree house.
How we work together as a team: Though we all work very independently (setting our own schedules, priorities, etc.) we are in constant communication about projects and decisions. Our responsibilities are also very elastic, and they overlap — on any given week, I am almost surely working on a different project with each of the other ladies.
Something you might not know about how we work: I famously eat lunch around 3pm every day. I tend to eat dinner around 9pm, so it works for me! :)
Fun fact: Lisa had only been in the office a week or two when these photos were taken! She had to get her bulletin board in ship shape right off the bat :)
How long I’ve been at SW: Four months
How I got my job: I knew I wanted to work at Southern Weddings for most of college, so in 2010, I started my own wedding blog as a portfolio of my wedding knowledge and writing ability. At the beginning of my last semester of college, I reached out to Emily to tell her more about myself and ask her what else I could do that would make me the best possible candidate for SW, should an opportunity arise. Less than a month later, a position opened up that they thought I could be a great fit for. I interviewed for a few months, was offered the job three days after graduation, and moved to Chapel Hill from Texas a month later!
What I do: My time is split between working as an editor and the shop manager. As an editor, I write and edit for both the blog and magazine, help coordinate and execute editorial shoots, and communicate with PR companies. As shop manager, I process orders from the Southern Weddings and Lara Casey shops, communicate with customers, and monitor how the products perform.
What I love most about working at Southern Weddings: I love the opportunity to serve our sweet readers through sharing meaningful inspiration and encouraging them to focus on what matters in their wedding planning. I also love being part of such an amazing team, helping to make editorial magic happen, and getting to write every day.
What I love about our office: I love our monogrammed office chairs. They’re comfy and cute, of course, but since they roll, they also allow us to rearrange our chairs easily, in order to squeeze in front of the desktop for our weekly Google Hangout meetings or work together on different projects. It’s funny how something as basic as office chairs contributes to the collaborative environment at SW, but it absolutely does!
How we work together as a team: We work together in a very collaborative way — a typical real wedding blog post may consist of Emily placing images, me editing the interview, Marissa writing the introduction and comments, and Nicole putting together the gallery. Because we work together closely on so many aspects of our work, we all really respect one another’s strengths and talents, and look for opportunities to help each other do our best work.
Something you might not know about how we work: We are hardly ever all in the same place–in the four months I’ve been here, I have only seen Marissa in person once! Also, Emily rarely eats lunch before 3 p.m., and when Nicole and I are the only ones in the office, we play the “Country Barbecue” Pandora station all day. :)
On the opposite wall is Lara’s desk and the Big Mac, where Nicole often works!
Why yes, we do have a collection of chickens… and chicken office supplies. In our defense, most of them are gifts.
It’s high time we discussed those monogrammed office chairs, because I know they’re quite popular. In fact, if they appear in an instagrammed photo, that’s ALL y’all want to talk about! :) Here’s the scoop: the chairs are from Flash Furniture on Amazon, and the monograms are vinyl clings from Dixieland Monogram! Now go forth and letter to your heart’s content.
How long I’ve been at SW: Since I first got an itch late one night to make up a magazine cover on my little 13 inch PC :) It was 2007, right before my first wedding anniversary, and the rest, as they say, is history!
How I got my job: It has been a long road to get here, but in short I would say I got my job by asking for it. When I first started, I would email people like Mindy Weiss and Preston Bailey and simply ask them if they would let me interview them. And I kept asking. Here I am many years later, and I am still asking.
What I do: Day-to-day, my activities include being on the phone, doing consulting for small business owners, making editorial decisions with Emily, creating new shop products and doing magazine layout with Nicole, managing challenges that arise, doing all the financial planning and book keeping, speaking at conferences about authentic branding and the core of a solid business, motivating our amazing team, and — among many other things — replying to a whole lot of email.
What I love most about working at Southern Weddings: I love helping people have stronger marriages and helping them focus on what matters most. There is no greater joy in my work!
What I love about our office: Our office is so calming and inspiring. There are visual reminders everywhere of our mission statement and WHY we do what we do!
How we work together as a team: While I am technically “the boss,” we truly are a team. We each have ownership of a special area of the company, not a list of tasks to do daily from “the boss.” There is a great sense of responsibility and pride that is cultivated in our office through constant focus on our mission. We know WHY we do what we do and that drives us to be our best, working independently and as a team to make our mission happen.
Something you might not know about how we work: Our office motto is, “If you’re not excited about it, no one will be.” We all work hard to use our own unique talents each day to make our mission happen in ways that truly light our hearts on fire. With each person I’ve hired, there has been a constant focus on using each of our gifts to the full.
Nicole’s real desk is off in a corner by itself, and we unanimously agree that it is the happiest part of the office.
How long I’ve been at SW: Three and a half years-ish.
How I got my job: In college, I went to hear Lara speak at a campus group event and was convinced that I needed to intern with her. I applied and got the position and they stayed with SW for another year as we continued to grow like kudzu. After graduation, I was finally offered the position I’ve always dreamed of!
What I do: I create most of the visuals associated with Southern Weddings, including blog graphics, shop and brand collateral, magazine layout (which Lara and I do together) and marketing materials. I act as the visual brand ambassador, helping boost our value and recognition.
What I love most about working at Southern Weddings: There’s a little bit of everything involved. One day, you could be doing manual labor, the next day you could be picking which dress you want to wear to the launch party. Though we have many of the same tasks day in and day out, we’re always trying something new and because we’re a small office, every part of the Southern Weddings machine is tended to by us. We package the magazines ourselves, we craft our own props for photo shoots, we call our hosting provider if the site goes down. Some of these things aren’t remotely glamorous or fun, but they give us a pride and ownership in what we do.
What I love about our office: There’s inspiration everywhere! We all have big bulletin boards that we hang our favorite paper pieces and photos on, our favorite images from all volumes of the magazine are on our wall, there’s a whole closet of cute prints from the SW and LC shop and we’re constantly getting mail from amazing and creative vendors. I love that we’ve taken the time to find comfy office chairs, to paint the walls, and to make our individual spaces our own.
How we work together as a team: We are truly a team effort and the best part is that we all like, respect and enjoy working with each other! We all have responsibilities that we’re solely in charge of, but we don’t make big decisions without consulting each other, which gives us all a great well-rounded view of the processes behind SW. While we can have our hands in many different projects, I think we’re all very good at playing up each other’s strengths. I always let Emily and Lisa write the text for graphics or collateral I’m working on, even if I could do it myself, because they’re amazing with words. And Emily and Lara, although they know the Adobe Creative Suite, always leave big graphic tasks to me.
Something you might not know about how we work: It’s quiet! For the most part, we all work very independently and we have what we need to get a task done. Every once and while, we’ll pause to collaborate on something or discuss something together, but for the most part, you’ll hear keys tapping and mice clicking. Of course, when I’m in the office alone, the music comes on!
Now, you may be asking yourself, why don’t I see the lovely faces of Marissa and Kristin? Read on…
We’re proud of the work we create and have no fewer than fifteen framed prints from past editorials gracing our walls! Also, not to confuse anyone: those Gobstoppers most definitely belong to Nicole. Half of her instagram photos are of these little pieces of sugary goodness.
How long I’ve been at SW: 3 years and 8 months
How I got my job: After reading a very inspiring blog post by Lara, I took a big leap and emailed her a raw and personal email expressing my desire to work for Southern Weddings. After interviewing in the office, I was offered a very part time position working for Lara Casey Reps. Over the years, my position has transitioned and been refined to what I do now.
What I do: I work with local and nationals brands to help grow their businesses by creating custom marketing plans that connect them with their target audience, the darling Southern Weddings readers. I am also delighted to work editorially by writing Real Wedding intros and other fun features on the blog and in print that focus on our core mission.
What I love most about working at Southern Weddings: Besides the amazing group of women I get to work with everyday, I love working for a company that values what matters most: family, love and marriage.
What it’s like to work remotely with SW: While I’d love to be able to work in our beautiful office with my lovely coworkers, it’s such a blessing for me to be able to work remotely. Even though Kristin and I are not there physically, we Google Hangout during our staff meetings, and many other times throughout the week, creating “face-to-face” time for creative brainstorming. I work regular business hours, just from a different place (and without biscuits breaks!). Most importantly, we make it a priority to keep a strong connection with the team in the office to ensure we all stay focused on the same mission and goals.
Something you might not know about how we work: We LOVE Google Docs! It’s true, as a team we must have over 50 docs! It’s such a great way for us to connect on big projects and keep everything organized and in one place.
How long I’ve been at SW: 1 year, 3 months, 26 days (or, sixteen sweet months)
How I got my job: It started with a bold proclamation to Lara, upon a happenstance meeting at an SW event in December of 2011, that I thought we should work together some day. I had previously applied for an open SW position in the spring of 2011. Another position opened up in 2012, and after applying, I followed up with a promise to make the office my world-famous chocolate chip cookies or Tar Heel pie. I guess I won everyone over with the promise of sweet treats and my savvy Excel skills.
What I do: I get the joy of overseeing the Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory — helping to cultivate and maintain a list of the best and brightest vendors below the the Mason Dixon. This means I get the chance to interact with and fall in love with some of the sweetest people in the South. I also tab a stab at blogging on the occasion along with helping Marissa out with the overall SW advertising goals and objectives.
What I love most about working at Southern Weddings: Is the food an acceptable answer? :) The food is definitely a highlight, but the thing I love most is the fact that I get to work with ladies that share a similar heart for marriage, a passion for what matters most and a drive to help brides cultivate a life (and wedding celebration) of love and joy.
What it’s like to work remotely with SW: I am very grateful for technology and the ability to virtually ‘hangout’ with the SW gals whenever needed. I am also lucky enough to get into the office every couple of months to re-charge my SW batteries. While I can get envious of Friday Tea Service — I have learned that it is best to join in the fun so I pull put my tea (sweet or hot) on Friday afternoons and play along from the comfort of my home office!!
How we work together as a team: Three cheers for DropBox, Google Docs and Google Hangout. We work really hard to use technology to our advantage to keep us connected, to stay on the same page and to produce the highest-quality work. Our mission statement is the foundation of everything that we do, which produces an incredibly cohesive working environment.
You’ve heard of our shipping department? If not, see here, here, and here. Our little golden chicken mascot (Henrietta) and the shipping sign were 2012 Christmas gifts to Lara!
And that’s a wrap, folks! BIG thanks to our friend Faith Teasley, a Blue Ribbon Vendor, for taking these photos! Any questions about the SW office? Leave them in the comments! And be sure to check out Lara’s post on our office today for a different perspective!