First and foremost, I love your style Courtney. I follow you via Instagram. I am going to an event for my career in April in New York City (Wall Street) at 2 major investment firms, and am having a difficult time putting together 4 days of corporate attire. I wear a size 4-6, and I want to look my best yet conservative. Can you please offer any suggestions?
Thank you so much! Wall Street sounds like a lot of pressure but you’ve got it. Try Loft, everything is 40% off this weekend! Banana Republic, which is my personal favorite, also has 40% off. I would pack a suit option for more formal meetings. I’d also make sure I had a blazer to go over dresses or pencil skirts. Wrap dresses are great options for networking events or happy hours. A detailed pencil skirt and plain blouse should also be appropriate! As long as the temperature agrees LOL. Enjoy yourself!
I’m going to a wedding in Italy in August with my boyfriend. His boss and a bunch of other coworkers from his region that I’ve never met will be there. I’m hoping you can help me find a nice dress a little on the curvier side.
I’d definitely go for a longer gown. Even if it’s a fitted dress, you won’t have to worry about it rising up or showing too much of what you wouldn’t want your boo’s coworkers to see. Plus, Italy is the perfect place to be overdressed.
How do you stay motivated and find time to work on your personal goals outside of your 9 to 5?
That’s a great question. I believe that I’m naturally a really hard worker and if I’m not always busy, with something to do and my plate overflowing, I feel as if I’m not doing enough. After college I began working at my now job and about six months into it, realized how bored I was with the redundancy of simply going to a job for 8 hours and coming home – and my job is on the “fun” side of the spectrum, which says a lot. I started thinking about ways that I could do more for myself along with help others and brainstormed on it until it became The B Werd. Now that’s it’s grown into what it currently is, nothing that happens at my job is more rewarding than what I’m accomplishing for myself on my own. I’ve worked so hard and invested so much time into building my own brand that seeing results has easily become a good enough reason to stay motivated. I want to see where I can take it. I want to see how good I can do, how much I can do, not just with the blog – but with my personal life, with my travel destinations, with my workout goals. Reality is, we don’t find time – we make time. That may mean getting up an hour earlier to send a few emails on behalf of your endeavors, or vowing not to turn the TV on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday after work so that you can spend more time on your personal goals. It boils down to dedication.
What are your do’s and don’ts of business casual attire for work? Also, what are the best three websites to find affordable work attire?
My do’s and don’ts are pretty simple! Keep your colors neutral, nothing too loud or bright. I pretty much stick to black white navy gray and nude tones. Skirts and dresses should be knee length and it’s always in your best interest to wear spanx or a slip underneath just to be safe. None of your clothing should be too tight and your heels shouldn’t be too high. I keep cardigans in bold colors like mustard, plum, or fun prints if I ever want to add detail to my look. My favorite store to buy work clothing is Banana Republic but realistically, it’s expensive. The pieces last for years but I can hardly bring myself to pay $100 for one pair of pants. I try and shop their sale items sorted from “low to high” or wait until they have seasonal sales of 30-40% off. Believe it or not, H&M has a great work attire collection. The sizes run a bit small but that’s my only complaint, if it even is one. Lastly, I love Express, especially during days like today where they have 40% off of everything. Their pants and blouses both fit great.
I’m totally wanting to revamp my wardrobe. I’m planning on going through my closet and donating things I haven’t worn in a while and purchase new clothes. What are some necessities that should be in every woman’s closet?
I’m HUGE on versatility and typically only look for pieces that I can wear multiple ways with multiple things, so I believe if you have a good 15 items in your closet it should be enough to mix and match dozens of outfits. One pair of good denim and a pair of black pants are a necessity. I do believe in investing in jeans because the quality lasts so much longer than a cheaper pair and the fit also compliments so much better. Try places like Nordstrom Rack or Saks Off 5th (extra 20% off all items this weekend) for designer jeans under $100. They’re typically 40% off, sometimes more! An oversized white button down, or denim shirt because they can be worn so many different ways. Buttoned up with a statement necklace, open with an undershirt, sleeves rolled up, or buttoned up with the sleeves buttoned if you’re going for a professional look. Of course, a little black dress – probably knee length, that can go from work, to church, to girls night out. A black blazer, denim jacket or camo jacket. Those are all jackets that pair so well over all kind of items, dresses, skirts, pants or jeans. A dressy blouse, a graphic tee, a pair of simple nude heels and a pair of vans or chucks. God for bid I lost all my clothing tomorrow, that right there would be my starting line up for building LOL. Also keep in mind that H&M offers you 15% off your purchase if you bring clothes you don’t want to a local store. They recycle them no matter the condition.
I’m a self-taught painter and currently in school for graphic design. I go back and forth on whether to stay in school or just research and Google everything I need to know. I’m also thinking about selling my artwork so any tips of passive income would be great.
I can definitely see why that’s something that you’re juggling with, because I’ve taught myself how to do SO many things by searching for what I need on the internet. However, nothing compares to having that little piece of paper that vouches for your knowledge. Not to say you wouldn’t be just as talented if you decided to go about it on your own, but it means a lot to have an accredited school or university backing you. Stick it out, I don’t think you’ll regret it and it will definitely give you a little more weight when it’s time to start securing jobs. As far as passive income goes, it’s a little more difficult to create something passive when it requires your own to hands to complete your expertise. You could potentially do things like sell your art on items, like t-shirts or mouse pads, where you’re only creating it once then reselling it over and over again on items. Or you could create a sort of e-course, where you teach people how to complete a particular painting technique. You record it once and can sell it a million times.
Is the Werkbook good for someone wanting to start a podcast? Or is it more geared towards bloggers and influencers?
My werkbook is perfect for anyone wanting to start a podcast. It really helps you designate your branding regardless of what you want to pursue so that you attract the right people and don’t waste time on nonsense. If you’re a hair stylist, blogger, or housekeeper, this werkbook could literally change your entire approach on how you present yourself to the public. It really is a great (and inexpensive) investment!
What kind of workouts do you do and eating habits do you have? I have a very similar frame as you do and find it very hard to workout and not lose weight, which is not my goal. I just want to maintain. Can you share your secrets?
I do very little cardio, almost none. I mean, 10 minutes or less of it. Although it’s great for burning fat, cardio does very little for muscle building. Focus more on HIIT (high intensity interval training) which involves body weight or light weights and continuous movement AKA no breaks. Your heart rate is up so you’re burning fat, but you’re also building muscle because you’re going nonstop. I work with weights and resistance more than anything else, which helps me tone up without dropping any weight. I use this sweat belt during my workouts to burn more fat and for someone who NEVER sweats, I’m dripping by the time I complete my routine. I try my best to eat clean. Lots of lean meats, veggies and light snacks. I keep my protein intake high, incorporate a lot of veggies and keep my brown rice, whole wheat pasta and bread consumption on the lower side. You can use the MyFitnessPal app to track meals and calories if you’re trying to be mindful of what’s going into your body. It can get a little taxing, especially when you’re “already skinny” but trying to take it up a notch. Once you start to see results, you’ll want it more than ever.
I’ve been working through your Brand Beginnings Werkbook and I’m almost two years into blogging. I feel like I’ve gotten some traction during this time as I’m being invited to events and asked to do some collaboration through gifted product. My question is around rates and how much I should charge.
YES! Congratulations on your progress! This is the exact direction you should be going after completing your workbook. As far as rates go, they should always be based off of viewer numbers. If you have a small following, always ask for the brands budget first that way you know what kind of reach you’ll have without aiming too high or low. I researched rates early on and found that a good rule to follow is charging 10% of your follower count on whatever platform they’re wanting you to post on, so 10,000 followers would be $1000, but rates can start as low as $50! Also take into consideration the time and resources it may take you to complete the collaboration. If it’s going to take you three days and a professional photographer, you may want to charge more than something you could complete on your own in a few hours. As your numbers grow, so will your rates!
Do you have any tips or pointers on how you make your social media more appealing to increase followers? Things such as themes, photo filter apps, cameras and if you have a personal photographer? How do you get nice pictures for your page and website on a budget? I have a nice camera but can’t take photos of myself and I’m just learning how to work it.
I’m actually thinking about compiling a full blog resource workbook for all of you all struggling on where to find this kind of info. Let me know if it’s something that would be helpful to you guys! The key to increasing your following on social media are going to boil down to consistency (how often you post) and quality (how good and/or helpful your posts are). In order to grow your audience, you must stay in front of them. If you’re not going to be able to post on a daily basis, then try your best to make your posts as informative, inspiration, or aesthetically pleasing as possible so that people feel compelled to interact, like, comment and share. VSCO is the most popular app for creating a consistent photo filter look on your posts. You can play around with the settings to get your photos just right, then save the settings so that you can use it on each of your photos before posting. As far as your photos go, you don’t need a photographer for every photo! Set up a tripod and get yourself a wireless remote and snap away. The best (and cheapest) teacher is YouTube. Spend a few hours a week watching YouTube videos regarding how to work your camera and the best settings to use so that you can get the most money out of it.
What are your thoughts on dating men who live with their parents? I know you mentioned you lived with your mom and I didn’t think anything of it but I feel like if a guy was in the same situation I’m kind of put off by it, even though I understand why they may be doing it. I’m 23, he’s 24. He has a great job, car and has intentions of moving out but is currently saving his money.
24 is still young, but is old enough to have your shit together. It’s difficult to say, because while I understand the reasoning behind why he may live at home, he’s still old enough to be on his own. I dated a guy who lived at home with his parents and I didn’t knock him for that. However, it really interfered with what we were able to do together (cook, movie night) and how often we could spend time together so it didn’t work well for me. If he’s planning to move out soon, give him some time to prove himself. A young man living on his own in my opinion shows signs of responsibility, independence and self sufficiency, regardless of what his parents are offering him at home.
I’m going to Miami in May and would love to know about swimsuits and attire for a three day weekend. I got some ideas from your festival post since that’s what we’re going for, but also brunch and a club or two.
Ah, Miami is so fun! Here are some 305 appropriate swimsuits and outfits to wear while you’re there –
I feel like this was a really long-winded Coffee Talk, but thank you guys for all of the questions! For all of the questions I was unable to get to this week, be on the lookout next week. Have a wonderful Easter weekend!