Each Friday we share a story from one of the ladies of Fortress with #WeWalkFar. Use this hashtag to share your experiences, get involved, and make a difference!
Influencer: Sarabeth McElhaney
1) Tell me about what inspires you to to kick ass every day. What goals and ambitions get you out of bed and keeps you moving forward even on the hardest of days? How do you shake the bad days and moments?
Knowing that I've been able to create a business from the ground up to not only help provide for my family, but also have the flexibility of raising my son while working from home is extremely gratifying. I create my own work hours, and although it can quickly turn into a 24-hour position, our ability to spontaneously venture out or try something new makes every day a new adventure. It's honestly hard to have bad days when our family can spend every day together, and a hug, kiss or cuddle from my little one is the perfect pick-me-up.
2) With the rising trend in Slow Fashion and the benefits to buying well-made, high quality products, have you noticed yourself becoming more aware of the design and production of the clothes you buy?
Our family recently went through a transformation, moving to the heart of Hollywood and downsizing considerably. We wanted to focus on the quality of our time and space (and possessions) instead of continuing to accumulate things we didn't actually need. I recently purged a significant amount of my wardrobe to ease the transition, keeping only high-quality and versatile items in my closet. Now, instead of just shopping for the cheapest piece to fulfill a need, I spend the time to pick out something that I know will last and is flexible enough to re-wear for different occasions.
3) What advice do you have for women pursuing a career in your industry? What roadblocks did you have to smash through to get where you are today?
With blogging becoming so popular in recent years, it's always going to be a struggle to stand out -- even if you're generally a leader in the blogging pack. When my husband started a blog of his own, I was immediately taken back by how quickly his took off without having to put in the hours that I had to put into networking and marketing myself. Because there's less men in the space, they are more sought after for sponsored campaigns and content partnerships. We've been able to work into a good balance between buckling down for time-sensitive articles, watching our son, and enjoying leisure time. We assist each other with articles, photography and social media marketing, and we get valuable feedback from each other on every post before it goes live. My one piece of advice is to stay versatile, learn from what others do or have done, and truly put in the time and effort to allow yourself to succeed. Most bloggers abandon their sites within the first three months because the return is not immediate, and the work involved is often underestimated. Getting over that hump and continuing to work hard will allow your business to snowball and flourish.
4) Who has been one of the most inspiring and motivating mentors in your life? What have they done that has personally pushed you to keep going?
I am constantly inspired by the trailblazers in the industry. There are so many successful women (and men) that were confident enough to take the risk and really put themselves out there before anyone really knew what it would lead to. Even as blogging professionally has grown exponentially in recent years, most people don't truly understand the amount of discipline it takes to run a reputable and dependable website. I've specifically watched a handful of women grow their brand over the years and constantly use their work and passion as a motivating factor to regularly improve facets of my work. Whether its what brands/companies I work with, improving the quality of the content or photos, or mimicking the work ethic that my peers display, there's always room for growth. While continued success is always the ultimate destination, the journey I've been on has been the most rewarding aspect of this crazy little adventure I'm on.