Harbour Affair Hilton Head Island South Carolina

A couple (okay maybe a few… maybe several…) weeks ago I popped on Instagram Live to share what’s-a-been-a-happenin’ in CGP/Harbour Affair Land in the last year. What was supposed to be a sub-10 minute update turned into a 20+ min hashing while friends popped on and off (Instagram Live is HARD, y’all!)… and I’m finally getting to the recap, in case you missed it… or the the thought of watching-Celia-for-freaking-20-min stressed you out (don’t worry, it would for me, too).

So here’s the recap… with only mild soliloquy.

Enjoy, folks.

2018: The Good, the Ehhhh, and the Fugly (with Bonus Game-Changers)

THE FUGLY

  • Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems: I was hit with a massive and very unexpected tax bill early in the year (problems of doing better than expected last year!), despite paying quarterly taxes and having set-aside cash to cover additional tax liability. My gear also experienced significant equipment issues, despite regular maintenance – it required major repairs or total replacements of a few pricey pieces. It nearly wiped out every dollar I had in my business. (Silver lining? Never went into debt or put anything on a credit card. But it was still REALLY tough.)
  • Hustle Blindness: Having experienced said cash-flow probs, I let the scarcity mindset and emotions dictate a few too many choices – and I said “Yes” to a few things I knew I shouldn’t, knowing FULL well I wasn’t the right person or it wasn’t the right time, and ended up regretting it too little too late. Lots of learnings here. (Biggest ones? Trust your gut. Be honest. Know it’s okay to WAIT. Stay focused, you blonde buffoon.)
  • Entrepreneurial Implosions: Having let fear, perfectionism, and wanting to do-all-the-things guide my choices, I spread myself insanely thin. While I prayed for a change in my business still using my skill set and clarity in that process, I didn’t know exactly what I was aiming at… so I shot at it ALL. More on that below.
  • The Burn Out: After months without replenishing the tank — super early mornings, late nights, caffeinating all day and not being able to ‘calm down’ without a giant glass of wine at night, harder workouts to ‘burn off’ the ‘bad stuff,’ going weeks without taking an actual day off, 10+ hour wedding days, etc. — my body was pleading for a change. Back in June, the bottom fell out. I ignored all the signs of exhaustion and anxiety and kept trudging forward, even when there was no real end in sight. One morning after waking up with a nagging pelvic pain (for the 4th day in a row), I barely made it through the end of a morning photo shoot before the pain completely took over. I called my doctor, holding back tears, and asked what to do – “Get to the ER.” Hours of painful poking and prodding later, I was told I had ovarian cysts, signs of endometriosis (to be confirmed later by my lady doctor), and had ultimately suffered a panic attack on top of it. Should John and I ever decide to have a family, our chances will be that much harder now. I felt beat up and sore and defeated the next two days after coming home from the hospital, knowing something had to give…

 

THE EHHHHHH

  • Delayed Travels: Within about a week of my ER visit, most inconveniently, John underwent unexpected emergency surgery for an eye-condition that he’d been dealing with for a while and had taken a gnarly turn for the worst. By the time we had gotten my business out of the hole, our personal finances were impacted with significant medical bills. Just as we were getting ready to pull the trigger on taking our belated honeymoon trip for our 6th anniversary, we had to make the decision to turn those funds towards more productive financing. So, we decided it would have to wait one more year. Again.
  • Hard Work Wasn’t Enough: Despite using every waking hour I had to get everything done and take on MORE, I just felt we weren’t accomplishing other financial goals we wanted to make; and it was my fault. I let myself ‘be’ small and ‘grateful’ for opportunities from ‘friends’ and ultimately these experiences left me drained without much to show for it. I undercut and over-delivered myself… and it not only brought me more non-‘dream’ clients, but it practically encouraged others to ask for their piece of the Harbour Affair pie at a reduced price.
  • The Comparison Beast: Because I found myself in the constant state of “do,” I didn’t leave time to grow, create, and put out the vibes I wanted TO catch my ‘dream’ clients. My website and social pages were a MESS, and I spent WAY too much time thinking I’ll never ‘get’ where ‘they’ are with my dumpster of an online presence.
  • Ready for a Change, but Not Sure What: Despite all the chaos of all-the-things, I knew I needed a change but wasn’t ready to leave the entrepreneurial space – although I was tempted more than I’d like to admit. I finally found a little space to breathe and get honest with myself – and a few opportunities that felt REALLY good to get involved with presented themselves. I started moving my skill set to a more grounded space, and it felt right as it blended several of my favorite things. Though it wasn’t easy – it required serious hustle and presented its own self-doubts and challenges… but it was exciting in the process.
  • Letting Go, Cutting My Losses: I tried really, REALLY hard to make a few things happen this year that just didn’t get traction – and painfully had to call them a loss and move on… to find a way to explain to people they just can’t work in this time and this space… and, maybe, not with me. A few features in my business, a few investments, a few community opportunities. While ultimately they did become ‘good’ things in weird ways after the fact, it was SO hard not seeing things through or learning that not all great ideas are going to be received well.
  • Letting Big Goals Fall to the Wayside: Similarly, I fell “short” (and y’all know there’s not much ‘short’ about me) on a few goals this year. The kind of goals that were “THIS is the YEAR!” kind of goals, and it kind of stinks I just didn’t get ‘there.’ Not to say they can’t happen this coming year… and not to say they didn’t at least get started… so, there’s that.

 

THE GOOD

  • It’s Biznazz Time: I hired a business coach, Brooke Olsen (thank you for the recommendation, Lauren Carnes!), and she set. me. STRAIGHT on pricing, dealing with clients, and off-loading or out-sourcing the things holding me back. She also put a real puff in my chest and gave me the confidence, tools, and support to stand a little taller and learn the value of “No” as I refined my business. She also was basically a therapist as I remember calling her in a panic and close to tears when got a project offer for something I felt I ‘had’ to take and honestly just couldn’t stomach saying yes to: “If you’re looking for permission to NOT do it, for what it’s worth, I’m giving it to you.” To feel free and empowered in my business for the first time in a LONG time was worth every penny I invested in her – and myself. I can’t recommend her enough.
  • Claiming My Space on the Interwebs: New website in the works and it’s becoming a serious labor of love… and I’m so glad patience is teaching me to love the process in this one. Y’all, Megan Martin is a whiz on the ‘puter machines (and another Lauren Carnes rec’!) – and she’s forever patient with my detailed list and bizarre requests. I’ve been working behind the scenes to add some serious Harbour Affair pieces to enhance the overall experience, and I almost feel like I’m about to birth a digital baby after months of progress and development. OH she will be beautiful, y’all.
  • Growing the Harbour Affair Team: Did y’all know YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THIS BUSINESS THING ALONE? After getting super clear on my brand with Megan, re-organizing the nuts and bolts of my business with Brooke, and taking time to get back to a healthy place both personally and financially, I felt ready to onboard an assistant.
    • Ally was a “let’s be BFF’s on Instagram” kind of friend then a client and NOW is the beautiful magical fairy behind some of the day-to-day things with Harbour Affair, speaking the same love language of analytics and organization and FUN that make the next steps and goals feel solid and exciting. She’s patient with all my goings-on and quick to get the job done!
    • I also have the lovely Sabrina who I brought on last year to assist with my wedding editing workflow, and she’s helped SO MUCH in maintaining the look and consistency of my photography for my wedding clients while helping me stay on task and get hours back in my day.
    • I’d be remiss if I didn’t give endless love to my core 2nd shooters who put up with my obsessive detailing and loud-mouth during long and often CRAZY wedding days, making them fun and working their tails off: Alex Leaphart, Todd Barnett, and Kristen Brown.
  • Through Sickness & Health, Richer or Poorer: Friends, John and I were tested this year – both personally and as a team. Having to find the strength and joy we needed while both of us were feeling pretty craptastic and still be each other’s ‘person’ was hard and at times exhausting. We’ve been through enough to know we were going to make it through and not let one another wallow or fall on bad habits to do it, but it took a LOT of discussions and getting clear to not fall in that trap. It took getting clear on what it’s all for… it took a few conversations and deeper diving with the Big Guy. It took closing ourselves off from the fray for a while to spend a little more quality time together – and not feel guilty for it.
  • Let’s Talk About It: Y’all, I started seeing a therapist. And BOY I wish I had started sooner. I just started a couple of months ago (ironically my first session was the DAY they announced the evacuation for Hurricane Florence – talk about anxiety). We’re still working through the big feelings and emotional gunk of anxiety/depression/perfectionism, but it feels good to come to terms with my thoughts and emotions and get some guidance on how to work through them on the daily.
  • Shifting the Business Focus: This is the cornerstone of 2018. As much as I love weddings and portrait work (and don’t worry, I’m still holding a select space for that in my business next year), there were too many moments and signs and gut-feelings around other opportunities to take my business towards something different. I missed writing. I missed working with and in the community. I missed the chance to connect people with missions and businesses and events. I love creating and designing and using photos to tell the bigger story. I love getting to know those stories on a deeper level. I found a way to make it all work in a new way of content development and coaching others on how to use social media in their businesses…. and only did so with the constant support of clients, friends, and colleagues who made sure I succeeded. YOU GUYS I found my ‘dream’ clients and feel constantly inspired and excited to work with them… and the work feels GOOD.

 

BONUS!

  • Other Game-Changers and Survival Tools:
    • The Book ‘Essentialism‘: For any other people-pleasing, “yes” saying, over-achieving Type A-ers out there, this book is a MUST. I finished it in 3 days via audiobook, listening during every minute I had. I’m listening to it again. For those of you who aren’t into the whole book, there’s an abbreviated version on the Tim Ferriss podcast.
    • Ashlyn Writes “The Art of Efficiency” Course: While I feel I can’t review the whole thing entirely as I’ve only gotten through half the modules, I’m already employing fantastically practical business workflows that make my days and weeks feel less daunting. The course is closed for now but get on the list to see when Ashlyn does it again (she’s about to have a bay-bay so be patient!).
    • Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University: Yep, we’ve become those people. As a closet “I like being creative but preferably within defined parameters” person, I’m loving the easy to follow guides and the –permission– to say “no” to things that don’t fall in-line with our goals. With student loan debt and health care bills, making a choice to live in a highly-sought after area (even our little neighborhood comes with the ‘Hilton Head tax’), and the overwhelming feeling of ‘having to keep up’ with everyone else, we needed something to help us get back in control and feel empowered to accomplish our goals – and be okay with knowing it may take a little while, but we’re. gonna. DO IT.

 


So. Uh. YEAH.
There it is, folks.

With just over a month left in the year, I’ve decided I’m ready to let go. Roll with it. Do my best and feel accomplished with that. Feel okay to say “No.” Stop feeling guilty about not doing-all-the-things. Start smiling like an idiot if I do and remind myself what’s coming instead….

… and OH YES, friends, there is definitely more coming in 2019.

And I’ll enjoy it… after a freaking joy and merriment filled Christmas holiday season.

Hugs & High Fives,
C

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There are very few things in life like there is in choosing to bring home a pet.

Specifically a dog.

Specifically a dog that seems to be crossed with some kind of other creature.

Knowing that, in some way, they were gifted to you from the Universe – even in times they chew your favorite throw pillows or pee in your shoe (true stories).

And understanding, in deeper ways, their timing is often that of The Big Guy himself, although we don’t understand it until much, much later.

June 3rd, 2017, was a bad, bad day. It was the day that our then our little family pup, Sean Luca (aka, “Shark Luca”) passed away.

 

Sean Luca had been acting a little funny that day; for the six months prior he had been experiencing seizures and bouts of lethargy on account of liver problems, so he slowly became more and more ‘out-of-sorts.’ It was also the day John and I put in an offer on our very first house. After having spent all morning with him, we left for a late lunch picnic at the beach before meeting the realtor to make the offer. In that relatively short amount of time, Sean Luca decided it was time. We were so excited, feeling so close to getting our little unicorn of a new home – only to come back to find him curled up in a cozy little corner, looking so peaceful. He didn’t stir. He didn’t come to greet us. He was gone.

The devastation was exhausting for weeks. I was so upset I didn’t get to say goodbye. I was mad at myself, wondering why I hadn’t noticed the signs and if I had just ‘been there,’ I could’ve gotten him help. I was angry I had literally just told the realtor I couldn’t wait to bring Sean Luca “home” to enjoy the perfect sunny spot on the new porch we knew he’d love. I hated the Universe for not letting him come into this new chapter with us.

A couple of months later on the day when we finally closed on the house, I woke up excited and full of energy for the first time in a while. John and I decided to kick-off that exciting day with an early morning run on the beach. We got there right before sunrise and took off down the shoreline. It was super low-tide and the beach was wide and empty. As we approached our usual turn-around point on that sticky summer morning, we look over to the water’s edge. There was a shark splashing and swimming through the early morning waves, appearing to follow us for another several yards. Just as the sun crested the horizon and we hit our time to turn back, he made one more glorious frolic about the water, swimming back off into the ocean. I had never seen anything quite light it before. And I haven’t since. Somehow, I knew, SL was saying “It’s cool, mom” – no matter where we called “home,” he was always going to be around.

Sean Luca lived a long and well-loved 13 years. His big, bold personality made up for this little chubby Chihuahua body, and he was always curious and never afraid. He loved meeting new people and leisurely outdoor happy hours and weekend lunches with us. He lived with me through some big moments of my life since college and all the transitions it took getting here to Hilton Head. Sean Luca was a regular at my last full-time job in Columbia, SC, hanging out with me during my shift to greet new friends and give his opinion. He LOVED the beach when we moved to HHI and would bark like a maniac when I asked if he was ready to go, his enthusiasm only rivaled to the daily “Wanna go potty?!” dance parties (I secretly still want to get t-shirts with his face on it that say, “Live everyday like you’re about to go ‘outside’.”). He was my cuddle buddy when I fell into moments of anxiety and depression. He was my little furry FitBit who made sure I got up and took a walk every hour or two in my new #soloprenuer life. His favorite treat on the planet was, of all things, watermelon and carrots, although there was no way you were going to throw a yogurt cup away without him properly licking it clean. The only thing louder than his ‘tough guy’ barking was his old-man snoring, and I couldn’t sleep at night without hearing it. He brought joy to people when he took on his Shark persona – this stuff wrote itself, and admittedly, John and I loved planning new adventures for him.

He just fit.

And I was convinced there wasn’t going to be another to take his place.

Shark Luca Harbour Affair Can Bogey

 

Then, a few months later, being alone in a new house while I tried to balance my evolving role in the community and shape of my business, I decided to open myself up to maybe adopting another little fuzzy butt. We spent a couple of Saturday mornings going to area shelters and looking at adoption sites. We thought we wanted an adult dog – we didn’t have a yard and we didn’t want a rambunctious puppy sabotaging our new place, so we needed something a little more calm. We met some great dogs who were sweet and lots of fun, but nothing felt like that “fit” with Sean Luca. One rainy Sunday afternoon we went to visit the Hilton Head Humane Association. And there in the front lobby was this squishy little spotted pup, laying in the far corner of the pen on the floor. He seemed pretty out of it, even shy, and wanted nothing to do with the visitors who tried to pet him or get his attention. They called him “Chandler” – and it was fitting because all I could think was, “Could he BE anymore awkward?” The front desk lady encouraged me to get in the pen with him, even though we had watched several people get in there and he was 1000% disinterested. Also, I told her we were already interested in mature, adult dogs. I politely declined.

After striking out, again, with a handful of attempts to connect with a few dogs, we decided to leave and come back another time. The lady encouraged, again, for me to get in the pen with “Chandler.” I not-so-politely declined this time, but John said, “C’mon, why not.” I got in, sat on the opposite end of the pen on the floor and said, “Well, hey little man…” He perked up his sweet little face, puppy scooted low across the floor, and carefully crawled in my lap, burying his teeny little face in the crook of my arm. Then, soft puppy snoring. “S**t,” I whispered to John. “We’re going home with a puppy.

 

 

We brought him home the next day and promptly changed his name to Bogey. John and I both landed on the name independently, for different reasons but weirdly and quickly coming to agreement, and over the next few weeks, this scared, shy, docile pup blossomed into a smiley, happy, super-social little guy. Every day he started to feel more and more like a part of the family. Although, I was still feeling guilt and apprehension over losing Sean Luca only a few months back, wonderful if we made the right decision.

About a month after bringing Bogey home, I took him to the vet for his first check-up and next round of shots. The HH Humane Association had given me a packet of info to take the to vet when we adopted him. I had never really even looked at it until that day. We’re waiting in the check-up room for the vet-tech to see us, and I pull out his current records. Holding this squishy little doe-eyed pup in my lap, I look and see what they estimate to be Bogey’s birthdate: June 3rd, 2017.

It hit me like a bag of bricks, and a swell of tears gathered in my eyes. My arm-hairs stood on end… Sean Luca knew exactly what he was doing. And my friend said it best: “When you’re ready, they send you another one.” Sean Luca sent Bogey to us into this new chapter. His work was done. (And the vet-tech came in seeing me crying and laughing like a crazy person, saying, “Don’t worry, the shots aren’t going to hurt him that bad!” Oh if she only knew…)

I could never really bring myself to write a properly fitting post to say good-bye to Sean Luca, but as Bogey hits his first birthday on the day we still remember how our lives have changed so much in the last year, I suddenly feel at peace knowing his little sassy, brave, comforting presence is still around. Bogey opened up a whole new place in our hearts. They’re insanely different animals but both so perfectly “fit” our current stages of life. And I appreciate them both so much because of the other.

So, I’m not sure what Bogey’s story has in store, but I do know he’s got his tough-guy guardian shark angel keeping an eye on him. And on us.

 

 

But seriously, what would our worlds be like without ’em?

I’m grateful I’ll never really have to find out.

Hugs & High Fives,

C

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As many of you know, John and I just bought our first home at the end of the summer of ’17. It was the ‘unicorn’ of a home we had been searching for FOR MONTHS and the day we closed was one of the happiest of my life. We still have a LONG way to go in terms of making our little house a home, and I often let my mind wander to Pinterest boards and Instagram accounts with incredible interior design. Interior design is a art lost on me in many ways – but I am an avid appreciator, if anything.

I was recently privy to a chance at exploring the 2018 HGTV Smart Home which happens to be, of all places, in our ‘backyard’ of Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, SC. The HGTV Smart Home staff would be onsite to give us a tour and the designer, Tiffany Brooks of Chicago, was THE designer behind the gawk-worthy magic inside. The modern-meets-Southern-classic decor was perfect for the upscale yet unassuming Lowcountry setting.

But y’all… it was a little crazy just how ‘smart’ this home actually was, I MEAN REALLY. From the fridge with a built in espresso-maker to the Pelaton bike ready to ride in the master bathroom to the hidden virtual reality room to the voice activated rolling porch screen to the smart screen to access music and emails on the bathroom mirrors… and not ‘smart’ in terms of technology, but smart in the efficiency and use of the space with eco-friendly design that incorporated natural elements (the stunning plants were beautiful and the natural light was unreal!). But you guys… the thing that pretty much EVERYONE at the event couldn’t stop talking about was the freakin’ smart toilet in the master bathroom. YOU GUYS, it had a sensor that when it felt you coming in, it would gently lift the seat, turn on soft lighting around the basin, and THEN start playing a selection of music from your favorite playlist. You could literally tinkle the ivories and cover the sounds of, ahem, nature’s call (I immediately sent John the video after the tour and he’s like, “Seriously? Of all the things…”).

Okay, but seriously, my favorite part was the art throughout the house that sent my wanna-be-cool-creative-gal heart a’flutter. The gallery wall on the 2nd floor was absolute perfection, and I stared at it far longer and more awkwardly than I thought.

 

You guys, I can’t believe I’m sharing the secret (okay, I know it’s not exactly a secret, buuuut….)… you can win the HGTV Smart Home. I know! BUT WAIT, there’s more! You can also win $100,000 (generously provided by Quicken Loans®), all the furnishings and technology in the home (and maybe share an art piece – or 12 – with me when you win it), AND a 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC 350e 4MATIC Plug-In Hybrid. I don’t even know exactly what kind of car that is, but I had a hard time typing it all out, so you KNOW it’s fancy! You can check out the link here to vote and do so twice a day; but you’d betta’ move fast because the contest closes at the end of the day on June 7th, 2018.

 

 

Thank you to the HGTV crew for the fabulous opportunity to experience such an impressive home – and thank you to Birdie James for helping style me for the event in such an exquisite Ripley Rader frock… because I’m also lost on the art on how to look like decent human being at these kinds of things. I may be no designer, but I do thoughtful style when I see it – and would love to have any of ya’s to make yourself at home in our little Lowcountry community. And let me use your bathroom after one too many champagnes at the Palmetto Bluff hotel.

 

 

Get crackin’, friends!

Hugs & High Fives,

C

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Y’all, I’m no beauty expert.

SHOCKING, I know.

But one thing I do know for darned sure is that I feel my best when surrounded by people with positive vibes and happy attitudes – and sometimes putting my best face forward means taking time for myself.

A couple of years ago, I started noticing my skin changing pretty dramatically. Being a one-woman-show managing several different projects and pieces of my business at any given time was getting stressful. I love it, don’t get me wrong, but over the years I just wasn’t rebounding from the stress and the often dumb things I did to myself in periods of overload. And, let’s face it: Your early 30’s are a time of waking up to several “well, now, that’s a new one” on the daily. And despite my attempts at drinking water like a maniac, slathering SPF 30+ like it’s my job, and the occasional $4 packaged face mask from the drug store, my skin started baring the worst brunt – it felt heavy, rough, dull, and blotchy. While internally I did find a lot of gratitude and happy moments amid the chaos, my face was telling a different story.

A little over a year ago, I was gifted a facial at LUX: A Medical Spa in Bluffton. To be honest, I’ve always had a little guilt around these kinds of things, thinking “self care” was for birthdays and vacations and preparing for special occasions. So, I held off using it – that I didn’t deserve to “enjoy” a “spa treatment” until I had accomplished something or until a birthday or anniversary came around.

After a particularly rough season of projects, shooting weddings, and a hurricane evacuation, my skin was worse than ever – red and irritated from the stress, covered in acne scars and full with that ‘gunky’ feeling. I caved and called to set-up my appointment. I didn’t know much about LUX at that point, but I had heard several friends rave about it, so I was secretly excited for a little “me” time. Instantly, I felt welcomed and far away from the To Do lists and craziness… the space practically glows, feeling inviting but professional. Sometimes the overly ‘relaxing’ spa experiences with New Age flute music and cucumber-basil water and winter pine candle smells makes me ironically more uncomfortable (“Am I relaxing ‘right’?”), so I was grateful that it felt clean and polished.

Upon checking in, I was greeted by the nicest front desk staff – they were just so sweet and made me feel extremely welcomed, even though I felt super rough. I was greeted moments later by Maggie, one of their aestheticians, and she led me to a room that felt clean and calm. She did a good look over my skin and asked me tons of questions about my current routine, my lifestyle, and concerns I had. She listened intently and got to work after completing her summary. With each step she talked me through the process and what she was using on my face to combat my specific problems and dropped knowledge bombs about skin science, skin care, effects of lifestyle, effects of hormones, age related concerns, etc. She also extracted a few gnarly, clinging breakouts, and I could literally feel my skin breathe. She hand-picked several samples of products for me to try and even sent me an email with some recommendations when I left. My skin felt soft and light upon leaving, and overall it felt brighter over the next several days.

Jasmine, LUX Manager, and Maggie, my go-to-gal aesthetician!

And let me tell you what, y’all, these LUX ladies know their stuff. The walls are lined with specialty and professional grade skin care and makeup, and they had their product knowledge down to a science – literally. Nothing was generic or one-size-fits-all, which I found pretty impressive. One of the lines they carry, Lumen, was even specially formulated by the staff doctors, Carmen A. Traywick, MD and Frederick G. Weniger, MD, with a little help from their LUX aestheticians, formulated for “purity, potency and stability.” (I use their “Glow Pads” once a week and OH BOY they’ve made a huge difference and a single pack lasts about a year). And my forever supportive husband, John, noticed just how much better I felt after getting the ‘gunk’ out, encouraged me to return in another couple of months because definitely gave me the boost of confidence I needed and enhanced my current daily skin routine.

 

After my experience, I definitely started noticing LUX’s presence more and more throughout the community. They were always present at major events and festivals and sponsoring tons of local events, often donating several procedures for local organizations to auction to raise money (and they were always fought over at these things… I know because I got into several heated battles at silent auctions). They donated sunscreen to local schools and hosted several educational events at their location. I quickly learned they weren’t an average “spa.”

More-so, I got to know several of the girls through my adventures in the community (including CRAZY early morning workouts together, in which they still looked amazing at 5:30AM), and over and over they were just the nicest people, always encouraging what I’ve been up to and asking how they can support. During one community event run-in, I got on a conversation with Lindsay, their Marketing Coordinator, about how we women, especially younger women, just don’t take to really invest in ourselves like we should. That we wait until problems arise before we take any action or, as I had believed, treated these kinds of treatments as ‘vanity’ driven or only worthy of special occasions… which, of course, is ridiculous when you think about our skin as THE biggest organ of our body and that it’s often the window to other areas we need to attend to. My blotchy, heavy, dull skin wasn’t just its own problem – underneath were the issues of stress, changes, and lifestyle. In another conversation with another friend and LUX lady, Susan, she pretty much hit the nail on the head: “Prevention’s the name of the game – investing a little now means saving so much more to reverse the damage later.” And it sure doesn’t hurt to feel good NOW… because hiding behind makeup and baseball hats was getting pret-tee old.

 

Susan, another bomb-diggity aesthetician at LUX

I also got to know the LUX manager, Jasmine (also at above mentioned crazy early morning workouts), and she constantly gushed about her job, the amazing people she got to work with on the daily, and forever seemed excited about the new things they were adding or the advancements they were making. She genuinely seemed excited about her job, which was always so refreshing amid the “I’m-so-busy’s” I was used to hearing… or guilty of saying myself.

In my usual interrogative nature (I pride myself on getting your life’s story in 10 minutes or less), I had a chance to chat with Jasmine a little more about her experience working at LUX. What was her secret for loving her job?

—–

Why did LUX choose the Hilton Head-Bluffton area?
Like most of our locals, neither Dr. Weniger nor Dr. Traywick are from Bluffton originally. There is something about this place that just draws you in. Our patients are worldly, they have been to big cities, seen the most luxurious of spas, hotels, and restaurants. Dr. Weniger & Dr. Traywick wanted to bring that feeling to the Lowcountry.

What’s something you’re most proud of being a part of LUX?
We just celebrated our 4th anniversary. In that time we have been able to completely integrate ourselves into the wellbeing of the community. Each year we have been able to help serve over 100 local Charitable Events, including Silent Auctions, Golf Tournaments, and Fund Raisers.

Who is someone who has been a big influence on where you are now?
It’s Dr. Traywick & Dr. Weniger. I am honored to have found them. I am complete “awe” of them both professionally and as strong family and community leaders. They are each the best at what they do and I feel privileged that they trust me to execute their vision through LUX.

If you had to recommend one professional development resource or experience, what would it be?
We try to live by the philosophies taught in the book “Hug your Customers.” Customer Service is the key element to LUX and it is important to us that our patients know that we will always do whatever it takes to give them the best service and product possible. Every new employee is required to read this book during their new hire orientation.

What mantra/quote/concept has been most important to your success?
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou
People can go anywhere for their aesthetic treatments, new medical spas are popping up on every corner. We know you can get a similar outcome from other providers in the area, but we want to make sure that it is not only the outcome of your procedure that brings you back, but also the way the staff made you feel.

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And JUST when I thought I couldn’t love LUX anymore, I’m at breakfast one morning with Lindsay (because a bout of beautiful weather perfectly called for a creative community chat over coffee and avocado toast al fresco over at Corner Perk), and she mentions their new partnership with Bluffton Self Help to help spread awareness for their mission and be a drop-off location for needed items. Just like LUX, Bluffton Self Help is all about investing in the people it serves with a longterm plan of success and self-worth, not a quick band-aid solution. Their kick-off event was quickly approaching. I’m not sure if it was the coffee kicking in or the exciting sensation of unlikely powers combining, but I basically shouted, “Now THAT’S the stuff!” Y’all, that is precisely what I love about this Lowcountry community – it’s all about the power of meaningful connection and making this area stay true to the people in it. The power of positive attraction is hard at work here, my friends.

If anything, I think it’s still going to take me a lot of time and self-talk to be perfectly okay with investing in myself and knowing it’s only going to make me better in serving others when I feel best in my own skin. At least knowing that by choosing a place like LUX that shares similar values and goals (and a knack for excited fast-talking), then it makes it seem a little more worth it.

 

 

So go on, friends – put on a happy, helpful face. 🙂

Hugs and High Fives!
-C

 

PS. I’m sure I almost broke Google trying to spell “aesthetician.” That is NOT an easy word to spell, folks.

 

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