The blogosphere is filled with fantastic blogs that cover just about everything we’re interested in — from travel to DIY to food — and some successful bloggers have turned their passion into a six-figure income. In this week’s How to Quit Your Day Job series, we chat with Maggie Lord, founder and editor of Rustic Wedding Chic, a blog that helps couples plan their dream rustic wedding. She shares how she turned her love of weddings into a six-figure business.
Meet the Wedding Blog Pro: Maggie Lord
When Maggie Lord was planning her wedding in the spring of 2008, she was frustrated that she couldn’t find the vendors she wanted to pull off her idea of a rustic wedding with a chic style. In those pre-Pinterest days, she ripped out magazine pages to pull together her vision of what she wanted for her big day. A middle-school science teacher by day, Lord worked at night on her blog, Rustic Wedding Chic, and when it became viable enough financially, she decided to quit her teaching job to focus full-time on her wedding resource website. Ten years later, Lord has launched a vendor guide, Rustic Wedding Guide, and Rustic Baby Chic, and published five books. As the mom to three sons, Lord balances her six-figure-generating website, motherhood, and being a highly sought-after wedding and lifestyle expert.
Brit + Co: What’s your morning routine?
Maggie Lord: I have three boys (ages six months, three, and seven), so mornings for me start early and consist of getting everyone up, dressed, fed, and ready for school. Luckily, my husband is home a few mornings a week, so I have help with my six-month-old William so I can have some uninterrupted work time. Mornings are a great time for me to try to knock out as much work as possible, so after 12 when preschool is done, I feel like I have caught up on work and can be 100-percent mom. When the kids are at school, I am CEO of Rustic Wedding Chic, and when the kids are home, I am CEO of Mommyhood. I try to keep to my work schedule so that, starting at 9am, I am in the office, even though I work from home.
B+C: What inspired you to start your company?
ML: In 2008, my husband and and I were planning a very rustic style wedding in a small midwestern town. I struggled to find images and inspiration to share with our vendors about the type of day I dreamt of. There were only so many times I could say, “kind of like a Ralph Lauren look, you know, rustic chic, but for a wedding.” I needed visuals to get my ideas across. This was before Pinterest, and there really were only two or three wedding blogs, and certainly no blog that specialized in the elegant rustic, country, or romantic type of wedding I wanted. I felt that if I was looking for ideas like this, other brides were probably looking for it as well. I started a small blog with my ideas about how to plan this type of wedding, and within weeks, we had a solid following and super dedicated readers.
B+C: How do you challenge yourself as an entrepreneur?
ML: It is very easy to stay in your comfort zone and not try new things, especially as your company gains attention, but I always have felt that it is important to try new things and take risks. Recently, Rustic Wedding Chic has licensed its name to products that will soon be in stores all across the country, and at first that seemed like too large of a task to take on for a small team like us. Once I started working with licensing company Wild Apple, I found out that the process was not as scary as I thought. It’s amazing to see the Rustic Wedding Chic name on products like wine glasses, wall art, and stationery. I am so glad I took the risk!
B+C: Tell us about how your family and friends help support your business.
ML: Rustic Wedding Chic really is a family business. My brother, who is the president of a media company, meets with me on weekends to talk about how to grow the business and helps oversee our technology needs. My younger brother, who is a photographer living in LA, has contributed to all of my print books. For the past three years, my husband has overseen our advertising. It’s all hands on deck here.
B+C: What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
ML: Stay true to yourself. If you worry about what another person is doing, you get off track. I have always tried to not follow what everyone is doing in the world of blogging and social media and in my books, and have stayed true to what I feel my readers need and want.
B+C: What do you love about your job?
ML: I love the flexibility. If one of my little guys is sick, I can stay home and be with them, or if I want to volunteer in the boys’ school and be class mom, I get to make those hours free from work. Working for myself has given me the flexibility to spend the entire summer in a Northern Wisconsin town, which was the inspiration for the entire company. We live in Connecticut and I love that my boys can experience the joys of spending their summers on a lake with lots of freedom in Wisconsin.
B+C: Name two female heroes who you think should get a shout-out.
ML: Abby Larson, the founder of Style Me Pretty, is a trendsetter in the wedding blog world. I loved how she created something with nothing more than an idea. Abby and I were at an industry party recently and were laughing together at how when we both started people would say, “Wedding blog? What is that?” and now everyone knows about the wedding blog world. My other female hero is my mother, who showed me how to be a female entrepreneur from a young age. Growing up, I watched my mom and aunt start and run a very successful chain of stores and paper catalog called Whispering Pines. I watched my mom wear every hat, from buying merchandise to setting up photo shoots for the catalog to working on the taxes. I got to watch and learn how to take a passion and create a business.
B+C: If you could tell aspiring creative women anything, what would it would be?
ML: Creating your own company is never out of reach. I think women feel like they need lots of time or money to start a business, but I really believe hard work is the only thing needed. I started Rustic Wedding Chic with a $1,800 investment for a logo, and that was it. As my company has grown over the past 10 years, so has my family. When I first started my company, I had all the time in the world to spend on it, but with each child I have welcomed into the family, the demands on my time have gotten larger. I’m creative about when and how I work. I don’t want women to feel like they can’t create something because they are busy either with their family or with another full-time job. Working in small bunches of time can definitely create a business.
What’s your dream career? Tweet us @BritandCo to let us know, and we could feature it in the next column!
(Photos via Rustic Wedding Chic)