Career

    #4: Rebekah Johanson - How To Create Products That Will Sell, The Importance Of Giving Back and Developing a Branding Strategy For Your Business

    In this episode I'm joined by Rebekah Johnson, the brains and beauty behind online jewellery and accessories brand, Lines and Current. Rebekah talks about how she and husband Jon went from working on e-commerce sites, selling kitchen items and toys to launching their own beautifully minimal brand. We explore what personal style means and how minimalism fits into a world obsessed with fast fashion while also getting into the nitty gritty of entrepreneurship, building your own brand and creating a product that will sell. 

    To find out more about Lines and Current and to shop their range of products visit their website - www.linesandcurrent.com. You can also follow them on Facebook and Pinterest. To check out Rebekah's beautiful branding skills and the brand's brilliant aesthetic, click here to follow them on Instagram. 

    Resources Referenced in This Episode

    Ascot and Hart
    Website: www.ascotandhart.com
    Instagram: @ascotandhart

    Spark Joy by Marie Kondo
    Available here

    "Spark Joy is an in-depth, line illustrated, room-by-room guide to decluttering and organising your home, from bedrooms and kitchens to bathrooms and living rooms as well as a wide range of items in different categories, including clothes, photographs, paperwork, books, cutlery, cosmetics, shoes, bags, wallets and valuables. Charming line drawings explain how to properly organise drawers, wardrobes, cupboards and cabinets. The illustrations also show Ms Kondo’s unique folding method, clearly showing how to fold anything from shirts, trousers and jackets to skirts, socks and bras.

    The secret to Marie Kondo’s unique and simple KonMari tidying method is to focus on what you want to keep, not what you want to get rid of. Ask yourself if something ‘sparks joy’ and suddenly it becomes so much easier to understand if you really need it in your home and your life. When you surround yourself with things you love you will find that your whole life begins to change.

    Marie Kondo’s first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, presents her unique tidying philosophy and introduces readers to the basics of her KonMari method. It has already transformed the homes and lives of millions of people around the world. Spark Joy is Marie Kondo’s in-depth tidying masterclass, focusing on the detail of how to declutter and organise your home."

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    #3: Emma Gribben - How To Gain Your Audience's Trust, Create Personalised Content and Build The Necessary Skill Set To Launch Your Own Business

    Episode 3 of Werkin' On It and I'm joined by digital marketing consultant, trainer and mentor, Emma Gribben. We cover Emma's career path right from the start as Emma revisits memories of her own tenacity and drive while carrying out her first placement, the same drive and curiosity that led her to the digital industry within Dubai before her independent ambitions brought her back to her roots to build a digital marketing business of her own.

    With a range of impressive qualifications under her belt including being names one of NI's Top 40 Under 40 in Business and as of 2017, an appointment as a trainer for not one but two of Google's digital programmes (the Google Digital Academy and Google's Digital Garage Masterclass), Emma has plenty of social media and savvy business tips and tricks up her sleeve. 

    To find out more about Emma's work, projects she's worked on and digital marketing services Emma offers, check out her website - www.digitalbyemma.comAlternatively you can follow her on Twitter - @emma_gribben or on her business Facebook page - Digital By Emma.

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    #2: Aly Harte - How To Build Confidence To Pursue A Creative Career, Know Your Worth and Keep Your Creativity Alive While Running A Business

    In our second episode of Werkin' On It, I sit down with artist, writer and educator, Aly Harte. Here she gets candid about discovering her ability to pursue a creative career, learning to sell her work at the right price and the reality of being a full time parent and running a business. Aly also touches on the importance of mental health and her passion for self-acceptance. 

    You can follow Aly's work on Instagram at @aly.harte where you'll also find plenty of fitness inspiration and workout ideas. To purchase any of Aly's pieces or to find out more about her self acceptance bundle, visit www.alyharte.com

    Resources mentioned within this podcast:

    Isle Jewellery

    Tim Ferris: The 4-Hour Workweek

    Arianna Huffington 

    The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight

    Female Entrepreneur Association - Carrie Green

    Self Acceptance E-Bundle - Aly Harte

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    #1: Niamh Cunningham - How To Survive The Creative Industry After University, Celebrating Individualty and Combatting Imposter Syndrome

    Starting a podcast, ey. Bloody tricky business but it's happening, finally it's happening. 

    WERKIN' ON IT WITH NIAMH SERENA IS FINALLY, 100%, DEFINITELY LIVE.

    But where on earth did it come from? Bet you thought I was just bringing you another outfit post or a pity party about how I haven't been blogging lately. Haha - NOPE. 

    What once started as a slow burning love affair with podcasts has quickly transformed into one that consumes my every thought (hardly surprising when you take into account every technicality involved in starting your own). 

    I played it cool with the podcasting industry for a long time. To be honest, I was never really that interested to begin with mostly due to my own ignorance. I didn't know many podcasters or podcast genres that would actually interest me. When would I even listen to them? It's not really the same thing as plugging in your earphones and listening to a motivational playlist on a Monday morning. Nor can it replace the joy of belting out your favourite tunes any time you're in your car. Right?

    Oh. So. Wrong. 

    It was as I found myself on a new daily commute that involved a 25 minute walk and 5 minute trip on the DART that I learned to fully appreciate a good podcast. I went so far as to subscribe to at least five or six (until iCloud decided enough was enough and played me on the storage front). Every morning, I would leave the house, lock up, stick my earphones in and catch up with the latest episodes. At a very lonely time in my life, living in a new city where I knew next to no one and was getting used to cultural differences I had never expected from somewhere not so far from home, these podcasts, their hosts and their guests kept me company. They kept my thoughts stimulated, geared me up for the work day ahead and sparked masses of content (and general life) ideas. I learned about new people who I may never have discovered before. Fair enough, each podcast played on my interest of fashion and entrepreneurship but it also opened my eyes to new possibilities, new people, stories I never would have learned otherwise and best of all, the power of female friendship (Lady Lovin' hosts Lo Bosworth, Greta Titelman and Jilly Hendrix along with Keeping It Candid girls, Sophie Milner and Millie Cotton - yep,I'm looking at you). 

    During these commutes, the seed was planted that maybe I could do this one day. It wasn't a seed ready to grow just yet though, just a fleeting thought that quickly disappeared when I nearly missed my train and immediately had to switch my focus to legging it down a little Irish country road. 

    It wasn't until my beloved podcasts and me took a romantic stroll along a Californian board walk last summer that I really entertained the idea - romantic in the sense that I let my thoughts on the idea really run away with me not you know, anything weird. By this stage my podcast of choice was The Skinny Confidential Him and Her Podcast by fitness and beauty blogger entrepreneur Lauryn Evarts and her husband (also an entrepreneur). I was religiously working my way through their entire feed during that holiday and by the end of the two weeks I'd decided on a name and format for my podcast. 

    Werkin' On It represents the idea that regardless of which age or stage of our careers we're at we're all constantly "werkin on it". Quickly after I thought of the name, Rihanna's song Work placed itself firmly in my head for the foreseeable future (werk, werk, werk, werk, werk, werk - you know the one), influencing the change in spelling of "werkin".

    For now the podcast will be released on a fortnightly basis. I would love nothing more than to make this a weekly release but if I've learned anything in the last few months of preparation it's that these things take time, especially when outsourcing production isn't an option. Every other week I'll sit down with a fellow female creative and grill her on her career story, the good, the bad and the ugly served alongside the reminder that everything works out in the end and despite the lives we lead or interpret on social media, nobody has it easy in life particularly in pursuit of a career that truly fulfils them. 

    In this first episode I met with Niamh Cunningham - blogger, model and an unstoppable creative entrepreneur. I asked Niamh about her creative career to date as well as her hopes for that same creative career in the future. Niamh's individuality is something that really caught my eye on social media a few years ago but in recent months her honest and genuinely creative approach to producing valuable content has really shined through. We talk a lot about her Instagram stories in particular, the process of creating this kind of content and how it felt posting that first Instagram story vlog on to her profile for all of the social media world to see. Adding value through her content is clearly something very important to Niamh and in essence of this she was willing to share some of her tips on taking the plunge in producing the kind of content YOU want to create, using this content to deliver a message to the masses and maintaining uniqueness in an industry that's increasingly saturated. If you've ever felt lost along the way of chasing your creative dreams, Niamh's advice will certainly help see you through. She's been there and at times, still feels she is but she's clear in her vision and incredibly decisive when it comes to her own happiness. Oh, and rumour has it she's up to something and launching a business all of us creatives can seriously benefit from. Watch this space. After you've listened to the interview obvs. 

    So here we are. My first episode. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. It's a long one but Niamh's wisdom is worth every minute. Grab a cup of tea. Listen while tidying your room or recovering from your Sunday food coma and please, come back for my next episode with local artist and beautiful human being, Aly Harte - I'm very excited about releasing it. 

    Follow me on Instagram / Twitter / Facebook for my latest blog posts, fashion finds and daily musings AND podcast episodes (eeeeeek!)

    Massive thank you to the very talented, incredibly helpful and creative genius Sophie Rose Brampton for the cover art. Check out her fabulous portfolio on her website / Instagram.

    Niamh ♥

     

    LISTEN TO THE EPISODE HERE

    Werkin' On It with Niamh Serena

    #1: Niamh Cunningham - How To Survive The Creative Industry After University, Celebrating Individualty and Combatting Imposter Syndrome

     

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    The best resources for regaining blogging motivation

    I’ve recently confessed my struggle with blogging, my lack of inspiration within the industry and overall, lack of motivation with my blog. I’m still really lacking in motivation and inspiration and unfortunately, I’ve got into one very lazy rut but I'm working on it. At the moment I’ve mostly escaped the guilt (mostly, not completely or I wouldn’t be writing these posts) that comes with lack of motivation. This comes down to the fact that for the last 6 months, my internship has become a much bigger priority than my blog so with a reduced amount of time to commit to my blog, met with a reduced amount of energy, I’ve much more readily made excuses as to why I haven't been putting in the effort with little niamhserena.co.uk. However, in two weeks time my internship comes to an end (where has the time gone?!) which means no more making excuses. Sadly, it’s not as easy as just flicking a switch and bam, you become a dedicated content machine. With the end of my internship looming and a promise to myself that I would give my blog the attention and commitment that it deserves and once had, I got thinking about the different resources I’ve turned to in the past when I need a little boost and thought maybe, just maybe, a few of you out there might find them helpful. I’ve broken them down into three sections - books, websites, and videos - all of which are things I definitely bang on about at one point or another on my social media.

    BOOKS

    Whether directly related to blogging or fashion or just motivational books in general, I find it so helpful reading other people’s stories about how they’ve made their career a success. At the start of the year I went through a phase where every book I read, one after another fell within this genre. Then I suffered a little bit of book burnout and felt a need to switch it up with a little fiction. While I love reading fiction and think it’s important to keep a little variety on the go, there’s a definite correlation between my levels of motivation and effort and my choice of non-fiction, career focused book. Personally, it feels a bit like when you filter the people you spend time with, only including those that build you up and encourage positivity within your life only in this case there’s the added bonus of boosting productivity. If you’re in the market for a few motivational books, these are the ones that I’ve found most helpful over the last few months.

    My Story - Jo Malone

    Man Repeller: Seeking love, finding overalls
    (while not exclusively about her career, she’s someone I admire so naturally, her writing inspires me)

    Crush It! Why Now is the time to cash in on your passion - Gary Vaynerchuk

    Lean In - Sheryl Sandberg

    Girl Code: Unlocking the secrets to Success, Sanity and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur - Cara Alwill Leyba 

    Websites

    There’s probably nothing surprising about the fact that the websites that inspire me are mostly written by other bloggers. There’s no denying that the blogging industry is getting more and more saturated and a lot of people turn their noses up at blogging. The same people will most likely think I’m crazy for dreaming of making my blog a business one day. It’s easy to let those people get to you and affect your motivation but if we spent all of our time listening to them, we wouldn’t get anywhere. Every so often (usually on a Sunday morning with a cup of tea) I let myself get lost in the atmosphere of amazing blogs out there. Through blogging and my internships, I’ve become more aware of media sites that aren’t blogs nor mainstream sites but their quality of writing and creative voice brings enough content to spend your entire day devouring. Looking at those bloggers and writers out there who have successfully boosted their websites to the top fills me up with faith that it is possible, despite those that doubt the industry. The below websites are the ones that have gone from a Sunday scrolling session to refreshing daily, subscribing to newsletters and trusting to help dig me out of most creative ruts.

    Retro Flame

    Zanita

    Not Another Blonde

    The Every Girl 

    SheerLuxe

    Man Repeller

    The Coveteur

    My Domaine

    Videos

    We all need a pep talk every so often. Today in particular I was in desperate need of a few. As I checked through  my emails, I thanked myself for forwarding on the below video featured on My Domaine recently. It hit the nail on the head considering it’s entirely focused on making blogging your business, something I’ve been daydreaming about more and more frequently. Most of the videos embedded below are directly relevant to bloggers but the likes of Gary Vee, who I’m sure a lot of you are aware of, are great for giving you a little tough love career motivation, guaranteed to get you out of a rut regardless of your industry.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9eOE_nrXFE&t=326s

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIJKCpOkKY8

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRj144Gd7EA&list=PLfA33-E9P7FBRJw28h5CApmMtNumCIHCp&index=2

    Are you following me on Bloglovin’? Bloglovin’ is the easiest way to stay up to date with your favourite blogs and all of my latest blog posts. 

    Follow me on Bloglovin’ Instagram / Twitter / FacebookSnapchat

    Niamh ♥

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