A big part of our daily photos is the adventure that she and I have together. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t dress her up, drag her outside and force her to take pictures. I’m not living vicariously through her. I’m not a stage mom and don’t do this so that she’ll be as big as the Kardashians one day.
When I started our Instagram account, I had already had a love of small shops. I wanted to help support and get her started in the brand rep world. Of course, the idea of getting things in exchange for photos was great, but it wasn’t the driving force behind my idea and I knew that nothing would be free. Time, money and passion for small shops are also a requirement.
I had a full time job plus my side businesses for years. When Falynn was born, my husband and I were lucky enough to both work from home, so we could take care of her, but didn’t have the ability or the time to really spend as much time as we wanted with her. With two older children, it had become our norm and I really had no idea what I was missing until I quit my full time job in 2015.
With a little more free time, I began planning photoshoots a few times a week. That time that we spent together, just she and I, made such a difference! We would spend time before and after photos just bonding. We would go on, what she would call, “adventures”. We searched for treasure in the form of leaves, acorns and other random objects left on the sidewalk. We would explore local spots where you could see fish, turtles, frogs and even the occasional alligator. To Falynn, this had become Mama and Falynn time to get out of the house, away from technology and just have fun. Of course, she got used to having the camera there which was fine, because it became natural to her. Mama was just documenting her adventure and when we got home, she had lots of pictures to show Daddy.
It wasn’t until a few months ago that I realized that this journey was bringing us closer together. It’s something we both look forward to and now something we do on a daily basis (sometimes twice a day if she asks). And the best part? I am documenting her childhood in a way that I probably would have never committed to, if it wasn’t for brand repping. Imagine the number of albums I could fill with pictures of her and imagine the slideshow I could create with daily pictures, through the years. I’m so grateful for the opportunity. On top of all of this, I’ve found a love of photography that I never knew was inside of me. It’s something I love to learn more about and have the best subject to practice on!
Now, let’s talk about this outfit, shall we?! Despite her edgy, street style, Falynn LOVES to wear dresses. She absolutely loves to be a girly girl (as long as she’s comfy too). We recently were introduced to charliejoe through a Facebook group. I loved the simplicity of this dress. It’s so different from everything in Falynn’s wardrobe, yet something about it screamed her name. I was shocked to find out that it was not only beautiful in person, but had an extremely soft lining inside which made Falynn fall in love! Remember, comfort is so important to a child! From the minute she pulled it out of the package, she was already making plans for it. Church was at the top of the list, of course!
I paired this gorgeous dress with our floral kitty ears from Ava’s Flower Crowns and our bunny shoes from Weesqueak. I love how classic she looks, while keeping her outfit fun and childlike at the same time. All three shops are incredible. The quality and customer service are A+ and I highly recommend each of them.
If you have never shopped small, I encourage you to do so! Most of these shop owners design and hand make every single piece. They work long hours and do the job of 12, to make their dreams come true. Support a small shop and change a families life.
Make sure to read more about our adventures as a brand rep.
What are some of your favorite small shops? Comment below so I can check them out too!