What Millennials Want From The Workplace: 6 Things We Desire

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NERD ALERT: I subscribe to the Entrepreneur.com emails because I aspire to one day be successful on my own after starting my own business…in the mean time, I enjoy reading up and performing research on the different/random aspects of business. One area that I’m drawn to is hiring and maintaining strong and loyal talent. If I want my own business one day, I’m going to need key people to help me get sh*t done. In the process, I’m going to need to be aware of what these key people need in order to remain both successful and happy.

Then I found this article on what MILLENNIALS care about and what they wish employers understood about them. I loved this article and found it very agreeable. I wanted to use this as a conversation starter for my latest vlog post: What do you care about when it comes to the workplace? What can an employer do to make you happy and stay with their company? Click on my vlog below & subscribe for future updates, let’s talk!

 

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Balayage Blonde Gone Wrong

Balayage Gone Wrong

So I promise I will do more career and marketing related posts ASAP, but I’ve been wanting to write a post about my CRAZY hair experience over the past 6 months as I aspired to achieve the “perfect” balayage or ombre look and fell short[ish] of this goal. I hope this post is insightful and helpful to any ladies out there like me wanting to go out and spend their hard earned doll hairs $$$$ on this popular hair style, and hopefully this will also help you avoid getting into a mess!

**Disclaimer: this post will include many selfies of which I am not ashamed because A) they are needed to show the progression of the color and B) without them I would not have a case to present!

One main tip before I get started: DO YOUR RESEARCH. Google, Facebook and Yelp your local hair salons and look for reviews about the service you are wanting. I failed to do this and in the end I feel like because I didn’t do my due diligence, I wasted time and money. Aside from written reviews, check out photos and ask your stylist for photos and how long he/she has been doing balayage for their clients.

Second tip: DON’T BE FOOLED by expensive salons. Just because their services cost more does not mean they do better work. This is the naive, millennial young girl truth coming out: I thought by paying more I would hopefully in return be getting a better, more experienced hair stylist. Silly. Me.

Back in the spring, I started my balayage journey by going from brunette to a medium golden balayage:

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After a few months with the lighter hue, I wanted to lighten things up even more for summer. I wanted to be as blonde as possible without the hassle of having major dark roots. Balayage is supposed to be the solution for low maintenance, blonde(ish) hair. This would not be an easy task but I saw many brunettes who were able to pull this off. I thought with the right hair stylist, this could be done on me!

I decided to see a stylist in Dallas who I’d been to before, but my FIRST mistake was going back to him after a bad blonde experience with him a year prior. I asked for partial highlights and he left me with blonde bleach spots in pieces of hair near the front of my face. When I went back, instead of fixing the handful of messy pieces, he refoiled my entire head turning it almost completely 100% blonde. Why would I go back? Short term memory loss [I love how the long term memory kicks in afterwords]…SECOND mistake was me assuming that because I was going to a salon in a ritzy part of Dallas and was paying double what I would normally pay, I would get a movie star hair do… W R O N G ! [that is a Capital W through G]

When I arrived at the expensive salon, I showed the hair dresser some photos of what I wanted to look like and mentioned how I wanted to lighten my existing balayage. Here are the photos I used:

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Can I just say how obsessed I am with Jessie James Decker?! I LOVE her, and her hair, and her make up, and her voice, and her reality show, and her YouTube channel, and her family, and her life! Okay..rant over.

Anyways, about 5 hours later, he turned me into this:

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Not bad, right?

Wrong.

Check this:

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I think he thought that maybe I’d never part my hair and look at the damage done? Call me crazy, but some days I part my hair different ways and wear it in different styles. After noticing all the misplaced bleach, I immediately contacted him to fix this mess. I debated on just going somewhere else and never going back, but after dishing out $300 (yes, dumb.. I know), I couldn’t get myself to spend any more on these damaged locks. So I went back a few days later.

I show up for my appointment and he has forgotten to buy the brown hair dye. This particular salon specialized in blondes and apparently didn’t have many shades of brown in stock. So I wasted about 45 minutes going downtown, parking, just to turn right back around with my gorgeous ghetto splotchy bleached hair. #FirstWorldProblems

Round three: this time I show up, we spend three hours trying to fix his mistake. His first solution was to add brown back to the roots. When he was applying the brown back to my roots trying to blend it with the blonde, he ended up leaving several large brown splotches on my bleached blonde hair. When he washed it all out, he kept rubbing his fingers through the spotted strands as I sat there mortified. My hair was already fried from the initial blonde he put in, and adding more to it just fried it even more. He then proceeds to bleach the brown spots not once, but twice because the first time he did it, they didn’t come out. The second time they didn’t completely come out either, but he was tired and had some sort of event or rave to attend. His friend was waiting for him in the empty salon and was rushing the entire process. He sent me home with soaking wet hair and some free Kevin Murphy and Oilaplex product which I’m pretty sure he stole from the salon.We washed and dried my hair three times. I was left with this:

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Now, this wasn’t awful, but I still needed to go back for a third [really fourth] visit to have him blend it one more time. On my final visit, he went through my entire head and added partial brown lowlights all throughout once I got back from our trip. This made it a little bit more blended:

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In the right lighting, it was pretty. But I have really dark hair and dark eyebrows and it was SUPER blonde. So it did look really un-natural and over time, it became hard to manage. It was fun being a blondie and maybe one day I’ll find a way to upkeep this look, but I’m not one to drop $150-$200 on my hair every 6-8 weeks. I needed to be able to afford a blonder color without the constant need for maintenance and upkeep. I let some time pass and after about 2.5 months, I decided to go back to the girl who did an incredible balayage on me the first go round. She did great work and I should have gone to her for round two to get it to the blond I wanted. When I went to her last week, she did a shadow root and added more, thicker brown low lights. In the end of it all, I ended up with this:

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I hope this was helpful and if you happen to be in a situation like I was, remember a one thing: don’t panic. It is just hair… as hard as it is to convince yourself when you are actually in this situation, know that it can be fixed. Worst case scenario you can go back to your natural color and start over a month or two later.  Also, don’t be rude to the hair stylist who messed it up. I was never arrogant or snotty towards the guy who messed my hair up and I will not share any information on him or the salon he works at. He was nice enough to try and fix it for free and that’s all I can ask for. We are all human and we all make mistakes. Also, when someone has control over the way you look, you definitely do not want to rub them the wrong way! I just simply will never go back 😉

I’m very happy with my look now and will probably continue to experiment with my hair. Have you tried the balayage hair style? Did you like it the first go round? I’m curious if I’m the only one who had a bad experience [which I partially blame myself for] and how you may have fixed it? I am happy to share my hair stylists name who fixed it for me, she is incredible! Just leave a comment or message me directly and I’ll get you in touch with her 🙂

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The FabFitFun Box: Is It Worth It?!

During the commercial break of Bachelor In Paradise…while scrolling through your newsfeed, did you notice any FabFitFun ads? Ever wonder what all the rage is about? Well…I caved and decided to subscribe to this mysterious yet intriguing beauty and fitness box. And I actually love it. Watch my review below and let me know what you think of this addictive subscription box <3

 

FabFitFun Summer 2016 Box <3

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The Latest: Dating Apps – Do They Work?

If you missed the latest on the vlog, see below for more on my thoughts on dating online as a millennial:

It’s taken me a lot of thought, revisions and NERVE to post this next blog/vlog -oooh girl [or boy] I’m starting a conversation about dating apps! Before I go any further, please know that I understand online dating is NOT for everyone. I actually wasn’t an advocate for it until I tried it. My goal is not to tell you that you MUST try online dating if you are single. I simply want to share a pretty cool experience around the cultural phenomenon of dating apps that completely changed my attitude towards dating in your twenties. Join me in this conversation…I want to know your thoughts and experiences!

Modern Dating With A Traditional Mindset

Let me start by this: I actually have pretty traditional views on dating and have always felt opposed to online dating apps… especially for young people. Here’s why: if you are living close to the place you grew up (like me), you probably find that you have a variety of groups of friends from either high school, college, family or work. I regularly do social things like attending networking events, going to happy hours and going out on weekends with my friends. In many ways, I consider myself a pretty stereo-typical twenty-something year old girl. I’m driven to succeed but I also want to have as much fun as possible along the way (especially B.C. – before children YIKES). I also tend to be the first one to break the ice when I find myself around a new group of people. All of these things made me think that I was not a candidate for dating online.

Single, Awkward & Tipsy

I found myself single last January and in an awkward phase in life. Some of my friends were still in college or grad school, some still had the freedom to go out on a Tuesday, others were in a serious relationship. The awkward part of being in your twenties is everyone is in a different place: some of us are becoming parents, some are getting married, some are trying to graduate college in our 7th year, and some of us are moving across the globe. Newly single, I was still trying to navigate life in the “real” world, trying to find the rhythm of a full time job that added loads of pressure to my every day life. My weeks consisted of waking up early, getting ready for work, going to work, focusing all day on trying my best to keep my clients happy, trying to hit the gym either before or after work, and coming home. Nothing too exciting, nothing to brag about.

Every weekend me and the girls would rally up and go hang out with our same group of friends. When we would go out to the bars, we’d meet guys that we were attracted to. The problem was, the guys I kept meeting were not the kind of quality guys that I wanted. Many were very surface level, ego-centric horn dogs [ugh] trying to maintain this image of masculinity that no offense – I saw straight through. Not interested in all this nonsense, I felt frustrated. Although I wasn’t looking to run to the alter tomorrow, I was looking for someone genuine to enjoy life with in hopes to find out if that person was someone I’d want to spend my life with.

The Newest Thing: Hinge

Worn out from bar hopping and meeting boys out on the town, I said screw it. I’m going to try this “super lame dating app” thing. My coworkers used it and encouraged it, so I blame them (thank you!!). Being a sucker when under peer pressure, I caved and downloaded Hinge. Hinge is a dating app directly connected to Facebook. You only get to swipe through ten matches a day and you MUST have mutual friends on Facebook to get matched with someone. This makes it really easy to cyber stalk whoever it is you’re matched with [because duh you have to see if this person passes the online personality test]. Plus, it gives you both a common topic to talk about. I like my friends, so if you know them, I might like you too.

I went on several Hinge dates and felt like I was matched with guys who were more interested in getting to know me than the bros at the bars. I was pretty pleased with my experience but after serially dating for five months, I was getting to a point where I wanted to lay off the dates for a while. I met some great people, but when I kept putting myself out there and not finding exactly what I was looking for, I felt tired and a little disheartened.

My Last Hinge Date

In May of last year, I switched jobs and between my old job and new job, took a week off and went to Cabo and Southern California. I was single on this trip, but this one guy I connected with on Hinge was staying in touch throughout the trip. At the time, I felt this connection was minuscule and I wasn’t sure anything would come of it, mainly because I hadn’t met this person yet and I wasn’t sure I ever would. We connected on Hinge earlier in the month, and we hadn’t made plans to meet. I wasn’t able to meet until I got back from vacation. Once I returned, I agreed to meet him on Memorial Day.

Apparently I was late, although I think I was right on time 😉 I walked up to the table and introduced myself to John, my newest Hinge date. Our time was spent getting to know the basics about each other: where we grew up, what we did for work, what we were passionate about, what our family was like and we even discussed previous relationships. I’m a really open book and I’m well aware that it turns some people off, but he seemed just as interested as me to learn more. && the rest is history…we saw each other 4 times in the first week of knowing each other and have been pretty inseparable ever since.

Being single is all about trying new things and getting out of your comfort zone; but also finding yourself. The more that you know who you are, the easier it’ll be for you to find what you want. I loved Hinge because it allowed me to try new things by meeting new people, going to new places and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. In fact, I feel like in those moments, I was learning about myself and finding out who I was.

I want to know: how do you feel about online dating? What’s your experience with it? What do you like about it? Or what is holding you back from trying it? Let’s chat, I want to hear what you think! Thanks for listening or reading the latest, can’t wait to hear from you!

~XXXO, Mary

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bareMinerals Last Chance Sale: 4 Products Under $50

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If you know me, you probably know how big of a sucker I am for a good sale. Whether it’s the Nordstrom Anniversary sale on products for the upcoming season or a sale on “last chance” AKA clearance items, I’m always on the hunt for a deal. Last weekend, I received an email from bareMinerals about a sale they were having on all “last chance” items in their inventory.

I don’t consider myself a huge make up junkie, but I do love make up that is quality but also not harmful to your skin. I’ve been using the bareMinerals powder foundation on my face for about ten years now and it’s the only foundation I trust. I’ve tried others that offer more coverage with a more “finished” look, but they weren’t a good fit for me. With bareMinerals, I don’t have to worry about breaking out, I can sleep in it if I forget to wash my face at night and this product line simply does not irritate my skin. It also gives me a more natural, youthful look – which I love! So low and behold, when I got the email about a sale, I had to look and see if I was in luck. And that I was! I found four products for under $50 that I now truly love!

Here’s a recap of the goods:

| L I P S |

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Gloss + Lip Balm

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Jack Of All Trades Lip Balm in Baby Doll – Retail: $12 | 40% of Sale: $7.20

Between my morning coffee, hourly water cup refills, snacks, lunch, long phone meetings and more, my lips end up chapped throughout my work week. This balm is perfect for re-moisturizing your lips while also adding a hint of color. I chose the baby doll pink mostly because I don’t have this color in my make up bag and it’s a light, every day color I won’t get tired of. It also comes in the shade “Sure Thing” which is a plum shade.

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Marvelous Moxie Lip Gloss in Rockstar – Retail: $18 | 40% off: $10.80

bareMinerals lip gloss is my favorite. It’s thicker, it’s glossy and it just feels good on my lips. The Rockstar shade is a more neutral color in my opinion, so I can gloss it over any balm or lipstick color I am wearing. The flavor of their glosses is one of my favorites as well. This product was definitely a steal in my opinion.

| F A C E |

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Secret Weapon Kit in Medium: Reg $56 Sale: $29 | 40% off Last Chance Items Sale: $17

The one thing that sucks about bareMinerals foundation is that you can’t really use it as a “touch up” product throughout the day since it’s in a loose dispenser. I have an oily t-zone and have struggled for years trying to find drug store “touch up” powder that matches my foundation. Always failed. This pallet comes with a concealer to apply under eye circles or random zits that might make their debut in the middle of the day [agh stress!] PLUS the powder to fluff on your nose or T zone areas. With this secret weapon now in my back pocket, I don’t look like such an oily mess at the end of my work days #winning 😀

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Beauty On The Go Refillable Compact – Retail: $28 Sale: $9.50 40% Off: $5.70

So this product has mixed reviews, and to be honest I probably wouldn’t have bought it at full price. But for $5 or $10, it’s definitely worth a shot. You take the powder from your full size foundation and put it in this container for touch ups throughout the day. I almost like the secret weapon kit idea better, but with this product you do get to use some of the foundation you already bought by filling it into the compact here. If you want to save money and not be wasteful, this product is a good fit.

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| C O S T |

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The total cost of all four products was only $44.49. I purchased each product from anywhere between 40-80% off. Like I said, who doesn’t LOVE a good deal?! To see more “last chance” products, click here. 

I tried getting some up close shots of the color…sorry if the camera didn’t get the best resolution, but this is me trying the product for the first time. The lip balm is really light and isn’t easy to see, but it’s a nice every day balm with just a hint of pink color. I love lip gloss since it makes the lips look fuller, and the bareMinerals gloss has a slight flavor to it that I actually like – maybe it has a hint of mint? LOL! Hard to say… but this girl sure does love a good gloss!

What’s the latest make up bargain you’ve found? Please share with me, I love finding new products through sales or clearance. Thank you for reading through this blog, please subscribe if you enjoyed it and would like to continue to learn about more ways you can save on brand items!

XXXO ~Mary E. Robb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Next Kendra Scott – But For A Cause

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Alright ladies (and man friends of ladies who gift them)…I’ve been working on this for the past two months and am SO excited to finally release this blog post. Most likely you’re seeing this because we’re connected on social media, therefore you probably have seen me post about a new jewelry line I’m constantly talking about: Christy Jean. The reason I’m so excited about this is because I finally found a jewelry line that not only fits my style and my needs, but I know it will fit the needs of everyone I know… whether we’re friends, coworkers, friends of friends, family, or just basically anyone. Here’s why:

A) the pieces don’t look EXACTLY like every other basic jewelry line out there // it is unique

B) despite A, it DOES follow the latest trends i.e. tassles, drusy embellished rings, earrings and necklaces, chokers and much more…

C) it’s for a cause: a portion of proceeds go to charity (list of charities here)

D) it was created by an outstanding woman from Plano who decided to follow her dream and create her own line of jewelry

E) it’s affordable – can I get a “FINALLY!!”

F) before I run out of letters in the alphabet…. it is quality jewelry as many pieces are either dipped in gold or sterling silver

Before I continue, I think it’s important to know the story behind how I met the creator and founder of the line, Jeannie Barsam and how we began our partnership. I am young in my career and am always interested in meeting new people through networking. A coworker of mine, Gernelle Nelson, started her own blog and photography business and to jump start her business and contacts, she attended a networking group in North Dallas called Dallas Women Entrepreneurs. One day she was nice enough to ask me to join her. Not sure how I could contribute to this meetup considering I didn’t have my own business, I said “yes I’ll go!” in hopes I’d figure it out! And that I did.

During the meeting, I met several passionate women who were excited to meet me and share their business with me. I had a great time and currently continue to attend these meetings, but something immediately caught my eye as I was heading home for the night. As I was making my way towards the door, I noticed a table that was swarmed with women. As I inched my way closer through the crowd, I peeked through the groups of women and saw several sets of jewelry that looked like something out of a Kendra Scott or Nordstrom catalogue. Was this another Stella & Dot or Chloe & Isabelle type of line? No… Was it a local boutique? No… But the pieces were so trendy.. and they fit my style! (which is hard with jewelry as I admit to being too picky). I had to stop and talk to the woman behind this new and unknown jewelry line. After getting a moment to speak with Jeannie, she told me she hand made much of the jewelry herself and just began selling this year. I immediately shared with her that I was in marketing and would love to help get her social media up and running and build an online presence for her new business. She gave me her business card and the rest is history.

Jeannie has an incredible background and is a true inspiration for all women who have a desire to build a successful career. She held several powerful positions at huge retail companies including Gap, Old Navy, Charlotte Russe, Talbot’s and most recently retired from Zales. Instead of kicking back and enjoying life now that she’s done with the hustle and bustle of retail, she decided she wanted to do something more with her free time. Passionate about giving back and helping those in need, she decided she’d create and sell jewelry that would benefit charity.

I am beyond thrilled to share this new line with you and I hope everyone can see what I can see in this line. There are two ways to view and purchase the jewelry:

Visit ChristyJean.com 

If you are anything like me, you have a slight problem with online shopping (as in you’re addicted)…to view the latest pieces available for purchase, visit the Christy Jean website and check out her latest necklaces, earrings, rings or bracelets/bangles. These pieces are perfect for yourself if you’re looking for something to wear on date night, girl’s night, to a wedding or networking event. They also make perfect gifts for birthdays, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, holidays or just because. If you’ve read this far you’ll also know that because you’re currently visiting my blog, you get $15 off a $50 purchase if you use my code: mary15

Get to shopping as many styles run out fast!

Host A Jewelry Party

Looking for a fun way to get the girls together? Have a charity you support and want to find a way to give back? Well guess what…hosting a jewelry party is the PERFECT way to accomplish both of those tasks! 25% of proceeds from Christy Jean jewelry parties go to charity. As a party host, you choose which charity it goes to plus you get FREE jewelry just for being the host. Jeannie will typically throw in a special for the evening such as 20% off or Buy 2 Get 1 Free all jewelry. Email me today if you are interested in hosting a jewelry party or for more details: hello@maryerobb.com

Attend A Jewelry Party

Not ready to host a jewelry party? Find us on social media by liking our Facebook page and following us on Instagram to find out about when and where our next jewelry party will be. If we have a public event, we post it to our social media pages and our followers are ALWAYS invited to join! HINT: exclusive social media discounts are announced only on these pages.

I can write about this new jewelry line all day, but the photos really tell the story. Check out some photos we’ve gotten over the past two months. If you like something, I’ve included the links to the website where you can find the piece below each photo.

Happy shopping!! <3

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Necklace / Rings / Tassle Earrings

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Drusy Necklaces

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Earrings Look-A-Like / Drusy Necklace

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Necklaces

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Necklace Look-A-Like / Rings

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Rings

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Bangle / Gold Circle Statement Necklace / Gold And Orange Agate Pendant

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Rings

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Drusy Necklace / Rings

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NEW PRODUCT: Coming Soon!

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NEW PRODUCT: Coming Soon!

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NEW PRODUCT: Coming Soon!

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Feather Necklace / Feather Earrings / X Ring

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Gold Circle Statement Necklace / Gold Bar Necklace

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NEW PRODUCT: Coming Soon!

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Rings

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Drusy Necklace

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Rings / Bracelets

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NEW PRODUCT: Coming Soon!

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RingsLariat Necklace

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Bracelets

Don’t forget!!! For $15 off purchases of $50 or more, use my code: Mary15

Many pieces are making their way to the website now. If you see something you like here but not on the site, shoot me a quick email @ hello@maryerobb.com and I’ll hook you up! Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week!

XXXO ~Mary E. Robb

 

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First VLOG Ever: Networking Gets The Creative Juices Flowing

Hi guys! I wasn’t planning on doing a blog tonight, but I come to you with not just a blog but my very first VLOG! Watch above, hopefully it doesn’t make you cringe… [Clearly I’m on a creative high, bear with me!]

A couple of quick notes about what I’m talking about in the video. If you have a small business, are a woman, and want to connect with like-minded, motivational women that will welcome you with open arms and listen to what you have to say, check out this networking group I joined in April. Dallas Women Entrepreneurs. It was only my second time going tonight and I met so many new women. I loved hearing more about their stories and their businesses.

NEXT: Christy Jean is the new jewelry line I’ve been talking about. Check out their website and please see our new social sites on Facebook and Instagram [going live soon] @ChristyJeanJewelry. They will be live this month and I promise I will be inviting EVERYONE and their mom to check them out. Watch my vlog for a coupon code you can use the entire month of July.

JOIN ME  June 30th at The Keg in Plano for the OFFICIAL Christy Jean launch party where we’ll be serving drinks, talking jewelry and having fun socializing. Get insider access to the newest lines and sign up for VIP announcements. This is a FRIENDS & FAMILY ONLY event. We will be running discounts and a percentage of proceeds will go to charity!

I’m so excited to be doing what I’m doing and I can’t wait to share this crazy journey with ya’ll.

XXXO

~Mary

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6 Ways To Instantly Improve Your Website

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What if you could control what people thought of your business before they ever got the chance to meet you face to face and shake your hand? I’ve got good news…. you can! A website is a first impression for anyone who doesn’t know you yet. Many times, people will find your website through search engines such as Google or through other people talking about you on social media. With so many tools available to build your own website, many are quick to think “this will be easy!” WordPress, Wix and Squarespace are all great places to get started with many tutorial sources available. You have a website, but does it do what you want it to do? Have you thought of a strategy for how your website will perform? Are you converting your visitors to readers? Customers? Fans? Based on experiences in different industries and different types of websites, I’ve compiled a list of six “universal” ways to instantly improve your website.

#1 – Convert Your Visitors

Whether the goal of your website is to sell a product online, inform new customers about your brand or service or simply gain a following for your blog, you want to be converting your visitors. What does converting a visitor mean? It means either they buy your product, leave their information with you so you can contact them or they can easily find how to email or call you directly from your site. There are several tools out there to help you convert visitors depending on which platform your site is on. Add an email subscription pop up to your site so whenever someone lands on your site, they are given the option to leave their contact information. Yes – these can be annoying, but you have to make it easy for people to subscribe or sign up for email reminders. Add a contact form or ask a question box on every page of the site. Include a contact button in the main menu navigation so users will find it in an obvious place. Include you NAP information in the header or nav. The idea is to make it as easy as possible for site visitors to convert.

#2 – Be User Friendly

I never stop hearing from clients about how they much love the Apple website – and I 100% agree. I may be bias since I have to have Apple everything, but do you know why the Apple website is so appealing? Simple: it’s user friendly. It’s easy to navigate and easy to find what you’re looking for. Keep your menu short with 5-7 main menu options. Make the answers to visitors questions about you or your product easy to get to with organized navigation in sub menus. Make the purchase process simple. Make it easy for the visitor to get in touch with you. Keep the content clean and organized. Leave room for white space. An easy way to test your site is to have a friend or family member spend 15-20 minutes clicking through the pages and giving their feedback on how they think the site flows.

#3 – Tell Your Story

Just because you might be in an industry or business that isn’t necessarily interesting or new doesn’t mean you can’t make it interesting and new. Use your website to tell your story. Who are you? Where did you come from? How did you get here? What are your goals? Who works for you? What’s their story? Who are your customers? What’s their story? How are you helping them? How can you help me? How are you better than your competitors? Many of these questions are meant to be answered creatively and in a way that draws a potential customer in, yearning to learn more. It’s the story of your business or blog. Add a page to your site with the story, then add a main menu option “Our Story” or “Who We Are” or “About”. You can also include it in a slider banner on your home page. People are more interested than you might think to learn about your story and what you’re all about. Talk about you, I want to know!

 

#4 – Call To Action

Does every page on your website have a call to action? This doesn’t necessarily have to be a conversion. Does it urge the visitor to do something, such as go to another page, fill out a form, call, add to cart, see what’s new, suggest another post, etc..? Your home page isn’t the only place where a call to action is important. Look at the different pages you have and see if you can find opportunities to add a clearer action item for new visitors. Tell them where to go or what to do next.

#5 –  Social Media

If you don’t have social media pages, I suggest creating some. You don’t have to get crazy with it by creating 10 different profiles. Depending on what you do, I only suggest certain platforms. Your website is a great place to connect customers and new visitors with your business social profiles. Add social media icons to the header or footer of your website. Add buttons such as “like us on Facebook” or “Pin to Pinterest” to different pages or posts. Social media is meant to be a place where you pull back the curtain of what happens behind the scenes at your business and show customers a closer picture of what you do and why. You can use this to your advantage by attracting new customers.

#6 – Add a blog feed

Adding a blog feed to a website is a great way to keep the site fresh in Google’s eyes. If a website is constantly being updated and adding new content, it’ll stay on the top of Google’s mind. But before you go blog crazy, be very cognizant of who your readers are and what they care most about. Writing sales-y articles that are constantly mentioning “come to me!” “buy me!” “I’m the best!” isn’t the best approach. Answer a common question in your category, appeal to your audience and be genuine in your topics. One place to start when trying to think of a topic? Google.

So, what kind of things make your website successful? Do you have any tips to share that could help improve a website? I’m excited to hear what other tips are out there! Please leave a comment below or contact me to start a discussion 🙂

~Mary E. Robb

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Why You Should Hire People From The Service Industry

Why you should hire

While there’s always exceptions, I find that many of the people I’ve worked with in the professional world who previously had experience in the service industry all have a skill set that helps them excel faster than others. Exposure to different scenarios and personalities combined with good ole’ basic dirty work creates a stronger and smarter work ethic. Basically, we get our sh*t handled and we do it with a smile on our face. Here’s what I learned from working in over 15 different restaurants and bars through high school and college and why I think this has helped my peers and myself advance our careers quickly:

#1 Exposure At A Young Age

Being an employee in the service industry since the age of 15, I’ve learned through experience more than what most people would expect out of a 24 year old. I’ve been managed under several different styles of leadership, I’ve worked with several different coworkers with different types of personalities, and I’ve provided a service to several types of customers. I have a soft spot for waitresses, bar tenders, hostesses, cooks, bus boys – anyone in the service industry, especially at a young age,  because you are exposed to a lot and you learn fast what kind of people exist this world. The bubble you live in is soon revealed as just that – a bubble!

#2 Hustle Hard

Have you seen the videos of that couple in the car where the boyfriend asks “Babe, what do you want to eat?” she says, “I don’t care babe, you pick!” and he says “Okay, how about Italian?” she says “ew no way, what else?” he says “okay, what about Mexican?” she says “oh my god thunder thigh city!” and he says “Okay, salad?” and she says “do you think I’m fat?!” and he says “well what do you want??” and she says “I don’t care, I’m just starving, pick something!!” If you haven’t seen the viral videos or memes about being hangry (hungry + angry), then you’re missing out. Point is, when people go out to eat, they are hungry and they want their food or drinks NOW. People in the service industry learn early on that you need to HUSTLE if you want to make money (as you work on tips) and this skill is carried over into a business setting when working with clients or bosses who want things done as soon as humanly possible. Efficiency is KEY to making a customer happy in this setting and is a very useful skill to have.

#3 We Handle It

Angry customers. Overwhelmed managers. Drunk customers. Drunk coworkers. And even sometimes, drunk managers. All of these issues arise when you work in the service industry and at some point you realize what you need to do….you just handle it. Angry customer? Quickly take charge, calm and reassure them that their concern is your top priority and find a solution. Overwhelmed managers? Do your best to not bother them with any issues you or customers are having by finding a reasonable and creative solution. Drunk customers? Call a cab and cut them off. Drunk coworkers? Avoid at all costs. Drunk managers? Start thinking about pursuing another part time job. We are problem solvers and have to get creative amid all the chaos that surround working in a restaurant or bar. Problem solving is a VERY good skill to have no matter what professional industry you end up in.

#4 Ridiculousness Isn’t As Ridiculous As It Seems

Things don’t phase service industry workers as much as workers in other industries because we’ve seen it all. It’s interesting to watch what people are like the moment they get a little liquid courage inside of them. Most people handle themselves responsibly, but some find themselves taking on an entire new persona. Arguments between couples, obnoxious orders to waitresses, demanding more alcohol from a waitress when they are way past the legal limit, fist fights, loud talking or yelling, ridiculous dancing…the list is endless. Being exposed to erratic human behavior makes it harder for us to be surprised or shocked when something is thrown our way that seems either irrational or out of left field. You want a dolphin in your pool by the morning for your daughters 8th birthday? Sure!

#5 Lessons From Doing The Dirty Work

Last but not least, I think having to do dirty, laborious work really does something to you. It makes you appreciate the type of work that doesn’t involve sweeping wings off the carpet, cleaning vomit stained toilets, taking out dirty women’s bathroom trash cans or mopping beer and vodka stained floors. I never enjoyed this kind of work and I don’t know if any sane person does, but it made me appreciate the fact that I worked my way up so that I wouldn’t have to do that for the rest of my life. You have to start somewhere.

I applaud anyone in the service industry and will always be supportive of the work that goes into remaining sane after 14 hour shifts, crazy customers and dysfunctional management. Anytime I see a resume that has experience that includes service industry work, I get excited. Do you have experience in the service industry? If so, how do you feel it’s contributed to your career? If not, what industry did you work in before you started your professional career and how did it help you? I’m curious to know because I am sure there are other experiences out there that are very helpful. Please leave any comments or feedback below! ~XXXO

 

 

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5 Things To Do In Dallas On Saturday Morning

dallas saturday morning

I know what you might be thinking. Saturday mornings??? This is sleep in time…

Studies show if you wake up on the weekends around the same time you do during the work week, you won’t feel as tired when Monday/the rest of the week comes along. I’m still testing this theory because I am a BIG sleeper. I could sleep all day if I could. But – I know how it feels when you sleep too long (normally 10 hours or more) and it really does ruin the day when your sleep tank is too full.

With a full work week taking up a lot of time and energy, you owe yourself some “me” time. Do something all alone, something new and something that might bring you out of your comfort zone. You’ll be surprised as to what is in store 🙂

There are some really fun things you can do on Saturday mornings to get your day started, and perhaps not feel as guilty once brunch time rolls around.

| 1. Yoga At Klyde Warren Park |

Every Saturday at 10AM, enjoy a FREE yoga class at Klyde Warren Park, hosted by the Dallas Yoga Center. Wake up and start the day feeling centered, stretched and positive. Chicken and waffles at brunch? You got this! You already completed a work out today.

| 2. Dance It Off |

At Lifetime Premier Club, join top fitness instructor Bobbi W. as she leads over 100 students in a dance jam sesh – guys AND girls! Rumor is, a famous Dallas billionaire makes some appearances at this class, you may want to try it. Just don’t try and pitch your latest business venture, he’s not in business mode here.

| 3. Feel The Breeze At White Rock Lake |

White Rock Lake is gorgeous in the mornings. You can watch sail boats or rowing teams drift across the lake as the sun slowly moves towards it’s peak for the day. The dog park is huge and has a separate section connected to the lake. The trail is over 8 miles long leaving you plenty of room to bike or jog along with other Dallasites ready to start their weekend right.

| 4. People Watching At Katy Trail |

If you’re feeling extra Dallas-y this morning, you can head over to the Katy Trail and see what Dallas looks like up close and personal. You’ll see a somewhat diverse crowd, all in some way shape or form dedicated to that Saturday morning work out or walk of shame. Sometimes it’s hard to tell, but on your way down you can stop at Katy Ice House for breakfast or beer.

| 5. Knox & Henderson |

If you’re not into fitness and just trying to get your brunch on, I love eating at Toulouse Café & Bar. You almost feel like you’re not in Texas anymore. Here’s their morning spread. Once you’re done, you can walk around and explore the different stores. Some of my faves include:

Betty Lou: great for cute gifts for any occasion, lots of books, cards, mugs, cups & knick knacks

Apple: I don’t need to explain

Z Gallerie: if anyone wants to give me a $20,000 gift card here, I won’t be mad 🙂

As I spend more time in Dallas, I plan to continue to explore and find new fun places to share. What’s your favorite thing to do Saturday morning? Have you tried waking up around the same time you normally do for work? Push yourself to try this next weekend with a plan to do something new and fun. I promise you won’t regret it!

XXXO ~Mary

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