You know that feeling when you meet someone who loves flamingos just as much as you do, has Texas-perfect hair 24/7, and who just so happens to be your sorority sister? No? Just us? 😉 Meredith Staggers from Cake & Confetti is one of the kindest, brightest women we’ve had the pleasure of getting to know and call a friend since we started our creative journey, and she just so happens to have one of the most killer Instagram feeds on the planet.
MEREDITH STAGGERS, CAKE & CONFETTI:
Here’s my business in a nutshell: I create content for brands and offer Instagram consulting for creative businesses. I’m great at always finding a reason to celebrate, but I struggle with doing too many things at once. If you bring up cocktails, sour patch kids, or T. Swift, we’re going to be best friends.
WHY IS CONNECTING WITH OTHER FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS IMPORTANT TO YOU?
Working for yourself isn’t easy. I’m pretty sure my friends with corporate jobs think I just sit on Instagram all day in my yoga pants, ha! Having other female business owners as close friends is as close as I get to having co-workers. I don’t think I’d still be in business without them to be honest. Whether it’s to celebrate a tiny victory or ask for advice, it’s so comforting to know I can always pick up the phone (they’re on speed dial BTW) and they’re there.
I’ve met some of my best friends through Instagram, as crazy as it is that’s how the world is nowadays. Don’t be afraid to message someone you look up to or love following and ask to grab coffee or a cocktail. The first year I was full-time C&C, I had a goal to meet up with someone in the creative industry once a week. It really forced me out of my comfort zone and I created so many amazing friendships in the process. My schedule is a little crazier nowadays but I still make a point to grab coffee with someone new at least a couple times a month. I also lead our local TuesdaysTogether meet ups which are an amazing way to meet other creatives.
HOW HAS COLLABORATION IMPACTED YOUR BUSINESS?
Collaboration is a huge part of my business because of all the shoots I style. When I first started styling, I tried to do it all myself – make the sweets, source the props, take and edit the photos. I was so exhausted and realized the finished product wasn’t turning out like I envisioned because I was doing too much. Now I focus on what I’m good at, styling and leave all the other elements to the experts!
One of my favorite collaborations to date is a shoot I styled in the fall for my portfolio. There were six local creatives involved in the shoot, each handling a different aspect and it came together beautifully. The majority of us had never worked together and that shoot was the start of amazing friendships.
IT WAS THE BEST OF TIMES… | SHARE THE HIGHEST POINT IN YOUR BUSINESS SO FAR.
It’s a tie. Can I have two? The first would be recording my online styling course with Brit+Co. That was definitely a pinch me moment, but filling up my first session of The Confetti Concept, my group consulting program, was equally amazing. It’s scary when you put something out there without knowing if it’s going to flop or not.
IT WAS THE WORST OF TIMES. | TELL US ABOUT THE LOWEST MOMENT IN YOUR BUSINESS, AND HOW YOU HANDLED IT.
Oh boy. There have definitely been a few! One of the last events I styled was a charity benefit for a high profile magazine in Houston. It was an incredible opportunity and a little out of my league, but I said yes anyways. Well, in the five days leading up to the event, I was a bridesmaid in a wedding out of town, then attended a creative conference out of state, and was supposed to fly back the morning of the event. There was terrible weather in Houston, so my flight was delayed, and I landed an hour before guests arrived. Needless to say my contribution to the event was a huge flop. I had so much on my plate that it was impossible for something not to go wrong. As embarrassed as I was at the time, looking back I’m grateful for that experience because I learned a huge lesson about the importance of knowing your limits. I stopped saying yes to every opportunity that comes my way and my business has grown because of it.
IN YOUR MIND, WHAT IS THE SINGLE GREATEST CHALLENGE FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS FACE? WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OTHER SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS, INFLUENCERS, OR BLOGGERS?
In the creative world, the pressures to keep up can stand in your way. I love social media just as much as the next girl, but if you let it consume you, it can make you feel awful about what you have, what you’re doing, or how you look.
About a year ago, when I shifted my business from events to photo styling, I started following a dozen or so super talented and successful stylists. One afternoon I took a break from sending pitch emails and started scrolling through their IG accounts. Two hours later I felt like I wanted to quit my business all together. I convinced myself there would be no way I’d ever be as good as them or land the type of clients they had. It was one of the worst feelings ever! I think this happens more times than women would like to admit and it’s not productive, especially when you’re first starting out. It’s so important keep your head down and work hard. There’s only one you so if you stay true to who you are, you won’t have any competition.
WHAT PRODUCTS, SERVICES, OR CONTENT HAVE YOU CREATED THAT YOU’RE MOST PROUD OF?
The Confetti Concept: The Confetti Concept is a four week course that covers how to style, curate, grow and monetize your Instagram platform. We cover a different topic every week in a live webinar format. I just completed the first session and will be opening registration for the second session March 1st. Each session is limited to six people so I’m able to tailor the information so it’s relevant to everyone in the class!
Photo Styling class: This is my online intro to styling class with Brit + Co! I cover the basics of styling for flay lays and lifestyle shots, using natural or studio lights, how to take and edit photos on your iPhone.
Instagram Audit: This is The Confetti Concept’s brand new baby sister. 🙂 An Instagram Audit is perfect for someone that’s looking for tips on how to visually improve their Instagram. It will be 45 minutes and we’ll look through your Instagram profile together and discuss ways to make it more cohesive. (pssssttt… Covelle readers get $25 off their Instagram Audit session with code COVELLE!)
WHAT ARE YOUR NOT-SO-SECRET WEAPONS?
Snapseed – my favorite app for making the backgrounds of my photos white and colors pop.
Calendly – the only way I can keep everything straight on my calendar.
Blogstomp – I huge timesaver for resizing photos for blog posts.
NAME THREE FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS YOU ADMIRE ONLINE.
Ashley Brooke Designs. I for sure think we would be friends IRL. She started with a blog but expanded into an amazing brand with a full product line. I know she works really hard to differentiate herself and she also loves pink so there’s that. 🙂
Shay Cochrane. In my opinion she paved the way for photo styling in the creative community. I didn’t even realize this could be a career until I started following Shay. She works really limited hours so she can be an amazing mom and wife. I really admire her ability to grow a business while not giving up family time.
Joy Cho from Oh Joy! What’s not to love about her?! But in all seriousness, she’s the perfect example of how being kind, working hard and thinking outside the box pays off.
TWO TRUTHS & A LIE
I have a degree in sports management.
I was a contestant on Jeopardy.
I drove a jacked up 4×4 truck in high school with a pink cowboy hat decal on the back window.
$25 OFF YOUR INSTAGRAM AUDIT
Because she’s awesome and she loves you, Meredith is offering $25 off an Instagram Audit session for Covelle readers! Use code COVELLE.