July 4, 2017

Hi there,

So if you’re reading this you may already know my big news… I have decided to leave my job and become a full time blogger. AHHH! This was huge decision for me, that I have thought about for over a year and although I know I’ll be so sad saying goodbye to everyone tomorrow, I am SO EXCITED to get started on my next chapter.

Where it all begin

Blogging, fashion, photography and documenting everything have been passions of mine as long as I can remember: from outfit planning that began at far too young an age, to my first designer bag that was the size of a pencil case, to the boxes of diaries I’ve kept all my life and all those collages from magazines I spent hours making… blogging just seemed like a natural step to me, right from the start. Something I loved, and still love as much as day one.

I wanted to study fashion in college but university wise there isn’t many courses that incorporate it in Ireland (not that you need a University degree anyway). I went on to do Communications Studies in DCU where I studied everything from PR, to photography to video editing – all of which I can use now in blogging. A main driving force behind going to DCU was the fact that they had an established and respected Style Society in the college where you could get involved in organising fashion events, the huge annual student fashion show and ‘THE LOOK’ student fashion magazine. In my final year I was the editor of the THE LOOK with my friend Sarah, which at the time was the biggest deal in the world to us. Outside of college I was working in retail, modelling with the Holman Lee Agency and interning with fashion companies (Fran & Jane in Dublin and Raine Magazine in New York) – my life was just totally immersed in fashion.

Not many people know this, but while I was on my first J1 in 2011 I started my first blog, documenting my travels, my photos and my experiences. I showed it to my friend Becca and begged her not to laugh. She didn’t, but I went on to delete it anyway. God forbid anyone googled my name (LOL) and came across my blog. The thought of that now makes me laugh. At the time I was just absolutely terrified of people slating me and my blog. I wasn’t ready.

After finishing Communications, I went on to my masters in Marketing where I lost a year of my life haha. It was a great year and I learnt a lot but it was tough and very time consuming. I worked part-time when I could, focused on learning as much as I could from the course and planned out my next steps. I got a first class honours in the end so my hard work paid off grade wise, I started my blog again that year and I was able to get a spot on an amazing graduate program with Tourism Ireland in New York. New York is my favourite place in the world, and to start my career there was just the absolute dream. You can read all about my experience there here. That’s where I really got stuck in to my blog and learned if you want something you have to go for it 1000%. I had to ignore the doubts and insecurities and learn to be more confident in myself because as one of my favourite sayings goes:

Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will

Balancing both

Right from the start of my blog, I could see the huge amount of time it took up. My mornings before work were spent outfit planning, my lunches shopping or shooting and my evenings putting it all together in a blog, on social media and planning for the days ahead. But I loved it. Every step of it I loved. When I moved home from New York, meetings, events and managing my blog emails became a part of my weekly routine as well, so every second of my day outside of work was spent on my blog. It was a huge factor in helping me settle back in after living abroad.

I’ve gotten so used to it now (2 years in) that not having a lunch break to relax is pretty normal, and not sitting down until 11 O’clock at night is also normal. However the busier I got with the blog, the harder I found it to balance both. The last 6-8 months have been so busy and without a doubt stressful at times. I hate to let things suffer so I was doing my best to keep both going well as well as exercising, seeing my family, my boyfriend and my friends but I know these things have suffered at times. Some weeks have definitely been better than others. I have realised it’s really not possible to keep going with both the way I have been without burning out. I always thought I was working at my blog and maybe one day it would help progress my career, I never thought it could possibly become it.

It seems like such an obvious thing, it’s my passion, I love it and it’s going well – why wouldn’t I have given up my job before now?

The easy and hard parts of making this decision…

I loved my job, I love Tourism Ireland as a company, I love the team I worked with, the friendships I’ve made over the years and the opportunities there are there. I’m really very sad to leave, and will miss my Tourism Ireland family a lot. Especially at the start, I reckon there will be an adjustment period where I ask myself what have I done? And I’ll probably think it every now and again down the line if I have a bad week.

Working for myself was never really a career goal of mine, and it definitely was not the reason I started my blog. There are lots of things about it that I’m still so unsure about: I’m scared about being by myself most days and not coming in to the office to the usual friendly faces. I’m nervous about the change of routine. Will I jump out of bed on a cold, dark winter morning when I don’t have to be sitting at my desk for 9am? I’m terrified of the idea of sharing even more of myself online, what if I’m not strong enough for the criticism that comes along with that?

But more than I’m scared of all these things I am so much more in love with what I do, with the different exciting projects I work on, the adventures I’ve been on and the people I’ve met along the way.

I have a fire in my belly now stronger than it’s ever been before and I know that’s going to get me working towards goals I would never have been able to even dream about while still working full-time. I know how extremely lucky I am to have the opportunity to make my absolute passion my job, so even though I’m taking this incredibly scary step, I am also really excited for what might lie ahead.

Maybe it won’t work out. But maybe seeing if it does will be the best adventure ever.

Where do I hope to be

Where I’ll end up, I have absolutely no idea. And that’s another thing that’s quite scary.

I know what I want: to be happy, to continue to love what I’m doing, to get more of a work/life balance and to continue to grow, learn and travel. So as long as having more time allows me to continue to try and achieve those things, then I am where I want to be.

I spent the last month and a half preparing myself for this week. And I’m so excited to be able to share my news now. I have a very busy few weeks ahead (see how I planned that? haha) and I can’t wait to be able to take you all on this journey with me.

My first stop is Albufeira on Friday, then London with River Island when I come back and then I’m off to the Seychelles with Emirates at the end of the month,

With lots more time for cuddles with Cooper in between all these trips. He is only delighted he has a stay at home mom now 😊

Thank you all so much for the lovely messages of support and encouragement, it really means so much,

Talk to you all soon,

Louise x


Louise Cooney

Fashion, Lifestyle & Travel blogger from Limerick, Ireland.  

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