News Archive

Any excuse to wear a gold sequins blazer.

Sooooo, as many of you know by now, my bestie Ashlee and I shared some big news yesterday on the blog and Instagram!  This super exciting collaboration has been a long time coming and so, of course, we needed to have a best friend photo shoot for all of the (shameless) self promotion that we would be doing!  Its pretty sad that Ashlee and I have almost no pictures together in almost 14 years of friendship.  So, needless to say, a best friend photo shoot was in order and in celebration of the launch yesterday I thought that I would share some of the images with you along with some of the fun outtakes and details behind the shoot!  You will actually see this first set of images again in another secret project that Ashlee and I have in the works! Shhhhh!

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For this shoot we brought in our friend and clothing stylist Megan Adams who pulled from our closets to create two looks for us – one casual and one…let’s say “fancy”.  For the first look we wanted something dressy casual, polished but approachable, fun and also representative of our two different brands and styles! (You got that all Megan?)  For Ashlee that meant boyfriend jeans, nude heels, a classic white t-shirt and a silk blush pink J Crew bomber jacket that she borrowed from my closet.  To compliment this look with a “Shay” spin Megan pulled white denim, my favorite gray J Crew t-shirt, strappy black heels and a black lightweight H&M blazer that she pulled from Ashlee’s closet (real friends share clothes right!?).  Megan pulled it all together in a way that represented us each individually while looking cohesive for the shoot.  I can’t wait to tell you what this first set of images is for but thats news for another day! Ashlee+Proffitt+Shay+Cochrane+Collaborate+Tampa+Florida_1892 Ashlee+Proffitt+Shay+Cochrane+Collaborate+Tampa+Florida_1893 Ashlee+Proffitt+Shay+Cochrane+Collaborate+Tampa+Florida_1894 Ashlee+Proffitt+Shay+Cochrane+Collaborate+Tampa+Florida_1895 Ashlee+Proffitt+Shay+Cochrane+Collaborate+Tampa+Florida_1896

We are goobers when you get us together so Laura of CIHI photo had her work cut out for her!  Laura is a mutual friend and super talented portrait photographer. We shot in Davis Island on the most perfect little street as a massive storm rolled in. I’m not even kidding. By the end of the shoot the whole street was without electricity! Despite having almost no light, Laura made it happen!  We love you Laura!Ashlee+Proffitt+Shay+Cochrane+Collaborate+Tampa+Florida_1897

The second portion of the shoot was going to be used for the launch of our new line of inspiration wall art for the stylish home so we knew that we wanted this look to be a bit, shall we say, fancier!  For this look Megan put Ashlee in black fitted pants with a beautiful mixed media black blouse and nude pumps. How smokin’ hot is Ashlee is all black!? (She will hate me for saying that! tehehe) For me she pulled my favorite leather pants, white t-shirt, strappy black shoes and this phenomenal gold sequins Sam Edelman blazer that I picked up earlier this year for a special occasion (perfect right?)!

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Megan  was on hand for the whole shoot to ensure that not a messy cuff or sloppy tuck was out of place. Seriously, everything in the #scstyleguide I learned from her!  She is phenomenal and does closet consultations, personal shopping, and wardrobing styling for events (and every day life!). I would be lost without her.  If you are drowning in a closet full of mediocre stuff you don’t wear with no idea where to even start to be fashionable – she is your girl!

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This next one is possibly my favorite from this set!  I love this girl.

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Warning, sometimes in a best friend photo shoot things start to get awkward when people walk by wondering what in the world you are doing… and you tend to fill that awkward with…more awkwardness. haha

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SA (153 of 169)blogAnd now, for the best part!  Enjoy a little behind the scenes goofiness.  Because, lets be honest, I’m not really cool enough to be in black leather pants and a gold sequins blazer. haha

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Thank you Megan and Laura for your help pulling this fun little shoot together!  If you missed the big reveal yesterday then take a peek below!  Thanks friends!

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How to make your passion profitable (free Ebook!)

If you subscribe to my newsletter, then you know how much I love talking about the business side of being a creative business owner. I really love sharing resources I find helpful and I am especially excited to share this one with you today! The sweet ladies from Creative at Heart have put together a wonderful ebook on How to Make Your Passion Profitable and the best part is, it’s 100% FREE! I was so honored to have been asked to contribute to this resource. I think working through how to turn your passion into a profitable, thriving business is a wonderful conversation to have and that it is something many are afraid to explore.

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In my opinion, the key to a successful and profitable creative business is finding that thing that you are uniquely best at AND that solves a problem or fills a need for your potential client.  It is sort of a magic formula that takes trial and error and deep thinking to solve but when you do, the growth and success begins to happen organically.

Without any preconceived notions, ask yourself the following two sets of questions.

Set 1:

  • “ What do I LOVE doing that comes naturally to me? ”
  • “ What do I feel uniquely gifted at? ”
  • “ What could I do all day and never tire of ? ”

When you can answer these question you are halfway there. Then you have to do the hard work of answering the second set of questions:

  • “ What is my ideal client ’s biggest struggle and burning need? ”

Ask them what their biggest frustrations are and listen to what they say.  Ask yourself how you can create a product or service that solves a real problem in a way that is in line with what you enjoy and are gifted at.  Answering the first set of questions uncovers a life-giving hobby.  When you answer the second set of questions you have discovered a potential business!!

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To read more tips on how to make your passion profitable from several other inspiring boss ladies, download your free copy of this ebook today!

Are you joining us at the Cultivate Retreat!?
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In just a few short weeks I will have the pleasure of joining an amazing group of talented small business owners and creatives to speak at the Cultivate Retreat in GA!  Last week while we were visiting Graham’s parents in the gorgeous mountains of NC I was able to spend a few hours breathing in the fresh mountain air and finalizing my speaking content for the retreat. I’m more then just a little nervous.  Not because I don’t know what to say, but because I know without a shadow of a doubt that what has been put on my heart to share has the potential to be game changing and it is really the hope of my heart that it will be just that in the lives of even a few of the women who will gather for this awesome retreat.

I can’t tell you how excited I am to sneak away for this experience. In their own words, “Cultivate Retreat is an intimate learning environment for wedding professionals. Set amidst the secluded beaches and towering oaks of Jekyll Island, Georgia, As you learn, you’ll meet dozens of other creatives who share your passion for creating businesses that matter. You’ll indulge in inspirational dining experiences while cultivating new friendships, and there will be plenty of time for relaxing and unwinding as you see fit.” (Yes please!) Is anyone else as in need of this as I am!?

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My assistant Kelly actually had the privilege of attending Cultivate two years ago. In her words, “Cultivate is a retreat for wedding professionals unlike any other. With a limited amount of attendees, the approach is more intimate than most retreats or conferences. This allows for amazing networking with peers in the industry as well as opportunities to discuss your business questions and receive answers from the speakers.

Cultivate offers a wide range of content. All of which is applicable to anyone in the wedding industry and all with the intention of generating growth in your business. The balance of group presentations, Q&A time, and breakout sessions really help attendees hone in on specific needs and interests of their business. Branding, workflow flow, helpful tools, reaching your target audience, and so much more were all covered at last year’s retreat and with a new panel of speakers, even more is in store for this year!

In addition to amazing and applicable content, Cultivate is designed for refreshing. The venue is chosen with relaxation in mind and each meal is beautifully orchestrated for a complete, inspirational experience. If you are looking for something different out of your conference experience this year, if you want to connect with speakers and attendees on a real level and also walk away with concrete ways to improve your business, consider attending the Cultivate Retreat this August!”

Jekyll Island Club Hotel

 

If you are a wedding professional I really do encourage you to check out the other amazing speakers who will be there and consider making last minute plans to join us!  You can find out everything you need to know here!

I hope to see you there!

Shay

SC is hiring!
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Are you interested in being a part of what is going on behind the scenes at SC?  I am looking to hire a multi-talented office assistant to be my right hand lady alongside me at the SC brand!  I am looking for someone interested in potentially being an integral part of the SC brand long term and who can bring some incredible insight and talent to the areas of the business that are just not my expertise! The job description comes with some variety and will expand as the position grows.   Take a peek at the details and e-mail me at info@shaycochrane.com with a complete resume if you think you would be a perfect fit for the position!

Qualifications:

  • Fun, sweet and outgoing personality!
  • Excellent writing and communication skills
  • Would be able to represent the SC brand well both in writing and in person
  • Knowledgable in Photoshop and/or Indesign
  • Some graphic design experience would be an asset
  • Excited and capable of creating newsletter and blog content
  • Detail oriented
  • Organized and administrative
  • Able to take initiative and ownership of projects that will grow the SC brand
  • Willing to occasionally assist on shoot days
  • Creative thinker, willing to take initiative with ideas that will benefit the  SC brand
  • Willing to run office errands (must have your own reliable source of transportation)
  • Interested in being a part of the SC company long term.

 

Position details:

  • Position title: SC Office assistant
  • Available for immediate employment
  • Position will begin as part time 8 hrs a week with possible additional hours. Primary work day would be Tuesdays 8:00-4:00pm, occasional additional hours on Thursdays for shoots.
  • Must be able to work locally in my Wesley Chapel, FL home office
  • Must have reliable transportation and be willing to run occasional work related errands
  • This position is NOT a photography position and will not be offered to someone growing a photography business. Other personal business interests welcome!

If you think that you would be an asset to the SC brand I would love for you to send your resume to info@shaycochrane.com to set up an interview! I am looking forward to meeting you!

2013 Shay Cochrane
What is Pippit and why I am in love!

By now, you might have seen some buzz about a new app on the block with a funny little name. “Pippit,” an app two years in the making, arrived on the scene just a week ago created by Joy Cho of oh Joy (a favorite blogger and designer of mine and just all around precious momma & business owner!) in partnership with  Naomi and Josh from Love Taza.  With its cute catchy name, clean design, and media friendly functions you could call Pippit the super cool, design-conscious love child of Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and your favorite blog RSS reader!  In a world where consumers have an ever shortening attention span, Pippit might just be what the blogging world needs to keep readers seeing and interacting with new content!

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Considering that Pippit is not free (you have to pay a yearly non-renewing subscription of $2.59) the question you are sure to be asking is, Should I get Pippit? Is it right for me? How do I know if it is worth the cost?

I am convinced that if Pippit does catch on, it could become an essential tool for bloggers, creatives and shop owners but let me just tell you a little bit about why it was love at first site for me!

Pippit does what Instagram doesn’t

As a commercial product stylist and photographer, I get 80% of my clients through Instagram.  Clients kindly share on their Instagram feed the images that I create for them and often tag me (@shaycochrane). Curious readers and potential clients click through to my Instagram profile, check out my work and eventually click through to my main website through the link in my profile. There are a lot of social media platforms out there and part of being a successful business owner is knowing where your ideal client “lives” online and focusing your attention there instead of trying to be everywhere.  I say all of that to say that I love Instagram and because it is so widely used, I will continue to use it as my primary marketing tool.  However, Instagram has some key limitations for bloggers and small business owners that the creators of Pippit (ingeniously!) took care of:

(All images in this post are by Oh Joy. View their Pippit launch blog post here.)

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What Pippit does (my favorite features):

  • Instantly and automatically pulls your recent blog posts for your Pippit followers with a single image, clickable Pinterest style feature. No finagling to repost an image from your recent blog post and then hoping that readers actually go find the link to your blog (ugh!).  Clicking on the image from the recent post instantly takes you to the full blog post where they can read and comment in Pippit. TIP: Blog post “pips” are differentiated from regular posts by appearing with a green line underneath them.
  • You can place clickable links directly in the images that you post (Cue the HALLELUJAH chorus!!!). When you take and post an image to Pippit you can place “dots” in the image that contain helpful information and direct CLICKABLE links!!!  For me that means that if I post a new styled stock image that I am excited about I can link directly to my shop from within the image as well as identifying where particular props or featured products are from!  Users of the much loved Houzz home inspiration and interior design site/app benefit from this kind of direct link “tagging” where you can get information about the items shown and even follow through to purchase them quickly and easily. This feature is pay dirt for affiliate posting and could be a game changing feature for shop owners who want their readers to end up in their shops or on their main sites and not just “liking” images and moving on in Instagram.
  • Even short videos shared to Pippit can have dots with clickable links of information #awesome #finally #thankyou
  • You can reply directly to a comment on Pippit to better keep track of conversations. @coolgirl: OMG Where are your shoes from?! @you: From this awesome new boutique ______. Check it out! @coolgirl: You are the most awesome person ever. I’m so glad that I follow you!
  • Have more meaningful interactions with your followers.  Instead of being limited to the double-click-to-like functionality of Instagram, followers can indicate whether they “Like” “Want” or find “Useful” your post. As a business owner and mentor I like the idea of knowing more specifically what my readers think of the content that I am putting out so that I can continue to refine it to make it more helpful and useful to them!
  • You can go back and edit your posts! So the next time autocorrect doesn’t work in your favor you are not doomed to looking like Hooked On Phonics didn’t work for you!

This is in no way an exhaustive list of the features of this fun new app but as a small business owner I find it’s distinct features to be particularly helpful in growing my business.  You can read a full description of this app along with compatibility information here. Check out this video from the creators of the app to see it in use:

 How I will be using Pippit:

Like I said, because of Instagram’s mass appeal and free-ness (thats a word right?) I don’t think that Pippit is going to be replacing it any time soon per se unless they do convert to a free app business model.  However, I can definitely appreciate that they have chosen a for-purchase model to keep advertisers from clogging up your feed.  Because I know that following me on Pippit will come at an expense to my followers, I want to make sure that the content that I put on Pippit is not just a duplicate of my Instagram or blog posts.  For this reason, I will be offering my Pippit followers exclusive content that is just for them and is immediately useful, especially for other small business owners and creatives.  For me, this means that I will be “pipping” (thats going to take some getting used to) exclusive product styling and photography tips and tricks in the form of images and short videos on Pippit.  I will also show exclusive behind the scenes shoot day images that would be helpful to small business owners and shop owners and sharing links for specific props and products that they may be curious about.  I will reserve personal pics for Instagram and focus on making my Pippit feed a worthwhile resource for photographers, creatives and small business owners interested in knowing how to take better pictures of their products.

In my opinion, the Pippit train is one worth hoping on especially if you are a blogger, small business owner or creative wanting to interact with your fans,  followers and affiliates in a simple, easy to use (and pretty) way!  I genuinely think that it is at least worth trying it out and would love to see this app succeed. You can purchase the app here. Once you get the app, come find me under @shaycochrane !! Cheers friends!

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