Styled Shoot: Aubrey and Aly elope!

Sometimes collaborations are intentional, and sometimes they happen by accident! A few months ago, I inadvertently ended up being part of a gorgeous styled shoot that was recently featured in Junebug Weddings! The theme of the shoot was Aubrey and Aly's elopement in a treehouse - an intimate celebration of two beautiful women in love! But the funny part of this story is how Bombay Taxi Boutique got involved: the story goes, Aubrey and Aly showed up for the shoot and while everything was thoughtfully prepared, the bride had no jewelry! Christen, the owner of Moon & Back Bridal (who provided the lovely wedding dress) happened to be wearing a pair of Bombay Taxi Boutique earrings, and lo and behold, they were part of the shoot!

So the moral of the story is, sometimes the universe works in your favor, and you end up being a part of something beautiful without any planning on your part at all! Enjoy these pictures captured by the talented team at Mann & Wife!

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The Vendors: 

Photography – Mann & Wife – Visual Storytellers

Event Planning – Brigit Jade

Venue – Kingwood Center Gardens

Floral Design – Ashley’s Floral

Invitations – Baci Designer

Makeup Artist – Makeup by Rachel Lorraine

Hair Styling – Cathy Lane

Wedding Dress – Moon and Back Bridal

Bride’s Ring – The Circle Craft

Bride's earrings – Bombay Taxi Boutique

Handmade Details – Elbowgrease Design

Rentals – Birchwood Supply Co.

Wood Rentals – Kontur Wood Works

Models – Aubrey Johansen and Aly Tanner

 

August in Pictures

Wow, I can't believe its already past Labor Day! August went by so incredibly fast - Nick and I packed a lot in - a concert, a little weekend trip to Cincinnati. I had two pop ups, a speaking engagement, and the two year anniversary of She In The CLE! I also took an online photography class and learned how to use the manual settings on my camera, so I've been practicing a LOT with my newly acquired skills! I ended the month with a fun brunch that may or may not have involved a LOT of flower crowns -- scroll through for the whole story!

Kicked off the month with the Alt-J concert. There't truly nothing like a summertime concert by the water at Nautica Pavilion. 

Kicked off the month with the Alt-J concert. There't truly nothing like a summertime concert by the water at Nautica Pavilion. 

This was such a great summer for beautiful flowers and I was definitely treating myself every week with some blooms, including a number of purchases at Lush & Lovely Floristry. Did you know they ship nationwide, and you can even get a floral subscription?!

This was such a great summer for beautiful flowers and I was definitely treating myself every week with some blooms, including a number of purchases at Lush & Lovely Floristry. Did you know they ship nationwide, and you can even get a floral subscription?!

We spent a lot of time at the beach too, and definitely had the BEST time! Products pictured: Ray-ban aviators, Karishma Necklace, flask from R/S boutique, and card by Cleveland artist Erin Guido.

We spent a lot of time at the beach too, and definitely had the BEST time!

Products pictured: Ray-ban aviators, Karishma Necklace, flask from R/S boutique, and card by Cleveland artist Erin Guido.

While in Cincinnati, we visited an adorable cheese shop called Over the Rhind and then headed over to Rhinegeist for some delicious beer tasting and board games. 

While in Cincinnati, we visited an adorable cheese shop called Over the Rhind and then headed over to Rhinegeist for some delicious beer tasting and board games. 

Of course, we HAD to stop by the Star Wars Costume Exhibit while in Cincinnati! This is a traveling exhibit, and a must see for any Star Wars fan! 

Of course, we HAD to stop by the Star Wars Costume Exhibit while in Cincinnati! This is a traveling exhibit, and a must see for any Star Wars fan! 

I was invited to participate in the Handpicked Bridal Event - it was such a fun evening at the HiHo Brewery in Cuyahoga Falls and I had the opportunity to meet with so many amazing vendors, including Callie from Bartenza - her bar truck is so charming - can you believe she transformed this herself?! 

I was invited to participate in the Handpicked Bridal Event - it was such a fun evening at the HiHo Brewery in Cuyahoga Falls and I had the opportunity to meet with so many amazing vendors, including Callie from Bartenza - her bar truck is so charming - can you believe she transformed this herself?! 

I played around with some new displays at my Pop Ups -- I'm really loving the look of these vintage tea cups!! A little tea and jewelry (and bonus! it rhymes!!) 

I played around with some new displays at my Pop Ups -- I'm really loving the look of these vintage tea cups!! A little tea and jewelry (and bonus! it rhymes!!) 

As I mentioned earlier, I tried to use my newfound photography skills (which are still a work in progress) to take some pictures of Nick and our dogs. However, I learned an important lesson: three dogs will not pose without a damn fine reason (ie. treats). 

As I mentioned earlier, I tried to use my newfound photography skills (which are still a work in progress) to take some pictures of Nick and our dogs. However, I learned an important lesson: three dogs will not pose without a damn fine reason (ie. treats). 

One of my favorite moments of August was celebrating the two year anniversary of She In The CLE - we launched a new way for Cleveland women to tell their stories anonymously with the launch of our She Speaks program. Sometimes women are not comfortable identifying themselves because of work, family, or just very sensitive topics, and this way we can amplify those stories that need to stay anonymous for the time being! 

One of my favorite moments of August was celebrating the two year anniversary of She In The CLE - we launched a new way for Cleveland women to tell their stories anonymously with the launch of our She Speaks program. Sometimes women are not comfortable identifying themselves because of work, family, or just very sensitive topics, and this way we can amplify those stories that need to stay anonymous for the time being! 

And last but certainly not least, I ended the month with a wonderful morning of flower crown making, yoga, and brunch, hosted by GroundSwell Collective, 3 Sisters Yoga and Spice Acres Farms. It was such a fun way to spend the day with my girlfriends Charity, Danielle, Reena, Laura and Sunny! 

And last but certainly not least, I ended the month with a wonderful morning of flower crown making, yoga, and brunch, hosted by GroundSwell Collective, 3 Sisters Yoga and Spice Acres Farms. It was such a fun way to spend the day with my girlfriends Charity, Danielle, Reena, Laura and Sunny! 

All in all, a wonderful August! September is already shaping up to be pretty great month, so stay tuned for next month's recap! 

5 Reasons Your Small Business needs a Photoshoot ASAP

If you have a small business, you should absolutely 100% hire a professional photographer to take some pictures of you. At the very least, you need headshots, and at best, a fully styled shoot. You might read this and think "Whoa! I'm bootstrapping my business I don't have the cash flow for this" but I'm here to give you 5 reasons why a professional photographer is 100% worth the investment.

1. Professional photos will make your website look, well, more professional.  You need your picture on your website. Even if you sell a product or a service that has nothing to do with you, YOU are your small business. People want to connect with YOU. They want to get to know YOU. They want to know there's a real person behind that product or service. And even if you're picture isn't all over your website, at the very least you need it on your "About" page. Please don't take a selfie. Even if you are the world's best selfie-taker, everyone knows its a selfie, and it is incredibly tacky for a business page. Take that professional headshot that conveys the right message for your business and your customers. Are you casual and friendly? Are you a glamazon who thrives on fabulous? Are you the no-nonsense business woman who gets things done? You may be all or none of these things, but your headshot can help convey who you are without you needing to spell it out.

2. Content is king...errr... QUEEN: If your business is on social media, you need fresh content to keep your followers engaged. And a photoshoot is the easiest way to get 25-75 pieces of high quality content in one sitting. A good photographer will pose you in ways that highlight your best features so that you can get pictures that convey a variety of emotions. "Fun" you may be captured laughing. "Serious" you may have you looking off in mid-distance like in the Hills (RIP). If you take some props, you can take your looks even further: Jacket on, jacket off, outfit changes, change your bag, change up your jewelry - you can create a lot of looks with just a few changes. My favorite props include champagne, flutes, confetti and of course, jewelry.

Photo credit: Suzuran Photography 

Photo credit: Suzuran Photography 

3. Use it as an opportunity to collaborate: Photoshoots are my FAVORITE way to collaborate with businesses I love. I recently collaborated on a photo shoot with the team at Oak & Honey Events: they were shooting for their "About" page, and I provided the jewelry via my business Bombay Taxi Boutique. I'm currently working on another collaboration with a photographer, a hair stylist and a makeup artist - this one is going to be more of an editorial shoot. I also did a styled wedding shoot last year with a group of vendors who I had never met before: not only was it a great opportunity to get my name out there, but it was a fun way to meet and learn from an incredibly talented group of people!

4. You need it for PR: Earlier this year, one of my Pop Up collaborations was featured on Cleveland.com and one of the first questions the journalist asked me was if I had some professional pictures she could use for the piece. Naturally I did, and they ran a great visual story around my event. I hired a PR firm to help me grow my business, and having professional photos has definitely made it easier for them to do their job promoting my business.

5. Set yourself up for success: A few months ago, I started offering my jewelry at wholesale, and when I reach out to stores, I include a link to my site, knowing that the pictures truly highlight my product. While some of these pictures are taken by me, a number have been taken by a professional photographer. My headshot has proved invaluable for various speaking engagements, and it has also helped my LinkedIn profile and social media.

Photo credit: Kamron Khan 

Photo credit: Kamron Khan 

If you're looking for a professional photographer, I've included links below the photos to some that I've worked with over the past year. Please spend some time researching your photographer before you hire them: each photographer as a different style and spending time on their website will give you a sense for the look and feel you can expect. A good photographer will also recommend locations to you to fit your brand and give you posing tips to highlight your best features. You may be camera shy, but your photos, and the mileage you can get out of them will definitely be worth the investment.

 

Disclosure: As some of you may know, I am a founding partner at She In The CLE, a blogger collective that aims to amplify the voices of the women of Northeast Ohio. This post first appeared there in June 2017, and has been edited for pictures. 

 

Back To School for the Professional Woman

Its back-to-school season, and if you have kids, you're probably knee deep in lists and school supplies. I don't have kids, but who can resist brightly colored stationery - I've definitely been known to get into the act when it comes to office supplies!

My favorite part of back-to-school has always been the bag, and even though I no longer have a reason per se to indulge in these purchases, I've decided that as an adult, I get to celebrate whatever I want! And so if I want to celebrate the start of fall with a new work bag, I'm going to do it! With this in mind, I've rounded up some of my favorites for your consideration.

Photo credit: Cuyana

Photo credit: Cuyana

Leather Backpack - Cuyana - $350

Pros: Hello gorgeous blush color. Convertible to a shoulder strap. Front pockets and gorgeous Italian leather

Cons: Only available in the version that fits a 13" laptop - not so good for those of us with 15" laptops!

Photo credit: Fount Leather 

Photo credit: Fount Leather 

The Classic Bellfield Tote in Goldenrod - Fount Leather - $349

Pros: Gorgeous handcrafted piece, will definitely fit your 13" laptop, will likely fit your 15" laptop

Cons: No zipper or magnetic button (this matters to me because I hate when bags have to be laid on their side at airport security and contents spill out)

Photo credit: Lo & Sons

Photo credit: Lo & Sons

The O.G - Lo & Sons - $295

Pros: Excellent organization - lot of compartments, including one for your shoes. A back pocket to slide over your carryon roller bag for those who travel. Technically fits a 13" laptop, but I've stuffed a 15" laptop in mine. 

Cons: This bag is heavy - at 2.2 lbs empty, it can get up to 7-8 lbs really quickly with a laptop, a pair of shoes and a makeup bag. 

Photo credit: Me! 

Photo credit: Me! 

Isabella Daypack - The North Face - $85

Pros: Well organized with multiple pockets, including felt-lined ones for phones and sunglasses. Fits like a classic backpack (very comfortable on your back), and fits a 15" laptop

Cons: It looks like a backpack, especially if you pick a color other than black. That said, the black and burt coral looks more like black and rose gold, and is frankly as chic as you're going to get for  more traditional backpack. 

 

The takeaway:

I used to be a zippered tote kinda person (I own the O.G.) but in the past few years, I've been struggling with upper back issues. This is mainly because I carry stress in my upper back and have really terrible posture, but consistently carrying a bag on one shoulder doesn't really help with alignment at all. So at the recommendation of my chiropractor, I've switched to a traditional backpack. I recently purchased the Isabella, and I can honestly say it was money well spent! It fits my laptop and I can even squeeze in a pair of sneakers and gym clothes if I'm not carrying a lot of paperwork. 

I'm always on the hunt for the latest and greatest bag for work, so leave a comment below and tell me what you're carrying, or tag me on Instagram using #bombaytaxiboutiqueblog