I’ve been marvelling at how online wedding mag She Said Yes has grown from strength to strength. With a huge social media following, diversified information including wedding planning tips and lifestyle content, plus their own wedding planning book, little white book, how do they do it all?
As a recent bride I loved their site and found it super useful. So I was lucky enough to sit down over coffee with Megan Hutchison, the one woman who has created a lot of something out of nothing. Here’s what she had to say about it all.
What made you start She Said Yes?
“When I first got engaged, I didn’t have any friends who were getting married. There was no one to ask, ‘How do you plan a wedding? Where do you begin?’ I began with Google, and I found all the beautiful wedding blogs were inspirational, but didn’t answer any of my questions. They didn’t tell me how to do it. Once I began planning, I realised I should tell girls how to do it. I obviously had no idea it would become what it is.”
Tell me about your thinking behind the site.
“I didn’t want She Said Yes to be just another wedding blog. When you get engaged, all anyone asks is ‘How is the wedding planning going?’ But I have a life. There’s other things you’re doing and enjoy beyond wedding planning, which is why I wrote about other things, like date night, celebrating with my friends and other things which inspired me.”
“A lot of the wedding photos shared on blogs and in magazines are styled shoots, which can be unhelpful if people don’t understand that. No one had (or paid for) a whole wedding like that!”
You’ve left your job as a lawyer to now manage She Said Yes full time, how are you finding being out on your own?
“The funny thing is I’m essentially doing the same thing I was doing when I was a [litigation] lawyer… My job was research, read the cases, consider precedent, write a persuasive opinion to either the Judge, client, or another lawyer.
“Now… I come across a question that a bride-to-be needs answered, research it, consider traditional thinking (precedent!) and suggest a reasoned and persuasive answer.”
What are some of the challenges you’ve had along the way?
“Well, because I’ve had to make a revenue stream, I am very careful with that. It’s hard, you’re going to be offered money to write about something or post about something that doesn’t necessarily resonate with me. So you’ve got to be true to yourself and why you started. I have to ensure that I will stay true to the position that got me where I am, and not just take the money.
“I’m a lucky blogger in that I’ve got my own product now [the little white book – assisting brides with their wedding planning]. I’d rather sell that and make money, than sell-out when it comes to content. I could have made heaps of money over the past year working with lots of different brands but I held off if they weren’t the perfect fit – and now it’s paid off,” says the now Ambassador for Estee Lauder and Dermologica.
What’s the thing you’ve enjoyed the most – the highlight?
“The feedback! It’s so nice. I get so excited when somebody emails me. I just glow when I get feedback or the thanks to say they love it. It’s quite a rush. I still get a rush every time someone orders a book.”
Was it a hard decision to quit your job.
“With law, my salary wasn’t keeping up with my expectations. I liked the people I was working for and I didn’t want to say, “hey you’re not paying me enough” but in my head I was thinking, I don’t want to get out of bed for that amount of money. The pay off wasn’t there, the amount of stress that I was under, I wanted to spend more time with Blair [husband] and I couldn’t. So I had Blair, work and the blog – something had to give, which one was it going to be? Preferably not my new husband and preferably not the business that I have built from the ground up. Why would I give up the one thing that I have worked my ass off for?”
“A lot of people (traditional older males) don’t get it. They are like, what do you mean you’ve quit your job to be a wedding blogger? They can’t understand it. When I go to the airport, I’m still writing ‘Lawyer’ as my occupation because how on earth do I begin to explain ‘Wedding Blogger’?!”
How do you stay motivated?
“I don’t get bored because there’s always something else to do. I’ve got so many balls in the air, when one ball gets boring I just throw it a little bit higher and juggle the others while waiting for that other one to come back down and for me to catch it.
“And secondly, having the people who you know make it really worthwhile. You need inspiration, so I catch up with other people who I think are doing well and you can praise each other.”
What’s your career advice for other young women or for those who want to start their own business?
“Don’t feel like you have to stick it out. If you’re sticking it out, you’re in the wrong place because between the ages of 20 and 60, which is the majority of our lives, we are going to be working. So, if you feel like you’re sticking it out, you need to change. Whether that’s changing firms (as I did, and it really helped), or changing careers. When I changed firms, and still felt like I was sticking it out, I realised it was no longer my passion and I didn’t just want to stick it out. If you’re not enthused about what you do everyday, it’s a chore, and I don’t think work has to be a chore,” she commented.
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