I received a theme request from a reader:
”I would be super interested to hear what it was like to start the blog, then right at the beginning! Type to write the first posts, get followers and stuff :)”
And it gave me the idea for today's theme, which will be both a small look back at the start and the journey that has been, but also a little inspiring life goals for the future!
Am I a corporate personality?
It has struck me that I am a mix of my mom and dad in a very good way!
My dad is a carpenter and extremely careful and skilled, if dad does something you know it will be done properly without negligence. He is also very efficient and stubborn - he always finishes what he has started, even if it means that he has to go on longer than planned.
My mother was a real "doer", she not only talked about different ideas and projects but she did them too! When I was little, I did not go to kindergarten because my mother had her own company with a zoo shop in our garage that my father had built for her. At the same time, they ran a hotel and pub / dance place together, which was another company.
So you can say that I got good conditions :)
A little Helena who has just been made up and styled by her big sisters ♥
I myself started helping my older sister when I was 7 years old when she cleaned a crispbread factory every Saturday. I started as just a company and got paid in sweets, and the older I got, the more I helped and in the end I did half the job and also got half her salary.
When she quit that job, I was a young teenager and instead started cleaning the house once a week. It should be added that mom's house was FULL of furniture and ornaments and several rugs in each room, so it was far from easy to clean haha. My sister then moved to an apartment and I also cleaned it once a week until she finally moved into a house. Then I cleaned two villas a week and earned 750 SEK a month :)
Then in the summer I worked at ICA for several summers as well and when I graduated I had a savings account which meant that I could afford to pay for my own stylist education!
A picture from when I took on extra work - clean my sister's wardrobe! :)
Starting in January 2009
You could say that my entire business trip revolves around the blog. Partly it is thanks to the one that I have become good at makeup, but it is also thanks to the one that I have received all the contacts that makes me get to where I am today.
The reason why I started (January 2009) is described quite clearly in my very first post which is short and concise: "Yes, then I also got blog now then :) fun! Now I do not have to worry about all the bad ones updater which means that I have nothing to read, because now I will be busy with my own blog!”
That says quite a lot - I was bored and needed something to do! Life in a small town;) Then I was with an older guy who had some "problems" so my mother gave me a curfew after 8 pm as long as I was with him haha. So the blog became a nice pastime! I never had the thought of getting any readers.
The makeup blog 2010
At first I only blogged about everyday life, but since make-up was such a big part of my everyday life even then, there were many such posts and in the end I changed the blog to a make-up blog! I followed Linda Hallberg and was inspired to have a theme blog :) It was the summer of 2010 and then I had joined forces with Miska who helped me with a new design, own domain name and all that ♥
The Imakeyousmile name came in conjunction with this header idea haha! And "Never trust a smiling makeup artist" came from a shirt that my sister got when she was studying to be a nurse, it said "Never trust a smiling nurse" :)
Getting blog readers
I never thought about the idea that I could get many readers until New Year's Eve 2010. Then the statistics went straight up by everyone who googled New Year's make - up! It was a little ego boost and I started to get some comments from people I did not know and thought it was sooo so cool!
I'm not even going to show what my make-up looked like then, I'm ashamed haha! In this blog you will only find posts from 2011, the rest is hidden in my old blog helenamaria-r.blogspot.com if you want to go in and mock my eyebrows, it's free;)
The winter after the student, I got a call from Laila Bagge her self who asked if I wanted to blog under the beauty tab in her and Pernilla Wahlgren's new blog modernmom.se. In connection with that, I started my web shop and had big visions. I also blogged under the beauty tab on Zara Larsson's blog for a while, but she rarely updated herself so it didn't happen that often. I did not want to take over her entire flow :)
A screenshot from my instagram when I had just had a meeting with Laila and took an aw with Frida and talked about how sick cool everything was haha.
During that time, I had very high hopes of increasing the number of readers. I followed statistics, commented a lot on other blogs and made 3 blog posts a day with a lot of focus on SEO (briefly how to get a lot of search hits on google) and my blog therefore gets an incredible amount of google hits.
Changed vision on the blog
Today I do not blog for the same reason, it is clear that I am happy for every single person who reads but I do not strive to have the "influencer profession" as my job.
I blog to help people, both with pure inspiration (mainly about beauty of course but also about entrepreneurship and life in general) but above all with concrete tips. I do not do a cool make-up just to get likes and cred, I do it to show at the same time step by step you can do the same make-up at home and exactly which products have been used - where you can also buy just about every product in the same place and not in 15 different webshops. And all the products I use in every make-up are also first put to the test by me - so if you see a nice eyeliner and eye shadow and want to buy the same combination, and see that they are in my webshop, well then you know that they are good too and do not have to google reviews first or ask me what I think of them.
The blog is certainly not a way to make money, but I can continue with it because I built it around the concept of my webshop that I love to work with :) I do not think it is smart to start a business for the sole reason to make money, if you run a company you are passionate about and love to help customers, the money comes by itself.
Here's another screenshot from my Instagram, an extremely honored Helena who was invited to her first press breakfast! The first press office that invited me was Kraft Group, which showed news from Pür Minerals. I did not even know what a press breakfast was for anything but still took time off from work (I blogged, had an online shop + worked in a lunch restaurant at Länsförsäkringar) and was about 30 minutes early. I just sat and waited for people to come and felt extremely lost, what do you do at a press breakfast and what is expected of me? And then I had joy all the way home because I had had it sooo nice and was ecstatic that I got products with me home :)
Money and dream life
I'm certainly not a greedy person or one who sees the allure of branded gadgets and luxury televisions. But I fantasize a lot about how I should live my life when I have such a stable economy that I can take the turns a little!
As I wrote at the beginning of the post, I had a savings account when I took the student, it was not huge but it was a cool feeling when I only a few months ago for the first time came up in the same amount at the bank again haha. I would not call myself poor because I have still been able to live in my boyfriend's apartment and have been a little lucky with things like that. But if you have looked at my income and how little I have been able to spend on myself, you can definitely call me poor only from student days until now :)
A picture of Miska 2 years ago when we ordered jars that customers left at the salon and could afford dessert! A real luxury day :)
To understand how I think about this more money and success, here are three examples of what my future vision looks like when I get further in my career!
Underwear wardrobe: I want to be able to afford to buy new underwear. So spend money on something that others do not even see, it's a luxury! A pair of my panties is size 134, yes, my old girl panties haha! There are many worn thongs with hello kitty and stuff that I bought in high school. When Miska had a friend at home a while ago when I paired freshly washed socks mixed with underwear, I had to ask him to look away so he would not happen to see my awful pile of panties!
Holiday assistance: This with time is also a luxury thing, time to hang out and have fun with family and friends. I want e.g. can afford to hire a chef and waiter on Midsummer's Eve! It does not have to be a real chef but someone who can fix "ordinary" things only :) I would decorate the whole house and garden in beautiful plastic flowers and make a beautiful table setting and just that kind of fun. And then we would all have a super wonderful full day with breakfast, lunch, dinner and coffee without the stress of serving, cooking, serving and then the huge sink! Then you have time socialize for real too! Play with the children and have time to sit down and talk to each person. How wonderful for everyone? :) Imagine being able to invite everyone to such a thing!
Dream morning routine: There's a dream I've had since I was little and we had swimming in sports at school. I swam there and thought "I want a pool like this at home". This cost is of course even further in the future but I dream of a perfectly temperate indoor pool! It must not be too cold haha! I want to start each morning by stepping up, turning on the coffee maker that stands on a small table next to the pool. Then swim lengths in the pool with calm music playing in the room. When I'm done, I put on a cozy terry bathrobe and Miska comes with sandwiches and we drink morning coffee and eat breakfast together. Think what a wonderful and healthy way to start the day, every day!
Or even better - this house is located in Spain next to a small cozy cafe with happy people, lots of plants and flowers and a wonderful atmosphere. And we can afford to treat ourselves to café breakfast every morning! MYYS! And at the same time, we support the local small business owner so you can spend your money there with a clear conscience. Wonderfully!
I kind of want those dot-over-the-things that put a golden edge on everyday life. I will never lose my financial mind I think, I will never spend money on unnecessary things or strive for any kind of perfect surface. It is very easy to spend things on unnecessary shit, but if you can reduce the other costs, you will have more left over for those here who feels! :) Luxury for me is the soft values in life - a wonderful everyday life and happy people around me!
Miska and I often talk about all these dreams when we sit in the car on the way to the salon! We can get on crazy side tracks sometimes but even if not all plans will be carried out, the inspiration and joy it gives is still worth its weight in gold! :)
Hope you found this post a little entertaining! Next Sunday we are at home again and then you get an update about the trip, whether the company went under without us or not haha, and what the first work week after the holiday had to offer!
Hugs are ♥