August 6, 2014

About Blogging, business, Me

Five years ago I had no idea what a blog was. I remember being up early one morning with Dallas (he was only an infant then) when I found Made by Girl blog written by Jen Ramos. Before I knew it hours had passed as I visited page after page being inspired by her life, business, and her faith.

Through Jen’s site I found other blogs and the excitement really hit. Without delay I searched the web on how to get started. I thought, “Wow, what a great way to catalog my decorating ideas and interests!” But were so many blogs out there already (and probably ten times more even now) and I wondered what would make me different. Interior design and fashion were two of my loves so I decided to write about fashion-inspired interiors. And the name? This had to be something that symbolized both passions. Each topic being high-end in nature, I wanted my site to feature style that was polished yet approachable.

My first though was “blue”, as in blue blood being of aristocratic rule, noble birth. That was the high-end part. The word “label” was indicative of fashion. And finally, “bungalow” symbolized an humble, approachable home.

Get it? BluLabel Bungalow.

I embraced it and kept moving.

I downloaded a trial copy of Photoshop and through reading and watching various tutorials I designed my own header. My earlier readers will remember this:

1100pxblulabelLooking back at this I realize how much my business background played a part in the blog’s development. The above image is a denim label complete with rivets and stitching. Behind my name was my “official crest,” a coat of arms symbolizing the nobility part.

My new blog lit a fire inside of me that burns even hotter today. Back then was a time of personal and professional transition for me. We decided that I would hang up my corporate job and I would build my design business part time while taking care of the kids at home.

Boy, I was ambitious wasn’t I?

In my mind, the blog would be the vehicle that would transport me to my destination as a decorator, writer, and whatever else that sprouted up along my journey. It’s been a self-fulfilling prophecy to say the least.

It’s been a wonderful ride! I’ve gained a great roster of clients, received various press and accolades, started a non-profit organization, gave birth to two more babies here and here, and so much more.

I’m so very grateful for the friends I’ve made through the blog and the folks who have supported me over the years. Thank you to those who have left comments on my blog post. You have no idea how much time goes into each and every article I write. It’s nice to see words of encouragement and appreciation!

So here’s to the next five years and beyond! If you have other questions about my blog or how I got my start, then please leave them in the comment section for me to answer!

**Don’t forget to register to win the 5th Year Blog Anniversary kick-off giveaway, Invest In Your Nest! Contest ends on Saturday night. There’s even more to come this month!**


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About Erika Ward

Multi-passionate entrepreneur, spokesperson, speaker, and philanthropist, Erika Hollinshead Ward worked in the design-build industry as an accountant before turning her passion for interior design into a successful business. Named by Atlanta Tribune as having one of the top design firms for two consecutive years, Erika is a highly sought after expert whose work has appeared in several media outlets such as House Beautiful Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, Fox 5 (Atlanta Affiliate), Huffington Post, and many others. Her influential voice in the home improvement sector has lead to marketing collaborations with leading home and lifestyle brands including Home Depot, S.C. Johnson, and Home Decorators Collection. Erika holds an undergraduate degree from The University of Georgia and resides in Atlanta with her husband and five children. With her sharp business acumen and design prowess, you can rest assured that she is one to watch as a voice for working mothers, women entrepreneurs, and interior design enthusiasts.

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  1. Nikki White Says:

    Yay! I always wondered about the genesis of that name! How fitting. Congrats again on five years and counting.


  2. Gray Livin' Says:

    Congrats, Erika. I’ve always loved your blog name. I wish you and Blu Label Bungalow continued success!


  3. Quanza Says:

    Congratulations!! For some reason, I always thought the name had something to do with your grandmother. Thanks for sharing your story. You are an inspiration :-)


    • Erika Ward Says:

      Quanza, I can understand why you thought that. My grandmother has truly been an inspiration to every area of my life. I feel she would be proud! Thanks for your comment!


  4. Jennifer Says:

    YAY!!!! Congratulations Erica! I always enjoy your posts, you’re an amazing writer, designer and friend! I’m so blessed to have met you, I first “met” you through your blog and for that I am grateful. Keep up the amazing work!!! You were meant to do this! xxoo


  5. Glenda Lock Says:

    Congratulations! What an absolutely amazing talent, and inspiration you are and continue to be for me…keeping reaching and shining, and shining and reaching…your glow…is almost blinding!!


  6. Melissa Pearson Says:

    I always wondered about the name as well. Cheers to you and many more years with BluLabel Bungalow! I found you through this blog too and I’m so happy I did. You are an amazing woman with a generous heart! Love you girl!!


  7. Karla Jones Says:

    Congratulations on 5 years of success! I’ve been following you for a couple of years and you are truly an inspiration to me. I am in the process of working on my own design business with the hopes that I can hang up this full time gig forever! Keep up the good work and keep inspiring us all!

    Best wishes to you and your family!!


  8. Olivia Says:

    Congratulations Erika! Reaching the 5 year mark is a great accomplishment. I wish you many more years of success…and babies. (Hehehe)


  9. Millicent Rowe Says:

    Congratulations! I always enjoy reading your blogs! You are so down to earth and very relatable! I’m always inspired by your ambition and the love of your family! Thanks for sharing your love and passion!!!


  10. LaTonya Says:

    Hi Erika! Congratulations on your success in business, life, and blogging. I just had my first child in May and I find myself searching through your posts about raising children and inspiration for my son’s nursery. Through this blog, you have inspired and encouraged more people than you know. God bless you.


  11. Anita Beckles Says:

    Congrats Erika on your 5th anniversary !! I love your blog ! What were some of your challenges getting started? What resources can new bloggers utilize to help make them successful? Thanks!


  12. Jacquin Says:

    Congratulations! I’ve really enjoyed following your blog and learning about your family! Have another blessed year!


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