On today’s final episode of Season 1, Brittany and Nichelle are wrapping up 2021 and reviewing the year. Brittany talks about the Loverly Grey goals and her word of the year, “kindness.” Together, they have brought a new vision to LG and there are big things happening in 2022!
In this episode you’ll hear:
• A fun Christmas tradition that Nichelle’s family does
• Brittany talk about her 2021 word of the year “kindness”
• Loverly Grey’s year in review and lessons learned along the way
• Word of the year for 2022
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Grab your iced coffee and let’s continue the chat on Instagram @lifewithloverly.
This podcast was transcribed using Descript. Please forgive any typos or errors.
Brittany: Hi friends. Welcome to Life with Loverly. I'm your host, Brittany Sjogren. I'm excited to share my heart with you beyond the 15 seconds we get on Instagram. Grab an iced coffee and let's do life together.
Nichelle: It's the holiday season.
Brittany: Why did I just black out and forget what the rest of the song? We just wanted to give you guys a little cheery cheer as we go into Christmas week.
Nichelle: It is Christmas, Merry Christmas.
Brittany: So crazy. I can't believe last Friday we were talking and we were like, oh my gosh Christmas Eve is next Friday. Yeah, we're getting down to the single I guess we already are in the single day countdown.
Nichelle: We've been in Christmas for two, two and a half months, but it feels like where did it come from?
Brittany: I know also I don't have anything for Chris yet.
Nichelle: She will don't worry, Chris.
Brittany: So we decided, remember when we got that nice latte coffee maker.
Brittany: A month ago.
Nichelle: Did y'all say Merry Christmas?
Brittany: We were like this is a good Christmas present for us, and then he's been buying himself golf shoes and has been like, you can just wrap these.
Nichelle: Have you decided what you wanted yet, because I know that you didn't really want anything.
I think, and it's so funny because I'm so like, I love gifts. Like I, my love language is like receiving gifts. And so it's funny because this year there's nothing that I'm really wanting or needing and. I don't know. I think because we have kids now I'm so like, let's just turn that energy into them.
Brittany: And I would rather go do a trip with Chris or go do something that we can enjoy together, and that can be Christmas cuz we just don't really need any stuff.
Nichelle: I feel like that's a really good place to be in too. You know what I mean? You don't have to stress about.
Brittany: Now, is he gonna come up with something that's gonna be a surprise and I'm gonna be like, I don't have any of those surprises.
Nichelle: As you point Merry Christmas to the coffee maker.
Brittany: Let me make you a coffee with your customized order that you created. Yeah. TBD. We'll let you guys know next year how that plays out. Also, hello? I don't think we said hello here, but yeah, we're just still shocked that it's Christmas week.
Nichelle: Trying to get everything together, we're down to just a few days and I know I still have a few things to do. Do you?
Brittany: We do. I'm still gonna do the stockings. Last minute. That's just the tradition and we're gonna be doing Christmas cookies with my mom and the kids. If you guys remember on Instagram, I showed y'all these cute little aprons that I ordered from minted that were for the girls that were plaid and they have their name on them.
So I can't wait to, for them to wear their aprons. And my mom has a Christmas cookie set that she got for the kids. That's so cute. We'll be doing that. Then last week we went to the Athens or the state botanical gardens in Athens and they do this wonder lights show, which was so much fun.
I believe they're still open, and I believe they're gonna be open past Christmas for a few days. They're open Wednesday through Saturday each week but we might go back this week. We are thinking about maybe doing that on Christmas Eve or the day before Christmas Eve, I think the day before Christmas Eve, when that, so we were talking about it.
The weather actually has been pretty nice. It's not been unbearable to be outside at night.
I know it's been cool enough where you still need a jacket, but it's been nice. Cuz I feel the girls aren't getting sick being outside cause it's so cold. So we might do that. I don't know. What are you guys doing this week?
Nichelle: Robert and I are doing stocking shopping tomorrow. Then any of the little last minute things that we have to do. Normally I do it by myself just because I don't have my parents or anybody really close by. It's just been one of those things that I go out late one night. And I try to get the last, few things, but he was like let's go do it Saturday.
Let's get up early. Let's go get a few things. And then we have to pick up some orders that we placed. So all of that will be on Saturday. So we're gonna just have a little day date.
Brittany: That'll be fun. I actually love Chris and I used to do this on Valentine's day. We would both take off work and go spend the day. One year when we lived in Alpharetta, we went down into Buckhead, which if you're not familiar with the Atlanta area, it's about a 45 minute drive. Buckhead has tons of shopping and there, he wanted to get a new golf club. So he had a golf fitting and then we went to one of our favorite restaurants for lunch and then went and got a foot massage and shopped around.
It was so fun to have a day date, so y'all are gonna have a blast.
Nichelle: I know, and me being the old lady that I am. I like to go to bed early. So day dates speak to my heart.
Brittany: I know you're like, this is what I need. Merry Christmas. Thank you.
Brittany: I'm so excited for the girls to open their gifts and just, I don't know. I think that Christmas day is such a great day to spend with family and I know people have all that means a lot of different things for different people. I was talking with a friend and her husband are divorced. Her kids are doing Christmas the day before. She was like, that was one thing when we got divorced, I wanted holidays and Christmas morning was so important to her. I know that everybody's family dynamic on that day is so different, but I think no matter what that looks like ,cherishing that time.
Brittany: So I'm excited for just that day to be with the girls and spend with family.
Nichelle: Do you have plans with the family? I know that it's your parents' anniversary and Christmas Eve.
Do you guys have plans already for Christmas Eve?
Usually now we try to get a babysitter before, like two days before Christmas and do dinner with my parents that night and go out and celebrate just the adults. Then on Christmas Eve we can do more family stuff.
We'll do probably a family dinner and make christmas cookies again for them to put on their little boards that say for Santa, love Collins and Hazel. I don't know. I think it'll just be hanging out. Maybe we'll watch a Christmas movie and get some toys last minute toys set up for the girls.
Nichelle: I know you always forget about that and then it's oh yeah three o'clock in the morning on Christmas Eve. So we have the in-laws coming on Christmas Eve. I said that we normally do Chinese food on Christmas Eve. So we're gonna go to one of our new favorite restaurants.
It's Thai and Chinese food, but they're open to nine, so we'll be able to go have dinner with them, get back to the house and we make rice crispy treats for Santa.
Nichelle: That's a little tradition that we've started that will continue on and probably forever. So we're really excited about that.
Brittany: That is fun. My mother-in-law. Chris's parents are gonna be coming after Christmas. So the following week will be time that we get to sit with them, and I think it'll be fun because we'll do a Christmas 2.0 with them when they come back down. We told them we're gonna save the presents for the girls to open when they're there. I think it'll be fun for the girls to go through another opening wrapping paper situation. Then my in-laws will get to experience Christmas with them.
Nichelle: So that's great.
Brittany: That'll be really sweet. Yeah. And then it'll be 2022 before we know it.
Nichelle: It really will. We're gonna blink and it's gonna be here. I know. So I was just talking to Lain earlier. We were talking about traditions and one of the things that we're trying to get prepared for, and I don't know if I've told you about this. My mother does saran wrap ball, so she accumulates boxes and boxes of saran wrap leading up to Christmas and little things. A lot of them are very useful, phone chargers, the blocks, hand warmers gift cards, Starbucks, Dunkin, all of that. What you do is the biggest prize is usually in the very center.
She wraps it and then wraps these things as she wraps this ball. This ball is going to be bigger than a basketball. It's huge. And we usually all wrap it together on Christmas morning after the girls are done and we play. What you do is you play with two dice, and the person in front of you has to roll until they roll doubles and the person behind you is unwrapping the saran wrap ball and you can't rip it. You're trying to find the edge of the saran and then you're rolling it to try to get out as much as possible. It's so much fun. This is the one thing that the whole family looks forward to cuz everyone is included in this.
You know what I mean?
Brittany: How are they good at rolling the dice? That depends on your turn.
Nichelle: Yes. We're so competitive. Every single one of us, my mom, my dad, my in-laws, my sister and I, so we're accumulating a lot of that this week.
Brittany: Is it separate balls or it just gets a big one wrapped things get, so it's a few different things at different like layers.
Nichelle: Yes. It's layered in there unwrap it. And then it's oh, a gift card falls out. That's yours. Usually it doesn't fall. It flies because you're going so fast trying to roll the ball and get the saran wrap to unroll rather than rip. It's flying everywhere and you're trying to catch it as you're trying to keep going cuz you know we're trying to get the most out of it. Once they hit doubles, you have to pass it to the next person and then it just continues on like that.
Brittany: I think stuff like this is going to be when the girls get a little bit older.
Brittany: If we tried to do that, they would be like, okay, can I eat this dice?
Nichelle: I'm gonna be over here eating a Tootsie Roll. I'm good.
Brittany: But I feel like there's so many family traditions that I can't wait to do or things that we should incorporate this and make this a tradition. Just FYI. You can literally make anything, a tradition that you have seriously.
Nichelle: We made a saran wrap ball a tradition.
Brittany: I don't wanna wish away these younger years and be like, oh, I can't wait till they're a little bit older and we can start doing that because I definitely love this stage we're in, but hearing these kind of stories I'm like, I can't wait for them to appreciate these fun games that we can play and stuff like that too.
Nichelle: Yeah. Yeah. It was fun.
Brittany: I love that. Oh man. It's crazy that we're at the end of 2021, this year flew by.
Nichelle: It did. In so many different ways, personally for me, professionally for me it makes me think of my mom saying don't waste your life away. Whenever I was 18 wanting to be 21, then when I was 21, wanting to be 25, don't wish your life away it will fly by at a certain point. Damn you're right.
Brittany: I figured it would be fun to do a year in review. There were so many things that happened this year. Wild. We started out in January. I took the first week off in January, which is a new thing that I started last year, was taking one week off every quarter. For the first one was in the first week in January and we went on vacation with my parents and just had some great quality family time, no Instagram. It was awesome. I came back and decided on instead of doing a new year's resolution, last year was a first year that I did a word of the year. I think somebody, I don't know who it was that gave me this idea. Maybe it was somebody that follows me on Instagram, sent me a message and this would be a really cool thing.
And. so I picked a word of the year and last year, my word of the year was kind or kindness. And I think what. I always want to come here and people leave feeling wow, she was kind and does that mean I'm gonna be kind every single day? We're human. I have my flaws for sure.
I'm sure there were days in 2021 where. That word went out the window and I wasn't kind, but I think making a word and then consciously remembering this word is important to me this year.
Nichelle: You come up with that word for that reason. It's not it's because we're not perfect. You know what I mean? In any way, so it's to grow and to make ourselves better. So anytime we're in that moment of doubt or hardship or whatever. We just remind ourselves, always start with kindness.
Brittany: And I think coming off of 2020, and everything that went on in that year. Then with my job and my platform a lot of times I get messages from people who, if I don't have the opinion that they want me to have. Then they get mad at me for that. Which, if you listen to what I just said that doesn't make sense, but it happens. Exactly. So I found myself always thinking we might not agree here. Even if somebody else is not being kind to me, I can always make the decision to be kind back to them.
Brittany: Even if that means not a response at all. Maybe there's just no way I can be kind back, but that's me choosing to be kind is by not responding, but I really was and another thing that kind of landed me on this word was you have no idea what anybody else is going through.
Nichelle: Yeah. True.
Brittany: If your interaction with a stranger is kind maybe that will leave a better taste in their mouth. So that's one reason I really wanted to stick with that word and I feel like I did. There were a lot of situations I had to choose being kind and reminding myself that and as we expanded the Loverly Grey team we wrote out some brand pillars and some different things. We got nitty gritty with our brand. One thing we wanted to always be was kind, and that was something very important that we put in our pillar. That is a word that I, even though it was 20 21's word. I think it will still continue. I almost wanna just build an ongoing library of words that I just keep going with.
Nichelle: It's a core value that we decided that's what this brand was about. That's who you are at heart, so we thought that's where it needed to start. So I think it will forever be the number one that. all of us remember as a team too.
Brittany: I think so, too. So we're talking through about what our next word or what my next word will be. We're still trying to decide, but I think we're leaning towards the word fearless for 2022. There's a lot of things coming that I think that word gives me the courage and reminds me that I can be fearless, let's do this. Absolutely. Let's not be afraid to try new things and try hard things. I think that's what we're gonna land on, but we will see we'll talk probably more about that in our next episode, which actually this is the last episode of our first season.
Nichelle: It is. I think Lain said we rounded out at 15 episodes for 2021.
Brittany: It is so wild to think. Back to this year, so many things happened. So January happened. Great. I feel like in February we started interviewing for a position, I just needed a right hand man local to me. We found Nichelle.
She started in March, which is so wild that it's only been since March, that you've been on board here. And then I feel like we really just got things rolling.
Nichelle: Yeah. We made sure momentum was running wild.
Brittany: I think we both had this passion of let's go, we have goals and really like sitting down and writing out goals backwards from 10 years. That was so important, and that really set the pace for what we accomplished through the rest of the year and where we're going in the next few years. Yep. That was so important. If you are a small business owner or maybe you're another influencer, and you're feeling in this rut definitely take time even if that's a day or two days or a week to really pause and slow down so that you can speed up.
That was so important for us. We had a big team meeting where everybody who worked for Loverly Grey came together and we had a big brainstorming session. We had a midyear review. It was a really awesome time to just see what we've accomplished and then what we want to continue accomplishing so that was really fun.
We bought an office house, which has been such an amazing thing. So when Nichelle started, she was coming to my house every day, during the week. There it was hard for me to have separation of work and home and Hazel was still at home. Yeah, she was home. Five days.
Nichelle: By the French doors. Oh hi Hazel.
Brittany: We have a nanny. She was there with the nanny, but then Nichelle and I were in there and then Chris works from home. His office is like a separate, we have a separate garage office behind our house, that's where he works. He could physically leave the house and go outside and do his work in his office. It was distracting and we were trying to do all these high level things and we got to the point where we're like, okay, we know the team is gonna grow this year. We can't keep inviting more people into our house and everybody function well and be able to fully do their job to the best of their ability.
So when we came up with this idea to like potentially buy another house that we could use as an office, it was crazy. Honestly, we were like let's see what Chris has to say about this. Naturally he was like, no to start and look where we are now. So thank you, Chris. But it makes sense for what we do here.
Nichelle: It does. It just didn't make sense to rent an office area that we had cubicles. This is a brand that is to inspire. Yeah. You can't inspire. If you can't put things that are visually appealing around you, and you do try ons. It just didn't make sense. That's the cool thing about this town too. There's so many businesses. It's a smaller town vibe. It's a big town, but it's also smaller town where businesses are run out of these homes. Yes. It's this historic vibe going down here in Athens. It's not weird right here for us to be in a house as an office. Whereas I know a lot of people have lots of questions. They're like, wait, you have a house for an office.
Brittany: Yes, it is. It's wild. I remember people on Instagram were like, I don't understand. It's so common here to run your business out of like a house. There's no beds here. All of the rooms are offices, desks and tables. That's just what made the most sense. Once we expand and need more room, then this will be an investment property that absolutely we can rent to college students.
There's so much potential. It ended up being a great plan. The market was crazy. It's just crazy when you look back. Think about if we were buying now.
Nichelle: it was actually brilliant.
Brittany: So then that happened in the summer and we moved into the office house, and one thing that we knew when we wanted, when we set up our goal list was the podcast. This was really on an even longer goal list from back in 2018 when it was, this would be so fun to have a podcast, but it just never really came to fruition. There were other things going on.
It just didn't feel like the right time. Here we are 15 episodes into our first season. It's crazy to think that it was a goal on a piece of paper at one point. It's funny because I think of some of those other goals on that same piece of paper that are gonna come to light next year.
It has to be so pumped up for what's to come. Let's see I'm sure I'm missing major things throughout this time, but we went to Cleveland. I designed a collection with the Sis Kiss and it's a dainty jewelry five piece jewelry collection. We went up there to do a photo shoot and shoot all the pieces and finalize the collection and make sure everything was perfect and ready for you guys. Then we ended up launching it in October, but it was really fun time to meet some of my followers. I've had this relationship with Megan from the Sis Kiss for years.
It was really fun to be face to face. That was a great trip. Then when we came back, our Loverly Grey team expanded again in the month of August. There were challenges around that because literally my new team started and then I got COVID.
It was like welcome to Loverly Grey. I'll be quarantining for two weeks. That was things we had to overcome there. We signed on with a new management team. There was so much newness that happened in Q3 and Q4 of this year. It wasn't all rainbows and butterflies, this whole year as a whole I feel like there were stressful times, high anxiety. There were lots of tears. There were lots of is this the right thing? I don't know if I can do this. How can I make this more simple? It feels hard, and sometimes I feel like reaching those goals. No one said it was gonna be easy.
Nothing in life is worth having is easy. That's where I feel like I started having some conversations with some amazing people, with therapists. Started changing the way, like I was thinking about things and realizing that the weight of the world doesn't have to sit on my shoulders. I feel like I'm still in that realization stage of, it's okay. One of our previous episodes, we talked about time and how we felt we didn't have enough time to do things. That was something I really struggled with throughout this year. Cause it's I wanna continue running this thriving business and do bigger things and do more.
But I wanna cherish the time that I have with my little ones and. How to be present when I am spending that time, those are all things that I work on daily and, it's, so while all these amazing things have happened this year, they've also come with tears and struggle and anxiety but hard work.
There's so much that gets poured into this that has made it even more worth it every single step of the way. I just think of all the lessons that were learned in the process.
Nichelle: There have been so many lessons learned, whereas in the moment, we're looking at each other going oh my gosh. What's next, or what is the right move next? It was every step of this year led to right here in this moment., Which made all of it worth it, honestly. It's a mind game at the end of the day. You and I are wired very similarly if I should say that, but we're both threes.
And if you don't know your enneagram definitely look into it because it tells you so much about who you are and those that are around you. It's always what's next. You're thinking that I can't do it. Guess what? We're gonna show you that we can do that plus more.
We never go into anything easy. It's always let's go all in. Let's just do it all I know.
Brittany: But I like that it, I feel like that's what keeps me going.
Brittany: But then I think there's a balance that has to come along with that because the negative part of a three is the overwhelm and then just wanting to stop and being like we're done here. I'm giving up. Even though that's not really what is gonna happen, but I don't know. Like you said, there's been a ton of lessons, and a lot of good that will take into the next year and a lot of opportunities for growth that we'll continue working on.
It's just crazy to think of everything happened in 2021.
Nichelle: Agree. I think that we come up with our personal words and then a team word. Yeah. That way we have balance.
Brittany: That's true. That's always a good thing. I'm excited because our team is actually gonna be growing again in 2022, which is so fun and exciting. Be on the lookout. If you've heard of anybody or know anybody who's local, who would be a great fit to join team, Loverly Grey. We'd love to hear from you or from them. We'll put our email address in the show notes and feel free to email your resume. We'll send out some more information, but that's one thing that we're gonna be working on next year.
I can't tell any of these big secrets yet. There's a lot of potential. Just know it's big. It's gonna be good. We can't wait. We're giddy over here with what is to come. I am actually, I'd mentioned that this is the last episode of this season and of this year. I am so excited because I'm taking off two weeks after Christmas.
It's gonna be amazing. Last year, I took one week off the first week in January and I realized, I feel like I probably could have made that into two weeks just with the week after Christmas and then is pretty slow. Then the first week in January. I'm really excited to take time away, reset my mind, spend time with family.
I think Chris and I are gonna try and go on a little getaway, but I also plan to do things like organize my closet and do a big clean out and organize the kids' clothes and their clean out their closets. I feel I almost need to do a spring cleaning because I'll have the time and a friend of mine actually gave me a book the other day, so I'm gonna read that. I'm really excited to just spend some time doing nothing. It's necessary. My hope is that I'll come back super refreshed and recharged and even some of the ideas of content that we will be immediately pushing out once I get back in January. I'm like how can we put a fresh spin on this?
How can we do this better than what we did last year? January is always a fun time to set things up for the year. Last year and in years past, really since I started my blog, I always did a work wear post during the week. I always did it usually Wednesdays, cuz work wear Wednesday just went.
We're gonna refresh that again cuz I know with the holidays we've gotten away from sharing workwear and that's something that when I started Loverly Grey sharing. I don't think that's shared enough in this space.
Nichelle: I agree.
Brittany: The series will be coming back, but we're gonna try to figure out a way to make it even bigger and better and more useful, so you guys can really create these pieces that are staples in your closet and then you can add in statement pieces here and there as needed. That'll be really fun. Yeah, I'm excited for 2022. I have big things to come.
Big things coming.
So in wrapping up this episode, I wanna encourage you guys to think about what you wanna take into 2022 and what you wanna leave behind in 2021.
I think a few things I wanna leave behind are some doubt that I had this year, some worry. While I think those things will more than likely pop back up again.
Nichelle: They're not gonna actually be left behind, but yes.
Brittany: I think having an attitude around knowing how to combat those ideas yeah, and using my word of the year fearless to overcome some of those things.
I guess I just wanna encourage you guys to also think about what that looks like for you. Come up with a word of the year that you feel like is something that you can stick to and think about what you wanna leave behind this year. Whether that's a feeling something that you are, maybe you wanna go and get something and there's this internal feeling that is pulling you back from moving towards your goal. You can make the decision to leave that behind. I hope you spend the next few weeks really figuring what that is. I can't wait to hear what some of y'all's words of the year is gonna be.
I remember last year, after I decided that my word of the year was kind and I encouraged you guys to do the same. I put up a question box and I was like, what did you decide on? So many people were responding with their words and then why they chose that word.
Nichelle: Oh, that's awesome.
Brittany: Everybody's word is gonna be unique to them. Make sure that it is. You're finding this will benefit you.
It was just so cool to see people what their goals to do were. So I can't wait to see what some of those ideas are from you guys next year. So I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas hope you enjoy time with family. And I hope you can take a break and then a happy new year. I will see you guys in 2022. Until next year.
Thanks for listening to today's episode. I can't wait to continue these conversations with you over on Instagram at Life with Loverly. Until next time.
Nichelle: That was perfect.