Brand Rep Search for a Beautiful Business and an Amazing Cause… The Borrowed Boutique

Many of you are aware that I have a styling and rental business called, The Borrowed Boutique. Well, things have taken off in the past year and this “baby” of mine has become a full-time job, apart from caring for my 3 year old, freelance health writing, blogging, and trying for baby #2 the hard way (aka IVF). My heart for medical missions and public health lead me down a path I wasn’t fully anticipating. I’ve always had a love for children’s fashion, styling, and creative design; but, I didn’t want to leave my medical background behind. Instead, I decided to become a social entrepreneur. You may not be familiar with this term, but most of you are probably familiar with TOMS Shoes. Same idea, except, for every item rented from my shop; I currently donate funds to help protect young girls from sex-trafficking, childhood prostitution, and exploitation. GIVING BACK is what my shop is all about. Those renting give the dresses back, and in return, I give back to non-profits doing amazing work. 12118842_521452064699858_5224801051532503696_n12027668_10207385755860235_5895045795442512388_n

The journey to start this business has pushed my comfort zone on all levels. While my natural skills make styling easy, and my medical and public health background make the giving portion easy, the business side of things has been a bit more challenging. That’s okay. As most of you know…I’m up for a challenge. Getting through med school and residency taught me that perseverance and a positive outlook are more than half the battle. Sprinkle in some infertility with 10 cycles of IVF and I would say determination is part of my portfolio. So, late nights, dreams (and nightmares) filled with tutus, tracking packages, manually invoicing, filling orders, running to the post office and UPS, steaming dresses, etc. etc. have all been worth the sweat and toil when I consider the difference this business is making. In July, I travelled to Brazil where I was able to work with an amazing non-profit that helps protect young girls from sex-trafficking, childhood prostitution, and exploitation. A partnership was born, and now Esthers Children is our first giving partner.M88B8847

Visiting the broken down homes of destitute little girls…broken windows, missing front doors, men passed out on filthy beds after shooting up all night, mothers intoxicated, food in scarce supply; and hearing the stories of girls as young as 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 being exploited by 40-year-old men stirred a fire in me that I refuse to extinguish. In addition to giving back for each item rented, I have now launched a #Styledtogive campaign. 100% of proceeds from this campaign will be donated to our giving partners. While fashion may seem frivolous, and expensive photos a luxury, using these aesthetically gorgeous things (which I deeply appreciate) to bring inner beauty and hope to a less fortunate child or mother is anything but frivolous or luxurious. It is justice. It is compassion. It is empowerment. It is true beauty at its best.

I don’t say all of this to make myself into a hero. I’m simply sharing so that you too will be inspired to find creative ways to make a difference too. Make the ordinary…extraordinary. Add meaning to the mundane. Approach each task with the intention to incorporate giving. A truly full life is one full of generosity.

If you’re excited about my new venture and want to get involved, I’m definitely looking for partners in giving and business. I’m also looking for Brand Reps (which is why I started writing this blog in the first place!). Check out the details below to be considered. And, for more info on The Borrowed Boutique follow on Facebook and Instagram. The website is due to launch early February, but in the meantime you can still rent through the Facebook page.

BRAND REP SEARCH DETAILS!!!!

READY…SET…GO!!! The Borrowed Boutique will be choosing brand reps every several months to help promote our brand and business by posting images using our rentals; giving us major shout outs; promoting our events, and telling everyone you know about our business. This is a fun way for you to get rental items for free. Many of you have asked for trades of product for images. Here’s a way to have that dream come true. For those selected, we will send you free rentals each month that you are serving as a brand rep or enthusiast. Both photographers, bloggers, child models, and ordinary kiddos who love to have their picture taken will be considered.

Here’s how to qualify and how to enter:
1. Follow The Borrowed Boutique on Facebook and @theborrowedboutique on Instagram
2. Repost the picture below on Instagram and tag @theborrowedboutique and ‪#‎theborrowedboutique‬‪#‎theborrowedboutiquebrandrepsearch‬
3. Include these rules when posting the image so others will know what’s going on.
4. Share the image with three friends that you think might be interested on Instagram
5. You may tag up to three photos daily with #theborrowedboutiquebrandrepsearch
6. Your instagram account must be set to public to be considered. And, yes, you must be active on Instagram.

We will be selecting the first set of Brand Reps very quickly. READY…SET…GO!!1

From,

The Mom in Me, MD and The Borrowed Boutique

Priceless Tips for Creating a “Perfect” Home…Move Aside #Pinterest

My Confession

As a mom, a professional, and a wife I am constantly bombarded with reminders of my inability to keep a perfect home. Not only am I falling short, my daily life compared to Pinterest, InStyle Magazine, and Good House Keeping (just to name a few standards) suggests that I’m falling flat on my face! I wistfully glance at impeccably styled living rooms where curtains are hung at just the right hight, televisions are beautifully framed and mounted over a crackling fireplace, and dust is thought to be a myth. I stare at playroom inspiration boards perplexed by how the toys manage to magically stay in their cubbies, color coordinated and germ free. I feel the pressure to create a perfect home, to host perfect parties, to cook perfect meals, and to be perfectly organized. This pressure leaves me feeling irritable and defeated by the piles of laundry, the stacks of dishes, the dust bunnies under the beds, the crusty remnants of last night’s dinner glued to my hardwood floors (compliments of my 2-year-old), and the white walls waiting to be painted the perfect shade and adorned by the perfect picture. Am I the only one?Portrait Of Happy Young Couple Sitting On Floor Looking Up While

My Mommy Wake Up Call

I don’t live in a Pinterest perfect world. None of us do. So why as moms (when we are sleep deprived; covered in spit-up, or boogies, or poo {or all of the above}; lucky to get a shower three times a week; and attached to a piece of heavy machinery {aka a breast pump}, or a screaming little urchin, or a toddler in the middle of a melt-down…why do we hold ourselves to such unrealistic standards and expectations? Perfection may be attainable at some point (though I highly question anyone’s ability to have consistent perfection), but definitely not in a house with colicky infants, potty-training toddlers, and secondary infertility mothers undergoing IVF treatments…yet again.Mother holding her crying baby

When I think back to my childhood, my best memories are of moments we spent together in our tiny, one-bathroom home, sitting on an outdated couch while my mother read to us each evening, listening to my father’s voice sing me to sleep while we rocked in a hand-me-down chair, finger painting with shaving cream on an old glass tabletop, and making homemade noodles on a laminate counter-top. I love these moments not because the decor was on-trend or the living room was free of clutter; I love these moments because they were filled with love. There is nothing wrong with visual beauty, a clean home, or a designer kitchen; but, when these become the focal point instead of the people, then a house is just a house and no longer a home.Lovely mother and daughter feeding gooses on the lake

Instead of focusing on perfecting the appearance of our homes, what would things look like if we focused on perfecting the tone or feeling that our homes exude? Where does that perfect tone come from in the first place…the marble countertops and stainless steel appliances? Of course not, it comes from us. It comes from our tensionless smiles that greet our husbands and children when they walk through the front door. It comes from the time that we spend playing with them when we could be doing a thousand “more productive” things.

Is my home more than just a place of physical beauty? Is it filled with love that I have fashioned out of time spent, hugs given, kisses planted, and hope served? Is it a place of comfort, where pillows are playfully thrown instead of perfectly placed; clean (or dirty) laundry is left piled so that puzzle pieces can be carefully matched by my guiding hand. Is it a place of creativity where glitter glue (smeared on just about EVERYTHING) is seen as a touch of sparkly beauty; and a place of imagination where stuffed bunnies, bears, and wooden dogs are allowed to host tea parties in every room all at the same time? Is it a place of peace, where the tone in our voices fills the imperfect and toy cluttered rooms with a beautiful warmth, a warmth that even the most perfect of pinable pictures can’t capture?summer holidays, family, children and people concept - happy mot

And, so, I’ve decided to give myself a break from unrealistic expectations. I like the idea of a gorgeous house that is always immaculate, but I LOVE the idea of a warm home that is filled with love, laughter, faith, and hope. I want my daughter to value the most important things in life-things that can’t be bought, styled or baked-things that can only be cultivated by time spent together. I want my daughter to value generosity, kindness, compassion, honesty and humility. I want her to be slow to anger and quick to forgive. I want her to know that our home is a safe place to be imperfect and vulnerable-a place to grow into something better.Business man house in human hands

My Mommy Aha’s and Resolutions

So, in an effort to keep my sanity and to let myself off of the hook a little more, I’ve created a list of Aha ‘s and Resolutions for this coming year. Check it out HERE!

From,

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Ayla’s Nursery…Restoration Hardware Baby Style

It has been two years, and I have yet to complete Ayla’s nursery-I’m cutting myself a little bit of slack since we did move houses when she was only ten months old! Choosing what to put on the walls and committing to it with a nail and hammer is my last step. For some reason, wall decor always holds me up. Putting a nail in the wall seems so permanent. What if I choose the wrong location? What if I decide to rearrange her furniture? What if I find a painting that I like just a little bit more? Not that you care about my home decorating weakness, but wall decor is definitely my Achilles heel.

Although I may not have anything hanging on the walls yet…everything else is in its perfect place. All of the walls are painted a very pale pink except for one light grey accent wall where her crib is positioned. Pretty pink and grey pillows are stacked on her rocker, and a pink and white rocking horse vase sits on her nightstand. A vintage style wooden rabbit peaks at her from the dresser top. Her lamps, a dark rot iron to match the handles on her dresser, add just a touch of ambiance in the evening. And, who could forget her oversized Little Giraffe! This was the first stuffed animal that her daddy ever bought her…yes, I’m a touch sentimental.

If you are getting ready to start your nursery or are looking to add to it, I though I would inspire you with my picks for Ayla’s room. Click on the hyperlinks to find the products. Oh, and since most items came from Restoration Hardware Baby, you may want to check out their current sale! It’s an extra 10% off of final sale items with the promotional code EXTRA10. 

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These are just some of the items in Ayla’s room. We also have an oversized cream stuffed rocking chair and foot stool that I love from Buy Buy Baby…the most comfy that I found. Make sure to purchase one with a back high enough to support your head!

As always, I’d love to get your feedback and your nursery pics and ideas!

From The Mom in Me, MD