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Why You Need to Embrace Chance Encounters

I talk a lot about serendipity on the blog, about how I meet these fabulous women and how we came together, many times through chance, coincidence or as I like to think about it - fate. Well this week's feature falls right into place with this beautiful phenomena. Back in March when I was at Anthropologie Town Center shooting Gabi Olivieri for her Feature, I ran into this woman. I've been admiring her from afar on Instagram since last summer; her style is very chic, laid back and approachable. We happened to be photographing at the same location on the same day. Coincidence or fate?

My main focus was Gabi, so when Tilley left shortly after I was a bit disappointed I didn't have the opportunity to introduce myself. Skylar (my amazing photographer) and I headed out shortly after heading to the boutique clothing store, Monkee's. Well what do ya know? Tilley was there, too! We took a moment to chat & introduce ourselves. Two or three weeks later we sat down over wine and got to know each other a bit better.

Originally from Hampton Roads, she studied broadcasting at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. As soon as she graduated she moved to Winston Salem, NC to be close to her then boyfriend, who was attending law at Wake Forest. Miss Independent, Tilley spent two years in Winston Salem living on her own and selling radio advertising. She married her boyfriend in September 2015 and together they moved back to Virginia Beach.

Tilley started her blog 3 years ago. In her own words she "thought it'd make [her] famous/lots of money." She quickly realized that was far from the truth; blogging is a large commitment on so many levels. I know the struggle having to manage all the things: content creation, image selection, web design, marketing, growing email lists/subscribers, google analytics, writing posts, being consistent - the list goes on and on.

Tilley grew to love creating content. Initially it was only fashion but the blog has come to include a whole tab dedicated to lifestyle (decor, DIY, weddings, personal, etc.) She also blogs about her career occasionally, which blossomed from her love of social media. She currently handles over 10 small business's social media, including Facebook, Instragram. She also educates local small businesses on the value of Instagram and who to use it through workshops she host throughout the year.

"I adore when I get a comment, email or message from someone telling me how they found my site and how its helped the. There's seriously no better feeling and it is so affirming, especially when days are rough..." - Tilley

Here we are, new friends and potential collaborators. I am so grateful to have met you, Tilley. It's truly amazing when you ask the universe for something and that something walks right into your life. In the words of Oprah Winfrey, "You get in life what you have the courage to ask for." Yes, ma'am! Tilley, your business and your blog are a beautiful reflection of your courage and dedication to your craft. I am so excited to see what we will create together and the adventures that await us!

P.S. Click here to see this photo, there is such a cute story behind it:

This was a fun moment that happened the day I met Tilley. It was late in March, the weather was sunny and temperate but windy all the same. Tilley was wearing an adorable dress from Anthropologie and went outside to shoot. Along came a gust of wind, and a Marilyn Monroe moment ensued! She quickly improvised with grace and laughter. It was so fun to watch from inside the window display - I couldn't wait to meet her!

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