Today's Coffee Date guest could charm the dew right off the honeysuckle! If you've been following along with Southern Weddings for any length of time (especially this past week on Instagram), you are probably already familiar with who she is.
Emily Thomas is the creative director at Southern Weddings and the lady behind one of my favorite blogs, Em for Marvelous. Her hard work ethic and drive have been a great example and encouragement to me, but her genuine, kind-hearted personality takes the cake! A lady like Emily deserves to be highlighted. So without further ado, meet Emily!
What's in your coffee mug this morning?
I actually don't drink coffee! I love the smell of it but can't stand the taste. I like to drink chamomile tea at any hour of the day or OJ in the morning.
What does a day-in-the-life of Emily Thomas look like?
My days usually look a big like this:
8am: Roll out of bed
8:30am: Out the door and on my way to work at Southern Weddings!
9am: Arrive at the office and spend some time scrolling through email that cam in overnight (I never check it after work) and through Instagram (I also don't check that overnight). I create a paper to do list from whatever didn't get done the day before and anything that came up over email.
9:30-1:30: Work time! This means lots of email (I try to work on a one-touch system); consulting with Lisa and the other ladies about upcoming shoots, magazine and blog features, shop products, and social media things we're trying; formatting and writing blog posts; calls with creative partners for upcoming shoots to finalize details; email; setting up Blue Ribbon Vendor portfolios; and pinning to our Pinterest boards!
1:30pm: Lunch outside on the porch. Even if my lunch break is only 15 minutes, I try to take it away from my desk for a change of scenery and so that I'm not staring at my screen for 8+ hours on end. I almost always bring leftovers from whatever my husband cooked the night before!
1:30-5:30pm: I finish up my work day at SW with more of the same.
6-7pm: I'm home! I usually arrive home before my husband, so I try to knock out any Etsy orders I need to work on before he arrives - usually about an hour of work on a normal day.
7-11pm: Once John gets home, we almost always go for a walk around our neighborhood if we're not heading out to a meeting or our church family group, which meets once a week. He makes dinner while I sit at our kitchen bar and either work on a blog post, answer personal email, or chat with him! I do the dishes, then we'll watch a show, read, work on more blog things, do some sort of chore, work on a house project... the possibilities are endless :)
Working in a creative field is a blessing, but sometimes it's easy to get stuck in a rut. What do you do when you're in a creative slump? How do you stay inspired?
At Southern Weddings, I'm thankful that we have two very real sources of inspiration - true love stories, and the beautiful South. If I'm ever at a loss for what details to include in an editorial, I try to think about real couples and real love stories that inspire me, or I try to experience something new and beautiful outside my door. Em for Marvelous is really the story of my life, so I've learned over time that it's extremely important for me to actually be living a life that's worthy of documenting and sharing. For me, that means less frequent posts (about two a week) so that I have time (in addition to my full time job) to do interesting things and improve myself!
What have been your top 3 highlights since working at Southern Weddings?
Oh wow, too many to count! Everything about producing the magazine is still so exciting for me - from seeing the concepts we dream up come to life, to holding each issue in my hands, to seeing each on the newsstand for the first time. I have a picture of myself kneeling next to the newsstand rack with every one! :) I've gotten the chance to work on set with amazingly creative and kind people over the years, including Jose Villa, Joy Thigpen, Blye Eyed Yonder, Ali Harper, Katie Stoops, and Joey and Jessica Seawell! I've also traveled to Florida, Virginia, New York, South Carolina, Texas, Georgia, Indiana, and the Grand Caymans for Southern Weddings, which is a huge highlight.
You went out on a limb and took a creative approach when you applied to Southern Weddings. What advice do you have for other young women on setting themselves apart and breaking the mold?
Honestly, the thing that most sets someone apart in my inbox is whether or not they're a good writer. In a world that's increasingly moving online, the importance of being able to communicate effectively, graciously, smoothly, and with great tact through writing cannot be understated. Great writing skills are a skill set that will serve you well no matter how technology changes the world or your industry in the years to come. For those who already have a job, I can't say enough how much I love the career advice Joanna Goddard recently posted - I give an enthusiastic YES to everything, especially numbers 4, 7, and the bonus!
What is something you've been loving lately?
Bright lipstick! I just traveled to NYC for Bridal Market, and it reminded me how fun it is to wear a bold lip color. My favorite is Nars Schiap. Also honeycrisp apples, which are not necessarily compatible with bright lipstick, but delicious nonetheless.
You're originally from Connecticut but you've been living in North Carolina since 2009. Just for fun, what "southern-isms" have you picked up in the past 5 years?
Well, I do say y'all on occasion - it's just too useful not to! My favorite Southern adoption has to be the food, though, with biscuits, pimento cheese, Chick-fil-a, and vinegar-y barbecue topping the list. YUM!