a day at sparkle media

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when i started sparkle media over a year ago, i had no big picture plan about where it would lead, nor did i have any idea what it would turn into. every day, i am literally so grateful for how things have evolved. i’m so lucky to work with wonderful women to build their companies. one of the exciting projects sparkle media recently worked on was a new brand and website for sugar plum sisters, a website run by two sisters (who are truly wonderful people, i have to say!), and they visited sparkle media hq recently to check in and go over some final items we were working on together. pam and laurel wanted a freshened up brand to match their stylish lives, and we created a streamlined site with unique details and special customizations. pop by their website to have a look!

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obviously, ava had to stay close by for lots of attention and cuddles.

sugar plum sisters

peonies in november

yes, those are peonies in november! my go-to flower shop, flower factory, is magical.

sugar plum sisters 2

these two have great taste, so i had to get their opinion on a fabric choice for the new custom ottoman we’re having made from lofty living.

it’s a blessing when work brings you so much happiness, and there’s not a day i don’t appreciate it!

styling your space

sparkle sweet home

we did it, we’re into our new home and i’m so, so excited about it! we are in a downtown highrise condo, and it’s my first time living up high like this. i’ve always been in older, low-rise character buildings, and thought that’s what i liked best. let me tell you, it’s really nice having underground parking, new bathrooms, a huge patio and walls of windows – we’re settling in really well. it almost feels like we’re staying in a hotel!

the most exciting part of a new space is the decorating! i’m not one to overspend on things, in the past, i usually would just rummage through craigslist and rely on hand me downs. i usually take much to long to finish off a space (especially with art!). this time, we’re newlyweds, and i feel like it’s okay to start investing in items that really reflect our taste. we have purchased most of our foundation pieces, like a couch, dining room table and chairs, a great mattress, desks and area rugs – we will be working on a coffee table, lighting fixtures, a bed, side tables and maybe new lamps and art to bring things together. i can’t wait to take you along our journey!

the first thing i did when we got the boxes into our new place, was work on unpacking decorator pieces – it immediately gave me so much happiness and made me feel settled. our new place has a wonderful pseudo built in (perfectly fit shelving running the entire length of our living area) which has become the perfect to display my pretty cake stands (which r just doesn’t understand, but i know you do), fave cookbooks and little details. many of the items have wonderful stories behind them (shower gifts, wedding reminders) and i love that we are showcasing those special things.

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i have played with layers, with pops of a few specific bright colours, turquoise and magenta, and even r likes it! not everything can be all about the decor, function also plays a role in our space, and the other cabinet holds things like dvd’s, books that don’t make the ‘pretty’ cut and other random items.

sparkle sweet home 2

i can’t wait to share the process of our decorating with you – i’m documenting everything on instagram with a special #sparklesweethome hashtag. and of course, the full reveal will happen as soon as the place is complete!

fall styled shoot

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fall is hands down my fave season. the crispy leaves, warm flavours, and an excuse to cozy up and cuddle under a blanket while the rain pours. jen and i thought it was high time to really enjoy the season, and collaborated with some local vendors to pull together a gorgeous fall styled shoot, or as we call it, a “fall fete”. it’s a little slice of our dreams come to life featuring some of the best in vancouver: photography by blush photography, delish food from cioffi’s market, a sweet cake from sweet bake shop, fanciful calligraphy from love by phoebe, decor items from bespoke decor, styling by taffete designs and blooms from the flower factory, we enjoyed every single moment dining outside, and wrapping up in cozy blankets surrounded by lush gardens (thank you for letting us use your gorgeous backyard, julia!).

it’s always more work than it seems to produce a styled shoot, but it was a lot of fun and i’m so happy with how these images by blush photography turned out!

fall tablescape

see more over on glitter guide today. hover over the images to pin as you please!

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#gsd: behind the scenes of my business

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i’ve always been a huge fan of meg biram’s #GSD column (that’s short for ‘get shit done’!) – i always love learning about the behind the scenes of a business, and i’m so excited to be featured there today! keep reading below for part of my interview, and then click over to meg’s site to read on about the apps, programs and tricks i use to balance my business, blog, writing for glitter guide and personal life!

ERIN SOUSA // SPARKLE MEDIA

Not only is Erin the blogger behind The Sparkle, she also founded Sparkle Media, and is a beauty editor at Glitter Guide.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I would love to say that there is a typical day, but there really isn’t! Most often I wake up around 7am, skip the gym sesh I planned on, grab my phone to check emails (and Instagram) feverishly in case there is anything urgent from clients I need to fire off right away. Then if I don’t have any morning meetings, I’ll grab coffee and head to my desk in my PJ’s which never gets old when you work from a home office — I love not having to rush through a morning beauty routine every morning!

Once at my desk, I respond to emails, and start working on my client tasks for the day which I set in Todoist — this can include social media, marketing plans, blog posts, research for styled shoots, website design, among other things. There’s always plenty of writing during my day (press releases, blog posts, content) which I prefer to break up throughout the day so my creativity stays fresh. I’ll also go visit my clients to grab photos, talk strategy and meet with peers for lunch or coffee. I try to walk Ava (my pup) every day and eat a proper breakfast, but that can oftentimes get overlooked!

white office

What parts of your work do you love?

I enjoy the creative elements like prepping for and styling shoots and throwing client events. I LOVE to throw a good party that pays off for a client while giving the guests an experience — so rewarding. That said, working with entrepreneurs to grow their business is the reason I started my company. It’s so rewarding to make a difference to a business owners bottom line or help them define their path.

What parts of your work/business do you dislike?

Invoicing, bank visits, and creating high level media plans just because they can be overwhelming to dig into, but a lot of fun once you actually get into the meat of them. News releases aren’t the fun part of the job either!

What things do you have to do that you didn’t realize going into The Sparkle and being a Beauty Editor at Glitter Guide?

How important consistency is — that means you have to write and do the job even when you really don’t want to. Yes, I’m writing about my passions on my blog and for Glitter Guide, but you’re not always feeling inspired to share inspiration for others, which is ultimately what content creation is all about.

What are some interesting things people probably don’t know behind the scenes of your work?

That I love to work on the couch in my PJ’s whenever I can. When people say they get so much more done when they dress the part, fair enough, but I’m most productive when I’m comfy.

Also, probably the number of times I check Instagram — it’s embarrassing but essential; when you’re running various clients accounts, you’re always in and out of that app!

desk scene

What type of calendar do you keep?

It’s a bit multidimensional and it’s been a challenge to come up with the perfect system. For my company, we use a master Google calendar that includes stat holidays, fashion weeks, local happenings, and upcoming client events which my coordinator manages. Personally, I use a daytimer style written calendar that I keep on my desk. I detest the iPhone calendar apps (no. more. typing.) and prefer the old-fashioned pen and paper method to keep my calendar.

How do you plan out your calendar?

I would love to say I am always 100% on top of blocking off time for each task, but that’s not true. I have gotten really good at looking at my tasks for the day and understanding how much time each will take and what’s realistic. As for appointments and business events, I keep them in my paper calendar which I update when I get home everyday as needed, and note them in my iPhone notes app when I’m on the go to move to paper later. I try to leave Monday as an in-office day allowing me to prep my week, Tuesday is the day my coordinator works with me, and Wednesday, Thursday, Friday I take meetings and do business/client/blog related errands or shoots.

desk scene

How do you organize and tackle your to-do list?

Todoist! It’s a web program and app that has changed how I work! It is super intuitive and allows me to break down my lists by client, personal, etc. and keeps you honest with an email each morning reminding you of what’s coming up for the day! It’s also a great collaborative tool as it allows me to assign tasks to team members and the app notifies you when they’ve checked things off their lists. It’s the only tool I use for my lists and sure beats the random pieces of paper I had floating around … except for the grocery list, of course. On the go, I use Notes on my iPhone and move them into their final destination when I’m back at my desk.

read the rest, here!

lately…

the sparkle office

oh hi! just popping in to say hello – i haven’t forgotten about you! i’m here… at my desk… lots of late nights working because days are full of meetings. we also made our first big decision as a married couple, and are moving, which i’m really, really excited about. i’ve been in our current place for 6 years, and as we prepare for kiddos (eeeek, yes, seriously), we’ve decided to move into a more kid friendly spot. we’re still downtown dwellers, thank goodness. unfortunately, moving means packing… not looking forward to that part at ALL.

i have a fun post coming up on wednesday - until then, my friends! xx