A self-confessed wedding fan since the age of 13, Maggie Lord has always loved the romance and beauty of weddings. When Maggie Lord was planning her lakeside wedding at her family’s summer cabin she became passionate about the rustic wedding style and was eager to share her discoveries and ideas so she started a blog. Rustic Wedding Chic now has millions of monthly readers and is the number one online resource for rustic and country weddings. Maggie is the author of five books, a popular wedding expert for media outlets, and a contributing author for other publications. She has created other sites including Rustic Baby Chic, The Rustic Wedding Guide, Baby Names of Ireland, Preppy Wedding Style, and Mother Of The Bride Guide. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, Jon, and their two sons, Jack and Charlie.
What inspired you to start Rustic Wedding Chic?
In 2008, while planning my own rustic chic wedding in the small northern Wisconsin town where my family has had a summer house for over 65 years, I came up short looking for inspiration online. I knew that if I was looking for ideas and inspiration for this sort of wedding and not finding them, other brides were too. I decided to create Rustic Wedding Chic to act as a daily muse for brides planning a rustic or country wedding and fill the site with images, ideas, inspiration, and tips!
Shortly after launching Rustic Wedding Chic we launched another site called The Rustic Wedding Guide due to the high number of emails I was receiving from couples looking for venues and vendors.
What were the first logistical steps you took to start a business?
I knew that I had to create a name and a look that would speak to our readers. I invested in having an original piece of artwork done as our logo.
What is a day as Maggie like? Please walk me through a day!
Well, I have two boys. Jack is five and just started kindergarten this fall and Charlie is turning two in December so the mornings are interesting. Both my boys are early risers so we are up with them between 6 and 6:30 am and after a few quick cups of coffee our day kicks into high speed with lunches, snacks, and backpacks. My little one, Charlie only goes to pre-school two mornings a week so I spend the better part of my day juggling work and him. My husband is a writer as well and we trade off and on during the day so we both can get some uninterrupted work time. Jon usually works in the morning and I work mid-day until Jack comes home from school and then I usually try to cap the work day around 3:30 pm so I can be the with kids exclusively. I have also figured out a pretty great way to work while Charlie naps, a system I put into place when Jack was young and my husband was not working from home. I called myself The Naptime Entrepreneur and when he would nap I would work only on one task needed to move my company forward. I usually cook dinner around 5:30 pm and we sit down together as a family and eat around 6 and then from 6-8 its bath and books and the bedtime meltdown and then around 8, I usually start my evening shift of work again, closing up shop around 9:30 pm and calling it a day by 10 pm.
What are your responsibilities as founder of Rustic Wedding Chic?
I still create 99% of all of the blog posts that go live on both Rustic Wedding Chic and Rustic Baby Chic. I also oversee all of our social media, which is huge part of our readership, and I often check in with our ad team and our team that oversees the submissions and listings for our Rustic Wedding Guide.
What has been your proudest moment from your career so far?
I have been lucky enough to publish five books and often my sons will see my books on the shelf when we go to a bookstore and they always point them out. To me that just makes my heart want to explode!
What have you learned about yourself since founding Rustic Wedding Chic?
If you have passion and determination you really can get anything accomplished. I knew I had a passion for the rustic wedding style but I was not sure how I could turn that into a website. Today there are hundreds of wedding blogs and social sites like Pinterest where inspiration can be found, but back in 2008 when I was starting the company there weren’t many wedding blogs, so there was no template to follow. I have learned that my dedication to something can pay off big time!
What has been the biggest challenge and, on the flip side, the biggest reward of starting Rustic Wedding Chic?
The biggest challenge that comes with being the founder of a company like Rustic Wedding Chic is always trying to move the company forward. I don’t have a ton of employees so many times it is just me sitting in my office trying to think of the next step the company should move toward. The big reward for me is the flexibility the job offers. I love the fact that I can drop both kids off at school and be there to pick them up, as well as fun things like being able to be the room parent for their classes. The non-traditional hours I can have in my workday sometimes leaves me sleepy but also gives me wonderful opportunities.
What is the most important characteristic for entrepreneurs to have?
If you don’t have passion your company or product will never move forward. No one is going to believe in you or your company as much as you will so you have to keep the passion fire burning for yourself!
What is one thing that you wish you had known when you were starting out your career?
To celebrate the small victories more. I remember staying up until midnight one night to watch our traffic tip over 1,000 pageviews for that entire day and yet the next morning trying to figure out how to get to 2,000 per day. Now we can have 45,000 pageviews per day or more, but I wish I celebrated the small victory of 1,000 pageviews more as opposed to just moving onto the next big task I wanted to accomplish.
What is on your desk right now?
My to-do list (I always have one going!), a picture of my boys, and an outline for a new book I am working on.
What are your three favorite books?
What is your morning routine?
Coffee at 6 am followed by more coffee and then a quick shower and getting dressed while my boys run in and out of my room as they attempt to get dressed as well, all while my husband and I are discussing the schedule for the day, who will work when, and what is on the calendar. By 8:30 am, I drop Jack at school and two days a week by 9:15 am I am a free woman to work until pre-school pick up at 12 pm.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Anything is possible with hard work. I really do believe that anything can be accomplished with hard work and never taking the easy road.
What are you reading right now?
My aunt’s debut novel was released a few months ago, so I am currently reading Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly.
What is your career advice for other young professional women?
If you have a goal, write out the steps you need to take to achieve the goal. All too often I hear people say they can’t do something in their career, but I think if you have a goal and then you outline the steps you need to make it happen, it can happen!