Wednesday, April 9, 2014


I'm so excited to launch my Work & Play series where I get to talk to some amazing women who have full-time jobs, blog, raise kids, design, start their own companies, get married, renovate their living space, and just generally kick butt at living each moment of life. 

There are so many different paths to take in life and I can't wait to see how some of the people who inspire me most choose to navigate their own courses. 

For our first guest, I'm thrilled to welcome Bree Ryback of Capitol Romance. I had heard about Bree's amazing site for real DC weddings long before my own engagement but of course over the last few months I have been pouring over the beautiful pictures and DIY advice she provides. In fact, our own engagement story was featured on the blog - it was pretty much heaven and such an honor!

Next month I'll be attending Bree's first DIY Wedding Workshop and I cannot wait. If you're in the DC area on May 4th you should join us. Get your tickets here!

Bree was so kind to let me interview her for this piece. I hope you find her answers as insightful as I do. And don't forget to head over and check out her work when you're done reading. I apologize in advance for the time you might lose oogling gorgeous, real weddings. :)

SIM: What was your vision for Capitol Romance when you were first starting the site?

BR: My vision was to create a space for couples that felt overwhelmed or "left out" of the traditional DC wedding scene. I wanted to provide couples with not only inspiration, but resources to help them plan their wedding. I wanted Capitol Romance to be a sort of community where people could help each other, and together we could change the DC wedding landscape to be less traditional, and more focused on personalized details, not just money.

SIM: What is one key tip you have for working a full-time job and running your own website?

BR: One key tip would have to be my calendars. I keep an editorial calendar to keep the blog on track, and I write down ALL my engagements in a paperback daily planner. I can't survive without either of those calendars. Everything in my life is planned right now - and it just has to be that way when you attempt to juggle a full-time job AND a side business.

SIM: How did you begin to monetize your site?

BR: Most blogs turn to advertising as a way to monetize the site, and that is something I launched fairly recently. I'd say monetizing the blog is my #1 struggle and hurdle - how do I make money from this space/community I've created without hurting my brand? It's something I haven't quite, yet, figured out. But I've also tried to use the brand I've created through the blog to launch money-makers outside of the website (i.e., starting a side wedding coordination business and now the DIY Wedding Workshops that I recently launched). I'm attending a workshop this fall that I hope will help me with getting more ideas for balancing the blog and making money from it.

SIM: As a woman, how do you balance life and work obligations?

BR: This is something that always interests me as I feel like men don't often get this question as much, as they aren't necessarily expected to maintain this balance, but I won't start a gender war here, so personally for me, I try to keep a balance by making sure I plan time to be as present in life as I am with work. This means taking time to exercise (I'm currently training for a 1/2 marathon!), walking my dog, cooking dinner, spending Friday nights on the couch watching a movie with my husband, and planning dinners/happy hours with friends. As I mentioned above, it's not always easy to be spontaneous in my life, but by planning and scheduling things in advance, I can maintain this balance - and it works for me. I am not afraid to turn off email and say to myself "I'll answer this tomorrow, it can wait". I think some business owners tend to lose focus sometimes on what's truly important. Sometimes the more important choice is to shut off your phone, and watch the Walking Dead season finale with your spouse :)

SIM: What is your favorite thing about working in Washington, D.C.?

BR: The people! Hands down, my favorite thing about being a small business owner in DC has been meeting so many awesome and DIFFERENT people! DC is full of people from all different places and all different backgrounds, and I've gotten to meet so many people as clients, fellow wedding vendors, and other inspiring small business owners. DC usually gets a bad rep as a place where people only care about what you do (in a career sense), and not who you are or what you can offer. Recently though, I haven't found that at all. If people really want to escape that stigma, then maybe they need to head into the local scene and connect with the inspiring small business owners - the food makers at Union Kitchen or the creative vendors at DC MEETMarket & Fenton Street Market or even just any local business owner. Those are the real people of DC and they are totally what makes being here, so so awesome. I love DC :)

Thank you again to Bree and I hope to see you all at the workshop on May 4th!

1 comment

  1. This is such a neat series - I love hearing how women find a way to juggle all the craziness of life :)


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