July 9, 2018

Let’s be honest, checking your social media networks can sometimes put quite a damper one your self esteem. Even the most experienced and confident users are guilty of posting a gorgeous image of their work or a life event only to second guess it as soon as they see another accounts carefully curated and well thought out feed.

It is incredibly easy to fall into a comparison trap, becoming obsessed with how your life appears to others and overly conscious of every move you make online. And, even though your feed is be getting a good amount of followers or likes, you may still be concerned that it’s not as good as the others out there. We know, we know. We’ve all been there at one time or another.

So, what can you do when you love the thrill that you get from viewing and sharing posts with users from around the world, but you also get a pit in your stomach the minute you start scrolling through the perfection that is your follow list? These 5 tips will give you the ability to fulfill your social media craving while keeping your self esteem perfectly in tact.


  1. DETERMINE YOUR DEMOGRAPHIC – When you are looking through your newsfeed, it is easy to forget that you may be “speaking” to a different demographic than someone else who posts only color coded, pre-planned perfection. Think about the purpose of your feed and who is meant to see it? If you are a Mama who loves sharing pics of your kids with far away loved ones, you absolutely should not feel the pressure to do it the same way as the Mommy Blogger with 60,000 followers and multiple sponsors. Keep in mind that the Mommy Blogger more than likely has an extensive knowledge of photography and photoshop due to YEARS of curating their content. Some of these users even have professional hairstylists, makeup artists and photographers that help them with each and every photoshoot.
  2. DEFINE YOUR CONTENT STYLE – Now that you know who your demographic is, start thinking about the best way to reach them and to have them take notice of your content. Some followers adore a heavily photoshopped image with a magical format and gorgeous colors, while others truly want to see raw, real life. For instance, a travel blogger may have the goal of giving their followers a glimpse into their lives, the good and bad, so they will most likely opt for a less edited and more realistic photo collage. But, a children’s photographer who specializes in fine art or creatively set up portrait photography may have a much more planned composition and a more defined edit. Determine which works best for your personal style and the purpose of your feed and run with it. Don’t worry about what another user is posting if the style doesn’t line up. (Master Tip: Check out these social media planning tools that will help you to style your content as needed!)
  3. TAKE A BREAK  – This may seem counterproductive to your ultimate goal, but trust me, it’s not. I’m sure you have heard the saying, “take care of yourself first”, and it absolutely applies to social media. If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed, are in hardcore comparison mode, or are just exhausted with the whole thing, take a little break. When you make the conscious choice to return to tending your feed, you will feel replenished and revived, and you will make better choices about how to handle and manage your networks. Sometimes, you need to listen to that little voice telling you that it’s time to step back.
  4. ENGAGE – The more that I engage with others on social media, the better I feel. There is nothing more confidence boosting than giving a compliment and making someone else day, so I try to do it often. See an instagram image that blows your mind? Tell the user! Can’t get enough of the design work you came across on a business feed? Let the user know that you are obsessed! They will appreciate the boost and before you know it, you’ll have built a community of like minded friends on social media that will take care to send positive vibes one another’s way!
  5. CREATE VISUAL CONTENT THAT YOU LOVE – It is hard to hear, mainly because we all want to fit in and hang out with the popular crowd, but at the end of the day, your parents were right. The only person that has to like it is you. Don’t feel the need to share everything with everybody, but make sure that the content that you do post gives you flutters in your heart. If you love it, there is nothing to compare. Just do you and let the others do them.

Interested in learning how we curate, manage, and plan our own business and personal social media networks. Check out our online course here!  We would love to see you there!



June 5, 2018

I don’t remember the last time I didn’t have at least one Kate Spade wallet or bag in my rotation, so I was incredibly sad this morning to hear the news that the designer had passed away inside her Park Avenue apartment. While the investigation into her death is brand new, and other than the tidbits of information that are leaking though the press and gossip networks here in NYC, we do know one thing. Her death was more than likely suicide.

As a creative, I have a special place in my heart for those who “make” and “share” their work. Why? Because it can be torturously difficult to do, both internally and externally. We spend most of our days with our ideas, striving to find the best and most honest ways to turn them into tangible items. That transference from thought to finished product in itself is difficult, time consuming, and can be exhilarating, but also exhausting.

“If I were a fictional character I’d be Alice from Alice In Wonderland.” – Kate Spade

Add to that sharing our work with the world, opening ourselves up to praise, but also criticism.  And, I am actually of the mind that we need the criticism. How would our work evolve if we didn’t have a reason to adjust it; to better it? It would remain stagnant and boring. Getting hard to hear feedback, over time, helps to build the creative backbone, and makes us think more about the way that we create and present what we are sharing.

But, as much as the criticism is needed, I think there is a also a solid fact that we must recognize. You never know what another person is going through or how they are feeling. Shouldn’t it be expected that we give feedback and criticism to those around us constructively? Should we not take care to be sensitive to the mental health of other individuals? In my opinion, this should be incredibly important.

“Listen to others, but follow your own instincts.” – Kate Spade

More importantly, if you are feeling on the edge or are struggling mentally, please remember that better times will come. What you are going through right now, whether inflicted personally or by someone else, it will not be forever. You can get through it, and you will be better for it. Let yourself learn from your experiences and then use it for good. And please, please, don’t try to do it alone. Talk to someone, get help (HERE), and practice self care. This too, is important.

I leave with the words of Kate Spade herself; “Listen to others, but follow your own instincts.” I think we could all benefit from that advice.



June 4, 2018

The Lust List by Sally Spratt, the gorgeous and talented illustrator behind the popular style series, has us absolutely swooning at The Art Of. We are obsessed with her gorgeously laid out, boldly colored watercolor illustrations, featuring all of your favorite styles and brands, from L’Occtaine to Vogue Magazine.

Based out of Sydney, Australia, Spratt creates her illustrations from inspiration she finds in her environment, including her awesome girl clique.

“Now I draw & design for a living, surrounding myself with inspiring and talented friends that become my every day inspiration. ” – Sally Spratt of the Lust List

Spratt says “I have been drawing and creating since I can remember…….I grew up drawing on strong everything, making all manner of things from scraps & in general always trying to design, style & make things visually exciting. It hasn’t changed too much over the years, however now I draw & design for a living, surrounding myself with inspiring and talented friends that become my every day inspiration.”

 Find Spratt and The Love List series on her Instagram here and her website here. You deserve it.










See more of our Artists & Makers Series here!


May 30, 2018

Sometimes, the most valuable lightbulbs go off for me during a coaching or teaching session. Today was not different.

While coaching a client on redefining their purpose and resurfacing their passion, the subject of knowing your “why” arose. I am a huge proponent of the “why” in any life or business, I love to ask people what reason they have for doing the things they do. Finding your “why” is simple right? We all do things, all kinds of things, as a matter of fact. And surely we have reasons for all of them; otherwise, why would we do them?

But, I digress. The truth of the matter is that most of us rarely have a purpose for our actions, and most of the time when a business is in it’s infancy, there isn’t a super clear, easy to understand end goal. I have found that as time goes on, and the “why” develops further, the day to day of that business changes (as do some of the goals) for the better and it becomes more successful.

But, what is the “why”? For example, let’s pretend for a moment that you are a photographer. You may be saying to yourself, that your purpose is obvious. You take gorgeous pictures in order to help people protect their memories and experiences. That is wonderful, and we definitely need hard working, talented photographers in the world! But that isn’t really a “why”, it is a duty that you have to your business and to your client. It is “what you do” not  “why you do it”. Why do you take the pictures? Why are they edited in the fashion that you edit them? Or why do you feel it is important to protect memories and experiences? What is the bigger push that keeps you moving in the right direction? Figure that out, and your already halfway across the bridge. The next step? Start working that into your daily life and into business interactions and decisions.

Me? My ultimate “why” that I want to help women grow and care for themselves, to give them the opportunity to be more self sufficient in life.  I want to pass on any knowledge or skill that I have learned or developed that can teach others how to have better lifestyles and better more fulfilling businesses. This shines through in every (and there are a few) offshoot of my company. Everything that I do professionally does ultimately works toward that final goal.

It isn’t necessarily always about the business. When I started Harper Maven Design I was a graphic designer, and I still am. But, as I defined and adjusted my “why”, growth happened, and my world expanded. Discover your why, and the world is yours.

Interested in Business or Life Coaching one on ones or Group Series? Get in touch here. We would love to have you!