#StyleMe Sweetly

I'm so thrilled to introduce you to one of my dear friends, Alison of Butter+Love {pictured on one of our tea & cookies dates below}. She is one of most darling people you'll ever meet, knows how to bake/knit/garden better than anyone I know, & looks effortlessly Anthro, always. Check out her oh so cute site & get some of her delicious cookies near your lips soon!

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Did you ever hear that story about a small town girl who showed up in the big city with nothing but two suitcases and a dream? Well, that was me. Quiet, shy, Mid-Western little me decided to move herself halfway across the country with a dream of being on the Broadway stage. Looking back, I find that I’m surprised at my younger self - surprised that I had the courage to take such a risk! Had I known just what I was getting myself into, I might have chickened out, but thank God for the boldness of youth! 

It took every bit of courage and strength and hope I could muster, but I made it to the Broadway stage... a few times, actually. Each show I did was literally a dream come true for me, and I find myself thankful each and every day for the opportunities. All because I took that risk...

Now let’s fast-forward to a magical day about two years ago when I found myself at a crossroad. I had spent years traveling the country for various gigs, and although I was grateful for the work, I was ready to stay put somewhere for awhile. I wanted roots. I wanted a real neighborhood. I wanted to get to know my neighbors. Although I had lived all over Manhattan and Queens, no place had ever felt like home. I hadn’t tried Brooklyn, though, so I hopped on the C train and headed downtown, finding myself, yet again, taking another risk.

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When I arrived in Fort Greene, well... there’s no other way to describe it - the Heavens opened and the Angels started singing and my heart did cartwheels. It was neighborhoody, Brooklyn-chic, brownstone & tree-lined block perfection - and I knew I had just found my new home!

Shortly after that, I found a dream apartment (a dishwasher AND a garden!) and started planting those roots.

The first order of business was to get to know my neighbors - and by neighbors, I mean the guy who owns the charming flower shop, or the manager of the hardware store who helped me carry some boxes up the stairs, or the awesome baristas who poured me my morning cup of joe. Of course, being the old-fashioned Mid-Westerner that I am, I hold the firm belief that when one goes calling on one’s neighbors, one should always arrive with freshly baked goods in hand, lovingly made and prettily packaged.

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It didn’t take long for the recipients of my cookies (pies, tarts, cakes, whathaveyou…) to suggest that I sell my edible labors of love about town. It did, however, take a few months to convince me to take them seriously.

 After much deliberation and hours spent in the kitchen refining my menu, I decided to take the risk, and my company, Butter + Love, is the happy result of that risk. It hasn’t been easy by any stretch of the imagination, but then it wouldn’t have been much of a risk if it was, right?  

Now, after almost 10 months, I have three employees, a commercial kitchen to bake out of, a weekly residence at the Brooklyn Flea/Smorgasburg, and an ever-growing number of wonderful shops across Brooklyn and Manhattan selling my wares.

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At this point you may be thinking, “Well, that’s a charming story and I can’t wait to try those cookies, but what does this have to do with #StyleMeMay?” Good question. I’m so glad you asked...

In fashion as it is in life: Taking risks is essential. Whether the risk is big or small - without it, there’s no reward.  It’s as simple as that.  If you don’t take a chance on things, whether it’s wearing a new, brighter lipstick color and mint-colored jeans (My personal challenge to myself!), or if it’s starting a new company that you’ve always dreamed of but never had the guts to dive into, you could miss out on the good stuff in life.

Mistakes are okay - learn from them (... and keep reading Dean Street Society for tips on how to avoid them!).  Nerves are natural - ignore them as best you can; they eventually go away.  Be gentle with yourself - people may give you their opinions, so learn to take from them the useful stuff and ignore the rest.  Above all, HAVE FUN! Risks aren’t all scary - they can also be fun! And who knows? That pleated skirt, messy up-do, or batch of cookies just might lead you to something remarkable...

And now for three girls we think are remarkable, we're giving "Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice" awards!

1. Paula in Florida! Paula not only dove into the #StyleMe crew back in March, but has gotten her colleagues at work to play along, & even tweets out pictures of them! She has invited so many to join her in the challenge that people ask her at conferences, church & work "What day is today?" to see what her style prompt was. Sharing the fun with everyone you know? So nice!

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2. Anna in London! Anna was a #StyleMeMarch-er & spread the word to so many UK girls that oodles are now playing from across the pond! Not only has she spread the word, but she spreads the love, posting so many words of affirmation on other #StyleMe photos. Proving that style knows no country bounds? So spicy!

3. Keira in Florida! Keira's lovely blog "A Pretty Penny" has driven the most traffic of any blog since we began 14 days ago. We're so grateful to her for spreading the word to her lovely readers so they could be our friend! Supporting another blog girl? So sugar sweet!

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These three girls will get a delicious Butter+Love package headed to them in the mail! Share with your friends. It's the nice thing to do. ;) Also, we highly recommend them with a cup of tea. If you're not one of these three girls, head over to the Etsy shop & grab some of your own!

One jam sandwich cookie at a time, 

Alison (and her mint-colored jeans)
{Come be my friend on my internet hang-outs known as TwitterFacebook Pinterest!}

P.S. What's the last risk you took, big or small? 

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