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January 2, 2020

Your Brandista in 2019: A Year in Review

Your Brandista

Living life like a brandista

Well, well, well… The moment has finally come. We have made it to the end of the year. I am opening 2020 with open, loving, and receiving arms! As the last few months of the year are my strongest periods for self-reflection, I had an idea to brew a roundup of happenings that took place this year.

As creatives, it’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind and miss out on the small details that make a big difference in your growth as a person and within your business. Therefore, I am excited to share with you a sneak peek into the ever-evolving year of transformation I experienced.


Coffee Babble with Jackie Wielick

To get ahead on content for Coffee Babble, we film our episode for February with Jackie Wielick. Our guest Jacqueline Wielick is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and in this episode, she expresses a common cycle that we can get trapped in, whether single and dating, or in a committed relationship. The context of this video is more on the love front as Valentine’s Day was around the corner. However, the message is pretty straight-forward and can apply to any relationship in our lives, whether business, significant, friendships, etc.

Video & Photo Credit: Studio Luniste

Most of the content we have focused on prior to 2019 was business and entrepreneurship. For this episode, I wanted to challenge my approach to bring on guests who have more to share outside of just business. I can’t say it stuck long considering most of the guests from there were either clients or entrepreneurs, but hey, I tried. 🙂

To watch the episode and learn more about Jackie, click here.

CDI: Founder Workshop

I had the opportunity to participate in the invite-only Freelancers to Founder 6-week workshop. This workshop helps founders and leaders of all stages identify their next best step toward building a business. With the launch of Your Brandista soon following later in the year, this workshop helped me to identify what really makes my process unique from others, how that applied to the clients I work with, and the greater impact it makes, both online and offline.

I am thankful for the opportunity as it set the tone for the course-correction I needed to take in 2019.

Bragging Rights: Media Hits for the Month

To ring in the new year, I had a few unique media features come through from the pitches that I had started towards the end of 2018. Both of these features included my unique take on how to use Instagram as a primary marketing tool in 2019 and the best way to enhance your efforts for engagement. You can check out the features below!


Coffee Babble with @KatieBHappyy

Video & Photo Credit: Studio Luniste

We filmed one of my most engaged episodes for Coffee Babble with the incredible @KatieBHappyy. Katie has been a long-term client this year and it has been such a wonderful journey to see the cool features we have been able to secure.

In this episode, Katie covers the best way to start your mornings and the importance of giving and receiving gratitude. Katie’s story and message resemble my word and purpose for the new decade which is all about transformation. Be sure to tune in to this episode to learn more about Katie and her business, b_inspired.

Bragging Rights: Media Hits for the Month

The feature I landed this month was a fun Q&A that I really enjoyed answering. It got me thinking outside of just business and what I do. The one question I really enjoyed was this one:

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
When working in a creative space, creativity and motivation flow when you have a healthy mindset. Believe it or not, I find it fun to time-block time out of the day to focus on mindset and every work. Here are the ways I treat myself to “fun” at work:

  1. Brain Dumping & Journaling: There are hundreds of thoughts that run through my mind on a daily basis. I have recently become aware of brain dumping in which I need to allow myself a window to where I just right out all of my thoughts, ideas, etc., in a journal. This allows for more creative expression to avoid draining emotions and/or weighted lethargic feelings when it comes to taking on new initiatives or projects.
  2. Following a more strategic mindfulness and meditation routine; preferably in the mornings to jumpstart the day. Allowing myself to sit in silence to clear the mind while centering my energy flow, brings more holistic energy without needing to reach instantly for the coffee. It is a great way to release energy blocks I may have built the day before to start a new day fully refreshed and revitalized.
  3. Scheduling a massage at least once a month to release built-up tension in the muscles and to relieve the pressures of working at a desk hours on end. Plus, how could you go wrong with lying on a comfortable bed with soothing music and aromatherapy tinkling your senses for 60-90 minutes?!
  4. Making more time for yoga. Similar to meditation and/or getting a massage, this is a great way for me to tune into the energy flows I experience each day and to release control of the ones that do not serve me. I’ve noticed that when I do yoga frequently, I am able to understand my thoughts better in which aids in better communications with clients, colleagues, and what I need to transcribe from a content basis within the work I create.

You can view the full feature here: The Startup GrowthPop Quiz, Monday with Ashley Graham


Mentor for the San Diego State Big Data Hackathon 2019

Back in the summer of 2018, I joined the Lavin Entrepreneur Mentorship Program at San Diego State University. When I have the time to give, I love sharing my expertise and knowledge with students who are craving to learn more in their fields. I am now on my second year with the Lavin group and I can’t wait to see how this experience evolves from there.

In conjunction with the mentorship program, I was asked to attend the Big Data Hackathon in March as a mentor to the students who were participating. It was an eventful afternoon visiting each group of students to sit down and talk with them about how marketing and public relations can make an impact on their projects. This even challenged me to hone in on how marketing applies to a vast number of business models and industries.


B_Inspired Retreat on Self-Love with @KatieBHappyy in Ensenada

Thanks to a client and dear friend of mine, I was invited to join her on a self-love and discovery retreat in Ensenada, Mexico. Aside from being able to disconnect and enjoy a new city, but words can’t even express the amount of love I felt during this trip. This trip brought together a group of like-minded people to enjoy yoga classes, both during sunrise and sunset, volunteering at a local orphanage, wine tasting through Baja, workshops on self-growth and development, incredible Mexican cuisine all throughout the day, and a spiritual recharge with nature at your side every way you turn.

After a few hardships I experienced towards the end of last year and into the year, this retreat was the reset that I so deeply needed to find my higher calling and clarity in my business and the role I want to play as to the influence I bring to others. Added with a few other breakthroughs this year, I manifested this experience to keep me pushing through.

Photo Credit: KLStenzel Photography

If you need a reset like this, you can learn more about Katie’s retreats here.

Coffee Babble with Kamila Gornia

Video & Photo Credit: Studio Luniste

After returning from Ensenada fresh and energized to get creative, we filmed our episode with Kamila Gornia, the founder of the Heart Behind Hustle movement, a movement that impacts purpose-driven brands and entrepreneurs to take massive aligned action to reach their visions. I have attended one of Kamila’s live events and can relate to her mission greatly. I am even attending her next live event in February! To watch the episode and learn more about Kamila, click here.


Sound Bath at the Integratron

For my last year in my twenties, I made a list of thirty things that I want to accomplish by the time I turn thirty. One of the things on that list was to attend a soundbath as I have heard amazing things. A friend had mentioned the Integratron and having done my research, we booked the first available tickets they had. Call it divine timing, but they had an event available to attend the soundbath just two days before my birthday.

A sound bath is an auditory experience to meditate and unwind while listening to singing crystal bowls. The unique structure of this building is to provide each person who attends the soundbath their own unique experience. What amplifies this experience is every person hears the sound differently, depending on the location they are laying within the room. The Integratron is located in the middle of the Mohave Desert and is built on an intersection of some of the most powerful geomagnetic currents in the world. If you are looking for an awakening experience listening to beautiful sounds and frequency waves, I highly suggest making a trip!

Bragging Rights: Media Hits for the Month

As I mention often on social media, I go through personal media waves which means I go through periods each month where I dedicate hours solely on pitching. This pitching includes finding media opportunities that I can send over my expert inclusions/quotes to be included in. These pieces include content roundups, mentions, and others depending on the content focus. Good PR is a process and takes both time and dedication. By building my authority over the last year and a half, it has provided me with so much clarity on the new business model that I need to follow.

When it comes to building authority in business, we are faced with challenges to either be proactive or reactive. In a period where I felt stagnant and quite stuck, I used that time to think outside of the bag and really put my expertise to good use, which brings me to a campaign you will start seeing more and that is the POWER of being proactive vs. reactive. I won’t go too much into this as I want to save it for an upcoming video but this is just a quick mention to give you something to think about.

After about a year and a half of focusing on this consistently, the features start to present themself organically which is a good reminder as to how all your efforts can come together in the end.

Here is a quick recap on the media features that came through for May 2019:


Social Media Day San Diego

Thanks to the team at AgoraPulse, I was invited to attend Social Media Day San Diego at the beautiful Bahia Resort. This event is a great way to learn the latest in social media marketing on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Video, Social Ads, Influencer Marketing and more. It was great to run into old friends while making new.


Bragging Rights: Media Hits for the Month

For those that know me, I am all about Influence. In this feature, I was able to share the one-word descriptive word on the future of entrepreneurship. Check out the feature below!


My Interview with Marisa Donnelly & BossBabe

In August, I had the opportunity to experience an interview that was very special from the others. As the writer for BossBabe was local, Marisa Donnelly and I met at Pure Project where she asked me about my story, my business, and where I was transitioning in my business plan. Not only did I enjoy her company but this was the first in-person interview that I have had within my business!

The majority of my interviews have been through emails, social media, zoom calls, phone calls… you get the picture. To this day, that article piece gets so much recognition and praise and I owe it to the unique opportunity I had to drink a beer with Marisa and talk/express where I was at within my business.

When I saw the final piece that launched in October 2019, I pretty much had tears in my eyes. The transition and recognition just felt right and it was incredible to see how Marisa turn just random babblings I shared into an article that showed the alignment I was pursing with Your Brandista.

Bragging Rights: Media Hits for the Month

Video has been a big focus this year and will continue to expand further for my brands in 2020. In this feature, Databox covers the best ways to increase your video playback views and I chime in with another outside-of-the-bag way to enhance your video altogether!

Branding Revamp for Your Brandista

Along with the excitement of the piece with BossBabe, I had my new branding shoot with Studio Luniste to get high-quality brand imagery for the launch of, the revamp of the content on social media, and assets to use for media features with the new brand. Here is a recap of the behind-the-scenes process we experienced with the new branding shoot.

Video & Photo Credit: Studio Luniste


MeLD Boutique

In September, MeLD Boutique joined my two-hour intensives program where we deep-dive on content and messaging initiatives each week to keep the brand flow moving forward. It is with great excitement that we were able to land features with SDVoyager, Del Mar Times, and a national feature to announce soon. I love spending this one-on-one time with my clients as the rewards are very high when we are able to find processes that further launch the brands online.

Style Week OC VIP Dinner

I received a phone call stating that I won a VIP Dinner Experience with OC Style Week in Newport Beach. This event brought me back to my influencer days where I LOVED going to events to do live stories on social media and doing recaps on the blog. Along with taking home a bag full of goodies, this event was such a nice way to spend the weekend before taking off for my two-week travel sabbatical that I am making it an effort to do every year.

I will be taking invites for media coverage in 2020. You know how to reach me! 🙂

My Trip to Cape Cod

There is something about traveling that enhances my creative flow. A big goal of mine in 2020 is to be more intentional to make time to travel. One aspect that I loved about my trip to the Cape was that I LOVED the energy.

Although San Diego is not as fast-paced as some cities, things move and progress quickly in this city which makes decompression and downtime needed. The pace on the Cape was just what I needed to reset. From walking on the white beaches to sitting in a cave made entirely of Himalayan salt, to eating hands down the best seafood I have ever eaten, I can’t wait to plan my next trip out east.

My Trip Highlights:

Meet Me in Saint Louis

From the Cape, I hopped on a plane to visit my family in Missouri. After leaving home over 11 years ago, I try to make it back as much as possible. Being self-employed and working from virtually anywhere has its perks and provides me with the flexibility to catch up on much needed time.

From shopping down in Historic Saint Charles to celebrating Oktoberfest, it’s always nice to recharge around my family and friends. My family has been one of my biggest supporters throughout my entrepreneur journey and it makes them happy to see me in action when I am home. From calling in live for a virtual panel talk with Upwork and discussing my obsession for Quickbooks, even they get to learn something new from Your Brandista. It’s a win-win.

Coffee Babble with Studio Luniste

It was about time for my creatives behind the camera to join me on the front of the camera to talk about all things content!

Studio Luniste is a creative team based in San Diego, CA. Their work is inspired by nature and the organic way they artistically connect to it and the people in it. They focus on four elements— branding, studio, lifestyle, and events. They know… it may seem a lot, but they are storytellers and love the ability to tell different stories through photography and videography. You can see why we get along 🙂

What makes them happy is how they make people feel. Feeling empowered with their business after seeing their branding photos, excited to post content for their business, creating authentic stock photos, the beauty of every day in a lifestyle session, or showing your knowledge with tips + tricks of your work. It is these moments, these feelings that make them do what they do.

To watch the episode and learn more about Studio Luniste, click here.

Bragging Rights: Media Hits for the Month


Extensions with Eco Chic Salon

Transformation is much more than changing your hairstyle, although a new look is often desired. Transformation takes place when the mind allows itself to wonder, to feel, to daydream, and to shine.

This year challenged me to step into a new light & as each of those lights got brighter, so did I. I swear I beam from the inside out as I keep getting closer and closer to a much bigger plan than I could have ever imagined. Just like the end of a magnet, by stepping into my power & presence to share my message & expertise with others, I continue to attract some of the most wonderful experiences with people who have helped bring out the inner glow in me.

As we approach the last few weeks of the year, I want each of you to think about one important aspect of your message, whether personal or professional and how you can illuminate that message from the inside out. Do a little hair toss, check your nails, then whip out your phone and let’s discuss the steps you need to take in order to transform that message online.

Just like the reveal of a new look… I want to see your face shine bright from so much brand clarity in 2020 that you can hardly even put it into words.

Lavin Mentor Match Breakfast

As mentioned, I was invited back to participate in my second year as a mentor with the Lavin Entrepreneurs program at San Diego State University. After conducting a group workshop with the students earlier in the year and participating in the Big Data Hackathon, I enjoyed my experience so much that deciding to come back was an easy decision.

I attended the mentor match breakfast on campus where I was able to meet my mentee for the year. It’s going to be a great year, I can tell!

Bragging Rights: Media Hits for the Month

October was a great month for media attention! One of the articles I had written towards the beginning of the year was finally published along with the exclusive featured interview with BossBabe. You can view these pieces below:



We welcomed the new month vibes by spending much needed time hiking in nature, taking in new sights and smells, all on higher grounds!

You know good things are coming when you can sense the energy in the air and this mini trip set the mood for the whole month.

Upwork Speaker Panel & The Elevate Marketing Summit

While visualizing the launch of Your Brandista, I could sense opportunities to speak about my expertise and transition was right around the corner. It was a pretty incredible and intense feeling. Within weeks of the launch, I landed two opportunities to host as an expert speaker, both for Upwork and the Elevated Marketing Summit. I am excited to announce that I will be coming back to the Elevated Marketing Summit as an expert speaker in March. Details will be announced closer to the event.

Sorrento Valley Tech Think Tank (SVTTT) Speaker Workshop

After launching new content initiatives on LinkedIn, I seem to have attracted a lot of the right attention. I was invited as a speaker to cover my recommended way that professionals of all stages can follow to build better influence and authority on LinkedIn.


FEMX Summit & FEMX Quarters

I have been blessed with an incredible friendship and business opportunity to partner with Jessie Media for the FEMX Summit event and her new co-working/event space, FEMX Quarters. We filmed our episode for Coffee Babble announcing the event back in August and it is ready to watch! Watch the episode below.

About the FEMX Summit

Our experts are here to cover your business-related topics around social media, tax & money-saving hacks, business planning, PR, and more!

The FEMXSummit is a full-day experience for female entrepreneurs, creatives, and leaders to come together for connection and course-of-action for their business in the new year. This summit is designed for attendees to elevate their business through hands-on educational workshops with the tools and resources needed to thrive in the creative space. Attendees will also have the opportunity to find accountability through networking exercises, seek inspiration from influential panelists and keynote speakers, and other avenues to launch your business efforts in 2020.

Included in this full-day experience is a morning coffee mixer, sponsorship opportunities for local vendors, a FEMPRENEUR of the Year contest, and a number of break-out sessions to mingle with other attendees. Join the FEMX movement in bringing awareness to the importance and power of female entrepreneurship.

I hope you enjoyed seeing the awesome experiences I was able to enjoy in 2019! Happy New Year everyone and cheers to a successful and abundant 2020.

Are you caffeinated to pour a richer strategy into your content and publicity efforts in 2020? Join my weekly intensives program where we work collaboratively on building your key brand messaging along with the best strategy to follow to energize your brand online!

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