2015- time to reflect!

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2014 was the best year of my life to date. I began pursuing my media career, started blogging, got my own radio show, trained to be a TV presenter, interned at Closer magazine, joined college to study Creative Business and finished the year by becoming a columnist for my county's local magazine. I really doubted that 2015 would be any better than that...but it was ten times better! I made some career changes, developed my writing skills and had even more amazing opportunities! Here's a little reflection of the year I've had...

January

I started the year off with my first ever solo radio show, 'Friday's with Florence Grace' on January 2nd. I was so scared but totally in my element, it flowed so well and I was on a total high- presenting on air is what I'm born to do, I'm sure! Luckily, my listeners totally loved my first solo show too. I had never felt happier!






I was accepted to write for an online magazine, Eevee Life magazine! 


I also helped my boyfriend to set up his business, Stoke Skate Co., assisting with fashion design for his clothing range, product photography and setting up/managing his social media. I loved the opportunity to venture into fashion design, because I have a passion for fashion (ha!) and love to get creative. I also got to combine two of my other main passions- social media and photography! A win win situation really!




4Music got back in touch with me in regards to creating more content for some more TV shows (which feels absolutely unreal to type out!)- so of course I said yes to that!




I finished the month off doing something completely spontaneous: starting a stationery line! I love stationery and had been inspired by my boyfriend setting up his business- I wanted to do something creative too! And so I designed some stationery that matched my blog and the brand that I was starting to develop for myself.







February

February was a very special month for me- my first column for Vale Life was published! I was now a published writer, in a glossy magazine, distributed all over the county and I actually cried when I saw the first copy of my work! Proud didn't even cover how I felt, and I still get the same feeling whenever I see my work printed even now!



I did some more work with 4Music involving one of my favourite artists, Charli XCX! 

I attended my first ever blogger's event, a Gossip Girl themed London Fashion Week event! Whilst the event itself was a bit of a let down, there were some great networking opportunities there and I was drawn by an incredible artist!



I was then offered my first opportunity of 2015...to blog as a V.I.P press member at a fashion show!!!!! Of course I said yes and loved every minute of it! I had never been to a fashion show before, nor had I been treated as a V.I.P member of the press, but it was absolutely incredible!




March

March started well, with me presenting a concert with my radio station, Blink FM! I normally hate standing up and talking in front of people, and yet somehow it came so naturally to me, with me actually being able to banter with the other presenters and get some audience involvement going on! It was a brilliant night and so much fun!! I also got to do some stage door interviews with the various musicians and bands which kept me buzzing all throughout the night and constantly pinching myself that this was my life!




Many of you will know that I am a feminist. In March, I was invited to get involved with women in politics, and was invited to blog at an exclusive event which would encourage more young women to vote, as well as take an interest in politics generally. Whilst I was unable to attend the actual event, I did speak about it on my radio show, blog and social media sites to discuss issues with people that way. It was an honour to be selected to help with such an important campaign.


March ended with one of my most treasured experiences yet- a Q and A with Katie Hopkins, one of my inspirations, and the opportunity to meet her one on one at the end of it. People will not understand Katie's views in the 140 characters she has to use on Twitter. Getting to hear her explain in more depth her 'controversial' views was so insightful. When I met her at the end, she encouraged me to never give up on my work, no matter who was giving me grief for what I was doing, and then she gave me a cuddle. I got a little bit emotional...




April

On the 1st of April I was talent spotted by a radio station in London who had stumbled across my show by accident via my twitter account and use of hashtags (so they do work!). They invited me to have my own show with them and I was flattered, but unfortunately nothing came of it. However, it still felt great to be scouted and know that I was good enough to be part of a bigger station in London!

Later on in the month, it was announced that I would be the Vice Station Controller and Social Media Manger for Blink FM, the radio station I worked at! I was so thrilled to be trusted with such huge roles and felt so proud that my hard work at the station was paying off!




I also made my decision regarding university in April! I decided to turn down my position at London Southbank to study Multimedia Journalism and instead study an online course in Magazine Journalism- an NCTJ diploma with a 100% employability rate at the end of it! 


I finished April with more TV work for 4Music!




May

I did my first "grown up" thing in May and got to vote in the general elections! I had no idea who anyone was or what I was doing, so have made it my goal to be more informed next time around...

I received some more support from my beloved Katie...





I was presented with the opportunity to broadcast my radio show, 'Friday's with Florence Grace' across Marlow FM as well as Blink FM and was so happy about this! Unfortunately, Blink FM had some issues and has since shut down, so there was no time for this to happen, but it was another opportunity that gave me faith in my own skills and abilities!

Perhaps the highlight of May, and of the year so far was the fact that I started my own magazine! Yes, I designed, wrote, took on other writers and published my own magazine, 'Love from...' magazine! It was as part of my college course, but has since turned in to so much more! I'm so proud of my little publication! 




June

Whilst June was a little quiet for me, it did see me releasing and selling my first ever issues of my magazine, which was an incredible feeling! Whilst my first sale was to my mum, I also sold to numerous bloggers and visitors to my local trade show, put on by my college! I even got told my magazine looked like Vale Life magazine, the publication that I am a columnist for! This was very flattering.


I also completed my college course- and my full time education- with a Merit! Now it was time to go and be an adult in the big, bad world!



July

July was a mostly quiet month for me as I went on holiday...but when I came back from my holiday, I went to a job interview in London without telling anybody because I didn't want to jinx anything. I heard back the next day and I had got the job! What for? A Social Media Manager for London based clothing company Young Britannia! I could work from home but would have the opportunity to attend fashion events and music festivals to blog about them/promote them on social media! It was an amazing opportunity, I said yes and could not believe that less than a year since starting out in my media career pursuit, I had a job! 

Florence Grace


I also became a Sex and Relationships writer for Amor magazine. This is a topic I don't tend to cover much so I was a little nervous about approaching it but I have done several pieces and all of them so far have been praised and successful! I'd never show them to my mum though haha...!


August

August was a month of work more than experiences or opportunities! I began working with Young Britannia, putting together promo videos, building an online presence for the company and writing blog posts. I also wrote several pieces for Amor magazine, as well as working on my own blog, my magazine column for Vale Life and my own magazine!!!



September

At the start of September, I handed in my notice, quitting the job that I had had for nearly two and a half years so that I could focus on my media career. If I wanted to earn extra income on top of my numerous media positions, I needed a flexible job that didn't require me to work weekends...as luck would have it, one came along...and on the 18th of September I became a Topshop employee! Working just 8 hours a week flexibly, covering someone's maternity leave was really useful and allowed me to do all my other bits and pieces. In the month that followed I quickly gained recognition for my good work almost every week, which felt great, and after two months was offered a permanent contract, which made me incredibly happy!

Florence Grace


I also attended London Fashion Week Beauty Bar which was an amazing experience, with so many brands being incredibly generous and donating lots of gifts to myself and the other bloggers! 



I finished September with an INCREDIBLE moment- landing my first job as a freelance writer. For someone as busy as myself, what job could be more perfect than freelancing? Earning my own money, working on my own terms, doing something that I love! I was over the moon, having been writing "properly" for just over a year...and now I was being paid to do it!


October 

I met 1/4 of my childhood loves, JLS...and yes, I did cry over him! 



I also got to do the most amazing, incredible, exciting and pinch-myself-I-must-be-dreaming thing yet. As mentioned already, throughout the year I had been making videos for 4Music to use in various TV shows. However, I received a phone call asking me to come and be part of the first ever live audience TV show on 4Music. I was on two out of three of the episodes from the pilot series, got a lot of air time on little old me and got to meet some of the MIC cast! 



I handed in my first assignment for my NCTJ Diploma course and got an A!

I also helped to throw the fashion showcase for Young Britannia at the Wyld Bar in the W Hotel, London. This was an incredibly hectic, glamorous and all around amazing experience for me. 




November

I turned 20! No longer a teenager, which was a slightly scary thought but I could only view this as a new chapter of my life which made it seem a little bit more exciting...I started the new chapter off buying a Michael Kors handbag. Oops.



I love Boohoo. It's my favourite shop and I want everything from it...so I was thrilled when my long time friend, Kate, took me as a blogger to the Boohoo Christmas party in London! It was held at the Sky Bar and we were put into a Hilton Hotel Honor Suite for the night, all totally free of charge! We also got goodie bags, nails done, free drinks, the absolute works. I actually felt like a real celebrity!




I was on 4Music again, doing home videos this time and had so many people message me about seeing me on screen which was pretty surreal!

I made some developments to my magazine, making it available in digital format!

Finally, I ended the month helping to host the first ever Young Britannia fashion show which was so much hard work but so worthwhile- it was a great event and I even got to rub elbows with a few celebs!

Fashion Show

December

December was another month of mostly, just work! I released my third issue of Love from... magazine and it was my most successful issue yet, selling in both printed and digital copies with more writers and readers than ever before!



I did so much freelance writing and earned myself two bonuses in the space of a month!

However, with all of this work going on my blog was let slide, so I am hoping to turn this around in 2016!

I also made the decision to leave my job at Young Britannia, due to personal reasons that I am not willing to disclose. It was a great experience and lead to a lot of amazing opportunities and I will forever be grateful to them for giving me my first paid job in Social Media! Now it's onwards and upwards to the future...a.k.a, 2016!


Resolutions and goals

At the end of 2014, I set myself the following goals for 2015:
  1. Reach 100,000 views on my blog by January 31st 2015.
  2. Reach 1000 followers on my blog by January 31st 2015 (This is my biggest battle- I have a lot of regular readers but they don't follow me! *hint hint*)
  3. Meet some of the lovely bloggers that I have met online in person. The blogging community is so wonderful and so friendly, I would love to get to know more! 
  4. Use my eczema cream as regularly as I am supposed to so that it disappears for as long as possible! 
  5. Lose 1 stone and hopefully this shall lead to me dropping a dress size.
  6. Don't trust everyone 100%. Not everyone is as genuine or as lovely as I would like them to be, and this often results in me getting hurt a lot. I need to stop being so naive and recognize the fake people more quickly. 
  7. Leave college with a "merit". 
  8. Start saving to move out...
  9. Get more work experience, or even a job, within the media industry.
  10. Say "yes" to as much as I can!

I don't normally stick to resolutions but can happily say that this year I actually did stick to/achieve some! Numbers 3, 4, 6, 7, 9 and 10 were all achieved by me! I did meet lovely bloggers in reallife, I did clear up my eczema a lot (although it keeps creeping back!), I did learn to trust fewer people who were actually worthy of trusting, I did leave college with a 'merit', I did get my first job within the media industry (several!) and I did say "yes" to almost every single thing offered to me, hence my busy, busy year! 

So...what are my goals for 2016?

  1. Get fit! I always say lose weight and it never happens...or if it does, it comes back on! So rather than focusing on my weight, I am going to focus on my general health and fitness! Me and my sister have plans to start running in the New Year, at least three times a week, so hopefully with her encouragement this is something I will be able to achieve...which will lead to weight loss as a bonus!
  2. Reach 100,000 views on my blog! I am over half way there at this point so I think this is totally doable!
  3. Get a new media based career, now that I have left Young Britannia.
  4. Continue to develop my writing to the best it can be!
  5. Finish (and pass!) my Journalism diploma!
  6. Start writing my first ever book! That's right, I'm going to be writing a book. The general idea is writing about building your empire as a woman, being motivated and successful and so on...so we will see how that goes!
  7. Save to move out- now that I'm properly earning, hopefully this will happen!
  8. Develop and grow my magazine further.
  9. Reach 500 followers on my blog.
  10. Improve my Instagram feed to increase followers and interaction.
  11. Work my way up to "Experienced member of the team" at Topshop.
  12. Find a new station to get back into my radio presenting! 
  13. Keep saying "yes" to everything!

So here we are at the end of a very long blog post! Looking back on it, I have developed in many, many ways this year, both personally and career wise- and I have had a very busy year because of this! I hope 2016 will be just as busy and just as full of opportunity for me! I also hope that this time next year, I will have met all of my resolutions, not just some!

What are your resolutions for 2016? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy New Year! I hope 2016 is fab for you all.

Love from,
Florence Grace


Special thanks this year goes to Bobbie Gordon, Abi Street, Hollie, Hannah Delacour, Jamie Farr, Adela, Alex, Nathan, Jen, Matt, Ruby Mae Moore, Paige (Amor), Ben Wybrow, Carda Casey, Alec Coulter, Poppy Wootton, Abby Baker, Charlie Trott, Bex Walton, Danielle Porteous, Suzanne (YMA), Topshop Aylesbury girls Chloe H, Chloe S, Laura, Hannah, Lauren and Amie, my mum, my dad, Zoe, Kate, Justine, Fran, Katherine, Nicola, Danielle, my #LFMag girls and of course my better half, Alex. This year you've all helped me, supported me and/or provided me with amazing opportunities. Thank you so much. 

If you liked this post you might also like... 2014- time to reflect!
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Working in retail!

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Most of us will work in retail for a short portion of our life- some for a lot longer! Whilst I love working in retail there are a few annoyances and lessons that I have learnt over time- and I'm sure my fellow retail employees will agree! Have a read of the list and see if any of your wind ups match mine!

The sale rail mess.
Just because things are reduced doesn't mean you can treat them like total rubbish, chucking them over the rail, dropping them on the floor, stealing hangers but not the clothes (????), and just generally making the rail a pig sty.

The general shop mess.
Is it really so hard to put items back in the same place that you found them, on the same hanger, in the same department? The sparkly dress quite clearly doesn't belong on a jacket hanger in the knitwear section. It's not difficult and doesn't require much effort. Pull something out to look at it, if you like it, great, take it. If you don't, JUST PUT IT BACK! And when you do put it back, do not do it inside out or back to front! JUST LEAVE THINGS AS YOU FIND THEM!

Know your size.
It is so uncomfortable when a woman asks you to pull her jeans away from her bum so you can look inside and see the size tag on the jeans because she somehow does not know what size she is wearing. How can you not know?!? If you're going shopping, make sure you know your size! It is not a sales assistant's job to strip you!

The customer is never right.
You're trained to accept that the customer is always right and to make sure they leave happy, ready to return to the store again in future. Yet somehow, the customer is never right! How can you seriously think we will refund jeans you bought four months ago because they've worn out at the crotch where clearly your thighs have rubbed together? A) It's general wear and tear. B) They're not new jeans. C) You don't have the receipt or the tags you just want free jeans. D) You're wrong.

Not everything online is in store.
"I saw it online so you must have it". Must we? Really? We must have every product made by the company listed on the website???? No. If you want that kind of service go to a flagship store. Or just, you know, ORDER IT ONLINE.

We aren't in control of the sizes we stock.
If we don't have a size in stock, it's because we haven't been sent it in a delivery. It is not our fault and it is not a reason to get lairy at a sales assistant. It is beyond our control and customers need to understand this.

If we say something is out of stock, we aren't lying. 
We know what we have and don't have in stock- we're usually updated on items at the start of each shift!! So don't try and fight us over this one.

We did not come up with the carrier bag charge.
Rants that last for five minutes, hold up a queue and are a waste of time are always about this new carrier bag charge. The government made it, it's a legal requirement, we must abide. I don't care what you've read on the internet about it, if you want a bag you have to buy it. End of.

Prices are set.
I don't care if this item is cheaper in another shop. Go and shop there then!


What have you learnt whilst working in retail? Do you love it or hate it?

Love from,
Florence Grace




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December's Playlist!

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Don't worry...I'm not going to give you an unoriginal playlist full of Christmas songs just because it's December (although there will be some Christmas bangers on there!). It's a playlist that's as varied as ever! It's strange to think that this is my last playlist of 2015! Where has the year gone? It's absolutely flown by!!! Well, here's some tunes to see you out of 2015...and I'll be back with more for you next year!





(Left to right, row by row)

1) All I Want For Christmas Is You- Mariah Carey

2) Don't Give Up (On Love)- Blinkie

3) In The Night- The Weeknd

4) Adventure Of A Lifetime- Coldplay

5) Say Nada- Shakka featuring JME

6) Stay Another Day- East 17

7) Take Me Home- Jess Glynne

8) Sorry- Justin Bieber

9) Half The World Away- Oasis

10) Magnets- Disclosure And Lorde

11) Walking In A Winter Wonderland- Michael Buble

12) When We Were Young- Adele

13) The Girl Is Mine- 99 Souls featuring Brandy and Destiny's Child

14) Boy- Anne Marie

15) Bang My Head- David Guetta featuring Sia and Fetty Wap

16) Driving Home For Christmas- Chris Rea


Yes, yes, I know...JUSTIN BIEBER! But how could I not? His latest album is so good! And I didn't want to bore you with a complete playlist of Christmas songs... don't forget, you can listen to my Christmas playlist on Spotify here (and give me a follow too!) so that you don't have to search all these songs out for yourself! I hope you have a fabulous Christmas, and a brilliant start to the New Year!

Love from,
Florence Grace

If you liked this you might also like... November Playlist | October Playlist | September Playlist 
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