Becky of Pop & Circumstance
Meet Becky. We've had the pleasure of working with Becky over the last couple of years through the Columbus Hospitality Group (CHG). She has been integral in creating a social brand image for Mi Niña and all of the CHG restaurants. On the side, Becky has her own blog and online shop called Pop & Circumstance. Not only is she the sweetest, she's talented as heck! We spent the day venturing around the South Shore, popping in some sweet places, drinking tasty lattes and getting all sorts of inspired.
So...how did you end up in Boston?
I grew up in Kingston, MA on the south shore of Massachusetts. I always loved taking trips into the city when I was younger. I went to North Carolina for college and considered staying in the south after graduation, but ultimately Boston pulled me back! The city only gets better once you put down roots. Boston is a paradox in that it's both a big city and a small city. It's big enough that there are always exciting new people to meet, but at the same time you'll probably run into someone you know when you're walking across the Boston Common. My husband Kyle is from Maryland, and has completely adopted it as his city too. He's run the Boston Marathon twice and has really embraced living in New England.
We love Pop & Circumstance, what's the story behind the name and how did it come to fruition?
Pop & Circumstance started as a blog when I was feeling the need for an outlet that was fully my own. I was lucky to have a creative full time job, but wanted a personal space to record my favorite places, life events, and more. When I started blogging I focused mainly on interior design, vintage decor, and highlights of favorite small businesses in the city like Sault and Hudson. So it started really very casually; just a place for me to highlight photos that I was taking. I'm also not a super strong writer, so I used it as a tool to work on my writing consistently.
The more that I visited local small businesses and connected with their owners, the more I wanted something of my own. I started small with weekend pop-ups and a modest online shop. Working full time and then heading out to pop-ups on the weekends can be a lot, but I love doing it, so it doesn't really feel like work.
We know you've made some friends in the Boston social community, how did you get connected?
Most bloggers are on the forefront of social media since they use social channels to promote their posts. At the very beginning, I connected with fellow bloggers online, and soon after started taking advantage of blogger events. It was so fun to put faces to names and to find that it was an incredibly supportive group! What I love the most is that everyone is really eager and driven. It's a group of go-getters who aren't shying away from working on the weekends! Everyone has their own niche and we all support each other - it's not competitive like it might be in other cities.
Networking is such a scary idea for a lot of people. Do you have any advice for people who are maybe more introverted or aren't naturally good at networking?
I have totally been there. Walking into a Boston Blogger event with so many established bloggers can be intimidating. I think just being confident in yourself (even if you have to fake it - just like our fellow girlboss, Mel!) can make a big difference. It's also good to remind yourself that everyone is there to connect and they're actively looking to meet other people in the community. There's no reason to hang back - generally everyone is warm and welcoming. So I would say, even if you feel nervous to go attend an event by yourself, once you get there it's no sweat. Showing up is everything!
What piece of advice would you give to someone who wants to do their own thing but they simply don't know where to start?
Take time to get your ideas down clearly, but then once you know what it is that you want to pursue, don't wait. It's so easy to get bogged down if you compare yourself to other people who are entrepreneurs and can run their own businesses full time. Everyone is going to be at different stages, at different times, so focus on your own progress. Once you have an idea that you're excited to start, just start. Carving out a daily dedicated time to focus on your side business or project is super important. Right now I've been working in the evenings, but I also know people who set their alarms early and dedicate an hour in the morning. If you're really focused you can do A LOT with just an hour a day. So, don't hold off, you can definitely do it on the side - at a pace that feels right for you.
You and your hubby are out for a Saturday night in Boston...What's your night look like? (Well besides going to a CHG restaurant - the best in the city #shamelessplug)
We always have a list of restaurants that we're interested to try and we aim to try one new spot a month. Date nights out are really fun, but more than that, we prioritize a weekend away every couple of months. There are so many New England spots that are a short road trip away! We love Portsmouth, NH, Portland, ME, and Wellfleet, MA. Next on our list to visit is Narragansett, RI.
Pick a view: mountains or city sky line:
What is your favorite place in the world?
Favorite ever? Beyond Boston, which is home, I would have to say Zurich at the moment. When we visited Switzerland, we stayed in the mountains, but we spent one night in Zurich and we all just fell in love. We can't wait to go back. I think we made the most of our time, but we felt like there was so much more in the city to see. There were plenty of cute shops and restaurants that we didn't get to experience while we were there, so that's high on the list to go back to.
What is in your bag right now?
Mittens, my keys with a super cute key chain from Three Potato Four, Kate Spade wallet, Mi Nina water bottle (yes!), oh, and a notebook. Right now I have a Pendelton notebook which I carry everywhere. I write down my goals and all sorts of ideas that pop into my head - places I want to go, books I want to read, movies I want to see. I'm an obsessive list maker!
What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
Several years back, a teacher encouraged us to "make work." Constantly and consistently. No matter what the creative medium - whether it's taking photographs, writing a blog post, sketching, painting, or creating a recipe - keeping the momentum going is everything. Your work might be really bad, but bad work should still be seen as an accomplishment. If you're making bad work, that means you're getting somewhere and it's a zillion times better than making nothing. You can't walk before you can crawl, and challenges are just building blocks to help you get where you want to go.
When do you feel the most yourself?
It would be hiking, for sure. That is definitely our escape. If we ever feel stressed out and need to re-center we'll just go on a hike.
Any recommendations for hikes around here?
The White Mountains are amazing, and we're lucky to have them close by. You can do it in a day, but devoting a full weekend for camping and hiking is ideal!
And to end the day, Becky left us with a piece of advice of her own."Remember why you started and how you feel about everything when you start. People can sense when you're working from a place of passion and will gravitate to that. Stick to things that you're most interested in and are really excited to share and you'll be golden."
We're so happy to have gotten to know this fine lady. Check her out here. Thanks for the support Becky!