[Chelsae Anne | Photographer]

DRESS: Caroline Constas – here and here/SANDALS: here, here, similar here and here/BASKET: (c/o) Linderoth Designs in Palm Beach – love this one and this one too!/EARRINGS: J.Crew – similar here

What. A. Week.

It started with my Liketoknow.it takeover! I knew it would be an incredible opportunity to show 2.5 million followers everything Palm Beach has to offer as well as my style so I went ALL OUT and shared 10 brand new outfits that I felt would resonate with many styles, budgets and body types. Yes, it was a TON of hard work but so worth it. Shout out to my photographer, @ChelsaeAnne, for staying up all night the day before the takeover to edit those pictures! Girl, you’re amazing.

Within days, I gained thousands of new followers from all over the world. And next thing you know, my IG hit 100k. Immediately, my boyfriend (who doesn’t have an IG lol), friends and family sent text messages congratulating me. It felt amazing. A real milestone…

As I let that sink in, I remembered how it felt to reach my first 1k, 10k, 50k, 75k, etc. and how each time, my follower count on social media felt as if it was never enough. Crazy, right? I allowed “that” number to define how successful I was. And for the longest time, felt as if having a “certain following” would “establish” my credibility in this crazy fashion industry. Ironically, some of my favorite bloggers on IG have significantly fewer followers than me… like less than 30k.

And I started to feel a little sick to my stomach because those icky feelings of “I’m not good enough…” started to resurface again… those same feelings I felt when I reached 1k, 10k, 50k, 75k, and so on… I paused.

And stopped, opened up my IG to old posts and re-read all the amazing comments from the followers I already of had. Many of which, continue to leave the sweetest comments on my blog and IG and truly support The Style Bungalow with or without 100k. And have done so for years. (My sincerest and heartfelt gratitude to those who have followed me from the beginning. You are all a huge part of my personal growth and I want you to know how grateful I am for that…)

So for that reason, I will no longer celebrate “milestones.” And instead, celebrate having the most incredible, close knit community on IG. I will no longer let “that” number define me. What defines me is making an impact in someone’s life – inspiring them to dress differently, to live boldly, to go after their dreams, to believe in themselves and so on.

My goal is to do a great job – every single day I “go to work.” I’m deeply passionate about what I do and aim to do my absolute best for you guys. I know, if I continue to do that, I’ll grow at whatever pace I grow but I will no longer define myself solely based on how many followers I have.

Too many bloggers obsess over “that” number. And do their best to blend in. Wear what’s trendy. Do what everyone else is doing. They lose their individuality in an effort to grow – they lose what made them unique in the first place. And some bloggers even resort to buying fake followers which makes me question their ethics all together. It’s morally questionable. But that’s another story…

Unfortunately, we live in a time where all this stuff matters. And I would by lying to you if I said I didn’t pay attention to it. I do, it’s part of my job. But it’s not what you think. Simply, the more followers I have on IG, the longer I can continue to do my job which has turned into a full-fledged passion. But I think it’s enough…

…because I would rather live authentically. Be who I am. Do what makes me happy. Create what I love. Instead of racking up followers. So what. Maybe I don’t have millions of followers but at least I have the best community, in my opinion, on IG. And that alone brings me so much joy.

Let me remind you that some of my favorite bands are underground bands. Some of my favorite designers are up and coming. Some of my best friends aren’t popular. And some of the best bloggers out there… don’t have millions of followers.

As always, feel free to leave your thoughts and feelings in the comment section. Oh! And for those wondering about today’s outfit (one that was featured during the takeover), it’s beautiful. The second I slipped into this dress by Caroline Constas, it felt so me…

So so so so much love to you guys!

Xo, Stephanie