Take a Pic with KGC Photography

Oh man, I have been patiently awaiting this post. A few weeks ago my friend Katie and I played around in my kitchen. I cooked and she photographed. Katie has the most incredible eye behind the lens and as soon as I saw the pictures she captured I wanted to post them all over the world wide web for everyone to see. Well the day has come to share. 

Katie and I became friends through our other friend Katie. Hi KG!! Now KR (still can't get used to that). We first bonded over finding out we both work in social media, then our friendship grew over our mutual love of matcha. Two bases of a deep friendship my friends:)

Katie started her own social media and website development company straight out of college. So impressive. But what I'm sharing today is even more impressive. After realizing photography was her real passion, Katie decided to dive head first into growing her photography business, a job not for the weak or weary! 

Katie has impressed me so much on how fearless she is in the entrepreneur world. Something I wish I had, but remain timid. She invested time and money into making her photog biz happen, and it totally paid off. KGC Photography has officially gone LIVE! KGC specializes in wedding and lifestyle shoots. I'm not getting married, #single, but when I got a snipit of her skills I immediatly texted her saying we had to do a shoot ASAP!

I'm obsessed with how the pictures turned out from our mini shoot. Katie knows exactly how to capture people in their element. Exhibit A, below. Me with my nose in a cookbook hanging out in my kitchen aka my favorite room in our house.

KGC Photography's website is up and moving and grooving. After only a few short months of shoots, she already has the most stellar portfolio. Check our her gorgeous work here. You can also stalk her via insta and FB. To stalk/get to know her more, we did a little Q&A so all you take a bite readers can see why you should "take a pic" with my girl Katie!

A: Give me some basics on KGC photography, what you offer, your style, your background, how you got your start in photography etc. 
KGC: Currently I offer lifestyle shoots + wedding photography! I don’t say no to much right now because I believe the more experience, the better. So I’ll take pictures of just about anything right now! I am loving getting to learn so much so often. It is humbling and exciting all at the same time. My style is definitely classic with a modern twist. I love the film look to digital photos, and natural light is my jam. I guess the correct way to describe my style would be moody, trendy, boho, and classic, all combined into my personal art :)

A: What made you decide to take the plunge to start KGC Photography?
KGC: Honestly, it was something that I wanted to do for a long time, but was really scared to start. I think the biggest thing that scared me is what others would think about it, which I don’t even know why I would care that much! After doing social media and taking many pictures for my clients, I knew that photography is the part of my business that I truly loved the most. There is something so special about someone trusting you to capture some of their greatest moments, and I think its a feeling that I will never get used to and always appreciate.

A: What is one piece of advice you would give someone wanting to start their own business? 
KGC: My biggest piece of advice is something that I needed to take myself: don’t worry about what other people think, and give it 100 percent. Starting your own business, no matter how big or how small, is an exciting yet nerve wracking thing to do! It has to be something that you are truly passionate about, because you will find yourself wanting to spend a lot of time on it. For me, I love it so it is never truly work. It is a very cliche saying, but very true!

A: What are your favorite and least favorite parts of photography?
KGC: There are so many things that I love about photography! I am a huge people person, so like I said earlier, I truly consider it an honor and a joy that people trust me to capture moments of their lives that they want to remember and be able to look back on. I still get butterflies when someone inquires about a shoot, and I don’t think that will ever go away! I also really love the editing process. I know some people don’t, but I see it as an opportunity to create hundreds of separate pieces of art that each have my special touch on them. I love being able to take something that started out ordinary, and make it into something extraordinary. I will never get tired of the moment that my clients open up their gallery and I get a special email or text from them, it is the most rewarding feeling in the world! To be honest, I haven’t found a least favorite part yet. Although I did wear a super uncomfortable pair of shoes the other weekend when I was second shooting a wedding for 8 hours.. I lost feeling in my last three toes for like three days. I definitely did that to myself. Learned my lesson on that one.

A: What is your 5 year goal for KGC Photography?
KGC: My five year goal for KGC Photography would be that I am booking out 30+ weddings a year, and getting to travel to at least 5 different places for 5 different weddings! I would also love to have a home office that I can edit in, but for right now coffee shops will do!

A: Coffee or tea? or matcha?! 
KGC: Gosh that is a hard question. Ask me 6 months ago and I would have been a coffee HATER. However nowadays, anything with caffeine is my jam. I’d say a dirty chai would be my drink of choice. Tea + espresso? Yes please. Now if we can just find a way to get some matcha in there somewhere.

A: Current Netflix binge?
KGC: Honestly, you’re going to think I’m crazy but I don’t even have a Netflix account! I’m a HUGE bachelor/bachelorette fan, so I am knee deep into Nick’s season. I haven’t missed a season in 4 years!

A: Favorite bite?
KGC: Right now, I’m loving brunch. I’m going to say Chicken and Waffles from Whiskey Cake!

You can follow KGC photography on Instagram under @cunninghamkatie, on Facebook @kgcphotographyokc and check out her gorgeous, newly launched site www.kgcphotography.com.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post featuring this amazeballs salad that Katie and I noshed on for lunch during our photoshoot. Look familiar? It's a copy cat of my fave salad from Republic.


J.R. Designs + Giveaway

I've think I've mentioned before how I'm not a huge jewelry person. Not because I don't want to be, I'm just worlds worst at buying jewelry. My mom and sister on the other hand; the best. I think I've asked Kathleen to buy me jewelry for the last several holidays and birthdays. Outside of my everyday pearl studs, watch and tiny gold rings, I rarely stray away. I've been pushing my limits recently and totally jumped on the tassel earring game (way out of my comfort zone). I now have a new jewelry brand that is getting me away from my everyday teeny cross necklace.

I'm so excited to share J.R. Designs with you today. These chic and stylish necklaces are perfect for any outfit, occasion, day or night. I've been throwing mine on with basically everything. Look at me go wearing big jewelry (small applause)!!!

Jordan Richardson, the master designer behind these creations, grew up in OKC and attends SMU for college. I got to meet Jordan last week to chat about her business and all things necklaces.

Jordan started J.R. Designs about a year ago right after she started her freshman year at Southern Methodist University. How she balanced a new business and school is beyond me, but bravo to you girlfriend! After coveting similar necklaces in high end boutiques, Jordan looked past their high end price tags and went to making her own version. 

She didn't start with the intention of it becoming a business, but after wearing her first necklace around campus, girls were flocking toward her design asking for their own. The business formed right in front of her and she ran with it!   

Jordan now makes necklaces in all different shapes, sizes and designs. She is locally based in OKC and Dallas but ships nationwide. The best part of J.R. Designs is the price. The whole reason she started was to avoid dropping $150+ on a necklace, so you can find all of her pieces typically under $50. Music to my ears!!

Now for the part that is probably music to your ears. Jordan was sweet enough to give away one of her unique designs to one lucky Take A Bite reader! Head over to my Instagram to see how to enter!

If you are located in OKC make sure you stop into Gretta Sloane this Thursday, July 21st for a J.R. Designs Trunk Show! Jordan will be selling a slew of necklaces that you won't want to miss. Open from 10am-7pm on Thursday, Gretta will be celebrating their anniversary with food trucks, sales and of course, J.R. Designs!

And now to get to know Jordan and J.R. Designs a little better...

A: How did J.R. Designs get started? Give me some background on your biz?
JR: I started J.R. Designs my first semester of my freshman year at SMU. Because we don't rush at SMU until second semester, I needed a hobby to keep me busy. I have always loved these kinds of necklaces but they were well out of my price range. I searched on Etsy for fun, beaded necklaces but could never find exactly what I wanted. Therefore, I got creative and made my own (the first one being in SMU colors, of course). I wore it to a Boulevard (our version of a tailgate) and received lots of compliments and so many people asking me where I bought it. From there, a business was born! 

I wanted to start selling these necklaces at affordable prices to girls around my age. I originally imagined mostly college girls buying my necklaces, but now my audience includes not only them, but also lots of younger and older girls. People ask me why I don't raise the price of my necklaces, but that is not the reason I make them. By raising the prices, I lose my target audience. My goal was to sell affordable jewelry for people who don't necessarily want to pay $100+ for fashion jewelry, and that is just what I am doing. I love being able to sell people necklaces that they may not have been able to afford otherwise. The best part is hearing feedback from my customers telling me about all of the compliments they get.

A: What does an average jewelry making day look like?
JR: It's not every day that I get to just sit down and make necklaces. Unfortunately, everyday life gets in the way, but I do set aside "necklace making days." I generally buy my beads in bulk and once I have them in my hands, I start making them right away. I sit at my workstation, turn on Netflix, and begin make necklaces for hours. I'm fortunate because I never get bored of it. I enjoy being creative to come up with original pieces, no necklace is ever the same.

A: Had you ever made jewelry before you started JRD?
JR: When I was little I used to make friendship bracelets out of string if you want to count that. Otherwise, no, it is new to me!
(Hello embroidery floss bracelets-my life when I was younger!)

A: What is your favorite J.R. Design you have made? 
JR: I can't pick one necklace in specific, but I love the arrowhead ones. I didn't originally buy the arrowhead stones because my mom didn't like them and told me people would not buy them. Well, this goes to show you that mother doesn't always know best because the arrowheads have ended up being my best sellers! 

A: Starbucks order?
JR: Call me crazy, but I am not a Starbucks fan. In fact, I have never even tried coffee! I know that if I try it once I may get addicted so I'm better off sparing my wallet and not trying it at all.

A: Sweet or salty?
JR: Salty. Don't get me wrong, I love sweets, but I generally find myself craving salty foods. My mom bakes all of the time so I am constantly surrounded by sweets which, oddly enough, makes me crave them less.

A: Favorite show to binge watch on Netflix?
JR: The Office and Gossip Girl...hellooo Chuck Bass and Jim Halpert. Just don't ask me to choose between those two shows, both are addicting! 

A: Favorite bite?
JR: This is a hard one because I love food so much. For the most part I am a healthy eater but all bets are off when it comes to pizza. Also, add this to your list next time you go to Trader Joe's, "Reduced Guilt Guacamole." I can easily go through one a day. Luckily there is a Trader Joe's right by me in Dallas, but for now Tulsa is the closest option. Honestly, the 1.5 hour drive may be worth it.
(I'm impatiently waiting for the OKC location to open in September. Reduced Guilt Guacamole is at the top of my list to purchase once it does!)

To order your own J.R. Design you can contact Jordan by email jmrich2010@gmail.com or phone 405-250-7866 (ships nationwide). Make sure to follow her Instagram @j.r.designs for new designs and styles!


Out of the Box

I've got a new one for you, one that takes things slightly out of the box, literally. June Box is bringing a new approach to gift giving. No shopping, wrapping or shipping hassle when you use June Box. The thought and crafting that Carson and Katie Rock have put into June Box makes it a stand out in my eyes. 

Last week I got to sit down with this husband/wife co-founder duo. They greeted me with fresh baked beer bread, and instantly had me hooked. I got the inside scoop on why they started June Box, got to see how each box is put together and hear all about what is ahead for this new company. With a passion for starting their own business, the idea came and they ran with it. They wanted to make the process of gift giving easy. They have found the products, designed the packaging, ship each box and even include a hand written note to make your gift fit each recipient personally and perfectly. 

Since graduating school my friends are spread far and wide. How nice to be able to send a friend a gift for their birthday, when they start a new job, move into a new home, or to just send them a little box of sunshine. 

They have boxes in a range of themes for all of life's occasions. Boxes for your BFF, your bridesmaid, your mom, your boy, the little ones and the furry ones. Getting married? June Box can even handle your welcome gifts for out of town guests.

The products Carson and Katie have rounded up is what makes June Box stand out to me. Each box includes items you would actually use and want. One of my favorite boxes is the You Knead It box. It includes a package of beer bread mix, a tea towel and a butter knife. The perfect thing to send to your friend a few states over who just moved into her first big girl apartment. Biased because I got to try the bread and it's stinking good, but really, you knead it. 

Q&A with Carson and Katie:

Where did you get the name, June Box?  June is the month we got married in, but we also wanted something short, simple and available on social platforms which made us land on "June Box" 

What is June Box’s mantra?  Thoughtfully curated and hand packed gift boxes for all occasions. 

Where do you see June Box going in the future?  Our goal is to make gift giving easier. We want to give people a way to still put thought into their gifts, but have the convenience of online shopping. We are constantly trying to grow our assortment so we have gifts for any occasion you could want to send a box. We're looking forward to a "build a box" option and a full lineup of wedding boxes coming out soon! 

What’s an average day in the June Box world?  On a average day we'll ship out the previous day's boxes (we try to get all boxes delivered within 3 days of your order), update all our social platforms, reach out to new vendors, and continue building out new parts of our website. We also like spending time meeting with future brides and business owners about customized bulk orders at our storefront in OKC (open by appointment only). 

Which is your favorite box?
Carson = "You Knead It" I can't get enough of the Soberdough beer bread mix in this box.
Katie = "RelaxI love the colors of this box, all the products are great, and there are so many occasions to give someone this box! 

Any tips for entrepreneurs?  Go for it! If you have an idea you want to pursue, we'd tell you to jump right in and make it happen. We saved for a year to start this business and Katie still works full time at an oil company while Carson works part time doing consulting. We're excited to be making June Box go from a dream to a reality and for an entrepreneur there is no better feeling than seeing something you've dreamed up actually take shape. So we'd say do what it takes to get your business started as soon as you can! 

Favorite bite?  Carson = Ribs. I love barbeque anywhere, but the ribs at Red Rock Canyon Grill are at the top of my list right now. Katie = chips and queso!

Guilty pleasure?  Carson = AM talk radio/documentaries, I'm kind of a nerd sometimes. Katie = Dancing with the stars. Last season was the first time I had ever watched it, but I'm totally hooked! 

Now for the really fun part. Want a June Box sent to you? Enter the June Box/Take A Bite giveaway for the chance to receive your very on box on your doorstep! June Box is giving away one of their most popular boxes, Ray of Sunshine. Comes from the idea that you can send someone a little sunshine! See below for how to enter!

To enter the giveaway:

1. Follow both @shopjunebox and myself.

2. Tag three friends you would send a June Box to!

Winner will be announced Thursday morning!

Make sure to follow June Box on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to say up to date with all the JB happenings!