I’m fortunate enough to be surrounded by amazing people who wear many different hats. About a month ago, I decided that I wanted to highlight those people in a blog series called “In Good Company.” No one embodies community over competition or brings people together quite like my friend and coworker Andrea Kerbuski. As I put together a list of people who inspire me, it only felt natural that she would be my first feature.
I’ve known Andrea for just shy of three years and during that time we’ve become good friends. My kindred introverted spirit, she has shown me that it’s possible to be successful and remain true to your authentic self in a world that favors extroverts. She is always down to take Instagrams, gives me great advice (my favorite of all time being, “stop doing things you hate”), inspires me to step outside my comfort zone, and has taught me how to perfect the Irish exit.
Kerbuski works harder than almost anyone than I know and her drive and determination are unparalleled. She is constantly juggling a million projects and somehow manages to knock it out of the park on all of them—and on top of all that, she’s always willing to help and support other people. She is one of the most positive influences in my life and I couldn’t ask for a better role model or friend.
In addition to having a full-time job as a PR pro, you have a number of side hustles. What other hats do you wear?
I’m also a photographer–I shoot family sessions, senior sessions, and even weddings! I also do freelance social media and communications work for small businesses. And lastly, I run a style blog! I’ve had the blog for almost 10 years, documenting my personal style.
Wow, that’s a lot. What does an average day look like for you?
I work 8:30-5 at PR firm Martin Waymire and I’m usually working on some project—whether it’s editing photos or working on a blog post—before I head in, and usually the first thing I work on when I get home. I spend at least four hours a day working on my side hustles, and I typically work all hours of the day to keep up with my client work at Martin Waymire. I try my best to make no social plans after work during the week since I have a lot to do when I get home and I’m tired!
What inspired you to start Blonde Bedhead and how has it evolved since its inception ~10 years ago?
10 years ago I was a timid 23-year-old with no personal style. I’ve always been more of a wallflower, wishing to blend in than ever catch someone’s attention, but having the blog gave me a boost confidence and a reason to try new trends and explore my personal style–and finally not be afraid to stand out. It gave me confidence in every aspect of my life–it taught me how to negotiate, speak up for myself and to not take everything so personally, and to let things go. Today, I share more than just my personal style but my life–my home, dogs, work and the experiences and lessons I’ve learned in life. My blog has grown up with me and will continue to evolve as I enter new phases of life!
From sponsored posts to paid brand trips, you’re a bonafide influencer. What’s the hardest part and what’s the best part?
Best part is the opportunities–opportunities to travel, be challenged with fun projects and get paid for something I truly love and enjoy. The hardest part is keeping up with it all especially when I work full time. I feel like most of the time I don’t have the capacity to take on the projects I do because they’re so much fun and I’m burnt out constantly. No work/life balance.
As a self-professed introvert with a jam-packed to-do list, how do you stay present and unplug when you need to?
I usually reserve my evenings for “me” time. I don’t go out to bars or participate in many weeknight events because I’m burnt out and I need time to myself to re-energize. I also prioritize fitness and exercise. This forces me to unplug and do something healthy for myself.
In a creative industry where you’re constantly producing work like writing blog posts, taking photographs and creating content, how do you stay inspired and avoid burnout?
That’s something I’m still trying to figure out. I usually stay inspired and motivated, but when I don’t, I don’t force it. I’m learning to take more breaks whether it’s not posting on Instagram or skipping a couple blog posts. I have a pretty rigid schedule I stick to and I love consistency and routine, but I find breaks from it all help me feel motivated again and inspired. I also love to read other blogs like Fit Mitten Kitchen, Andee Layne and Cheetah is the New Black, all blogs that I find inspiration from one way or another.
If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Keep putting yourself out there–go that event you’re nervous to attend, reach out to people or employers you want to get to know. This is something I still struggle with, but getting yourself out of your comfort zone and expanding your network and meeting new people will only do positive things for your future.
I started this series because I wanted to highlight women who inspire me. Who are some people that inspire you?
My friend Merl Kinzie who owns the SHUDIO in Chicago. She’s always top of my list for strong women who inspire me. She has more integrity than anyone I know, not only speaks on what she believes in, but puts it into action AND she’s incredibly creative and I want just 1 percent of that creativity in my brain!