August 2019 marked my seventh blogging anniversary! So many things have changed since I launched Treats and Trends in 2012, both personally and professionally. From getting married and moving across the country to leaving corporate America and starting my own business, it’s been an exciting seven years.
I started blogging the summer after graduating from college. I had graduated with a degree in communications and dreamed of working for a magazine. At that time, I lived in a tiny townhome in Seattle with two sorority sisters and worked at a women’s clothing boutique. Clearly this wasn’t going to be my “forever” job, but I loved working with clothes and, looking back, I learned a lot from this job that still applies to what I do today. I was hired as a sales associate, but asked if I could take on their digital marketing as well. I created their website, managed social media, and took photos of the merchandise.
It was in Seattle that I met my now husband, Rob, who is a pilot in the Air Force. We moved to Las Vegas for his next assignment and I got my first “big girl” job at a PR agency. Most of the clients I worked with were restaurants on the Strip. This is where I fell in love with restaurant marketing and became more of a “foodie.” At this time, I shared a lot of lifestyle posts on my blog about life in Vegas, recipes, fashion, travel and other random topics. My photography skills at this point were SO bad (and 2014 iPhones didn’t help!).
My next job was at Caesars Entertainment where I was a copy editor in the marketing department. At this time, I had also become more serious about blogging and posted 5 times per week in addition to working 40 hours or more at my corporate job. I REALLY wanted blogging to become my full-time job. I wanted to be my own boss, not have to commute an hour each way, make my own schedule, spend my time creating content and have flexibility.
Before moving to Destin in 2017, I gave myself six months to put all of my effort into Treats and Trends. I niched down to just baking and fashion, I took photography lessons, pitched brands, took webinars, gave video a try, went to networking events, posted annoying LIKEtoKNOW.it Instagrams, and whatever else I thought was necessary to “make it” as a blogger. I landed some great collaborations, was featured on the local news and dipped my toes into the world of entrepreneurship, but Treats and Trends didn’t grow as much as I had hoped in terms of analytics and income. I knew that when we moved to Destin I would need to find a job and the blog would become a side hustle once again.
When I found out that we were moving to Destin, the first thing I did was research the restaurants via social media. I couldn’t wait to explore all of the new dining options! What I found was that many of their accounts were underwhelming and did not do these beachfront restaurants justice.
I remember being on a walk with my husband while we were still in Vegas and just throwing out the idea of how I could take what I had learned from blogging and help restaurants take photos and elevate their social media presence. He was very supportive and thought it was a great idea, so I decided to run with it and that’s when Taste Social Media was born!
I sat on our friend’s couch (since we had moved out, but weren’t leaving for another couple of weeks) and came up with a name and had a graphic designer friend create my branding. Then I spent hours researching business models and creating a website. Blogging had gradually become a business, but I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur who would build a company from the ground up. This was completely out of my comfort zone, but exciting at the same time!
I hadn’t completely given up hope on the blog yet either, so I was busy running two businesses. I felt that I had outgrown the name Treats and Trends (because everyone had a blog called ____ and ___), so I rebranded it to my name, Jamie Kamber. You can read more about that in this post. I read that finding a niche helps with growth, so I decided to narrow down my focus to just baking because my favorite posts to create were recipes. Plus, I like being behind the camera rather than in front of it. Rob didn’t mind giving up his Instagram Husband title either.
With Taste Social Media, my original business plan was to keep my focus narrow and just work with restaurants. However, I started working with clients outside of the restaurant industry and realized that I didn’t need to limit myself. So after two years I rebranded to Kamber Creative! It has really taken off (yay!) and now client work consumes most of my time, leaving zero room in my schedule to test recipes, bake multiple treats per week, set up my photography equipment and write blog posts. I always thought the blog was how I would get to be my own boss and have a flexible schedule. However, I got what I wanted all along; it just looks a little different than I thought. But if it weren’t for blogging, I wouldn’t have the skills and experience necessary to start this business.
Rather than just abandoning the blog, I’ve decided to go back to sharing more lifestyle posts because a full-time baking blog is just not realistic for me right now. I’ll still share recipes, but I’ve decided to un-niche myself and just have fun with blogging again! I miss creating content, sharing parts of my life with you guys, and connecting on social media. I want to write about things I’m passionate about whether that’s travel tips, advice on making new friends, or stories about moving and organizing your home
So what can you expect to see on jamiekamber.com and my Instagram? A little bit of everything! Recipes, travel, personal posts, what to do in Destin, maybe some fashion (but without the pressure I used to put on myself to have the latest and greatest things from Nordstrom!!). After all, the blog is named after me, Jamie Kamber, and should share all aspects of my life!
If you read this far – wow! – thank you. Hopefully that wasn’t too long, pointless or confusing haha. I look forward to creating more content that I hope you’ll love! But, if not, I’m not going to worry about it. That’s my new (healthier, less stressful) mindset :)