Hello hello! It’s Hannah, Teri’s assistant here at A Foodie Stays Fit. Today’s guest post is different than a usual guest post from me. I typically write about things that I think will be helpful for AFSF readers such as road trip tips, how to eat healthy when you don’t want to, activities for staying home, etc. But today, I’m writing a Q&A about what it’s like to work for Teri!
Before I begin, let me give you a little background. I started working with Teri part-time in September of 2018, my sophomore year of college. Teri ran with my mom a few times a week, and while I didn’t know her personally, I knew a lot about her from my mom and from Instagram. Teri mentioned that she was looking to hire someone for a few projects she was starting and asked about my major in school (communication and media) and if I’d be interested in helping. My mom connected us, and it was a perfect fit for us both.
In the fall of my senior year of college, we started talking about my plans for post-grad. We had flirted with the idea of me working for Teri full-time for years, and around March we made it official. If you’re a college graduate, you know how great it feels to be employed before you graduate! It was a blessing for us both – Teri was in the season where she was ready to hire a full-time employee, and I was in the position of needing to be a full-time employee 😉
Right now, I’m located in Winston Salem. I work remotely most days, but we love to work together in person a few hours a week when we can. In October, I’ll get married and move to Georgetown, SC. I’ll be fully remote once I’m there, but I’ll come to town every so often to see my family and work with Teri in person.
We thought this post would be a fun way to get to know the business side of Teri, since you probably know the blogger & Instagram side pretty well!
Originally, Teri hired me to work on Best of Winston, which is a website, newsletter, and Instagram account dedicated to the best places to enjoy in Winston-Salem. Then I transitioned to work on A Foodie Stays Fit fashion content, email marketing, social media, graphic design, copy writing, you name it.
You wouldn’t believe all the work that goes on behind the scenes to make a blog run. I had no clue just how much time is spent in the backend of a website (where it looks nothing like the beautiful pages you get to see) getting content ready to publish. I believe that if readers knew how much work goes into posting about something like the Nordstrom Sale, a recipe, or running tips, they would be shocked, haha!
Excellence-driven, Aware, & Dedicated
Teri is one of the most excellence-driven people that I know. She catches every detail and leaves no stone unturned. She’s also extremely dedicated (like, used-to-work-80-hours-a-week dedicated) to making her content informative and useful. She is thoughtful about everything she publishes and would never post something just for the sake of having something new on her blog or social media. She turns down pitch after pitch from brands that she doesn’t love and genuinely use (sometimes sacrificing significant compensation!) to make sure she only recommends and endorses things she believes her audience will actually benefit from.
There are a few that come to mind.
1. When retailers don’t work with LikeToKnow.It (our fashion platform for linking clothes). And actually, this is a huge pet peeve of mine too! We get asked for links to things everyday and that platform makes it a LOT easier to save and share items!
2. When the dishwasher isn’t loaded properly. She’s very particular about it and I’ve seen her rearrange it.
3. A too-full email inbox! She has five email addresses, four for business and one personal. And while this WAS a pet peeve, Teri took this Digital Clutter course and now she only has 4-5 unread emails in her inbox a day. She hosted a webinar with the creator of the course, and you can watch the replay here!
While Teri loves fashion and dressing well, she hates the shopping part. Are you shocked? I know! Lucky for me, shopping is one of my favorite hobbies, so I help a lot with fashion content. Teri also doesn’t like going to the post office and I do! (She mails gifts to her Beautycounter team quite often.) So I run errands for her sometimes when I’m home.
I love how different my tasks look every day. I love that I do tons of different tasks daily, which helps me not get sick of one thing! One of the perks is getting to try new products from brands that send samples to Teri. Sometimes they even send two of one item specifically for me to try, which always makes me feel cool. Another perk is having a boss who is amazing at makeup and skincare. I’ve learned a TON about skincare from her.
Like I mentioned before, Teri is excellence-driven and always knows what she’s doing. She doesn’t forget about tasks that she assigned weeks ago, and she’s going to follow up on them. Stay on top of your game! She’s a great communicator and extremely professional, while also being SO fun. She’s affirming when you do something well and gives kind, professional feedback when something isn’t up to par. One of my favorite things about Teri is that I never have to guess where I stand with her.
She enjoys the data and analytics side of blogging over the creative side. Don’t get me wrong, she is creative and has an eye for aesthetics. She even considered major in photography or journalism in college. But she REALLY loves the numbers and the data. She used to work for Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, and BB&T so I think she has an edge that many bloggers don’t. She understands the long-game of a career like this, and she uses data to evaluate priorities and new content. She’s also very good at Excel!
Even though she works for herself, sets the schedule, and she could easily slack off, she doesn’t. I think I’d be so much lazier if I worked for myself, but she is not. She’ll take a long weekend, but the day she starts working again, she’s immediately back in the saddle cranking out work to catch up. Even now that she’s busy with Thomas, Teri makes sure to communicate with me about work so that we’re always on the same page. I also admire her commitment to only endorsing or promoting brands that she genuinely loves, even when that means turning down lucrative partnerships.
What is Tommy like?
When I first met Teri, I thought there was no way Tommy could be as nice as she is, but he is. He’s legitimately a living, breathing angel. He’s funny, engaging, always interested in what you’re talking about, great at asking questions, an incredible dad to Thomas and husband to Teri, and fun to be around. Teri and Tommy are a hardcore power couple. You know when you see a couple and think to yourself, “it’s not fair to everyone else that they’re together,”? That’s them.
Honestly, just really sweet. Tommy calls her all throughout the day to say hi and ask about Thomas, offers to run errands for her on his way to work, and works around Teri’s schedule so she can go on a run in the mornings. Teri goes out of her way to make him food that he likes (Italian!), talks about him to others like the proud wife she is, and is always trying to find ways to make Tommy’s schedule easier for him. They both love art, which I think is a fun fact about them. They have a really unique style and their home is full of amazing, one-of-a-kind pieces.
You’d be surprised at how petite Teri is! In photos it’s hard to tell how petite she really is (this is the case with lots of shorter women!), but she’s the cutest petite mom ever. You’d also be shocked at how great her skin is. I mean, you can tell in photos, but in person, she glows. Another thing you don’t know until you meet her is that she’s actually pretty introverted! Since her job is publishing about her life, you might think she loves the spotlight but she’s more introverted and private than you’d think.
Okay, you can tell by now that I’m a huge fan of Teri’s. I’m grateful for her as my boss and my friend. And I’m also grateful for Tommy and Thomas who have also become family to me. We tell Thomas all the time that he can’t have a girlfriend until it’s my future daughter. How cute would THAT be ;).
Hannah, you are family to us!!! I love you so much and I am so so grateful for you!!! You’re a fabulous employee and a true joy to work with! Thank you for all you do!!