Write a speech they said.
Be prepared they said.
I always do as I’m told.
If you’re reading this then tonight my blog business – Styling You – has been judged the winner of the Queensland Telstra Business Awards (micro business category).
Styling You is the first blogging business to have won a Telstra Business Award – a recognition for the blogging industry as a whole.
Kim – my right-hand virtual woman – was on hand to press publish and pop up a photo on this post while I celebrate with Mr SY and two other members of the SY team at Sofitel Brisbane (Kim, I will make it up to you on the celebratory-Champagne front).
Below is my short speech. The one I prepared, not knowing if I’d even get to give it:
Every morning on my blog – Styling You – I start a conversation.
(Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE chat.)
I get to chat in an AWESOME supportive and judgement-free online space that I CREATED from nothing.
Styling You champions the invisible woman in fashion and beauty marketing.
We may no longer be sweet young things – but just because we’re over 30, 40, 50 or 60 or beyond does not mean we’re not interested in looking and feeling the best we can.
My message is a simple one. I want EVERY woman to feel confident in her personal style.
Seven years ago I left the relative safety of a being a journalist to start my own business.
That business idea looks very different from what it is today but thanks to an accidental decision to have my business website built on a blogging platform, I found myself in the box seat to become one of Australia’s pioneering professional bloggers.
From those early days of convincing a few friends and family to read the blog – long before smart phones and tablets – Styling You has grown to reach more than 100 thousand readers each month with amplification across all major social media channels.
Business-wise, bloggers are still very much a curiosity.
Whenever I’m asked what I do, THE VERY NEXT QUESTION is “how to do you make money?”
In a nutshell, increasingly bloggers and online influencers are being engaged by brands and companies – big and small – because of the strong and influential connection we have with our readers, readers who match those brands’ target demographics.
Bloggers can provide an amplified version of word-of-mouth marketing with a trackable return on our clients’ marketing investment.
Our readers trust what we recommend. Importantly, I’ve built my business based on making commercial sponsorship and ambassadorship decisions that don’t break that trust.
In accepting this award, I thank each and every woman in the Styling You community. You inspire me every day and you are the reason I log on each day.
I also thank my small (micro) team, my agency, The Remarkables Group, my fabulous clients, my fellow bloggers and my husband and family for their support and for no longer complaining when I make them wait to eat before I’ve photographed our food for Instagram or insist on a selfie.
I’m truly honoured to accept this award – to even make it as a finalist (there were 400 entrants in my category in Queensland alone) was a huge achievement. I could not have done it without each and every one of you.
Now it’s on to the NATIONALS in Sydney on August 20.
As Aussie muso Paul Kelly wrote and sung so well … From little things … big things can grow.
PS. Here’s what I wore:
Sacha Drake gown (on loan) | Chanel bag | Swarovski bracelet | Dinosaur Designs ring | Mimco earrings
Support messages screened on the night
Thanks to everyone who sent in messages of support … loved seeing these pop up on the big screen x
A big shout out to Nikki from Styling You for her amazing blog, great styling advice (and travel tips) & for being so giving of her time to her great community! – Leanne, Getaway Guru
Best of luck to you Nikki, what an amazing recognition of all of your hard work this nomination is! – Kim
Cheering you on from the other side of the fence! – Veg
Congrats Nikki! Hopefully your example will inspire others to live their dream and build a successful business that will contribute to the wellbeing of many! – Paul Hubbard
Congrats to Nikki on being nominated! Such an inspiration to us all. Good luck! – Norlin
Congrats to the smartest most selfless businesswoman I know! – Beth Macdonald
Congratulations Nikki, you are already a winner, thanks for sharing your style, enthusiasm and inspiration by being a leader in authenticity – Carol Quin
Congratulations Nikki on making it to the finals. Could not think of a more deserving winner. Go Nikki! – Amanda Tuckey
Congratulations Nikki! Very inspiring and well deserved! – Leanne Mundt
Congratulations on a well-deserved nomination Nikki! – Marion
Congratulations on your nomination Nikki! You are one of the most gracious & stylish ladies I have ever met – a consummate professional! – Anna Wu
Fingers and toes crossed Nikki. I’m an avid reader of your blog and love your honest and helpful advice. I constantly reach for your book when I draw a blank. x – Dianne Dorich
Fingers crossed for you, Nikki. So proud of you already. You make so many people feel good about themselves daily! – Wendy Parkinson
Go Nikki! You deserve all the awards in the world for being such an amazing ambassador of women, body positivity and empowerment. Love you to bits! – Smags
Good luck Nikki! Win or lose you are still my everyday inspiration, thank you! – Jodi Verboon
Helping women all over the world to feel confident in their own skin! – Kayte Murphy
I’m so thrilled to discover you on this list. You’ve been my inspiration, my mentor and my friend and I don’t know anyone that deserves this more than you! – Rachel, Redcliffe Style
Inspiration is your middle name. You are so deserving of this award, your shining light has connected small business and national brands Australia wide! – Maria Faulder, Suite Three Hair
Love your blog. Fun, friendly & inspiring. – Katie
Nikki I really hope you win, my life changed when I found your blog, your words of wisdom and kindness to women of all ages is so inspiring, thank you! – Lisa Mckenzie
Nikki you’re a trail blazer! You’ve not only turned a passion into a business, but you invest your time and knowledge into helping others do the same. Good luck! – Jo Bartley
Nikki, I’m so thrilled and excited for you! You are a professional, authentic, hardworking and true pioneer. Wishing you all the very best for this journey! – Sonia Bavistock
Nikki, you are nothing short of amazing, congratulations on becoming a state finalist for QLD! – Karren O’shea
Nikki, you deserve this! You’re a trailblazer in the blogging world, but also beyond it given the way you created something so rewarding from the ground up! – Tamara Simoneau
Nikki’s nomination is no surprise to her loyal readers. She manages to inspire us all to get up and get going! – Deb Moran
Proud of you, beautiful daughter, my love! My thoughts and best wishes are with you. Go girl! – Bill Parkinson
Thank you Nikki Parkinson, you are an inspiration! – Debra
PPS. My former newspaper did a story with me about the win.