AFM

Living Like She Means It

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At the top of the Camille Styles website is the phrase, “Live life like you mean it.” It’s the same phrase that appears as hashtag #likeyoumeanit at the bottom of the majority of her Instagram posts. This mantra comes from Camille Styles herself, Austin-based founder and editor-in-chief of camillestyles.com, a lifestyle blog that features new daily content ranging from food and travel to design and wellness. 

Originally from Fort Worth and raised in Missouri, Styles moved to Austin on a whim about 13 years ago. Her journey to intentional living shows that it takes hard work to achieve the meaningful life that she presents on her website.

“I had no job here and really no connections here,” Styles says of her early days. “I had visited Austin and loved it and really had a gut instinct I wanted to be here. It was really one of the first times I really just followed my instinct, even though I wasn’t explaining to anyone why I was doing it, but I’m so glad I did.”

She found a job in catering that providentially was also where she met her future husband, one of her clients. 

After working as a caterer for a few years, Styles pursued the life of an entrepreneur and launched her own event planning business. Initially, her blog was just a creative outlet for her on the side.

“This was pretty early in the blogging days — it was before ‘influencer’ was a term. It was pre-Instagram, and I think it was pre-Twitter,” Styles says. “The landscape looked pretty different, and there weren’t really professional bloggers, so that was certainly not something in my mind I thought would become my full-time career.” 

Styles began to enjoy the process of creating content and having a platform to share it. She dove into waking up early and staying up late to post on the site. 

“I really just enjoyed the process of creating this platform to share with my audience,” Styles says. “Back when I never thought this would be my full-time job, but it really is my dream job, I just didn’t know it.”

Similar to how she’s evolved as a person, so has her blog. 

“It’s interesting to see how the site has transformed over the years,” Styles says. “I think when I started it, I wanted to be like the next Martha Stewart…have perfect parties and how to impress your guests — there’s nothing wrong with those things if they bring you joy — but over the years as our audience has grown and I’ve grown, the site has really come to embrace authenticity and imperfection a lot more.”

Being the face behind a brand that inspires others to live a full life means also incorporating it in her own life as well. So how does she manage to balance taking care of her family and running a business while still living life to the fullest? 

For Styles, she says it’s about being intentional — intentional with her time and prioritizing the things that matter most to her. 

“I’m a big morning person,” Styles says. “I love starting the day on a positive note, and when I don’t, I can feel it throughout the whole day.”

At the beginning of each year, Styles writes out one goal for each area of her life that she sees as a priority — family, work, health and spiritual life. Then she picks one specific goal for each of those categories.

“For me, I feel like if I have too many goals, they all start to blur together and I can’t focus on making any traction with those goals,” Styles says. “I try to figure out what’s the most important thing. If at the end of the year, I make any traction on it at all, it will be life-changing.” 

In order to maintain these ambitions, she starts her day with a cup of coffee and then sits down to read her goals. Next, Styles compares her daily calendar to her list of goals. She does this to make sure she is spending her time each day in a way that supports  her goals. If it’s not, Styles recalibrates in order to better align the two. 

“Like everyone, I am really busy,” Styles says. “It’s easy to go through the motions and just be productive all day but not actually spend time on the things that are important to me.  To me, living intentionally means spending time on things that are actually important to you and what actually matters.”

One of the most important things for Styles is quality time with her family — her husband Adam, and their two children, Phoebe (six) and Henry (three).

Having a full-time career and being a wife and mom has its own unique challenges. Living in a world full of distractions like buzzing cell phones and social media notifications can make it even more difficult to be mindful of your thoughts and time.

“Probably my biggest challenge in life is being the kind of mom I want to be and being the kind of business woman I want to be,” Styles says. “I love my family and kids, but I’m also naturally one of those people who loves to work, and I love diving into projects. I have to be really intentional about setting aside time to just be with my family and totally turn off work, or it all starts to bleed together. I’m guilty of being physically with my kids and husband, but my mind is thinking about an email or an Instagram comment. So I’m not really present and it’s not quality time.”

Over the last several years, intentionality for her, in regards to being fully present with her family, is putting away her phone in the evenings, really listening and just getting on the floor and playing with them. 

“You can be doing a lot of good things as a mom, like making dinner and cleaning the house,” Styles says. “But I’ve realized my kids really need me to just be playing with them and receiving my attention. Even if it’s 15 minutes just to fill up their cups. It goes such a long way to make them feel loved and valued.” 

Being intentional with her marriage for Styles also means setting aside quality time for just the two of them. They strive for  weekly date nights and frequent trips. But she says one of the best things for them has been a tradition they’ve held since before having kids — a daily morning neighborhood walk. 

“It’s really just a time of connecting for 30 to 40 minutes and to talk about the day ahead. It’s a way to stay involved and intimately know what’s going on in each other’s lives,” Styles says. “We’ve talked through so many issues or work challenges on those walks … It’s really important to us to set aside that time even when we are busy.”

Health can easily be put on the back burner when managing a busy schedule. That’s why Styles focuses on working out and eating healthy, because above all it makes her feel good. 

“I try to work out in ways that I love,” Styles says. “If it’s something I dread, then it’s probably not the right workout for me. My weekly workouts are a mix of spin class and barre class. I also have my walks with Adam, or I like go on a long walk with a friend. And as I’ve learned about nutrition over the years, I’ve really come to crave healthy foods. And luckily, I really love to cook!”

Styles will be the first to tell you that to live intentionally takes tenacity. Fortunately, Styles has produced content for ten years aimed toward her overall mission, inspiring others to live happy and healthy lives. She hopes to motivate her audience to find what brings them joy, prioritize the things that matter, be intentional with their time, show up for the people they love and truly live life like they mean it.   

 

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