Hey, I’m Mattie! I absolutely love to talk about all things lifestyle. Why? Because I love sharing things. Whether it’s the latest beauty trends, influencer tips that work, my recent home decor or self care must-haves – if it’s made my life better, I’m happy to share.
Making everyday magic.
As a wife and mom of 3, I’m all about things that make everyday life better. Once upon a time, I was just a girl who loved to talk about the things she liked on her blog. Now, I’ve made it my business to share those things.
In 2008, I started blogging as a hobby with sporadic posts that covered topics like my favorite things like fast fashion clothing, NYFW collections, pop culture moments and life happenings. It all started with a little blog on Blogger (which you can still read here – ha!) and in the beginning only my mom and a few high school friends read my content. While I had no idea what I was doing, I read blogs daily about everything from tech trends to high fashion to learn more about blogging and how to become better at it. Determined, I decided to keep going as I noticed blogging was becoming more than a short lived web trend and turning into a lucrative full fledged industry.
In summer 2009, I won Miss Liberia USA and got married six weeks later.
During the same year, I completed internships with local Atlanta sports radio station 790 The Zone as a promotions intern and street team manager and then later with Brown Forman as a marketing intern for Jack Daniels and Gentleman Jack.
The experience I gained from the internships taught me how to successfully promote and market a brand to specific audiences. Little did I know that I would soon be using this new skill for my own blog. With much more attention on me after the pageant, I decided to take blogging more seriously and finally bought a domain.
My goal? To turn blogging into my full time job.
Blogging full time certainly did not happen overnight for me. While I started blogging in 2010, the money took years to come in. So in 2011, I took a corporate gig as a showroom manager for a national houseware company while blogging on the side with my first blog, Mattieologie.com. It was when I got my new 9 to 5 that her blog began to grow. In September 2014, Chris and I had our first child, Maizah Rose after being married for 5 years. From 2012 to 2015, I worked with national brands like Cotton, H&M, JCPenney and more while maintaining my 9 to 5.
In June 2015, I started blogging full time after being let go from my “good job.”
While I was excited about being a full time blogger and influencer – my goal from the beginning – it was certainly hard because I was a new mom as well. My income was steady with brand partnerships but waiting for checks to come in at net 30 (or 60 or 90) definitely was a test of patience and not always ideal for monthly bills. Many of my followers asked me how to start a blog and work with brands and so I started teaching masterclasses in summer of 2015. The goal was to host online classes with 25-30 people to bring in some extra income. My first masterclass sold 113 spots.
But while my business was soaring, my marriage and home life was being put on the back burner.
In 2016, Chris and I separated. In transparency, this was definitely a result of me putting work over my family while dealing with depression. SPOILER ALERT: Chris and I are still married, but this time happily. My work is a priority but only AFTER my family. What I learned is that things have to go in order.
Because when things are out of order – they don’t work.
After months of therapy, counseling and intentionally speaking each other’s love languages – we’ve found our rhythm. We realized that we wanted to put in the work to stay married more than we wanted to get a divorce. (Listen to our podcast here on what we learned during that season.)
In 2017, Chris and I reconciled our marriage and I ended Mattieologie to start MattieJames.com.
When I started blogging, I mainly talked about style and beauty on Mattieologie. I had grown to a place where family, home, my lifestyle and outfits were all things I wanted to talk about and my audience had questions about as well. It was a new chapter with lots of uncertainty, but I was certain I needed to stretch myself to a new level. In spring of 2017, I became pregnant and both my personal and professional life began to take new shape and reach new levels.
This was a pivotal year for me not only because of our family expanding, but also because of my growth as an influencer. My brand partnerships that year were lucrative and consistent more than ever before. And while that was a good thing, it was also quite the learning curve. I had to learn some hard but necessary lessons on managing my team, meeting (and exceeding) expectations and managing money.
In January 2018, Chris and I welcomed our second child, Caliana Lily. And the rest of 2018 would be a whirlwind – a good one though. I worked with brands like TJ Maxx, JOHNSON’S, State Farm and Olay as an influencer while putting a pause on launching online resources and classes as an entrepreneur. Teaching content creators and influencers was still something I loved to do, but was so busy with influencer work that I didn’t have the time (or need) to launch courses that year. Plus, the transition from 1 to 2 kids was more difficult to me than I expected. I had to get used to my new juggling act.
Motherhood challenged me in ways that my business did not.
But the lessons I learned from motherhood equipped me for some hard and inevitable situations in my business.
And while I never believed that having a family and being an entrepreneur was something that I would have to sacrifice for another – this chapter made me truly understand just how intense it would be. Towards the end of 2018, we actively started looking for a new home.
When 2019 arrived we had a good idea on the home we wanted to buy. Because we went with a new build, it would take 6-7 months we could move in and in the meantime we had to get our current house ready (and organized!) to be sold. And while we were convinced that we would be a family of 4, God had other plans. We learned that we were pregnant with baby #3 in the spring and while excited, it lit a fire under us to get our ducks in order. We sold our first home in August 2019, moved in with Chris’ parents for 8 weeks (we thought it would be 2) and closed on our new home in October.
Truly, the year flew by me. By the time we moved into the new house, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas happened what seemed like a couple days after each other. The new baby (our first boy!) was predicted to be born in mid-January, but he had other plans.
On New Year’s Day of 2020, we welcome Christian Melokhule to the world. Not only was it special that he was born on New Year’s but he was born on my father-in-law’s birthday as well. To share a birthday with his grandfather is so special.
2020 has been quite a year so far.
MattieJames.com as a blog and business has never been so visible and continues to grow at a steady pace. As the year continues during unprecedented times (with coronavirus being a huge factor), I’ve pivoted my content to lean noticeably more into home and lifestyle and bringing back my monthly masterclasses and signature course.
The last 10 years have been quite the journey and I’m looking forward to what’s in store for me this next decade. What I know for sure is that God has the last word in my life.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
The above essay was written in May 2020. Mattie currently resides in Atlanta with her husband, Christopher, and children Maizah Rose, Caliana Lily and Christian Melokhule.
To creatively encourage and serve others while deliberately honoring God.
the fun stuff
SOME RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME SO WE GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER BETTER!
IF YOU COULD HAVE LUNCH WITH ANYONE DEAD OR ALIVE, IT WOULD BE:
My great grandmother, Beyoncé, Oprah & Michelle Obama
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF CLOTHING YOU OWN?
My red Nichole Lynel gown
THE SHOW YOU CAN WATCH OVER AND OVER AGAIN:
Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
THE NAME OF YOUR FIRST PET?
A snapping turtle named Scottie
WHO’S YOUR STYLE ICONS?
Solange & Lupita Nyongo
WHAT’S YOUR DREAM CAR?
THE BOOK THAT CHANGED MY LIFE IS:
Dare To Serve by Cheryl Bachelder
When I Grew Up I Wanted To Be:
a magazine editor
Take a look around.
Need clarity? Apply for my accelerator where I teach influencers how to build a six-figure business.
Check out my content on beauty, motherhood, home decor and more.
My masterclasses on content creation & course on pitching brands were designed to help influencers win.