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Meet Trailblazer Courtney Hardy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Courtney Hardy.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’m one of those people who knew from a young age what I wanted to be. For me, that was a fashion designer. I specifically remember hand sewing little clothes for my stuffed animals. Fast forward to years later, I ended up majoring in Fashion and Textile Design at North Carolina State University where upon graduation I landed a job as a textile designer for a small scarf company. But my story was only just beginning.

In 2014, I relocated from Wake Forest, North Carolina to Los Angeles, California with my then boyfriend-now husband to pursue our dreams together. It was also in 2014 that I started my lifestyle blog, Party Hardy.

Moving across the country to a new city with no job is a roller coaster of emotions. I thought, “If I can do this, I can do anything.” I managed to land another textile design job and continued to blog regularly.

I’ve always been passionate about traveling, but the cross country adventure triggered a serious travel bug in me. I would drag my husband on day trips as many weekends as possible (it didn’t take long for him to catch the bug too!). I began to share more on Instagram and include travel posts on my blog, and in 2018, my husband and I had the opportunity to move to Europe for his job.

Even though this meant quitting my stable job, I was all in. It was an amazing opportunity, and I’m a firm believer in “big risk, big reward.” I did have people question my choice and some even told me I was giving up my dreams to follow my husband – but I have to disagree. The opportunity to travel was a dream for me. And being able to experience different cultures and explore the world was inspirational, rewarding, and life changing. And it turns out – I got to do some freelance design work too.

Now, I’m back in Los Angeles, working as a textile designer by day and blogger/content creator by night. I have new energy and excitement for life. I want to continue to create, explore, and share my story as it unfolds, and hopefully, inspire others along the way.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
There’s been ups and downs in my journey, but I think the key is having a positive outlook, even in the tough times. One of my biggest struggles is figuring out my end goal. I think a lot of people my age look at the generations before us and see these cookie-cutter careers – graduate college; get a job; keep that job until you retire; get married, start a family, and buy a house somewhere in between all that; and live happily ever after. And while there’s nothing wrong with that scenario, it’s less and less common in today’s world. I don’t know exactly how my story will end and sometimes that makes me doubt where I’m at in my personal life and career. The best advice I can give to anyone struggling with these feelings – be confident, be yourself, and ultimately do what makes you happy even if those around you don’t understand your choices.

Please tell us more about what you do, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I’m a lifestyle blogger, content creator, and textile designer. As a blogger/content creator, I’m always aiming to inspire people to celebrate life and step outside the box – which is how I came up with the name for my blog, Party Hardy. I post regularly with trend and outfit inspiration, travel tips and itineraries, food and drink recipes, home and DIY projects, and more. I really just want to encourage my followers to go after their dreams and take risks – even if that risk is just in something they are wearing.

As a textile designer, I love that I essentially get to doodle at my job. For those who aren’t sure what exactly a textile designer is, I develop fabric prints, embroideries, graphics, embellishments, etc. I’ve designed everything from high-end scarves to girls apparel and even textile prints for a movie.

I’m hoping to merge both of my passions – my blog and textile design – in the future, but ultimately I just want to be able to channel my creativity and inspire people to take risks and do what they love.

We’re interested to hear your thoughts on female leadership – in particular, what do you feel are the biggest barriers or obstacles?
Women pretty much dominate the fashion and blogger industry but that doesn’t mean things come easy. I think one of the biggest struggles women face in both of these industries is the pressure to look perfect. To have the perfect body, perfect hair, perfect skin, etc. While we are seeing more and more women of all shapes, sizes, and color breaking into the industry, many still struggle to overcome their own internal battle. Sometimes this battle keeps us from feeling like we are good enough to be leaders, but we need to remember to be confident in who we are and own it!

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