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 After a couple of [recovery] days off to begin 2016, its time for me to reflect on the past 12 months and share what’s to come for the New Year.

The best way for me to describe 2015 is by saying that the past year has been full of “adulting.” Urban Dictionary provides us with the best definition: Adulting (v): to do grown up things and hold responsibilities such as, a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown-ups. 

SIDENOTE: *this is what happens when I try to write a blog post while @reillywill is around…cue the side eye* -> The end of this year has help me find the coolest person to walk this earth. Safe to say I cannot wait to see what the year of 2016 holds for me and my girl, Reilly Williams.

Moving past the first 5 months of the year and my final semester at Wofford College, a big change came my way. Hours after walking across the stage with my fellow classmates, I hoped into my packed car and drove to my summer home, Charleston, SC. From late May to late August, I spent my time out at Kiawah Island. Not only is it the perfect place to get away from everything and an even better place for a summer job. After all, nothing beats being on the beach every day, getting a good tan, and enjoying the summer days with great friends. I was lucky enough to spend all summer with my best friend, Patrick. It was a challenging summer for our friendship, as we had never spent every moment of our everyday together, but it’s a summer I would not change. It was full of learning experiences for the both of us. Unexpectedly, Kiawah helped me make lifelong friends as well. I even met one of my roommates during the summer job.

My 3 month summer job, led me to falling even more in love with the city of Charleston and making the decision to live here full time. With no family, a handful of friends, and searching for an adult job, you could say I was a bit scared and anxious about the transition. As I started to think, this decision might have been too much to take on, everything started to fall into place. I was hired for a dream job, found the perfect roommates, and the perfect new apartment (even if we had to live in a hotel for 2 weeks, while our apartment was finished).

During this time, I was simultaneously dedicating a lot of time and energy to taking my blog to the next level. There are two people that I have to give a huge thank you too for helping my blog go to the next level. The first is Anna Mathias (@annacmathias) who captured the images for my 4th of July photo-shoot. These images pushed my fashion boundaries for the first time, it was my first big photo-shoot in Charleston, and the components of the images were incredible. One of those components was the Instagram famous hedgehog, Lionel. It just happens that Anna is the owner of the cute spikey creature! The second thank you goes out to an organization, the Charleston Blog Society. The director and its members were so welcoming and helpful with transitioning into the Charleston blogging community. They have truly been helpful and have all become great friends!

AND NOW FOR 2016… 

Firstly, the New Year brought back an old friend. While we’ve been through some ups and downs, it’s sometimes best to just let things go or as Adele would say, “water under the bridge.” A while back we made a promise to spend the first day of a new year together. We weren’t going to let something petty stand in the way of that and had a great time here in Charleston with new friends by our side brining in 2016.

I will be kicking off my year by taking a 5 day trip across the state. It’s a trip that’s overdue and I am excited to see what will come from it. Make sure to stay updated via Instagram and Snapchat!

Next, I want to tell you all about what I see for myself and the blog coming up. Let’s just make it clear, these are not “new year resolutions” *cue me rolling my eyes at the phrase.* Resolutions are a list you quickly write down and then forget about moments later. I see these more as moments to look forward to or goals to work towards.

  • Men’s New York Fashion Week – goal for the first quarter of the year is to travel for MNYFW and hopefully attend some shows.

  • Women’s New York Fashion Week – this would require me staying in NYC for 2 weeks, but I would be traveling with some pretty awesome people and access to awesome opportunities.

  • Charleston Fashion Week – this is my most important goal locally for the first quarter of the year. All the work that I have been putting in up to this point will lead to this one moment. That moment will be, gaining media passes to Charleston Fashion Week to cover men’s shows, women’s shows, up & coming designers, and interview special guests. The moment that we find out about media passes, I will probably scream and be overjoyed.

  • Lots of traveling – looking forward to teaming up with several hotels this year to travel to some cool places and share the great services/amenities that they provide.

  • Step Up the #FoodPorn part of my blog more – I live in a city with over 500 restaurants. This shouldn’t be hard.

  • BTG International – this is a project that I have slowly been introducing and working on over the past couple of months. As you all know, I own a handful of businesses. I want to do a better job at branding all of them and am working on the best way to go about it. It may be that BTG International is the group that each of these individually named businesses are under or that I rename each business to be branded with the BTG brand. I also want to expand my Spartanburg office/services to the Charleston area.

  • Blog – the current look for BTG has been up for a year. It’s time for a fresh look or some things to spice it up.

  • Collaborations – currently, I mostly work with brands that reach out to me for features or giveaways. I want to start reaching out to more brands and work with more well-known brands. By doing so, it pushes me to work harder and gives you all even more exciting products to look forward to. I also want to collaborate with more bloggers/instagrammers from all over the world to bring different point of views, different viewers, different opinions, etc… At the same time, a big part of the focus for my blog is to feature local brands and support local. I want to work and feature more of those brands, while the stores for men are limited, there are still ways to expose both girls and guys to the Charleston market.

  • Style – my closets have definitely been expanding and evolving. I want to continue pushing fashion boundaries, explore more styles, and create my own sense of style that combines southern charm with contemporary fashion. There may be a change coming for my hair in the near future as well 😉

  • Friendships – I’ve spent so much time revolving my life around working (whether it be with my job, the company I own, or my blog) and its time to focus a little more on building friendships in this new city. There are a couple of friendships that I would also like to rekindle or just touch back on. I understand I expect a lot from friends, but at the same time I give the same back.

  • Relationships – 2015 brought a heart break. If we’re honest, it’s the reason I have trouble letting people in, both friends and lovers. I just want to go with the flow, let down my walls, give someone a chance, and see what happens.

  • Health/Fitness – due to focusing so much on working around the clock, I have slacked on taking care of myself. I used to run every day for at least 3 miles, ate more cleanly, did juice cleanses, and worked out more. It’s time to find a balance between work and really devoting time to myself. I’ve taken time to make a better version of blog, it’s time to make a better version of me

 Whatever 2016 brings, I am ready to take on the challenge, see progress, and make the best of it!  

 A big shout out and thank you to @bakermotorcompany for these sexy jaguars and to @current.visuals for capturing awesome pictures (like always) during our last photo-shoot of 2015!

About author / The Bow Tie Gent

The gent behind the bow tie goes by Louis, a 27-year old recent Charleston transplant to Birmingham, AL. In a town with only a handful of male bloggers, Louis brings his refined style with a hint of big city living.  The Bow Tie Gentleman is a digital spot to interact, inspire, and influence.... Welcome to the Bow Tie Gentleman!

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