(blog.inspiration) courtney barton

I have to confess that when I was recently featured on Blogs Of Note, I had never heard of the site. But like the dutiful girl I am, I checked it out and other blogs featured. I'm glad that I did, as I came across the fantastic blog In(side) the Loop by Courtney Barton. Not only does she have a really cute site, but when I dug deeper, I learnt that she's also an incredibly successful. She studied apparel design in Louisiana and went on to work for Jill Stuart and Ralph Rucci in New York. Now, she's based in Malaysia and spending her "eight to five" sharing tips on fashion and home decor as well as a few other goodies in between. Now Courtney works in branding and marketing consulting, but here is a styling project she worked on for Four Season's residential suite.

Which five words best describe you? Curious, happy, particular, self-driven and Southern.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? My first job out of college was the Public Relations Manager for Hollywould, a then-emerging luxury accessory brand in New York City. I was often on-the-go and quickly realized my love for travel. Traveling independently taught me a great deal about who I am and what kind of person I want to be: sure of myself but vulnerable and open to new ideas and people. I recently moved to Kuala Lumpur with my husband to fulfil his dream of working internationally, and I'm also feeding my need to experience other cultures. I'm a firm believer in stepping outside your comfort zone from time to time; there's so much to learn and I'm itching to soak it all in.
What’s your proudest achievement? I've accomplished a few things in my young life that make me feel honored, but I'm not sure I've achieved that one thing that I'd term my proudest. I hope life continues to get bigger and better!
What’s been your best decision? Moving to New York City after college. I'm the youngest in my family and was the first to move outside Louisiana, so it was definitely a big decision. Without question, the city made me a confident woman right away (the sink or swim environment seems to do that to many!) and shaped my work ethic and drive. I definitely wouldn't be the person I am today without that city's powerful influence.
Who inspires you? The people I meet while traveling. The local shop owners. My godparents who are in their 70s single-handedly still running their cattle farm. My parents who are the most hardworking people I've ever met. My Uncle who encouraged me to always buy what I love, not what's trendy or considered valuable. My grandparents who tended a garden and cooked almost entirely from it. My husband who thinks change is wonderful and stays patient with me while I catch up. And my dog who epitomizes unconditional love.
What are you passionate about? Life and shoes. Both are pretty incredible.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? No pain, no gain. Anything worthwhile is never easy, but the reward is always worth it.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? My maternal grandmother. I knew her as a young child and have such strong visual and sensory memories of our time together: crepes, cafe au lait served in bed, dirndl skirts and cork wedges. She took great pride in her appearance and home; she was a modernized Betty Homemaker. She was worldly and loved to fill her closets with things bought while traveling. The best part: she married the funniest man in town, so I know laughing was important to her. She passed when I was quite young and I'd give anything for her to know me as a grown woman. I think most of my passions stem from my grandmother's interests.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? To go to culinary school. To turn my black thumb green. To learn a new language. To start a business with my husband. To grow my family.
What are you reading? I keep these 3 staples on my nightstand at all times: Trail of Crumbs by Kim Sunee, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo. Also, Food & Wine and Bon Appetit magazines and, of course, hundreds of blogs. I love the creative instant gratification you get from blogs!

Images courtesy of Courtney Barton and Julie Soefer