Damsels Who InspireCourtney Dial: Entertainment Editor & Stylist
12.29.10

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Today our Damsels Who Inspire series returns with a demoiselle I personally adore. Aside from creativity she has a warmth of spirit and positivity that’s truly infectious. Courtney Dial is the founder and editor of Pizzazzerie, an online guide to entertaining inspiration. She’s been featured on LaunchHER’s 40 before 40, Amy Atlas & Martha Stewart’s Dreamers Into Doers! Here’s a look at the New Year’s Eve Party DIY Courtney whipped up for us at the drop of a hat! Without further ado, her answers to the questions we’re dying to know.

1. Tell us what you do/create/design?
I wish I had a quick easy answer for “what do you do”. I like to say “I play with glitter” because I do so many different things it gets long to explain, but here goes… :) First and foremost, I’m the editor of http://pizzazzerie.com where I manage two fabulous writers as well as publish content myself. We usually have between 7 and 10 posts a week. They range from full on party design showcases to DIY tutorials and everything in between. In addition to the site, I also freelance write for several publications on entertaining, parties, and lifestyle topics. I also style parties and design decor for a limited number of clients. Lastly, I do product styling for companies (like paper goods, party supplies, gourmet treats, etc.) who want promotional images of their products “styled” for use on their website, etc.

2. Where does your inspiration come from?
I find inspiration everywhere. From walking into a store and seeing a patterned pillow that turns into an entire dinner party theme to flipping the pages of Martha Stewart’s magazine (who couldn’t be inspired by her, I mean really?!). I love colors and patterns so they play a large role in how I style and design. Looking at stationery also brings lots of lively party designs to life for me. I appreciate the beauty of classic elegance and design so I’m always browsing wedding blogs and other publications for little nuggets of inspiration.

3. What was your biggest fear when you decided to launch & how did you conquer it?
My biggest fear was whether or not I’d be able to make a living doing this. I conquered it by focusing on how badly I wanted away from the 8 to 5 desk job. With that as my motivation I was willing to face the fear of not being able to pay the bills, etc. Being 25 and leaving your full time job can be scary but I stayed true to what I knew I loved to do and trusted that the money would come and I’ve been lucky to say it has!

4. What is a lesson learned or mantra you’d like to share with other creative women looking to start their own business?
Live the life you have imagined. Do you imagine yourself designing weddings, graphic designing… whatever it is – do you dream of it? Do it. You have one life and one chance to do all the things you want to do. Don’t settle for a “job” but find a “life” doing what you love. Take the leap!

5. Who’s your style icon?
This is tough but I would have to say Amy Atlas is a huge style icon for me. I love her styling and designs, I could browse her work for hours and just get lost in the gorgeous details. She makes it look glowing and effortless. She’s definitely a hard worker and someone I truly admire.

6. What’s the one fashion accessory you can’t do without and why?
Earrings. I’m rarely caught without earrings. Usually it’s pearls (I’m a southern girl by and by) or plain diamond studs. But I always have to have earrings on.

If you haven’t already, head over and explore Pizzazzerie.

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