Spotlight On: Niki Gray

A few months ago, we Ends In Style girls spoke at an event at Steve McKenzie's for designers and bloggers. The objective was learning how to get published but more importantly, learning how best to "Tell Your Story". It was a great event and we were honored to speak alongside Michele Williams of Scarlet Thread Consulting and Lisa Mowry, Atlanta editor of Better Homes & Gardens, Traditional Home, Renovation Style, and Decor magazines. We invited attendees to enter a contest and be featured on the blog by writing us and telling us their story. We received many great submissions and were thankful for each of them, but one was able to really tell her story in a way that stood out.

Let's meet the contest winner, Niki Gray of and

How did you get your start?

To say I came out of the womb looking for ways to communicate and connect with others, would probably be an understatement.  But just because something comes naturally doesn't mean that it will come easily.  I feel like almost every life experience has somewhat contributed to doing what I love, but the simple answer is this -- When I had my daughter, I was only 12 classes from my degree. As a stay-at-home mom, I started my blog, as an outlet for creativity.  When my daughter started school, with a little push from my friend, Carole, I decided to go back to school part-time.  I felt like this was the perfect opportunity for me to pursue my passion, not just get a degree. 

Was there one job or contact that set the course of your career?

Adoption Discovery, a nonprofit that educates people who are considering adoption, asked me to be the on-camera host for some of their training videos.  This opportunity not only confirmed that I would enjoy this career path, but it also connected me with a professional actor who has given me lots of great advice and helped me understand more about the industry and pursuing the opportunities that are best for me.

What is your favorite or most successful way to advertise?

So, I don't mean to sound like a broken record here, but I have to say networking.  I have made connections with some amazing bloggers who have promoted me on their blogs and helped me tell my story.  

If there was one thing you could change about your career, what would it be?

I would outsource the things I don't like to do and focus on the things I love.  Both as a blogger and communicator, I have to wear many hats.  I love creating, I love communicating, I love being on-camera or on-stage, and I love telling a story, but there are many times that in order to get that story out there, I have to photograph, edit, produce, promote, and re-promote.  As I grow, I hope to outsource some of those daunting tasks, so that I can just do what I love.

What is your favorite stress reliever?

Spending time with people.  In case you haven't noticed, I am an off- the-charts extrovert.  I am energized by spending time with others, but it also helps me get away from whatever is on my mind. I push the stress away because I want to invest in those relationships.

What is your favorite destination?

Newport Beach, CA.  The minute I step out of the airport into the California sun, I instantly feel invigorated.  The weather is almost always perfect, the food is fabulous and usually healthy, and it is not a place where I feel like a tourist.  Instead, I feel like I am home -- not a feeling this southern girl expected.
Niki blogs at HomeMadeville – “Your Place for Homemade Inspiration.”  She is a broadcast journalism student who works as an on-camera and on-stage host for corporations and nonprofits.   Her blog gives her a platform all her own to showcase DIY tutorials,  crafty videosevent decor & more.  She is energized by connecting with others and would love for you to reach out to her on FacebookPinterestTwiitter, or Google+.