Happy Wednesday! It's the middle of the week which means that the weekend will be upon us again. I'm not sure about you but I'm excited about that. Today brings about a special treat and I must admit that I couldn't wait to share today's feature with you. I tend to say that a lot but today brings about not only a stylish beauty but a business savvy one for you to become acquainted with.

Say what you want about social media but it's pretty hard to deny the fact that it has a plethora of pros associated with it. While browsing through one of my favorite blogger's Instagram, The Daileigh, I noticed that one of her beautiful clutches was created by @cortnieelizabeth. Upon venturing to Cortnie Elizabeth's Instagram page I realized that not only were her clutches phenomenal, her style was impeccable as well. The icing on the cake appeared upon learning that she is also a style blogger. Always on the scout for style inspiration and possible prospects for future features on Nai's Visions, I couldn't pass up the chance to visit Style Lust Pages, Cortnie Elizabeth's blog.

After briefly browsing her blog and admiring the way that her style remained chic, simplistic and not to mention consistent, I ventured over to Cortnie's business, Love Cortnie, where she sells her handcrafted and unique clutches. Suddenly everything made sense as I began to realize that I'd seen her clutches sported by other bloggers that I follow via Instagram! Outside of admiring Cortnie's beautifully handcrafted clutches and her style, I admire the fact that she has created a business around something as popular as clutches. One thing that I'm sure of is the fact that clutches are timeless essentials for one's wardrobe.

It wouldn't be right if I didn't tap into the mind of Cortnie Elizabeth and luckily I was able to ask her a few questions regarding her personal style + her business, Love Cortnie:
NV: I would like to thank you for allowing Nai’s Visions feature you within our Woman Crush Wednesday series! It is always a pleasure to come across individuals who have an understanding of their personal style! At what point would you say that you began to cultivate the sense of style that you have today?

CE: I’m not sure I could even tell you that because I don’t know! I’ve always liked getting dressed. I occasionally wore wedges in high school. In college I was wearing kitten heels all over campus. As I got older, I still love my heels but I’m all about simplicity now. I wore way more color in the past. Now I’m all about black, white, grays, neutrals and navy. Oversized clothing, skinny pants, chunky knits, menswear, all types of skirts & dresses and of course, a statement clutch.

NV: If you had to sum of your style in just a few words, how would you describe it?

CE: Casual chic. Plain and simple.

NV: What are some of the things that influence your sense of style?
CE: I always say comfort is an influence. I mean, who doesn't want to be comfortable in the things they wear? I also tend to gravitate toward pieces I can style over and over again (ditto). I don't care too much about trends or what people think. I wear what I like and I dress for me.

NV: Switching gears a bit, I am intrigued by the fact that you design your own clutches and have built a business, Love Cortnie, around this. How did you become interested in doing so? 

CE: It didn’t happen on purpose! I was in between jobs and figured it was the best time to learn how to sew since it was something I had always wanted to learn. It was important to me that my grandmother taught me so she did. In the middle of learning I mentioned to her that it would be cool to make a clutch. Of course, she was happy to teach me also how to do that. I always thought of the type of clutch I would like to own, but could never find it in stores or online. Clutches were not a huge accessory when I started. I wanted something unique, large in size and lined with something fun; anything other than just boring black and could fit your cell phone if you were lucky. So I brought up the idea to my blog readers and they encouraged me to try it out. So one week after learning, I opened my Etsy shop with 3 clutches available. It’s been over 3 years and I have now made over 100 different styles. I originally just started for fun, but it quickly turned into a business and is now my full time job.

NV: Have you experienced any challenges in regards to Love Cortnie? 

CE: Time management is my biggest challenge. I do everything on my own; the buying, marketing, selling, sewing, social media, etc. It can get pretty intense sometimes but it never really feels like work since I love doing it. Then you also have to make time for yourself and friends and family. Balance is important.

NV: Your clutches have been worn by several other style bloggers to date. Who were you thrilled or shocked to see sporting one of your fabulous clutches?

CE: Folake of Style Pantry was an awesome surprise. I've been following her blog for almost as long as I have been blogging which is around 5 years. Then there is also actress Rachelle Lafevre from Under The Dome, White House Down and the original Twilight movie. Definitely a pleasant surprise.

NV: As a style blogger and business owner, what are some of the positive aspects of each?

CE: Working for yourself and setting your own schedule is definitely a bonus. As a blogger and business owner you also meet so many people. I’ve made life long friends out of people I’ve met networking, attending blogger events and even through social media.

NV: Last but not least, what are some tips that could share with someone who is either thinking of creating a style blog, operating their own business or both?

CE: Be prepared to put in a lot of work...a whole lot of work. You’re going to be doing a lot that may go unnoticed at first but you can’t let that discourage you. Be consistent, work hard and always be yourself.

The proof is in the pudding when it comes down to achieving any amount of success. It doesn't matter if you stumble across something that you're talented at or if you have any goals in mind. Hard work is a must and it pays off over a period of time. Cortnie Elizabeth is an example of someone who knows what works for her style-wise in addition to knowing what works for her business, Love Cortnie. As I always ask, who says that women can't be outwardly stylish and business savvy? There isn't a universal appearance that represents business owners, especially when it comes down to women. Remember, there isn't a "right" way to success because everyone is different and it's important to figure out what will/won't work according to your individual life.

Be sure to stay connected with Cortnie Elizabeth via her blog and social media handles:

Instagram: @cortnieelizabeth

Twitter: @stylelustpages