Each Thursday this month, we'll feature a local influencer living the sweet life in Cincinnati. We'll learn more about what they do, what they cover, and why you might want to be following along. Thanks to Gigi's Cupcakes in Kenwood for hosting!
The inspiration behind Shelbie Todd's blog, Ddotts, started as a creative outlet and mental refuge following her epilepsy diagnosis. Today, this mom of three is a local #momlife influencer running a popular Cincinnati-based blog with international reach, covering a variety of lifestyle topics. On Ddotts.com, you'll find everything from motherhood, travel, fashion, favorite things, life in Cincy, recipes, inspiration, and so much more. We sat down with her (over some yummy Gigi's Cupcakes and coffee - so good!) to learn more. Connect the Ddotts, if you will.
Cincinnati Refined: Tell us a bit about your non-work life.
Shelbie Todd: I’m a mom of three boys (10,8, & 10 months) I’m happily married to my high school sweetheart. We both have a passion for creating - he’s actually an outdoor content creator. We love traveling with the family and living like tourists here exploring Cincy! With the quarantine putting a pin in our travels, we started collecting VHS tapes and retro video games. You won’t typically find us being competitive - - but just wait until we break out the Mario Party! It has been so fun to see the boys enjoy things we grew up with. There’s just something about physically picking the movie for movie night.
CR: Tell us about your career path and what led to where you are today?
Todd: I found blogging during the most traumatic season of my life, my epilepsy diagnosis. It helped me find myself when I never felt so lost. My brain was letting me down, and having my blog was a form of therapy. As time went on & my seizures subsided, epilepsy became less of a daily reminder. At the time I was cleared to drive again, Jaxon was also beginning preschool. I thought this was the perfect time to return to the workforce. I took a job at a local magazine in advertising. I quickly learned print ads were hard to sell! During a time when social media had really started to boom, it was a challenge! Being innovative and rolling with the times, I started sharing my clients on my social media! I would bring the family out and create content around our experience.This is about the time my epilepsy blog morphed into Ddotts: lifestyle - family style. This was way before the influencer marketing industry is what it is today! Over time Ddotts grew and I started working with brands and businesses outside of my clients. I eventually left the magazine to work in a preschool enrollment office, but continued to work on the blog as my side hustle.
In January 2020 I accepted a job offer in influencer marketing & social media. I thought it would get me closer to my dream of eventually blogging full time. Little did I know. Less than a week into the job I knew I made a huge mistake. I was at a crossroads. I knew I couldn’t continue at this new job. I also had the opportunity to return to the school. Something was pulling me and telling me this was the opportunity to take Ddotts full time. Soooo - that’s what I did! The month following we found out we were pregnant. Then March 2020 - the world stopped. Blind faith throughout the past two years brings me to today. I couldn’t be happier! I am so proud of myself for finding strength in leaving when things don’t feel right & trusting my gut. My journey reads almost like a pinball machine, lots of connections that brought me here today. I’m thankful for every redirection.
CR: In your opinion, what makes your outlet unique?
Todd: Hmmmm... I think maybe how I don’t take myself too seriously? I show up and share a lot of just unfiltered, everyday content with my family. My house is lived in, my kids don’t always match, I might not be “aesthetic” - but I’m me. I truly love the bond that has created with my followers. There’s so many I DM with everyday! I am inspired to show as myself to let others feel safe to be themselves too! Want my opinion on an outfit? Tips for taking the kids to the amusement park? Need good vibes for your upcoming job interview? Link to the stroller I use? My DMs are always open!
CR: What do you love most about what you do?
Todd: Everything! But overall, I love showing my boys that you can totally pave your own way in life. They’ve had a front row seat to all my growth, and even been a huge part of it! I hope that I can inspire them to lean into a career they love. Life is way too short for anything less.
CR: What’s next on the horizon for you?
Todd: I’m working on a fun little project coming this fall. I not only love being creative in writing and photography - but my hands as well! I’m launching a new shop filled with unique, handmade pieces for babies and toddlers! I am so excited! Follow @shopwinnieandro for more info!
CR: Anything else you’d like to add?
Todd: I will share a quote I love - “if this life doesn’t look like your soul feels, keep going”- butterflies rising
CR: And, last but not least, what's your favorite Gigi's Cupcake flavor and why?
Todd: Strawberry shortcake! It’s just as delicious as it is adorable! I am a big frosting girl and the strawberry buttercream is incredible!