Boss Babe Spotlight: LOVE MORE DECOR

Have you ever found someone on the internet, e-stalked them ever-so-slightly and just knew there was a friendship there – even if that person didn’t know you existed (yet)? This month’s boss babe spotlight was one of those people for me – in a totally non-creepy way.

In my personal pursuit to find a mommy group, I stumbled across Allison Serrao via her Meet-up group, OMG I’m a Mom. I read the group overview and blog, and instantly felt like I connected with this woman. She was open, honest, and spoke so truthfully about the realities of motherhood. After joining the group and getting to know her a bit more, I discovered my instincts were accurate.

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Not only is she a homeschooling mama of three little ones, but she’s a passionate philanthropist AND runs her own business – Love More Décor – along with her team of fellow boss moms. In addition to all of that, and whether she knows it or not – she’s inspiring and empowering so many mama’s and women through-out Orange County.

Let’s get to know a bit more about her, the team and what they do.

1. What is Love More Decor?

Love More Decor is a full service event and wedding production team of three creatives. We do everything from event design and execution to vendor management and wedding coordination! We offer wedding planning packages as well as a la carte services that you can use to create your own custom package catered to your specific needs. We are a pretty sweet package, we take care of all the fine details and handle everything from beginning to end. Our goal is for our clients to stress less and love more on the day they really should. 

All photos by  Mandy Merino Photography  unless otherwise credited. 

All photos by Mandy Merino Photography unless otherwise credited. 

2. What was the inspiration for the business, or how did it get started?

My husband and I took a trip to Astoria, OR and stumbled upon an amazing storefront called Vintage Hardware. Paul and Rebecca who run the store are amazing creative designers who re-purpose and restore furniture and hardware and turn them into amazing design pieces. After visiting their store, it was decided that I wanted to come back and buy everything they had to start a decor rental company. So, months later, my husband and I flew out and drove home to CA in a UHAUL full of goodies. 

Since I have been doing events for the last 8 years and have always loved the grind of the planning, the designing, the producing and then finally seeing how everything we've worked on is finally executed, the next step for Love More Decor came naturally to start offering event coordination and planning. It's been nice to see our rentals and our clients leave hand in hand when working with them on their big day. 

3. Tell me a little bit about yourself (the owner), and your team.

My team is amazing! We are a three person machine when it comes to working together and we really know how to use our individual strengths. Our team consists of our Creative Manager, Ashlee, our Production Manager, Allie, and myself, Allison, the Event Director. 

Pictured left to right: Ashlee, Allison & Allie. Photo credit: Mandy Merino Photography

Pictured left to right: Ashlee, Allison & Allie. Photo credit: Mandy Merino Photography


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Our Creative Manager, Ashlee is incredibly talented at building and designing tablescapes, back drops, altars and more. She has a keen eye for design and what pieces are cohesive together when it comes to executing a clients vision. After seeing much of her work, I was so excited to have her join the LMD team and she has truly made her mark on our brand. She is also a gentle, compassionate mom of 2 who really has a way with people. I can always count on her to be the one looking out for the guests who may need a little extra help and taking excellent care of our clients. 


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Allie, our production manager is a beast! I approached her to join LMD because I knew her standards for attention to detail were high and that she would always be working to make sure every detail and design element would meet and exceed our clients' expectations. She's incredibly organized and has a knack for being able to improvise seamlessly when needed and she truly works hard to ensure all relationships between venue, vendors and clients are working together for a successful event. Also, a mom of 2, she is such a loving, passionate and eager self starter who genuinely cares about the quality of her work and service to others. 


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A little about myself, I have been managing and producing events for 8 years now, working everything from fundraisers, community events, dances, parties and weddings. As the Events Director, I am a meticulous planner obsessed with lists, spreadsheets, timelines and organizing all of the logistics that go into planning events large and small. I oversee all operations going into an event from the first steps of planning to the last minute of clean up and I get such a rush from each event we finish up. My favorite part of all of this is being able to create and design a specific vision for a client's special day and seeing efficiently executed. It allows the creative side of me to always be at work and play! Whether it's painting, writing, building, drawing, designing, restoring, or repurposing, the artist in me loves being able to always have a project to work on and Love More Decor has created that opportunity for me. 

4. Where do you draw inspiration from?

I think as mothers we draw inspiration from our everyday interactions with our kids. They are so full of wonder and imagination that they are constantly encouraging your creativity.  I can be crafting or painting or even hiking with my children and as they explore the activity we're up to they easily come up with new concepts completely organically and just like that, a new idea for a backdrop has been planted or an arch or table setting, all because of the colors my kids were using on their canvas, or because of the way they built something out of sticks and leaves. So much inspiration truly comes from just spending time with our kids and I think that's what makes our job that much more gratifying. 

Thanks to   Haute Sweets Baking Co.   for letting us photograph a team meeting in their beautiful shop. 

Thanks to Haute Sweets Baking Co. for letting us photograph a team meeting in their beautiful shop. 

5. What types of brides/couples do you like to work with the most?

We really love all couples! We have worked with so many different clients with a large variety of styles. I think part of the fun in what we do is embracing the diversity of our clientele and their needs. It's allowed us to continue to work hard for our clients and keep a fresh mind when it comes to ideas and design elements. 

6. Where do you want your business go to in 2017, and what do you want to do more of?

This year we would really love to work with more local wedding vendors and styled shoots. I hope that in 2017 our business can gain more exposure and be recognized for our hard work, integrity and style!

Photo credit:  Kirstin Burrows Photography

Photo credit: Kirstin Burrows Photography

7. Share your thoughts on female empowerment, and what it means to you. 

There is a great quote about women by G.D. Anderson I read once, 

"Feminism isn't about making women strong. Women are already strong. It's about changing the way the world perceives that strength."

We women are built strong but for some reason the world does not commonly see us as so. I think the best way to combat this and what I think is the ultimate female empowerment tool is the act of self love. As we are still living in a man's world, I know my two daughters will still have to fight and claw their way out of the man cave, but loving ourselves fiercely, knowing our worth, enough to be our own guardian, champions and advocates, I believe we can continue to pave the way for women by not accepting anything less than what we deserve. 

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Big thanks to Allison & team for letting me get to know them and feature them on this months Boss Babe Spotlight. As a working entrepreneur mama myself, I love getting to know other women who are building their businesses and balancing motherhood! 

If you're planning a wedding or event in 2017, I definitely recommend Love More Decor


ARE YOU, OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW A BOSS BABE IN THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AREA WHO'S WORTHY OF BEING FEATURED IN THIS MONTHLY SPOTLIGHT? THIS IS A CHANCE TO HIGHLIGHT OTHER FEMALE OWNED/OPERATED BUSINESSES IN THE SOCAL AREA.

AS AN ORANGE COUNTY BASED BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER I'M COMMITTED TO FEMALE EMPOWERMENT, AND WILL DO EVERYTHING IN MY POWER TO UPLIFT AND SUPPORT OTHER WOMEN. 

GET IN TOUCH IF YOU'D LIKE TO BE CONSIDERED FOR A FEATURE. 

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She secretly always wanted to do this || Orange County Boudoir Photographer

One of the things that I believe is an absolute MUST for your boudoir experience, is professional make-up & hair. You're beautiful just as you are, but having someone do your make-up is part of what helps you take on that sexy alter-ego that I know is hiding in each and every one of you. I don't consider this optional, which is why it's built in to all of my sessions

When I started my boudoir photography business here in Orange County, CA, I started the search for the perfect make-up artist to compliment the intimate portrait experience that I provide. Someone with a personality kind of like me, and someone I'd like to have a drink with outside work. The "glam" portion of the photoshoot should feel like hanging out with your girlfriends, so if I'm not friends with the make-up artist...then, well, that would just be weird. 

I happened upon Veronica when I was searching for someone with experience working with all skin tones, to accommodate a client at the time. I quickly learned that not only is she an incredible artist, but a down-to-earth, super rad lady. We bonded quickly over our shared love of Game of Thrones. 

Something that I feel passionately about, is that I want all women that work with me to experience a boudoir shoot with me. I want the person who's going to be doing your make-up, to know what she's talking about when she says "you can relax, Mandy will show you exactly what to do." Someone you can relate to you, because she's #beentheredonethat. I also want to do everything I can, to help empower the women around me to be the best damn version of themselves possible.  

If you're looking for an amazing make-up artist in the OC/LA/SD area...I highly recommend Veronica Fensel Make-up Artistry. You can check out Veronica's gallery down below, and hear straight from her what it was like:

"I have watched women get glammed up and pose for boudoir shoots for years, and have secretly have always wondered what it would be like to do one myself!

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"Immediately upon leaving the shoot I felt like a sexier beast than when I walked in. I really did feel like a model during the session, and I think Mandy's encouragement during the shoot was the reason I felt that way! Then when I saw my photos, I felt especially beautiful seeing how amazing I looked during a time when I didn't feel so beautiful to begin with.

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"I had been feeling down and less confident about my appearance for several months before the shoot. My face was breaking out, and I was at my heaviest weight. I was, however, determined not to let my insecurities stop me from doing something I'd always wanted to do!

"My favorite part of the experience, was my improved self image."       

"My favorite part of the experience was my improved self image.

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"I was blown away when I saw my images! I rarely think I look good in pictures, and while I was expecting to like a few, I didn't expect to love every single one!

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"Mandy is one of my absolute favorite photographers to work with as a hair/makeup artist, and as a model! She consistently produces beautiful images and is just a real and positive person who is so fun to hang out with!"

(P.S. I adore working with you too, Veronica.) 

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Are you a make-up junkie wondering how she got her look? Veronica has shared all her make-up details with us. 

"For my foundation, I used Mehron Celebre Pro HD creme foundation in order to easily cover my acne scarring and blemishes. It is a full coverage creme, so I used a damp sponge to sheer it out in places that didn't need as much coverage. To cover up under eye darkness, I used MAC Prolongwear Concealer in NW25. The NW range from MAC has pink/peach to orange undertones which is great for correcting and covering blue and purple tones under the eye. Both of these products last a really long time, especially when you use a sponge or powder puff to press in translucent power on top to set it. To add some warmth and definition, I used Nars "Laguna" bronzer using a large flufffy powder brush around the perimeters of the face. On the cheeks I applied Nars "Orgasm" blush to brighten up my complexion. 

On my eyes, I used shadows from the Lorac Pro 2 Palette. From the palette, I used the color 'Nectar' in the crease as a transition color, and then blended inwards with 'Plum' and 'Cool Gray'. For a pop of shimmer on the lid, I used the colors 'Chrome' and 'Silver'. I lined the eyes with black gel liner from Inglot, and applied false lashes from the Coquette Cosmetics in the style, 'Leanna'. These lashes are super fluffy and full! Then, in order to make my lips pop on camera, I first filled in my lips with MAC lip pencil in 'Soar; and went over top with MAC lipstick in "Please Me". 

I set everything with Mario Badescu Rosewater spray to help meld the powders and creams together, and to give the skin a more natural glowing finish."

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"Going outside your comfort zone and seeing positive results is so rewarding! If you've always wanted to try something like this, but are more on the introverted side like me, Mandy is the perfect relate-able and comfortable person to shoot with!!"


It's true...I'm a bit of an introvert myself. I like having one-on-one conversations with people, and get terribly shy in a crowd (unless I have a camera in my hand). This is all part of why I love intimate portraiture, and why I'm so passionate about what I do. Connecting with people and helping them step outside of their comfort zone for an empowering experience adds so much fulfillment to my life. 

Are you one of those who's secretly always wondered what it would be like to have your own boudoir photoshoot? What are you waiting for? I'll help you through the whole thing and show you an incredible side of yourself that you may not knew existed. Let's start with a phone call to break the ice! 

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Her Heart Melted :: Central Kentucky Boudoir Photographer

Like myself and so many other women, this beauty right here called me up wanting to book a shoot because she was struggling with self-confidence.

All that we endure as women can really leave a girl feeling depleted. Most of the time, we're putting the needs of others ahead of our own and rarely taking time out all for ourselves...especially for things like feeling pretty. It may not seem like that big of a deal, but when a girl doesn’t feel beautiful, then she’s living life missing a huge source of confidence. I believe that ALL women are beautiful and carry a unique spirit that makes them special. When we’re able to realize that, and see ourselves as the beautiful badasses that we are – the world better lookout. That woman is unstoppable.

I want to be that woman. I want YOU to be that woman. I love empowering women to be the best damn version of themselves that they can be, with the power of intimate portraiture.

This session started as an anniversary gift to her husband. In the end, she gained a whole new perspective of herself.

"Viewing my photos...my heart melted. I could not believe how amazing I looked."

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Was the session different from what you expected?

"Yes it was. I thought I would be a little more nervous but honestly I was so much more comfortable. I felt like I was with an old friend"

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To those of you considering a shoot for yourself...

"Do it. You will feel so good about yourself through the whole process. It will show you that you are so much more than what you see yourself as." 

Ready to find out more about a shoot all for yourself? Get in touch! 

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This session was shot at the Spring 2016 Boudoir in the Bluegrass event, in Stanford Kentucky. Mandy Merino Photography offers limited Lexington & Central Kentucky boudoir photography sessions once or twice a year. 

Boho Bridal Boudoir :: OC Boudoir Studio

I'll admit it. Leading up to WPPI (one of the biggest photo conferences on the west coast held annually in Vegas, which I attended earlier this year), the thing that I was MOST excited about...was 3 whole days alone in a hotel room, with nobody else to take care of other than myself. Selfish thoughts? Maybe, but I'm a mom, and I think any mom who said she never dreams of glorious time alone is lying! I love that (nearly 3-year-old) kid as much as I possibly could, but every now and again, MAMA NEEDS A BREAK. You know what? I took full advantage of that trip, and did just that! 

I slept in late. I got take-out pizza, wine & cookies and rented a chic-flick while lounging in bed in my PJ's. I went clubbing (WHAT?!) one night all by myself. IT. WAS. EVERYTHING. As busy working moms, sometimes you just have to schedule in a little time to center yourself. To be alone with your thoughts, and not have to worry about everybody else's needs. If you've not done that recently, I highly encourage you to change that! 

Don't get me wrong though. I wasn't a total bum the entire time I was there. I also "worked." I put that in quotes though, because it's hardly work when you're doing something you love so much, and this little genre of photography has captured my heart and taken over my life. For better or for worse. ;)

While there, I was also able to recharge my creative energy with a boho bridal styled boudoir shoot with some fellow photographer friends. I'm DYING to do more of this! I looooove the style from this shoot so much, so if this speaks to you...get in touch with me. Let's plan your boho inspired looks. 

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This luxurious lace robe can be found here

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Are you a busy lady who needs to take some time out for yourself? Let's talk! A luxury boudoir experience is ALL about YOU. Just sit back, and I'll guide you through the whole process. Don't know what to wear? I do! No clue how to pose to look sexy? I do! From where your hands go, to how to breathe...I got you! Seriously, I take care of everything. 

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Rock-N-Roll Badass Beauty :: OC Boudoir Photographer

I strive to custom tailor every single one of my sessions to fit my clients personality and style, while also adding my own twist to it. When Caitlin and I collaborated on a "sexy biker/rocker" styled shoot, it was a match made in heaven. I LOVED every minute of it as our styles blended together perfectly. We had such a blast during her shoot, and the fact that she walked away with a collection of images that truly represented HER personality and style...well, that made me a happy girl. 

Some feedback from Miss C about her session:

"After working with several different photographers, doing boudoir with all of them, I definitely felt most natural with Mandy. Her home was inviting and warm, congruent with her personality. The session felt organic and customized to fit me..."

Mandy wasn’t afraid to laugh with me, to embrace the awkward situations, where I repeatedly tripped in my heels, while attempting to look sexy. It felt like I was hanging out with an old friend, no fear of judgement.

How did you feel when you saw your images?

I was floored. I am so blessed to have been able to work with Mandy. I feel she was able to capture my best features from behind the camera, through prompting and guiding, as well as being able to recognize my best angles."

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Do not not let anything keep you from this experience. It is tailor made for you, so there should be no excuses or fears holding you back.

What was it like working with Mandy?

"From the first correspondence to the final viewing session, Many has carried herself as a professional who beams true passion for her craft. Her energy is contagious to be around and definitely helps dissipate any nerves you may have about the experience."

You're such a beautiful soul, Caitlin! I've loved getting to know you and make art together! 

Curious about what a shoot styled just for YOU would look like? Shoot me a note and let's start getting to know one each other. 

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