At Home With: Samantha Wennerstrom

Samantha Wennerstrom, the fresh-faced beauty behind lifestyle blog Could I Have That, welcomes us into her sunny Santa Barbara backyard for a chat.

Samantha Wennerstrom is no stranger to the blogging world—she started Could I Have That, an online home for insights into fashion, beauty, design, travel, motherhood, and more—back in 2009 as a creative outlet, supplementing her job at the time in the publishing world. The blog has since transitioned into her full-time work (for nearly 10 years, no less) and serves as everyday inspiration for all things elevated-California-chic.

Now with the help of social media, Could I Have That takes us behind the scenes into Samantha’s beautiful world on a near-daily basis. She shares peeks into mamahood with two girls, a rotating cast of enviable outfits, snapshots of an ever-evolving home, and a window into the quintessentially laidback lifestyle of the California coast. With candor, wit, and an approachable sensibility—not to mention a new lifestyle collection called Wrel Living—Samantha is one to watch.

You have a beautiful collection of fine jewelry—some perfect for everyday wear, some reserved for exceptional occasions. What’s your take on collecting generational heirlooms, especially with two young daughters who may look forward to inheriting special pieces down the road? And conversely, are there any treasured items in your collection that have been passed along to you from past generations?

I grew up digging through my mom and grandmother’s jewelry collections and credit them completely for my obsession of yellow gold, so I 100% treasure those pieces that they have now passed on to me. There is something so personal about wearing a piece that my grandmother wore every day—when something comes with a story or history it’s ten times more interesting. Now, with two daughters I definitely think about that when it comes to my own investments. I wear two diamond cuffs with their names on them (gifts to myself when they were born) that they know will be theirs one day.

What’s your personal approach to styling and layering your jewelry?

I love the kind of jewelry that you don’t need to take off, so wearable is first and foremost. I usually put things on, take them off and then one combo will just stick for a while and I won’t take anything off for months. I love mixing pearls or beads with yellow gold and always come back to dainty chains.

How would you describe your personal style in general?

Timeless, sophisticated, relaxed and classic.

We’d love to hear about your path to blogging…what led you here, and how did you transition from it being what was presumably a side-gig into a full-time job?

I started out in publishing (working at Santa Barbara Magazine) and loved writing but also the visual aspect of laying out a story. I started my blog in 2009 as a creative outlet and it organically grew from there. I went full time in 2013.

What are some of the challenges of managing your own brand/blog with yourself and your personal family life at the center of it? What are the highlights for you?

There are definitely days when I feel more guarded and less inclined to share everything with the world. On those days I lean on the outside influences that are inspiring me—nature, images or food. Knowing when I need a break has been key to not getting burnt out. The highlights are that I get to design my day around my family and that’s pretty amazing.

How do you stay motivated to keep churning out content for your readership, not only on your blog but also on a more daily basis on social media?

I try to think of social media as an ongoing conversation with a best friend—there’s always something to talk about right! I love making lists of things I want to address or share, and that usually keeps me excited about content.

What are your favorite ways to engage with your followers—or perhaps, what comes most naturally to you?

The most time I engage is typically through comments and direct messages. Every once and a while I’ll answer random questions and that is always a fun way to connect as well.

The past couple of years have been stressful for just about everyone. Is there anything about this exceptional season of life that has reshaped or altered the way you run your blog and brand?

Yes! When things shut down in 2020 it really forced me to photograph more on my own and I learned how to edit my images more which has become so fun.

You launched your first lifestyle collection called Wrel Living back in August of 2021. We love that it’s full of handcrafted tabletop items produced by California-based female makers, along with some other unique lifestyle essentials. Any plans on the horizon for Wrel Living that we should know about?

We are in the process of working on our Spring/Summer collection and can’t wait to share more. It will include a few ready-to-wear pieces, tabletop and jewelry! We can’t wait.