Welcome to The Stripe!

Kate Spade Saturday Dress // Stuart Weitzman Boots
Kate Spade Saturday Dress // Stuart Weitzman Boots

 

Welcome to The Stripe. If you came here looking for Stripes & Sequins, you’ve arrived in the right place but things sure look a lot different! The Stripe is the new Stripes & Sequins… effective today, both the name + design have changed. This month marks five years of blogging for me, and I felt that now was the time to switch things up a bit.

Why the name change? Fun fact/real talk: If you ask any blogger, chances are good that they actually kind of hate the name of their blog. Here’s the thing about starting a blog (or at least, starting a blog five years ago.) When you start, you don’t actually think anyone will ever read what you are writing. So, I started this thing five years ago and just strung together two things I really liked. And that was fine, I liked my name! But as I grew up, I felt more and more distant from the name of my blog. I barely wear sequins these days and the name just felt a little young. I wanted a cleaner name, as well as a cleaner design.

What’s changing? If you’re a regular reader in these parts, you probably already have seen a shift in content this year. I’ve been slowly layering on more beauty and travel posts, more interviews and features… in addition to the fashion, shopping, and DIY posts that I already create.

I thought really hard about the site experience and how I’d want to browse the site as a reader and ultimately wanted the layout to showcase all of the different content that this site includes. Most importantly, I wanted to make it easy for you to find what you are looking for.

Kate Spade Saturday Dress 2

But I like reading a blog like a blog – the new layout is confusing! I get it. This isn’t Vogue. A blog is a blog, and you want to read it like one. One of the key complaints I hear about bloggers’ is our fancy redesigns (sorry – it’s a thing… we just can’t stop!) I know that you, as readers, often get frustrated with our layouts… having to click for everything instead of just easily scrolling through content. So… I found a solution that would let me have the editorial site I wanted, showcase all the different types of content on this site… and to keep those of you who want to keep reading this site like a blog happy.

And so, for those of you who long for simper days, fear not! My developers were overachievers and built me two layouts… the fancy one, or you can just go directly to thestripe.com/blog and view the site like a regular blog. But you may not want to… you’ll miss out on one of my favorite features… “Stripe Finds”, which I’ll get into more below!

What are the new features of the site? The dual layouts was a big one (and important to me – at the end of the day, the most important thing to me is that you have a good experience visiting my site, can find what you are looking for, and want to come back!)

And what are Stripe Finds? Okay, lets backtrack a bit! When I asked my friends + family what their favorite thing was about my site, nearly all of them said it was the discovery element, and the cool “finds” I share in this space. So I wanted another way to show you more cool new stuff. If you scroll down to the middle of the homepage, you’ll see four “Stripe Finds”, waiting for you. I’ll be switching ’em up every few days based on the things I’m loving at the moment. Maybe it’s a cool new spa treatment, restaurant or workout class… maybe it’s the perfect pair of jeans… a book I’m reading, a beauty product I love… you get the gist… these are the things that I love and think you will love, too! It’s worth noting that I did not invent this idea and don’t want to take credit for it… a lot of bloggers are adding these mini posts to their sites.. I was inspired by Molly & Sally’s redesign when I did mine.

Along the lines of finding + discovering, I’ve added a brand new “Stripe Finds” page that will be extremely edited. Only my most favorite, favorite things that I actually own and love will be featured here. There are twenty things in there right now, and I’ll be adding a few new things every week so be sure to check back.

Also, if you’re reading the site from a mobile device (my stats tell me that twenty percent of you are!) you’ll notice a much better site experience… we made it responsive!

And lastly, you should probably check out the DIY gallery! I’m pretty excited about the filters here… you can sort projects by type but also project difficulty! Also, the page is just really pretty… Victoria and Lisa did such an amazing job! Also, my New York City Guide… all my faves in one streamlined place.

Kate Spade Saturday Dress 1

Who did your redesign? For the design, I worked with Victoria McGinley. She is a close personal friend, and for something so massive as a full site rebrand + name change I needed someone who knows me well, outside of blogging to do it. Not to mention, I completely love her aesthetic. When I saw her own redesign, working with her became a no brainer! I’m so happy that we worked together on this. I agonize over things like fonts + sizing and she made it all look easy. She also designed my logo, which I’m kind of obsessed with.

For the development, I worked with Lisa Butler of Elembee. Lisa was responsible for moving my site over to WordPress from Blogger the first time around (years and years ago) and I already trusted her. She took the layouts Victoria designed, brought them to life and made them even better than either of us could have imagined.

I still can’t get over how buttoned up the two of them were through every.single.step. of the process. We did the bulk of work during December (when I was working on a million things at the day job + with regular blog content) and early January (when I was pretty burnt out from doing all of the things) and they stayed on top of me, making sure we hit every deadline. There was a google doc for every single thing, an easy answer to every tough question, and they made what could have been a very stressful process so easy.

We started this project early on this summer. First there was the name. Then the design iterations. And on and on. Me with endless questions and issues that needed solving for, Victoria and Lisa with endless ideas and solutions! If you’re in the market for your own redesign, I highly recommend them. (I know I’m gushing like a maniac… note that they did not give me any discounts or ask me to say nice things… I’m just beyond impressed.)

Anyway…I’m so happy with how it’s all come together… but more importantly, I’d love to know your thoughts!

The most important thing to me is the site experience for you, the reader of this site. I wanted to create a place that I would personally want to visit and spend time playing around on. I hope you love the results as much as I do!

Shop the post: Kate Spade Saturday Dress (c/o) // Stuart Weitzman Boots

photography by Lydia Hudgens.

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Comments

  1. Natalie says 1.13.15

    It looks fabulous!!! Love how mobile friendly it is, since my reading gets done whilst be little one naps or right before bed.

    Will be looking for a redesign this summer, so I will check them out!!

    Congrats again!

  2. Nnenna says 1.13.15

    I think the redesign looks wonderful and I am so, so happy that you kept the option to view your site in the traditional blog layout! That’s what I prefer on a regular basis, although I will be looking at the other version to check out The Stripe finds. I’ve been reading your blog for years now and its one of my favorites. I’m excited for the direction you’re headed in. Fantastic job to all three of you!

  3. Christin says 1.13.15

    Congratulations, she (your blog is obvi a girl) is beautiful! Victoria and Lisa always do an amazing job!

  4. Shen Dove says 1.13.15

    Your redesign looks great! Your blog is a favorite, I always look forward to your great content.

  5. Kirsten says 1.13.15

    I love the new design. It looks so much cleaner than the last one.

  6. SBZ says 1.13.15

    #nailedit

  7. Meghan says 1.13.15

    It looks FANTASTIC!!! I am so proud of you (and go Victoria!!) Amazing job and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for The Stripe in the future! XO

  8. Ashley says 1.13.15

    The new site and name look amazing Grace! It really reflects you as a blogger and person!

  9. The site looks AMAZING! You guys did a wonderful job! I know it must have been a truly collaborative effort, and Lisa and Victoria did a wonderful job of creating a gorgeous and functional site that I think really reflects your aesthetic. It looks fantastic, congratulations!

  10. Rhonda says 1.13.15

    You’re so fancy- two layouts! haha I like them both! Congrats on the new site design; it is beautiful!! 🙂 Well done, Grace! 🙂 Cheers!

    Rhonda
    http://www.theskinnyarm.com

  11. Moira says 1.13.15

    It looks so great, Grace! You, Victoria and Lisa did an amazing job!

  12. Ellie says 1.13.15

    Congrats Grace! It looks awesome!!!

    Also, I know what you mean about the blog name relationship!! I feel like I simultaneously love and hate “A Wink and A Smile” but sometimes I still feel like it’s fitting for me. #existentialblogcrisis?

  13. Abby says 1.13.15

    I absolutely love how you essentially have two blogs! I think that option is so, so, so neat! BOTH of them look great!

  14. Chris says 1.13.15

    Looks absolutely beautiful Grace! I love it!

  15. Vanessa says 1.13.15

    Congratulations Grace. This new blog is definately more mature and cleaner looking.. I love it!

  16. Niki says 1.13.15

    So fresh (and so clean, clean)! Looks amazing and love the new organization! Congrats!

  17. Katie says 1.13.15

    I love the new website, Grace! looking forward to reading it daily!

  18. Lisa Renee says 1.14.15

    Love – Love – Love the new look and name! Congratulations! 😉

  19. grace… im just so proud. the new blog is just gorgeous. mazel tov on all your success from one of your very first readers! 🙂

  20. Elizabeth Lee says 1.14.15

    i love the new name and design and you look gorgeous in the striped dress and boots!
    love, liz
    http://www.stylewich.com

  21. Nikki says 1.14.15

    Awesome – I absolutely love it!!

  22. Mary Orton says 1.14.15

    Congratulations Grace!! The new site is beyond spectacular!! Looking forward to all the exciting things to come from THE STRIPE!! XX

  23. Michelle says 1.14.15

    Congratulations on your redesign! And happy new year to you too! I’m definitely looking forward to all the new things to come in this space.

    Michelle
    http://www.michelleford.gy/blog

  24. Love the new design, gorgeous! Congratulations on your new project!

    xoxo
    Cathy, your Poor Little It Girl
    http://poorlittleitgirl.com

  25. jillian says 1.14.15

    congratulations grace! the new site is beautiful! xo jillian

  26. Bee says 1.14.15

    Perfect! I love the feel of the cursive font style! So feminine & pretty. Just how a lady likes to feel! You nailed it with the launch dress too! Added to my Bloglovin feed! 🙂

  27. Carly A. Heitlinger says 1.14.15

    I LOVE it!!! I checked it out on mobile last night and couldn’t wait to get on my laptop this morning to view the desktop site.

    I really love how you include a traditional blog view 🙂 🙂

    CONGRATULATIONS!

  28. Heidi says 1.14.15

    Love the new design and look forward to what you have in store for everyone. Congratulations on the rebranding.

    http://jax-and-jewels.blogspot.com

  29. Meredith says 1.14.15

    Looks perfect! Congratulations!

  30. Jen says 1.14.15

    Congrats on the redesign lady! I absolutely love it! It definitely fits your personality and personal taste more.

    xo, Jen
    http://www.comfortably-chic.com

  31. Elizabeth Monson says 1.14.15

    Congrats girl!

  32. gina says 1.14.15

    I really like the name change!! Much more sophisticated like you are ! And I really appreciate the dual site with the blog side; I am one who loves to just scroll down. But I think the new site looks great over all!

  33. Jess Zimlich says 1.14.15

    I can’t get over how gorgeous it is…seriously. I looked at it on my phone last night and it looks amazing on mobile. Bravo to you three!!

  34. Alexandra says 1.14.15

    Huge congratulations to you – the work and time you’ve put into this space shows! I love everything about your new layout and how thoughtful you are of your long time readers. Fabulous dress, too! You look awesome.

    Warm Regards,
    Alexandra
    http://www.littlewildheart.com

  35. Alyssa says 1.14.15

    Looks amazing, Grace—congrats!!

  36. Steph says 1.14.15

    Congrats on the redesign and the name change! Looks amazing! And you look wonderful in today’s outfit as well!

  37. Merritt says 1.14.15

    Love that dress! You look gorgeous girl – and congrats on the new site! It’s awesome!

    The Style Scribe

  38. Annie Reeves says 1.14.15

    GRACE! It’s absolutely AMAZING!!! Most importantly … the logo/name change is PERFECT!!! The Stripe is so you and so classic. I’m so excited to see where the new site takes you! Cannot wait to follow along.

  39. Jamie says 1.14.15

    Your site looks amazing! I love the Stripe Finds idea, too. Congrats 🙂 I look forward to reading your upcoming posts!

    Jamie
    http://www.treatsandtrendsblog.com

  40. Audrey says 1.14.15

    Congrats on the new site design, Grace! Love it.. x

  41. Congrats on the beautiful new design and your new name! Very exciting changes! Looking forward to seeing what you have in store for the new year 🙂

    http://www.taffetaandtulips.com

  42. Lara says 1.14.15

    congrats love!

  43. Alison Dulaney says 1.14.15

    Congrats on the site! It looks amazing!

  44. Lilly says 1.14.15

    Looks FANTASTIC! Very clean & simplistic, but love the curly script. Great job, Grace!

    – Lilly
    stripedflats.com

  45. Nathalia says 1.14.15

    congrats! i looks great … changes are good in life, i totally get you! i changed my layout a few months back and still change little things to make the place happier, for me and the readers. So, great job!
    Love it …

    xx
    Nats
    http://www.thekeyitem.com

  46. Jessica says 1.14.15

    Absolutely love the new design! I’ve been craving a redesign for my 4 year anniversary they’re alwyas so fun yet stressful. Love how the new site is laid out!

    Congrats!

    xo Jessica
    http://www.mystylevita.com

  47. Amanda says 1.14.15

    Hi Grace –
    I’m a big fan and longtime reader – your new site looks great!
    I wasn’t sure if/how to say this, but here goes nothing — I think you need a new photographer! EEP!

    I’d love to see a bit more variation in your pictures/poses… in this post above, it’s three straight-on shots, without much animation/movement. I’m sure Lydia is a talented photographer, but I don’t think she does much for you. You seem like such a fun girl, and I don’t think the photos do your personality justice!

    Sorry if you are offended!

    Amanda

    • graceatwood says 1.14.15

      hi amanda,

      not offended! it’s probably more my fault than lydia’s, though… I’m pretty awkward in photos. that said, you’ve inspired me to work harder to incorporate more movement into my photos this year. thanks for taking the time to comment (and in such a nice, constructive manner, too!)

      xx
      grace

  48. Becca says 1.14.15

    Yay! So excited for you. xx

  49. Stephanie says 1.14.15

    I’m so glad you kept a regular blog format! I actually don’t read APOT anymore after their redesign, I just don’t find it user friendly. Thanks again for letting us old-fashioned folks keep our old-fashioned layout 😉

    • graceatwood says 1.14.15

      aw, thank you stephanie! i’m so glad you like the layout.

      quick question! do you use feedly? I read APOT in my feedly and then click through to their posts… it’s such a great blog, I’d be sad to miss their posts!

  50. Lisa says 1.14.15

    Congratulations on the rebranding and launch Grace. It’s definitely an elegant aesthetic for sure.

  51. Wow, I am really impressed with how much thought you put into user experience, even to the point of developing two home pages for your readers! I’m in the process of redesign, so I’m definitely inspired by you. (And I have to say, I’m glad that by following blogs on Bloglovin I miss most of those annoying front pages).

    Congrats Lady!

  52. cait says 1.14.15

    The new site + rebrand looks amazing! Congratulations, Grace.

  53. Nan says 1.14.15

    Congratulations on the new site Grace, it looks wonderful! I have been reading your blog for a few years now and it has been so great to see you continue to grow and develop, you are always such an inspiration.
    I wanted to take the time to say that I love your new ‘shop’ feature, and how you made sure to point out that it is only products that you truly own and love. I have found that so many bloggers are having ‘shop’ pages now, which is great, but sometimes it is hard to tell if they like the look of the item, have it on their wishlist, etc. or if they truly suggest it. It is always so great to hear a good review of a product, it helps so much when deciding to purchase something. Like when a best friend tells you they lovvveee ‘x’ than you also want to try it. So anyway, just a note to say that I love that new addition. (I see we both love tata harper, I am a huge fan also, but I have yet to try their elixirs or serums. I will have to try that next!)
    Love the new design and thank you for always sharing so many great finds + posts with us all!

  54. Theodora says 1.14.15

    Congrats, lady! It looks awesome, and I love the idea of the dual layout…because I was about to click away out of overwhelmedness before I saw the “blog” option. The finds feature is super cool though!

  55. Katie says 1.14.15

    Hi Grace!

    First of all, I am a new reader – but had heard of Stripes + Sequins before, just never popped over here until Hallie tweeted about the redesign. I LOVE IT! You put so much thought into it, and I spent a few hours today reading back through your old posts, and kicking myself for not reading it sooner. I’ll definitely paying the stripe daily visits in the future!

    Second, I also thought you’d like to know I am doing a project for my PR + Corporate Communications Master at Georgetown on BaubleBar’s social media and will also be talking about your blog as a part of that! I’ll be sure to send it your way once I have finished it up.

    Can’t wait to see you around here, and on Instagram + Twitter. Keep up the great work!

    xo katie // a touch of teal

    • graceatwood says 1.15.15

      Aw, Hallie’s blog is one of my favorites! I’m so happy that you found me!!! Definitely send the project my way when you finish! Thanks for the kind words and for reading!

  56. Congratulations Grace, on both your five years and the redesign! The site looks great, much more grown up and editorial.

    The dual layout thing is a stroke of GENIUS. Some of the blogs I used to read religiously have recently had redesigns and I’ve been put off by them and stopped reading a couple of them. As much as I like seeing what you’re currently loving or have wishlisted, I also feel like sometimes it’s just an rstyle gimmick that gets in the way of what blogging is truly about. I usually read blogs because I’m engaged in the actual writing, not because I want to buy what the blogger owns (and in a lot of cases has been comped). I understand that this is an income stream for a lot of people, and having a blog myself, it is nice to get something monetary back for your hard work. So – a HUGE thank you for being so in touch with your readers that you realise that some of us just like reading and keeping up with you. It’s hard to please everyone, but I think you’ve done it! xx

    • graceatwood says 1.15.15

      Amy – thank you so much for your comment – it made my night last night! Honestly the nicest comment ever, and exactly what I was hoping the new site would convey. I really appreciate it and can’t thank you enough for reading and leaving such thoughtful feedback.

  57. Peyton taylor says 1.14.15

    So excited for you!

    Xo
    Peyton

    perfectlytayloredblog.com

  58. Jamie says 1.15.15

    I love the new blog name and redesign. After reading your post regarding a name change and needing something new, because you’re right when you first start blogging you never expect for it to stick and the name to be something, it gave me the boost to change the name of my blog.

    Design looks great!

    Hello There, Lady!

  59. Congrats Grace! LOVE the new name and design. You have worked so hard and it shows. Can’t wait to see more of your stripe finds xx

  60. Tonie says 1.19.15

    I love the new look and new name! What a fantastic start to your 2015!
    http://www.toniegirl.com

    • graceatwood says 1.19.15

      thanks so much!!

  61. Lydian Smith says 1.19.15

    Follow you on Instagram and can’t tell you how much I L O V E all your posts! Super excited for your new website and seeing what new a d v e n t u r e s are in store for The Stripe — thanks for the daily inspiration! <3

    ~ L. S.

    • graceatwood says 1.19.15

      that’s so kind of you to say… thanks!

  62. Larisa says 1.23.15

    Congrats love! This is amazing and I am loving the new name and design. I love how different something can be after dropping just one word, lol!

    xx Larisa @ weheartbeauty.com

  63. gaby says 2.5.15

    YAY! so so awesome, looks amazing! 🙂