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.
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.
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!
photography by Lydia Hudgens.