13 Years of Blogging
Today, my blog turns 13. I thought it would be fun to take a little time to reflect (and look back at some old photos, ha ha). I started this site when I was 28 years old and working in the beauty industry, doing marketing and brand management for a big corporation that owned a ton of brands. The blog became my little escape from work, a cozy and quiet thing to do when I got home from a long day. It was even anonymous for the first couple years that I did it (I was absolutely terrified of someone at work finding out, I wouldn’t even pull up the URL on my work computer for fear of someone finding it!).
Those early days of blogging sure were fun. And rewarding.
Not in a money making kind of way but just personal enjoyment… and the connections I made. There really was nothing better than sitting down with a mug of coffee and opening up Google Reader. Back in those days before Instagram, it was not uncommon to receive hundreds of comments on a single blog post. Other bloggers would leaving their URLs in the comments section, and then I would click over to their sites and just get lost, scrolling their content and maybe even (if I really liked it) adding their site to Google Reader. Eventually the commenting back and forth led to emailing, phone calls, even visits, and meeting up with blogger friends in other states. This is how I met some of my close friends like Victoria, Liz, and Chassity.
I remember getting up at 6am a few days a week to shoot my outfits before work (how in the world was I so motivated!?).
I remember saving up the money and then spending a whole weekend taking Blogshop to learn Photoshop. And I remember carefully picking out my outfits for Lucky FABB and the RewardStyle conference. I remember my first sponsored post (with Ugg!), my first co-branded product collaboration (Matt Bernson), and my first year long contract (with Old Navy!). Blogging was such a different thing than it is now. Back then I would spend a full weekend day writing blog posts for the following week. It was pretty turnkey as most posts were outfits. Upload photos and links, write a little paragraph… done. I would schedule my posts for Monday-Friday, and then post to social media when I woke up each day. It was easy to do it as a side project. Now there is so much more.
The blog, which I think of as the center of my social media universe but also instagram and stories and DMs and reels and email newsletter (and the list just keeps getting longer, I’m sure by next year there will be another thing!). I have seen a lot of OG bloggers abandon their sites in favor of moving to just social media, but am heartened by thoughtful new(ish) sites (like Magpie!) and newsletters (The Love List! Gloria! Becky Malinksy!) popping up every day.
I think there is space for everyone, as long as you work hard, stay authentically “you,” and do it well.
You can thrive just doing Instagram. Or maybe even TikTok. Or a blog, a newsletter, etc. There is still a place for blogs and longer form content and I will continue to post here regularly, always. I deeply believe this whole social media thing is about finding your people, your community, and nurturing that by being consistent with your content and accessible (or at least as accessible as possible) to your audience. I sometimes feel like a dinosaur. Instagram has really done something to our attention spans and also the idea of accessibility. I am learning to just pick and choose how I engage with it all and remember that I am in control and everything is a choice!
I at times feel frustrated by how instant everything has become, always feeling behind on DMs or like I am not sharing enough of my personal life or talking to the camera enough (sometimes I just look like garbage!), not responding to comments quickly enough… it all can feel like a treadmill. But again, I remember that everything is a choice and that calms me down.
This is the longest job I’ve ever had. 13 years! A side project for the first 5, but still. I love what I do and feel so incredibly lucky to get to do it. Especially: my blog, my newsletter, our Facebook community. And I like Instagram of course, but in more limited doses. I am getting better at taking breaks, at putting up a post and then closing the app, at not basing my self-worth on how my story views or grid engagement is looking. It can be a real struggle at times, but it is also my jobm and I want to do the best job I possibly can.
I thank those of you who still come to the blog every day.
Or every week, or even every month! And a special shout-out to those who have been here since the Stripes & Sequins days. In a way, it really feels like I have grown up with you! Just for fun… below are a few old outfits/posts. I will say that it is truly wild having a visual diary of everything you wore, hairstyles, makeup, etc. over the years.
This post was so of the time from 2017. I remember thinking how good the movement looked and being really proud of the shot.
From a 2012 feature with Refinery. I remember thinking, “this is a really, really good outfit.” We shot a series of outfits in the store and I got to pick one to take home and keep. I kept this one. I giggle and cringe at a lot of my old outfits (but also: the skinny eyebrows and all that hair!) BUT I always had (and still have!) fun with my outfits, and that is what matters.
2015: There’s nothing quite like full hair and makeup paired with ratty denim and shower slides! Still have the jacket though.
My first product collaboration: shoes with Matt Bernson in 2013. I was so proud of these. At the time the perforated leather over glitter felt really revolutionary and new.
And my collection with BaubleBar!
Thank you for indulging this little walk down memory lane!