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!
Congrats on 13 years!! Still so glad blogging introduced us and have loved watching all the momentum you’ve built! Here’s to many more years of thoughtfully curated blog posts!
Congratulations on 13 years! I think Instagram posts are fun and quick but I have always loved full blog posts. Going through my blog feed has been part of my morning coffee/wake up time for years, and I like being able to read them on my own time vs missing content because I didn’t log on to social media quickly or often enough. I think you do a great balance of both!
How exciting! Congratulations! Love your commitment to the blog. ❤️
So fun. Congrats. You are doing an amazing job! Totally enjoy all your content. Laura
Happy 13 years, Grace! Thank you for all you do. Your blog and Facebook group are my favorites! I have been reading since the Sequins & Stripes days and remember some of those old outfits…we were all doing the same with the colors, layering, and big jewelry. It does feel like we’ve all grown up together! Great feature in the Gloria newsletter today too!
Congratulations on 13 years!!! As someone with a newer(ish) blog your journey continues to be an inspiration! I also really appreciate your candor with all the hats that need to be worn and how you feel about every platform. I’ve been focused on my blog but feeling more pressure to grow social instead. Also, congrats on the Gloria feature!
Congrats on 13 years, Grace! Reading your blog is my favorite part of my morning routine. Thank you for brightening my day every day with thoughtful perspectives, fun outfits, and authenticity.
So glad you’re here. Thank you for sharing your life, books, skincare, and so many other fun things! Congratulations on 13 years!
Happy 13 years of blogging Grace!! I love looking back and seeing all you’ve accomplished during your blogging career. And the photos are so fun! If we’re not having fun with our fashion and outfits, then what’s the point?? 🙂
Congrats on 13 years, Grace! Love your blog and all that you share – it is one of two that I have read daily (along with Cup of Jo) for the past 6+ years. Agree that there is a medium for everyone, and I’m glad that blog posts still exist!
I’d 100% wear the striped red dress look today 🙂 Congrats on lucky 13! And cheers to many more.
Me too! Proof that some outfits are classic 🙂
Congratulations! Been here since perfectionist in rehab days !! Still loving your content. Xo
Congratulations, Grace! I loved this post and the flashbacks. Since I’ve been following you only for the past 4 years, I hadn’t seen the 2012/15/17 posts – so fun!
Happy 13th birthday!! Even though Instagram is VERY demanding, I really do enjoy your more in depth blog posts(and newsletter)!! Can’t wait for the years to come!!
I love you and your blog! I can’t recall how I found you, but I am so glad I did. I am 70+ and have learned so much from you. Thanks!!
Congratulations, Grace! I discovered your blog just last year and it’s now one I reach for daily. I still love blogs – Yours, COJ, Kath Eats Real food are my regulars. But you are probably the most effective influencer I’ve come across – I’ve definitely made purchases thanks to you and I know my friends have too! And I get a lot of my book recs from you – currently reading “Can’t Look Away” and I can’t put it down!
I do have one question and I feel kind of silly asking it – but here goes – I’ve DM’d you maybe 5 times over the past few months, and never got a response to any of my questions – all related to a product recommendation that you mentioned at some point and I couldn’t remember the details and was hoping you’d be able to point me in the right direction. I’m wondering if perhaps my messages are going to the “spam” part of DMs and you aren’t seeing them? At first I figured you just were busy and missed it (I do social media for a small brand and it’s easy to miss messages at times!) but then I thought maybe it was that you weren’t seeing them at all. I don’t want to put pressure on you but I know this is also your job so thought it was worth asking!
Thank you so much and again – congratulations on 13 years!
I’m not sure! They may be going into the folder of message requests, which to be honest, I don’t always get to checking. I have to set hard limits with instagram messages and how much time I spend on the app; I get about 200-300 per day and only spend about an hour per day answering messages, so I can’t always get to them all! If you have a pressing question that you need a fast answer to, I always advise emailing me (it’s in my bio and contact page) or commenting on the blog! It’s easier for me to get to. I’m so sorry that is happening.
Thanks for your kind response, Grace! Yes, it’s probably in that message requests area – and I don’t blame you for not looking there, 200-300 in your normal DMs is just a lot! I will absolutely go ahead and either email or comment on the blog next time you make a rec that I can’t remember the details 🙂 Thanks so much, and congrats again!
Congratulations on 13 years!! An amazing accomplishment! I love how well-rounded and thoughtful your content is and am so glad I found you!
Congrats on 13 years! I’ve been following along for many years now (since the Stripes & Sequins days) and yours is one of the few blogs I still read regularly! ❤️
Congrats! Love this trip down memory lane!!
I remember the Matt Benson collab and your BaubleBar collection and being very excited for them!
Congratulations and have loved following since the Sequins days!
I love strolls down memory lane, congrats on 13 years!!
Happy birthday !!! I LOVE your blog and visit everyday. It brings me joy.
Happy blog anniversary Grace! I’ve been reading your blog since sometime around 2013 – it’s been one of my favorites, and I love finding new blogs (like Magpie!) through you 🙂
Congratulations! I am SO glad you value writing here. I am a couple years older than you and really live longer form content (I understand social has its place, but it is just not for me) and really grateful to the bloggers that keep their sites going, like you! ❤️ Have a wonderful day and I hope you get to do something fun to celebrate this milestone!
Happy Blogiversary, Grace!! I have been following you for maybe around 12 of those 13 years, I am 37 now, and to say that you have influenced my style and reading habits would be an understatement.
I am sorry that I haven’t given you much feedback through all these years, I just never thought you would care. I understand now how wrong I was.
I wish you many more years of blogging (because the blog is what I ultimately prefer), so I can get tips on grey hair and dressing sagging boobs from you when I’m old! :))
Congrats on 13 years! I love your style and your taste in books and everything about THE STRIPE!!!
So I want to say thank you and also, 100% agree with you on Stacy Willingham and cannot wait for her next book!
Thank you again and it’s so great to find an avid book reader and fashion lover all in one!!!!!
Love that you have a blog! Everything is being pared down to shortened attention span’s these days and there is something luxurious about a blog. I get to sit down and take my time to read. I love it, but can definitely see how the younger generation would find it boring if they are growing up using Tik Tok!
Yours and Cup of Jo are my favs and will never stop reading!
Congratulations and thank you! I enjoy sitting down each morning with my coffee and reading your blog. I am constantly passing on your blog and insta along with your recommendations to friends and coworkers 🙂
Happy Anniversary, Grace! I started reading Sequins & Stripes right after you had walked in a fashion show–they styled your hair in a bun that looked like a low globe and though you were self-deprecating about not being a model I thought you looked beautiful. You still do! It’s been fun to be along for the ride! Here’s to many more happy years doing what you love.
Whoopsie–Stripes & Sequins. Though I think that’s how I discovered Liz (now Adams) site back in the day! HA!
Happy blog-aversary, Grace! Ohh those were some fun fun early days with Lucky FABB, IFB, etc and I totally remember one of our first encounters was when you gave me this huge colorful and gold Bauble Bar bracelet that I still have and love! ♥️
Congrats on 13 years! Looking back at old styles is so fun. Here’s to the next 13
Looking at the Matt Bernson shoes reminds me that I’ve been following your blog for 10+ years now! How time flies 🙂
Congratulations!!! I’ve been reading almost since the beginning, which is really wild to think about, but also brings me joy. How I’ve loved following along on your journey.
Congratulations, Grace! I love The Stripe and stop by every morning, so I’d like to thank you for designing these great posts and not moving solely to social media. I dislike social media and rarely go on, so as a fellow dinosaur (who also has lizard skin ) I’d like to send you a heartfelt THANK YOU!!!
P.S. When I was little, my grandfather told me 13 is my lucky number, so perhaps it is yours, too!
Hello Grace, congrats on 13! I think your space here is truly unique! I have followed you since S&S days and I want to say the way you have handled the growth of different aspects of social media has been masterful! I have witnessed, through you and other bloggers, the “new” demands and you have conquered this in your usual Graceful way–thoughtful, provoking, reticent…just classy! Your website overhaul was soooo well done, so many others look almost cartoonish with oversized icons while yours is tony, sharp and modish. It is apparent the amount of hard work you put in and I am thankful for it. So happy for you with your move and your family’s move. Many wonderful dreams coming true for you in these 13 years! Looking forward to aging along with you, ever so Gracefully!
Happy 13th anniversary! I’ve been following since maybe the beginning? and felt so nostalgic with your Google Reader references. I also fell into those rabbit holes and loved discovering new blogs to add to my feed. Thanks for sharing through the years!
Congratulations on 13 years of blogging! I have discovered this blog only last year but already can’t remember how life was without checking The Stripe several times a week. ;D
What a big milestone. I loved those Google Reader days too!
Congrats on 13 years!
I’d 100% rather read a blog post than instagram post, always – please do another 13!
Happy blog birthday Grace! You’ve always been an inspiration to me and I’m pretty sure I started reading in 2010. Your consistency is amazing and I’ve always admired how you’ve pivoted to new platforms and still kept the blog as vibrant.
It’s something I’ve struggled with as video has become the focus but this year I’m setting a goal to keep my blog as fresh as my socials. Long live the blog! X