10.09.2014

Let's Get Fresh

Beautiful print by Yellow Button Studio.

So it's been almost 9 months since I last hit that "new post" button. Almost enough time to incubate and birth a baby, which, I think, is pretty fitting for today's dialogue.

Some of you might remember when I participated in a wonderful blogger challenge called "Things I'm Afraid to Tell You" back in 2012, championed by Ez of Creature Comforts. That post (which I would love for you to read, including the wonderful responses) was so very freeing for me to write, but it was also a catalyst for the long period of silence that began this past January (totally unplanned, but, I see now, very necessary).

In that space in 2012, I felt I could finally express my dissatisfaction with what blogs have become. To name a few things (backed up by several of your responses and continuing conversations I have had with so many other young women), I feel a lot (not all, mind you) blogs have become:

Self-esteem-suckers
If only I could be that put together. If only my house were that pretty. If only I could afford those Anthropologie pillows.

Unrealistic
The wonders of everything being shot and styled by professional photographers.

Unauthentic
I got SO tired of reading something only to find it out was a "sponsored" post.

Self-Involved
Look at me! Like what I like! Love what I love!

Creativity-Killers
Reading DIY after DIY, and totally loving them, but then after a while you start to feel like people are just DIYing everything and now there isn't a reason for you to tap into your own creative juices because that other person already did it and it was way cuter than what you were thinking, so why exercise that part of my brain?

Now, as I mentioned before, I don't think all blogs are this way, and I'm sure there are people out there who don't agree with anything I just said, and that is just fine. There is certainly space for everyone's thoughts. But for me, for the next year and a half after that post, these feelings grew, and I gradually stopped reading blogs. Then I started to lose interest in my own, because it just didn't feel like "me" anymore; it felt like a shell of the other blogs I wanted to be, so of course I was uninspired! Finally, I decided that, until I could find my voice again, and have a clear picture of what I wanted it to be, I just needed to let it go. And I did. And it felt great.

Afterward, I focused all my energy on the brick-and-mortar store, which, I am happy to say, celebrated its first anniversary this past September (yay!). It has been on of the most challenging, heartbreaking, exciting, creative things I've ever done, and as the store eases into its second year, I have no shortage of ideas for how to keep pushing and evolving it. And that is where we come to today's post.

During this hiatus, the blog was always in the back of my mind, and I've tried very hard to think of what I want it to be and become:

I want it to be encouraging.
I want it to be empowering.
I want it to make you smile.
I want it to inspire you.
I want it to challenge you (in a good way).
And, of course, I want to use it to share my love of vintage.

All that said, I have some ideas that I'm really excited about, but it's a fruitless effort without asking for — and open-heartedly inviting — your feedback.

So, go on; let me have it. I want to hear what you love about blogs. What you don't. What inspires you. What's important to you. What you love about vintage (or if you don't know anything about it!). What keeps you going back to the bloggers you've come to love. Issues (especially as women) you feel strongly about. Anything you can think of that you want to share!

In the meantime, I'll keep brewing ideas, too, and we'll see what comes out of the oven. ;-)

5 comments:

  1. Ive missed your blogs! I agree with all you've said about blogging. I used to blog a lot years ago. Now, not so much. I follow many blogs. Some I hardly ever read and ones I read everything they post. I enjoyed reading about Holly. lol I loved seeing your finds and it made me think about the treasures to be found thrifting. I like blogs that show & me things I wouldnt find on my own. I hope you're back!

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  2. YES, everything YES! I've been so inspired since our chat in STL, and am just about to hit publish on a similar post to celebrate the (finally!) relaunch of Shoestring. Please, please, PLEASE come to Austin for TxSC Camp in March. Registration starts tomorrow: http://www.texasstylecouncil.com/ It would be so wonderful to have your voice in the mix of storytellers figuring this all out together, not to mention to see/hang with you again IRL! xoxo M

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  3. I have never read your past blogs, but you are such a joy to talk with in person, I cannot imagine how nice it would be for you to funnel that into blog posts. I cannot agree with you more about many comments as being a visually driven person I am sickened by the continual drive for a perfection that is not even enticing. I read blogs that are visually inspiring and where the person has a desire to create and write about content that is authentic to them. Vintage--oh vintage. I have grown up shopping vintage and it will forever be one of my favorite things. I probably know nothing about it like you, but it is something I treasure even if I am still learning about the clothes (your post with Camille was extremely helpful). I hope you continue to find your voice! Visiting your shop is so fun!

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  4. I READ YOUR POST ON MSN.COM TODAY ABOUT WORLD'S FAIR DONUTS ON VANDEVENTER AVENUE IN ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI. I LIVE IN ST. LOUIS AND THE DONUTS ARE GREAT. READERS SHOULD BE INFORMED THEY ONLY TAKE CASH.

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  5. Thank you for this blog. I have been wanting to start my own blog but have felt intimidated by all the other amazing blogs. Your blog has given me more confidence to give it a go. I'm not sure if you are still writing but I really hope you are. We need more voices like yours. I wish you all the happiness in the world.

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