First off, what the heck am I talking about? I know this title may cause some head tilts, but bear with me. It will make sense.
I’ve been trying to think of how to write this post for ages. It’s felt heavy and convoluted. I’ve had a hard enough time talking about it with people. However, with Glitter Guide on the brink of some big changes, it’s time for me to explain what I’ve been going through. I have a feeling many of you have gone through the same.
Where I Started
As you may know, I have been at this blogging game for 10 years (you can read my post about things I’ve learned and would do differently here). My first blog started off as a place to share inspiration. It was artsy, slightly quirky and about connecting with people over things I adored. As the years progressed, it developed into a style blog. Style blogging was growing in popularity, and since fashion is a passion of mine, I wanted to try it! I enjoyed it for the most part, but I quickly learned that it wasn’t going to be my main focus. I never feel totally at ease in front of the camera and I didn’t like how it felt like the same thing over and over. How would I progress? Plus, I was spending way too much money on clothes in order to stay relevant.
That’s when Glitter Guide was conceived. I was a fashion intern at Women’s Wear Daily in Los Angeles in college. I had always dreamed of working for a magazine. However, back in 2005 when I graduated, there weren’t as many magazine and fashion careers in the Bay Area. There also weren’t a lot of online destinations for the big fashion magazines. So I fell into other jobs and did blogging on the side. I found that I was reading sites like Who What Wear, DailyCandy and Splendora all the time. I wanted to create my own version. Glitter Guide would be a lifestyle website that was easy, friendly and about empowering women by sharing a look into their lives. I always saw Glitter Guide like a cool, friendly girlfriend that you could go to.
As Glitter Guide grew, so did the industry. Things like Pinterest and Instagram came and have completely changed the way we consume content. I get that, and I know brands need to be adaptable to stay relevant. It’s like that quote, “Adapt or die!”
I felt we became messy, random and disconnected from what our true values were. It wasn’t glaring to me. It was subtle. Like a little voice in the back of my mind whispering.
While that’s true, I found that somewhere around year six of Glitter Guide, I started to feel disconnected from the brand. I couldn’t really put my finger on it, but it started to get away from me. My guess is that it was a mixture of things: I was now married and having children, which changed my schedule and values; my team was growing and that meant a lot of different opinions; more competition meant that we needed to be more strategic about being seen and having steady growth; and social media became focused on external validation. I had other people helping with shoots, with brand deals and with our social media. While this is key for growth (and my sanity), I felt we became messy, random and disconnected from what our true values were. It wasn’t glaring to me; it was subtle. Like a little voice in the back of my mind whispering.
Year seven was when it started to get louder. We went through a lot of internal changes, both positive and negative. It felt scary, but also exciting. I started to make small changes in our editorial and it felt good. However, it didn’t seem like the mass audience was on the same page. I kept asking myself, “Why does it often feel like no one else likes what I like?” and so I allowed us to still put out content I wasn’t excited by. I didn’t want my personal opinions to affect the entire site and therefore affect my precious team who work so hard! I decided to launch this site as a side project; a place where I could share things and not worry about the bottom line. It felt good, but it wasn’t enough.
Time To Pivot
Now we’re in year eight and I finally couldn’t take it anymore. Since Glitter Guide is a very tiny business (we’re talking five people!), I had to make a decision. Do I continue to allow myself to be unhappy or do I make a big change? The answer was finally a loud, “YES, let’s make a change!” I decided I would rather feel connected to my brand and risk being unsuccessful then try to please the masses by being something I’m not.
My business manager Sam and I have been traveling back and forth for meetings and we’ve had countless Google Hangouts examining every single detail of the brand. What would we keep? How can we reflect our current values? What is most important to us? Sam designed an entirely new website for us (what can’t that woman do?!). We worked with JaneMade on new branding, and we’ve spent hours working on a new focus that excites us.
We’re not changing entirely. There will still be home tours (although a lot less of them), features on bad-ass women (and men!) who we love, and fun tips for shopping, wellness and beauty. However, the personal stories will increase, the things we talk about may be more nuanced and many things will center around cultivating creative energy.
I’m going to get more into creative energy and what that means in a post soon, but I wanted to explain what I’ve been experiencing and why I’m making these pivots in my career. You may have seen on Glitter Guide’s and my own Instagram that we’ve been posting more of what speaks to us, and you can see the shift. We aren’t getting as many eyeballs and likes on what we’re posting. That can be scary as shit when you have a business and team to support, but we’re staying true to our brand and we can’t allow fear to influence us. It’s time to focus on making stuff that truly resonates with me and my team and not worry if other people will like it. We hope that eventually we will find alignment.
…happiness and longevity are about doing what you love.
You may also have noticed that I’m back to sharing a lot more inspiration and promoting my art direction on my Instagram account Lola Jayne. That’s because I wanted to come full circle; back to what truly inspired me to start blogging 10 years ago. It’s about being inspired, creating magic and sharing that with the world. That’s what I love, and happiness and longevity are about doing what you love.
Thank you to Andy J. Pizza of The Creative Pep Talk for the inspiration behind this title concept! Love this podcast.