R E L A U N C H !
WOW! Okay, so I actually can't believe that we are here right now and that I am saying this out loud (literally - to my computer screen). Almost 5 years ago, I came up with this crazy idea of starting a business, or a blog, or anything at all that was mine and no one else's. I had just started my very first corporate job, had transferred to a new college closer to home, and I decided that I needed an outlet to share my creative process with someone, anyone (even that meant that the only person who would visit my website would be my Mom). I hit "publish" on a pretty bland website titled 'Anna Elizabeth Events' one night in the living room of my parent's house. At the time, I thought that I wanted to be a full-time event planner for small, private parties. Never did I imagine that this "event planning business" would morph into a lifestyle blog that wakes me up in the middle of the night, leaving my heart pounding and pouring over with passion, love, and creativity. I have never felt more myself than with a blog. The phrase "finding your voice" holds a whole new meaning to me, as cliche as that might sound.
I knew that at some point, after almost 5 years with the same website (just a few, minor tweaks here and there), that eventually I would want to build a brand new one. What I didn't know, and didn't plan for - as you might have noted watching my previous blog remain entirely silent for over a week - is that my website builder and I would have a conflict that would ultimately lead to the beginning of my search and redesign.
Now... I will openly admit that I had backed out of it and questioned myself, at one point even physically tugging at my hair from frustration (and - okay, mayyybe 1 too many coffees). I thought to myself, and to Sam, several times, "what if this is a mistake?" What if I lose all of my readers and advertisers and opportunities because they think that I am flaky or my new design is ugly, worse, they can't find me anymore at all? Yes, these are all possible outcomes, for sure. I am, in a sense, starting over which is absolutely TERRIFYING. All I brought with me is a few of my favorite blog posts from each series (which I transferred word by word, picture by picture). I'm leaving behind all of the kind comments that my readers left me, built up experience from working with one website platform, and years of hard work writing original content, even if the majority of it is cringe-worthy to go back and read. It feels a little bit like leaving for a foreign country alone with nothing but a backpack of clothes and a $20 bill in my pocket. Like I said, TERRIFYING.
But, when I took a few days to really think about this decision and what I could gain as opposed to lose from taking a chance, I jumped with both feet in. Relaunching and rebranding meant that I could finally take a step back and look at my blog and my vision through a fresh lens. It meant that the possibilities were endless. It made me begin to think: what is my brand? am I representing it well? what is my message? what is my goal? what is my reason for writing and editing and working on this every day? I got to think about my personality and whether I am putting forth my true self on my blog. I also got to think about fun, pretty things like my color scheme and what my ideal website would look like.
It made me realize that I'm not only a fashion or food blogger but, a story teller. I don't want to just show you how to buy a pretty dress that I found on sale; I want to tell you about the night that I wore it and Sam and I went downtown to the most incredible, new restaurant and became best friends with the couple next to us and talked about how the first Budweiser can was made until the cows came home. I don't want to share a simple 4 step recipe with you; I want to tell you about the first time that I learned to make a lava cake and how I scarfed down 2 of them and a pint of vanilla bean ice cream before I even finished shooting. Anyone can show you a pretty blouse or a recipe for homemade white bread; that's never my purpose in sharing new content with you. I like to think that behind every single one of my posts and pictures there is a story, or a calling; something that will either motivate you, touch your heart or, at the very least, make you laugh at my misfortune.
Because I don't want to ramble on for too long about this subject in our very first post here, I'm going more in depth about what inspired my design for the new blog and brand in a separate post, "My Inspiration Board" in our Lifestyle section. If you are thinking about relaunching your own brand and aren't sure where or how to start, or just curious about my process and want to see the pretty pictures that inspired me, head on over once you get to the end of this post.
I guess that what I am trying to say here is welcome, friends! Thank you for coming over, whether you found the redirect from our old website or you are entirely new (and utterly confused about what the hell is going on in the last 6 paragraphs). Welcome to our brand new website! I am SO excited to have you and to share even more of my personal style, seasonal recipes, beauty advice, travel guides, and more with you.
xo Anna Elizabeth