Photography by the incredible Cassandra Eldridge
It's been a year since my first outfit post (okay, like a year and a week because I've been too busy to get my you-know-what together over the past several days).
A year? Already? That's bananas.
I consider my first "outfit post" as my blogiversary (which is officially the most embarrassing phrase I've used in awhile). Why? Because that's the first time I actually told the world that GG existed. In all her glory, with her ramshackle aesthetic on an old Blogger platform, completely riddled with iPhone photos. The product of a girl who just discovered a Cannon Rebel but had never heard of "manual" mode.
That was me, 1 year ago. And how much GG has changed my life since then.
A year ago, I worked at at advertising agency. I loved my team, liked my job, but I craved more creativity. I dreamed of making something out of my own tiny slice of the internet, but really viewed it as that little wobbly Dominoes breadstick that nobody wants, rather than a real slice of pie.
Not that long ago, none of my friends would have described me as the "fashionable" one. My best friends still remember the days where I used to wear giant gold belts over button down shirts (I guess my love of gold has never wavered) in attempts to hide the freshman 15 I gained in college. They even made a sorority skit about my embarrassing belts.
That happened, yes. But then I developed a love of style, and then turned it into a blog. I'm not even entirely able to pinpoint why and how that thought ever crossed my mind in the first place.
But in just 12 months time, this little blog has been more fun than I ever thought possible, and changed my life in more ways than one (more ways than 100, if we're being honest). Here are some of my favorite moments of the past year:
- The moment Neal finally convinced me that this dream of mine was in reach. And then agreeing to become a moonlighting blog photographer. (Never say never!)
- The incredible support I've received from my friends and family.
- Befriending such an incredibly smart, inspiring, and supportive group of women that make up the Chicago blogging community.
- Becoming part of The Everygirl, which has been a dream experience in itself. After my first couple months of blogging, I remember my friend Nora telling me, "you need to be on The Everygirl!" and I laughed at her and told her she should take it easy on the wine. 4 months later, I was a Fashion Editor.
- Getting my first blog sponsor, Shamelessly Sparkly, who has become a great friend and pen pal (I can't wait to meet her in person some day)!
- Working with some of my dream brands, like Piperlime, Neiman Marcus, being a featured Vanity Fair blogger, getting published on Elite Daily, and being named one of Chicago's best bloggers to watch by Refinery29!
- Becoming a contributor for the amazing wedding blog, Wedding Party (where I get to gush about all things weddings and nobody thinks it's creepy that I'm not married.)
- Bringing on my first intern, Gabby, who is a total rockstar (you'll get to officially "meet" her soon!)
- Befriending some amazing local businesses like Goldplaited, FlyWheel, George The Salon, and W Lakeshore just to name a few.
- Speaking at the Brand Market Workshop with two women I look up to like no other -- Anna and Mandy.
- Being asked to participate as a panelist at East Leyden High School's Women In Tech event, speaking in front of an incredibly inspiring group of high school women. I can't wait to see where these girls go in life!
- Leaving my corporate advertising job (yes, though, I still miss my team!) and leaping into the crazy world of non-corporateness entrepreneurship/freelance/self-employment. (EEEK!)
And how surreal it was to be shooting GG's "birthday" shoot, with Cassandra, a ridiculously talented professional photographer I would've never imagined I'd get to work with, let alone call her my friend. In Debbi Lily's gorgeous studio space, A Perfect Event, no less -- I never wanted to leave (if you're looking for a party venue by the way, this is SO your place.)
And you. The person who cared enough to scroll all the way to the end of my sappy, rambling post. Thank you, most of all, for the amazing support. This blog is still so small, and such a work in progress, but I feel so lucky that you've stuck with me along the way!
I hope you'll hang around to see what else is in store for year two!