As many of you have noticed over the past week or two, Bows & Sequins has gotten a facelift! And man, oh man, it feels good!! I started my blog almost 5 years ago, without a single intention of what would happen down the line… I was just trying to get a job after college and a blog seemed like a good way to show my more creative side. (I majored in Consumer Economics & Financial Planning… Not exactly where my passion lies.) I started it completely on my own one night from my college apartment senior year, and had absolutely no idea what I was doing. About a year later in 2011, I paid Danielle a whopping $50 to create a new logo for me, which was the exact same logo that you still saw up until a week ago. Crazy, right? So much has happened in the last few years! Beyond my logo, I had tweaked the code in the backend to change everything on my blog up until this point. Now it probably makes more sense why it looked so unbelievably basic and cookie-cutter for so many years, am I right? 😉
I knew I wanted to work with my incredibly talented friend, Victoria McGinley, for my new design and put down my deposit with her back in JANUARY. Come April 1st, we started working on my new design, and I’m just so excited to finally see it live!! The blog finally looks exactly how I want you, as a reader, to feel when you get here. I feel like the design finally matches the content and is a true representation of my style, if that makes sense!
Victoria recommended Lisa for the development side of things, and honestly, I’m just blown away by working with both of them. Victoria‘s creative style and eye for details, mixed with her very put-together, down-to-business processes, coupled with Lisa‘s quickfire coding skills (she’s seriously amazing)… I think the two of them could actually run the world if given the opportunity. Designing and building this site was definitely an investment in terms of time and cost, but it was so, so worth it.
To get started initially, I created a Pinterest board of images that I felt were inspiring and gave the same vibe that I wanted my site to give. From there, Victoria put together a mood board with some key messaging that I wanted the site to portray. From the images I pinned, Victoria pulled out some colors that played a dominant role. I’ve always known I love navy and pink, but she did such an amazing job of putting it all together with the perfect shades!
To be honest, I think the logo was the hardest part. There are just so many fonts!! My new logo is actually a combination of two different fonts, which I love. 100% unique!
Aside from simply looking so much prettier, my new design is so much more functional, too! If you’ve been following along for a while, you know that my content has evolved over the last few years as I’ve grown up. While fashion and personal style will probably always be the bulk of my content, I’ve loved peppering in more lifestyle pieces, as well — fitness, travel, food, interior decor, beauty, and more.
I wanted site that was easier to navigate and properly showcased all of the different types of content pieces. I think Victoria and Lisa absolutely nailed it! (And I really hope you feel the same way, too!)
Here’s a quick-start guide to all of the different features of the new and improved Bows & Sequins!
(Wow, Did I really just say “quick-start guide??” I’ve definitely been assembling too much furniture over the last few weeks. Help me.)
STYLE GUIDE: The Style Guide has to be my favorite part of the new site. (You can get to it by clicking “Style” on the main navigation bar under the logo, or by clicking “The Style Guide” on the right sidebar, or by clicking “Jessica’s Style Guide” in the footer at the bottom of the page.) Once you’re in the Style Guide, everything is filterable!! I’m still working on categorizing a lot of my old posts, but you can now sort my outfit posts by Season, Occassion, Destination, and even Item.
For example, if you’re looking for new ways to wear your white jeans, just filter by Item and click “White Denim.” If you’re looking for only Winter outfits wearing White Denim, filter by both Season and Item. I think it’s pretty intuitive, but please let me know if you have any questions at all! This site redesign is for you, so I want to make sure you’re able to use this page as a resource.
TRAVEL GUIDE: The Travel Guide is definitely one of the most exciting parts of my new site! I’ve always found it so challenging to be able to share all of my recommendations in an organized way, so I love that it’s all in one place now. (You can get to the Travel Guide by clicking “Jet Set Jess” on the main navigation bar under the logo, or by clicking “#JetSetJRS” on the right sidebar, or by clicking “Jet Set Travel Guide” in the footer at the bottom of the page.) Once you’re in the Travel Guide, all of my favorite spots are broken down my city, and then again my category. Brunch, dinner, quick bites, pampering, and even my favorite places to stay!
I’ve been working on creating more content for the Travel Guide, so definitely keep an eye on it over the next few weeks. I get so many emails asking for recommendations in cities that I’ve traveled to, so I hope this can help when you’re plotting your agenda for your next trip!
When you roll over a recommendation, it will turn from navy to pink if there is something to click on! Pink links will take you directly to their website, or to special content that I’ve created just for that spot. (What I would order, what time I would go, what I would wear, etc.) So definitely spend some time clicking around here!
I’ll be adding to this a lot over the next few weeks…. Adding destinations (Paris, London, Hilton Head Island, Newport, Florida, and more), adding spots in New York and Chicago, and adding links and content to most of the places on the list.
PS: My new travel hashtag on Instagram is #JetSetJRS because apparently there is another #JetSetJess out there. So if you’re ever bored and scrolling through Instagram, you can use #JetSetJRS to find all of my travel photos.
SHOP: Another one of my favorite parts of the new site! On the top of the homepage, you’ll see a link “Visit the Shop” .. You can also find a link to the shop page from the bottom of any page in the footer, “The Bows & Sequins Shop.” I’ve been adding products to the shop page over the last few weeks and will continue to add more! My favorite items on my wish-list, recent purchases, my must-haves, etc. The best part is you can filter these products on the left-hand side. Right now, you can filter by Accessories, Beauty, Fitness, Shoes, Clothing, and Decor.
On the shop page, you can also shop by outfit! I think this feature is so cool because I’ve really never seen it before. (Victoria and Lisa are amazing.) On the left hand side, just click “Recent Outfits” in the light pink box. (You can also use this link.) My most recent six outfit posts will show up, with a little scrolling widget below that shows all of the pieces I’m wearing. Just click on any of the pieces to be taken directly to that retailer/item! You can also click on the photos of me and be taken directly to that outfit post.
On the shop page, there’s also a “Favorite Retailers” list on the left-hand side. If you’re looking to do some shopping, you can find a list of my favorite places to shop in a lot of different categories.
SCROLLING NAVIGATION: You may notice that once you scroll down the page, a light pink box pops up along the top as you scroll. This is my new scrolling navigation bar. You will easily be able to find links to each category I write about (Style, Food, Travel, Interiors, Fitness, and Beauty), as well as a link to the Style Guide, the Travel Guide, and all of my social media profiles. It should make finding your way around a little bit easier!
DROP-DOWN DRAWER MENU: In the top left corner, you’ll see three little dashes that look like a square. If you click on that, a drop-down menu will appear and give you links to all of the nitty gritty — About Me, Q & A (coming soon.. feel free to send me any and all questions!), Press Page, etc.
CATEGORY PAGES: My category pages should be a lot more organized now and a lot easier to find what you’re looking for! When you’re going through the categories, a photo and a little excerpt of that post will show up now. So far, I’ve gone through a few years of posts and re-categorized them, but I still have a few years to go. Food, Interiors, Fitness, Beauty
LINKS: Just as a general rule of thumb — Any text that is hot pink, or any text that is navy and turns to hot pink when you scroll over it, is a clickable link.
MOBILE FRIENDLY: Reading Bows & Sequins from your phone or tablet? No problem! We made the site responsive, so you should have a great experience no matter your screen size.
SEARCH: My new search bar is on the home page, at the bottom of the right sidebar. Simply type whatever you’re searching for and click enter!
EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION: There’s a few different places on the site where you can enter your email address to subscribe to the Bows & Sequins Newsletter. You’ll be notified of new posts by email, as well as some exclusive content just for email subscribers. To make it easy, I’ve included a sign-up for below! (You can also sign up here.)
A little side note: I can’t recommend Victoria & Lisa highly enough! They do graphic design projects much larger than blog designs, so if you’re in the market for a new website, I’d definitely reach out. 🙂
As always, please please please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or site issues at all! Leave a comment below, shoot me an email, or even send me a tweet.
The NEW BowsandSequins.com! + a guide for how to use the new site!