Cheers to THIRTEEN years! It feels like yesterday and also an entirely different lifetime I was sitting in my college apartment when I ‘stumbled upon’ a personal style blog and instantly decided to start my own. I figured out how to make a WordPress account and bought the domain name the same night, thirteen years ago tonight.
Thirteen has always been my favorite number, but after going to the Eras Movie with my girlfriends last weekend, it’s apparently also Taylor Swift’s number. To borrow a term from her, there have been many different eras of my blog, Bows & Sequins.
It’s bizarre, but also wildly comforting to have an online journal of sorts over the last 13 years of my life. Unsurprisingly, the eras of this blog twist and turn with the eras of my personal life. I truly could not be more thankful for all of the readers and online friends who have been along for this wild ride. When I started this blog from my college apartment bedroom, I meant for it to serve as a creative resume of sorts to be able to switch gears from pre-law to applying for jobs after college. Never in one million years could I have imagined a world where this blog would end up being my primary source of income and lead to so many incredible opportunities along the way.
The College Era
Having my roommates take my photos and participating in ‘link swaps’ with other bloggers. Save for a few friends, no one knew I was doing it. Definitely didn’t tell my parents!
The First Chicago Era
This era was a wild ride, but I look back with such fond memories. I was living in Lincoln Park with a few of my college roommates and was working a few different jobs. I was working for a personal stylist, working retail (Nordstrom and J.Crew), and also working on my blog in every spare second. This era was short and sweet, as I decided to move to NYC when my college boyfriend broke up with me.
The New York City Era
One of my favorite eras, for sure. There are many different eras within the NYC era, but it was my ‘coming of age’ era where I was hustling and trying to figure it all out. I worked in marketing in the corporate world and simultaneously started to grow a following with my blog and Instagram. It was certainly the era of very little sleep! How I was able to work so hard and party even harder is beyond me. Oh, to have the energy of a 24-year-old in NYC.
The Just-Moved-Back to Chicago Era
The Travel Era
So, so, so many incredible memories were made during this time! Countless trips to Europe, spending a month in Paris by myself, visiting Japan twice, spending a month in Australia, the list goes on and on. While I do wish I had saved more during this era of my life, I wouldn’t trade the lifelong memories of spending all of my money on trips and experiences during these few years.
The Saturn Return Era
Whew… This one nearly did me in. I tried to keep the blog and my business alive amidst my parents splitting up, more breakups, injuries, hardships, and lots of therapy.
The Remote Year Era
Remember when I was at my breaking point and needed to take a little hiatus from life? I sublet my apartment, put all of my shit in storage, and spent four months in Peru, Colombia, and Mexico with Remote Year.
The Podcast Era
This was a short era, just six months or so. I was trying to ‘jump back into’ my old life and really thought my podcast was going to be the next evolution of Bows & Sequins.
The Rock Bottom Era
I don’t know what else to call this one unless it’s the ‘End of 2019’ era… It felt like it was one colossal clusterf*ck after the next. There were some highs, but the absolute lowest of the lows.
The Covid Era
This was my ‘taking a step back’ era. I had to create some space to do some soul-searching and figure out what I wanted. Keeping up with Instagram felt suffocating, so I shifted a bit. I took on a handful of consulting clients to pay the bills and also built my styling business on the side.
The SidePeace Era
I thought about leaving this one off the list, but that seemed wrong. It was messy and I so wish I could skip over this era, but I learned A LOT about failure, business, and partnerships. I’m sure I’ll share more someday!
The Marley Era
This one feels like my coming back home era, the one that feels like a big smile and a warm hug. I won’t sugarcoat how the first year of learning to live together was pretty rough on both Dave and me, but creating a new sense of family with Dave and Marley in our home has been incredibly healing on so many levels.
I’m not going anywhere! By taking a little step back, trying on other opportunities, and exploring other avenues over the last three or four years, I realized just how much I truly love writing, styling, creating, and sharing. Since this blog encompasses all of those things, I don’t have any plans to hang up my Bows & Sequins hat anytime soon!