Well, I bet this wasn’t the kind of post you planned on seeing from me today, but it’s about time we talked about it.
This is something that has been on my mind and heart for too long and over the past few weeks, I’ve taken some action to make it a reality.
This is the last post you will see by me on The Lipstick Giraffe. I can only tell you how I got to this place by taking you to the beginning – the very beginning: The day that I decided I was going to start a blog.
I used Gchat, or Google Chat, and AIM to communicate with friends and coworkers back when I worked a desk job. I was messaging back and forth with my friend Keith, who was a trusted advisor of mine since our college days, and I told him I wanted to start a blog, but I was stuck on the name. Because the conversation wasn’t “off the record,” I was actually able to dig up the chat! It brought back all kinds of feels. Here’s how it went:
That was on September 28, 2011.
Later that night I went to WordPress.com and signed up with The Lipstick Giraffe blog name.
My first blog post titled “The Beginning” reads:
My goal with The Lipstick Giraffe is to not only keep up with it for myself but to share thoughts, ideas, concepts with the world (or at least the region). To start a conversation.
I’m not here to claim that I am the most interesting person out there, but I will claim that everyone has something interesting within themselves and that it should be shared with the world. It’s our contribution to the crazy place we live in.
You’ll find everything here from recipes to the cheap thrill I found this week, to posts on well-being. It’s going to be a mixed bag, but it’s going to be fun.
I wholeheartedly believe that that is still the essence of my brand, or at least, the part I am trying to get back to. As I’ve said many times before, I was never supposed to be the star of the show. It was supposed to be words and stock photography. A Fashion Friday content series is what got the ball rolling and after I posted the picture below on my Facebook page, I realized that maybe I should start modeling some of the cheap thrills I was finding! Here’s the first picture, and I talk more about the early stages here if you are interested.
Despite how glamorous I may make it look on social media, namely Instagram, the pressure that comes with being The Lipstick Giraffe is hard. It’s an appearance to keep up, and this damn blog has taken me through every emotion. I have had to defend TLG more than anything, and still fight to prove my value, and now that The Blog Bloc is here, other bloggers’ value.
Over the years, whether or not you’ve known this, I’ve tried to fit some sort of mold and achieve a level of success that I’ve seen others that started years after, reach within months. While I would be a liar if I said I didn’t want that kind of success, I have decided to flip my perspective and the way that I define success. Sure, it would be nice to be featured in a campaign with a national brand, and be able to make a full-time living off of this blog. Isn’t that the dream? But, I’ve done so much with this thing, without a staff of contributors or an intern to help behind the scenes.
It’s been all me. Trial and error. Inconsistency turned consistent two years ago and I’ve been very blessed.
I’ve been featured on and in magazines.
I have overcome my fear of being on camera and have since done dozens of TV segments over the years.
I have made lifelong friendships with people I have met through blogging.
I have had the pleasure of working with brands like Macy’s, Alaska Airlines, Stitch Fix, AT&T, and more. The list goes on and at times I still can’t believe that it’s happened to me. Many of these partnerships I’ve cultivated by initiating contact and maintaining the relationship. Some have come by referral. Some are paid.
A good amount of the money I make – on and offline – goes back into my brand by paying vendors (photographers and the like), professional development and operating expenses (you can read more about that here). It’s rewarding and personally fulfilling, do not get me wrong, but this has become a job and like anyone who has worked at a place for a while, it’s time to move on to a place that matches that growth.
Once I realized that it was time to make a change, I had to think about where to begin. Was it the style of writing, the way my photos were edited or was it more than that?
It became clear that it was more than that.
Last year I decided that I wanted to start this process by changing the name. I was scared and ashamed to admit that it was time, and I told CJ first. I realized that as I went to blogging conferences and events, and grew further in the services that I offered, The Lipstick Giraffe was becoming harder to explain and not representative of my brand.
After saying the name aloud without any bias, I would think that it was a blog about makeup and have lipstick either featured in the content or review of lipsticks. This place and this brand are neither of those.
Let’s just be real for a sec.
What the hell is a lipstick(ed) giraffe? I’ve deduced that for me, it’s an alter ego, a personality, but I struggled to put that into a quick elevator pitch.
Once I realized that’s how I felt about TLG, and that I wanted to change the name, the biggest
obstacle question was TO WHAT?!
And this is part of why I haven’t been able to publish this post until now.
I started at the basics and asked myself a few different questions.
I am a woman that knows who she is, knows what she wants, and knows how to get it. I love MY time, my time alone, yet I love being around others. It’s delicate to balance, but I do my best. I love eating out (or getting takeout) at least one night a week, but I love to cook. I take pride in the way I prepare my food, from prep to plating. I love laughing, dancing and old school music. I love helping others. I love my friends and family, and I love loving my fiance. I am looking forward to our wedding planning through 2018 and am excited to share the process with you all.
I want to write about MY LIFE, in real time, the pretty moments and the not so pretty moments. I want to share lessons that I’ve learned along the way so maybe you or someone else doesn’t have to go through them, or that you can be a stronger support to someone who is. What does that look like visually? Some of it will be curated, meaning, I will hire a photographer when needed to help my vision come to life. Some of it will be candid and unfiltered, both visually and tone.
I want you to feel confident, inspired and empowered when you read and view my content. I want you to feel like you are getting all of me in each post. Life is short and I am doing my best to enjoy the time that I have on this earth. I want you to join me on that journey.
My name, spelled as cachet means:
I decided my new brand would evoke the way that I live my life: elevating everyday with a touch of prestige. That doesn’t mean spending a lot of money or being selfish, but it does mean enjoying the best of what life has to offer within my means. So, that’s what I want to do through the content I create for you: create a place where every day, and every occasion is special.
It means that beginning next week, The Lipstick Giraffe will be no more. You’ll have a new home to enjoy the best fashion, lifestyle, entertaining and travel content with some of the greatest hits of the past.
Yes and no. There will be more content surrounding a theme or topic, and it will be a lot more personal. I still get such a thrill from writing and from being a part of the direction of my shoots, that I get to host events and meet so many amazing people and that I get to go on TV as a spokesperson. I love that I am getting more comfortable and skilled behind the camera. The blogging and content creating world have opened up too many doors for me to turn back now, so you can rest assured that I’m going to stick around for a little while.
Stay tuned for the special announcement on social media next week. I am really excited to be starting this chapter and hope that you will still be around to join me.
NONE OF THIS WOULD BE POSSIBLE without your support. Every website visit, every like, every time you’ve come to an event or every time you told a friend about me: You are the other half of this thing. Without that, I’d just be some crazy lady with a bunch of pictures of herself everywhere. Kidding, but I really hope you know just how much you mean to me. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a lot of you in real life, of being able to hug you and personally tell you thank you, but for those I haven’t, please know that you are appreciated and I look forward to growing together.