Welcome to Little Blank Diaries! There is something special about creating something out of nothing. Since I was a little girl, I would have stacks of magazines in my room. I loved pouring over every single detail, hoping someday I could be the editor that decides which stories and photos make it to print. Now, putting together editorial content and bringing everything together to translate it to a digital experience is one of my favorite aspects of having a blog. So why am I now reflecting back?
I have been blogging about fashion since 2013 and it’s time for a rebrand. This rebrand was a year in the making. The main hold up was thinking of a new name. I have spend months staring at a blank page trying to come up with something that perfectly exemplifies me and the blog. It was STRESSFUL. Many mornings consisted of staring at a computer screen, attempting to gain inspiration by writing out lists of movies, books, quotes and poems that have ever inspires me.
I’ve been reading old diaries and really digging deep to to learn more about myself and figure out why I started blogging in the first place. How do you decide on three words that perfectly summarize you and what you’re trying to achieve? You can’t. I was putting so much pressure on myself to come up with something perfect until I realized that the answer was close all along.
I was at a talk recently and the speaker, Elaine Welteroth, so eloquently stated that if you’re looking for inspiration, go back to what you spent the most time doing as a child. For me, that was reading and writing. Writing stories. Writing poems. Reading books. Reading magazines. Writing in my diary. I started doing the work that was necessary to rediscover that part of myself and quickly realized that for me, it all started with my diaries. Those little blank diaries have been a method of personal reflection that have always allowed me to put my feelings on paper and organize my thoughts. I felt like my blog needed to represent that.
Why Did I Made the Decision to Rebrand?
Truthfully, I was feeling uninspired and felt like the blog wasn’t really reflecting what I was trying to accomplish. My content has evolved beyond outfit posts. It is now a destination for motherhood, travel, books, and wellness-with fashion as the foundation. The focus will always be fashion. However, I want to post more than just an outfit with a quick write up. I want this to be a space for something more personal and hope that as you’re reading, you can connect to my stories.
Why not keep the name, Street Style Philosophy?
› I don’t think it reflects the content of the blog. My content has evolved beyond strictly being focused on fashion. Although style will always be the main focus and what pulls every topic together, the blog covers motherhood, travel, books, wellness and other musings.
› I wouldn’t describe my style as ‘street style.” My style is more classic with an edge and although I’d love to be cool enough to be classified as street style, I just don’t think it is an accurate representation.
› It feels too generic. After all, there is an entire genre devoted to “street style” fashion and I wanted the blog name to be more meaningful to me.
What does Little Blank Diaries mean?
› This has been one of the hardest parts of creating a blog. The original name of the site was LaptopsandHeels. Later, I changed it to Street Style Philosophy in 2017 when I had the first major rebrand. I never loved the name, Street Style Philosophy, so in the back of my mind I was always brainstorming other potential names. I decided I would do a mini rebrand and change the name to something that more accurately reflected the content.
› To me, writing in a diary is representative of the time period in which my love for writing and fashion started to surface, the 90s. There is something about putting pen to paper and writing it all down. This is obviously a digital forum but I’m often drafting posts or ideas in a notebook and then transferring it to the blog. I’ve kept a diary since the fourth grade and some habits just never fade. It is truly a form of therapy for me and allows me to get everything out there. I also feel like I am gradually forgetting my entire life so the blog helps me document it all. I love looking back at old diaries or blog posts and remembering events and feelings that I long forgot about.
› After staring at a blank page for hours at a time, I decided to change my approach. I went back to the books, poetry, and people that have most inspired me- Nora Ephron, Maya Angelou, Rupi Kaur, and the list goes on. One quote by Maya Angelou immediately stood out to me:
“I believe in living a poetic life, an art full life. Everything we do from the way we raise our children to the way we welcome our friends is part of a large canvas we are creating.” -Maya Angelou
I started thinking about a blank canvas and the feeling of a new diary. This may sound nerdy but it’s one of the most excited things to me. The possibilities are endless and the pages are waiting to be filled with memories, thoughts, and feelings. It sounds so simple and “little” but it has such a profound effect in the way we see ourselves and process our feelings.
Will anything else change with the rebrand?
› More personal essays. The blog started as a platform to share my writing and style. Yet, lately I haven’t been doing much writing. I want to go back to why I fell in love with blogging in the first place. You’ll be seeing more of what I’m thinking about and going through as a mother, writer, blogger, and woman.
› A more user- friendly site. The core structure of the site remains the same but I’ve been working with my web developer to make some changes that will enhance the user experience. These include:
– The ability to easily search the site using the magnifying glass tool or the search bar
– A newsletter pop-up so you can easily subscribe for updates
– A contact form pop-up via the email symbol in the upper right hand corner
– Related posts in the bottom of each blog post
– A top bar and footnote area so you can easily find the content you’re looking for
– Other aesthetic changes like the font, graphics and posts showing up in full frame
Is this a big deal?
Yes! It’s always a risk to rebrand your site but in my mind, it’s worth it. I’ve been doing this since 2013 and the site needed a refresh. My style and voice has evolved since the inception of the blog. It was time for the blog to reflect that as well. It has taken me a while to get into a groove with the blog and create something meaningful that I am proud of.
Do people even read blogs anymore?
In my opinion, yes. My blog will always be my baby and the one platform that I own. I get that people want short content that they can consume quickly and move on to the next thing. However, in an age of overconsumption, sometimes it’s really nice to sit down and read an in-depth post that goes beyond the surface. Reading a quick caption on Instagram isn’t always going to get you the information you need.
I think especially with fashion, we need more than just a photo on Instagram. Getting dressed is an emotional process. Truly, it’s more than just the dress or the shoes you’re wearing. It’s how you feel about yourself that day, what goals you’re trying to accomplish, where you’re going, and your past experiences. It goes way beyond the surface. Fashion is truly an inside-out process that requires more than a short caption.
A special shout out to my friends and family that put up with incessant phone calls and texts every time I came up with a new idea. And thank you to my husband, J, for tolerating my tortured self and waiting patiently as I came to the realization of how I wanted to define my blog.
Thank you so much to all the readers for following along in my journey. I truly appreciate every comment, like, share and hope you continue to find the blog meaningful and inviting. Whether that is through helpful content or a user-friendly site, my biggest priority is how the site translates to the end-reader. I would love to hear your feedback. What is working and not working? Are there topics you wish were covered more?
P.S. If you’ve made it to the end of this post, thank you! If you look closely at the photos, you can see where it all began. I started the blog in our little one bedroom apartment on Locust Street in Philadelphia after work one day. Ever since then, it has been quite the adventure.
The incredible people I worked with to make it all happen:
Photography: Alex Ashman // Logo design: Mika // Web design & development: Holly Wang