Here I am looking suitably thoughtful (not gormless, promise) about some changes made around here. Because there have been a few changes. You'll notice the most prominent one up there in the URL (which will likely sound the death knell to traffic for a little while), a change that has been mimicked across Instagram and Twitter (though, as said URL has been taken as a Twitter username by some pesky eggbot, I'm actually using MY REAL NAME on Twitter).
So why the change, and what does it mean?
Well, in case you didn't notice I fell off the radar in a spectacular fashion about four months ago. Off the wagon, for sure. A number of reasons came into play:
- I didn't have a tripod to shoot outfit shots, and having moved house I'd also lost the handy little ledge in back garden that I used to rest my camera on (not the best idea, as it did fall off and require a serious bit of fixing)
- I didn't have the time - see the 'moving house' bit, also the 'fab new house that I just wanted to run around hugging all the bits of', 'living near a super-cool area so spending all time running round hugging all the bits of it', 'getting obsessed with the gym in the evenings', 'the awesome job still being awesome', the 'endless excuses' bit...
- Instagram was more convenient - related to the above. It's just so handy and those who follow me on it will see I've been keeping up my stylin' as well as having plenty of fun over the past few months
- I found the tone quite restricting - the URL, the name, the whole 'brand' thing seemed quite restricting to me, which was idiotic considering I'd set it up for myself! But I'm always telling my clients to set a brand and stick to it, so what could I do (I thought)?
All this culminated in me cancelling my direct debit to maintain the old, blogspot-free address and me preparing to post a farewell post (in an amusing coincidence, the blogger 'The Redhead Fashionista' has now done the same thing) came to a head when the magic date of December 31st (quite possibly my least favourite day of the year) rolled round...and rolled past. I'd missed the weird 'witching hour' for change and reinvention, and I dithered around shutting down the blog for good. Then, a few days later, a friend who was trying to namedrop bloggers to a contact of hers asked me what had happened to mine, if I wasn't 'trendy' anymore. As soon as she said that, I took another look at the blog. It was my saving grace when I left university and was drifting rudderless through unemployment. It took a back seat when my career got going, and it's remained there ever since. It's always been there for me and I couldn't abandon it after I realised that.
So with that in mind, I thought about ways to keep it alive and to set myself realistic aims to keep it operating. And then the name change hit. As you might have noticed from the picture above and from Instagram, I'm not so much a redhead anymore - while I still am at heart and my roots (when re-dyed) are red, I'm slowly getting bleached highlights to gradually create a more tousled blonde effect. So while I'm still a fashionista in the sense that I meticulously organise my wardrobe and spend far too much money on my appearance (in every aspect; more on that later) I'm not as red-headed as I used to be.
Another issue I had was how to consolidate my fashionista persona with my offline, real-world persona, something that becomes particularly evident when colleagues ask about the original of my old Twitter handle. While they can immediately understand it, I've been leaving it off business cards for a fair few years now (as it's not the most professional of names) while slowly adjusting my Twitter tone to suit the fact that my place of work is now in my bio. Less swearing, more consideration in areas that might upset clients, sharing articles and thoughts that interest me in a work scenario as well as a personal one. Because as we get older, if we're lucky, our work lives and home lives cross over because we're doing jobs we genuinely love. I can honestly say that right now I'm doing a job I genuinely love (sure, I don't like it all the time, but that's natural) and I want to be able to talk about it here too. Someone at work joked that I was 'the closest thing to Lady Gaga in the office', and while there's not a meat dress in sight in my wardrobe I do love being able to say 'I work in technology communications' and watch people's eyes sweep my outfit, and widen.
So, I thought, why not combine the two? I've toyed with names for a while - things that combine 'fashion' and 'technology' - but, quite simply, I already had the new URL taken a long time ago (for a site intended to cover the 'real world persona' side of what I wanted to write online) and it just made sense. Thankfully, the Instagram name wasn't taken either, and being able to use my real name on Twitter while likely be much more sensible for work in the long run.
So, welcome to the new site! I hope that it will combine my extensive wardrobe and accessories with outfit posts, spotlight posts on different pieces, makeup and hair, photos from my jaunts around, while ALSO being a place where I can link to my work blog posts and write about the stories that interest me from the world of digital communications. Because it doesn't make sense to try and keep my offline and my online personas separate any more.
So here I am, armed with a new URL, a new look for the blog (still to be refined further), a new mission object and, crucially, a tripod!
Let's get this show on the road...