Happy 2020

Hello and Happy New Year! I hope 2020 is off to a great start for you.

With how the holidays fell this year, I decided to give myself a few extra days off before going “back to work” this morning. Thank you for allowing me to have such a nice break at home with my family. In years past, I normally jump right back into “work mode” the day after Christmas, but this year, I listened not only to your feedback, but to my own gut.

I will go into this at a later time in far more detail, but by the end of November, I was mentally and physically exhausted. I was battling a nasty virus. I couldn’t breathe without coughing or feeling miserable, let alone work out. I fell out of my routines. I was missing a few large checks that I was supposed to receive from brands and freelance clients. I was inundated with “swipe up for this!” “swipe up for that!” much like all of you were.

Before you get any ideas, I think ecommerce is fantastic. The opportunities that blogging and affiliate services like LTK have afforded women to start businesses and change their lives are groundbreaking. I find fashion to be super fun, and that is why I started my blog and follow other bloggers. I enjoy seeing try-ons, Amazon finds, etc. and do “swipe up” to shop through other bloggers’ affiliate links. (In the same way that a salesperson at Nordstrom helps lead you to find the perfect dress and receives a small commission, bloggers do, too. When I say small… I do mean small.) I do understand that much like retailers, the amount of posting bloggers do increases the closer and closer we get to the holiday season. Q4 is huge for retail, and especially ecommerce, so it makes sense.

That being said…

To me, the salesy “BUY BUY BUY” I saw on Instagram stories seemed really in your face this year.

With a few of my larger checks being late (#freelancelife) I also had less money on hand than normal to do my shopping. I was over the holiday shopping season. I didn’t want to be sold to. I didn’t HAVE the money to buy everything that seemingly every blogger was sharing. A bit begrudgingly, I did my gift guides like normal. I made sure to publish the majority of them early on in the shopping season, to serve as ideas for you in your gifting and try to find some more affordable options than ones that were popping up on IG stories everywhere. (I think I really lost it when I saw the infamous gold Anthro mirror being positioned as a “steal” at $500 and to BUY NOWWWWW)

It was around this time that I started getting feedback from you that you, too were feeling this way. Many of you conveyed to me that you were over being sold to by ANYONE when it got to mid-December, and wanted me to take a break from deals until you had spending money in the new year. I happily obliged, as this gave me an extra hour a day to spend with my loved ones, and helped clear my conscience about contributing to the “BUY NOW SWIPE UP SO IT SHIPS IN TIME” pressure.

It was really nice to have a break and to be present and focused on my family at home, instead of worrying about instantly changing my site back to the “normal” branding or leaving Christmas dinner early to get a jump start on the 26th sales. I also took two and a half weeks off from posting my Daily Deals.

I think that break really allowed me to see the industry and ecommerce as a whole from an outsider’s perspective. It lead me to analyze and audit my own methodology, while studying what approaches I did and didn’t like from retailers, bloggers, etc. This all was extremely needed, as I feel we can get stuck in “doing things the way we always have” and I’m definitely included in that.

What does this mean for things around here? This is tagged as a housekeeping post, after all.

First off, I will continue doing Daily Deals but with some minor changes. I won’t always share 5 items if I can’t genuinely find 5 things that I think are worth your time and money. On the flip side, if a great brand is having a major sale on things that I know would be smart purchases, some days there may be more than 5 items featured. The purpose of Daily Deals is to help you find great items at even greater prices, and I think this tweak better serves that.

Secondly, I will be posting more about how I get rid of old things or repurpose older items as well as how I buy new things. I think in the past, I assumed you wouldn’t be interested in that, but through our conversations this past month, I feel it is time to test the waters. Blogging in general can look super materialistic from the outside (and even from the inside, trust me) and I think a large part of this perception comes from the heightened promotion of “new” and “better.” Meanwhile, I am over here still heartbroken that bareMinerals discontinued my favorite concealer six months ago and am using my tube to the last drop. I don’t have $1000 a month to drop on new clothing and items just to shoot and style for you (I do share what I would buy, though). I budget. I cut corners when necessary. I do shop online, but I am smart about it and understand the value of a dollar, as do you!!!

Third, I am going to give myself more grace with my blog and social media. If I haven’t gotten a new blog post up because of a crazy week, that’s okay. I won’t feel pressured to churn out content just for the sake of doing so. If someone is being super rude to me on social media, I can send them love and light and then remove them. If I need to take a day off from IG stories and just be a normal human with emotions, I will allow myself the break. Though I do love this blog and the opportunities it allows me, my mental health and overall happiness is more important. This holiday break has taught me that the connection we share truly is special, because I was able to explain to many of you why I needed to step away for a little (I hope to one day be able to explain publicly instead of just privately) and every single one of you was so incredibly kind and supportive. This blog may be about deals and outfits, but the human connections I have experienced as a result will always be what I treasure the most.

Thank you for all the love, support, and lessons. This year is going to be our year – I just know it! I can’t wait to share what’s in store 🙂

xoxo cait