First, I have to caveat this post with the footnote that I never considered myself an ‘influencer’ in the first place. I don’t think I ever ‘influenced’ anyone to buy anything or live like me, but I have been blogging and using social media for a long time, to share my personal opinions and to make money, so by that standard, I guess that puts me in the ‘influencer’ category whether I like it or not.
There are a TON of reasons as to how and why I came to this decision, but why I quit ‘influencing’ has a lot more to do with my own personal journey over the past 2-4 years than it does social media and influencer culture as a whole. It took me a long time to come to this decision as there was always another collab around the corner, and in general I hate to quit anything, let alone something I had invested so much time and effort into. But in the end, quitting this world gave me the clarity I needed to move forward.
Let’s break down the evolution of my life to see how this happened, and what I’ve learned coming out the other side.
My Personal Journey
Pregnancy and Motherhood
When I became pregnant with Marina 4 years ago, I was at my personal high of instagram ‘followers’ and felt like I had hit my stride in the blogging world. However, once I had her, everything started to shift. I was dressing her in gifted clothing instead of picking things out for myself, I was dragging her to events and maintaining my life as the ‘status quo’ even though so much had changed. Frankly, I was in denial. It wasn’t until I had my second child, Liam, where I realized I couldn’t go on at the same pace. My two children were in very different places developmentally, and needed me in different ways. It became comical to attempt to get a decent photo of myself, let alone my family. I’m still in awe of how other moms seem to pull these organized, calm family photos together for instagram, because that was never my reality.
At the same time I was pregnant with Liam, the world shut down for a global pandemic. This proved to be the kick in the ass I so badly needed. While the first 3 months of the lockdown I was in my 3rd trimester and still renting from Rent the Runway, creating ‘ironic’ posts about dressing up at home, I realized there was nothing new to say after a while. No events, no new pandemic recipes, no fashion other than sweatpants, no makeup, no genius childcare hacks. I was surviving, not thriving, like many of you. Throw in a new baby and there was little reason for me to even get out of bed!
My Other Career!
It wasn’t all bad though. At the same time that most of the world shut down, my retail consulting business took off. I had started with two clients before the pandemic hit, and over the past two years, the business has grown steadily. I never really imagined that I would have such a strong consulting business when I started it, and truly it has been the positive light over the past two years for my personal growth. This business uses my professional experience and brain in a way blogging never did (which it wasn’t ever supposed to, let’s be clear. Blogging was always supposed to be more of a public diary for me.) and so it felt fantastic to have a steady stream of business and income that didn’t feel forced.
Sewing and DIY
Sewing and designing is the other aspect of this business that I struggle with. A few years ago I decided that I needed to ‘niche-down’ to more sewing, DIY, and home decor tips as it felt more original, unique and catered to my skill set. I still believe this is true (as opposed to beauty, or motherhood, or luxury fashion, or even discount fashion). But, the pure time it took to design, sew and photograph something compared to just an ‘outfit’ was exponential. We’re talking weeks and weeks of planning and research, and often far more money spent on the DIY projects that don’t always pan out. I found that I was hoarding fabric, spending too much time on Pinterest and collecting bits and pieces of things that were cluttering up my house and brain. Hey, I love to sew and design, and will continue to do so, but on my own schedule when creativity hits, not simply because ‘I haven’t made anything in a while’.
The Greater Social Media Climate
It’s no shock the toll that social media has taken on mental health, mine included. I started losing followers when I had Marina, and it has continued to this day. Of course there was a drastic content shift when I started having children and again when I started sewing more, so I understand losing followers in order to gain those that are more interested. But likes kept diminishing which made we embarrassed and want to post even less, which is a vicious cycle that continued to work against me. I couldn’t keep up with the pace that content was needed and the content itself was becoming so laborious (Video, Reels, stop motion) that even with my best efforts I could only produce one or two pieces a week. Eventually I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t growing or accomplishing anything, so I just needed to stop.
While people will be upset at me writing this, I have also never felt the friend and family support of my blog and social media that I know other bloggers’ to have. I started in this game 11 years ago, and have had weighty discussions and discord with family and friends all along the way. Seriously, after over a decade, it was never accepted by everyone in my circle. It’s been hard to be on a platform where it’s all about ‘being real’ when you constantly feel like something you do or say is going to upset someone, or if people don’t take you seriously. It has been overwhelming and exhausting, and frankly, I’m tired of having to defend myself.
I have taken 6 months from writing a blog post, 3 months off from posting on social media, and stopping taking partnerships at the end of 2021.
In that time, I realized I missed having a place to share my thoughts. I miss having my online diary to reference back to, to share my home decor accomplishments or my pregnancy journey. I miss sharing the kids development and their birthday parties, and some of the sewing projects that took tons of effort and deserve to be shared. Of course during this all we have all gone through a global pandemic where we have missed social interaction, deep connection and conversation, and let’s face it, my husband can only listen to my ramblings for so long. I needed blogging during this time more than ever, and it has taken me half a year without it, to realize what it is for.
For me, this blog is a scrapbook of sorts. It is my public diary, my musings, my gripes and my successes. It documents how I am feeling and what I am passionate about for a moment in time. Not necessarily for you, the reader, but for me. For the passage of time, and for my children. So I will continue to blog in it’s purest form – on this BLOG – whenever I have something to say, or some special moment I want to remember. It might be a few pregnancy outfits that I want to remember, it might be a kids craft project that was a success, or it might be a random rant, so I don’t guarantee that you will enjoy every or any of it. But that’s ok, I’m doing this for me. I still welcome and enjoy your comments and feedback, but I will not depend on them for my own maintenance of the site.
As for my other social media accounts, they will follow suit. No paid anything, just me posting a photo every once in a while if I like it, just like any other normal person. If I feel like sharing a particular project’s design process, I will, just like anyone else would! But I am going to try to separate ‘creating content’ from living my life in an organic way, which is easier said than done for someone who has been doing this for 13 years.
You might read this and wonder, why is she writing this if she doesn’t care anymore? Well, I want to be able to read this and remind myself of the journey and decisions I have gone through in order to get here, in case it comes up again. As this is a diary and this is a major life shift for me, documenting my mindset is an important step. And hopefully, down the line, it may help someone else in the same situation.
That’s all for now, maybe I will have something else to share soon!