Singing happy birthday to a blog feels odd. Psychotic, almost. Mostly because a blog is just a series of thoughts/words typed on a piece of technology so aggressively that 6 of the keyboard letters are visually unrecognizable. But I did sing, because she is all grown up and deserves that song. Ten years ago my MIL told me that she couldn’t read my blog because she doesn’t have a blog – that’s how little we knew about blogs back then.
I started my blog “The Brass Petal” on January 4, 2010, which I didn’t realize was such a great ‘START’ date (January 1st was a Thursday so you’d have to be a monster to not wait til the Monday). I liked “brass” before the gold rush of the 20-teens, and flowers more than most at the time… or now. Thus the name “Brass Petal.”
10 years in the insane wild west of digital media is more like 70 years in a normal business – dog years, really. The level of pride that I feel is only matched by my level of shock that this is my life, then trumped by my level of gratefulness for you. You have made this all worth it.
So here we are. Just me and you.
Do you know what celebrating 10 years means? I get the excuse to tell those of you who are into it, all of it. The older one gets the more one has this need to reflect on their beginnings, how they’ve changed for the good *and bad*, and figure out where they are going – what is next? Add in the fact that I’m an external processor and generally need to talk about those things…
The quick recap:
“Born and raised Oregonian, young Emily was 30 years old when she moved from New York to LA. A former dog-walker, piano teacher, and bartender she shed her provincial life to become a prop stylist for magazines and advertisers before hosting her own TV show and becoming a “design influencer.”
Writing your own obituary is highly entertaining. By the way, I literally walked dogs for one year and yet I insist on it making my resume to ensure I look grounded despite my success – A secret apology. She picked up literal sh*t for a year – she must be normal…
In 2010 I started a blog, got bored, auditioned for HGTV’s DesignStar, won, hosted my show “Secrets From A Stylist,” had zero kids (at the time), two cats (RIP), and a then-rocky marriage to my best friend (super solid now).
Going back to the beginning…
How did this blog start????
As I said, 10 years ago today(ish), I wrote my first blog post on The Brass Petal. The first post was a true masterpiece of information and inspiration and deserves a reprise.
Here you go:
Same me, just more offensive and with fewer capital letters. I wasn’t “woke” yet, because obviously I would write “healthy and fulfilled in my career” now. I was obviously being hyperbolic for comedic intent, but perhaps that’s not funny anymore. But the “ah 2010, here you are, I figured this would happen” bit still kinda cracks me up. Note the use of not my photo, with no crediting or referencing. I think I probably took a screenshot, or worse, took a photo of a magazine and uploaded it onto my Blogspot. These were the dark ages.
It was before Pinterest. Before Instagram. This was meant to be a journal – a creative outlet that I could reference and you could possibly share.
The intent was clearly not to have a business. I was 30, working as a stylist, living freelance-paycheck to freelance-paycheck. The internet was a baby and social media was barely in its womb. Oh, I do hope I keep having birthing analogies throughout this post…
So I started writing the blog, but then it became how to get followers. Here was my “strategy.”
I did it the old fashioned way – the sandwich board of marketing – an annoying mass email to literally every single email address in my contact list. Select all, copy, paste. I spared no one from receiving the following:
Such bravery. I was one day in, ONE DAY, and I emailed it to everyone I knew. I guess I felt that I was going to stick to it.
I didn’t stop there…
I also emailed all the bloggers that I followed with custom emails – this one was to Anne Sage – but Joy (OhJoy!), Coco Kelley, Apt 34, Oh Happy Day and many more that I’m still friends with were included.
So I got a mini following, which at the time was huge.
I wrote Peabody award-winning articles like this one about my friend Jen:
Other titles would include: “art that I want to make sweet love to” or “blue bells.” It was irreverent without being offensive. Happy, yet rebellious. I wrote every day, without an editorial calendar or nary an assistant. I didn’t need it. It was fun and easy.
Three months later I auditioned for DesignStar out of sheer desperation to shake myself out of my new-to-LA depression. The blog helped me get on the show. “Bloggers” and “stylists” were just becoming buzzwords so it was good timing, not without hard work, but yes very good timing.
Winning a reality show on HGTV (which was huge at the time) changed my life forever – in an absolutely positive way. After I won and began “Secrets From a Stylist” the blog exploded… or what felt like an explosion. I literally had no idea how many people read because that wasn’t the motivation. There were always a ton of comments. I couldn’t wait to write every night (which isn’t that different from now, depending on the post).
It’s hard to talk about the growth of the blog without including “Secrets From a Stylist” – my TV show. It had an almost cult following thanks to you guys, until HGTV decided to move to “real estate and renovate” format and canceled most design/decorate shows.
The show/work was so fun, full of mostly vintage and mass-market (but this was before 2-day shipping – we had to plan and shop IN PERSON). When your style is mostly vintage and thrift, it’s automatically super eclectic – SO feast your eyes on these.
So after 10 years, I’ve been asking myself a lot of WHYS?
Why did people read this blog or watch that show?
It was very specific. I wasn’t a great journalist nor did I have any authority or design credentials. I’ve thought about this a lot recently to help me figure out why I’m here and what is next. Here’s what I came up with:
I think there was a hole in the design world that I somehow filled. The “thrift-store, girl next door” if you will. I can’t explain it any other way, and frankly, it’s accurate.
I had a little budget but mostly so much time to search, thrift, and DIY. I had no design skills but a strange amount of bravery. I also had no shame or embarrassment in failing and then telling everyone about it. There has always been a hole in the market for honesty amongst the elitist interior design world. I knew that I liked vintage things that were weird and old and when I put them together it looked like a thrift store, but an attainable, approachable one full of personality. It was full of color, pattern, risks, and no embarrassment.
How did I “manage” both the blog and TV show?
It was a lot. I worked 70 – 80 hours a week. We shot 7 am-7 pm, six days a week. I wrote the blog while in hair and makeup and when I got home at night. Orlando and I shopped flea markets on Sundays for the next week’s reveal. The blog was a random, stream of consciousness babble, full of endless grammatical mistakes due to speed and haste (can you even imagine how much worser it were, Boomers?).
There was no rhythm or predictability to it, barely any linking to products, I didn’t format photos correctly or label any images properly so that Google would know what they were. A photo of a room from “Secrets From a Stylist” would literally be labeled “img.679” or whatever my DIGITAL camera called it. Some photos were wide and some were small. It was so ugly. I had no analytics or idea of traffic. I just wrote, pressed publish, and chatted with you in the comments.
In 2010 I had no employees, the blog made zero money, and I had almost zero anxiety. Just excitement.
Back then I wasn’t trying to grow my audience. I just wanted to hang out with you. When you come up to me and tell me that you feel like you know me, the truth is you do. Omg, this post is becoming highly emotional for me, the flight attendant is certainly concerned why I’m crying… and I just started. We have 9 years to go…
At first, when I wrote this post I thought I would go year by year with the highs and lows, traffic numbers, where the revenue shifted, employee growth, lessons/mistakes, etc. But the series would be so long and for those not closely following it would seem boring (if not highly self-indulgent). So I’d love to know what you guys would like to know.
Here is what I’m thinking:
- HINDSIGHT IS 2020 ADVICE: The real steps that I took, either on purpose or accident, that I can now see led to growth and success.
- EMPLOYEES: How I went about hiring, paying, and growing a team of freelancers and employees and what lessons I’ve learned (spoiler – so much).
- FINANCES: How I initially grew the business, financially, how I knew what to charge and when (and for what), and how we make money now. No one understands how bloggers or “influencers” make money – but it’s actually pretty simple (in a complicated and totally fascinating way).
- BIGGEST MISTAKES: This will likely be peppered into the other “finances” and “employees” categories, but don’t worry I have way more in every category of life. And no these aren’t of the design variety.
- NEXT STEPS: What do I see happening next? Where do I want this to go? Why don’t I have residential clients anymore and will I ever pursue a furniture/accessory line?? What is the future?
All of those will be full of advice – not what you should do necessarily, because different personalities will make different decisions. But insight. Mine. I just don’t want to be too self-indulgent, so tell me what you’d like to know and then if they don’t fit into a post I’ll do them on Instastory (or save for the podcast).
I can’t leave this post without a massive THANK YOU. To all of you who have been here from the beginning, I wish I could throw you a party. Some of you just arrived, and many of you it’s been 3, 5, 7, 10 years and regardless that’s a lot of YOUR life spent here. And so many changes. And so many “I’m back” posts… You’ve seen me grow up so much and change so much. For all the times those of you who are truly loyal have defended me in the comments, I thank you so so so so much. I’m trying, just like you, to bridge the gap between the person I am and the person that I want to be. Sometimes I fall in and lose myself. It’s all normal and I’m not too hard on myself, or maybe I am, but that’s just my nature. If self-awareness were an Olympic sport I’d want to train to compete. People have no idea how it feels to have feedback on their lives every single day – both positive and negative. It’s truly enlightening and has made me such a better person – or maybe a less worse person. Readers, you complete me 🙂 THANK YOU for all your positive comments and even your constructive criticism – I’m serious. Both are an absolute gift and I know how lucky I am to have you.
THANK YOU. To those of you who have been around since the start – Happy anniversary TO YOU. xx
p.s. Don’t forget to weigh in on the post subjects above, and if you have an extra 5 minutes PLEASE fill out our reader survey, which helps us plan content for the year based on what you really need, want, and enjoy. This will be the last time I ask, I promise.
I want to hear it all! I love the idea of going year by year and touching on revenue, traffic and employees. I also want to hear about mistakes, future plans, advice, your perspective on what moved then needle for your business, accounting, marketing, your work processes–I love all of this stuff. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to another 10 years! Happy Birthday!
I second a topic on what propelled your business. I like hearing mistakes and failures but it is more for entertainment value. I think hearing about the projects or things you did that rocketed you to success is way more inspiring! I guess you said in the beginning it was the TV show.
Happy happy anniversary dear blog and dear Emily!!! I haven’t been with you quite from the beginning but for a long time still – since 2013 maybe? – and I still read your blog literally everyday. And while I obviously have an interest in design, you’d think I’d have little reason to otherwise: I don’t really have any budget to spent on styling my home, most of the things you offer in your roundups I can’t buy anyway because I am from a totally different country, I am neither in a relationship nor do I have kids and am quite a bit younger than you and barely the same age as your team (stiiiill in university and I started reading your blog when I was still in school). And yet: I really do love your blog and I really do religiously read it every day and then come back to check the comments multiple times during the day. I think the two main reasons for that are A. I truly do learn so much from this blog about style and design even if I don’t have your budget and will probably never want or need things like a formal living… Read more »
What a journey. A big congratulations! I started following your blog after cheering you on during the Design Star. Your transparency, vintage/thrifted pieces, and unique style kept me coming back. Yours is the only blog I read on a regular basis (even if I don’t often comment), and I am thankful for the effort you put into it.
I don’t want a perfect home, I want a home that feels like it has depth and life. It will be a journey, and I am thankful I have your blog to encourage and inspire that.
OH my. that made me absolutely tear up. I was nervous to read the comments so I came to a restaurant, ordered a drink and am diving in. So THANK YOU for reading for so long and being just so positive and lovely. Since 2013 you’ve seen so much change, i’m sure a lot that you were wary of or maybe you didn’t like (growing pains) so thank you for sticking in there and coming back. thank you thank you. xx
I loved your comment and deeply relate ?
Happy birthday to the blog.
Happy anniversary! 8 year reader here. You’ve given me different eyes in my home and for that I thank you! You keep asking what we want. But that’s because you know, or you wouldn’t think you need to ask us. Keep following that gut.
I love and second this. If you think it’s interesting, we’ll think it’s interesting. Though I do appreciate your efforts to check in. I would love to hear the ins and outs of your business in the mix up of other things you share.
I would also love to hear explicitly if afternoon snacks are gone. It’s fine if they are! I just keep coming around, day after day… I’m opening the pantry expecting to find a piece of chocolate , and then finding there’s none.
Hey Annie, They are NOT gone for sure. The new site will be up im 6 weeks (hopefully) so we have a lot to do behind the scenes to get ready for it and with Aryln gone I didn’t want the pressure on the team to do multiple posts AND relaunch the site (so much recategorizing, editing, re-linking, etc). So basically when we relaunch we are going to see what our bandwitdth is and reassess then because I don’t want to church out content just to have ‘new posts’ at the same time some are an easy lift (and the new site will be way more ‘multiple post’ friendly. Right now with an old school blog roll new posts get hidden after 5 posts so we were finding that too many of you were missing the content because it disappeared so fast. the new site will be SO MUCH BETTER. Thanks for following along for 8 years. I mean, eight years … thank you . xxx
Aw, I LOVE this post! So fun to see the actual posts and emails from the beginning. I would be down for a chronological history (maybe in several posts). But I love to hear about hindsight, finances, and your future. Even more than your interior design eye, I’m always interested in how you’re taking risks or trying new things with your content (what can I say, I work in marketing). It’s rare to find someone with such a big following who is an open book. THANK YOU.
thanks, Mandy. Being an open book is easy in theory but obviously has its challenges, but not when I get comments from people in marketing who say that they like the transparency, too. thank you, .xx
I think the structure you laid out above is spot on. One of the employee questions I wonder about is when do you make the decision to take on employees versus being a one woman show. I’m an artist, and I wonder often if it would be better to have someone more skilled in marketing take over the selling side of my business. (I don’t have enough revenue now to support an employee, but I am already thinking ahead long term. Getting gallery representation would also help with this in my case.
Congrats on 10 years! I jumped on the Emily train during Secrets of a Stylist. I can’t believe it has already been that long!
thanks allison! I will address this in that post. The managing employee situation has been by far the most challenging, not because of them, but just knowing who you need, when and how much should you pay them … oh geez. So yes, I can tell you my experiences and hopefully they can get you insight. xx
Happy 10th! FYI, HGTV’s “real estate and renovate” format is why I stopped watched HGTV ages ago. It’s all the same show. Fake conflict between some couple trying to “flip” a house in 2 weeks (or some other ludicrously limited time frame). I would love to see a diversity of home-design programming, including shows that are NOT at all competitive — not “3 designers compete to see who can design the best living room for $300” but just someone with ideas and personality showing how he/she finds great things and puts them together in a home. Is that too much to ask? I guess so. As for the questions you ask, TBH — since you asked 😉 — I don’t really have much interest in any of those business-related questions you list here. I read this blog for the home design and fashion. I don’t really want to know how your business works behind the scenes. It’s like that great line from a marginal Diane Keaton movie, “Baby Boom” where she cries, “I just want to turn on the faucet to have water. I don’t want to know where it’s coming from!” 🙂 But that’s just me. Thank you for… Read more »
Your first paragraph is pretty much what I said. All HGTV shows now have a formula that’s so boring.
I used to love the old design shows with REAL designers and IDEAS.
So sad now.
ha @louann 🙂 Well, hopefully you’ll skip the ‘how the sausage is made posts’ and come back the next day to design inspo. thanks for following along. xx
Happy blog birthday Emily! I would love a series of posts that go through hindsight/employees/finances/mistakes/next steps. I read every day (going back to last spring or so when I came across the Portland project on Pinterest). I frequently wonder how the finances of the blog work, and how you have chosen to hire your team and pay them. I’d pretty much read whatever you post, but the series of 5 topics you outlined are perfect.
I’m very curious why you consider yourself a “design influencer” and not just an Interior Designer? Calling yourself an “influencer” has a tone of being an amateur (which you are not) and that you’re merely influencing those that “DO”. Girl, you “DO”.
You’re a Lawyer. You’re not a Prison Matriculation Opinionator.
Did Target put you up to this? ?
I really, really, really miss your show. I don’t know why HGTV pivoted so hard from decor shows, and my favorite current show is Home Town because it’s got a styling element, unlike all the others which end up looking about the same, style-wise. If they come back around, would you consider a reboot?
Congrats on the anniversary, and here’s to your “go for it” attitude!
Agree!! Come back to tv – Emily and Orlando (together!)
A faithful SOAS watcher and an everyday blog reader –
Even Home Town is a LOT more generic than it used to be. Watched a few shows in a row recently, and it was all about “open concept,” big kitchen, giant island. Styling generic as anything else on. Depressing.
thanks guys! I LOVED doing that show and Orlando and I just had lunch on friday and talked about new collaborations in 2020. but watch his show!!!!
This is super exciting!!
Cancelling Secrets from a Stylist is the worst mistake HGTV ever made. Period! Your style diagnostic was genius and so unique, there was nothing like it out there. And, you happily gave us TWO fully styled rooms every episode! I couldn’t get enough. Shame on them! Now that I’m done mourning (maybe): Congrats on 10 years! And thanks for sharing all your secrets along the way.
thank you 🙂 and it was CRAZY to do TWO reveals. but it was so much fun (til the producers saw me burning out and decided to shift it just to one for the second season). No one wants ‘secrets from a mental hospital’. We are almost to the point of showing our kids some of the episodes which would be SO FUN (unless they hate them, which they might … ). xx
Oh, Congratulations!!! Your blog is my absolute number one! Others catch my fancy from time to time, then regurgitate the same old.
You, however, have continued to mix it up….so I look forward to checking in each day.
I’m crying! Why am I crying?! I think it’s because I’m happy for you.
You’ve come so far. Grown so much, right before our eyes. And your babies arrived, grew and are real little kids now! Whaaaaaaaat?!?
That’s joy tears right there.
You do you and we’ll be right here for you!
Here’s to 10 more! ❤
Rusty, your tears just made me cry. I’m at a restaurant, having a drink – i reserved time to respond to you (and others). I BAWLED writing this post. BAWLED. I just feel so lucky but also what a 10 years of unpredictability and growth. Thank you. xx
Well this post made me cry. I haven’t been reading since the first post, but it was damn near close to that. I have been a fan from prior to you winning the show and remember many days logging on to read your posts while I sat at my awful banking job. Now its 10 years later and I have my own little design business (fledgling, but its mine!), and a couple of days ago you or someone on your staff “liked” one of my instagram photos. That meant the world to me and I just wanted to say thank you. Thanks for all the wonderful content and transparency, and for supporting someone who literally has 146 followers! haha! All the best in the next 10 years!
OH geez. crying at a restaurant. Thank you thank you. It’s such an odd feeling knowing that you are connected to people that you’ve never met, but I am. I think because i am you guys and everyday I log on and check my ‘friends’ so I know that feeling of feeling connected to someone that I also haven’t met but I feel like I know. anyway, thank you. so much for following along so long. I can’t tell you how much that means to me. xx
Happy aluminum/tin foil blog-anniversary! Looking forward to posts on lessons learned about monetizing, general entrepreneurship and growing your team.
I’ll be shaking a cocktail tin in your honor!
P.s. long time reader but never knew about the former name!
shake shake shake! thank you 🙂 (and it was only the brass petal for a year). xx
Happy anniversary!!! I’d love to hear more about the finances and growth strategy (particularly re: staff) that got the blog to where it is today. I’ve been reading for about three years, and it’s seemed like you have a really nimble and adaptive business approach—I’d be so curious to dig into how you’ve made decisions when curveballs come in (new trends, social media changes, staffing restructures). Congratulations! xxo
great ideas re curveballs. yes we are super nimble, thats for sure. We have to be. as a startup we all wear many hats and my team is so adaptive and willing to shift when needed. taking your ideas for our posts, for sure. xx
Bring it on. I want it all. I didn’t start reading your blog at the beginning as I had no idea it existed. But I’ve followed you since Design Star days. You were fun then and fun now. Human and weird in the best ways. And we’ve both learned a lot over the years.
Happy Birthday blog! I never comment…but I read the brass petal…I was An interior designer home with My toddler and would read design blogs while He slept…I stumbled on yours and it made me laugh and I thought, here is someone who loves design and thrifting, but doesn’t take it too seriously…which was the inspiration I needed at that moment…and Here I am still reading. Thanks Emily Henderson for sharing it all and congratulations on the career and business you’ve built (from a random stranger on the internet 😉 )
I know I’m the outlier here, but I agree with the comment below about just wanting design (and fashion! Those are actually my favorite posts, and one of the first things I read on Saturday mornings). I find posts like this pretty self indulgent.
Happy blogiversary! I wear my Long Time Reader badge proudly and have always appreciated your sincere curiosity alongside the bravery/no shame. You published my comment section question (“frequent and lovely commenter Lashley” ?) re: why so many design-y bloggers were or are Mormon with a long, thoughtful series of ideas that were inclusive and positive, even though you had already left the Mormon church. When my Mormon blogger friends mentioned to me that they’d seen the blog and my question, I didn’t feel embarrassed, mostly because your response was so lovely!
Lashley!!! I always see your name and am so grateful that you comment. THANK YOU. We see you 🙂 And glad that you liked my comment in what can be a very tricky subject. xxxxxxx
Congrats on 10 years! I most want to hear about next steps! Also, I wish you wouldn’t be so critical of Secrets from a Stylist or your designs in general back then. That’s when I started following and you were literally the first blog I ever read regularly. So maybe it’s not your style anymore, but it’s the reason a lot of us became fans!
thats good feedback 🙂 i can definitely be overcritical but man do I still love so much of that stuff, even if i’ve shifted. xx
I started watching watching Design Star on the first or second episode, immediately developed a girl crush, and found your blog and have been following you ever since. I think you absolutely nailed it with “thrift store, girl next store.” But I also appreciate how you elevated my taste. There was a lot of junky/cutesy/cliched stuff on the blogs and Pinterest then, but you had a much better take on design trends.
Keep up the good work. Can’t wait to see where the next ten years takes you!
I’d be very interested in reading #3 FINANCES. Because I seriously have no idea. Besides that, maybe #2 EMPLOYEES, b/c I am clueless about that.
I personally have little interest in: #1 Hindsight (only b/c I think this topic has already been covered on this blog), #4 Biggest Mistakes (b/c they’d probably be too specific to be useful, I fear), and #5 Next Steps (in part b/c I think it’s already been covered on this blog, and b/c 99% of the time, where someone thinks they will go winds up not being the direction they actually go in b/c life).
I’d also be super interested in reading/viewing the results of the 2020 reader survey. And also, about reading how your reading audience’s survey results have changed over time, if that data is available. I’d also like to get data on who the rest of the reading audience is – location, current life season, enneagram type, etc. – just b/c I’d be curious if they’re just like me, or wildly different (either sounds cool to know).
Hey JessVII, always appreciate your comments and love the idea of releasing info. for some reason we’ve considered the survey kinda proprietary but not sure why, like what do I care if others know what our audience wants? yes it gives them free insight that took us time and resources to create but how much do I care? that might be the wine talking … regardless thank you for always commenting and participating. xx
All of the above!!
Congratulations on everything! I would love more info on how you made the move from other jobs to becoming a free lance stylist. Without a degree or official previous work in that area, how does one move into that space? Thank you!
I love all of your post ideas and don’t think they are self-indulgent. I’ve been an Emily fan since the first episode of Design Star — back when I used to watch design TV and read blogs. I generally don’t do either any more (aside from coming here daily, of course). And I’d love to know more about how you got from there to here.
While the media landscape has changed a ton, and I don’t think it’s possible to break through, much less make a living, as a new, independent blogger these days, I think a lot of your business lessons can apply to different situations. (The artist who posted about when to hire is a great example.)
thanks Amber so much for reading for so long. it has changed so much and I want to think there is hope for newbies… regardless thank you so much for reading for so long. xxx
Give us ALL THE INFORMATION!!! I love it! You’re awesome and I look forward to browsing your insta and reading the blog (is it still a blog on the website?! Am I showing my age?!).
I picked up your book “Styled” from the library a couple years ago because I was feeling stuck with design. It was so helpful ( I own the book now), but I was so drawn in by your voice. I started reading it and thinking “ This is so helpful!” as I continued it was clear that I was reading something by a very funny, self possessed, intelligent person. I eventually stumbled onto your Instagram and then blog. Now my husband and I read daily. More than once your name comes up in our conversation, or I’ll mention “My best friend, Emily Henderson, said velvet is more versatile than you’d think” Thanks for becoming a household name for us!
I am so excited to hear it all! I can’t even think of a suggestion for a topic to give you; we don’t know what we don’t know, right? Anyways, as always I can’t wait to read, you inspire me all of the time!
I want to read everything you listed! It does not feel self promotional because many of us may be interested in applying it to our own businesses or dream businesses/jobs. Bring it all on!
I LOVE your plan for the upcoming posts and I think you should do exactly what you laid out. I’m hoping to start a blog of my own very soon, so any and all advice is very much appreciated. I can’t wait to read!
Hard to believe it’s been ten years. Feels like only five. Crazy how time flies. I think I’ve checked your blog every day, sometimes multiple times a day and shared with friends. Love how your designs have evolved and influenced mine for my home as well. Congrats!
Love it! I’ve been around since your design star days!❤️ Anything and everything you post is so great. It’s your honesty and willingness to share you mistakes and real-ness that keeps me coming back! I’d love for you to take the photos from all your past 7-10 year old designs and update them. Like if we decorated our home 10 years ago and want to keep the key pieces but update for a 2020 look, what would that look like? Or if you had to design the rooms today, what would stay the same and what would you do differently? Just an idea. Anything you do is great!
ALL OF IT!!
Your blog is the only one I read daily…I’d like hearing more about the biz pieces in a streamlined format. That reminds me of the fabulous Design Sponge ‘women in business’ series. I’m curious in the sorts of questions she posed to her interviewees/artists. I’m especially interested in hearing about the moments when you took huge risks (expansion, etc). What was that like and how you took the plunge. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and life!!
I want to hear it all! Would also love to hear how you heard about Design Star and how you decided to audition!
Ok, here’s a little timeline on one of your readers- me. I watched you on Design Star and I saw like maybe 1-2 of your shows after that. Then I lost track of you. I was happy you won Design Star- thought you were the best, liked you! Then a couple of years ago I was searching for content about styling since I felt I needed to know more, and I found your book and loved it. Somehow I came upon your blog and have been reading ever since. I am mostly interested in design, but love that you are so open and honest and I read your blog every day. You are having a distinct influence on my design sensibilities.
Yes, I have been curious about how you (or anyone) make(s) money by blogging- especially since it looks like it is a lot of money. Not that I plan to ever blog.
It’s interesting to look back 10 years and see how our idea of great style has evolved.
So- I will keep following, and I submitted your survey. Looking forward to the ongoing evolution! Keep being you, Emily!
No one’s ever called you shy. Happy Birthday Emily’s blog!
All of it! I want to know all of it! I’ve only been around for the last year, but I’m so unbelievably hooked! I’ve never read a blog more for design inspiration/advice, local recommendations, delicious soup recipes, or just general entertainment with your charm and humor. Thank you for showing up daily and really helping shape 2019 for me. I’m truly excited for all the projects, advice, and stories you have to share in 2020.
Congratulations on your success and Happy Anniversary. I want to hear about all of the above.
Happy Anniversary! I have started my day, everyday, with you since The Brass Petal. I remember when you won Design Star. I definitely feel like I know you. I remember where I was when you posted that you had Charlie. I screamed when I saw you on the Target commercial. Over the years I have learned SO MUCH from you. Thank you for pouring your heart into everything you do!
I want to hear all those categories!! Congratulations on 10 years! How exciting!! xo Lucy
I want to hear it all, too! I’m especially fascinated by the “finances” and “employees” looks.
I would love to hear it all!!! It sounds like it would be fascinating. Congrats on 10 years. It’s an accomplishment you should be proud of!
Yes to alllll that content!! Thanks for writing and sharing, always. Happy blogiversary ❤️
Congrats, Emily. I’ve been here from the beginning! I’m sure you have seen Jenny Komenda’s instagram stories breaking down her business transition this past year and I would be interested in hearing something similar from you. I loved her complete honesty and have so much more appreciation for her as a business woman. I am guilty of daydreaming of flipping houses – never seriously pursued it – but after listening to Jenny break down the reality of it I would never, ever do it. So, yes, why walk away from residential client jobs? What advice have you given the designers who once worked for you that are now currently designing on their own? Do you think they have learned from your mistakes and/or have you learned anything through their missteps? Have you given or accepted bad advice? Where do you see the industry headed in five or ten years? Will blogging still be lucrative? How crucial is it to monitor other people in your field and adjust your business model accordingly? Have you encountered animosity from other bloggers/designers? Has it been difficult or tricky to develop friendly relationships with “competitors” while still trying to sustain a supportive online community? Thanks… Read more »
I would love posts on all of those items!! Happy blogaversary Emily!
6. All of the above ?? Too much to ask? I’m loving this.
I still miss “Secrets From a Stylist”, I think HGTV made a big mistake. We buy new homes maybe 3 or 4 times in our lives, but we decorate our homes constantly. Even when we simply move a chair or change pillow we are decorating. The HGTV tripe is same old pattern on every buy/makeover show. They have become predictable and boring, buy fixer upper, get excited about all the (im)possibilities and choices to be made, get stalled by huge unforeseen problem that the show’s experts missed in the inspection stage, problem either drastically alters budget or buyers find money under a rock and everything they ever dreamed of is completed.
I think your show was a breath of fresh air.
All of them please. I would love to hear about the business end of this.
I remember watching Design Star thinking “they are crazy if they don’t pick Emily as the winner” and it was the first time I felt really invested in a reality TV show. I was so happy when you won–finally someone that has a fun and accessible design style! From there I followed you to Secrets of a Stylist (which I think was one of the best design shows on television ever) and then on to your blog, which I still follow today. Congratulations on your success! My only quibble with the blog now is that it has become a little less accessible. Part of this seems to be associated with your success and your ability to work with more expensive stuff and more people to put it all together, but I miss the “lone” Emily days where the designs were all exciting and I wanted to emulate them all..and could emulate them all if I wanted (now I would have a hard time affording designs like you present now–even with my decent paying career). Don’t get me wrong, you still have a fabulous sense of style and I love all of your recent designs and hey, you deserve to spend… Read more »
This is such a great post, and timed perfectly! I have a website, and blog from it – but not regularly. I would love to know if it’s worth bringing a professional in to..well…make it look professional. The website doesn’t create money (bummer) and I’m torn between having advertisements on it (yes, it will generate some monies, but I find that websites with popup ads, or ads that have no relevance to the post are annoying). I’m eager to get all these answers from you – and more!!
Hi! I want to hear all of everything you’ve mentioned above! DO NOT worry about being “highly self-indulgent” — I would love to learn the traffic numbers, the highs & lows, when/where the revenue shifted AND everything you list above. thank you thank you 🙂 Happy Anniversary!!!