Reflections, Vision and What’s Next
Reflections, Vision and What’s Next
At the end of last year, and beginning of this year I had zero desire to set goals. I had little motivation. I just felt meh. And I couldn’t shake that nagging feeling, no matter what I did, it wasn’t enough. I felt like I couldn’t be a good mom, a good friend, a good partner, a good business owner. And I was consumed by self-doubt and completely uninspired.
I took a solid two weeks of off social media (mainly Instagram) over the holidays and it was EYE OPENING. The first few days I felt sick at the number of times I reached for my phone so I could check it. I ended up deleting the app off of my home screen permanently so I now have to type it in to find it, which made me very aware of how many times I go to check it. Being off of IG also made me realize how shitty it was making me feel. So much of the self-doubt and negative self talk was coming from being on Instagram. How could I let an app make me feel so bad about myself? I always vowed I would never let it do that. The lines between my life and work became so blurred, it was easy to fall into the comparison trap when my actual livelihood was tied to my success on an app. Side note: if you have not seen The Social Dilemma I recommend it.
I’ve always made a point not to put all my eggs in one basket.
I started a blog first, not an Instagram account. I’ve invested so much time, energy, and money into this blog, and it is still what brings me joy. While a lot of brands pushed for more partnerships on Instagram, I followed suit, putting so much focus on trying to grow and cultivate a community. And it is an amazing community of women there I don’t want to lose sight of that. But every time I went into the app my heart sank a little. How would I be harassed or insulted in my DMs today? And if not that, what would I see to make me feel like I would never measure up. I tied my self-worth to the following I had on Instagram and every time it went down I felt like a total failure.
When I think about the vision for my business, it really has not wavered. I set out to create a community where women can feel heard. A place to encourage women to own their power. I believe that you can come here for a capsule wardrobe and to discuss navigating your career, motherhood, relationships, etc. We can be a sounding board for one another, a support group, a resource. We collectively have the power to create a more equitable and just future for future generations. And we can talk about the magic of the rhinestone headband, and at the same time address systemic racism, climate change and reproductive rights. I think about the maternity leave stories you shared all the time. There is power in sharing those experiences, and in reading them it made me realize there is an opportunity to do even more. Sharing the stories is one piece of the puzzle, but what can we do to create change so the next generation is better off?
When I feel like I am losing my way, I always go back to one thing I know I can trust, my intuition. Only I can decide where I take my business. I believe fostering a strong community of women happens here. I’m shifting my priorities and going back to what I feel I do best. I can’t chase every trend on social media nor will I pretend to be someone I’m not. I have so much to share and so many things I want to discuss. But I can’t do it all. I want to spend the time I am working in the right space, and to me, that is here on this blog. It doesn’t mean I’m walking away from Instagram. It’s still a big part of my business, and I need to work on that too, but I’d rather use it on my own terms, in a healthier way, and take my business in the direction I want it to go. Is that scary? Yes. And yet, two years ago 90% of my paid partnerships came from fashion brands. After some soul searching I decided to completely change how I approached fashion, and as a result my content. Last year, I had a total of 6 partnerships with fashion brands, and my business still did fine. I deleted Twitter a year ago and never looked back. I rarely ever use Facebook. Change is not always easy, but it is possible.
What can you expect from me?
A lot more content on here, and a better and more exclusive weekly newsletter (you can sign up HERE to get daily or weekly emails). I am also on Pinterest, a lot, lol. As for Instagram, I’m still figuring out how I want to use it. I plan to create more style videos because those are fun to make. But I’m really excited to focus more on doing what I love, and that’s writing this blog and fostering the community here. I have something else in the works I will announce in the near future. And I am almost done writing my goals for 2021. I’ll share those soon.
I would really love to know what’s on your mind right now? What do you want to talk about here this year? What are your priorities? And what are you searching for that I can help with (big or small)? Let me know in the comments and please know how much I value each and every one of you. I appreciate you. I am grateful for you. With so much love, Jess
If you ditched Instagram I would just come here! Point is, I really enjoy your content and will continue following regardless of the platform 🙂
Thank you so much Jillian I really appreciate that. So glad to have you here!
I totally agree with that! I actually prefer the long-form content and also have a desire to move away from Instagram as well. Having content on the blog would help us all have an alternative to scrolling!
I totally agree. Really struggling with how I use social media and am trying to be on it less (I too have deleted apps from my phone). Your posts have been one of the reasons I still open Instagram. I love this community you’ve built, the thought you put into what you do, and the content you create. Totally up for scrolling here instead of on Instagram!
Adding further consensus to this! I will absolutely still follow along here. I’m fatigued by the volume of consumption on social, and I prefer following those who post a bit more infrequently. I enjoy blog reading as a place to ‘land’ on my own time rather than feeling like I have to constantly consume on social. Friday afternoon blog reading has been a beloved activity for me since 2007, and I love setting aside some time to indulge in reading favorite content.
I think you do a beautiful job at curating your content. I think you have a nice balance between all topics and that keeps me interested and engaged. Do what makes you happy!! I’m here for it!
Thank you so much Joanna!
I love when the people I follow on instragram have active blogs/newsletters. I frequently take breaks from instragram and love being able to still look at the daily newsletter updates!
That is so great to hear! I am the same way I love newsletters and I am excited to dive deeper into creating one that provides value for my subscribers.
I’ve been a silent follower on all your platforms for some time now, and the way you’ve galvanized your professional work with a nuanced, socially responsible (and sometimes h*ll-raising!!) outreach to women has been so, so cool to witness. At the risk of being patronizing (sorry!) I’m sincerely humbled by watching you harness your voice. Of course I’ll follow—and this time, I’m inspired to be a more active part of the community you’re building! Congrats!
Not patronizing at all! I am so grateful and humbled by your support and all the bada$$ women who show up here. Thankful you are here and excited for what is to come.
I always enjoy seeing your life & house updates (and let’s be serious the trio of furry kids) on Instagram. However, I have been reading your blog long before following you on insta, and will always continue to do so! I am here to stay regardless of the platform!
Thank you so much Lisa so happy to here it. I appreciate you being here. Excited for what’s to come.
I have always really enjoyed your blog posts. You put a lot of time and effort and research into them. Also, I think it’s super admirable to have a plan and do what’s right for you. Especially as a woman, we are pulled in so many directions! Very excited to see what’s next.
Thank you so much Mackenzie that means a lot. I’m really happy to have you here.
It’s interesting that two of my favorite bloggers, you & Natalie Borton, are coming to the same conclusion when it comes to social media. I think you are both on the right track. I miss the days of reading content on blogs, and scrolling though a blog, not mindlessly strolling through insta. My own mental health has taken a toll lately although I think that had more to do with the political climate. Lately I’ve had to edit, edit, edit what I follow. I love your blog and you’ve had an enormous influence on my style. If insta were to disappear tomorrow we’d all be fine! Keep doing you!
I saw Natalie’s post about that and I thought kudos to her for creating those boundaries. And I totally agree, and to be honest a lot of my thinking around this was asking the question what would happen if Instagram disappeared tomorrow and my answer was, I would be ok! Thanks for being here.
This is an interesting comment because I had a different reaction to Natalie Borton’s recent conclusion. She was a contrast to your content. I noticed that she abruptly dropped off Instagram mid-day right when the capitol riots happened. You, on the other hand, mentioned it. I had also been noticing Natalie’s lack of mentioning other issues, like voting and anti-racism for the past year. Seeing the riot contrast made me realize that I prefer your content far more than influencers who don’t say anything and instead say their platforms are a happy place. I like the fashion content but it feels off when I’m living where there is fear of additional riots, covid, etc. All that to say – I like what you’re already doing in Instagram and your blog. Your blog and Cup of Jo are my favorites but I don’t always find the time to read all the Cup of Jo posts.
Thank you Natalie I appreciate your perspective and absolutely flattered to even be mentioned alongside Cup of Jo as I think she has a phenomenal blog and an incredible community. I’ll be honest I cleared out my feed of pretty much anyone that was not talking about what I felt were important issues that need to be discussed so I don’t even know if some have said anything or nothing about the events of the past year. I support anyone setting boundaries and doing what they need to protect their mental health but I personally look to support those who speak up against injustice and do what I feel is a personal responsibility as someone with a platform. I also hope to find ways to help those that may find it hard to do so become more vocal about these issues. I appreciate you being here!
To me, you are one of the “real” ones, so I’ll follow in whatever format is best for you! I’ve deleted so many “influencers”, and am (trying to) adjusting how I use IG. Life is def so much more than social media, but in this weird pandemic time, it’s keeping folks connected. Balance, however that looks, is key.
Thank you Shannon. I so appreciate that and totally agree balance is key. To your point about social media helping us stay connected, a month ago I actually re-connected with my best friend from 2nd grade who was from Korea and only lived in our town for a year while her Dad taught at the Naval College. Probably would not have made that connection otherwise and those are the types of things I cherish so much. It does have value, it’s all in how we use it.
I always love your vibe and the way you approach things , so I’ll say “ If it doesn’t spark joy , ditch it ! “ ?. It would do us all good to get off Instagram more often . Lead the way !
I love your IG content and the community here on the blog. As for things on my mind – I would love to see a discussion about women reshaping their lives and goals after spending a chunk of adult life in a more “traditional” situation of being the CEO of home; and supporting their partners in order to have a the home life that they both wanted for their kids and their selves. I realize men do become that person in a household (Ie. your partner) however, I think it is uniquely different for women because of the misogynistic history of our culture. I had a “professional” career that I didn’t love, and a few years into having children my partner and I both hated the pace, and exhaustion that we both felt every single night and weekend. We were fortunate that one of us could choose to step back and help facilitate the changes we wanted with only small financial sacrifices. As our kids became more independent I launched a small hobby business which gave me some satisfaction, a little extra income for the splurge things we wanted and, I had an identity. I also passionately embraced other hobbies that give me immense satisfaction and benefited our family & friends (vegetable and fruit gardening – I love everything about it). Now, our youngest is off to college in 6 months and I am desperately trying to figure out what to do next – after a friend so callously teased me about becoming a “housewife” next fall. I don’t want to return to my previous career and Covid-19 has made it very difficult to network. I’d be curious to see what other women out there in a similar position are doing besides spinning their wheels…
Jennifer thank you so much for your thoughtful response. This is a really important topic to discuss and certainly one that I know you are not alone in navigating. Covid has been particularly hard on women and their careers as they are (typically) the default caregiver and have been forced to leave the workforce in droves. I’d be really interested to hear from women who have gone through this and also to gather some resources to figure out what steps women can take to enter the workforce again as their children leave the home for college, career, etc.
I would love to hear what women took on in their”second lives”. I was about to start to find mine when Covid started. Now I wonder where will I go in this new life after Covid. Would love to hear thoughts on this. And Jess, I’ll follow you wherever you may land.
Thanks Kathleen. I am definitely going to work on this I think it’s such an important topic to cover. Appreciate you being here.
Thanks for chiming in – This situation has been incredibly difficult AND lonely since all my friends and female family member/peers have moved beyond my “place in the world.” None had the choice to work part-time long term, as I have. I have immense guilt I don’t need to “work for $” at all. I think I would like to pursue a near full-time volunteer type work – I don’t need a paycheck to feel validated but I do want to contribute to society. Again, Covid makes figuring this out so difficult….
So much respect for this. I have also been making what feels like big changes this year. Cant wait to see what comes out of you striking this new balance.
I truly believe those of us who follow you do so BECAUSE you go your own way and follow your convictions. Please stay true to yourself. Instagram is fun if it means more photos of Marin (❤️), but I truly prefer your longer, more in depth blog posts. I love seeing pics and reading Re:your home renovations, Marin and the dogs AND value your opinions on social and political issues. Plus, as a writer myself, writing always trumps short Instagram posts!
You really have a knack for bringing others together through your awareness and your willingness to be vulnerable on platforms like social media. I love that you talk about striking a balance in life. Maybe you could get groups of woman to come together in other ways as well (maybe virtual mom groups that have a theme). Just an idea! I love your content 🙂
I do not use Facebook or Instagram, so I really appreciate when bloggers focus on the content on their blogs over other social media platforms. I wish more bloggers would do that, so huge THANK YOU to you Jess!
I have unfollowed 90% of the blogs I used to have saved in my ‘favorites’ i’m down to 3 and you’re one of them. Every morning while sipping my coffee and waking up my brain for work i’ll pop over to see what you have going on: be it home, clothes, politics, self-care, life, Motherhood – WHATEVER, i’m here for it.
Agree on the insta, I need to delete it but also love sharing pics of my little family to the few followers (all friends and family) I have. But also, yikes, such a time waste. I’m torn.
Sounds like a healthy approach to me! Im looking forward to more blog content. I deleted Insta a while ago, so your website is one of the few places I visit for fashion, lifestyle, social commentary, and more!
I look forward to your content on both IG and your blog every day! I find it refreshing reading your topics on different subjects that a lot of other influencers don’t talk about, especially during the pandemic. Huge fan (= What’s been sitting heavily in my heart lately is how much I miss working in theater and the arts, and how it’ll be one of the last things to open up. As a society we love being entertained, but we often forget that they need support during this time.
I think the majority of us are here no matter what format/route you choose! I suspect you have a diverse group of women here of varying ages, backgrounds and life stages because you are intelligent, compassionate, relatable and real. Plus who doesn’t love Nora, Fuji, Hunter and last but not least, Marin! We watched the Social Dilemma and 1000% agree with you! We are about the same age and I feel like our thoughts on things that are important have evolved similarly. I’m excited to see where you are going and happy to follow along via whatever channel you choose (and yes, insta can be exhausting and deflating)
Just signed up for your newsletter, no idea how I wasn’t already getting it! I’ve been seeing a lot of people pull back from social media both in personal and professional use. A year ago I took FB off my phone and installed a newsfeed eradicating plugin in my laptop browser so I can check messages and notifications and groups but not have to see the FB newsfeed. It makes a lot of sense to me that so may people are thinking more deeply about what we want and how things like social media hold us back. It’s a tool, yes, and I loooove scrolling, but my goal this year is to finish my novel rewrite by May and find an agent for it, so the mindless scrolling that felt good in 2020 as a way to distract from my anxiety isn’t going to serve me in 2021. Anyway, I love your content and I’m happy to join you here and over email if you’re on Instagram less! I think many people feel the same. If we love a creator and their content, it’s no big deal to intentionally seek it out.
P.S. Sending all the love and good thoughts to Nora❤️❤️❤️
I’m right there with you. So happy you’ll be on the blog more! I have been taking breaks from Instagram and downloaded the Feedly app where I follow 7 total blogs (one is yours!). I do find so much value out of certain accounts and have some FOMO when I have Instagram deleted. Feedly has been the perfect balance.
I too have been taking an Insta break and its incredible how much lighter I feel without it! I was recently reminiscing about the good old days when I had a bunch of bookmarked blogs I liked and how much better it was that way. I am happy with the direction you are going and will keep reading the blog!
Anything and everything about mental health, I’m struggling and I think A LOT of people out there are too and the stigma is keeping them for saying something. It’s so important to talk about, especially “normal” people (aka, non-medical professionals). Let’s normalize not being ok during a seemingly endless pandemic and the accompanying isolation and loneliness. It helps to hear we are not alone.
YES. Kate so much yes to this andon my drive back from the vet today I was actually thinking a lot about that and how my idea of getting help and my own assumptions about mental health have changed so much this year. I absolutely want to talk more about that on here. We are all still very much living through a traumatic experience and I do not think we are even close to seeing the real effects of living through a pandemic and what it is doing to our mental health. Hang in there.
Kate: you nailed this one. Sometime I wonder if I have the emotional bandwidth to handle an entire household. It’s an emotional roller coaster ride of extreme highs and extreme lows. Eleven months of all 4 of us schooling from home (2 professors, a 6th and 9th graded) is really wearing on us.
Hi Jess! I’ve followed you for years (I live in the Bay Area!) and just wanted to leave you a note to say how much I appreciate the blog. I deleted Instagram, Twitter, and FB 7 months ago and it’s changed my life, all for the better. My anxiety has plummeted and I’m able to be much more present. I’ll keep reading your blog and buying from your links here, thank you for all the work you put in! 🙂
Love, love, love this!!! Your vulnerability and courage is so evident and is part of the reason I come here to read your blog. I appreciate your feelings on Instagram and share them. I do love some of the aspects of Instagram but think it is so important to be aware of how social media affects us and our lives. I feel like sometimes I get caught up in social media when it would make me happier and more fulfilled to spend time in the present focusing on my own life. I am so excited to be here for the shifts and changes that come next for you while still enjoying the awesome content and things you already share that will continue. The way you transparently share your feelings and opinions is inspiring and I am 100% here for you and what comes next! xoxo
Thank you so much Kate. I am so grateful to have you here and just can’t express enough how humbled I am by all of the support. I am so excited for this year and everything that we can navigate together in this community.
I prefer the longform blog posts. I’ve always felt you post genuine and useful content both here and on Instagram. I’ve become more thoughtful about who and why I follow on Instagram. I unfollow those I don’t agree or who post fleeting content.
This year I am focusing on diversity and inclusion in my community/workplace, making positive environmental decisions, mental health/wellness, and supporting small businesses/restaurants.
It was definitely tough to find the motivation at the start of this year. However, I am looking forward to the future.
Thank you for sharing this Gina. These are all great and things I will definitely be focusing on in my own life and work as well. Thanks for being here I look forward to having you in this community as we navigate this year.
I love this post. I quit IG for a solid 4 months in 2020 and never felt better. I now check IG about 3-4 times a week. I have no platform and it isn’t my business but i understand how you would have to consider things differently. The things I did miss was seeing your stories and other like minded bloggers (Grace Atwood for one) I would be excited for your transition of more blog posting. Excited to start reading your newsletter.
Good for you Noel. I’m so glad you are here and really appreciate the support. Also love Grace too!
This is a bit more personal, but I think I’m really going to focus this year on taking care of myself. I think I really struggle with self care, and I dove into it in 2020, but I want to continue that. Also dressing how i want, being authentically myself but with better boundaries. I want to grow into someone I’m proud to be
I love this. Honestly one of my biggest goals for 2021 is to prioritize myself. And it still makes me uncomfortable to even say or write that, which makes me realize just how important it is. Too often we put everything and everyone else before ourselves and if 2020 taught me anything it is just how unhealthy it is to do that. I look forward to sharing some (hopefully) helpful tools in navigating self care and putting yourself first.
Thanks for sharing this update, Jess! I quit Instagram a year ago, and the only thing I missed was seeing the content of you and a handful of other influencers. Embarrassingly, I created an account with 0 followers that I use to occasionally check in on my favorites (don’t judge!). Since many influencers seem to predominantly use Instagram now, I felt like I was missing out/depriving myself of people I really enjoy and find helpful/informative… so that was my solution 🙂 I really miss the days of long blog posts, etc. and personally feel like it’s a more positive/intentional way to consume content. Instagram is fun, but for me, it too easily turns into a comparison trap and/or reflex to deal with boredom or numb discomfort. I like myself better when I’m not on it.
I’m sure this was a difficult/scary business decision for you, but your ability to bravely “do you” is why I (and I’m sure many of your other followers) love supporting you and this just reinforces that. I’m really excited for this change, am hopeful that this is the start of a healthier relationship with social media for a lot of us and that (maybe?) other content creators will follow your example!
Thank you Meg. I don’t think that is embarrassing at all and actually sounds like a pretty healthy way to use the platform. I completely relate to using as a tool to deal with discomfort or boredom. It became such a reflex for me to check it and that realization made me sick. Anyway I am so glad you are here and really appreciate your support.
I sure hope blogs are having a renaissance because there is SO MUCH value in long-format sharing. I feel like blogs should be the ‘main course’ and Instagram a menu to tell you how to get there. But somewhere along the last few years it’s almost like it switched. I am sure some of that came from the ease and convenience of the platform, but I imagine a lot of that came from brands pushing (and paying) for Instagram content. I’ve never really thought about it like that until this very moment.
Instagram is so dichotomous. I’ve learned so much and met some of my best friends there. But it is also a place of tremendous noise, and even hate. I have had my heartbeat quicken too many times when I see my DM’s light up, and wonder how they’ll make me feel when I open them.
I don’t know what the solution is, but I definitely think it lays in less Instagram. I can’t give it up for many reasons (audience, business, and parts I enjoy), so I suppose the answer is giving less of my ‘pie’ of time/attention/effort to it. I am heartened to see other bloggers spending increasing less time on the platform as well. Excited to follow along with how you continue to evolve your business!
Yes so much to all of this Andrea. When I reflect on it, I certainly thing brands drove the bus on making Instagram such a priority but many of us who were bloggers first, followed suit. It certainly is so complex as I totally relate to the fact that there are great benefits but also a lot of noise and negativity. I really do think it comes down to prioritizing time spent and using it in a way that is beneficial and not harmful, which looks different for everyone. I appreciate you being here.
Hi Jess – long-time reader, first time commenter. I am selfishly excited to hear about this more blog-centric focus! Blogs have been my main online indulgence for 10+ years now and they’re still my favorite medium for content. I joined Instagram briefly when it became popular but deleted it a few months later when I realized I was filling every spare minute with scrolling; I never looked back. You have built an amazing community through your work and I always enjoy your content. Thanks for sharing your plans for the next phase; looking forward to it!
Well your instincts were spot on Chelsea haha! It’s interesting (and honestly a bit scary) what Instagram has morphed into over the last few years. I am really excited for this next chapter and super appreciative of your support.
I’m excited for whatever comes next for your content creation Jess. I’m not on social media much, taking very long breaks and finding myself wanting to just cut the cord completely. It’s a big time and energy drain. Social media feels toxic at times, informative at other times. That being said, I feel like I miss out on things that interest me if I don’t periodically check in on your IG, and also I care about you as a human being. My preference is to read your blog. You are an amazingly transparent young ambitious smart woman. Can’t wait to hear about your future goals. I’m sticking around. ?
Thank you so much Lori. Wow that means so much to me. I am continuously humbled by the support of the incredible women in this community and I am very much looking forward to what the future holds.
I will simply say that I applaud your being honest with yourself, your needs, your goals and your voice. That doesn’t happen nearly enough these days! Looking forward to future blogposts and and content, wherever it may be!
Thank you so much Laura. I really appreciate that and I am really grateful to have you here. Looking forward to great things.
I’m always inspired by your content and appreciate how you are strong in your convictions! Whether we only follow feel good (to us) accounts or not, social media breeds greed, comparison, self doubt, imposter syndrome etc. At the end of the day, we can only control what we do and our lives, so do what sparks joy not stress. Life’s too short not to! I’d love to be a part of a community that is taking action when it comes racism, equality etc. I think this forum is a great place for action oriented content. Looking forward to seeing you evolve and grow, thanks for letting us be a part of it!
Thank you so much Kristin. I really appreciate that and I’m so glad to have you here!
I feel this in such a huge way! I found myself getting upset by the lack of posts I got for my birthday in October, and realized how ridiculous it was. It really causes a lot of anxiety, insecurity, jealousy and other negative feelings for me. I deleted the app from my phone for a month and a half and didn’t miss it at all before wanting to share images from a cross-country road trip. I then got engaged soon after and have been completely enveloped in wedding inspiration in the discover page. I need to switch over to Pinterest!
Otherwise I am so sorry to hear about Nora, anyone can tell she is the sweetest soul and she reminds me of my 7yo rescue female. Thinking of her and hoping whatever is wrong can be treated easily and quickly!
I have been following you for some time now and I occasionally like to comment because I feel you are one of the few that actually takes the time to connect with your followers. To me, you are a standout in the community of blogging, and this right here is why. I absolutely love this move.
I know I personally started reading blogs because I liked getting to “know” the blogger. I liked hearing their voice, finding a connection in something we’re both passionate about and then developing my passion further but reading relevant and engaging content. I actually miss that version of blogs so much.
The move to push bloggers to Instagram to me has shifted blogging from a like-minded community of individuals – to capitalism; want more, buy more, be more; compare, compare, compare … versus a connection on content. I’ve always appreciated your determination to counter this culture.
I had an Instagram epiphany today too. I tried on one of the filters a blogger I regularly follow uses on her stories and I WAS SHOCKED. I couldn’t believe what “I” looked like. It wasn’t me – it was some inhuman looking, caricature of me. It was absolutely disheartening. I was frustrated with myself too – that I never took the time to look into this. It’s toxic. Here I was just mindless scrolling thinking, “wow she has great skin,” or “wow her tan looks good,” and it wasn’t even close to real. So, I also wanted to thank you for your move to not use these filters. Sure it’s fun, I like a nice aesthetic too, but to think, these bloggers with massive followings are out there saying “this is what I want to look like,” “this is how I feel confident,” it’s toxic.
I will continue to follow you and support you because I truly believe in your vision. On my end, it’s time to start hitting that “unfollow” button and take my business to those who want to create a better community.
I just wanted to say thank you for you honesty and as a long time follower, I really appreciate and enjoy the way you have evolved over time! Your content is always fresh and thought provoking. In a time when I’d also like to step back from social media, it is wonderful to see some of my favorite accounts sharing the same sentiments. That being said, I love watching your Vermont content (I grew up there and now live in the south) and live vicariously through your adventures!
I’m with you on this shift off/away from Instagram. Looking for content that’s deeper and more community centered. This feels like a good intuitive move. I’m excited to stick with you through your blog. It’s where I go first prior to buying any product. I always search your blog. Every rec you make I feel good about buying not just because the product quality is always fantastic but I know you do your research and stand by ethical and eco friendly brands. Thanks for your work. It saves this tired mama a lot of time and energy. Appreciate you.
I started following you on Instagram, so it would be helpful to keep linking your blog posts there. Overall I think insta is a dumpster fire and have unfollowed all but three influencers. You might want to consider TikTok- there are lots of accounts that spend 60 seconds on an issue and there is a lot of discussion in the comments-I really like the format! It’s not overly curated, just people being normal and not trying too hard.
ANYHOO, regarding content.
Something I’ve been digging into is my own internalized misogyny as a white, cis-het woman in her 40s. As I continue focus on being anti-racist and serving as an ally, I’ve realized how much the patriarchy creates space for women to simultaneously use the advantage of whiteness to hold back BIPOC and deal themselves into a framework with completely unreasonable expectations that impresses women. The deeper I go the more I find that my whole identity used to be wrapped around whatever the patriarchy validated. It’s a total mind f*ck and could be of interest to others here.
Secretly loving this shift from some of my favorite ‘influencers’ because I’m feeling pulled away from the constant content machine of IG as well. I can’t wait to see how more intentional sharing and balance leads to more connection and still growing businesses. Appreciate your transparency and leading the way! ❤️
I really love all of your content but mostly your house Reno/ before and afters. If you stop posting on insta so much I will still view your blog regularly. Do what is best for you!
This is so amazing and very excited for these next adventures!! Great adventures are born out of risk, not after following the pack. Can’t wait to see how this comes to life. Really stoked for you ???
For what it’s worth Jess, you’d 1000% be my desert island blog. I absolutely love the range of content that you share with us and I’ve learned so much over the years I’ve been following you. I think a lot of people forget that while there is sponsored content, you share so much more than that. And the best part is even when the content is sponsored it’s so clear it comes from a genuine place. I’m very, very thankful that I stumbled upon you a little over 2 years ago. I too use Instagram for my business and I struggle so much with wanting to step away from it but not feeling like I’m actually able to. Maybe something we can talk more about are other entrepreneurs going through the same struggle? I fully believe in the power of Instagram for my business, but not so much when it comes to my mental health.
I Kondo’ed my Instagram! Best thing ever. My attention span is too short for blogs generally. Can you turn off comments and DMs and still post? Yay for quitting the cesspool of Twitter! I really enjoy your posts. Don’t let anyone steal your joy!!
Yep! This is where most creators are heading in hopes that their community will put their phones down more and truly stop the doom scrolling. I am creating a newsletter and working on my blog, because it’s so hard to work on content that ends up disappearing in 24 ish hours and folks can come to your website at anytime. I approve of this message and vision.
I think anyone who really follows along with your blog and Insta is not surprised by how you want to change your approach to your business. Personally I love how things have changed over the past few years (sustainable fashion) and I’ll follow along wherever you are!
I think I found you through a Pinterest post on capsule wardrobe or styling fisherman’s sweaters, but stayed for the feel and content mix (because yeah women can be many things at the same time thanks). Found a lot of my fave ladies (Hitha, Grace Atwood, emilyinyourphone) through you, which has helped me find other women who provide great content on politics/life/style/self care/etc. I’ve taken myself off of Twitter and Facebook, and am really trying to scale back on the Instagram (some weeks are better than others) because it was exhausting, so I can only imagine how it feels when people are coming at you all the time. Most of what I focus on are stories that link to longer pieces that I can bookmark and chat with people. Are there better platforms for people to interact instead of the comments section or DMs? I’m really bad at giving myself time to adjust/heal/rest, and at having boundaries with work, but I like to remind others of how important it is and I’m glad you were able to find some. Right now I’m focused on post Covid adjustment (please please), financial literacy, getting my stress ravaged skin under control, seeing how some of the damage of the last few years can be undone, and not killing my plants.
Thank you for sharing! I can totally relate to how Instagram can make you feel and that scary feeling of omg I’m reaching for my phone again to check it!
Looking forward to more blog content and I think email communication is great. Love me a good enewsletter each week or a few times a week! Excited to see what you do next 🙂
I would absolutely read your blog content. I am also in my mid – 30s with an infant daughter and we are politically aligned, so it’s very nice to read a blog so relatable to my own life. Keep doing your thing!
Yes!!! I love this! This is amazing
You inspire me so much, Jess! Your thoughtful approach to life has positively influenced my own thoughts on sustainability in clothing, beauty, and everyday life. Your activism has also influenced my own – and I really enjoy your mix of content.
I can’t wait to see where you go from here because I’ve loved every turn you’ve made! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!
PS I’m doing a digital declutter after reading Digital Minimalism and have signed off of social media for an entire month to help reset my body and mind. Hoping it has a similar effect that your 2 week break did!
One of the few “bloggers” I feel that has a responsible and sustainable message. It’s getting exhausting just watching so many people just promote “stuff” every second of the day. I truly appreciate your message and your intellectual content. You have made me constantly stop and ask quality over quantity, contribute to charities and question politics. You have a great voice I intend to read it wherever it may be 🙂
This was so lovely to read, you’re one of my favorite follows on Instagram and one of my most trusted places to look for brands, clean beauty, outerwear, solidarity in political rage, etc etc etc ? will keep supporting you here and with the newsletter!
Totally here for allllllll this. As someone who has had my own struggles with just wondering – what am I even here for? – in all that is going on in the world today, and especially as I act as a voyeur on everyone else’s “A Side” posts on Insta. (It’s never the “B Sides,” right?)
Seeing you own your voice, not back down on your core beliefs, and now work to figure out what your boundaries are for yourself (vs what others think they should be) is an inspiration, for sure. Do you. We’ll follow.
So grateful for all that you do share and how you inspire me and push me to think in ways I had not before. Love the fashion, the dogs, the sustainable aspect, the fight against terrible actions on a political front and inspiring us all to take a stand. You are not a performer. You are a person with feelings and a life outside of here that you choose to share with us all. That is a gift and not one that should be taken for granted. I will follow you for your content no matter the platform. Do what is best for you and your health, for your family. We support you!!!
I would love to see more vegan content (recipes, beauty, and fashion)!
I fully support this and share the same feelings! It feels scary to back away from social media and not play the game anymore, but I agree that I just feel so much better with less of it in my life.
So excited to see you following your intuition and looking forward to following your blog regularly in 2021 instead of just following along on Instagram.
I read all the comments and while there is not much more that I can add, I’m writing here to support you in your decision.
While I still enjoy the different kinds of social media, I appreciate the efforts to build a community that is focused in shared values and goals.
Hi! I am new to your blog. I came from Meghan (witandwhimsy) and I am here to stay. I love eating breakfast by myself while everybody else is sleeping and read my favourite blogs. Now, yours included. Thanks for your content! Cheers from Spain
Go Girl- do what’s best for you & your family! Being a Mother changes things, priorities shift, time disappears before your eyes. Will take whatever you want to give & fill in the gaps as needed ha. Wish you All well & still much success. Applaud you for what you’re doing!
Good for you. Probably because we’re similar in age, but I really miss blogs and started following people on Instagram only because I originally read their blogs (I still call everyone “bloggers” haha). It’s so clear many of those bloggers turned away from their blogs in favor of social media content and frankly, I miss the long-form, more thoughtful medium of blogs. It also better allows this incredible community you’ve fostered to actually dialogue with each other. All this to say, I’ve continued reading your blog since I started following you many years ago and will continue to do so. I really enjoy the work you do and look forward to seeing where it goes next.
Blog > Instagram (imo). I got rid of IG entirely last year and I don’t miss it at all. I’ve always been more of a blog reader than anything else – I read blogs daily, just like how some of us (including me) reads the newspaper. This year on your blog, I’d love to continue seeing and reading more personal essays and renovation updates as those are the posts I enjoy the most. Also, I’d love to hear your thoughts on minimalism and living simply (if that applies to you, of course). Your blog is one of my all-time favourites and it always brightens my day when you post something new. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication!
This is a note to say I love your blog, I appreciate the way you throughtfully curate and filter your content. I think Instagram is a very slippery slope, and personally, I deleted it several years ago. I think it clouds not just our vantage point when we are looking at it (wow, that person looks so much more _____ than me) but also in the moment we are capturing memories (how many times have you seen a beautiful moment that is not being absorbed as its happening because someone it trying to record it?? – I’m guilty myself).
Trust your intution, and as you mention, more is not always more! Keep up the great work 🙂
Shit, I don’t no where to start. This article hit me at my core. Maybe it’s covid restrictions, political climate, or maybe it’s my age or stage in life but the need to support and connect with others — particularly woman— has been bubbling up inside me. Recently connecting through conversation, text, chat, brings me such joy. A joy I didn’t really know was missing. I mean I live a very full, active, joyful life as a mom, scientist, wife, friend. Learning and sharing knowledge is every once of my being and someone I can’t seem to satiate the need to connect and learn and share more. It all energizes me and I know I want something bigger, something outside my small circle but I haven’t quiet figured out what that exactly looks like. How do I widen my circle in a meaningful way while keeping everything else in balance? That’s the mystery question. So while I seek the answer, I figured I’ll hang out here for a while and listen. Thanks for putting yourself out there. PS: Rhody Ram for life…class of 1996!
I don’t interact much with the blogs/bloggers I follow, but I wanted to weigh in here because one general theme has been on my mind for a while. I first gravitated to your blog because of posts on sustainability, clean skincare, and minimalism (e.g., capsule wardrobe). Then I started to see (across the blogosphere) just how many posts and product reviews are sponsored, ads, or brand partnerships. People are increasingly using the word “capsule” when they mean “collection” – there’s nothing minimal or versatile or quality about what they offer, it’s just the seasonal release. I no longer feel like I’m gaining something from reading about sustainable XYZ when some of the top recommendations are from big box stores – what about the retailer’s footprint, the packaging, the consumerism? (So many bloggers have been recommending Amazon fashion lately – no thank you! It’s fast fashion by a different name.) It’s all just shopping and buying, and I hate that I seemingly have to support bloggers by consuming something – using an affiliate link, a discount code, etc. It also starts to break down my trust in a blogger, I don’t know what motivates their recommendations or “content.” So now I visit my blogs once a week for their weekend reading lists, and that’s about it. I would love true content – your content, not sponsored content. And if it interests you, an ongoing exploration of more conscientious sustainable living. Because I see the sponsorship/consumerism and sustainability issues as two sides of the same puzzle in the blogosphere.
It seems like you are more or less heading a similar direction. I am very interested to learn more about your choice and the process to move away from fashion sponsorships. More about small businesses, maybe profiles of women-owned businesses (not just retail, or at least social purpose retail). I personally enjoy reading about women’s financial issues – whether investing, consulting gigs, house reno projects, motherhood. I would also be interested in reading your thoughts on materialism is the blogosphere. Relatedly, how can we support you without buying stuff and driving consumerism? I hope it’s okay to offer this perspective. If it interests you, I think you are uniquely positioned to tackle it, with your thoughtfulness, self-reflection and advocacy.
Finally, sending you positive thoughts and support for Nora.
Hey! You have a very cool blog! I would stay and read it no matter where you lead it. Not every day you can find a blogger whom you will follow for more than 6 months and do not want to unsubscribe, but you are. I always find someone and after a couple of weeks he bothers me, but you don’t! Therefore, wherever you are, I will follow you and be inspired by you and your children! Thank you for your work, I think you inspire many women, which is very important!
I just deleted my Instagram for similar reasons, I especially related to the number of times I unknowingly reached for my phone after it was deleted! I will continue to follow your website and subscribe to your newsletter!
I haven’t had Instagram for about 8 months, so I wouldn’t care! 🙂 I’m old-fashioned and have all my favorite blogs bookmarked! Hope you can find the right balance for you.
I really love this post and how honest you are about navigating the challenges of motherhood and cultivating a community. Motherhood is not easy, and many of us feel that we are falling short of delivering due to the many pressures posed by other women and the information out there, which is often contradictory. That, and many of us are working mothers so maintaining balance sometimes feels an impossible feat. I am sorry you face cruelty on Instagram. I would love to see people support and uphold one another in these times. Your blog has been an inspiration for me. I love your style, you have a beautiful family, and I appreciate what you post, as you have prompted me to make better decisions, ethically and sustainably, so thank you.
BTW, have you thought about having an assistant go through your DMs and comments on Instagram and deleting the mean comments? Another fashion blogger Carly Riordan hired someone to do that for her as a way of protecting her mental health. She has a post on her blog about this. Just a thought Jess.
I think we’ve been lulled into a false sense of security with social media sites. I see so many fashion influencers not have a blog at all, not have a newsletter, and anytime the Instagram algorithm changes, it gives them a lot of anxiety. I think we need to go back to having a homebase on our blogs.
I think what trips up a lot of people is that its hard to create intriguing blog posts, its a lot easier to post a photo on IG and not worry about a website. It may be hard to create good blog content but you’re not at the mercy of social media all the time when you have a site. Anyway, I look forward to whatever you decide.