How the hell did that happen?!
Today marks the one year anniversary of me pressing the go button on my shiny, brand-new website – The Anna Edit. What a year, huh? I’ve written 205 blog posts, filmed, edited and set live 103 videos, have travelled halfway around the world (see that vlog here), got married and spent the past 12 months making content that I’m really bloomin’ passionate about and really bloomin’ proud of. Taking my vision in a new direction was rather terrifying and I couldn’t be happier and more thankful for just how supportive and kind you lot were through the whole thing. My welcome post was greeted with a sea of ‘Yep, I completely get it – go girl!‘ comments and even just thinking about that day gives me all the warm fuzzy feelings and reminders of the numb fingertip I got from scrolling though comments, tweets and emails solidly for about six hours. I was a real social butterfly to be around that day.
Now we’re one year down the line and I have had a chance to step back and take it all in I see that something had to change and so I’m ruddy glad it did. ‘Vivianna Does Makeup’ was a blog I began as a hobby to procrastinate from my Psychology degree that just wasn’t really my cup of tea. I started it in my university bedroom surrounded by leopard print soft furnishings and a wardrobe that made all my shoes mouldy, with a header that I’d created in Paint and photos taken on a bright pink point and shoot. ‘Rough around the edges’ was an understatement, but I loved it and watered it as I graduated and went on to intern and eventually work in the beauty PR world. This is where I started to see that I could be on to something. Three years after I started making YouTube videos I cashed my first cheque (a cheque?! Yes, it was that long ago), I did a sponsored post, I was in contact with people who want to manage me?! My Dad and I plotted on the train, on our morning commute up to our jobs in London, about how I could save and budget and one day turn it into a full-time role. Then one day – right before my eyes and before I was really ready to take the jump – it did.
That happened back in November 2012 and I spent the next few years rambling on about makeup, posting daily (seriously, I have no idea how I ever did this), building up my audience and having a completely cracking time doing it. When we moved back down to Brighton in the summer of 2015 something switched. I wanted to up the quality of my posts and videos. I no longer spent the first Thursday of the month queuing outside MAC to get my hands on the first launch and I began to downsize my beauty stash and find a new passion for style, interiors, fitness and clearing s**t out. No piece of tat was safe when I had a bin bag in the other hand.
So around Christmas time of 2015 I got thinking about a rebrand. A new name that could act as an umbrella for all the topics I wanted to cover, and a new flashy website that felt fresh and un-clunky and not horrendously as mobile unresponsive as my last one. IT. WAS. TERRIFYING. Here’s the thing, when you’re in a job that you’re not really feeling, you can sniff around job sites, put feelers out, do some interviews and hopefully end up somewhere that ticks off more of your boxes than the previous place did. But when you’ve set yourself up with this business that’s no longer filling you with the creative juice and happiness like it did before, you can’t just up sticks and walk out the office with all your possessions in a cardboard box. Does that even happen not in the movies? Instead you have to slowly begin to mould it back into that and hope that your audience are ready for those tweaks too. So I began to create content that I’d want to read and threw in new topics, along with a new posting schedule, that thankfully you lot were completely game for – THANK YOU!
Finding a new name that was available as a domain and a social media handle across every single platform was a task in itself. I must have stayed up late for a whole week until I had a lightbulb moment. But when I thought up ‘The Anna Edit’ – a site that’s a visual edit of everything that I’m into currently – and it was free, I may have done a little happy cry. I actually bought the domain and secured the social media handles back at the beginning of 2016, but it wasn’t until August 30th 2016 that the website was ready to go. You know when people say their blog is their baby? They ain’t joking. It took a full nine months to build this badboy.
In the run-up to launch day Mark and I were in Stockholm (remember that?) and so my time was split between scoffing my face with Swedish red fish sweets exploring the city and being surgically attached to my laptop back in our hotel room. On the morning before we went to the ABBA museum I was skyping my Web Designer, Jay, who was taking me through all the various different functions of the new site. It was nuts. Even more nutty was actually launching the site and the new name and the rebrand all at once and I distinctly remember having to sit with my head in-between my legs at one point to calm the ‘f’ down.
One year later and I couldn’t be happier that I took the leap which made me want to explode out of every orifice, but also explode with excitement at the same time. Although I can’t see a day without regular posting round these parts, it’s been nice to be more chill with my Instagram feed (a.k.a minimal editing and pictures taken on my phone or little camera), try out new forms of content creation like podcasts and newsletters (the first one is dropping on Monday!) and make videos on topics that I like to watch in my spare time (mainly style focused ones and vlogs). IT FEELS FUN AGAIN! And I no longer have to explain why I named my blog ‘Vivianna Does Makeup’ when my name is actually Anna, which means I don’t die of embarrassment at every single family gathering/wedding/party/BBQ.
The moral of the story is, if there’s something that you want to do or you feel like needs changing then DO IT. Even if it’s a real pig’s ear or a little risky. If you think you’ll be happier at the end of it then it’s 100% worth giving it a try and working your bollocks off for. Thank you so much for all the support and kind words you’ve given me over the years. I have no idea what I’ve done to deserve you lot, but thanks for being there. You rock.
Photos by Lauren Shipley
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