we heart this turns 10, and contemplates the future…
It’s a big birthday for us: we heart this is 10 years old! And much like I am with my own birthday, I find myself wondering where the time went? It truly is amazing how fast time flies.
It’s also pretty amazing that I managed to keep the we heart this ship afloat all this time. If you have never owned a blog, let me tell you: it’s hard. Anyone who tells you it’s not is lying (or not human, so back away slowly.) There are legit obstacles ALL the time. You might think “So, you write some content and take some pics? What the big deal?” To which I’d say: You be quiet, I said it’s hard!
If you have never owned a blog, let me tell you: it’s hard.
Seriously though, content can be a challenge. 10 years in, I can bore even myself with product descriptions. (Buttery? Seriously Stef, that’s all you got?) But I will say, I’m thankful that myself and my founding partner Tyna had the whereabouts to build we heart this to be more than just beauty from day one. Even though we heard things like “You need a laser-sharp focus. It’s not enough to just blog about beauty. You need to be a lip gloss blog, for example. Or you’ll never stand out.” I mean, I love lip gloss and all, but I would have been gone long ago if I was writing about just gloss since 2009.
Fun fact: our first big break was a Colbert Bump; one of our very first posts, We Heart Stephen Colbert, was shared on The Colbert Report!
One thing has remained true; beauty was and always will be our driving force. Because I actually do really love lip gloss.
To pull it all off, we were really lucky to have a talented team of writers, as many as 20 at one point. Today, I’m down to just six, plus myself. I’m also the sole editor and owner now. You know when people tell you not to go into business with friends. Yeah, that. The loss of my partner and, more important, my friend has been hardest of all. These gals that are with me now have been here since the beginning; my steady boo crew. I could not do it without them and appreciate them more than they could possibly know.
And there’s a new challenge that has popped up over the last few years. One that’s turned blogging on its head; the Influencer. (And I thought “lifestyle” was a perplexing term!) Now, this isn’t going to be an Influencer-bashing session. Especially when so many of them HUSTLE, and I can not fault that. It’s more of a case of don’t hate the player, hate the game.
I’m not sure what’s going on with the beauty industry. And more to the point, I’m not exactly sure where my place is in it anymore.
Brands used to be delighted with in-depth reviews of their products; take a mascara, for instance. What’s the packaging like? Does it have plastic or nylon bristles? Is the brush symmetrical? How long is the wear-time? Does it smudge? Does it clump? Does it give you volume, length, etc. But lately, it seems like a selfie with an oversized mascara prop taken by someone with a 250K+ following carries WAY more weight than any actual knowledge. (Unless, of course, you’re Temptalia. Because damn, she good!)
Social media has become a beast. And Influencers are celebrities because of it. The number of followers a Blogger has was always important. (Another fun fact: Instagram launched a year after we heart this did!) I’m just not sure how I can keep up with someone whose whole life seems to be one big photo opp, and a handsomely paid one at that.
And I’m going to be honest, it HURTS to be dropped from PR lists by brands that you faithfully reviewed for years (for free!) Especially when they’re flying Influencers on exotic getaways left and right.
Me: Sees pics from press trip to, let’s say, Dubai. Emails to ask for new highlighter for review.
Brand: *Insert cricket sound*
Me: Thinks to self, well, stamps ARE expensive these days…
Here’s my ultimate question; can’t there be room for both of us?
Here’s my ultimate question; can’t there be room for both of us? The answer is, duh, YES. A huge thank you to the brands who know this, and keep we heart this (and my UPS driver) in business.
I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining, I’m really not. I am so lucky for all the opportunities that we heart this has brought me. I traveled to Iceland and Montana. I filmed with Harry Josh. I got to see/chase Jon Hamm when I went to the Emmys, for crying out loud! Plus, I’m unbelievably proud of the work we’ve done.
I guess what I’m saying as I enter the 11th year of blogging is that I’m not sure what the future holds. I’m getting older, too (cue “Landslide”). The sea feels a bit murky at the moment. But I’m going to try to figure out my place in it and keep sailing as long as you’ll have me. Because I love lip gloss, damn it. Actual-sized lipgloss that you apply, not pose with. I’m hoping you still do too.