While everyone has been busy posting their best moments of 2015, I’ve been preparing to write this post, rounding up my best moments throughout the entirety of my blogging career. You see, after 7+ years of holding it down over here at ChiTown Fashionista, I’ve decided to take an indefinite break from blogging.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that the amount of posts hitting the blog have been few and far between for quite awhile. To be honest, I’ve been contemplating writing this post for over a year. But every time I even thought about taking a break, another opportunity or partnership would come my way, forcing me to reconsider my decision. The end of last year was a rough one. With the lost of three loved ones, I really began to focus on what’s important and the blog continued to fall lower and lower on my list of priorities. During that time, I also became involved in creating fashion-related events for Soho House and realized there are other ways for me to contribute to the local fashion community. Couple that with the way that the blogosphere is shifting (most people prefer to consume information quick and easy via platforms like Instagram and Snapchat), I feel it’s the right time to move on.
Don’t worry. Although ChiTown Fashionista is my baby, this is not a sad moment by any means. I’m looking forward to getting my hands in a few other fashion-related projects and initiatives as well as possibly freelancing for other sites and publications. And who knows, maybe I’ll end up becoming MJ’s momager (just kidding…maybe). Plus, I’m not going anywhere in terms of social media. I will continue to actively use Instagram (@chitown_fashion and @offpricepursuit) and Snapchat (chitown_fashion) to shine light on the best local designers, shops and designer deals.
Without further ado, let’s take a trip down memory lane. And after you’ve read through it all, please be sure to leave a comment mentioning how ChiTown Fashionista has enabled you. Whether it was a designer you discovered, a shopping event you attended, or a retailer you blew your entire budget on, I want to hear all about it!
When the tides changed
2011 was the year ChiTown Fashionista really gained its footing. I had been writing for over 2 years and all of a sudden, the exposure and opportunities started rolling in. Within the first two months of that year, I was a) contacted by Refinery29 to syndicate my posts (thanks to former Refinery29 editor, Shani Silver), b) invited to my alma mater University of Illinois to talk about my blog for their inaugural College Couture Week, c) asked by the team at Choose Chicago to begin contributing to their site as a local shopping expert. I also brought on my first contributor that year and was spotlighted in Refinery29. Needless to say, 2011 was an exciting time for the blog.
Team ChiTown Fashionista
With a full time job and a little one at home, I knew I wouldn’t always be able to hold down the fort on my own. I’ve had some extremely talented writers on Team ChiTown Fashionista to help me consistently push out content. Special thanks to Gabriel, Rita, Sarah, Antaash, Dana and Elise for all of your contributions! I love you all, dearly.
Black History and Fashion
In 2010, I decided to use Black History Month as an opportunity to celebrate black fashion. What started as a one-time series, featuring vintage photos from my family archives and online searches, grew to be an annual occurrence that also included photo submissions from my readers. This entire series contains some of my favorite posts of all time.
Original Video Content
In 2012, while pregnant with MJ, I had this bright idea of starting a video series that would feature the wardrobe of some of my favorite, local style stars. That’s when Closet Conversations was born. I had such a great time filming every last episode, getting to know each of my subjects a little better and sharing their fabulousness to a broader audience. There may be a few more Closet Conversations episodes in my future. Only time will tell.
From CoverGirl and Strength of Nature to Nordstrom, Macy’s and the Illinois Treasurer’s Office, I’ve had some amazing collaborations. Who knew that something that started as a hobby would allow for me to partner with so many well-respected brands and entities? I am forever grateful for the relationships I’ve built through this here blog.
If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know that my shopping addiction is real. As much as I enjoyed sharing shopping tips, discounts and inside scoop, nothing was more fun than the shopping trips I organized. Remember the Blogger Crawl and the girls’ trip to the Fashion Outlets? I’m starting to think that shopping trips may be my true calling.
Features and Accolades
There’s nothing more rewarding than having your hard work recognized. Every award I’ve received and every feature I’ve landed has resulted in a “pinch me” moment. Much love to Refinery29, TCW Magazine, Marie Claire and SPLASH for all of the amazing features. And special thanks to CBS Chicago (not once, but twice), Refinery29, New City, Rolling Out and The Shelf for recognizing me as one of Chicago’s top bloggers.
At the end of the day, ChiTown Fashionista would be nothing without the support of my readers. Thanks for hanging with me for all these years. I appreciate every last one of you…truly.