Third time’s a charm, right??
Let me give you a little background…
I started this blog in November 2017 as a way for me to fully embrace the version of myself that I wanted to be: Someone that loved fashion and wanted to share that love with my family and friends.
I had been following multiple blogs for years, loving their style and trusting anything they told me about what they wore. I looked at their lives and thought “How amazing is that?! They get to look beautiful all the time, wear amazing clothes, and talk to people about it. I’d love to do that.” But I never did.
I was afraid to take the leap and expose myself like that. What if people didn’t like what I wore? Or worse, what if they didn’t care what I said? What if they were mean?
So I waited.
Last fall, I decided to go for it. I started writing posts before I created a blog so that I could have material prepared as that was what I read to do. I got together 10 posts, created a very basic blog, and posted them over the next 10 days.
I switched jobs around that time and I had a paid 2 weeks off before I started my next one, so I figured this was the time! Which was good because I had no idea what I was doing and it was very time consuming!
I wanted everything to be perfect! But there was NO WAY that was happening haha.
Over the next few months, I got an amazing reaction. I had some friends and family that were reading what I was posting and they liked it! It was such a nice feeling.
Seeing all of the other fashion bloggers that I loved, I decided that was the focus I wanted to change try focus and style to look more like theirs.
So I undertook my first attempt at re-branding. I switched my blog from Blogger to being self-hosted with WordPress. Talk about a learning curve y’all! WOO it was a rough transition.
Thankfully Siteground was literally amazing and made it about as easy as it could be for me. But it was still a lot of trial and error.
I originally named my blog Everything Under the Kansas Sun (waayyy back at the beginning), wanting to cover a whole range of topics. Three months later, I re-named my blog Pearls & Prada because it was easy to remember, and I emulated the fashion bloggers that showed high-end styles.
I told myself when I made my first $2000, I’d buy myself a Prada purse to celebrate.
But what happened as I got farther into my blogging journey was completely unexpected.
I fell in love with blogging itself. I found a passion for something I had no idea I ever had. I’ve always really enjoyed writing, but never had any idea I’d love to share it as much as I do. Or that it would be a way for me to help others.
And I also realized that I didn’t want to be the person I thought I did, because that isn’t me.
Big fashion bloggers are amazing. There’s so much that goes into it all and I imagine doing so much can be exhausting. I seriously admire them and the work they do.
Most fashion bloggers I know have to CONSTANTLY be shopping. Literally, 3-5 days a week they’re ordering new things. They’re looking for the latest trends to share with their followers. While that sounds fun, I think it’s unrealistic for most people. Shopping isn’t life, y’all.
Not to mention the upkeep I was trying to maintain on top of that in the beginning. I started buying more expensive makeup, getting my eyelashes done, getting hair treatments, getting my nails done every 2 weeks, spray tanning. IT ADDS UP QUICK!!
But that’s not me. And you should know that isn’t every girl, every day. Even some of the people that look amazing on Instagram admit that they only get dolled up on photo days. And while I do love feeling that pretty, I just don’t have the energy (or patience) for that every day!
We all want to look perfect for the camera, when in reality I know I’m no where near perfect! As you could have guessed as no one is 😉
I wear my hair up most of the time because I’m too lazy to style it. I usually wear my glasses all weekend and wear very minimal makeup. I’ve never had clear skin for any length of time. I live in athletic clothes when I’m not at work. I love being comfortable above all else.
I also really enjoy keeping a minimal closet and making sure I wear everything that’s in it. I spent years with a closet full of things that I didn’t love and didn’t wear regularly.
I’ve gotten to the point where I can purge my closet every few months to get rid of things I don’t LOVE and don’t make me feel great when I wear them.
I’m also not super into “trendy” pieces. I wanted to represent my own style instead of what’s popular at the time. Which honestly is mostly neutrals.
I do love fashion, and I love sharing it with you guys. But my new focus will be much more focused on affordable, realistic everyday options.
I’m big into finding deals, and I LOVE buying nice quality things for a discount. I do believe in investment pieces, too, because things that get a lot of wear and tear need to last. But most people I know don’t want to spend $90 for one sweater and can’t afford to own multiple $2000 purses to go with every outfit.
While we might idolize that lifestyle, it’s much more important to realize we can be happy WITHOUT those things. Things are just things. They don’t really matter in the grand scheme of life. We like to have nice things just to show other people that we have nice things. That’s so dumb.
I’ve read a lot of posts about bloggers getting caught up in the Affiliate Link game. For anyone who isn’t familiar, a big way bloggers make money is sharing links that people buy things through them. We get commission because we directed you to that site. Some bloggers will only share pieces that they can link for people to buy.
I don’t want to be that person. I caught myself starting to think like that a few months in and I put a stop to it. Not buying something I love because I can’t share it on Instagram is NOT me. I shop pretty much exclusively at Marshalls, TJMaxx and Nordstrom Rack.
I’m a deal shopper! I refuse to pay full price for something. And I embrace that. I don’t want to spend an insane amount of money on one thing.
Which brings me back to my goal of buying a Prada bag.
Y’all. If I can’t afford a Prada bag in my every day life, WHYYYY would I save my first hard-earned $2000 and blow it on one frivolous thing that I don’t need?? I wouldn’t. Because that’s not practical for me!
So instead, I’ve re-vamped the goal. The money I make from blogging goes BACK into my blog to make it better. I’ve spent most of it on classes from other bloggers to get better at my own! And extra money after that goes toward a down payment on the house we’re saving up for.
Blogging is something I truly LOVE doing. I’ve told myself that I will work as hard as physically possible to take my blog full-time by the end of this year.
Part of that is this re-brand. Once I got further along in seeing who I really am as a blogger, the name Pearls & Prada didn’t fit with me anymore. That’s not me, that’s who I thought I wanted to be.
So, the things I want to accomplish with this re-brand are:
1) Help other people who love fashion find cute, affordable, realistic everyday styles.
2) I also love helping with lifestyle things, like great products to try at a great cost.
3) To help other bloggers, or people getting in to blogging for the first time, figure out where to go from here.
For bloggers just getting into the game and wanting to improve, I know what it’s like to be dying to improve but not know what to believe and/or where to start. And most blogging courses are hella expensive.
But what if you can’t afford it and just want to improve as you go like I did? I still have results, I’m just not quite to their level yet!
To help with that, I created an affordable entry-level e-course to teach people to improve like I did. To share what has worked for me to get to where I am now, and try to save them some time.
I decided to re-name my blog with my own name (shortened) 1, because it rhymes and how fun is that? and 2, because this is me. This is my brand, and the real Dani wants to use this blog to help others instead of sell overpriced clothes.
With wanting to be focused in on affordability, most people I know don’t associate Prada with “affordable”. And I’m very proud of my blog, and when you’re proud of something, you put your name on it.
Don’t get me wrong, I do love nice things. I’m all about the quality buy. I’m dying to have a Louis Vuitton Neverfull bag like everyone else.
But what’s more important to me is to help cultivate the passion I have for blogging in a community and help others cultivate their own.
If you can make a living doing something you absolutely love, and really help people in the process, why wouldn’t you??
SO if you’ve followed along thus far, I’m sure you’ve noticed some changes. There will be more to come! I’m still trying to figure this out as I go and be the best I can.
As I’m sure you can imagine, it’s hard to be so vulnerable online. It’s scary and you never know what to expect. This re-brand could totally kill my blog because people liked the way I used to do things.
But it could also make it thrive.
Because people can see the real me and feel that I’m someone they can actually relate to instead of someone who looks like she has her sh*t together 24/7, which is so far from the truth it’s actually humorous.
And to me, that risk is well worth it. I want to see more people in their vulnerable state showing who they really are and connecting with other people with the same struggles and insecurities. One of the best things about the blogging community is how supportive everyone is of one another. I wish the world in general was more like that.
I’m a very strong believer that helping others DOES NOT hurt you. We’re doing this together, not against one another. Everyone has their own unique voice that resonates with others. You just have to find your tribe!
I truly value every single person that visits my blog and supports me. You make this journey so much more enjoyable because I get to share it with others. You inspire me and really help keep me going when things get hard.
God has given me this opportunity to share my voice, and I actually can not explain how thankful I am for that, and how happy I am that you’re here with me.
I hope you enjoy the new changes. I’d love to hear what you’d like to read more of from my page in the comments below.
Cheers to embracing who we are (weird quirks and all), the journey we’re on, and loving every second of the perfect imperfection.