Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Eight Years Online


Those of you who have been here since the beginning (or have read my 'About Me' page) know that Chic and Grooves isn't my first venture. Yes, this particular name was established during the initial lockdown but this tiny corner of the internet has been mine for nearly a decade. Join me as I share my story on its eighth birthday. 

Close your eyes, it's 2012 again. There is no mention of Covid-19, Freddos cost 20p, Company Magazine is still publishing. It was a completely different world. My childhood best friend was the one who introduced me to the possibility of blogging, telling me I would 'love it'. Noor had her own blog, dedicated to her very strong love for Movie Star Planet. It was truly the coolest thing an eleven year old could imagine. This was back when Youtubers and Bloggers ruled the world, before the TikTok stars and reality influencers. Yes, images were a big part of the website (or Movie Star Planet screenshots should I say), but it was the words that mattered the most. In the summer after finishing primary school, I received my first laptop and this was the green flag to create my own space.

There isn't much an eleven year old knows about blogging, or the internet for that matter. Apart from Noor, there wasn't much guidance available so it was all truly from my mind and heart. I didn't research different blogging platforms, Blogspot was the only one I knew. The original name was 'TeensNewWorld', since I was still so overjoyed about hitting those double digits in age. When I say that my page was as though someone grabbed a paintbrush and just dipped into my soul, I mean it. A photo of a silver boombox repeated around twelve times as the background featuring a header banner I created myself on Paint with Movie Star Planet characters and Cher Lloyd. In other words, the definition of 'cool' back in 2012. I reviewed music videos, wrote in-depth reports about Movie Star Planet and expressed my love for the up and coming popstars. It blew my mind that my thoughts were being read all over the globe.

This then led to the birth of 'Beautie Bloggy', arguably a worse name than the original. I wanted my page to have more of a theme. These are now the Zoella days on the internet, monthly favourites and Bethany Mota's DIY halloween costumes. It was Miss MacBarbie07 who inspired me to write about my own DIY halloween outfit and magically, my minion logo stencil post was read over six thousand times. This absolutely blew my mind.  This was the marble background and lilac accents phase. My blog had always been something very close to my heart, because no matter whether it was a loom band tutorial or an outfit of the day post, I always put in my entire heart into my work. This led to my website being quite private and not necessarily common knowledge. At the age of fifteen, some people from my school found my corner of the internet and took it apart. I was heartbroken, I didn't understand why one of my greatest achievements and interests was a laughing matter. All was well in the end though as my site needed some redesigning anyways, which led to 'K's Yesterdays'. 

This stage was needed. 'K's Yesterdays' was created during a time I had so many questions for the universe. How do you deal with heartbreak? How do you find a greater source of positive energy? How on earth do you deal with UCAS? I spent those three or four years dealing with stress regarding all those topics, so I tried to help others in the same situation by analysing my experiences. This was without doubt my most 'philosophical' phase, but doesn't every seventeen/eighteen year old go through that? This website was the first time I felt like a real blogger. I searched online for a template to buy. My mum and I went halves on a very cute design on Etsy, it had a slider, widgets on the top and bottom and the look of something special. I actually designed the header myself whilst sat in my GCSE Art lesson. I used my watercolours and swished the paintbrush on some card which I then scanned onto the computer systemI remember sitting in a revision class and photoshopping the name 'K's Yesterdays' onto the paint. Slowly but surely, I worked in order to build the page up to look exactly how I envisioned it. And for the few years it was around, this truly was my pride and joy but sometimes you need a breath of fresh air, which leads us to where we are now.

I actually wrote a post titled 'My Blogging Journey So Far' back in December 2018 where I shared my little story and finished it by saying 'I cannot wait until I move to university and have some more time to base my blog from a  fashion point of view, by then I will hopefully have Elle Woods' wardrobe and be walking around either in vintage blouses or pink outfits every day.' I dug the now drafted post out today when working on this piece and it made me feel very warm inside. A year and a half after that sentence I rebranded yet again as Chic and Grooves, doing exactly what I said I hope I would. Writing about fashion and some elements of life from a woman's point of view, no longer a new teenager's. And as for the vintage blouses and pink clothes around campus, I can confirm this manifestation also came true as I rocked both of my pink suits to lectures last year before the doom of lessons on Zoom took over. I purchased a domain for the first time and a big label template from PipDig. This website grew up alongside me and will continue to do so.

I guess the message to take from this ramble is to follow your interests, no matter how random they seem or how many people think they're weird. Imagination and ambition are the key directions to any bright road.

K x

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