Hello lovers! I realize this post is about two weeks overdue, but I wanted to get my hens a bit more in order before formally introducing you to some changes you’ll be seeing on The Nectar Collective. Good changes, I think!
First and foremost, you’ve probably already noticed that the design is brand spanking new. Let me tell you a bit about the journey I went on to discover this new space for TNC. When I started this blog in February, 2013, I decided to design it myself. At that time, I was still, more or less, a blogging and graphic design n00b, with a thirst to learn as much as I could. I learned a lot of things quickly (primarily because I invested disgusting amounts of time into the process), and the more I learned, the more I wanted to change my blog to reflect the techniques and skills I was adding to my tool belt. If you’re a long-time reader (it feels weird and awesome to think that some of you actually are), you’ve probably seen 5-10 different blog designs for The Nectar Collective. I can only attribute those changes to the growth I was making in my personal world, and the fact that my blog is a reflection of who I am.
2013, and now creeping into 2014, have been turning points in my life — for their successes as much as for their failures. Sometimes people would ask, “how did you grow your blog so quickly?” I think the best answer, looking back, is that I, myself, was growing quickly. In the span of less than a year, I started this blog and my graphic design business, quit my job as a teacher (twice) to pursue design full-time, got a dog, and moved back to California, from Tokyo. It was like I was living in a snow globe that someone had just shaken up — things changed suddenly. But lately I’ve been feeling like that snow globe glitter is starting to settle. I am comfortable, content, and confident about what I’m doing. My plans for the future are now embedded in growth, rather than change.
As such, I wanted to create a space for The Nectar Collective that both reflected who I am — right here, right now — and would grow with me. I also realized that I need to take a step back more often and stop trying to do everything myself. For those reasons, I decided to hire Jo from The Darling Tree to recreate The Nectar Collective into something I can keep for years to come, and that I won’t feel obligated to change. I wanted TNC’s design to be warm and consistent, so that you could return here day after day and feel a sense of home and comfortability. I discovered Jo’s work around the time I started my blog and constantly admired the skill and visual detail she created in each of her designs. She also happens to be spiritual, intuitive, and down-to-earth, which were important to me in deciding who I’d hand my precious baby over to. In the end, what she created still makes me smile. It just feels like “me” and continues to inspire me to produce better work. I also valued the experience of being the client, rather than the designer — it was certainly interesting to understand first-hand the questions and feelings my own clients harbor.
Another change I’ve been feeling is in terms of the content of The Nectar Collective. While I don’t really plan to take anything away, I do hope to add more — especially more posts related to art and creativity, interviews of stellar humans, and the little pieces of Southern California that make my heart stir. I also plan to do more with my mailing list (you can sign up over there on the right!) and eventually would love to offer in-person creative workshops. I feel revived, in a sense, to challenge myself to produce better articles, added usefulness, and more meaning for each of you, and for myself.
Lastly, I’ve decided to make a big change to my sponsorship program. For over a year, I’ve had nearly 30 sponsors every month, more than half of which came with a feature, group giveaway, and social media offerings. It was one of the best things I could have done during that first year, as it led me to most of the blogger friendships I still hold dear. Lately, however, I’ve noticed how difficult it is for me to maintain the same level of dedication to my sponsors while also running a thriving business. Having sponsors on my blog has always felt like an integral part of The Nectar Collective, so making this change was something I mulled over at least 900 times. Ultimately, I decided to cut back my monthly group to ten sponsors, with one ad size. The offerings are a bit different, too, but rooted in authenticity. I hope that this smaller number will not only offer better exposure to my sponsors, but also give me the chance to better connect to each one of them.
Anyways, those are my reflections for the day. I’m really excited for where The Nectar Collective is headed and can only clink my glass to you for being here and making it what it is. Thank you. Have a wonderful weekend. 🙂
And now let me introduce to you my very last set of Friday sponsor features. These ladies are a great way to end!
shannon of awash with wonder
Shannon is one of those bloggers that just grips you — her words are intentional, meaningful, and eloquent. First, I was taken aback by her truly breathtaking look at religion, God, and spirituality. Then, I adored her for this positive post with ways to feel awesome about yourself. And even further, I just wanted to give her virtual snaps for this post about wanting to be loved (the last sentence of the first paragraph is dynamite). Lastly, if you want to read beautiful reflections on love (it seriously reads like a novel), then you should check out this story. Shannon has a beautiful way with words!
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esther of esther & jacob
Esther is the sweet blogger behind Esther & Jacob, and someone I am fortunate to have met in person! She’s from Atlanta, but currently living in Las Vegas, though you could say she’s a constant globetrotter! I love this post with cherry blossoms in Japan (gorgeous!), as well as this one with animals (sea lions on a couch?!) in the Galapagos. On top of traveling, Esther and her husband are trying to do 52 dates this year and have done SO many fun, cute, and seemingly random things together. Check out all their fun dates and get inspired to kick your love life up a notch. 🙂