It's overwhelming to be writing this post. So much has changed in a year on a personal level. New city, new jobs, new baby, new titles (mom and dad). And Household. Amy and I laugh all the time in amazement at what we have created here. I'm sure some form this story exists somewhere on the site, but I'm going to share it with you again because people are always asking me how things got started.
Household Mag. started to take shape in May of last year. Amy had just moved to Brooklyn from Phoenix, where we had worked together on a single shoot (yes, that's it). There's such a strong sense of community there Phoenix that when we discovered we were both planning to move to Brooklyn within a few months of each other, the only natural thing was to at least plan on grabbing coffee. So we did. And then we grabbed doughnuts. And then we went to Target, as new pals should always do and clearly hit it off.
We ended up spending lots of time together after that initial met up. Neither of us really knew too many other people in the city and we both worked from home so it was the perfect set up. We would get together at coffee shops with our computers and work on our not so creative jobs, and while we did this we were constantly mentioning to each other that we needed to get our hands in something creative in New York. These conversations went on for a couple of weeks. We went back and forth until we narrowed down that my primary interest was starting a blog, and that Amy's was to expand her photography portfolio and business, and that we could work on this together.
Once we decided to run with it Amy has been one of my biggest supporters and has been the best teammate possible. It started with us sitting around my kitchen table with notecards scribbled with words I liked, loved, and thought might be essential for the name of the blog. We moved them all around the table and organized them in different ways to come up with an unreal amount of combinations. None of which I can remember now, and none of which we actually used. To be totally honest I spotted household on a bottle of Mrs. Meyer's hand soap or air freshener in the midst of this brainstorming session while I was going to the bathroom. I came out with a grin on my face and shared it with Amy, and in her Amy way she supported it whole heartedly (even if she thought I was nuts). I went with mag. over blog because we initially thought we might create something that we would print one day, and who knows - this may still happen. I jumped on my computer and reserved the domain, the Instagram handle, and all other forms of social media, and we started to iron out a post schedule starting July 1st. We began shooting and I started networking through Instagram to do what I could to create an audience for the launch.
One year ago today we never would have imagined what Household Mag. and Amy Frances Photography would have grown to be. It's truly amazing. On a personal level I found support through the blog and social channels while I was pregnant and clueless, and the same for the early stages of motherhood. I think I might be a little more with it now. Maybe? No way, you guys still help me TREMENDOUSLY daily. As the first of my close friends to have a baby I would have been completely lost without the connections I made through Instagram - I even met an entire group of moms in my neighborhood through the app and formed friendships with each of them. Check out how modern I am!
On a business level Amy has made connections through the blog which have lead to maternity, newborn and family sessions, and Household Mag. is becoming a little business of its own with paid projects for both Amy and I. We have had the opportunity to work with brands we've always admired, and have been connected with smaller companies we maybe would have never come across. As a family we have been gifted some incredible items for our home, and have even received clothing, diapers and baby food which have been unbelievably helpful considering we live in such an expensive city. But ultimately Amy and I have satisfied that creative craving we had a year ago and then some. Each month we challenge ourselves to explore new places, reach out to new companies, and document this city in our way. Have you ever had a creative counter part that just gets you? For me this is Amy. She is an invaluable resource to Household Mag.'s success, is one of my favorite people to bounce ideas off of, grab a cup of coffee with, or have over to help me drink a bottle of wine and put my child to sleep (yes, she has done this multiple times). Basically, she's the best, and Household Mag. wouldn't be what it is without her, and I wouldn't be who I am without her friendship.
I get flattering e-mails all the time asking for pointers for new bloggers, and while I'm working on putting a message together for you folks, I honestly don't know if I have all or any of the answers. Like I said, I kind of just stumbled into this blogging world, and really knew very very little about it so I'm navigating as I go. All I can say is that I really love it, and am beyond excited to see what the next year brings. I do have a couple goals and exciting projects that I'm working on that I want to share here to hold myself accountable and also help begin to spread the word.
1. September 1st I will be opening an online shop! Exciting stuff my friends, exciting stuff. I have been working with a handful of makers (most of which are close friends) to design some exclusive Household items which will be sold along side some of my all time classic favorites. The shop will feature children's items, home decor, and women's accessories. Follow along with @householdshopny for sneak peeks, maker highlights, and the progression of the online shop coming together!
2. Establish a better schedule. Being self employed, even when it's not your full time gig, maybe especially when it's not your full time gig, means that you're kind of always on. A lot of this is necessary to get things off the ground and running, but with a family it's important to establish some solid work/life balance, even if it's scheduled. So I'm working on that.
3. Amy recently wrote a great blog post about valuing your talent which is tough to do in the creative world when there are so many start-ups that want something for free. She referenced this diagram and it's something I'm going to keep referring back to this year. Also, a good friend of mine mentioned that you wouldn't ask your dentist for a free cleaning, or the gynecologist for a free pap smear and I think that's an excellent point that often gets forgotten. Hah! There's obviously some level of free work that should be done when you're starting out, but anyways refer to the diagram.
4. Zack & I have plans to start a podcast! All this work with the site on my end has, in Zack's words, been "really inspiring" which is probably the best compliment I've ever been given, by anyone. Ever. We have both been working so hard creatively which often times leaves less and less time for each other (something we should probably work on also). But either way, we thought it would be super fun to work on something together. So a podcast is our medium of choice. I guess this means I should get over HATING the sound of my recorded voice. I'll keep you all posted on this, and when and where you can tune in!
5. Events. I would love to get into the world of event hosting wether that's a workshop, dinner, or just a meet up of some sort. I've connected with so many amazing people this past year, and I know I've just skimmed the surface. I want to get to know more of you in a deeper way than just liking each others photos. There are so many great conversations to be had, lessons to learn, and pals to make and I'm thirsty for it all. This is also the perfect time to remind you about Amy's documented workshop right ;)
One last note and then I'll stop writing what must be the world's longest blog post. I want to say thank you to you all. Thank you for caring enough about our family and our story to even be reading this article. Thank you for following along here, or on instagram, or pinterest, or to my 80 followers on twitter. Haha. I appreciate you all. Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom during the moments I've struggled and asked for advice, for encouraging me in times of doubt, and for your praise when I feel as though I've hit a stride. Your support is overwhelming and has left me with tears in my eyes.