I'm completely redoing Zie Darling as a brand. Here's why:
This may be a bit of a long post, so grab a cup of tea or a glass of wine & let's chat.
No, this isn't click-bait. I really am completely changing up the brand. When I first started this blog (way back in 2011?) it started as a personal blog filled with my style posts, things I thought were interesting, work I was creating in art college and my personal work as a budding artist.
Then slowly, things began to shift, as I got older and my interests changed. Especially when I realized that I have such a passion for helping and teaching others, and even more so when I began doing an intense amount of research into business strategies, etc.
If you've somehow been along through the entire ride over these last six or seven years, you'll have seen this blog and my entire brand go from that personal blog, to a blog about getting internships and starting out in your career, to branding (what it is, how to do it, etc. and at this point, I launched my first online class all about personal branding and I started taking on branding clients.), to then focusing on those same things but how to use marketing tools such as instagram to leverage your business. And then to an almost absolute silence. (It's been three months since my last blog post and before that it was four or five months? And in all of 2016, I blogged maybeeee 8-10 times?)
I've taught numerous different online and in person classes all around these different topics, I've written ebooks and I've had so many wonderful clients over the years. I'm thankful for what Zie Darling, as a brand has done.
I think in a weird way, Zie Darling has always been a personal blog / brand, I was just a little too oblivious to see it. This blog has adapted many times over to change as I change, and it's happening again.
Almost eight months ago, I had another shift in my career. This time, it wasn't so much a gentle stumble into new territory (like when I started doing branding clients and teaching branding classes, then refocusing on Instagram, etc.) but a deliberate, calculated shift.
To be honest, I'm (still) exhausted with business strategy stuff. For years, it's what I ate, drank, slept, created, researched, etc. I of course still find all of that information 100% valuable and I still will always have the passion to help other small business folks and freelancers find their way. I still 100% believe in my motto of "no babe left behind" and all that has meant for me over the years.
But I simply found myself growing quite miserable. I was focusing on helping others SO much that I was no longer able to focus one of the things that made me the happiest: my personal work.
And it weirdly took me a really long time to realize all of this. But one day it kind of kicked me in the gut how happy I felt in that one moment. And when I paused to analyze that feeling and figure out what was making me so happy, (and how I could keep feeling that way) it dawned on me that I had spent the entire day in my studio, illustrating.
That was it. Simply sitting at my desk, drawing all day, not working on logos or coaching or any of the other work I had been doing, but simply drawing. And that was that. I made a decision right then and there.
So over the past eight(ish) months, I've been building up my freelance illustration career and I've been really focusing on making my stationery business, It's Paper Dear, a full time job. And while I've been decently active on my Zie Darling instagram account, I completely set the rest of my brand (this blog included) aside-- thinking that at a later date, I would figure out what to do with it.
This weekend, actually, I dusted off the edges of this little blog of mine and took a hard look at it in its current state and where I want to take it. And I've decided that ZieDarling will return to it's original purpose of being a personal blog, with a few hints of my love of teaching and helping other creative business owners thrown in.
And can I be really honest with you? While I've not 100% figured out what exactly will happen with this blog, I AM really excited to take you and me both on this journey.
So I'll still have the helpful blog posts that you've grown to love, but they'll be more from MY perspective. So things that I, as a creative business owner, am trying and what my wins / losses are. I'm also going to be showing more of my work and my creative process, because to be quite honest, I think that kind of stuff is pretty cool. And I'm going to talk about things that interest ME and not just what all of my business strategy research says to talk about.
I'll be changing the website over the next few weeks, as I have time and I'm looking forward to sharing some really cool behind the scenes stuff with you.
Anyway, this post is entirely too long and a bit on the ramble side, but I'm excited about sharing this all with you and I would absolutely love to hear what you think. I'd also like to know if you miss personal blogs as much as I do? Because let's be honest, they're a dying breed & I think we should totally bring them back!
Until next time, dear friend.