The 10th March 2010 was when I was sat in my bedroom creating Raindrops of Sapphire. I remember spending ages into the early hours of the morning trying to get the layout how I wanted, the logo as I had hoped etc, and it’s with so many fond memories now that I look back over the last 8 years and see how far I have come. If you had told me back then that I would have almost single handedly grown my blog into my own business, I wouldn’t have understood what you meant. Back then, fashion blogging was still relatively new and it definitely wasn’t what it is today, so even the likes of Chiara Ferragni was just taking off and we have all had to make it on our own. There’s so much help and advice out there now for bloggers, even people you can pay to do it for you, but it was a sea of the unknown in 2010 and it was just a hobby that I greatly enjoyed, so I’m extremely proud and happy to be celebrating 8 years on and enjoying it just as much, if not more!
I used to look back and cringe at my earlier posts – the outfits I used to put together I would never, ever wear now. I didn’t used to wear make-up, I didn’t know what Photoshop was, what good lighting or locations meant, or what an DSLR camera was. I didn’t know barely anything and as I’ve grown, Adam’s grown, the years have gone by, we’ve combined all of our knowledge and skills into making it better every single month. I now look back on my earlier images with fond memories in seeing just how far I’ve come. How much my style has changed, how much the quality in my photos and writing has improved, and just how it’s all professional now, compared to the fun and joke type things I used to share.
Going back through these photos has reminded me of items I had forgotten about, when I first started collaborating with brands and what my first gifted items were, when I first started learning to do photo shoots in town with people around and I was extremely nervous, when I put together outfits I thought were amazing and felt excited to share them with you… There’s so much nostalgia and fondness and I’m really happy to have a blog that holds all of those memories. Raindrops of Sapphire has meant that I’ve been able to document my life since 2010 and share it with you, showing just how much things change and grow and having you all here for the journey has been incredible!
I will say that I am incredibly proud of myself. I don’t often give myself praise or acknowledge achievements much at all, usually because (despite what everyone thinks) I dislike being the centre of attention and I feel it’s often big headed, however if I actually do take a step back and look at what I achieved from my bedroom, all because my health was too bad to actually get a job I had to attend in person, I’m very proud. I’ve never been a quitter (did you know most blogs go dormant after a year?) and I’ve always made things work to the best of my ability, so hard work and determination has meant that I’ve got my own business and I’m extremely happy about that as it fits in around my health issues and allows me to be my own boss. Don’t get me wrong, it’s in no way easy as I’m switched on 24/7 and it’s hard being pretty much the only person in the business (besides Adam), so if I want to take time off, I have to schedule that in and make sure things are done in advance as there’s nobody there to pick up where I left off, but I do love my job, very much. I’m happy to be switched on all the time and creating what I do for you all.
I know it wont be permanent because if you asked me what I wanted to do 10 years ago, I barely even knew what a blog was and it just wasn’t a thing anyone could consider as a business. Then along came social media and that’s now a business too, so I can only imagine what might come in the next 8 years and what new ventures there are to take. I will be blogging for as long as possible though, so don’t worry, I am just intrigued what the future may bring and what new platforms or ideas come along that can be made into a business as well. So, without going on too much, I thought it would be cool to share with you some of the milestone achievements in the 8 years I have been blogging as well as how things have changed! First up…
From 2010 to now, these are all of the logos/banners I have had for my blog! I used to be hosted on WordPress.com when I started out, so you can actually still see my old blog before I transferred to self hosted by clicking here. It’s crazy looking back at that and seeing what a difference it is. It was all bright and colourful, very small, but I still had so much passion for it! I loved all of my logos too as I used to spend hours on them! One of my favourites to date is still the rainbow umbrella with the sapphire rain in the background. I absolutely adore that one! Unfortunately it doesn’t really fit with my theme now, but I still have so many fond memories! Now we can take a look at the collages I put together from 2010 and 2011 so you can see some of my older photos and how things used to be.
In the above collage is a mixture of some of my very first photo shoots! I was 21 when I first started my blog so I was incredibly young, as you can see. I remember receiving my first lot of troll abuse for the photo near the top sat on the bed in the pink top. Someone told me my face was too red and sweaty and that I would look better with a paper bag over my head. It’s funny how we remember the negatives isn’t it? That sort of abuse ended up making me incredibly tough though and I deal with abusive comments on a weekly basis, but that’s only about 5% of the time, the other 95% is filled with love and support from you all and I couldn’t be happier. What’s funny though is that I took the main image at the top for this post at Christmas in front of the carousel, but when I was making the collage, I found an old 2010 photo of my in front of the same carousel! What a coincidence!
As the year progressed, you can see I started learning how to do different poses, use different locations, style together my outfits a little bit better and I actually have really fond memories of some of these. I remember feeling incredibly proud and excited to share the photos with you. When I look back though I used to go overboard and include about 20 photos of each look, including flat lay shots of the clothing as well. I’m glad I cut that down to around 8 now, ha ha. Since I never used to edit the photos though, it was just a case of re-sizing and uploading, so it never took that much time. It’s a whole different story now! A photoshoot and editing can take anywhere from 2-5 hours!
Now moving onto 2011, I started travelling to different places now and again, and doing photos on the trips. This is where blogging really helped me get my life back as it gave me a sense of purpose and excitement of something different to share so I wasn’t just filled with anxiety and worry about the trip. I learned how to use light in different ways, attended my first set of press days, released my Lorna jeans with PAIGE, and even got my first few gifted items in 2011. I remember thinking that was amazing and I was extremely lucky because like I mentioned up there, blogging was not what it is now, so getting gifted an item was a big thing. It’s changed a lot now though as every single person is trying to give you their products for free and request a huge amount of promotion and work from you in exchange for it, so I have to decline a lot of what goes on now. I still have my very fond memories though and smile when I look at some of the photos.
Now moving on again, things got better as time progressed. More gifted items, more trips including to London to visit the Donna Ida clinic and model for her, as well as sight seeing. I supported a charity campaign for Hudson, I got a fringe cut in (I didn’t like it, I wont do that again!) and I got my very first Mulberry bag at the Shepton Mallet outlet. I even attended a PAIGE party on a roof top penthouse in London and thought all of these things were really cool.
I can’t share with you every single year, but some more highlights as the years went on would be attending the Luisaviaroma Firenze4Ever event in Florence, Italy – that was incredible and one I will remember forever. Winning the Fashion Blogger of the year for Bath in Fashion in 2013. Collaborating with some incredible brands that I love. Attending more events and shows. Designing more jeans in collaborations with brands. Generally learning more and more about blogging and everything that goes into it… There’s so much to document and I am lucky that I have been able to over the years! It’s been a journey with many highs and many lows, but one I am very happy to be on. I’m leaving you with a few of my recent photos to see how things have changed with my style and looks over the years just below.
And that’s it! I promise to do a big and very special post in 2020 when I hit the 10 year anniversary! For now though, I’m celebrating 10 years with Adam next month and my big 30th milestone birthday in August, so it’s a big year for me! I can’t thank you enough for supporting me and making all of this possible as well. It means the world, my life, my dreams. And thank you to everyone who has supported me in the process, especially Adam and my mum for helping with photos. I know it’s not been easy for Adam having to endure photoshoots all the time! Since he’s a blogger himself now though and I’ve taught him everything I could, he now understands, ha ha. Enjoy these photos from 2010 and 2011 as I’m sure a lot of you haven’t seen them! It’s crazy how much I’ve changed! You can also see a roundup I did for my 6th Blog Birthday here. Lorna xx.