I started this blog in 2015. It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost seven years since I began this career journey. The blogging space has evolved so much since I started and since I’ve come such a long way, too, I thought it would be fun to share the chronicles of my blogging journey with a preview of what this year holds.
In the last seven years:
- I’ve redone my entire website twice (so you’re looking at version 3 right now!)
- I’ve renovated roughly 85% of my home.
- I’ve visited Europe and Japan.
- I’ve had 2 babies.
- I’ve collaborated with amazing brands that I could have only dreamed of working with.
- I’ve grown my readership and social media following and been able to connect with an amazing online community.
- I’ve written my first book.
- I’ve appeared on a number of well-known podcasts and been a featured speaker at some noteworthy events.
2015 was the year I started Styled to Sparkle. I created a blog site with very little knowledge of what blogging really was. I knew I had a lot to say and this was something that I could be good at so I went for it. I really had no idea what I was getting myself into or how this business would evolve in such a short time.
I didn’t consider how much of a role social media was going to play in growing my brand and blog, or that becoming an “influencer” was even in my future. I was just a girl with a “website” trying to think of how I could take all of the ideas in my head and turn them into useful content for the masses.
In 2016 I tried to be too many things to too many people. I felt like if I could offer a really big variety of content in a ton of different categories that I would attract an even larger audience.
What happened was that I started writing about things I had very little interest in, but because they were “trending”, I thought I should include them. I started posting random things to my Instagram because I thought someone might find them interesting, when I reality, I didn’t find them interesting at all.
I was a year into blogging and needed to start thinking more about what I wanted to do, what I wanted to write about and what I wanted my online brand to be.
2017 was a bit of a “leap” year for Styled to Sparkle. I began shooting my Instagram content with a DSLR and really started thinking about planning my social media content. To be honest, I posted a lot of “outfit” photos and felt the need to link to fashion sites, all while not really loving it. I’m not a fashion blogger and I’m not passionate about that space at all. I love what I love and I’m not trendy in any way.
I decided later that year that I needed to start thinking more about why I started my blog and start getting back to who I was and what my brand was really about.
In 2017 I received my first offer for a paid collaboration and realized that brand partnerships and paid placements were a great way to monetize what I’d been trying to build. I knew I needed to up my game even more to be successful here.
In 2018 my husband and I traveled to Japan. This was one of the most incredible travel experiences of our lives and we have been aching to go back since the moment we stepped foot in Tokyo! This was also the year that I started a YouTube channel because some of our travel adventures were easier to show in video format.
Together we renovated and updated a few spaces in our home and I began to blog more about interior design. I realized that this was a bigger passion of mine than I thought, and so I decided it was something I needed to pursue further for my blog and brand.
That fall we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary and started to make some exciting plans for the following year.
This was a huge year for me, too. I declared that 2019 would be “The Year of Carlee”, starting it off with an amazing winter clothing collaboration. I might not be a fashion blogger, but I’m hella outdoorsy so I can talk about outerwear all day long.
I took several trips throughout Canada and the USA as well as a multi-country baby moon in Europe that spring. I collaborated with IKEA on a large renovation project: my Pantry, Mud Room, Laundry Room project and we also renovated the main bath in our home.
Late in 2019 our first little one was born and that was one of the most incredible things to happen to our little family.
There are a lot of people out there who had a terrible 2020, but I didn’t feel like I was one of them. We traveled to Florida just before the lockdowns in mid-March (before anyone knew what was happening).
You may recall we were witness to the tragedy at the Columbia Icefields and were scheduled to be on that fateful bus. The day after that experience I found out I was pregnant again.
2020 gave me a lot of clarity about what I wanted out of life and the direction that I wanted to take my business. It was a great year of really meaningful collaborations that made me want to be more thoughtful about the partnerships I entered into going forward.
If this wasn’t enough, I felt this incredible tug to finally sit down and put pen to paper on a book that I’ve been wanting to write for quite some time. Finding the time wasn’t easy with 2 under 2, but I knew I needed to do this. I felt like I had a story (or rather, stories!) to tell and I wanted to get them out into the world.
Writing a book was something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and having actually completed it, I am incredibly proud – and I can’t wait for you to read it.
It’s only the beginning of January, but I’m already deep into planning what this year will hold. With the release of my first book, I know there is going to be some amazing publicity around this, and some amazing conversations, too.
I have so much exciting interior design and renovation content to share with you. I have the details of my own projects from last year, including our hardwood flooring and kitchen renovations, as well as articles to help you make decisions on projects in your own home.
I know the year has just begun, but it’s already off to a rocket start! I hope you’ll follow along!