New year, new site! Same girl, same blog. I have been working on this change and my new site for over 6 months and I am so excited to finally share it with you! Welcome to the new and improved cristincooper.com. It’s the same blog and the same content you’re used to but with a new name! So why the change? I’m glad you asked.
HOW THE SOUTHERN STYLE GUIDE STARTED
When I started The Southern Style Guide several years ago it was completely different from the blog you see today. In fact it wasn’t a blog at all but rather a website that was in all actuality a guide, a resource for where to shop, where to eat and what to see and do in all of my favorite towns around the South. I spent hours and hours and days and days populating all of these little info cards complete with images, information and links to all of my favorite hot spots. The end goal was for to businesses to eventually buy ad space and for me to have a space to curate roundups of all of my favorite finds from clothing and accessories to tablescapes and artwork.
The reason I wanted to build this site into something that would make money is so that I could propel it into an online boutique! You see, I’ve always dreamed of owning my own business. I started my own jewelry making business when I was 15 and was full throttle planning on opening a boutique downtown Greenville when Zach and I started dating. Realizing that a move 35 minutes away from town would be in my near future I didn’t think it was the best time to take on a complete career change. I tabled the dream for several years until after Hayden when I had the idea for The Southern Style Guide.
I eventually created a blog component to thesouthernstyleguide.com in effort to drive traffic to my new site and attract advertisers to launch my online boutique. I would use the blog not only to improve my website’s rankings but also to start sharing the type of items I would want to sell in my new store. One thing lead to another and I realized that a style blog was extremely similar to an online boutique, just without all of the overhead, employees and initial startup costs. Sure I don’t get to do fun things like go to market, decorate window displays and host drop-ins and trunk shows but I do get to curate items that I love and “sell” them to others while creating an income for my family.
Fast forward a couple of years and few hundred shopping posts and flatlays later and people were all but driving me insane with questions on how stuff fit, how tall I am, what size I was wearing, how it looked on a person etc, etc, etc. I decided to bite the bullet and take a full on outfit post before dinner one night and it was horrifying. (It still is). I am very aware that I’m not your typical 5’10” rail-thin Instagram queen with extensions down to my hips and a thigh gap 6″ wide. However, as aware as I am that I don’t look like a “typical model” I also know that I’m not trying to be one. And I truthfully enjoy being able to help other women shop and help them see what the clothes they are interested in look like on a “less model-looking body”. I mean honestly there is no other way to say that because if you say “real” or “normal” then somebody is going to get their panties in a wad.
SO WHY THE CHANGE?
Once I realized that The Southern Style Guide was transforming into a full-on lifestyle blog I immediately began to brainstorm a rebrand. Sure you might say that I could have kept the name, and you would be right. I could have. But in my mind The Southern Style Guide was one thing and my blog had become another. For starters, it’s not only for Southerners. Then there is that whole it’s not only a style guide and as a former ad girl and a forever marketing nerd it just really bothered me. And don’t even get me started on “are you The Southern Style Guide?” No. I’m Cristin. The Southern Style Guide is a website I own. I digress.
The point being is that my website has transformed into (in my opinion) a vibrant lifestyle blog where style is just one component. Honestly as we move into this new home I’m so excited to have the capacity and the space (and a real office) to be able to bring you more decor, beauty, entertaining and lifestyle content. Shopping and style will still be high on the priority list but I can’t wait to continue to bring you guys easy party hacks, all the beauty tutorials and share my love for decor with you. As I got excited about the future of my business, I wanted a name that represented that and all of the possibilities ahead. I brainstormed new names that included some form of my name until I was blue in the face and eventually just gave up. Maybe it’s indicative of my personality and my bluntness or maybe it’s from a lack of imagination. I just kept thinking that I didn’t want to try and create some cutesy form of myself but rather find a name that fully represented my brand and that I wouldn’t get tired of.
I kept coming back to CristinCooper.com but didn’t want to sound like a narcissist. I finally came to the conclusion of who cares what I sound like naming my brand after myself because this blog is an extension of me, of my likes, my tastes, my opinions, my travels and of my home and family. So why shouldn’t it be CristinCooper.com? So I did it. I made the change and I’m very excited about it!! If you’re subscribed to my newsletter you will eventually start getting emails from firstname.lastname@example.org and if you’re on instagram you might notice that you no longer follow @thesouthernstyleguide but now follow @cristincooper. Instagram is sneaky like that and let’s you change your name now but keep all your followers. You just might have to train yourself to search @cristincooper to find my account. I hope you don’t mind!
So there you have it. A big ole’ wordy post about where I’ve been and where I’m going. I can’t even wait to get a jump on this year and share with you more of my favorite products, items, brands and trends!
Oh, and we will have the task of figuring just what to do about Zach’s (self-proclaimed might I add) moniker, “The Southern Style Guy”. Suggestions are welcomed.