7 Years of Caralina Style


7 years ago today, I started Caralina Style. Although it took several name changes to get to Caralina Style...but we won't go into that. Actually, I don't know if I ever shared how I picked this name. So what better time to share that than right now? When I was a sophomore in college and I had been blogging for about a year, we had a guest teacher in one of my ballet classes. I often wore a necklace with a North Carolina outline, to show a little home state pride while I was attending school in Pennsylvania. The guest teacher was trying to learn everyone's names and when I said my name was Cara she asked me what the necklace was for, because she trained at North Carolina School of the Arts. So throughout that class she was calling me "Cara Carolina". So it gave me the idea to change my blog name by merging my name with the state I call home. It has been interesting to see how it is said out loud over the years. It seems to either makes sense right away for some people, or not at all to others. You either connect the state outline in my logo or think Catalina wine mixer, not much middle ground there. But either way, I'm still happy with it about 6 years later. Thank you all for following along, whether you've been reading for years or this is your first post!


I managed to completely forget about writing a 6 years post (bad blogger!) last year, but I did break down a little bit of how the blog has evolved in my post celebrating 5 years. Although I have to say since I wrote that post, I haven't been taking blogging nearly as seriously as I once did. I still love keeping it up, and am SO glad I have been doing it for this long. I have learned more than I would ever imagined, been given some really fun opportunities, and made some great friends. But, I'm going to get real here in this post. I'm honestly at a point in my life where I would rather cook a nice meal after a workout or watch a movie with my boyfriend than stay up too late getting a post together just to fill a certain number of posts per week. Especially with my new job, I am spending a little more time in the office and can get a little burnt out from staring at a computer all day. But I guess it can that goes back to the idea of quality over quantity. I would rather have less posts that I enjoyed putting time into that feel obligated to have more out there just for consistency. This is supposed to be fun after all, right? But I've also never even considered taking the blog full time. I think that is a different conversation for those who do want it to become their full time job at some point.


Maybe this current mindset will change, and I'll find that passion I once had again at some point. But I honestly get a little overwhelmed about how competitive it can be to get paid collaborations and the ways people try to cheat their numbers. I just overall don't have as much of a positive mindset about the industry as I once did. This space has changed in more ways than I could explain in 7 years, and I think I'll always look back on 2015-2016 (when I was just out of college) as the best of it. There seems to also be such a negative connotation around the word "influencer" these days. Although I've personally never been a fan of that word. I get why it is used as an all encompassing term across platforms, but I always preferred (and mostly still use) the term "blogger." "Blogging" works as an action verb, I'm a blogger because I write a blog. "Influencing"...not so much. I think this is mostly because the sheer number of people trying to do has multiplied so many times over since I started blogging. I find some of these examples hilarious (Average Fashion Blogger, Influencers in the Wild) I think the negative comments you see online that perceive all "influencers" as vain, unintelligent, and sometimes lazy are examples of how the space has changed for the worse. These thoughts have even had me hesitating keeping my blog on my resume when I was looking to change jobs over the last year. I know this isn't any groundbreaking work here, but I think it did help me get my first full time job. It is now 7 years experience of branding myself, working with brands, planning regular photoshoots, using social media to promote my content, affiliate marketing, even some basic SEO, graphics, and coding. Why would I not mention any of that for fear of being conceived as a stereotype? 


I love using this site to share my style and a bit of my life. And a part of life I didn't expect but has become a larger portion of my content: my fitness journey. You can go read all about how I went from a student in a top college dance program, to someone who barely exercised, to a fitness addict, to be taken out with an injury, and currently working my way back. I love that I'll always be able to look back on that process, as well as how I have been able to share my nutrition progress over the last year. I also really appreciate the times I had blogging to get me through times in my life like the year after I graduated from college. I spent most of it living back in my parent's house and could only find part time work, so I was able to really throw myself into it all. Taking webinars in the afternoons, driving around the state for blogger meetups, reading endless articles about how to grow my blog, attending a conference, and getting at least 4 posts out each week. The later half of that year I had the blog as an outlet while I figured out my life in a bigger city all on my own. A few years later, I'm excited at the thought of eventually using this blog to share my wedding and starting a family. 


It is really just the last year or so I have been a lot more relaxed in how I run this site. I think it sort of all started when I injured my hip last year, as I was feeling a lot more fulfillment when I was writing about fitness. I will always love sharing my outfits, and that part will never be going away! But as I've mentioned before, I can only say so much about how I love wearing all of these dresses I share here. I have really enjoyed getting more into writing longer posts, and style surprisingly just isn't a topic I can easily fill a word count with. I actually didn't expect this post to be very much, as I'm writing it the night before it will be published...but here we are over 1,000 words later! But in the last year as my hip was recovering I was dedicating a lot of time to the job search, and simply enjoying this time in my life. I have taken so many fun weekend trips with my wonderful boyfriend and we spend time with friends in some of the time I used to spend posted up at a coffee shop getting posts planned out. I think this mindset puts less pressure on myself to be doing so much outside of work and allows me to live more in the moment. I'm not going anywhere, but I've had these thoughts for awhile and I thought this was a good time to lay it all out. A huge thank you to everyone who has had any part of this blog over the last 7 years. Here's to year 8!!

As always, thanks for reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment