I’m doing something a little different this Thursday and sharing the origin story of Graceful Rags, both for my longtime supporters and the new faces in my virtual crowd. I’m also super excited to be teaming up with Ada from Elegance and Mommyhood to cohost a blogger linkup! Keep reading for more details on that and to find out how this little corner of the internet came to be.
Oh, middle school…While most kids hated this period of teasing and embarrassing acne, I secretly loved it. And as it came to a close with 8th grade graduation quickly approaching, I spent my class periods daydreaming of writing and posting to my very own blog—posts on school, posts on style, posts on the weird things that one classmate said…I wasn’t sure yet what my focus would be.
Those intricate daydreams followed me into high school, and it was my freshman year, after breaking free from the confinement of a school uniform and discovering fashion blogs upon getting my very own laptop, that I finally decided my blog would be one of style. For the next two years, I read fashion blogs religiously, coming home from school each day and plopping down at the kitchen table with a handful of cheese-its and my favorite bloggers’ new posts on my tiny personal screen. It’s true, I told a few white lies when my mom asked if I was working on homework…
While I loved following other style bloggers and I began to develop my own fashion sense even more, there were two things I strongly disliked about the blogging world: the price of items and their impracticality. All the bloggers I followed posted pieces—often designer—that were way out of my price range. Yes, other budget-friendly bloggers existed, but I felt that lots of times their style sacrificed the elegance and professionalism of the high-end bloggers I loved so much. My other issue had to do with the functionality of clothing items. Sure, I fantasize about tulle skirts and formal gowns as much as the next gal, but where do I wear them?! As a young high school student, I had no money for extravagant shopping, no excuse to wear heels every day, and absolutely no place to wear a multi-hundred dollar dress.
With those two complaints in mind and the support of my parents as photographers, I finally bought a WordPress domain in July of 2016 and published my first ever blog post. I had so much fun exploring the world of blogging during that first summer. I mostly wrote short posts, simply about my outfits, but in each article I always included where I wore the outfit (to emphasize my blog’s focus on practicality), what I spent on each item (to highlight my blog’s focus on affordability), and where I purchased each piece.
But then, I entered my junior year of high school (duh duh duhhh…). Swamped with difficult classes and college applications, my blog became a source of stress and frustration. I learned a few things about blogging very quickly: photography is much harder than I realized, there are a million and one fashion blogs out there already, and (most disappointingly) my blog concept was not at all revolutionary like I had previously thought. Yet, I decided to stick with blogging for two more years…
Flash forward to June 2018. I finally felt fed up with a lack of growth, a lack in ability to execute my vision (I always had fun ideas for photoshoots or blog projects, but I just didn’t have the skill, time, or technical abilities for them to turn out how I wanted), and a lack in enthusiasm about blogging. Graceful Rags became a chore and a stress much greater than it was worth. With difficulty, I decided to take the month of July off from blogging to reassess my goals and whether or not I wanted to continue running Graceful Rags.
Sadly, the climax of this story is already spoiled! Obviously, I decided to return from my hiatus and did so with renewed enthusiasm and a new vision: solely to have fun with blogging. I changed my posting schedule from three times a week to only twice a week, which has proven a much easier load. In addition to my regular style advice posts on Mondays, I also decided to spend Thursdays delving into deeper subject matter—such as the power of visualization, the importance of self-confidence, and the struggles of new beginnings—to further establish my love of writing and thinking deep thoughts.
A lot has changed on Graceful Rags since the beginning. The photography has improved greatly, my posts are a lot more useful and meaningful (at least I hope!), and, thank goodness, I’ve gotten a lot better at fake-smiling for a camera. I may not have a huge following and not all of my frustrations have dissipated, but I absolutely love what I’m doing with my blog right now—it’s finally something of which I’m proud. Now there’s only onward and upward!
Thank you for stopping by the blog today, and please feel free to join the linkup below! It’s easy—just click the link at the bottom of this post to follow the directions and link to your most recent blog post. I look forward to reading them!
Here you can read a little about my fabulous cohost, who created and runs this linkup, Ada from the blog Elegance and Mommyhood:
“Ada is mom to the sweetest 5-year old girl named Vivian, who also makes a lot of appearances on the blog, hence the name of her blog Elegance and Mommyhood. This blog showcases Ada’s personal style as a mom, a woman on the go and as a career woman. She often shows Mommy+Mini Outfits of her and her daughter. It is also a blog about real life updates, current events and her poetry. Ada has been running her successful Thursday Moda linkup every Thursday for over two years straight. She can be found on Instagram, Bloglovin and Pinterest. She thanks you for joining her linkup, today, and always welcomes you back!”
Thanks again for stopping by today and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! This cozy and festive outfit is perfect for any holiday shopping or casual get-togethers you have coming up.
Miles of smiles,
Red Waffle Fabric Dress: Francesca’s, $6 // Asymmetric Beige Coat: Francesca’s, $60 // Beige Fringe Booties: Sam Edelman via DSW, $90 // Plaid Blanket Scarf: Amazon, a gift
14 comments on “An Origin Story, A Festive Outfit, and A Blog Linkup”
How wonderful to meet you Grace through Ada’s post!
I’d love to know if you’d be interested to join 7 other of us women in a mulit decades of women post about fashion? You can see our last one here: https://www.jtouchofstyle.com/too-old-distressed-trend-showcasing-8-decades-women/
Our teen blogger had to bow out, so we’d love it if you’d like to join us?? We only post once a quarter, so our next one would be January…it’s the last Wednesday of the month so it will be Jan. 30.
If you’re interested either Shelbee (firstname.lastname@example.org) …she’s the originator of the group. Or me (email@example.com) as I’ve been helping out because Shelbee is so busy lately.
I do hope you say yes!!
Let me know if you have any questions and Happy Thursday,
Hi Jodie! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I would absolutely love to be a part of your group, thank you for inviting me! The Magnificent 8’s mission of ageless style is awesome and I would be honored to be a part of it. I will let Shelbee know as well! Have a great rest of your day 🙂
I very much enjoyed reading about your blog! I saw you on ada’s blog and decided to pop over! I’m in my thirties so I’m quite a bit older than you but your style and writing are both great! I’ll definitely continue to read 🙂
I have a blog too! Beautygirl24blo
Hi Noelle! Thank you so much for the sweet comment. I will definitely pop over to your blog as well 🙂
Hi Grace! Best of luck with your blogging. It’s definitely a place to learn and not worry about being perfect. Even if you decide to quit or take a break, it doesn’t mean you can’t pick it up again. I have the means to spend more on clothing items, but I still like to thrift and shop consignment stores because I often find unique pieces. Thank you for stopping by my blog and have fun co-hosting with Ada.
Thank you so much for the sweet and encouraging comment! I enjoyed stopping by your blog as well. 🙂
Ohh! I just love this look… def. holiday perfect! I love the red in your dress and how the scarf picks it up. Do you happen to have an exact link to those brown booties with the fringe? LOVE them!
Thanks so much, Carrie! I don’t have an exact link to the booties because they’re a few seasons old. However, they are the Sam Edelman Paige Fringe Ankle Boots and when I searched them (https://www.bing.com/search?q=sam+edelman+paige+fringe+booties&form=EDGEAR&qs=PF&cvid=2b6542b4bafa43768eb5f3beb8447500&cc=US&setlang=en-US&PC=DCTS) there were a few on secondary retail sites. Hope this helps!
Grace, you are simply adorable! I love your focus on affordability and practicality. That is the way I dress as well. I love clothes and shoes and I want lots of them so I am not about to spend a fortune on them! And this outfit is the perfect holiday ensemble! Thank you for sharing the story of how your blog began. It is always such fun to learn the hows and whys behind blogging journeys. I wish you so much success going forward with your writing and following your passions! With that being said, I am going to send you a private email…hoping you can join me for a special collaboration!
Hi Shelbee! Thank you so much for such a sweet and encouraging comment, it really means a lot to me. 🙂 I also love reading blog creation stories! And yes, I will respond to your email next. I’m looking forward to reading it.
Loving this super cute blanket scarf with this look, doll! Happy Friday!
Le Stylo Rouge
Thanks so much Ashley! It’s super cozy 🙂
what a lovely story. I am glad you are following your passion. I enjoyed reading it
Love your style.
Thank you so much! I really appreciate you stopping by. 🙂