I don’t even quite know how to start this blog post, so I’ll start with a personal anecdote.
Sometime last week I kind of had a rough day mentally, and I simply let it all out on Instagram. My crazy just came out of my fingertips and into an Instagram caption. I felt like no one reads my blog, my blog isn’t good enough, no one pins my projects (except for that espresso one…) why am I doing this…should I stop? Sort of like the analogy “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
Does my blog make a sound? Is anyone hearing what I am saying?
The outpouring of love and support I got was so overwhelming on Instagram that I legitimately cried in my car reading the responses, and it was just nice to know I was being seen. Being heard. Do you ever feel like you just want someone to SEE you? To see your work? To feel acknowledged?
I saw a lot of bloggers getting these huge opportunities during the holiday season that I only dream of, and I felt less than. I hate rejection, but in trying to grow and get out of my comfort zone, I had reached out to a Christmas tree brand I really wanted to work with and they stated they would keep me in mind. Eventually when Thanksgiving rolled around and they hadn’t contacted me, I got the hint. I bought my own Christmas tree from a competitor, because that’s my level of petty somedays, and I haven’t reached out to a brand since.
BUT. When I saw their annual blogger tour of homes for their brand, I did notice one thing.
A lack of diversity– I don’t look like the bloggers they chose.
It’s something I’ve noticed for many years, but it’s not a fun thing to talk about. I told myself I was crazy, and it’s simply that apparently they wanted houses that are all farmhouse, which is not me.
But still, it was uncomfortable. Like when you gain five pounds and your jeans are too tight kind of uncomfortable and eventually you do something about it.
Then yesterday, I woke up to news that I was featured in a Domino online article about 47 designers of color (ethnic designers) to follow, and I was truly speechless for a moment. That is rare for me, I always have something to say as a Latina.
What struck me first was that someone finally spoke up about needing diversity in this field, and for that, I’ll always be grateful to Shavonda at SG Style. It is a brave thing to do. This interior design/decor field does need a bit more diversity to include some unique styles and voices.
Shavonda said what I want to get across a heck of a lot more eloquently than I could, so I will quote her:
“There are so many amazing and talented creatives in this space who are incredibly inspiring, producing great original content, sharing fresh ideas and fresh perspectives, and they aren’t getting the same exposure, partnership opportunities, reposts, shares, etc. Most of the time their content doesn’t even get SEEN. It’s frustrating and deflating.”
And also, this: “It was and IS about the celebration of diversity of style, aesthetic, and point of view.”
The other thing that struck me about the Domino feature is that they called us designers. I don’t think I’ve ever been called that officially, and it made my heart sing. I am so passionate about what I do on here, you guys.
During the last two weeks of 2017, I took time away to really delve into what I wanted to do with the blog. I want to show you all attainable interior decorating ideas. I want to inspire you. I want to connect with you. I want to partner with brands that are true to my blog, its audience and its mission.
When I thought about shutting down the blog, I cried. It hurt to think about just walking away from this, but I was also hurting because I felt so alone and like no one was reading.
However, I thought about the emails I get every so often that state things such as, “because of you I now have a beautiful kitchen”, “my bathroom looks amazing now, thank you!”, “how are your knees? I hope you’re doing well! have you tried this glucosamine supplement?” and “you inspire me to decorate my home and have fun with it.” I also love the comments about my unique/eclectic style or take on things, or how you all think my tutorials are easy to follow.
And I can’t leave you all hanging if I am still truly enjoying what I am doing, and at the end of the day, I am. So I need to keep on putting on my big girl jeans and showing up for you all.
I guess what I truly want to say is that I hope brands begin to think a little outside the box and be more inclusive, on so many levels.
I also want to thank Domino from the bottom of my heart for including me in the list. It’s so major for someone like me, especially given the emotional head space I’ve been in lately. It’s an honor to be listed with such amazing women of color, who are so talented and inspire me everyday.
But most importantly…I want to thank you, my dear readers, for following along. There are so many blogs out there, thousands more than when I started back in 2009, and I’m blessed you spend a portion of your day reading mine. You’re at the forefront of everything I write…I think of how the post can help you, can give you ideas or can help you snag a great deal on a decor piece or DIY something to save a ton of money.
Love one another. Decorate fearlessly. xo.