Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Everygirl, meet Forbes. Charmed, I'm sure.

Tomorrow is the four month anniversary since launching The Everygirl.

And yesterday, this and this happened:

Forbes. They are THE list people. And as if making the list wasn't completely unexpected, a huge honor, and amazing enough... here's what the editors at Forbes had to say about their list of Top 100 Websites for Women:

So what do we look for? Informative and compelling content, smart navigable design, engaged communities and, of course, a voice that speaks to and for the female reader that’s kept fresh, timely and in-the-know by savvy staffers and impassioned writers. Inspire us to save money, change the world (or just ourselves), climb the ladder or strike out on our own and we’re getting on board. Of course, there are extra fun points for the sites that suck us in and help to pass the often-painful three-oh-clock hour. But here’s the real challenge: Does it have that amorphous and often indefinable quality that inspires us to share–with our social networks and in e-mails and conversations with our moms, sisters, friends and colleagues. - Forbes

The list of 100 includes supersized online A-listers like, oh I don't know... Pinterest. Huffington Post Women. Dooce. Blogging queen A Cup of Jo...

And then there's our lil' one, The Everygirl. She's growing up so fast.

The whole thing is just... Wow.

And as for making the Top 10 Websites for Millennial Women (aka 20-somethings):

I know from experience that we Millennials are a curious bunch. We’re the Girl Power generation, so we’re looking for career content that speaks to us directly, not afterthoughts in the mostly male world of cigars, golf outings and firm back-slaps. Trends show that we’re ambitious: two-thirds (66%) of young women ages 18 to 34 rate career high on their list of life priorities (compared to 59% of men). But we’re also entrepreneurial-minded: a recent study revealed that over half of us plan to start a business in the next five years. But above all we’re creative, web-savvy and largely free-wheeling. More than 75% of us our single, living in urban and suburban locales and looking to play just as hard as we work.

That couldn't describe our readership any better. I mean, essentially they're a bunch of awesome superladies.

So again, a big thank you to everyone. The editors at Forbes. Our readers and everyone who nominated The Everygirl. Our talented, generous contributors. Our funny, sweet, hard-working interns (Caitlin, Chloe, and Mary). My parents, family, friends, and colleagues.

And of course, Danielle.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey

As you all know, I'll be moving at the end of summer. A lot of what I own won't be coming with me since I undoubtedly will be in a place a fraction the size of my current apartment. Thoughts of re-purposing, decorating, painting, and defining what I want the look and style of this next home to be keep infiltrating my thoughts on a daily basis. Something new. Something different, I say to myself. Explore more with color. Embrace ultra-femininity. Go bold. Go glamorous. Paint with color.

I likely will attempt a different style in my new place. But as for wall color, the color grey is constantly tugging at my heartstrings. The new issue of Rue came out yesterday, and the pages are littered with 50+ shades of grey... cabinets, walls, furniture, lighting fixtures, floors... the neutral is so diverse and comes in so many different hues, I am wondering/hoping I can use it again but make it look different from my highly applauded Dolphin Fin walls in my current home.

photography by Emily Johnston Anderson
photography by Pierre Verger
photography by Emily Johnston Anderson
photography by Woodnote Photography
photography by Woodnote Photography
photography by Pierre Verger
photography by Emma Case
photography by Emma Case
photography by Emma Case
What are your thoughts? Is grey overdone? Are you bored of it? Would you like to see something new and exciting? Or should I hold true to my roots and go with what's practical?

On another note, have any of you read the book? I'll be snatching that up as soon as my roommate's done with it. Giggles.

Monday, June 11, 2012

and then there were five.

there we are! the everygirl summer team in all our instagram glory. can't tell you the weight it's already lifted having these girls around... not to mention the fun it's added having like-minded ladies join our effort! our three new team members are all 22 (le sigh) and sweet and awesome and have great taste in shoes. we thought a super fun way to introduce everyone was by having the whole team round up their summer picks. our graphics intern did a super-kapow-kick-ass job laying them out and get ready for the best part... all of the goodies we're featuring on the site today are under $100! merry shopping, ladies!

clockwise from top right: meet mary the wordsmith, lady fiona, my partner in crime danielle, sir tuckerbuck, sweet sweet caitlin, me alaina, chloe the graphics maven, and handsome buddy.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Dear Erin

photo by Danielle Moss for The Everygirl
The LCY archives are all-too familiar with your name. It's probably popped up here more times than I've mentioned any other blog, brand, or business (with the exception of J.Crew). And I know I've told you this in person, but today is another one of those "Is this real life?" moments, so I want to say again and explain to my readers...  (even though they've probably heard this before)...

Elements of Style was that blog for me. The blog I'd open up every morning as I sat under fluorescence in my grey cubicle with my usual bagel and latte waiting for the work day to begin. I was 22, out of school, didn't have a clue what direction to go in, and was just going through the motions, trying to figure it out, hoping inspiration would strike. Elements of Style introduced me to the world of blogging and got me hooked on this online universe. And you, Erin, are that person. The mentor and inspiration - even though you may not have known it (despite my daily commenting on your site) - who showed me what was possible if you had the talent, drive, work ethic, and sense of humor to give it a go. See I thought I had those things, at least I hoped I did, but I didn't have any connections to get my foot in the door and I've always kind of sucked when it comes to in-person networking. (I've never been a fan of emailing people asking for something after meeting once over cocktails.) But you exemplified what was possible from starting a blog. You built a brand and business in a field you love, and you're one of the main reasons for why I started LCY three years ago. Had I not, who knows where I'd be today. So for that, I thank you.

It's kind of surreal that today - the site I co-founded, The Everygirl - is where you decided to unveil a tour of your office space (and next week - your home!). I know your readers and design aficionados around the globe (myself included!) have been wanting to see inside your studio space and apartment, and Danielle and I are so excited you chose our site to feature it. Not to mention the fact that you opened your doors and those of all four of your studiomates' office spaces to us to share with Everygirl readers. And for that, thank you.

And I'm not sure you remember, but a few months into blogging - this is going back to December 2009 - I decided to do a guest post series around the holidays. Something silly as a means of trying to get some new readers and get to know other bloggers better. I reached out to you on a limb and couldn't believe you wrote back and agreed. I'm pretty certain my mom and sister can tell you the excitement they heard over the phone when I told them you'd be on my blog. I emailed you again when I did a series about "the movie of your life," knowing that like myself, you're a bit of a movie fan and again, you agreed. And when I asked if you'd help spread the word about The Everygirl when we launched back in February, once again, you kindly agreed. The thing is, I am sure you get emails and comments from readers all the time, and I know for a fact how busy you are with your design business, blog, events, meetings, and new business ventures. So while I'm not entirely sure why you've taken the time throughout the years to be supportive and kind and a friend to me - a reader from Chicago - I want to say to you, Thank you. From the bottom of my heart.


And to all of the bloggers, entrepreneurs, designers, businesswomen (and men), who I've met and befriended over the past three years,
Thank you for including me in this wonderful world. This online community where journalism meets personal diaries meets design meets networking. Where we support one another and people are generally nice and supportive instead of competitive and spiteful. The past three years have gone so so fast, and I can't wait to see what the next three have in store.


And to everyone else on this site right now,
Thank you. I wouldn't be doing any of the things I'm doing if it weren't for you signing on to read what I have to write day in and day out - no matter how short, or irrelevant, or rambling, or random it may be... Thank you for being patient during these past few months of intermittent posting and understanding that life is quite overwhelming with a full-time job, freelance work, The Everygirl, LCY, and trying to maintain some semblance of a personal life. Thank you to those who have emailed me saying I've inspired you in one way or another. Those messages mean more to me than you can ever know, and they've become the driving force behind my work and The Everygirl. Thank you to the friends from high school who send the occasional Facebook message saying they're a fan of the sites. It's truly an honor any of you take the time to read and visit LCY and The Everygirl.


So yeah. Sorry for the sap fast this morning. As I said, I'm having one of those "is this real life?" moments that's really got me to think and reflect on how this has all come to pass. And I just wanted to say, well... thanks.

- Alaina

Do you any of you have a blog or mentor you'd like to share or thank today? I'd love to know what or who inspires all of you.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

the name is stoffer. maura and john stoffer.

and they are the stuff dreams are made of.

you know them already, although you may not realize it.

i first met maura when she assisted photographer emily johnston anderson in shooting crystal gentilello's apartment for the premiere issue of rue.

and this past winter, when i was over at danielle's helping her style her place to be featured in rue, guess who walks through the door, cameras in hand, but john and maura! they sure did a loverly job photographing d's place. naturally, danielle took that opportunity to mention "a project" we were working on (spoiler alert: it was the everygirl) and see if they'd be interested in shooting anything for us.

to our delight, they were.

it was miss maura who met us at a new leaf and the bourgeois pig to photograph danielle and me for our co-founders page on the site. i absolutely love the way the stoffer's capture light... all these images have a sort of dream-like effect to them.

and can we discuss how long my hair was? and how short danielle's was? whoa.

since then, maura and john have helped tremendously with the everygirl. just look. and we couldn't be more grateful. it was the two of them who shot our two-part bridal fashion feature in julia buckingham's white-washed showroom.

again - perfection.

they also photographed our event at bhldn...

yes, that's alex, liz, and jess you see pictured with danielle. us chicago bloggers - we stick together like peas and carrots. and for those of you who are attentive and/or curious, that tall handsome date of mine is in fact my bf i've referred to in recent posts. his name's mike, and he comes to my events even though he's the only guy in a sea of ladies. he's pretty great. but more on him later... [insertbigsmilehere]

back to maura and john and their constant radiation of awesomeness... just this past weekend, we were in a jam and needed a photo of a lady sitting serenely deep in thought for the everygirl's living well feature by jess constable. um... ok. could we have been more vague in that art direction? and they whipped this up faster than we could down a glass of cupcake chardonnay!

i don't know where this is or how they pulled this off on a day's notice or how maura is so damn lovely as a model... but i'm just glad i know them. told ya they were good.

so if you're gettin' married, know anyone who is, or just in need of some talented photogs, i'll be the first to suggest these two. they're based in chicago, but i'm sure you could get them to go wherever you need them! : )

via smilebooth
and did i mention they're married? too cute.

ok. i'm done bragging about the talented people in my life. over and out.

all photos by stoffer photography (for the everygirl and rue magazine, unless otherwise noted)

Monday, June 4, 2012

oh, the places you'll go.

last summer i started doing this silly thing so many of us ladies do. photographing my shoes. well, it wasn't always for the shoes. sometimes it was the toenail color, or the outfit, or the location/moment in time that i wanted to capture. whatever the reason, i've developed quite the collection of feet photos. it's kind of cool though to look back and reminisce all the places my feet took me this past year. care to see? what's extra cool is that for all of these snapshots, i was able to find when i blogged about something similar, if not the exact moment captured. blogs = life diary. pretty cool.

when: august 2011 
where: chicago, il 
occasion: girls dinner in lincoln park 
shoes: gucci
corresponding blog post: the most delightful non-color combination

when: october 2011 
where: santa monica beach in los angeles, ca 
occasion: feet in ocean / girls trip 
shoes: not required
corresponding blog post: snapshots from la

when: october 2011 
where: southport corridor, chicago, il
occasion: dog walk 
 when: november 2011 
where: new york city, ny
occasion: trip for the everygirl, at abc carpet and home 
shoes: gucci
corresponding blog post: lcy in nyc: to abc carpet home and back

when: november 2011
where: central park in new york city, ny
occasion: trip for the everygirl / w danielle moss
shoes: burberry
corresponding blog post: lcy in nyc: fashion in the park

 when: december 2011 
where: my home, chicago, il
occasion: putting up the tree 

 when: december 25, 2011 
where: mom's house, chicago suburbs, il
occasion: christmas morning 
shoes: santa socks
corresponding blog post: christmas 2011 revisited

 when: january 2012 
where: lakeview in chicago, il
occasion: snowfall 

 when: february 2012 
where: north avenue beach in chicago, il
occasion: fashion shoot for the everygirl 

 when: february 2012 
where: home in chicago, il
occasion: new rug arrived 
shoes: alpaca slippers from peru
 when: march 2012 
where: chicago, il
occasion: trunk show for pyar and co. 
shoes: gucci
corresponding blog post: lcy styles and graphics: pyar and co.

 when: march 2012
where: bhldn store in chicago, il
occasion: trying on outfits for the everygirl event at bhldn
shoes: dimensionality at bhldn
corresponding blog post: wardrobe change

when: april 2012
where: boston, ma
occasion: work trip for the everygirl
shoes: cole haan
corresponding blog post: this year keeps getting better

 when: may 2012
where: my front stoop, chicago, il
occasion: waiting for the boy to arrive for date night
shoes: aldo

when: may 2012
where: outside my apartment, chicago, il
occasion: grabbing starbucks in the am / summer weather!
shoes: sperry
corresponding blog post: pretty please with sperrys on top

kind of funny to see the same shoes popping up over and over again. clearly, further proof that i get good use out of whatever i buy! which pair is your favorite? also, do you take these photos? or am i the cheese standing alone over here?


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