This feels like such a big deal to me, but I know I’m overreacting. This week, I redirected my shop page (sugarandtype.com) to the domain I find myself using more (this one – ilanagriffo.com). I also switched my instagram handle (WHATT!?). I’ve felt a pull towards becoming a “personal brand” over the past year for so many reasons, and I didn’t share about the process while it was happening, so I’m going to reflect on it now. Let me be clear – I’m not stopping, I’m creating more than ever, I’m just choosing to go by my name.
I started Sugar & Type as a blog in college. I remember I had a few blogs I followed, and my roommate was going to start one, I was in design school, and figured why not?! I could write about type. I made a list of words – things I like, things that go together, and voila! Sugar & Type was born – two things I don’t care to live without! I used Sugar & Type as a creative outlet, an etsy shop, and a way to name my products. I grew, changed, and had a few contractors working for me, and was definitely having a lot of fun.
When I walked the Stationery Show for the first time about 5 years ago, I realized I didn’t think I’d be an exhibitor – I liked keeping my line of products small and intentional. Honestly, it also just seemed like a ton of work (it is).
For the years the followed, I toyed with many ideas – licensing, client work, growing my line, and felt a bit all over the place, but was busy (and happy), so it matter. I made a great living, worked for myself, and produced work I enjoyed! Also, I love staying busy, I like change (in some ways) so always changing pace, and jumping from project to project kept me excited and occupied!
Last year, I intentionally took a step back from client work to refuel after a really tough client situation . I set two career goals for 2017 – get a publisher for my book, and pursue licensing. Come October, feeling like I wouldn’t meet my goals for the year, I signed a book deal, and signed on with a licensing agent, while 8 months pregnant. Looking back, I guess I didn’t really slow down! I had spent all summer working on those goals, and I still pinch myself thinking about them.
Shipping planner orders to hundreds of incredible women, working on my licensing portfolio, writing a book, and working with clients left me feeling pulled in too many directions, and I craved a more streamlined approach. I was always updating two sites, and not knowing where to post what – so it made sense to just merge them into one. I also read Gary Vaynerchuk’s Crushing It, and it helped me see how easily I could position myself as a personal brand, and it felt SO RIGHT.
Basically, I wasn’t serving Sugar & Type the way it deserved, as a product line, and it wasn’t serving me. I didn’t feel this major pull towards it, and didn’t love saying it. I was too afraid to let go of it completely, so for now, it’s redirected. Who knows what will happen next year (or next month). Don’t worry, the planner, the notepads, the pins – they’re still here, and I’m still over here working on a million awesome projects, but now I feel like I have a platform that I share on. So thank YOU for listening, reading, shopping, supporting, and being you!!
And Yes – I will be sharing about the tough client situation, the book deal, and ALL THE THINGS! So stay tuned!