(Awesome "Crochet is BAE" mug can be found at TL Yarn Crafts)
Well I'm sure some of you are confused as to why I started a second Instagram, @darlingbebravedesign. Or maybe you haven't noticed. Or maybe the people who read my blog aren't the same people that follow me on Instagram. I have no clue. But I wanted to talk about it anyway. Just because I have this weird need to explain myself.
So for a while there, I kind of felt like I had Instagram figured out. Did this lead me to making a lot of money on etsy? Not really. But did I somehow have the ability to keep gaining followers on Instagram regardless? Yes kinda. I mean, I wasn't nearly as big as some of my friends that started around the same time as me. But still, I had over ten thousand followers at the time, and I feel like that's something to be proud of. Heck someone like me getting even a thousand followers is astounding. I couldn't believe over ten thousand wanted to follow me and see what I was creating.
But then I got pregnant. (Thank heavens! Best thing to ever happen to me!) And for some reason, I totally lost all interest in crocheting and knitting. It was so weird of me, and I definitely didn't feel like my normal self, but then again I felt pretty sick my entire pregnancy, and we were elbow deep in major home renovations at the time. So I kind of just abandoned Instagram, only posting once a week if I was lucky.
Then I had a beautiful baby girl who just so happened to be extremely colicky, and my Instagram suffered some more because I didn't have time to shower, let alone post pretty photos online. Then about a month in to becoming a mother, I desperately needed a little escape. I needed something familiar and comforting to help get me through the stress of a constantly screaming baby, so I jumped right back to my Instagram world. I'd snap pictures during the rare moments Madison would take little ten or twenty minute naps that weren't in my arms. I'd edit photos on my laptop and post them to instagram while she breastfed (feeding sessions were so long and nearly constant because it was one of the few things that comforted her and kept her from screaming). Whenever she'd get sleepy, I'd lay her on my chest and awkwardly hold up my arms around her so I could crochet and knit so that I'd have "props" for new Instagram photos. It was kinda silly. But it brought me peace and happiness in an otherwise kind of dark and stressful time.
But then as time went on, I got way busy and overwhelmed with my business, and Madison grew out of the colic and became so sweet and adorable. I had fun opportunities come up and collaborations and everything seemed to hit at the exact same time. I felt like such a terrible mom at the time because I felt like I was busy "working" all day instead of getting to enjoy this sweet baby that I had spent hundreds of days praying for. I had put this unnecessary pressure on myself to try to post everyday and say yes to every opportunity. And I don't know I just got to a point where I didn't feel like myself, and I kind of felt like I was dying from the stress of trying to do it all. I had a fellow mom comment on how she was amazed that I was able to do as much as I did with a new little baby, post to Instagram and add new etsy listings and constantly create new pieces. It just made me feel like a complete fraud. Here I was, sobbing guilt tears because I felt like I was letting work overtake my life and keep me from soaking in precious time with my sweet baby and other people were thinking that I had it "all together". So then I started posting more of my life with Madison to try to compensate, showing that my days aren't always spent playing with yarn but rather hanging out with my new little best friend.
And I started losing followers like crazy.
Which I mean, it's fine. They are just numbers, and I really do try my best to not stress out about them. It's the people and friendships that matter, not the numbers. And I get that not everyone signed up for seeing my mom life when they originally clicked that follow button. They were probably just wanting to see crochet/knit pictures all day everyday for the rest of forever. I totally get it and have been there.
But then as the numbers kept dropping, I started to panic because I had spent three (oh my gosh almost four) years of my life getting my business to where it is today. Three years of long hours and working weekends and evenings and holidays just to try to stand out and convince the world that I had something special to offer. And there it was, slipping right through my fingers just because I'm obsessed with my baby and have this weird need to be honest and real all the time and just felt like I couldn't constantly "fake it" on Instagram anymore with perfectly polished yarn pictures.
I'm in full blown identity crisis right now when it comes to Instagram and this blog. I mean I know it's such a silly problem to have and this is all embarrassing and awkward to talk about. But I have no idea what to post to Instagram. And this blog is extremely neglected.
I'm currently hooked on these lovely lifestyle insta accounts, and I get jealous of those who are able to and have the skill to beautifully document their daily lives. They create these stunning photos of their babies and their home and are able to do fun things like print chatbooks or make collages of their Instagram shots to hang in their home. I don't really and have never really had that. I just had a bunch of ridiculously planned out Instagram photos of my legs, hands, and yarn. Which honestly is kind of cool. I appreciate a good yarn account and love love love setting up and taking shots like that. It makes me happy and stretches my creativity. I enjoy looking back through my old photos and watching my business and talents grow.
But I was putting more time and effort into documenting my yarn creations rather than documenting my baby's first year on earth. And that just really bummed me out to think about. It felt like my priorities were out of whack. And I wanted to be able to share so much more, and I wanted to have people get to know the real me. I chose the name Darling Be Brave for a reason. I didn't want to only be tied down to yarn. I wanted to be be brave enough to be able to share anything and have my business grow and change with me as I grew and changed.
I've posted so many photos and shared so many little videos of Madison at this point that she has her own little following (I get the sweetest messages from people about how much they enjoy seeing my daughter and it makes me feel like my heart is going to explode from gratefulness), and I honestly don't want to have to stop sharing about my life as a mom. I've always wanted to be a mom more than anything and for a while there, I was terrified that I would never get to experience the life I'm currently living. Family matters most to me in the world. Money is nice, but family is everything.
But still, I just felt like I had to do something to try to fix my business situation. Being a mom is awesome, but I also love and enjoy running my own business and connecting with other creatives around the world.
And I just kept telling my husband over and over how I wish I could just start over, get a fresh beginning, and do this business Instagram the right way. I feel like I've made so many mistakes and have learned so much these last couple of years in getting to the point where I have a little over fourteen thousand followers, and I just would love to be able to put that information to good use.
Plus the nerd in me wants to look at this as a bit of an experiment because I've been super curious lately if I would be able to gain the same following as some of my friends (some of them have over thirty thousand followers, say whaaaaaaat??), if I was somehow able to post every single day and had stylized photos like I used to that were just strictly yarn related. I guess we'll see if my original Instagram account following was just a fluke, or if I actually kind of know what I'm doing ha ha if any of you are curious about how this goes, I can write a second post in a few months or so with an update.
I did think, for a little bit, about starting a second Instagram for my personal, but I couldn't think of a name for it. Lame excuse? Yeah probably. And to be honest, I had this fear that hardly anyone would choose to follow my personal account, and that just made me kind of sad to think about. (Is this all bad to admit? I feel like it's bad to admit.)
Then I realized my etsy shop that sells patterns (the etsy shop that is actually somewhat successful) is called Darling Be Brave Design. The name is similar enough that anyone looking up Darling Be Brave would run a good chance of seeing both accounts and could decide what sort of adventure they wanted to follow, crochet/knit or personal. Plus then I could use a link straight to my etsy shop which might be helpful if those who get directed to this website just see a blog (because I haven't had the time to figure out how to make a home page to direct people around) and just exit out rather than trying to find the link to my shop.
And thus my instagram @darlingbebravedesign was born.
I'm only a few days in, but so far so good. I'm gaining a little following, and it's all fun and exciting again.
Aaaaannnnd my original instagram account @darlingbebrave is a hot mess. But I've kind of always been a hot mess so it's fine. It's still a little disorganized because playing with yarn and creating is part of my personal life alongside my baby girl. So I don't know what to post exactly when it comes to the yarn/business side of my life. I'm sure it's annoying to those of you who follow both accounts to see two super similar photos pop up on your feed. But I don't really have time right now to plan things out differently. I'll probably drive people nuts until I figure out how to share similar/overlapping information on two different accounts but oh well. I'm doing the best I can business wise while trying to keep an adorable little human alive and give her the best life possible.
Right now, with @darlingbebrave, I'm mainly just posting things and moments I'll want to look back on and remember. I'm trying my best to not let number of likes and followers make me too fearful to post the things I think are worth sharing. And everyday I'm gaining about as many followers as I'm losing so hopefully I'm not being too annoying to the world ha ha
It might be silly of me, but I like to think that people who follow me on @darlingbebrave like me as a person and care about what's going on in my world and they don't mind too much about what exactly I post because we are friends and friends support each other in all of their endeavors. And then @darlingbebravedesign is there for those who just share the same common interest (ahem addiction) as me, crocheting/knitting. Both accounts are going to represent me as an individual. Just @darlingbebravedesign is more professional and business oriented and @darlingbebrave is more personal and less pressure for perfection. Both are good, just different.
I'm not sure what I'm doing, but hopefully I'm on the right track and this new move helps because gosh I'd just love to be able to beat the odds and make decent money while being able to stay at home with my babies.
So yep. There's my story that no one asked for about why I now have two Instagram accounts, and there's a peak into the crazy rambling thoughts of my brain.
Hopefully we can still be friends after all this ;)