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the time i launched a website and it turned two

I used to read through magazines, look at these beautiful multimillion dollar homes, at celebrities with photoshopped bodies, and very expensive clothing. This is obviously still a thing today, but I couldn’t (and still can’t) relate to any of it. And I wanted to do something about that, but wasn’t sure how.

For those of you who don’t know my story, I started a blog back in April ’07 and decided that I’d teach myself to redesign it. I’ll never forget trying to upload a PSD file to blogger. I. Knew. Nothing. I finally figured it out, and not long after, a blogger emailed and asked if I’d help with her blog. Then another. And another. I’m not sure when it happened, but before I knew it, I was doing 8-10 blogs a week and within a year or so, I was working full-time from home as a graphic designer and photographer (something I still
do on the side).

I lived at home, saved my money, and in August ’10, moved to Chicago. I am so grateful that I was in a position to make this move, but I had reached a point where I took my business to where it was going to go with the skills that I developed, and I either needed to go back to
school and study web design or change careers. While I loved working for myself, I just didn’t feel as though I was doing what I should be doing, so investing in going back to school when I wasn’t sure about design didn’t seem like the best move. I didn’t have any answers, and felt very stuck. I’m sure many of you can relate to feeling that way at one point or another. 

Fast forward to July ’11. I was hired to photograph Alaina for Glitter Guide and told her about my dream to start a magazine with relatable content for real women. I was excited to hear that she actually shared a very similar idea, and she obviously got the online world because she had been blogging at LCY. The following month, we sat down for coffee to discuss the possibility of starting a magazine or website. I had my heart set on a mag while Alaina voted website. Glad she didn’t give up on that one! We barely knew one another, and there we were, discussing becoming business partners. I never could have imagined how much time we’d spend together. That we’d go to NYC, Boston, SF, and Europe together. That over 900 days later, we’d still be working together. But here we are and what a ride it’s been.

On 2.22.12, The Everygirl went live. We designed the site ourselves and used a little bit of savings to hire someone to code it. It didn’t take long to realize that the design and functionality of our site didn’t make sense. It took well over a year to reach a point where where we were ready to hire professionals, and on 11.20.13, the new and improved TEG went live along with our shop and product line.

We’ve been fortunate to have some great press. To partner with some of our favorite brands. And most recently, to hire part-time fashion, beauty, and food editors! But the most exciting and meaningful thing for both of us? Hearing from young women who have been inspired by this website we’ve created. Not long after the launch, we received an email from a 30-year-old woman who decided to follow her dreams and go back to college. Can’t beat that.

I am so grateful for my business partner, every reader, our incredible interns, editors, editorial assistants, contributors, and to the women that have shared their stories with TEG. It wouldn’t be possible without any of you. If you happen to be a reader of TEG, I’d love to hear your thoughts and get any feedback you may have on the site, and, of course, want to thank you for following us on this journey. 

Cheers to two years. Ready for year three. Let’s do this!

photo by stoffer photography for the everygirl

  • Alyssa

    I've been reading TEG since last summer and it is now one of the first things I read in the morning and on my way home from work. I'd love to see more home tours (all different sizes of homes!) and more career profiles on everygirls who work outside of the "creative" world (e.g. healthcare, consulting, business, etc).
    I also wish there was just more content everyday! But I'm probably being selfish 🙂

    Congrats on 2 years!

  • Sara Visser

    Congrats on 2 years! The Everygirl is such an inspirational site and I can't wait to see what the next 2 years holds for the site. Cheers!

  • Helena – A Diary of Lovely

    has it been 2 years Danielle!? oh my time really flies! I wont say much, you know how much I admire you, Alaina, The Everygirl and everything you have achieved! Keep it going and keep impressing us lady! CAN'T WAIT! Sending massive hugs and big kisses!! xx

  • Zelle B.

    Congratulations to you! Love reading both your blog and The Everygirl! xo

  • South on Broadway

    first off, congrats! i love that i found your blog a few years ago and that i got to read about t.e.g. as it all came to fruition. my favorite features have always been how to remix a space (coffee table, entry, etc) and styling pieces of a wardrobe (white shirt, cardigan, red dress etc.). All of your ideas relate to young professionals who will invest in quality pieces but also need to work with a limited budget. finally, the home tours you share are inspiring and it is always fun to peak into someone else's space and see how they decorate.

  • Maria

    Such an inspiring story! I love the Everygirl and love that you followed your dream and created something you yourself wished had existed! Congratulations!!! 🙂

  • Wahoo4uva

    I've been reading since the beginning. Don't remember how I found you but I'm so glad I did. I thought the site was lovely back then and it is now after the relaunch. Looking forward to another year of compelling, relevant, and thought-provoking content. Thanks TEG!

  • Britt Douglas

    Congrats on 2 fabulous years!!! I remember the launch and thinking it was such a fantastic idea. You and Alaina have created an incredible site & resource & blog – you deserve all the good things that come your way 🙂 xo

  • Christine Dovey

    Congratulations on an amazing 2 years!!!

  • Chelsie

    so happy for you, alaina and The Everygirl team! y'all are rockstars! xx

  • From Foothills to Fog

    I LOVE The Everygirl! I can't believe it's been two years! Looking forward to the next year, I'm always inspired after reading articles about women who follow their dreams and have successful careers they're passionate about!

  • Paula Jean | Sea Island Drive

    Congratulations on an inspiring two years!

  • cait – pretty and fun

    Wooho!! Congratulations on another amazing year – I can't wait to see what's ahead for TEG and you.

    xo.

  • Susan

    Congrats on two years Danielle! I think the site has gotten better with time, I still love it just as much, if not more than I did two years ago. I love receiving the email everyday if I don't visit the site before that. I recommend it to people all the time and say "Well these girls I know are in charge of this incredible website. You'll love it!" and they do! Keep up all of your amazing work, Danielle! Hope next year brings even bigger and better things!

  • Alaina @ Live Creating Yourself

    Wahoo 900 days!!!!!! Go team. 🙂

  • Lenka

    Congrats Danielle! I love reading The Everygirl and think you've make a great site and community. I do a lot of outreach to get young women into STEM and it would be great if you featured more women in technical careers.

  • Stacey

    Congratulations on two wonderful years!! I love The Everygirl and you are a true role model and inspiration for young women!

    xoxo
    Stacey
    Five Minute Style 

  • Elizabeth Daisy.

    I'm so thrilled for you, a big congratulations on The Everygirl turning two!

    Elizabeth x | Candyfloss Curls, Cupcakes & Couture

  • Mary

    YAY! Happy Birthday to The Everygirl and congrats! 🙂

  • Chelsea Mac

    Congratulations on another year! It's truly a testament to the fact that all you need is an idea and an amazing work ethic to make dreams come true!

  • Christina Warsheski

    You guys are the best and so am glad I found you when you launched! Keep it up; keep on inspiring and keep on doing what you do. I love my daily reads and instagram pics!!

  • KP

    Love this story! Happy Birthday to TEG!

    Eleventh & Sixteenth

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