It's exhilarating and frightening all at the same time - that magical moment when you go live with your very first blog post. And a year ago today, as I held my breath and clicked PUBLISH, my mind ran wild with the possibilities ...
First, and most important of course, the witty and thoughtful comments I imagined I'd receive from hundreds, maybe even thousands of adoring SHADBELLY followers. Next? A book deal. A signature apparel line. Perhaps even ... SHADBELLY's own reality tv show.
And why NOT dare to dream?
George, my husband, was decidedly more subdued. Come to think of it, he'd been rather quiet ever since I announced that I wanted to quit my job in commercial real estate to focus full time on my horses ... oh and start a blog.
A BLOG? He blurted, in that incredulous, I-can't-believe-I-married-this-nutcase tone he usually reserves for our annual review of the budget.
Yes, that's right, darling. A blog. A dressage style blog. SHADBELLY.
The question we can now attempt to answer is: Were my hopes for SHADBELLY realistic expectations, or the warped delusions of a borderline schizophrenic in tight breeches?
You be the judge.
Here's a quick rundown of what we accomplished this year:
January 5, 2014 - SHADBELLY's first blog post.
January 4th - First comment: Why can't you just wear jeans? - Love, Dad
February - 100 "Likes" on Facebook. Stop laughing, at the time this felt REALLY IMPORTANT.
April - SHADBELLY's print media debut! Thank you Elite Equestrian magazine and Equestrianista Extroidinaire, L.A. Pomeroy!
March - Pie-in-the-face-spelling-error. Oops.
July - Collaborative blog post with HORSEWARE IRELAND! Thanks to the uber inspirational Alex Calder, now resident style guru herself for The Gaitpost.
September - MADONNA gets us one step closer to a Theault, and
January 1, 2015 - SHADBELLY makes its mark on pages 10, 14, 26-28, and 110-113 of the Chronicle's quarterly style guide, UnTacked! Seriously, even I couldn't have imagined it!
By any measure, it's certainly been a surprising year. Special thanks to our retailers and brands; to Isabell, Catherine and Candace, for being such good sports; to George, my husband/sponsor/soulmate and (although he'll never admit it) SHADBELLY's biggest fan; and to the SHADBELLY Circle of Trust - you know who you are.
Thanks to my readers, especially those of you who have been so kind and supportive, who email me tactfully about spelling and grammatical errors, those I can count on to always "Like" my posts on Facebook no matter how bizarre they make you look to your friends, ok, and even you snarky readers and commenters out there - I've grown kind of fond of your crankiness and the rich authenticity it brings to the conversation.
So strap on your newly bedazzled helmets, my friends, and come along for the ride. I can't wait to show you what we've dreamed up at SHADBELLY for the new year.