Chic Steals is Becoming… Chic Creative Life!

Chic Creative Life by Carly J. Cais logoHi friends,

It’s been awhile!

Since January I have been working to rebrand and redesign the Chic Steals brand and website into something that reflects who I am now and what I’m passionate about.

I have struggled with what to do with this website for over a year, initially posting here about taking a break to reassess things, and then here about whether to quit or continue a blog that didn’t reflect my interests anymore. In short, I felt Chic Steals was no longer a reflection of who I am now. Specifically, I have moved away from constant trend-following, fashion acquisition, and “stealing” ideas to make carbon copies. I’ve found that sometimes what’s cheapest doesn’t always last.

DIY’ing is fun to an extent because it flexes that all-important creativity muscle…but I began to feel like if I’m going to take the time, energy, and resources to create something and add it to the world, it better be good – and be there for the long haul. I had begun to feel that I couldn’t serve my readers well, or continue to post about things that I felt were trivial and overly consumerist in the grand scheme of things. Plus, there was a lot of content that was hastily-photographed or written without a thought of what value I was adding to the world. As with a DIY project, if I was going to be putting energy into a blog and website, I wanted it to be something I was ultimately proud of, that helped people. Plus, with everything that has been going on in the U.S., I wanted to spend my time adding beauty to the world, not taking ideas, but ultimately adding value to all.

This whole rethinking of things was a long and arduous, soul-searching process, but I ultimately decided the only way forward with my website was to get ultra-focused on what I’m passionate about, get ultra-picky about what I post about, and become ultra-invested in the site and my readers.

So it required financial investment in getting better: an overhaul from the ground up, an entire rebrand, a huge content edit, and a complete redesign of my website.

And it’s been in the works for seven months now.

Finally we have reached the last few days of work, and launch is imminent. So here it is, the unveiling of my new website, brand, and goals:

Chic Creative Life by Carly J. Cais logo

Chic Creative Life.

Here are some of the changes you’ll see (I am updating the below as the switchover occurs):


Content

  • Chic Creative Life is a lifestyle website and blog, focusing chic living (frugally), with a hefty dose of creativity. DIY and making things yourself will still be a focus, though I will be sharing more articles on advice for living your best, most creative, inspired chic life.
  • Categories on the site have been consolidated from 175+ down to 11. Should make posts A LOT easier to find.
  • I’ve paused email newsletter delivery for awhile as I was migrating from MailChimp to my new email delivery system and hooked into the new site. Getting this restarted may take a little time, but it is in the works, and if you signed up to receive Chic Steals blog content as a newsletter in the past, you will start to receive blog content digests from Chic Creative Life.
  • You will have the option of also signing up for less frequent, targeted content updates from the site, including Spoonflower Fabric Designs, Decor Items Added to Decor Shop, E-Courses and E-Books, etc.
  • I have retired a number of old posts because they no longer reflect the message I want to put out there.
  • I have edited a number of old posts to be clearer or better written. There are still some photos that are missing from old posts. I’m working on restoring everything, but with 1900+ posts over 9.5 years it’s still a work in progress.

URLs

  • ChicSteals.com and Chic-Steals.com will redirect to ChicCreativeLife.com (clicking now you’ll just see a preview page until CCL goes live)
  • All my social accounts that are under the Chic Steals brand (Facebook Page, LinkedIn Page, Twitter) will change to ChicCreativeLife-branded, with URL’s reflecting this change (may be slightly different depending on what’s available at the time of switchover)
  • Pinterest and Instagram accounts are under @carlyjcais and will not change
  • I’ll be moving my blog in the back-end of Bloglovin’ so if you follow Chic Steals through there you will just see the name change in your interface, but your feed should not be interrupted.
  • If you receive content via RSS Feed, you may need to update your subscription to http://feeds.feedburner.com/ChicCreativeLife
  • My email will switch to carlyjcais@chiccreativelife.com (super-long, I know). My old @chic-steals.com email address will be deactivated – so don’t use that one if you actually want me to answer.

Design

  • In short: better.
  • The landing page of ChicCreativeLife.com will be a portal for blog content, fabric designs, shoppable home decor, and downloadables. Blog post index will live at ChicCreativeLife.com/blog but individual blog post-pages will still have the same slug as they did on ChicSteals.com, with no /blog preceding them.
  • The DIY Gallery has been consolidated with rotating image carousels instead of an image-heavy gallery of all my DIY tutorials. Easier to scroll through and see.
  • Many new pages have been added to showcase my fabric designs, my home decor designs, and my downloadable E-Courses and E-Books. Some items you can buy directly on my site through the Gumroad integration, some are hosted on other sites (Stars + stones fabric designs on Spoonflower, CarlyJCais home decor and artwork designs on Society 6).
  • The mobile design has not been given the same amount of time and QA as the desktop version. If you are experiencing something strange on mobile, please let me know.

Phew! I think that’s it for now.

As we make the switchover, some links/feeds will get buggy. Image URLs might not be all there. Categories/Tags may be wonky. Posts from long ago may go missing. Social media channels may not all be connected or working properly. Contact forms may not be working. Emails may deploy. In other words, digital Armageddon may indeed happen with Chic Steals and embroil all of you in it.

But I’ll get it right soon… and everything will live at

Chic Creative Life

Hope to see you there!

xo

Carly

DIY Gemstone-Topped Jewelry Boxes On KATU Afternoon Live Thursday!

KATU Afternoon Live banner

Hi friends, tomorrow I’m going to be a guest on KATU’s Afternoon Live show with Tra-Renee again!

Back in January when I was first on the show they ended up not airing the replay online, which was a bummer. I would have posted it had they did!

DIY Gemstone Topped Jewelry Box craftSo I’m going to be back tomorrow – this time demonstrating some pretty DIY crystal jewelry boxes you can make yourself. They make great gifts (and would be perfect for a Valentine’s Day gift for that special lady in your ife!)

If you’re in Oregon you can watch it on channel 2 (or 16, depending on your cable provider). If you aren’t in Oregon or don’t have cable you can catch it live here:

WATCH KATU AFTERNOON LIVE – THURSDAY AT 3PM PST

Watch on Thursday, February 9 from 3PM-4PM PST for my 5-minute segment with Tra-Renee and see how to make your own chic DIY Gemstone-Topped Jewelry Box!

xo

Carly

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10 Days to Kickstart Your Creativity Launching Tomorrow!

10 Days to Kickstart Your Creativity emails

Hi friends!

We’re almost 2 weeks into 2017 – and already I can tell this year is going to be waaaay better than 2016. I’m so excited to make it the Best. Year. Ever! How about you?

Tomorrow I can’t wait to launch something I’ve been working on for quite awhile:

10 Days to Kickstart Your Creativity

Ever wanted a creative boost to start off the month with a bang? Sign up for 10 Days to Kickstart Your Creativity – a free daily email jam-packed with helpful tips and tricks to get your brain revved and ready for new ideas.

Even if you think “I’m not creative at all!” – or if you feel you’ve hit a roadblock and need a mental refresh – 10 Days to Kickstart Your Creativity will start your month off right and reset past burnout to get those neurons firing again.

This is a 10-day series of emails expressly designed to fire up those creative neurons, reframe your thinking, and supercharge your creative skills.

I hope you’ll sign up so I can share these fun tips, tricks, and activities with you. Let’s explode our creativity together!

It’s totally free; no obligation. Emails begin January 15, for the next 10 days. If you’re a regular subscriber to the RSS feed – you won’t be getting this exclusive series, unless you sign up below:

Edit 1/15: Registration for 10 Days to Kickstart Your Creativity is now closed. I’ll be opening it up again in the future, so please check back!

Hope to see you there!

xo
Carly

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Chic Closet Organization Tips on KATU Afternoon Live this Thursday!

KATU Afternoon Live banner

Hi friends, I couldn’t resist a bit of shameless self-promotion and let you know that I’m going to be a guest on KATU’s Afternoon Live show with Tra-Renee, this Thursday.

Apparently the show is live (*gulp*) where I’ll be sharing closet organization tips for the New Year – plus 2 fun DIY’s (if there’s time) to give your closet storage and display areas a makeover.

As far as I know the show only airs in Oregon and isn’t syndicated nationally, but if you’re in Oregon you can watch it on channel 2 (or 16, depending on your cable provider). If you aren’t in Oregon or don’t have cable it seems you can catch it live here:

WATCH KATU AFTERNOON LIVE – THURSDAY AT 3PM PST

Watch on Thursday, January 5 from 3PM-4PM PST for my 6-minute segment with Tra-Renee and get tips for a chic closet for 2017!

xo

Carly

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10 Days to Kickstart Your Creativity

10 Days to Kickstart Your Creativity emails

Hello friends…and hellloooo 2017! I’m excited for this New Year and what it brings. How about you?

As I announced on New Year’s Eve…this year will bring a lot of changes to Chic Steals. One new thing I’m trying is to share content in different ways: like email, direct to my subscribers. This allows for a much more personalized approach, which I’m excited about. (You may have noticed a new popup on this website prompting you to signup!)

The first email:

10 Days to Kickstart Your Creativity Email Newsletter

Ever wanted a creative boost to start off the month with a bang? Sign up for 10 Days to Kickstart Your Creativity – a free daily email jam-packed with helpful tips and tricks to get your brain revved and ready for new ideas.

Part science, part pop culture, part inspiration – with daily to-dos and prompts that will get you excited about tapping into your more creative self.

Even if you think “I’m not creative at all!” – or if you feel you’ve hit a roadblock and need a mental refresh – 10 Days to Kickstart Your Creativity will start your month off right and reset past burnout to get those neurons firing again.

I’ve been blogging at Chic Steals for 9 years now, sharing creative DIY tutorials for accessories, jewelry, apparel, and home. I’ve always felt I was a creative person, and the blog became an outlet to share that with the world, in the form of advice, how-to’s, and ideas. I’ve spoken at events and conferences about creativity, guest-lectured, and coached clients to train themselves to become more creative. And now I’m sharing that expertise with you.

What many people may not know is that creativity is something that can be trained. Though people may think that certain people are just born creative, in fact, the ability to find connections between seemingly unrelated things, make mental leaps, and create things which did not exist before can be cultivated, honed, and exploded. I won’t lie, it does take work and effort, but results can be astounding. Just by attempting to make new habits, pattern disrupt, and opening your mind to possibilities you begin to reset ingrained ways of thinking and expand your capabilities.

This is a 10-day series of emails expressly designed to fire up those creative neurons, reframe your thinking, and supercharge your creative skills. I hope you will join me so I can share many of the tips and tricks I’ve learned with you!

It’s totally free; no obligation. Emails begin January 15, for the next 10 days. If you’re a regular subscriber to the RSS feed – you won’t be getting this exclusive series, unless you sign up below:

Edit 1/15: Registration for 10 Days to Kickstart Your Creativity is now closed. I’ll be opening it up again in the future, so please check back!

Hope to see you there!

xo
Carly

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Goodbye 2016…Hello 2017!

Happy 2017 from Chic Steals glitter announcement

Hello, dear readers!

It has been awhile since I posted, and I wanted to say hi and bring all of you an update.

As many of you know, I’d taken some time off blogging since July of this year…and going from 5-6 posts a week to 0, taking a huge step back from the blog, and reassessing turned into a 5-month silence here. (Except for a few posts I was required to make as part of partnership agreements 😉

Ive never taken so long to contemplate a new move. Perhaps with all the massive changes that have happened in my life since 2013, I was reluctant to change the last thing that remained from my past.

I’ve been blogging at Chic Steals for almost 9 years – it’ll be a full 9 next month.

9 years is a long time.

During that time I’ve changed immensely. Almost everything from my old life has been stripped away and rebuilt from the ground up. The past 3 years have brought into focus what my values are, and how I want to live them.

By the middle of this past Summer, I’d come to the realization that everything about my blog, from the content I shared to the look and feel to its mission, even to the name of it – didn’t align with the person I was anymore.

And so for 5 months I’ve struggled with what to do. I realized I had to make a decision: remake my blog into something that I aligned with who I am and how I want to connect with people – or STOP it and shut it down entirely. So for months I’ve gone back and forth, trying to decide.

I decided that blogging was still a part of my identity, and that I couldn’t give it up. I decided that I valued my readers and audience too much to just shut everything down and say goodbye. I decided that it was time to grow or get out.

So I am.

I’m going through a full overhaul of this blog, and a full rebrand. And a new name. And a new website. New content, slightly shifted focus.

I can no longer compete with blogs that are churning out 6 posts a week, DIY after beautifully-photographed DIY. There is so much amazing content out there, I can’t compete by being a content machine.

I’d rather compete on quality, on uniqueness – not hopping blindly on every fashion trend, not churning out tutorial after tutorial, not advocating unending consumption, but staying true to oneself and focusing on the less is more approach. Putting one’s personal stamp on one’s entire life, and molding what is around us to our own tastes. Living frugally but fully; celebrating design, ideas, and creativity. And sharing this with all of you.

You’ll see changes happening here over the next couple months.

So goodbye 2016 – a year of debilitating lows for me…and slowly gathering highs. Not quite there yet – but I also hope that 2017 will surpass this year in every way!

I hope you’ll stick around for the ride 🙂

xo

Carly