All right… Here we go.
After today, there will be no more corals + cognacs.
Holy shit. Weight lifted.
Don’t worry, I’m not done blogging, I’m just letting go of corals and re-branding. I’m not going anywhere – I’m staying in Chicago and I’ll still be here (on the Internet), but my blog and brand are getting a little facelift. A big facelift, actually. The site is getting an entirely different look… So, yay!
Okay, now let me explain to you how and why this is happening:
More than anything else, I want to tell you up-front: The blog’s content will be the same in many regards, but it will be much more easily accessible for you based on what you’re searching for — be it fashion advice, inspiration, fitness tips and so on.
Moving forward, you won’t have to do anything. Even if you go to coralsandcognacs.com, you’ll be automatically re-directed to the new site… (But I hope you can break that habit soon, ha!) My social media isn’t changing, either.
I’ll walk you through the name change and content pieces in a bit, but let’s take a little trip down memory lane first-and-foremost.
Damn. I’m so excited, you guys!
corals + cognacs: A Look Back
Here’s the back-story of corals, if you don’t know:
Nearly six years ago, I was in a marketing research job (aka working in Microsoft Excel all damn day). Years prior in, I went to school for journalism and I’ve always been the right-brain type, so I longed for some sort of a creative outlet.
So, I started a blog. I went through a handful of “working titles,” before I settled on corals + cognacs – the colors. And it was only because I liked the way it sounded. (I’m a big fan of alliteration in writing.)
My first few posts were so awful. Like, so awful.(Seriously, please don’t go searching for them. LOL!) But you’ve got to start somewhere – that’s how you grow. Here were some of the old logos I created for myself — the first one in Microsoft Word.
Back then, I’d use a digital camera to shoot my outfit photos.
Like, you guys: I’d find a ledge to put it on, set the self timer and run five feet away. Rinse and repeat. It was so not legit! (Yes, everyone looked at me like I was fucking nuts.)
I never in my wildest dreams imagined that a little hobby blog would grow into a business that’d I’d actually be able to support myself with — and more importantly, a community of awesome, inspired women.
Back then, though, that’s all most blogs were: Hobbies. Little escapes from reality. Blogging wasn’t yet an industry — but then, social media happened, and things changed. Quickly.
Over the past six years, corals + cognacs has grown and changed and shed lots of layers in the process. We’ve gone through a lot of late nights, broken heels, strong coffees, wasted money, unpaid partnerships and so on… But it’s been so worth it for what we’ve built together. Really worth it.
To date, my life has changed. No doubt.
I’ve evolved as a person, a professional and everything in between. My interests have grown far beyond fashion due to a handful of very significant life events – that I’ve been pretty blessed to go through with you guys. Of the most notable (and in order)…
- I made an impulse decision to move to New York City.
- I quit my full-time corporate job to blog full-time.
- Then, of course – despite having zero relevant experience, I embarked on the long journey to begin a career in fitness as an Instructor at SoulCycle.
As I’ve evolved, my content has too – as you know. Rather than just doing outfit posts, I started writing from more of a narrative perspective, with a focus on storytelling.
Those were the BEST!
And thankfully, it seemed that you guys thought so too.
So I committed to expanding my content by sharing more about my life. And we got to know each other through some pretty personal experiences, too… Like:
- How becoming a fitness instructor changed my life.
- Lessons learned in my previous decade: 29 things I learned in my 20’s.
We’ve gotten to know each other really well through this little platform, corals + cognacs… I’m really grateful for that.
You guys were with me when I moved to New York, when I didn’t make it through SoulCycle auditions (the first time), when I struggled through hating my corporate job and even (terrifyingly) when I relocated back to Chicago.
All along, you’ve been growing right along side me.
Thank you – so much.
So, earlier this year, I decided that it’s time to “grow up a bit,” turn the page and start a fresh chapter — and I hope you’ll continue to come along for the ride.
Over the last six month (yes, six months), you might have noticed that blog content has been on the lighter side. I’ve been pretty up-front about that with you, I think, but what I haven’t told you is that I’ve been quietly working on a massive re-design and re-brand.
It’s time for corals to evolve, too.
Introducing: The Next Chapter
After today, there is no more corals + cognacs.
Later this afternoon, I’m thrilled to be launching and introducing you to my brand and new website design: Among Other Things.
(Sigh. Another weight lifted!)
I decided on “Among Other Things” with you guys in mind.
The new name feels more “grown up,” and more importantly — all-encompassing of the things I want you to come to my site for: Advice, wellness, style, stories, self-care, nutrition, fitness… All musings and conversations that you can relate to, learn or draw inspiration from.
Logistically, not much is changing. The site will be prettier to look at, for one – a lot prettier. It will be easier to navigate so that, ultimately, you’ll have a much easier time finding all of the content that you want to be reading, seeing and sharing.
Among Other Things (AOT) will feature the important pillars of my life (which are all things that you and I have in common): Fashion, fitness, wellness, dating, career stuff and travel… Among Other Things. (See what I did there?)
Now that my team and I have wrapped up the design and development of the site (I’ll introduce you to them later!), I’ve had a chance to get back to producing content. And it feels so damn good to get back to the basics of what I love about blogging – sharing stories with you guys.
The best thing about my corals + cognacs is the community we’ve created, and that’s not going anywhere.
(As a side-note, half the time when I see people in public, they’ll call me “corals + cognacs” instead of Hallie, LOL! I’m fine with that – so feel free to continue doing so.)
WHAT’S TO COME
So cheers, guys. To new beginnings, continued growth and even more stories to share.
I hope you’ll continue to join me for the journey – and I hope you’ll take a moment to share your thoughts, suggestions and feedback in an effort to help me make this site a better daily destination for you.
Thank you endlessly for your continued support and love. It means the world to me.
All right. Love you, mean it.
… To be continued.