I am so excited that I’m practically stammering every time I start talking about rebranding my blog, and the day is finally here! I’m beyond stoked to announce that my blog, (formerly) Onyx & Blush Co., has gotten a major facelift and she is so much happier to now be Hey Sunny Jess. I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the process I’ve gone through to rebrand, and more importantly WHY I decided to re-brand in the first place so I decided to start with my story from the beginning and talk about this whole rebranding journey that I’ve been on and how I ended up here.
Blogging is kind of this crazy, almost abstract concept these days because it is so much more involved than just writing an article here or there, especially for someone like me because my blog is truly my outlet for creativity and communication. I’ve always loved to write and talk so blogging has always kind of felt like the natural path for me to follow.
I’m a shotgun decision kind of person so when I decide to do something I immediately take action and get almost frantic about it. So, when I first started my blog I was so crazed about getting it started and going that I didn’t put a whole lot of thought into it. You can read more about why I wanted to start my blog here. I came up with the first cute-sy name I could think of, bought my domain and I was off! For those of you that have been around forever, you might remember the good old days of Sunny With a Chance of Sass. 😊 That entire first year of blogging was purely for the purpose of writing. I wrote about whatever came to my mind, it kind of became my diary for that year, and I had no concept of branding, SEO, monetization, or anything else that goes into blogging besides purely the writing aspect of it.
That was all fine while it lasted, but at some point the realization hit me that I just LOVED blogging and really wanted to turn it into something I was proud of. I started following other bloggers, doing some research, and came up with a new direction for my blog. Like, an ACTUAL direction and not just thrown together pieces. Onyx and Blush was born, and as I was running my Etsy business at the time I added the “co.” to the end of it so that the name could represent both my blog and my business. Right as I was purchasing my new name I discovered another company with the EXACT SAME NAME. Yes, really! I mean I guess that happens a lot in business but from that moment on I was bothered by it. I wanted something that was ME and even though we were completely different types of businesses doing different things I felt uneasy about having my blog name be so similar to someone else’s business. However I was SO frantic about rebranding RIGHT THEN that I did it anyway, thanks to my “gunshot decision” personality. Clearly it is a personality flaw that I need to work on haha.
I was happy for a while, doing my best to follow my new “brand” with the limited knowledge that I had and trying to produce quality content, but the more I worked on it the further away my goals seemed. The best way for me to describe it is that I think my vision was limited. I saw my brand as purely my colors and logo, and family oriented content. Although I do like where I started and thought it was a good idea then, my passion wasn’t really there. My content started to feel forced and I started getting overwhelmed by the idea of blogging instead of excited about it the way I had before. As a result, it fell lower and lower on my priority list to a point where I was hardly ever posting, my content wasn’t really thought out, and it felt like a chore.
This wasn’t the vision that I had for my blog. I wanted to feel excited to work on my blog and excited about sharing because it was supposed to be my creative outlet, not like it was a job. I wanted my blog to make me happy and to be something I could feel proud of, and at this point there was nothing left about it that felt authentic to me or my vision.
Then my whole world changed. With the birth of my little Emilia Jane came a lot of down time. I had previously struggled with postpartum depression after the birth of my oldest so I was actively pursuing ways to combat that and intentionally finding things to be happy about. With that mindset, I was able to look around me at all the wonderful things about my life and I just felt pure bliss. I know, I know, it’s SO cheesy and such a #basicmom thing to say, but it’s the truth. I found myself getting excited about EVERY TINY THING about life and with my new passion, I suddenly felt so much inspiration. It was like I had ideas bursting from me, I had ideas pouring out that for all of the things I wanted to try. It was the first time I felt a spark of creativity that got me excited and I knew that I was finally ready to sit and brainstorm with myself and discover WHY I blog and who I want to be as a blogger. At the end of that session, I finally felt at peace with what I was doing. Excited about my goals. Restless to get started.
I don’t know what it was about that moment in my life, but that pure ecstasy feeling sparked a fire that I could finally hold onto without burning out. I found my purpose for writing, to share my life as a mom of 2 girls, and all of the little things that make me excited about living. With my new inspiration and understanding of the direction I wanted to go, I really found my voice in my writing and if there is anything contagious about blogging (at least to me, I think it is contagious), it is the writer’s voice. As mine developed, I started noticing my page views increasing, my followers and subscribers going up, and it was like… holy cow! There are actually people that read what I’m writing! Is this real life?
All I ever wanted to do was share my story, and even though it has been a long road of blogging trial and error, I finally feel like I have discovered my passion for what I’m doing and my blog finally feels authentic to ME. The thing is, in all of that time I have made so many changes to my blog, I closed my Etsy shop, and I had so many changes happen in my life that the previous brand I had tried to build just wasn’t right for me anymore. With closing my shop the “co.” didn’t make sense, the colors and logo felt outdated to the old me that was represented in the posts that were forced and didn’t fit my voice, and my direction had obviously changed pretty drastically in general. It hadn’t ever really felt totally perfect even from the beginning because I had been unsettled about the other company with the same name, and to be honest, I just needed something that was going to represent me better. Something that I wouldn’t need to change ever again. As a marketing professional, I know that rebranding isn’t an easy task and that if done wrong, it can be catastrophic to the brand you already have. However, my blog isn’t like a normal company. My blog is a respresentation of ME. It is mine to get creative with, and I wanted to showcase that.
You will all be very proud, because I did NOT make a shotgun decision this time! This time I thought long and hard about the name that was going to represent me and ultimately I decided that I wanted my brand to feel friendly, welcoming, and be an extension of myself on my little slice of the internet. I decided to use something that never goes out of fashion- my name. Many of you know that my name is actually Jessica, and not Sunny, however I’ve always used the name Sunshine or Sunny as a pseudo in my writing and art so it felt natural to keep it there in the title of my blog. I’ve chosen this name because I feel like it better represents me, and it gives me the freedom to grow as life continues to through adventures my way.
The decision to rebrand wasn’t an easy one because it is so much work and as I mentioned earlier there are some serious negative costs that can occur, but in the end, if you have something that you aren’t proud of or aren’t happy doing- what is the point? I 100% believe that we are alive to EXPERIENCE life and I believe that part of that experience is creating something that you love, that brings you happiness, and that you can look back and be proud of. If you’re considering rebranding your blog and can’t decide whether or not it is the best move for you, consider your dream vision for your blog. Can you achieve it with the brand you have now? Or is your dream something entirely different? For me, my old brand and my dream blog had gone in two different directions and that caused me to feel stress and unhappiness with my blog. However the point of blogging for me is to BE happy, so for me, it was absolutely necessary to rebrand to be able to align my blog with my vision.
Thank you to everyone that has helped me out and been so supportive of me through this whole process! Special thanks to Tracy for being my biggest support and for helping me think about all of these decisions I’ve had to make with my blog, and thank you to my Nikki love for doing such an amazing job with my logo and colors. And of course, to Juicebox Tony for putting up with all of the tears and late nights and excited shouting and dancing that happens around here. And final thank you to everyone who reads my blog and supports me, your support and love mean more than anything to me and gives me inspiration!