Putting Yourself in the Frame

You can listen to me read this as an audio-blog (2 minutes).

This blog has been going since 2001. I borrowed my Dad’s credit card in 1999 (although my WHOIS registrar curiously says 2004 but WayBackMachine has 2001 listed) and told him I needed a “domain name” (with the emphasis on the wrong syllables) and started blogging about being 19 and doing everything wrong in business.

I stupidly deleted everything at some point, worried my back history would make me look like an idiot, and re-blogged more poignant posts instead, which is a shame; stupid or not, it’s still a journey.

I then had some interesting run-ins with some internet trolls and found that I retreated from the internet a little; not purposely really, I’m not one to let that type of thing keep me down, but something inside of me changed. I thought what I was contributing wasn’t worthwhile anymore and that people would judge me.

I even kept the entire journey of opening my blow dry bar, quiet; and that’s been open almost two years. You’ll find very little about it online. I was worried that being in such a male-dominated industry (and opening such a female-oriented business), it would be uninteresting to the majority of people; I stayed quiet.

I’m sure it also coincided with losing my Mum and feeling a little lost, however I realised recently, I never really came back out the other side of it.

I was worried about looking conceited, or “full of myself”; a trait I vehemently despise. It was only when I realised that I happily scrolled other peoples Instagram/Twitter feeds and loved seeing their faces pop up, and I didn’t judge them, that maybe I should take a dose of my own medicine and attach myself back to the internet again–trolls or no trolls, unapologetically all of me, or nothing.

So, here I am. It’s helping me daily, to find things that are interesting or useful to you guys–as well as my work, I always did enjoy helping the community, so I guess you can say, I’m back.

It’s been a while.

Find me on Instagram
Or just say “Hey” on Twitter.

  • YES!

  • Welcome back! The internet is a better place. 🙂

  • Same here! I have had a similar journey designing in a male dominated field and having the fear of looking or sounding stupid. I have revamped my portfolio and blog more times than I can remember and have always been shy about sharing my thoughts due to the trolling that’s so prevalent in today’s society. Thanks for posting and keep at it lady!

  • Röck øn!!!

    (This is awesome news enough to merit mëtäl ümläüts, in case that wasn’t clear.)

  • Very happy to see posts from you pop up recently! I love what you said, too, about not wanting to seem full of yourself, but loving to see what is going on in friends’ lives. Yes! I also love seeing the good (or the bad; it’s just life); their good makes it feel like that good is available to me, too.

  • verpixelt

    It’s wonderful to have you back again 🙂

  • I also sort of stepped away from a lot of the industry after leaving the UK and moving back home two years ago. A combination of disillusion and my personal divorce I guess. I stopped going to events, cancelled all of my speaking engagements, cancelled the book I was working and just focused on actual client work. Now I’m at the point where I’m trying to participate again, but it feels like I’m the 90 year old granny who just showed up at prom 😉

    I’m glad to hear you’re back, Sarah. I know we’ve only met a couple of times and such, but it’s inspirational to hear of others who can make a comeback 🙂

  • I think people who are beautiful AND talented get the worst of the trolls. Most of the time, it’s purely jealousy and they feel lowly about themselves and want to push their misery onto others — instead of working to better themselves.

    Keep doing what you are doing. Reading posts from prominent designers like you helps countless folks who are wanting to be better designers. Glad you’re back.

  • Welcome back, Sarah 🙂

  • Welcome back Sarah, you’ve been missed! So has the Happy Monday Podcast!!

  • It’s so nice to have you back. We’ve all missed you. I know I did. We’ve got you. xxx

  • I had noticed, over the last few months, that I hadn’t seen you much in my Twitter feed. I’ve been glad to see your avatar pop up more regularly. You’re one of the very first ‘internet people’ I followed in this industry and one of my very early inspirations to keep on going in this crazy unknown world when I was certain I knew nothing. So great to hear this news. Welcome back.

  • This is the first time I’ve seen audio available for single blog posts, I like it! Hopefully many more to come? It is great that you’re back in my Twitter feed saying things 🙂

  • Rem

    { welcome hugs }

  • RobM

    Even if nobody else ever cares about anything you publish online, at the very least, it will always serve as documentation of your own journey to reflect on in future.

    I can understand the reluctance you felt about sharing too much of opening a female-orientated business, but there are so many aspects of it that have no relevance to the nature of the business itself.
    For example, just the process of actually building a business like that from the ground up. I’m sure there are many people in the industry who dream of one day running their own business, and it would’ve made for a very educational read.

    I appreciate that there’s no way someone like me could ever understand or relate to the amount of backlash you receive from internet trolls on a daily basis, but hopefully it will help knowing that they are nothing more than a very vocal minority. You work hard, and you produce such great work, and that’s what the majority of people see.

    Keep on keeping on, I can’t wait to read more.

  • Welcome back!

  • Welcome back, Sarah!
    2 years of Blush Bar already? You really kept that hidden. No wonder I couldn’t find anything about it. It would have been interesting to know how you managed starting the business.

  • Maude

    Really happy! You are such an inspiration and one of the reason why I study web design.

  • Thanks for all you do, and thanks for speaking up. “Trolls” is a semi-nice name we give people whose behavior is much worse than not just nice. They are cowards and bullies, and we will not let them win. You are strong and have many friends. Welcome back!

  • Good to see you back here, Sarah 🙂

  • Andrea Rivera

    I am glad you will be more active online again, although to me it seems you never left, what you have contribute continues to resonate even if said a while back. I am excited to hear more from you I LOVED your Designing with Data presentation at Orlando, I go back to it, shared it. I can’t wait to hear more about your business, and what you have learn while running it, It made me think, why not do the same, why not used all I have learn and try something that is my own and learn from that experience. Welcome back!

  • Glad to see you back. Your work is really outstanding.

  • Miss you. Glad you’re back here.

  • Old School types like myself elicit giggles from you ( the current generation obsessed with tweets, twitter’s, blogs and who knows what else is on the menu from those \other Trolls,’ the brilliant but unstable band of Brothers called tech-nerds), turning the world into an unrecognisable habitat from that known to the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation, but would you or I have it any different? I think not.
    By any measure, this ‘Blogger,’ is a real ‘looker,’ easy meat for all those Troll Stalkers out there.

  • Westley Knight

    I, for one, am extremely glad you’ve made a conscious decision to come back. I will never forget sitting next to you and freaking out about the 5 minutes I was to spend speaking to an audience of my peers for the first time. Your words then were more than helpful, and I’m looking forward to hearing and reading what you’ll share in future. Thank you and welcome back. 🙂

  • Lewis

    Welcome back Sarah. The Internet has missed you.

  • Sometimes we have to retreat for a while in order to advance. Go back to the cave. It’s good to have you back.

  • The great songwriter Paul Simon wrote: “Where have you gone, Joe Dimaggio?” And, at the time, in 1969 or so, poor Joe was left wondering why he was hearing a hit song on the radio saying he’d “gone away”.
    Poor fellow had absolutely no idea that during his career as one of the greatest baseball players of all time (his nickname was ‘Joltin’ Joe’, he was married to Marilyn Monroe for a time, ya can Google it) and, well, whether he was aware of it or not, he was an emblem of American virility in the post WWII years and Paul Simon indelibly borrowed his image for its value as imagery.
    Talk about humility. Dimaggio’s was a time when putting yourself in the frame wasn’t cool. Now, it’s – heck, I don’t know what – required?
    Lately, I sometimes wonder if what I write has any relation to the posts that give rise to my thoughts. But here’s a little history lesson anyway. Glad you’re feeling back in the frame.