Exactly a year ago today, I was sitting by myself in my two-bedroom apartment in San Francisco while I pushed the button to publish my very first post on (what was then) HelloBrit.com. I had no idea what would happen over the coming days, weeks and months, I just knew that I had a desire to enable other people to live a more simple, beautiful and creative life, whether that life was lived online or off.
Having come from working at places like Apple and Google, I felt an urge to build new types of beautiful and extremely useful software apps for lifestyle verticals like weddings, food, style, and home. Apps that would simplify the act of planning a wedding, preparing a meal, or getting dressed in the morning. At the same time, I was so enchanted with the world of DIY and how easy it has become to create beautiful things that don’t require extreme expertise in the kitchen or at the sewing machine. More and more, I saw that technology and DIY were coming together in a way that has never happened before. Like how I used Spoonflower to upload a pattern that I designed on my computer, which was then printed on a few yards of fabric and shipped back to me so that I could create custom ties and bouquet wraps for my wedding.
Simply put, in today’s world, it’s becoming easier than ever to create things, and technology has a huge hand in that. Whether you are getting inspired by projects on Brit + Co. or Pinterest, learning how to cook or craft through videos on YouTube or apps on your phone, or uploading designs to a company that will take your digital files and turn them into a physical product, today’s DIYer is straddling both the analog and digital world.
Knowing this, and sharing a deep passion for both tech and DIY, I knew that I wanted to build Brit + Co. as a hub of savvy shortcuts for creating new things, completing mundane everyday tasks, and turning the ordinary into the extraordinary with as minimal effort and time as possible. Things that even the most amateur felt they could achieve. We’ve grown a lot this past year, both emotionally and physically. Today, we’re a team of 11 (hence the shift to a new name, Brit + Co.) made up of artists, stylists, foodies, engineers and design addicts. We are people that like to make stuff, whether that “stuff” is jewelry, cakes, art, or software. We care about simplicity, beauty and having fun (hence our popular Friday series, the BritList, which features all of the really wacky and hilarious things that catch our eye each week). But most of all, we care about helping people live a better and more creative life.
Today, I sit in awe and think about how far we’ve come. Millions of you (yes, millions!) have come to our site or used our apps. We’ve published nearly 1000 posts over the last 365 days. We’ve built a web app for our DIY wedding website creator, Weduary, and have turned Brit + Co. into an app for iPhone, iPod and iPad. We’ve also recently entered the world of commerce with Brit Kits and our online store. I’m so humbled by the team that works alongside me each day and the response you guys have had to our work. It’s seriously more meaningful than you know.
A few of my personal favorite posts from the past year:
How to Make a Chocolate iPhone: We were so excited when we figured out how to use a silicone iPhone case as a chocolate mold.
How to Make Scratch-Off Polaroids: I wasn’t sure if this would work at first, but once it did, I was shocked by how amazing and easy it was!
How to Hack Your Facebook Timeline Cover: Loved this series of downloadable cover photos that turn your Facebook pic into part of the page.
5 Ways to Turn Zippers into Bracelets: Our first post with more than 100k views! Wowsers.
And some of our most memorable moments:
- Launching Weduary (and of course, my YouTube rap debut)
- Selling our first products on Fab
- Dozens of hilarious photo shoots
- Launching our iPhone and iPad app
- Hosting my good friend Brett as a guest on a couple of our YouTube videos
- Becoming a contributor for the Today Show and Katie
- Working with some of my favorite brands like UNIQLO, L’Oreal, Nikon and more
- Launching Brit Kits and our new shop
But more than anything, the most rewarding part of all of this has been hearing that we are, in some way, inspiring you all to live more creatively, whether that means we have helped with ideas of easy food to serve, new tech to try, different ways to wear your clothes, a solution to building your wedding website, or DIY projects to complete. There’s NOTHING that makes my day happier than hearing stories or seeing photos of all the cool things you guys are making as a result of feeling creatively inspired. Here are a sampling of the types of things I receive that make my heart melt.
It’s what keeps me going each day and I truly thank you for reading our content, watching our videos, sending us YOUR ideas, using our apps or purchasing our products.
I have no idea where this second year will lead us, but I only hope we continue to fulfill our mission to serve you with innovative ways to live a simple, beautiful and creative life, online and off. Thank you to those of you who have been around since the beginning and to those that may have only found us yesterday.
If you’d like to help shape our next year, I’d love to hear what you want more of or less of in our posts, products and apps. Please shoot me a personal note at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below. We’d love to hear how we can make your life even better.
Here’s to year two!