Saturday, December 30, 2017

The End of an Era.

This is a bittersweet post. One we weren't sure we would ever write, though as we sit in front of different computers in different towns, it feels like it's all happening as it should...

If you're not familiar, Sisters Marie originally started as an extension of our company six years ago, transformed into a fashion & lifestyle blog and is now taking on a new shape once again. For so long, we have co-managed this space, sharing our daily outfits, easy to make recipes, fitness plans, Family events, Motherhood musings and lots of little things in between. We always loved it because it was something we did together.

We would meet up to shoot outfit posts, swap clothes every few weeks for remixes, bounce ideas off one another and journal our shared events. We would meet up at Lisa's house after long weekdays in the office or at home with our kids, change into a "going out look," and head to the city for a blogger event which were always easier to tackle together. We would meet up for dinner to discuss new content ideas, marketing strategies and gather some "stock photos" to be used on Instagram over the next few weeks (Oh, come on - we all do it! ;)) We would divide up the posts weekly, each contributing with our own voice, style and opinions, hopefully making it a fun and interesting place for you to visit.

But over the past year, our lives have become more individual than shared in many respects...

With Lisa moving about an hour away, me being pregnant and about a thousand other life events, there was much less opportunity to work together. We had promised ourselves, if it ever became too much or added unnecessary stress to our lives, we would revisit Sisters Marie and discuss how to proceed as a team. After all, we're sisters and good friends first and to be honest, we started to miss just having "sister time," instead of always trying to squeeze in 3 outfit posts or discuss our content when we're together. With both of our personal lives being so busy and at different stages, we're bidding farewell to Sisters Marie. As sad as it is...

 We are ready to sign off, take a breather and utilize this time to figure out what's really important to us when it comes to sharing content with you guys in the future.

 On one hand, this is the end of a WONDERFUL era -- One that has given us so much including friendships, relationships with some of our favorite brands, career highlights and a network of very supportive ladies that can't be duplicated. With that said, it's also true what they say...when one door closes, another one opens and we're both looking forward to a fresh slate that's just around the corner. We are so thankful for everyone who has followed our sister-ish adventures through the years and all of those who supported our business at the start. It has been such a pleasure to share the ups, downs and in-betweens with you and even though we're going our own way, there will still be plenty of sister moments shared on each other's blogs in the future. In fact, we already have our next round of swap bags ready to go! :) 

This is certainly not a goodbye but instead, a "see you soon" and in a new, unique way. You can still find Lisa on her personal blog, Stilettos and Diaper Bags. She has some exciting changes coming your way, many of which she has fought hard for over the past few months so I'm really looking forward to her new story which is already being written. 

As for me, I am also on the hunt for a new adventure and while it may be slightly different than what you've been used to, it will surely be straight from my heart. I am currently doing a bit of "soul searching" in order to narrow down what's most important to me in my life now and what parts of that I intend on sharing in the days to come. I DO intend to re-brand and possibly re-locate (in terms of dot com spaces) so I hope you will be patient with us both as we embark on our own paths. We'll be sure to keep you updated as we settle into our new names and places but until then, we wanted take a look back at some of our favorite moments from Sisters Marie...


// Announcement of BISTM:

Our first of two websites launched in May of 2012 and we could not wait to share Because I Shop Too Much, which was a marketplace to buy, sell, and swap your gently used clothing and accessories. Shortly after, we launched Because They Grow Too Fast, with the same idea for children's clothing. We just loved the idea of trading clothes with each other so much and saw a business opportunity there, allowing others to do the same – directly with one another instead of going through resale shops that were often only accepting certain brands and that offered little buyback value. 

Running both of these sites taught us SO much - Everything from the process of starting an LLC, designing a website from scratch, being our own accountants, working with a business lawyer, handling customer service issues, marketing strategies and so on. I don't think we give ourselves enough credit for taking an idea, making it a reality and watching it thrive. We're really proud of it!

Neither of us went to Graduate School but consider this venture to be just as beneficial of a learning experience. Unfortunately, both online marketplaces came to an end in 2015. While we had seen some success with the sites, we just could not keep up the pace with Poshmark and other similar sites that were launched around the same time. Plus, our blog had started become more lucrative and we found ourselves becoming more passionate about that in the long run. Shutting down the sites was a hard pill to swallow because of the YEARS of hard work put into the business but there are no regrets. It not only taught us so much but gave us Sisters Marie -- the blog :)

// Our "Swap in the Suburbs" Party: 
This was such a fun day! We loved the idea of bringing our websites to life and trading closets with fellow bloggers and friends.

// Our VERY FIRST blog post
Although we didn't officially start blogging until mid-May, we decided to announce our new brand name and blog in April 2012. It originally began as an extension of BISTM and BTGTF but eventually turned into much more, our very own space to create content together.

// Our first Rocked it & Swapped it post
The beginning of a segment we have keep up for the entirety of our blog, and also one of our favorite themes!

// Our first professional photo shoot:

We had so much fun! Multiple outfit changes, dancing to music on set and enjoying being behind the camera together which happened so rarely.

This was a really cool experience -- We were profiled in one of our favorite Wisconsin magazines, met some great bloggers (who we still follow & keep up with regularly!) and opened up the lines of communication with some very talented creatives in the Lake Geneva area...ALL because we were spotted shooting outfit photos at a restaurant in town. It's so funny how things happen :)

// AMAZING brand partnerships: 

We have had the opportunity to collaborate with so many inspiring brands over the years. We feel honored to be considered "influencers" and appreciate all the past and future chances to spread the word for some of our favorite clothes and products including...

+ many more!

// Brit & Co Hair Feature:

// Body Book Hair Feature:

// Some of our YUMMIEST recipes: 

and SO SO much more.

Are you guys still with us? If so, we're impressed and THANK YOU for reading, this has been a tough post to write and even harder to hit publish. We could easily go on for days if we wanted to reminisce about every moment we have shared online together and with all of you. This has been such a special place for us.

If you've followed us over the years, we would LOVE to hear from you...even it's just to say hello, goodbye, let us know what you loved/hated about the blog or just promise us that you'll be with us in the next chapter. We sure hope so...there's still a lot more to write. If you have any questions about anything, please feel free to contact us! 


Kaitlyn & Lisa