Image above: Valentine greeting (ca. 1910) via the NYPL Digital Library
Some months feel as if they take years to pass, and sometimes they fly by before you know it. January passed so quickly and with so little time to reflect, but it was one of the best months of my work life. I’ve never felt luckier to work with the people I do, and I’ve never been prouder of or more excited about the work we’re doing here. Max, Amy and I have shared early mornings and late nights together, poring over projects, posts and to-do lists, and this month they are my most cherished Valentines. To have people who share your vision and not only give their time and hard work but 100% of their creativity and passion is the biggest blessing I could ever receive. So while we prepare to celebrate Valentine’s Day at the site (among other special events and holidays this month), they’re the people to whom I’m dedicating all my projects.
In last month’s letter, I talked about what home means to me, but this month I wanted to reflect on what’s happening at that new home now. Unlike the eight years of blogging that have come before, this year we decided to do things differently. We scaled back our team, set real work hours and started the year by sitting down to excitedly plan all of our content (almost every darn post) through May. We of course left room for improvisation, changes and new ideas, but planning holidays, interviews and larger projects ahead of time finally gave us the advance notice we needed to plan content for special events. Because I stubbornly held on to my “blog by the seat of my pants” mentality for so long, I was always running out of time to post content for the holidays. Every year I was sheepishly apologizing to readers in the comment section for not getting Thanksgiving ideas up fast enough or gift guides live in time for non-expedited shipping. But no more. This year the three of us sat down and researched holidays, special events and other time-sensitive topics and planned ways to integrate those special moments into our content in a way that felt right for D*S (that’s our January brainstorm on the wall above). From huge month-long craft challenges (hello, March Madness) to themed interview series, we let our imaginations run wild, and I’ve so enjoyed the content that’s come from this planning.
This month we’ll be celebrating Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, Mardi Gras, Purim and Black History Month with content that’s tailored to those themes (in addition to our regular design content) and seen through the lens of what we love most here at D*S: creativity and authenticity. I’m so excited to show you everything we’re working on, but before we dive into this month’s content, I wanted to use this editor’s letter to send all of you a love note and say thank you. This month’s most popular holiday too often focuses on romantic love when it should be about celebrating all the special people in our lives — family, friends, colleagues and those who make us smile throughout the day. For me, that’s not only my team here, but also all of you online who crack me up on Twitter, leave meaningful comments on the site and share such personal and important photos on Pinterest and Facebook. Finding and embracing these communities on and outside of the blog has been so wonderful these past few months, and I wish I could send all of you a real Valentine in the mail. So I hope you’ll accept this digital love note instead. All my love, Grace