This year has been full of big professional decisions. The first was deciding it was the right time to close Design*Sponge — and then figuring out how we’d like that to go and feel. The second was realizing that, despite our best efforts and love and hard work, it was time to step away from Good Company as well. It was far from an easy decision, but it was one made from a place of love, understanding, and experience in knowing how much bandwidth it would take to make the magazine as profitable as it needs to be — and knowing that I just don’t have that bandwidth in me right now.
The closing of both creative projects has been a bittersweet time, full of ups and downs and feelings of doubt, but also peace with it all. And when it came to Good Company, I couldn’t figure out the right way to sum it all up in one single post or social media update. On the one hand it was a reminder of just how hard it is to make print profitable enough to stay afloat (while also paying people fair wages for their work), but it was also a reminder of how sometimes projects can teach you so much, even if they don’t go the way you planned.
So rather than sum it up in a quick 250-word post, Julia had the idea for us to sit down together for a podcast conversation about why I chose to close both, how I’m feeling about it all, and what I hope for the future and what our role in it all was, is, and might be going forward. I’m so grateful to have had this time and space in podcast form to talk about some really honest, scary, and vulnerable feelings. Because while I know it’s time to move on, there’s always the very real fear that… is this it? Will I ever be able to do something important again after this? Has this all been the peak? Or am I just now figuring out how to better use my voice and place in any community in a way that is kinder, more generous, and less about my thoughts and views? I don’t have all the answers, but Julia did have all the questions and this conversation is an honest look at what it is to run a business for 15 years and experience all the highs and lows that come with that. Thank you for listening and I hope this might provide some more insight for anyone curious about the closing of Design*Sponge and Good Company, but also just what it’s like to start an online business and steer it through a changing world. xo, Grace
*If you aren’t able to listen to the podcast, the main thing I hoped to leave listeners with is this: I am so grateful for everything we’ve gotten to do at DS and Good Company. And my one hope is that both projects have, in some small way, pushed the needle forward and might inspire someone out there to follow their voice and passion into a new dream project of their own. My goal has always been to pass the baton to the next generation of people with passion for the creative community, and I feel ready to do that after 15 years of having the greatest job ever.
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**Also, a huge shout out to Good Company‘s amazing project manager, Kelli Kehler, our social media and marketing manager, Allie Misch, our creative director George McCalman, and artist Erin Ellis. You four made this project a complete and absolute joy to figure out and it would not have been the same without you.