Day 31, 2011: Wrapping up 2011 at Hip Ink and The Invitation Blog

December 31, 2011 § 1 Comment

Whew…we made it. 31 posts in 31 days (again)!

But today is probably the most special of all, to me, because it’s the one where I get to share all the amazing things that happened in 2011, and how thankful I am for everyone who was (and continues to be) a part of our success and growth :)

First up, I want to thank you – yes *you* – all The Invitation Blog readers. In our first full year of blogging, our readership has grown by leaps and bounds, and I am so thrilled when a bride, a groom, a client, a fellow vendor or one of my stationery/design colleagues tell me that they found something useful/interesting/beautiful/controversial/funny (or just plain crazy) on the blog!

So, what happened at The Invitation Blog in 2011? Below, some comparisons and fun facts:

In 2010, there were 54 blog posts written. This is post #140 for 2011.

In 2010, we had 3,414 visits. In 2011 (so far) we’ve had almost 44,000.

In July 2010 (when I started The Invitation Blog), we had a total of 44 visits for the month. In November 2011, we had 4,414.

On our busiest day (April 24, 2011 – the date of the Royal Wedding) we had 339 views.

The most viewed blog post of the year was (not surprisingly) Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Royal Wedding Invitation: As Imagined by Hip Ink with 3,769 views (and yes, that’s more than we had for every post on this blog in 2010).

The most commented on blog post was Day 8: Why Are Wedding Invitations So [bleeping] Expensive?, from last years “31 Days” series, with 25 comments.

But numbers never really tell the full story, do they? The fact is that I’ve been as passionate about The Invitation blog from Day 1 and 0 views, to today, 18 months later and fast approaching 50,000. I never thought that writing a blog could be such a rewarding experience, but it has given me so much: a place to help brides and grooms navigate the sometimes crazy world of wedding stationery; a soapbox from which to air my views on invitations, stationery and weddings; and, a place to show off our recent work at Hip Ink.

Most of all, I’ve made so many great connections with other amazing people in the wedding industry – bloggers, designers, stationers, vendors – and that has been the most surprising and the most rewarding part of this blogging journey.

And of course, there is much more where that came from in 2012!

And what about Hip Ink?

SO much has happened in 2011 that looking back makes my head spin (and makes me feel incredibly lucky as well)! 2011 was the year I feel Hip Ink really came into its own – while for 5 years I had worked without advertising, without expanding, deliberately trying to keep things small, in 2011 I got the chance to dream big and make things happen that a few years ago I would have thought may never become a reality. So, indulge me if you will…

Here are some of the highlights of 2011:

Hip Ink evolved into Hip Ink Paper Co. – an umbrella brand that will very soon be home to a line of invitations for weddings and social events as well as some new stationery ventures. And of course, also home to Hip Ink Couture Invitations, the natural extension of the custom work I’ve been doing here at Hip Ink since 2006.

With that change, came a flurry of new branding etc., which will all be rolling out in January – including a brand new website, coming very, very soon.

We participated in four wedding shows, Mix Mingle Marry, The Hamilton-Halton Bridal Show, The Original Wedding Soiree and The Gay Wedding Show – this was my first year exhibiting, and what a great time we had! I could have never imagined the amazing things that came out of the relationships I began with both clients and vendors there (like this, and this!).

I had the chance to work with a number of great photographers, event pros and other fab vendors on styled photo shoots (some already published and a couple still to come!). I still find it so exciting, and I feel so honoured, to be asked to collaborate with my industry colleagues.

We were thrilled to be featured on a number of fabulous wedding blogs this year, including Style Me Pretty, 100 Layer Cake, Wedding Chicks and Invitation Crush, and featured on the Envelopments blog as well! Also honoured to become part of Wedluxe magazine’s “Glitterati“, and super-excited to have one of our designs showcased in a full-page feature in Toronto Life Weddings 2012 edition (more on that to come!).

Best of all though, I had the chance to work with amazing couples to create unique and personal invitations that wowed their wedding guests (and bar/bat mitzvah guests, shower guests…the list goes on!). I am blessed to have the chance to work with so many great clients, and I am honoured to be allowed the opportunity to be part of their big day!

And my shout-outs for 2011? Let’s Talk Stationery and Twitter (yes, really, Twitter). These two mediums have allowed me to connect with so many great designers, stationers, wedding pros and industry peeps over the past year – I can honestly say I wouldn’t be where I am right now, dreaming big dreams for 2012, without the support of these folks. Never underestimate the power of the internet ;)

Wow – so much rambling on “looking back” that I have no chance of fitting in my “look ahead” for 2012! Guess we’ll be taking on one extra day, call it a bonus – check out tomorrow’s New Years Day post for a sneak peek at what’s happening at Hip Ink in 2012!

 

 

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