A Beautiful Mess App FAQ

A Beautiful Mess AppHere's a little bit about the design & development process…
One day last spring I said to Emma, "Hey you know what would be fun? To make our own photo app!". It's not unusual for me to think of a lot of crazy ideas, but this one stuck and the more we looked into it, the more excited we became!

Our inspiration for the app was to create a tool that users could use to add fun little things to their photos without Photoshop. Each time I would post a photo with a little handwriting or an arrow on instagram I would get a bunch of comments asking which app I used to make it. I had to tell them there wasn't an app. I just used Photoshop, so that's what inspired the idea for the A Beautiful Mess app!

First we needed to find a good developer to work with. We chose Rocket based off a recommendation from a friend and a good first impression. We hired them to develop our IOS app with the hopes of working on an Android version soon after (spoiler: You'll see below… the Android version is now officially coming soon!). We spent the first few months dreaming up possible features, sketching frames and doodles and envisioning how we hoped users would use the app.

In the fall and winter I spent about a month working on artwork every day with my graphic designer (and brother!) Doren. He was awesome to work with and by the end of it, we were both seeing doodles in our dreams. ๐Ÿ™‚

I designed all of the artwork for the basic package first, because I wanted what users got with the initial purchase to be really amazing. After that was complete we designed the add on packs and picked out additional fonts to license.

Fast forward a few months… we had done lots of revisions, tested the app several times, collaborated with Rocket on our app website and prepared our first round of press kits. By the time the launch day happened we were incredibly nervous. It's weird to put so much into a project for nine months without much of a reference point for how to gauge the response. We honestly had no idea if developing the app was a great business choice or a just-for-fun one. We were hopeful, but didn't have any expectations.

On the day the app launched it went straight to #1 photo app, then #1 paid app within hours. We were blown away… Seriously, all we could say all day was, "WOW". It was one of the best business days ever and we all went out to celebrate that night.Celebrate!In the first week the app sales continued to exceed our expectations. We are so happy with the response and can't wait to keep adding new artwork to the app in the future!

Untitled-1Every day Emma and I look through the #abeautifulmess photos in instagram and just swell up with excitement. It's so fun to see you using the app, often times in ways we didn't even imagine!

A Beautiful Mess AppF.A.Q.

Will you be releasing an Android version?

I'm so happy we can finally say YES! We just signed off on the android development this week. It will take 2-3 months before it's ready for the store. Even though the artwork will be exactly the same as the iPhone version our developers still have to start from scratch in a lot of ways. So if you're an android user, you can look forward to the release happening later this summer… we can't wait!!

When will the first update happen and what will it include?
Version 1.1 is already done and being processed in the iTunes store. This update will include the most basic bug fixes that most first updates include.
Version 1.2 is also in the works and will be ready to submit in the next week or so! This update will include a higher resolution for saved images (yay!) and a bunch of new borders and doodles that come with the basic pack! We're really excited to add some stuff as a great big THANK YOU to everyone who has already downloaded. ๐Ÿ™‚

Is the app profitable? Can you tell us about your sales?
Yes. We're so thankful for an amazing first week! We sold far more downloads than we had initially hoped for. It was enough to move forward and re-invest in an Android release (yay!) and just an overall moment to celebrate that we will remember for the rest of our lives.
As far as the exact numbers go, we feel sorta weird putting that out there. But let's just say it was really really exciting!

How much does each "add on" cost?

$0.99 in the US.
Our app was actually delayed from coming out for a few days because it said $0.99 in the app artwork. That wasn't acceptable, because our app came out worldwide. So we had to omit the exact price from the artwork since it would be different in different currencies. Being international-friendly was our priority, so it had to be done. With the said, we never wanted the pricing to seem vague or hard to see. In the first update we are working on solutions to make the price pop up earlier in the process so it's easier to see, for all countries.

Photo 4Will you make an undo button?
We actually wanted this in the original version but were told it was a little more complicated than we thought. Without getting too techy on you, having an undo button means you have multiple live layers at once. It's just very difficult programming for the app maintain that much memory at once. So if it's not done exactly right, we run the risk of a whole lot of crashing. So we're continuing to look into the smartest way to make this possible. We've had some good conversations with Rocket that make it seem like it might be possible by as soon as version 1.2, but stay tuned. Short answer: We're trying.

Thanks so much for your support and encouragement! We're beyond thankful for every single one of you. If you have any other questions, let us know and we will answer them in the comments. xoxo. Elsie + Emma 

ps. Here's a photo that Ginnifer Goodwin posted on Twitter using the new app! We think she's the most adorable lady ever. :) 

Ginnifer Goodwin uses the #ABeautifulMess app

  • Yay for android!!!!! So so so excited. Congrats Elsie and Emma!!

  • Congrats on the app, ladies (and Doren)! I downloaded it early on and have had tons of fun playing around with it. I can’t wait to see what else you come up with!

    Also-you’re probably already aware-there is a copy-cat app on the app store right now that even mentions your blog by name in the description. I don’t know if there’s anything you can do to get it removed, it seems Apple’s usually pretty good about that stuff. Still, pretty lame someone is piggy-backing off your success.

  • Rebecca, yep- our developers are working on that situation. We agree- very lame. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks so much!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Hurray! Congrats to you all and also thank-you so much for hearing your readers/buyers of the app and addressing things for us all. I am super happy there will be a higher save resolution. You gals (and guys) are the best!

  • So amazing! I had been counting down since you announced it and purchased the first day. I’ve had an iPhone for three years and yours is only the second app I’ve ever paid for! Also, Ginnifer is the best!

    xo, Julia

  • I was really jealous when I noticed my iPhone friends using this app. Now, I am super excited for the Android version!!! You, ladies, are awesome. Love the blog, and can’t wait for the Android app! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Yay! I’m so glad it’s doing so well. It looks so fantastic. SO happy that you’ve started the process for android. Cannot wait!

  • So great to hear that an Android version is coming out.

    Also, it’s no surprise that the sales were so high. The marketing in the days before was both very cute and absolutely EVERYWHERE in the blogsphere and instagram-world.

  • I LOVE THIS APP SO MUCH!!! You guys rocked it! Congrats on the awesome release! I can’t believe Ginnifer uses it! That’s so sweet! Keep up the good work ladies!!

  • Oh thanks for answering some basic questions here and look forward to the updates as they become available. you know how much I love this app and just haven’t stopped playing with it. So thanks so much again!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Yay I’m so excited for the Android app, I was super sad when I saw all of the iphone users getting to play around with it! I’m glad this has had such a good reaction for you guys!!
    teapotsandbelles.blogspot.com

  • Kris Carr is also using your app. I don’t know about you, but she’s a major rock star for me!

    Love from Brazil!

  • I just wanted to tell you that I really love the app! I also have to ask, is your cell phone cover the app logo? If so that’s super cute!

  • Im so incredibly happy for you ladies. You deserve it!!! You worked so hard to bring your creativity to everyone! I am so appreciative of everything you guys do, as I am sure a lot of people are.

    xoxo

    Lauryn

  • Im so excited to get this soon, it just seems so adorable and way to cute not to have for your iphone/android photography ! ! !

  • Oh my gosh! Ginnifer uses it too!? That is just too cool. Huge congrats guys. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I personally love the app and it has become my favorite for editing photos! Its so perfect. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I love the app and I’ve had so much fun with it but sadly it crashes a lot for me and I’ve lost many pictures. Are you going to be including some fixes for that in the update?

  • Congrats, ladies & guys! I’m glad you all are gaining the success that you so deserve- and thank you for all you do to help inspire the creativity to start flowing in all sorts of different areas.

  • Congratulations! I’m so glad your app is so successful; you deserve it. The app is beautiful and fun and exceeded my expectations of it while also being so clearly made by you two. I truly think I would have known you guys were behind the app if I didn’t know when I first saw it. Congrats again! Can’t wait for the updates ๐Ÿ™‚

    xoxo
    Natalie
    http://www.flockingowls.com

  • How exciting to something you’ve been dreaming up come to life and not only that, but be loved by so many! I look forward to the back button, but in the meantime I’ll just keep starting from scratch when I change my mind, its just an app, not worth stressing and getting angry over. And I can’t wait to see the new doodles you are adding!

    Thanks for being an inspiration and trying something new!
    Joanna
    http://wearebeholden.blogspot.com

  • Elisa, in update 1.1 (coming next week) there are bug fixes that will most likely fix your crashing issues.
    So sorry to hear it- but can’t wait for you to get the update!
    XOXO.

  • I pretty much use your app everyday as I just love everything about it!! You did good for your first ever app and well worth every penny!! Ive been getting all my friends & family to get it snd i also get a few comments on my IG about what app i use ๐Ÿ˜€

    Lulu xx

    https://www.luluslittlewonderland.blogspot.com

  • I am so antsy for this, and happy to hear that you’ll be coming out with an Android version, but what about one for Windows phones? I’ll be so sad if I can’t use this! D:

    Also, Ginnifer Goodwin is so cute! Watching Once Upon a Time now. Aww, Snow White!

  • Love the app but am I missing something? I can’t figure out how to put the picture on top of the background. Help!

  • yeayyyyyyy for android! ๐Ÿ˜€ <3 congratulations on everything! you all deserve so much success for how hard and kindly you work <3

  • I’ve used the app a lot since downloading. I’m keeping myself from getting add-ons so I’ll have something to look forward to next month, lol ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Now only Windows Phone is missing your app… I hope we get it some day too ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Hey guys!

    I love the new app and am telling everyone in Germany about it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Just one quick thought: if you add something like a doodle or border it is white and as you know you can then change the color. But it seems like you cannot go back to white without deleting it and readding it. Maybe that would be a good thing to change in a new release? Other than that I just love it and all my Hipstamatic photos now have to go through an additional Beautiful Mess process. Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚
    XXX

  • Loving the app and will HAVE to purchase the add-ons, I won’t be able to stop myself !! ;-D
    SO happy it’s been a success for you. Congratulations!

  • I really hope we can get an Android version of the app soon ๐Ÿ™‚

  • This is so exciting!! ๐Ÿ˜€ Congrats. I’m getting an iPhone as a grad present, I’ll be purchasing this immediately! ๐Ÿ™‚ xo

  • How awesome! Congrats on all your success. I’ve been having so much fun using the app. I’ve always admired how both of you edit your photos for the blog, and now I feel like I get to have that fun, too! Enjoy your success ๐Ÿ™‚

  • congrats! and that’s awesome news about the android version, i can’t wait for that release!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I am so so so SO excited for the android app! I’ve been following the #abeautifulmess photos on instagram and everything seems so amazing! I was blown away when my favorite singer Hayley Williams of Paramore posted the cutest pic ever of herself and her bf (Chad Gilbert) using your app.

    Favorite blog + coolest photo app ever made + favorite singer = AWESOMENESSxINFINITY!!!! <3

    So congrats on all your hard work!! Cheers to continued successes!

    ~Sacha

  • I follow Ginnifer on twitter and almost burst with excitement when I saw her post that picture!! I am so so proud and excited for you; you just did a phenomenal job with this app. It’s fantastic, cute, and fun. Thank you for your hard work!

  • Not only are you two creative, but you are very smart business ladies, your reinvesting your already successful product and reaching a broader market which you know already will succeed! Great work!

  • She played Snow White in the “Once Upon a Time” series on Netflix! I love her!

    Congratulations on the high success of your app – it’s beautiful!

  • Thanks for sharing this process, it’s always interesting to hear how an idea is born and what happens behind the scenes! I hope you’re still celebrating this amazing accomplishment! Also so very cool that all the siblings were in on this one – all the more special. Bravo!!!

  • Congrats! It really is an amazing app, I’ve been reading your blog for ages and was so excited when I saw you had the app coming. It’s been fun. Even my kiddos, who don’t post anything online, bought the app and upgrades for their ipads to play with it. My 6 and 7 year olds are making “art” from your doodles daily ๐Ÿ™‚

  • You did a wonderful job of finding a need and filling it! I am beyond excited to use this app to edit photos of new arrivals for my boutique. This will be a beautiful addition to my collection of photo apps, and likely my new favorite! Thanks again!

  • Again, I have to write in and say CONGRATS to you both!

    You are an example to everyone that “hard work results in dreams coming true.”

    I LOVE your APP and use it all the time. I am telling all my friends in Jamaica about it and that they “better buy it” – wishing you much more success and all that is good!

    Jeanine

  • Love this App so much. Now I just need to get better at taking pictures that I can use it for!

  • Ah!! I would have freaked out bigtime if Ginnifer Goodwin had used something I’d created. That is so awesome!!

  • What a dream come true! (literally!) So excited for you guys and love the app. It’s going to be SO nice for my Project Life projects. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • CONGRATULATIONS!! It’s so inspiring to see how an idea (even if it seems crazy in the beginning) has come a reality!
    You should be so proud!

  • So excited for the Android-version coming out! And I love that you think about your international readers, that’s so kind of you!

  • I love the app! It was what finally convinced me to update my iphone after months of clicking the “not now” button! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks so much for creating such a cute, fun app!

  • Thank you gals so much about posting for Android! I know there are tons and tons of happy people out there right now, including me! I’m so happy for your success!

  • Love the concept of the app but wasn’t aware that some additional features cost an additional .99 cents.

  • EEEEKKK!!! I am so excited to hear that an Android version will be available soon. I was thinking I was going to have to switch phones before I could play:) THANK YOU, thank you, THANK YOU!!

  • I’m so excited for the Android version… so many of my friends are posting pics using your app, and it’s made me a wee bit jealous!!

  • Congrats! What an awesome project. The app looks really cool cant wait for it to be available for androids.

  • LOVE the app! I have been using it exclusively for my photo editing since it came out. You all did a fantastic job with it, it’s so much fun!!!

  • This is great! I went straight to the app and donwloaded it while reading this post. I love your blog, and now I love this app!

  • Just downloaded your app and i’m so excited. I already had so much fun making only two pictures. There will definitely be more coming. Love it so much!!!!

  • I like how you say “we don’t want to talk about money, but it is really exciting!” ๐Ÿ™‚ I chuckled at that, because I assume (hope) it means “making a lot!!!”

    Seriously, I am HUGELY impressed by you guys all the time.

    I really, really love reading your blog. You ladies are a wonderful inspiration. Reading your blog has also encouraged me to start a blog of my own, which is fun. (Literally just started.) It’s fun; it gets me writing.

  • Congrats!! And that picture of the OUAT ladies is unreal! I totally would have had a fangirl moment (or week) over that one too.

  • I totally downloaded this last week and didn’t even realize it was made by you lovely ladies. I LOVE IT! It’s so much fun and lets me be super creative. Thanks so much!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Love your app!! I’m so excited that it’s doing so well for you gals!! You deserve this success!!

  • Congratulations on the app, ladies! I downloaded it the first day it came out, and it’s fun to play with! I don’t always share my pics on instagram, but they’re fun to add captions to and share little email notes and the likes! Are you likely to do a post with hints and tips? It took me ages to figure out how to do stuff like changing the direction of say an arrow border, or reducing the size of something…

  • I’m curious to know what kind of marketing you did outside of the blog to make the app visible enough on day one to reach top sales.

  • Wish it was compatible with the older iPod Touches. The app crashes after a few minutes on mine ๐Ÿ™

  • I love the app, but just wondering if I want to purchase some of the additional phrases, fonts, etc, what the prices are . . . I was afraid to hit “buy” without knowing. And . . . what font did Ginnifer use in her phrase “love my girls”?

  • cant wait to see the new bits and peices you have to add, so far im just loving it. well done.

    Zoe @GypsieSister xx

  • I LOVED the app! It was so easy to use, and fantastic decorations were on it. However, there are a lot of other apps like this around. I think they launched after you, but whatever. Thanks for this post, Elsie!

    Sophie

    My blog:

    http://plainlysophie.wordpress.com
    โคโคโคโคโคโคโค

  • Does it mean we’re gonna get an android version SOON??!!
    I’ll be the first to get it!!
    WHEEEEE~~~

    Congrats Girls!! Really happy for you!!

  • You are amazing. Seeing you do all these amazing projects is inspiring. Well done!!!

  • Hi, I’ve downloaded the app on my iPhone and am loving using it. I also use an iPad however although the app has synced and copied on both devices, the extra fonts and doodles etc that I have purchased only appear on the iPhone device I purchased them on.
    Having loads of fun with the app!! Thank you x

  • You have no idea how i nearly screamt, and it’s 1.30am, when i read that YES, you are developing an Android version. It will be the longest 3 months of my life but i am so going to wait,because i thought about purchasing the app for my iPod,but let’s face it, iPod photos are quit crappy,so yuppie for Android soon-to-come app!
    Amazing work,girls and thanks soooooooooo much!

  • Oooh, so you’re behind this eh! I’ve been seeing it a lot but I’m an Android user.. on my tablet at that, so I have to email my photos to myself to IG them! Can’t wait for your Android release ๐Ÿ˜€

    Lizzums x
    http://benebelle.com

  • Hi Elsie & Emma, congrats on the app, I’ve downloaded it and am really enjoying it and am looking forward to the extras you are going to release as part of the basic package. Just in regards to Rebecca Lynn’s comment regarding the copy/similar app on iTunes – I think it’s actually a copy or even perhaps a free version of a cool typography app released in Summer 2012 called Over. The copy app seems to have used the first sentence of your app blurb though “your life is beautiful etc”. Kind of strange really. I suppose I kind of doubt it’s a free version of Over because the name of the app is also different- most apps would definitely keep their name for a free version. I suppose it would be worth looking into for your app and the Over app develops too. Congratulations again, the app is so cool and I have lots of friends with android phones who can’t wait for the ABM android version- Yay!!

  • Such a great app, my friend introduced me to it and I am in love. And now I love your blog too.

    Happy Monday. X

  • I cannot wait for the android version! Thanks so much for doing this!
    Greetings from Munich, Germany!
    Sandra

  • I LOVE ginnifer goodwin. That is so awesome. Congratulations guys, I am super impressed you made your own app. I am an engineer, so in theory I should be able to program something like this, but that shit is hard. So nice job!

    (I don’t have any iPhone, so I can’t use it, but I’m sure it’s AWESOME. I’ve only heard good things.)

  • SO happy this is coming out on Android soon….Seriously canNOT wait!!!

  • Downloaded this app a couple days ago and UH-MAY-ZING!! I can’t get enough of it. Tons of folks on my IG feed @beatriceclay have been asking me about it.

  • Hi girls! It looks like an awesome app and I’d love to have it! However, I’ve got a tiny bit of a problem… I have a Blackberry Z10. You mentioned that the development for Android had already started. Do you have any plans for BB? I hope, the answer is yes. PRETTY PLEASE!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ *blush*

  • I adore this app. I’ve been using it just about every day. It’s fan-tastic. Keep up the good work, girls <3

  • i loooove you guys! and this is by far my favorite post EVER!!! to read that android will soon be available!!!

    im sooo happy!!!!!

    summer has never been this exciting for me!!!

    eeeeek!!!!!! <3 <3 <3

    #hurrysummer!!!!!!

  • Congratulations on a (never ending?) job well done! I read about the app on Twitter and being a keen hobby photographer I had to download it.
    Really love it!

  • Can not WAIT for the android version!

    Yet again, I’m kicking myself for leaving the cult of Apple ๐Ÿ™

  • Well done girls! It’s such a brill app and It’s featured in this week LOOK mag in the UK… AMAZING. Such an achievement. xoxo

  • Elsie and Emma,

    thank you for this app ! I use it everyday and I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVe it ! The fun is endless and so addictive !

    You made me very happy with the android version announcement as I switched to droid this month BUT I kept my iphone for the quality of the images (and for you APP). But now, I will get to play with your app on both systems…soon! Yeah for me !

    I wish a continuous success in your lives as you are two very deserving talented sisters !

    Carina from Montreal.

  • Love your app, I’m always downloading other apps hoping to do what your app does so I’m glad you released one so I can stop my searching and wasting money lol. Also, that’s so cool that Ginny used it!! I’m a big fan >.<

  • I am in love with the app! It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for. Thanks for developing such a fantastic app and making me look extra creative in instagram!

  • Totally freaking love your app!!! THANK YOU! I’ve had quite a few friends ask “what app did you use” and I proudly tell them… the A Beautiful Mess App… which comes from a blog I’ve been faithfully following for a couple years!! Congratulations ladies!!!

  • I am seeing this app everywhere. I have never paid for an app – ever. Yet, I am bursting at the seems for this one to come out for my Droid RAZR!!! It seems so farrrrrr away!

  • Will I be able to buy the Android version in the Hong Kong Google Play Store?

  • Hi…i love this app!!!! I’m waiting for the Android version!!!

    Kisses, The Spotted Cherry Pie

  • pleased that the app is coming to Android. But can I give you a tip? Don’t make the same mistake that Vine did and rush the app out without thoroughly testing it on multiple devices first. Like Vine, your app is being eagerly waited for and there’s nothing more disappointing than a lazy, untested, botch job of an app release. Take your time with it, make sure it works on all the devices and only then release it. Trust me, Android users would rather the product worked on release.

    Look forward to seeing it released ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Can you make a windows version as well, pleaaaseee! ๐Ÿ™‚ It looks like such a brilliant app!

  • Please hurry with the android app release! I’m dying to have fun with it too!

    Impatiently waiting,

    xoxo.

  • Can u guys make the app free I’m sure it will sell more because then everyone could buy it

  • You can’t even see this, but I’m doing a little happy-dance in my desk chair right now re: Android version. 2-3 months will totally be worth it — and just in time for some glorious fall photos! โ™ฅ

  • Wow! I’ve been hearing a lot of good reviews about it. Sadly, it’s not yet available on the android play store. I google-ed it and I stumbled to this awesome site and I saw that it will be available on Play Store soon. Yay! I’m so excited. I can’t wait…

  • Hey there I recently tried to purchase one of the extra borders. It seems like it can’t download and I can’t use the app at all now.. I have tried deleting the app and re-downloading and logging into iTunes to see if it will download using the computer. Can you please please try & fix this bug so I can continue using your lovely app!
    Thanks, Alicia