This month, we celebrate 11 years of blogging. This photo of Rachel, Emma and I was taken 11 years ago—can you even believe that!? I can’t.
In many ways, I feel like I grew up on this blog. I was 24 years old when I started A Beautiful Mess and Emma was still in college. I fell in love, got married, talked my sister into joining my sinking business (which she then rescued). I made mistakes—I had seasons of being an oversharer and seasons where I only showed an overpolished side of my life. I learned, I grew.
And btw, if you want to see a TON of old photos and links, we put together a huge post celebrating 10 years of blogging last year. So check that out!
It’s weird to me now that we became bloggers in that perfect intersection of time just after people really started to use the internet every day and just before social media became a thing.
I started this blog when I didn’t know it could become a career. I did it for fun. And I’m often thankful I had a chance to jump into it with zero expectations. My sister and I used this space to start a business (ultimately three businesses, which now stemmed from our small team). We spent all our savings to make an app, we became adults with health insurance and retirement funds. We really have grown up here.
But the craziest part of all of it is that my favorite parts of blogging are still the same as they were 11 years ago. I like sharing what I’m most excited about in life. I like hearing your television show suggestions in the comments—lol. I love making friends with readers all over the world. I still get so happy when someone comes to say hello to us in Target or at a restaurant. It still surprises me every time.
Here are some funny photos (some are embarrassing) to celebrate 11 years! Because you don’t deserve to make a career out of blogging if you can’t make fun of yourself, right?
Elsie in 2007. Ugh, so embarrassing, but also too funny not to post.
Emma in 2007. Visionary.
Falling in love with Jeremy in 2008.
One of my first e-courses with Rachel in 2009.
My studio in 2009. I used to stay up all night trying to make paintings to pay my bills. I’m forever grateful for that season of life.
One of my first outfit photos in 2010. Also note three vintage collections in one photo!
Can you believe I’ve been writing “10 Things I Love Sunday” for 10 years?!
(also, holy Photoshop—haha)
My wedding in 2011.
Emma’s wedding in 2013.
If you’ve been reading for 11 years or two years or two months … thank you. We love what we do and in the past one or two years I have started to feel some of that old-school nostalgia coming back. I am really excited about where the blog world is going lately. It feels really good to me and I still read blogs every morning with a cup of coffee.
I can’t help but wonder what the next 11 years will bring. I never imagined I would still be writing this blog after all these years, but now I can’t imagine ever stopping. Emma and I are pretty sure we’re destined to become old lady bloggers. Honestly, that sounds pretty fun.
Love you! Elsie
Congrats! Blogging is a great work and your blog is good
Thanks for sharing,
I dont know why my blog pages look so messy, its about fonts, paragraphs, or themes…
can someone please give me any feedback?
I need shame advice hoping you can helping… I have started glittering makeup brushes, but I’m having problems with the glitter staying on brushes that don’t have wooden handles.. What do I need to do or use… Thanking you in advance with your time and help.
Congrats! Blogging is a great work .
Elsie! The world is literally more colorful and creative because of what you and Emma and your amazing team does. I am so thankful for a color story app, so thanks for going all in! Totally worth it I am guessing? This post was so fun and encouraging to read! I have been blogging off and on since 2014, and I am just now feeling like I could be getting the hang of it! I will be investing in your e-course! Love you guys!
I remember those early photos – and they made me smile. I also bought a lot of those painting back in the day – circa ‘08 or so. Loved this recap
Hi! I’ve been following you gals since my senior year in high school, 2007, and have loved your creativity and inspirational ideas ever since! I have always had a love for crafts, cooking, home decor, holidays and more thanks to my momma and grandma. They taught me to sew in kindergarten, bake throughout my whole childhood, and celebrate traditions new and old. I lost my grandma 3 years ago, and sadly my mom surprisingly this past February. Crafts, painting, baking, decorating and using my hands to create keeps both of them with me. I have to thank you for your Countless ideas, recipes, posts, and overall inspiration! I am the oldest of 4, so I feel like you are the big sisters I never had:)
Thank you for being you, happy anniversary! Xo
I’ve been reading your blog since you were contributing to Creating Keepsakes and blogging on BlogSpot! That was way back in the day! Even though I don’t know you, or Emma, or Rachel (or any of the people who were a part of your life back then- like Will and Silje), I feel like we’ve been “friends” for YEARS now. LOL. Congratulations to you and your team for making ABM what is and thank you for making it what it was back then. Here’s to another 11 years of life, love, and blog. <3
True story, I started my vintage paint-by-numbers collection after I came into your store on Commercial and saw the Native American PBN! (I was so sad when it was sold to someone other than me lolol) Now they’re all over my house. Thanks for always being an inspiration!
Happy 11 years!!
My 11 tear blogging anniversary is this November. It’s crazy how much things have changed.
Congratulations on 11 years!! I have been following you guys for a long time (previously too shy to comment!) and you’ve really inspired me to pursue my own creative passions. Thank you for bringing so many helpful tools for those of us looking to get into blogging as well – A Color Story is legit my FAVORITE app I own.
Cheers to 11+ more years of being your fabulous selves :).
Michelle & Watson
congratulation!! I take notes from your blog!!! “continuation is power” my grandpa taught me that though… I never really been good at. but I keep writing my blog liiiitttttle by liiiitttllle.
please keep up with the good work! congratulation again!!
Happy blog anniversary! I can’t believe I’ve been reading you guys not only for so long but through so much. :*
Holy cow! I’ve been reading your blog for 9 years! Out of all the blogs this has been the one I have consistently followed. Great content and great people. Thank you for sharing!!!
Congrats! I’ve been here since the very beginning and I just love Abm. Hello from Poland! Xxx
Happy anniversary you guys! Love the trip down memory lane and especially your wedding photographs – Emma’s wedding is still in my mind all these years later. The DIY dress! The boats as seating! Trey being handed a beer! It was a great time for wedding content! I also remember loving Elsie’s hair tutorial for her bridesmaids which was using shower puffs to pad out a beehive!
Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it has been 11 years! I remember most of those photos, been following almost this whole time I think. Love seeing how your style has evolved. Congrats on another successful year.
Happy anniversary! That’s amazing! It’s so fun to see these old photos! I remember finding your blog through the DIY Garment Rack post in 2012! I’ve been following ever since!
Crazy that it’s been 11 years! I’ve been following you for about the last 9 years, starting when I was 13 and in middle school, omg. I must say you’ve been a great positive creative influence in my world and I think in the internet world in general, and I’m appreciative that I can still enjoy keeping up with ABM after all this time. 🙂 I had a just-for-fun blog back then and this past year I’ve re-joined the blogging world and loving it!
It’s crazy how 11 years seems not all THAT long ago – but these photos make me realize – it’s more than a decade! Crazy! Definitely an accomplishment – especially ALL that’s come out of your little blog – incredible!
Thank you for sharing the funny pics. It’s a reminder of how down-to-earth you ladies are. I’ve been reading since…..hmmm – about a year before Emma’s wedding (#Tremma <— it's weird how certain things stick with you :P). A lot of my fav (smaller) blogs have come and gone in that time – but I'm glad that you've been here all the while, AND that you haven't become a personality-less machine of pop-up ads and affiliate links. Love you ABM!