Well, it’s here. On this night, ten years ago, I discovered Blogger and an entire journey started for me. There were a number of attempts at naming the thing; I wanted something upbeat but not too wanky. Something about looking on the bright side or the positive side of life. Then, after a small spelling error, Suger Coat It was born. Right there, by the light of whatever movie I was watching, on the couch that we had bought with money from our engagement party. October 29th, 1901. We were in the Jasmine House then. A house we planned and built and thought we’d live in forever. Heck, even raise a family there. How times change, right?
It seems such a long time ago, especially as the teenage exchange student we had with us at the time just got married. It’s funny to see that amount of time pass, and yet, I feel like the same person. In a lot of ways, that isn’t accurate because I’ve grown so much. But, ten years, man. It passed so quickly. How has an entire decade passed since I wrote that very first post, anonymously, with an image pinched from Google Images?
Full disclosure, if you’re not into sappy walks down memory lane, you’re not going to be into what comes next.
This blog is home to an entire piece of my history. Our history, of the life we’ve built and the choices we’ve made that brought us here. And here is pretty great, let me say that. Good job twenty-something us, you did good, and we’re proud of you. Even better than that, to have those stories and memories live on the page is pretty special. Thought in a fit of madness a few years ago, I archived and removed a bunch of posts for goodness knows what reason. I miss them. Never do that, if you have a blog, take that from me.
Along the way, you have gotten to know us.
You came along in the early days as we tried and repeatedly failed to start a family. Those were some hard times that I found it so necessary to use my voice in. To say what was going on in my head out loud, to anyone who would listen — letting it out so I could move on. I don’t know how I would have gotten to through that before the blog. Blogs are great for that, for talking through something you’re going through. I’d highly recommend it for those needing an outlet.
Then along came the personal style thing. Something that it took me way too long to get started doing. I felt like I was someone who wrote words, not a fashion blogger (errr, they’re the same thing, for those playing at home). And not only that, it felt crazy to call me a fashion blogger. I live in a rural area, at the time, my budget was super limited, and I sure as heck wasn’t thin and perky. I resisted hard. But in the end, here we are. I’ve even had a few pieces of clothing named after me by some of my favourite brands. I mean, who didn’t recognise the Suger Tee Dress as right up my ally!
You’ll notice I still call it a plus size fashion and lifestyle blog. Fashion didn’t seem to fit; pun intended.
Along the way, I’ve blogged about pretty much anything that has interested me. Personal style and confidence being the centre of a lot of my writing when I saw the way women, in particular, plus size women were talking about themselves and their bodies. But that wasn’t the half of it. We talked about social media and blogging, lifestyle stuff and I cooked a lot, once back in the day. That’s all here too. It was truly a personal blog. Something that over the years would become known as a lifestyle blog. Emphasis on doing life MY style. Haha.
We were right there, in what was the golden age, at very least the coming of age, of Australian blogging. Along the way, we figured out how to work with brands and monetise our blogs. There were no rules, so we made them up. Together, the Australian Blogging Community came together to ensure that these communities we had built were stronger with collaborations and fair pay for the work we were doing. We would talk to each other about rates and opportunities in the interest of ensuring we were all being treated fairly. We would welcome new bloggers to the fold, celebrating their wins when things took off. It was a community of people supporting each other.
Or that was the intention.
Sometimes I wonder how we ended up so far from there. Or as far as it seems unless you go looking for things like blog link-ups and Facebook Groups filled with bloggers who, like me, still love to make stuff for the internet. We’re there in the influencers with millions of followers on platforms that weren’t even around when we started. We held meetups and workshops, attended conferences and events; not just for what we could get but to be part of it all. To see friends and make new ones. To share the room with other people who made stuff for the internet and cared about how Google Analytics worked!
And a lot of us are still here. Because whether it’s 5,000 readers a day, 500, 50 or 5, we have something to say. Give us a blank page, and we’ll be right where we need to be, saying the things that we have always needed to say to somebody. There have been many times over the past few years that I wondered why I kept blogging. Why when I couldn’t see my place in the industry anymore nor bring myself to care about things ‘they’ said I should. But I know now that I do this for me. I don’t mind if it never looks like it did before, as long as the opportunity is there. And please don’t tell me it’s on TikTok, I’m too old for that new-fangled kid’s app.
The blog life chose me, what can I say?
You’ve also gotten to know Kel. Please know I’m sorry I ever referred to him as Hubby. I don’t know WHAT I was thinking. You know that Kel loves to find himself in odd situations and on fun adventures. The stories of him taking my outfit photos, digging up our yard or renovating our dining room allowed me to share him with you too. He has enjoyed it; the original Instagram Husband (unofficially, we didn’t start that phrase, we’re not that O.G.). The way he still tells everyone he meets about my blog will never get old. He’s proud, and so he should be. It’s not just me who’s done this. He’s given a lot to this blog, and it’s as much his as it is mine.
So, today we celebrate. I’m not sure how and where, but there are glasses to be raised. Around this time last year, I tried to imagine what I would organise for today. In the end, it snuck up on me. Sorry, team. I’ll come up with a way to thank you all too, soon. Until then, all suggestions are welcome. But again, especially if you made it this far, thanks for being here. For the support and love, this blog has received in the past ten years. For all the comments and shares and the times you have reminded me who I am; thank you!
Happy TEN years to us!
Hi! I’m Melissa Walker Horn. Around here, they call me Suger. I’m the Chief Blogger and doer of all the things here at Suger Coat It. Blogging since 1901; I love a casual ootd, taking photos, and writing about things that irk or inspire me. I love wine and cheese, long days at the beach and spending time with my family. I make stuff for the internet over at Chalkboard Digital. You know, living the sweet life.