Friends of this blog will have heard this story before: Five friends, newly graduated from university, sipped on wine one fateful night and came up with the idea to start a blog together.That was five years ago.
To be exact, five years ago yesterday inanutshell.ca went live and a little piece of our identity was created, too.
That’s a funny thing to think about: something as seemingly frivolous as your take on beauty products, or a restaurant’s new menu, could have such a huge contribution to your life in your 20s. But, last night, over a champagne toast, the women of In a Nutshell—three, now, instead of five (women, instead of girls)—discussed what we should highlight in this anniversary post and all had the same answer:
We owe so many great experiences to this online space we’ve created.
There are the obvious perks: meals on the house, complimentary tickets and more free products than our linen closets can contain, but those trinkets and treats are really just the cherry on top of the real bonus: fostering a new appreciation for our city and the people that live in it.
It’s a real honour to be considered an expert on the goings on of our hometown and to have a platform to celebrate people who are doing amazing things.
There are so many standout moments in our five-year history. Supporting the men in our life with our hugely successful Movember contest in 2011, accidentally going viral in 2012, becoming regular guests on CTV in 2013, sharing in our city’s grief in 2014, having Telus make a significant donation to the Syrian refugee effort in our name in 2015.
Last year, we ran a contest for a pass to The Dailey Method Ottawa (another big part of our lives that wouldn’t exist without In a Nutshell). In order to enter, people had to tell us why they wanted to live a healthier lifestyle. The submissions we got were incredible. Not only were they all so inspiring, encouraging two more people to come forward and donate passes, but it was a big moment for us personally. We were touched to know that people felt comfortable telling us such intimate details about their lives. It’s a testament to the relationships we’ve nurtured through this online community that we never would have had otherwise.
It’s not rare for any of us to run into an acquaintance and have the conversation start by, “I love your blog!” It’s been a way for relatives to stay in touch with our lives, even when they live far away. It’s been a springboard for new friendships. Simply put, it’s been a wild ride.
And in thinking about where we were at in our lives when we started this blog, and where we’re at now, I think it’s a very special thing to have been able to chronicle our memories. Scan through the archives of In a Nutshell and you’re scrolling through the last five years of our lives. Big moments and small moments, all wrapped up in one place.
So, yes, maintaining a blog for five years has been a lot of work, and has only become increasingly harder as our responsibilities and priorities continue to grow and change.
But after five years, hundreds of posts, and a thousand memories, it’s always been worth it.
Thanks for reading.