Well, here we are, in a whole new world.
There’s been a few changes around here over the last few days. If you follow my Retro Chick Facebook page you might have seen this post explaining why. If not, then this is the post that explains why I’m saying goodbye to Retro Chick, and what’s going to be happening to Lipstick, Lettuce & Lycra.
Letting Retro Chick go has been a huge wrench. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for months, going on years, but not quite been brave enough to do. I’ve pretty much always been Retro Chick, for as long as Social Media has existed. I was Retro Chick before Twitter and Instagram, and not long after Facebook, so figuring out who I am without her is hard, but it’s something I’m going to have to face up to.
Retro Chick was born back in 2007 as an eBay shop selling vintage and pre-loved (that’s second-hand to normal folks) clothing. Then she became a blog, and gradually part of a community of vintage loving ladies. Retro Chick learned to have the confidence to throw fashion magazines in the bin and relish wearing whatever she darn well pleased and be flattered by stares when she strutted down the street in seamed stockings. She rode the early wave of a huge boom in the popularity of “vintage”.
Then in 2012 I took up running, and in 2013 I discovered Roller Derby, and by 2015 I’d started to learn about weight lifting and getting sweaty, and loving it. Lipstick, Lettuce & Lycra was born amid this discovery of the joy of finding out what my body could do. In its early days it charted a lot of struggles with my weight and whether I was eating “right”, but this side of my life finally gave me a whole new confidence. A confidence to not give too much of a stuff about the scales, a confidence to focus on what I was capable of and the joy of getting better, and fitter. A realisation that things aren’t easy and perseverence and mental toughness can get you a long way. A confidence to not care what I looked like at all. To put on my red lipstick because I liked it, but then not to care if my mascara was running because I was working hard (but to keep hunting for that elusive stay put, sweat proof brand).
For 5 years I have been running Retro Chick and Lipstick, Lettuce & Lycra as 2 separate blogs. I tried to keep fashion and beauty content on Retro Chick, and fitness and health content on LLL. But the fact is that as time went on the 2 sides of my life weren’t that easy to separate any more.
Retro Chick wasn’t wearing seamed stockings and cooking 1940s recipes, and LLL wasn’t all about running and healthy eating. There was overlap, recipes I’d like to post on both sites, I had to pick just one place to post. Maybe I’d like to talk about going from sweaty post game mess to after-party glamour puss in just 5 minutes in a pub bathroom, or about what mascara can best last through me crying at Edward Scissorhands AND survive a sweaty Summer bootcamp.
I was finding it really difficult to artificially separate out those sides of my life, email pitches I received frequently crossed over between both blogs, and the “Retro” part of Retro Chick kept meaning I got pitches for campaigns that weren’t really the kind of thing I was interested in these days. Invitations to 1940s events are lovely, but honestly, I’m normally playing Roller Derby.
I’d started to fall out of love with blogging, I wanted to do more with LLL, but Retro Chick was paying my bills.
With that said, there’s no hiding from the fact that traffic to Retro Chick was also declining. The vintage boom is over, and the association with it meant that those who were stumbling on my blog because vintage was everywhere were gone, while the hard core pin-up and vintage fans were wandering off because I kept insisting on wearing lycra and chopping all my hair off.
So, I decided it was time to make the leap and kill off Retro Chick for good. I considered many options, including rebranding under my own name. Sadly there is already a Gemma Seager out there who has bought all the domain names, and snagged all the social media profiles (and then not posted on half of them, but that’s another story). In the end I decided Lipstick, Lettuce & Lycra covered all the things I wanted to write about. Unless I wanted to name the blog Lipstick, Lettuce, Lycra, Novelty Prints, Frocks, Burgers and Cocktails, which isn’t quite as snappy.
So I have merged the content from the 2 sites. All Retro Chicks previous content can still be found on this site, as can that from Lipstick, Lettuce & Lycra. I’m in the process of sorting out my Social Media, some can be merged or rebranded, others, like Facebook, are a little more complex. I’ll continue posting blogs to Retro Chick, but if you want to chat (and I do like to chat on Facebook) then please check out Lipstick, Lettuce & Lycra here. Over the next few weeks I’ll be refining the site, fixing problems and rebranding so it looks all pretty.
In the future I plan to continue wittering on about cocktails, frocks, fitness, body image, food and what I’ve been up to, exactly the same as I did on both blogs before. I’m hoping that I can help others find some of the confidence that both vintage and working out have given me over the last few years without artificially separating the two.
You won’t be finding shredded abs, or egg white omelettes here (unless they’re really tasty egg white omelettes, probably with cheese in). I was over 30 when I took up exercise, and I like pizza too much to ever be a size 8. I just want to be able to share how amazing it is when you realise that you can do things that you never thought you could, or things that you thought weren’t for you, and how loving those things doesn’t mean you can’t wear lipstick and high heels.
My blogs are part of my income, and as such they are a business, but they’re also an online representation of me. I’ve spent 10 years writing about things I love and care about, and I want to keep doing that without forcing myself to be something I’m not.
I hope you’ll come along with me. If you don’t want to read about running, or salad, then don’t click that post. I’m working hard to make sure I can keep the content balanced, so that those of you that only want to come along for the frocks will still have plenty to keep you entertained, and maybe if you do click there’ll still be something in there to inspire you.