I am thrilled to welcome you to our new space! For a year and a half we have been sharing our parties, products, projects and promotions on our blogger site. We have always LOVED to archive our parties, new products, featured client parties and free printables, but never had a way to effectively organize them so our new followers can make the most of our site. You may have seen the ad that we put out earlier this year showing off our new Anders Ruff logo. We have been working on the site for awhile (we are talking (9 months in the making!) and we are SO excited for this launch!
Last year around October, I got the itch to start shopping around for a new website design. I looked and looked and looked. I didn’t find anything that would fit our style as well as the organization that I wanted. Becky, one of our fabulous design editors, has experience with web “stuff” and so I hired her on to help me figure out the best option for Anders Ruff. We were thinking of using a template that we found on the web, but me being the picky / type A person that I am, I couldn’t grasp using a template because I knew I wanted flexibility and also wanted to reflect my own style. The “Anders Ruff” style. A template couldn’t do that for me…. so I had a big task on my hands!
I pushed to just design the site completely custom myself. After all, I am a graphic designer, so it just made sense! Even though I have no web design experience, I put it together the way that I thought it needed to be organized to best handle all of our content. I have a few fabulous friends who helped me determine the layout that most suited our company.
I started plugging away at the custom graphic design for the site and we hired on Lennie Appelquist of Free Market Media Group to program our site. We found him through the Savvy Mom’s Guide and couldn’t be happier. Ever since we brought him on for the project, I have been handling all of the graphic design and layout for the site while he handled coding the site to run. (We are talking each and every button needed a custom design! Thanks, Lennie, for putting up with our “custom-ness”) Becky has been an amazing help in getting us organized and transferred from blogger along with helping with suggestions for the functionality of our site. (Thank you, Becky! You are awesome!) I can’t tell you how excited I am that we are FINALLY live! (This has literally been a 9 month project that feels like forever!)
So, how did this all come about? Most of the key elements of the site that we incorporated came from feedback from our friends, fans and clients. We are always asked about our free printables, so we have a place that is organized with all of our free printables. Now you can download them directly from our site!
Also, we get asked a lot about party themes and ideas. We have always had a portfolio of work, so we had always planned to add a section for our “party-folio”. (Get it?!) Same with the fabulous products that we often show in our parties and styled photoshoots for branding our new products.
We show a lot of fabulous products when we style a party or brand one of our new printable lines. We wanted a place to showcase our favorite things – everything from the decor and DIY tools to the desserts and clothing.
A lot of times we have fabulous features (The name of our old blog!) that we want to keep in front of our fans for awhile, so now we have a “fabulous features” section.
Along with “subscribing to the blog”, we also have a “Subscribe to our Newsletter” option now. Every so often we will send out exclusive newsletters to our subscribers with sales, promotions or insider information. Definitely check it out!
One more cool feature that Lennie suggested was to have the author’s photo and biographical information. Inspired by the Huffington Post, we decided to add that to the bottom of all of our posts. From now on, you will be able to tell who is talking to you! 😉
Browse around our fresh new site and check it out. We are still tweaking some details so you will see some changes coming throughout the week including adding some more of our fabulous sponsors to our front page and our “favorite things” section of the shop. If you are interested in being showcased in our “favorite things”, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info!
Also, coming SOON – we will have a day designated for a very special post by Adria or myself to share the scoop inside Anders Ruff style with our Weekly Ruff Draft. (Get it?) We will show DIY projects, tutorials, recipes, crafts and home decor ideas. REALLY excited about this new feature each week.
It has been an exhausting 2 weeks (we had 3 photoshoots in 2 weeks… more SUPER exciting news to come on that!) but SO worth it. Now, with this launch happening, I feel antsy, excited and eager to hear feedback from our favorite fans and customers! Let’s hear it! We want this to be an open forum for discussion and comments. (I even designed a fun “comments” box, so please use it! haha!)
Stay tuned this week for more fabulous features, a sale announcement and an announcement of a new product offering we are launching!