The story behind rebranding myself and my blog, and all about what the new site has to offer.
Welcome to Oh, Eleanora! I am thrilled to be launching my re-vamped website and personal brand today, as it signifies new beginnings, career growth, and the finding of my why in the digital space. I have expanded a bit from my former personal blog Sequins & Suspenders to a more comprehensive life and style website:
Oh, Eleanora is a life and style site by Eleanora Morrison that encourages and empowers women to create the lives they want to lead. Covering career advice and relationships, fashion and beauty, fitness and food, arts and culture, design and travel and everything in between–including contributing guest articles and recurring editorial features–this site is intended to provoke honest, gracious and inspirational conversation surrounding the beauty of leading life as a strong, modern woman.”
Why I Rebranded and How I Chose the New Name
For those of you who read Sequins & Suspenders, you knew me as Ellie Leeper, and then Ellie Leeper Morrison once Dan and I were married. My real name is actually Eleanora Maria, but prior to today I only used it on official documents. I am named after my great-grandmother Eleanora Benedetta Lavieri (Nonnie), who was an incredibly special soul, and my grandmother Maria Carmen Sollitto (Mimi), who I feel such a strong attachment to that I am convinced our souls are connected. I have always been proud of my name, who I am named after, how Italian it sounds, and how romantic and regal it is. I just never took myself seriously enough to go by it professionally, until today.
At the beginning of this year I felt it was time I gave Sequins & Suspenders a new brand, especially because Dan and I first started the blog together (hence the his & hers name), and I recently took the leap into full-time content creator and digital editor. You can read more about the story of that evolution and decision here. I was perplexed, however, as to what that new personal brand was going to be.
As many of my best ideas often occur, I had the epiphany for the name Oh, Eleanora in the shower after a cycle class in January. I had just spent an extended Holiday break with all of my family, recharging from a (professionally) rough 2016. Christmas in Connecticut at Mimi and Grandpa’s house has a magical way of resetting us all back to equilibrium. Life tosses everyone around throughout the year; we all come together under one roof, share lots of love and home cooked meals, and through our traditions remember who we are and what we’re made of.
That being said, I have always been my whole-est, truest self at Mimi and Grandpa’s. Often times growing up (and still today) when I would do something funny, ridiculous, or hammy–the things that make me me–Mimi, Mom, and my Aunts would laugh and shake their heads and say (with part eye roll and part admiration), “Oh, Eleanora.” As soon as that thought entered my brain, I got to work. With the personal connection and story, my why was all of a sudden clear: to create content that is authentically and unapologetically me, with the purpose of encouraging and empowering other women to create the lives for themselves that they want.
Fortunately, I was raised by parents who taught me that I can make any opportunity or reality happen for myself that I set my mind to, if I work hard enough and smart enough. I want to share that spirit with others through encouragement and positivity, but with some realness added in. Existing in the blogger space can be confusing and discouraging at times, because you’re constantly bombarded by images and lifestyles of your contemporaries that are not only pure perfection, but that are unattainable for most. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t striving to create that life for myself, and that I respect and admire the women my age who have already done so, but I believe in being honest and vulnerable when putting content on my site that best represents who I am now and who I want to become in the future. I will be bringing the real with the pretty, because life is a balancing act, and I’m just trying to figure out how to walk the tight rope more gracefully each day.
This new site will still have the feel of a personal blog, but I’m elevating the content and adding recurring editorial feature series that will bring additional voices to readers. Be My Guest will be a collaborative series in which I welcome guests from my personal networks to post about their specialties in the life and style topics that are current categories on the site. On My List will feature curated lists of my favorite items and experiences. I Thee Wed features all of the editorial content, both past and present, about our wedding. The feature I am most excited about is Grit + Grace. It is a platform I am using to profile the incredible women in my personal and professional networks who are making big things happen as entrepreneurs, artists, philanthropists, activists, corporate #gilrbosses, and more. Women get further in life when they lift each other up, and I am committed to using this site as a vehicle to encourage and empower one another to reach for our stars.
From a Style standpoint, expect to see more haute couture luxury fashion features peppered in with my usual wardrobe posts. Retail partnerships have been established with Oh, Eleanora that are going to take these fashion features far beyond what is currently in my closet, and I can hardly wait to get started! I am also adding beauty, decor, and a shop into the Style category, which will give readers additional insight into beauty products and routines, my own home decor and other interiors/exteriors that inspire, and curated shoppable posts with products found in the entire Style section.
With this new direction and clearly defined digital purpose, I spent days scrutinizing hundreds of website themes. I needed something that would properly highlight and display the two years of past content I had published on Sequins & Suspenders, but that would properly evolve my brand to look clean, elegant, feminine and sophisticated. I ended up choosing a theme by Bella Creative Studio and worked with them directly to design and customize my site. I cannot thank them enough for collaborating with me to realize my vision so beautifully. If you are wanting to start a blog or update the design of one you currently have, I give a resounding recommendation to Bella Creative Studio.
I would also like to thank Michael Giordano for the photography in this post. Real talk: I couldn’t get the lighting the way I wanted it in these photos (sweet Dan made a valiant effort, though). Michael was kind enough to stop by my home office and partner with me on these.
To those of you who have remained loyal readers since day one, thank you. I can’t wait to grow this audience, continue to explore bigger brand collaborations, strive to curate elevated editorial content, and mostly, to have found a purpose in this space. I am eternally optimistic about the adventures that lie ahead.
For now, I’m taking editorial suggestions! Drop me a note via the comments below and let me know what you’d like to read more about on this site.
With much love and gratitude,