Thursday, November 10, 2011

The New SHP Says Hello

 ~ A Love Story of a Blogger and Her Blog ~

Love at Second Sight: When blogging first burst into the Indian scene, I stayed away. Everybody I knew seemed to write a blog. Meh. Fast forward a few years- A move to New York City. The tiny world of 'The Arts' as I had known it, exploded in my face after what Manhattan had to offer.  A year or two later, an annoyance set in on how a large part of the new Indian creative talent was relatively unknown here. 

SHP was born. I fell head over heels in love with the design blog community. It has been a wonderful year long journey of meeting several creative folks, online and offline. 

Growing Apart: I slowly realized that I had dived right into the deep end of the pool. I loved what I was doing, but simply didn't have the time to handle the amount of correspondence and requests for features that landed in my SHP inbox. It was starting to weigh me down.

Denial: I furiously typed responses, coordinated feature dates, coaxed out an artist's story; all on the tiny screen of my iPhone on my commute. I wrote up posts offline and hit publish as soon as I surfaced from Manhattan's underground subway system. All this multitasking eventually (and predictably) resulted in a complete 'blog burnout'. 

So-Not-Over-You: I sporadically resurfaced, but the 500 unread mails in my inbox kept blinging at me with the ominous red labels I place on unread emails. When I mulled over my reasons for starting the blog, I felt immensely guilty about not replying to all those creative folks that needed a shout out.

Re-Kindling the Romance: I don't give up on relationships in real life, I decided I shouldn't here. I hit the refresh button. I disappeared to teach myself the basics of photoshop, CSS, HTML; I gave SHP a cosmetic change. Like it? Love it? Hate it? I wait with bated breath. I'm blowing bubbles to kill my stress, while I wait to hear from you.

Voila! A solution to everything that was bogging me down! Notice new tabs/ pages right on top? 

A curated list of 'Favorite Indian Designers': A  growing list of all the young creative Indian talent India has to offer. Writing in to SHP? I promise to add you to the list. The word 'curated' here means that promises  can at times be bent on discretion ;) I hope to do bi-weekly profiles of all the new artists that are added to the page. Keeping my fingers crossed that this should ease my 'blogload' and also give me the leeway to blog on all the other stores, topics and pretty things that I want to have excited animated conversations with you, my lovely readers.

The 'Shop Indian' page: I get a large number of emails asking me if I can dole out information on places to buy desi stuff online, the stores to visit on trips home or where the people I blog about retail. It's is now all on SHP's landing page. Need a quick reference list? Hit Shop Indian!

Verdict please? Like SHP's new avataar?


Bhavna said...

LOVE the new look D! :)

Anonymous said...

Very nice! I am going to be visiting often :).

Archana Chari said...


I usually read your blog via reader, which means I do not see all these grand changes you have made. Came in today, on my laptop just to see this. You are one of my favourite bloggers - for too many reasons! Indian Kitsch is a pet favourite to read for me too, and I am so so happy you did not give this up.

Awesome work!


Sound Horn Please said...

Thank you ladies!

Archana- Thanks much! You definitely made what's left of my day today awesome! :)

Anu@My Dream Canvas said...

Love it Divya.....I always liked everything you ever wrote and the new look and feel rocks!!

Anu@My Dream Canvas said...

Divya and thanks so much for the mention on the Shopping page!

Lakshmi -Celebrations said...

lovely look and feel,divya..always loved what you wrote though i dont get time to comment often.

Ambika said...

Been wondering where SHP had gone. The new look is great ... simple and clean, and I like the useful tabs you added. Although I'd been in Love with your previous header, this change is neat!

Always loved your blog right from the name :) Hope to see a lot more wonderful posts from you!

Patricia Torres said...

Totally love love the header and the new look Divs... Its awesome..

One small suggestion.. I think the two columns at the bottom are way too long... (ie.. maybe .. the blog list can be on the side bar.. and something smaller on that column).. Just a suggestion... love..

You know I always... always loved your blog.. in hibernation or not.. and love it even more today..

Saything that.. I was madly in love with your old header too... *sigh*.. Too much love in one msg..

vineeta said...

"I don't give up on relationships in real life, I decided I shouldn't here. I hit the refresh button. " Thank god. I've written about this to you earlier. If you love it -You do - you must do it. Its really as simple as that. I *LOVED* the changes. Especially in deep admiration of the sections - 'Fav Indian Designers' and 'Shop Indian' This is an exhaustive list. And a BIG reason people will keep coming to your blog - because they find it useful. I will admit to have cheaply looked to see if my name was there in the relevant sections & was happy to find it :) :) But that's not the point. The point is that you diligently did this to make the user experience rewarding. Its always beautiful & inspiring to see someone go beyond the necessary & make it better, because they love what they are doing and its important for them to deliver more. And that's what I feel when I see SHP today. So proud of you :)

Sreelu said...


loved the new looks i think it reflects your blog personality vibrant colorful and different.

Aarohi Singh said...

I don't usually write in... But,I have been going through exactly what you went thru. Blogging feels like a full time job, and most days I don't have enough time.
But, I am glad you did not give up. I may not be 'visible' on your blog comments or on the those of others. But, I do pop in from time to time. And your list is many on there I love, so many I did not know about- thanks for the introduction :-)
Glad to have you back.

Aarohi Singh said...

P.s- I like the new look- clean and and simple. But, I miss your old masthead.

GB said...

Love it Divs! Hum do hamara ek? LOL! Good mantra going forward.

Hope this new strategy works....


Sans! said...

You have great taste and I love all your features.

The new design is easy to navigate and brings you right to where you want to go. I like it !

Kala said...

Love the new look Divya, so looking forward to visiting often:):)

Nayana said...

New look looks fab and great all new information.

padmaja said...

Divya, you refreshed it with a bang! Hope you make me visit here often :-)

Emreen said...

Love the New Look Divya !!

The Shop Indian page is very informative and is definitely gonna be a big hit..!!

Loved your old banner too... Have admired it too many times...

Enjoy the weekend ... !!

Nisha said...

Looking great Divya....

Wishing you the best :)

Neha@ All things beautiful said...

Divya, its so great to have you back!
I love the new look and I loved reading about your blogging journey:)

I'm sure every blogger goes through phases..., and times when they do not know whether to stick around or give up.Its wonderful that you did not give up...Hope you enjoy what you do....coz that is what is important.

Blogging is almost a full time time...and doing it along with another day job- it gets daunting sometimes (Ask Me!). But as they say, one always finds time to do things they enjoy:)

Good luck, Divya!

Sanghamitra Bhattacherjee(Mukherjee) said...

Hi Divya,

Late here as I'm travelling.

Love the new refreshed look but at the same time I miss your old banner too :(
The 'Fav Indian Designers' and 'Shop Indian' sections are awesome! Simply wonderful lists and you have done the job diligently!

We all love your space and glad to have you back.

Wishing you the best :)

Sudha said...

lovely header and loved ur approach... :)

Shalini said...

Love the clean and bright header. Great to see a comprehensive list of shops that specialize in Indian stuff. Thanks.

Pallavi Arunika said...

Lobee the new look. The colors look so vivid against the white background. Love the banner !Looking forward to more posts from you !