Behind the Scenes

Today I thought I’d show you a look behind the scenes of how Say Hello to the City got started. It’s an idea I’ve had for a few years and it’s exciting to see it go from being inside my head to being online. But it took some work to get here. Let me show you what I mean….

I've always enjoyed blogging because it's an easy way to archive things, but it was only after I began featuring local professionals on my old blog that I seriously considered creating a more substantial online presence.  

After browsing around the Web, I felt there was a niche in the market that I could fill with quality content that focused on the creative community within Des Moines. So I began jotting down some ideas and making lists of the types of things I wanted to focus on.

It's funny, but one of my initial requirements during the first few design meetings was that my blog have a “Des Moines” tab.  Blogs I read that were based out of Los Angeles or New York had tabs specific to their city and I wanted a tab that showcased my home base, too. I always thought if I start a blog, it’s going to have a Des Moines tab and that’s kind of how this started.  It’s a small thing, but that was my initial inspiration in the very beginning.

I felt like there was, perhaps, a niche in the market I could fill with quality content that focused on the innovators within Des Moines.

Once I realized my little, old Tumblr wasn’t going to facilitate the type of content I wanted, I began looking for a web designer. And things began to pick up from there rather quickly.... 

At pop-up dinner, I was seated next to Cait Goodman and soon after, I asked her to design my site from the bottom up. I really admired Cait's personal aesthetics (topknots and turtlenecks!) and her online portfolio was just the type of thing I liked - minimal without feeling too stark. 

Cait was the perfect creative partner for this endeavor because she was great at utilizing my ideas, while adding her own expertise to the project. The term I kept using for the blog’s overall theme was “warm minimalism” and I really feel she captured that idea perfectly, don't you think? 



Over the course of one month, we met several times to discuss the blog’s title and layout, as well as the fonts and colors I was interested in using. We used Pinterest to create mood boards that visually captured the vibes I wanted my online space to exude (sounds very New Age, I know.)

After our initial meetings, she set up a private web page where I could check-in on the progress in real time (yes, I felt like Jason Bourne.)

It was helpful to see the progress unfold because you gain a better appreciation for design and for the logistics behind the design. It's also very inspiring to see your ideas begin to take on a more tangible form.

Once the design portion was complete, we went about moving content from my old blog to their new home here. Then we double checked everything to make sure there weren't any typpoos and then made sure everything felt fluid and accessible. It took a good month or two to design and organize everything, but it gave me time to really decide how I wanted things to look. I didn't feel rushed at all and I think the final product is killer.

If you need a web designer, I can't recommend Cait enough to you.  She's organized, efficient, and it always felt like she was one or two steps ahead of me (in the best way possible.) I hope you kind of get a feel for how this all worked and have a better appreciation for all the work that goes on behind the scenes of something like this site.

Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was this blog. 

(all photography by Elizabeth Brown unless noted otherwise)