2017 was such an amazing year and I am so excited for 2018! I said this last year, and I will say it again, never did I think people would read my blog, nonetheless, keep coming back. I am so grateful for all of your support and it encourages me to continue this journey. THANK YOU!!! I cannot say this enough, thank you for being part of The Fancy Navajo community. 2017 was a year of growing and taking huge leaps outside of my comfort zone. I met so many wonderful and inspiring people, supported more of my favorite Native American fashion designers, shared my recipes, and stepped out from behind the scenes, to center stage, literally (Read all about it here)!! I achieved my goals I set forth in 2017 and so much more (Read all about it here)! Today I’ll be recapping 3 milestones we hit in 2017, along with my 2018 goals for The Fancy Navajo!
- The Fancy Navajo Community quadrupled in size!
- I don’t like to worry too much about numbers, but when you quadruple in size, something big is happening right? Through this growth, has led to finding other likeminded individuals, and when I get messages that I have inspired someone or they learned something new, it makes what I do even more special. If you are an aspiring blogger, remember consistency is key! Here’s what happened on my 3 main social media channels.
- Instagram: This my favorite social media platform and I am most active here! We made huge milestones from ending 2016 with 1.5K Instagram friends, to now over 4.5K Instagram friends. Say what?! With the introduction of Instagram stories, I was able to share things as they happened, like cooking my favorite meals and taking my fellow Fancy Navajo’s along with me as I traveled and attended events. It was so awesome to share these moments with you! I still get nervous about doing IG live, but maybe I’ll conquer that fear in 2018.
- Facebook: The Fancy Navajo Facebook Page was created earlier this year and it has been my largest traffic driver to TheFancyNavajo.com. We ended 2017 with over 2K Facebook friends. We also had a couple of viral posts on Facebook which I will talk more about below!
- Blog: This is unbelievable and I still can’t believe this, but The Fancy Navajo Blog had over 19.5K views this past year!!!! Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought this would be possible. I am just in awe by this, and am so thankful for those who read, subscribe, comment, make and share the recipes I post. Even if you just stumbled upon my website out of curiosity. THANK YOU!
- Fancy Navajo Recipes and The Year of the Blue Corn Cake/Cupcake
- In 2017, I felt like a social media superstar (ayeee) when I posted a picture of a Blue Corn Cake my brother and I collaborated on, and it went viral on Facebook in October 2017 (View the post here). Everyone on Facebook was talking about blue corn cakes and cupcakes. I think at this point, my family finally realized what I do! Hahaha! People were casually talking about some lady called, The Fancy Navajo on the internet, who makes blue corn cupcakes, or saw a blue corn cake on Facebook, and needed to know the recipe. My family excitedly said, that’s my little sister, daughter, etc.! Although I created the blue corn cupcake recipe in 2016 and shared it on the blog in February 2017. It got A LOT of LOVE at the end of this year! It is my most viewed blog post and I get so excited when you send me pictures of cupcakes you made!
- My Fancy Navajo Boba Almond Milk Tea also went viral when a fellow Indigenous Foodie – Decolonize Your Diet, shared it on her platforms. It didn’t go as viral as the blue corn cupcake recipe, but it did make me wonder why all of sudden this post became so popular on the blog!
- My recipes also caught the attention of Navajo Times and in October 2017, I was featured in their newspaper and online. If you missed it, you can view part of the article on their website here.
- Collaborations: I met so many wonderful and inspiring people this year and I am so thankful to have collaborated with them. From fashion designers, bloggers, Instagrammers, photographers, small business owners, artists, nonprofit organizations, and even some of my favorite brands! I am so happy to have met all of these wonderful people who are some of the hardest workers I know and inspire me so much!
- The biggest collaboration this year was with Acoma Pueblo Fashion Designer, Loren Aragon, creator of fashion brand ACONAV, who also won Phoenix Fashion Week Designer of the Year!! I didn’t share much of this journey on my blog, but I am an aspiring fashion stylist. When I first met Loren in 2016, I shared this interest and we put my skills to the test this past year. I am so proud to say I styled FIVE ACONAV fashion shows (ASU American Indian Fashion Show, Emerging Into Style- ACONAV’s first solo show, SWAIA Haute Couture Fashion Show, Phoenix Fashion Week, and SRP Presents First Friday Live featuring ACONAV Fashion Show) which helped me to gain more confidence and experience in fashion styling. Much like the work I do for my social media posts/blog, there is so much research and planning that goes on prior to a fashion show. From picking out the hairstyles, curating jewelry, to figuring out which model looks best in each look. The day of the show is insanely busy, interacting with hair/makeup stylists, coordinating with models and event coordinators, and packing up at the end of the day. It’s tiring! Time flies by so quickly, and all the weeks and months of preparation are showcased in a 5-minute fashion show. It’s complete madness! But I LOVED EVERY MOMENT. Native American’s are one of the most underrepresented in fashion, so I was honored to make my mark on the fashion industry and collaborate with this empowering native brand! Loren and his wife, Val, really pushed me to step out of my comfort zone this year and I #evokedempowerment! I am so thankful for this partnership and look forward to 2018.
Now onto my 2018 goals!
- Consistent and Organized Blogging: This was a goal last year and I published 20 blog posts in 2017 (yay!), but they were more sporadic than I wanted them to be. I would like to have at least one new blog post a week. There are so many things I want to share, but I haven’t been organized about it. I run out of time and am frantically trying to get a post out, especially for holiday related posts. I also get a lot of questions about how to make simple Navajo dishes (blue corn mush, tortillas, steam corn), so I plan on doing a series on Navajo food.
- Collaborate with more businesses and creatives! I enjoy working and collaborating with people. I love meeting business owners and hearing the stories of other creative people. I also enjoy sharing these new connections with you. This year I’ll continue to support my fellow Native American businesses and continue to #buynative! For 2018, I would love to connect with local AZ based businesses and creatives, if you would like to work with me, send me an email.
- Host an Event: EEEE!!! YES, I would love to do a Fancy Navajo event. A lot of my fellow Fancy Navajo’s are from Phoenix, AZ and it would be fun to all come together. The hard part is deciding what type of event. The possibilities are endless! I had so much fun hosting my 30th Birthday party and loved connecting my friends with each other. I just need to figure out what type of event I want to hold. Let me know what type of event you would attend?!
- Continue to Sew: My 2017 goals included sewing an amasani (Navajo grandma) skirt and I did!! I’ll post a picture later, but some of you saw a sneak peak in my IG stories. I had so much fun sewing, it rekindled that spark that I had lost with sewing. I even sewed the Blue Bird apron I am wearing below. I was not brave enough to sew in a zipper in 2017, but I will continue to venture into this side of creativity. You’ll have to wait and see what I make next! I’m sew excited! Hahaha…sorry I couldn’t resist that pun!
Phew! That was a long post. I am feeling so motivated and excited for 2018. Stay tuned for more content and a Happy New Year!!!
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