If you have visited BrocanteHome over the past few days you may have noticed some changes. I haven't been making a song and dance about them, nor have I closed the site down while I made them because for the first time in my life, this here drama queen didn't want to make a fuss... #leopardssometimeschangetheirspots. But I have reached a point where many of you have noticed the changes and have started to ask questions and I wanted to write this (ludicrously long!) post to introduce and explain all the changes so you don't have to get in a muddle worrying about what is happening to the site, and the Circle and many of the long standing features of BrocanteHome.
To summarise: some things are going, namely The Vintage Housekeeper's Circle (don't panic, there is a replacement you will be automatically enrolled in if you are an existing paying member) and our association with Doterra Essential Oils (more on that in a post next week); some things are brand spanking new - namely my new Living Room membership program, (Currently just £5.00/$7.00 for an entire year!!), my premium offering - the Salon, a commitment to #liveclean with Modere, and the return (and re-invention) of the Pep-Talks.
I know you have got a lot of questions, so in the next few paragraphs I am going to attempt to answer them with as much clarity as possible.
1. Why Are You Making So Many Changes?
Recently I read that one of my favorite bloggers was giving up on her site and I both felt her pain and wish I had her guts. But then I went shopping with Finley, and as I forced him to consider the merits of everything from doormats to dish-drainers, he forced me, in his infinite wisdom to look at what BrocanteHome is becoming and to consider taking a step back from it so rather than ploughing barren fields, or threatening to abandon my virtual land or indeed set fire to it in a fit of pique, I should instead remember how it feels when the site feels abundantly blessed by my own creativity. How it feels when you, my readers seem to be enjoying it. And to act accordingly. This then is my response to his wisdom: a road-map to a new future for BrocanteHome.
As many of you know the past few years have been both traumatic and frightening for me. Throughout it all I have tried to keep BrocanteHome going as best I can. But in the midst of both depression and grief it has been incredibly difficult and I have both made a lot of mistakes and summarily failed to grow Brocantehome in to the site it really should be after twelve years online.
Now, a year on, I have both peace and clarity and I understand where I need to take BrocanteHome to both re-awaken the spirit of the site for you and to make it financially viable for me. Thus changes have to be made, the structure of the site has to be both clarified and strengthened and I need to commit to a way of doing business that doesn't leave you feeling muddled and me permanently demented.
2. Why Are You Closing the Vintage Housekeeper's Circle Down?
When I set up the Vintage Housekeeper's Circle a few years ago, I did so with the intention of creating an inclusive community with accessible price-points set accordingly. To my mind that meant the option for my readers to split the cost of the annual membership in to twelve monthly payments. But sadly there has been wide spread abuse of this kindness and so many, apparently unscrupulous women have taken advantage of the monthly option, downloading absolutely everything I have created and then cancelling, usually within 24 hours.
As you can imagine this is hugely demoralising and it has been difficult to make the Circle profitable because of it. Unfortunately it has been my most loyal readers who have suffered most: in my efforts to keep BrocanteHome out of the red it hasn't been possible to create as much content as I would have liked for the Circle and I simply don't feel I can create or provide value in the future with the same business model without constantly having to compromise my work with the need to monetise it by other means.
I want to work with women who value what I write and use it to create a life less ordinary. Moving forward I want to work more closely with the women who are truly committed to embracing the BrocanteHome lifestyle. Who will talk to me if they can't afford to pay at any given time so I can work with them to find a solution. I want to meet them face to face via the wonders of modern technology, have proper conversations and discover what is at the heart of their domestic problems so that I can help them find a way forward...
Hence I have come up with two alternatives to the Circle. A low priced annual membership called The Living Room, offering access to a lovely calendar (you can currently view a sneak peek of the calendar at it's most basic here), directory, Facebook group and library of printables for the opening price of just £5.00/$7.00 per year and a premium offering called The Salon for those women who want to get to know me better via podcasts, webinars and an individual coaching session alongside the free gifts that will be access to ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING else I have created on the site.
3. What Will Happen to My Existing Circle Membership?
All those of you who are currently paying a monthly Circle fee, or have an existing annual membership of $99.00 will be allowed to continue to pay at the price you are currently doing so at, and that price will not change even after I have moved everybody from the Circle to the Salon: you will simply be getting better value for money at the same price you were paying.
If you have cancelled your membership or indeed let it lapse, you will need to sign up again for either the Living Room or The Salon if you want remain a member of my community.
4. What About Outstanding Downloads and Email Programs?
Recently I have had to put the creation of all new work on hold while I concentrated on re-organising the business but please rest assured that these programs will commence shortly and if you were due receipt of anything from House Rules to the Better ME program you will be receiving it as predicted very shortly. This hiatus has been temporary and normal delivery and blogging schedule will resume in the next two weeks.
5. Why Are Some of the Pages On the Site Not Working?
As I have been working hard re-structuring the site I have been popping up "placeholders" in the form of links and images that may not be working yet, simply so that I can understand the flow of the site and understand what needs to be done next as I work through it.
As we recently had the catastrophe that was significant hacking by a Japanese site I was loathe to take the site down again in case it seemed as if BrocanteHome was never online! And so I chose to present you with a work in progress safe in the knowledge that each time you visit my vision for the site will become a little clearer.
6. Ugh. I Feel Overwhelmed.
Me too! Which is why I spent last Friday putting together a new "Start Here" page which summarises all aspects of the new BrocanteHome and sets out my vision for the site and who I think it will benefit in the future.
Brocante has been online for twelve years and there is a lot of content for the new visitor to take in and indeed for long-term readers to fathom, so I hope this new page will act as a road-map of sorts for all of us.
7. So What Else Is New?
Oooh muchly! But one of the most important changes means I have listened to something you have been requesting for twelve years and I have finally made it possible for both American and British readers to shop in their own currencies. Though Paypal automagically converts your currency for you, I know many of you weren't comfortable shopping in another currency and so now I have two mirrored shops: One with my products sold in the British pound and another (currently in the midst of completion) with my products sold in dollars. I hope, moving forward, you will consider this a useful development.
8. When Will the Site Be Completed?
The Living Room Launches on May 9th and The Salon on May 20th and I will be helping existing members to move over in the next two weeks. As both are new, I am offering great deals on the launch annual price for both, with early-bird annual pricing of just $7.00 for the Living Room (half-price!) and a huuge $30.00 discount off the annual price for The Salon if you sign up before their respective launch dates.
Finally I want to thank those of you who have always supported me. You are the reason BrocanteHome still exists and you are the reason why now that life is a calmer place to be for me and my family, I am absolutely determined to create the site you have long deserved.