If youd told me five years ago that my brand-new lingerie obsession would have led to all this, I wouldnt have believed you. This time in 2008, I was a Sociology grad student in Athens, GA. Between reading, researching, and writing papers (and volunteering on the weekends), I started this blog. There wasnt a plan. There wasnt a goal. There really wasnt even a point. I just saw a pretty pair of stockings, bought them on a whim, and, later (because my friends had absolutely no interest in listening to me go on and on about my legwear), decided to write a paragraph or two about them.
I dropped out of grad school a few months after that first blog post, backpacked across Europe, (you can find my short-lived blog about the trip here: 99 Days in Europe), and, upon returning, moved to Seattle and back into the non-profit industry. My specialty was crisis work, and over the next several years, I worked with survivors of violent crimes both adults and children. I wont say it was work I enjoyed (because that sounds a bit strange), but it was meaningful work. And I did like feeling like I was making a difference and helping to make the world a better place.
Unfortunately, I was also really stressed out all the time, and talking about lingerie became an easy, pretty, effortless escape from all the difficult situations I saw every single day. It was such a treat to come home from a hard day behind my desk, and immerse myself in the world of bras and panties for a few hours. You know the rest of the story after that. In 2011, I was able to start blogging full-time, and its entirely thanks to the support of my readers that I can be an entrepreneur with my dream business.
The Lingerie Addict has followed a non-traditional path to success a path Im deeply proud of. I started writing from the perspective of a consumer faced with tons of choices and very little real information to make decisions with. My goal, from the very beginning, has been to write the kind of lingerie blog I want to read one that not only talks trends and fashion but can also dig a little deeper and discuss the lingering social and cultural issues that hover just beneath the surface. I hope my articles still resonate with you for those reasons. And even though the lingerie blogging landscape has changed beyond recognition since I started (most of the blogs that were around when I started have shut their doors), the last few years have produced the largest and most diverse group of lingerie bloggers that Ive ever known. And Im happy to call many of them my friends.
In the past five years, the blog has grown from being all about stockings (leave a comment if you remember Stockings Addict!) to a blog that deals with all facets of the lingerie industry. Diversity is and will continue to be one of the defining principles of The Lingerie Addict. My six columnists and I have covered lingerie from a diverse range of perspectives and we are all committed to expanding the blogs horizons even further. And I continue to be proud of TLAs No Body Snark policy, as I believe it creates a welcoming environment while we tackle difficult and personal social issues.
Some days, Im overwhelmed and amazed by how much people care for TLA. Between e-mails, tweets, and private notes on Facebook and Tumblr, Ive occasionally answered hundreds of messages from all of you who share my passionate feelings about lingerie. And I appreciate that passion this blog grew because of your passion. You shared the articles and tweeted about us and talked about us on Facebook. Im even more overwhelmed by how weve built a community of people here who believe that lingerie is for everyone regardless of size, budget, shape, ethnicity, or sexuality. The internet can be a difficult place, but all of you have made this place feel like home to me.
As of this month, TLA is read in more than 180 countries around the world. We get 150,000 visitors per month, and the blogs social media following is over 80,000 strong and growing. In the past couple of years, The Lingerie Addict has been featured on the websites for Vogue Italia, Time Magazine, The Today Show, Fox News and many more (that will never stop blowing my mind, by the way). And even though it may take a little longer now, I still try really hard to personally answer all the e-mails I get from readers.
Part of this weeks celebration is a ton of giveaways, and youll see those posts as they happen in the next few days. And the blog will also be getting a brand new look and a brand new logo to celebrate our fifth year. But those arent all the plans I have in mind. In the next year, Im looking at ways to make TLA even more interactive and create even more of a community space for all of you. Im also looking at ways to expand our coverage of social issues and how they effect the lingerie industry, as I believe its an important conversation to continue having.
Women tell me all the time how The Lingerie Addict has changed their life, but what I dont get to say as often as Id like is how much all of you have changed mine. Ive gone from crisis counselor to business owner, from confused consumer to The Lingerie Addict, and from living the life I had to to living the life I never dreamed I could have. None of that could have happened without you and, at risk of sounding too sentimental, I truly dont have the words to say how grateful I am.
What I do have, though, as I mentioned, are some fabulous giveaways to say Thank you! TLA favorites like Kiss Me Deadly, Elomi, Farr West, and Love Claudette have all stepped up to celebrate the occasion with us and to give back to all of you who have given so much to me. And unlike previous giveaways, these are planned to cover lingerie lovers of all shapes and sizes, so hopefully there will be something for everyone. Good luck to all of you, and I cant wait to show you whats in store for Year 6!
With love and affection,
Author: Cora Harrington