dearest readers, i’ve been writing sfgirlbybay since 2006, and to be quite honest, i must admit to a bit of burnout. as you may have seen on instagram, i turn 65 in may (insert mind-blown emoji here), and i’ve come to the realization that the rapidly evolving, fast-paced swiping of the internet these days may no longer fit the content i’ve been providing you with for almost two decades. time marches on at a very quick pace these days.

i was going to retire my substack all together, but instead, i think i’d like to change it up. i’d like to make it more intimate, perhaps writing what would be more of a personal journal, but still sharing what i’m passionate about in all areas of life — from interior design and vintage finds, to fashion, film, reading recs, and especially worldwide travel and city guides. i’ll have more time to travel as i slowly meander into semi-retirement so photographing and sharing those journeys, big and small, have always, and will be, fun and hopefully, valuable to you. so i’ll be continuing to post the topics that have always piqued your interest here, but in a more journal-like format.

i love sharing with you all so much, and have no idea how it would feel without you, but i suspect i’d have a considerable amount of mourning to do should i leave altogether (good thing i always wear funeral black), so i’m going to try and give this a go. i have over 21,000 subscribers here on substack, but only just over 1,200 are paid. that makes it very difficult to justify the many hours i put in daily and creatively into curating, researching, and writing these posts. therefore, it’s just not sustainable for me going forward — that’s just the basic math. i had hoped that by removing sponsorships, paid posts, and advertising, readers would enjoy the site more, and the subscriptions would help support the site, but it hasn’t worked out that way. i get it, in an ever-evolving internet, perhaps blogs as they existed for years are a thing of the past, and the world continually seems to be expressing a desire for something new and different. so i’m going to try to provide just that. we’ll see if you like it.

i’ll still be writing here on a regular basis but my posts will be more casual, more journal-like, more personal with my own photography, as well as other’s. i want to try out a new platform but stick with what feels most satisfying and authentic to me — and to you. so, i can’t tell you exactly what the new content will look like yet (working on that!) — but i do hope you’ll continue on this journey with me — and give me feedback on what you like and what you want more of. so instead of sending multiple newsletters to your inbox weekly, my plan is to condense them into one longer post — a journal entry with any number of topics shared.

i’d like to join and support this site

the other reason, and possibly the main one, as i mentioned, is that turning 65 means it’s simply just time to change things up. i’ve been mulling this over for a while now, but as we all know, the internet and social media have changed dramatically over the course of their existence, especially lately. with cancel culture, toxicity in politics, and algorithms we can’t even begin to compete with, growing a business has become more than challenging and sometimes just downright discouraging. but they haven’t deterred me entirely, at least not yet. i trudge on happily optimistic, and hopefully, you’ll like the changes i’ll soon present.

on to my main concern — which is that no one feels misled over payments for subscriptions. free and monthly subscribers won’t be affected because if you’re not into what i’m posting, you can stop your subscription at any time. but if you paid for an annual subscription and you’d like a pro-rated refund, i’m happy to refund any remaining time left on your annual subscription plan. that’s the least i can do to honor your kind support and loyal contributions to the blog — but i do hope you’ll give my new format a chance.

and finally, as i said, this is not goodbye, just something a little different. i’ll be here, putting my heart and soul into my substack posts and hopefully providing you with a more personal outlook. if you have any questions at all, please comment here, or reach out via dm’s on substack, and i’ll get back to you right away. for eighteen inspiring years, design blogging has been my happiest passion and i hope to continue with you for as long as you’ll have me. let’s give it a try, shall we?

much love, victoria x

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• photography credits: all photos by victoria smith.

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