The New Website and a Post-Hiatus Update

Hello and welcome to Herstory's brand new website...! 

I've been working away this year with some friends on this rebuild and am really excited to finally reveal it to you. I thoroughly enjoyed building Herstory Mk1 from scratch, however, as time has gone on I've realised that it needed a bit of pepping up. The new site is designed to be more interactive with social media sharing buttons, 'pinning' buttons, and comments. Go ahead and get these stories out there, a.k.a help me spread the word! I also asked my talented friend Lauren Taylor to create illustrations of women doing different activities and wearing different 'hats', so to speak. She also added some fun bits of colour which I've brought through the whole website. The site is designed to be fun and uplifting, and I have front-end developer Andrew Nicholas to thank for helping that vision become a reality. And finally, a big thank you to Kim Pflaum who designed the new logo.

After a wee hiatus post-university, I'm gaining more confidence and excitement for this project, and I have recently started interviewing and photographing an Intellectual Property Lawyer to feature on the site. I got in touch with her recently as I was after some help with my commercial business. I'd met her a year earlier at a Ministry of Awesome event in Christchurch and had found her incredibly approachable. As we were talking on the phone, she opened up about her working and family life, and I thought wow, here's a story! A week or two later we met for coffee and decided yes, we needed her story on Herstory.

Here's an image I love from our first photoshoot:

In the mean time I have been working at a Graphic Design studio which has enabled me to get a feel for the real world after spending 5 years studying. I also launched my own commercial photography business and have since experienced the highs and lows associated with running a biz. My hope for the commercial side is to weave through my passion for Herstory and women. In other words, I would love to photograph women to help them promote their businesses, or to photograph them in a Herstory style to document other aspects of their lives. I still feel like it's a big jump for women to feel OK about promoting themselves, and I would like to make that process easier (and more fun!). So anyway, I've got four clients coming up who fit the bill, so here goes! 

You will have noticed that I've added a Paypal button to the site. After much consideration and thought, I've decided this is the best way to potentially create a little income so I can pay for website hosting and other costs. At the moment, Herstory's costs come out of my personal account, so it would be wonderful to make it self-sufficient. I am asking the people who love and gain from Herstory's content to contribute a little (or a lot) to keep this ship sailing. 

That's it from me for now! It's lovely to be back, and lovely to have you visit. If you're in Christchurch and you want to catch up, flick us a line on the contact page. If there's any specific content or stories you want to see on here, again, just get in touch.

Chrissy x

Yaakov Israel

I love this body of work, especially this photo. I don't think I need to explain why!

"Religious, social aspects filter into everyday life and their meanings are exposed as the journey moves on. Jewish missionaries, lost souls and individuals living in the fringes of the society: all blends in to form this landscape of humanity. "

Yaakov Israel 2011

Identity key words

I’ve just started reading Womankind Mag online and have found a number of thought provoking articles. Short, sweet and simple writing to explain complex ideas… That’s my kind of writing!

The way we define ourselves has altered over time, and probably not for the better. Today we classify ourselves into groups – norms and averages – like sociologists. “Mother, part-time graphic designer, photographer.” We don’t think of ourselves as pursuing an ideal, or a standard of perfection or excellence. We are not what we wish to be, only what we already are.

This idea of ‘identity key words’ - the words we use to describe ourselves via social media is one I’ve been doing a bit of thinking about in relation to the herstory website. It’s actually been a running conversation I’ve had with my tutors for the entirety of this project, albeit framed in a slightly different way.

This article has caused me to start thinking again about how I label people on the herstory website.

On the homepage each women is presented through a portrait with a caption that titles her first name and job title:

There are obvious reasons for doing this. Firstly, the website is about exploring different career paths. In order for people to quickly understand what they’re about to read, it’s easy to simply label each person by their job title. I include their first names in there too because they are ‘them’ first, and their job second. If it were to just say ‘Musician’, she would seem more wholly defined by her job than anything else. And we all know (and hope) that isn’t the case. 

After reading that article about our simplified use of identity key words, I feel unsatisfied by the way I’ve labelled each person. Although I have justifications in the way I’ve done it, I’m not sure it suffices.

This is mainly because the stories I’ve written aren’t just about the fact that she does this job, she does this hobby, and she is this ‘kind’ of person. 

The stories explore her past, her present, her future. She has this job, yes, but she also has big dreams for her future and for her family. 

Maybe I’m still figuring out exactly what this website is about and whatherstory's elevator pitch is. I'm willing to explore that and admit that this isn't entirely clear to me yet, which you might be able to tell from the way I'm writing about this!

We don’t think of ourselves as pursuing an ideal, or a standard of perfection or excellence. We are not what we wish to be, only what we already are.