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Reflecting on 2017; Looking to 2018

(Please note that this post contains affiliate links – LucyCorsetry may earn a small commission on Amazon and Etsy purchases made through the following links.)

Today marks six years to the day since I first created

I admit, at the time I dragged my heels about making it in the first place. My then-boyfriend and several of my online friends had been encouraging me to create a public blog for many months, but I didn’t see the point of it at the time. Back in 2012, Youtube was still profitable (not so much anymore) and I saw having a website as just a way to divide (and thus dilute) my time, energy, and audience.

Finally, I was convinced that a blog would help organize my content and make it more easily searchable, plus it could provide useful transcripts for followers who were hard of hearing and couldn’t make the most of my Youtube vids (2012 was still a time when automatic Youtube Closed Captions were… hilariously inaccurate, to say the least).

January 5th, 2012 was the day that I “bit the bullet” and created this site… and it’s been a bit of a wild ride ever since.

Every New Year since then, I’ve written a personal post about my successes, failures and lessons from the previous year. Click any of the links below if you’re interested in reading my previous posts (which may give more context to this year):

A Focus on Weight and Health

A rather overexposed photo of my Lifespan Fitness Treadmill Desk – my new work space as of late 2016. (This investment changed my life.)

After several years of burning the candle at both ends, I suffered a serious case of burnout in late 2016, following my nutrition graduation. 2017 was the year that I was forced to address my health and prioritize my physical, mental and emotional needs. In less than 6 months I ended up losing 42 lbs (19 kg / 3 st) by treating myself as my own nutrition client and walking an average of 3.5 hours a day at my treadmill desk.

As a result, I was finally able to fit into (and thus review) corsets that I had purchased as far back as 2013, and I felt like a rock star at my family reunions and during several photoshoots this past summer!

While I had initially planned to vlog my weight loss journey on my secondary channel, in the end I chose to stay relatively quiet about it while I reassessed my motives, my personal definition of body positivity, and the kind of positive influence I wanted to have on my audience. In late 2017 I decided to deliberately gain back a little bit of weight in a healthy way, in order to increase my strength and normalize my cycles. I promise to talk about my personal journey in a series of videos in 2018, now that I finally feel ready to do so.

67 videos and over 90 blog posts!

Once upon a time, I had a goal of creating over 100 videos a year. That was stopped in its tracks with a series of injuries starting in 2014, and what essentially became a year-long sabbatical while I was finishing up nutrition school through to 2016. I resolved to catch up as much as possible through 2017, and it was (mostly) successful. In 2017, I wrote over 90 blog posts (some were catch-up posts for videos as far back as 2015, many were for this year, and over 30 are for future posts in 2018). I also uploaded 67 Youtube videos in 2017 (my goal was 52 vids).

Corset Database was Launched

This is probably my proudest achievement of 2017. In reality, the Corset Database project had been incubating between Lori (Bound Angel Designs) and myself since 2014, but the realization was slow-going as we lacked the time, funding, and technical support to make it a reality. Once Sunny joined the team in early 2017, everything fell together quickly and Corset Database was launched in March!

Now Corset Database boasts 137 standard-size corset styles across 36 brands, suiting budgets from $15 to $650. Corsets can be filtered according to the rib spring and hip spring, your desired silhouette, shape of top or bottom edge, whether you need extended sizes (under 18″ or over 38″), location of the seller, or whether you plan to waist train or not.

As proud as I am of this database, I know that it can still use a lot of work to make it faster, better, stronger, and a more comprehensive resource, so I’ll be updating it with even more styles throughout 2018.

CAD: A New Skillset and New Opportunities

Corseting the 21C Body, written by Caroline Woollin (Corsets by Caroline)

In 2015 I collaborated with Timeless Trends to redesign their pre-existing corsets and create the curvier hourglass line.

In 2016 we released the Gemini corsets, which (to my knowledge) is the first of its kind – providing the option of either conical or cupped rib silhouettes for the same general style of corset, according to customers’ body types and taste.

In 2017 I was invited to create more designs for Timeless Trends, and with the help of Caroline Woollin’s expert instruction in her book, I was able to quickly pick up Computer Aided Design (CAD) as a pattern drafting tool. By mid-2017 TT and I finalized the patterns for the upcoming Gemini short-hip corsets (a hybrid between the current hourglass and Gemini corsets, bringing together the best of both worlds) as well as the brand-new Libra corset which is designed for a completely different body type! While production has been pushed back considerably due to factory disruptions, I’m assured that these new styles will be released in 2018!

Three Amazing Photoshoots with Rosalind Guder Photography

Model: Me (Lucy Corsetry), Photo: Rosalind Guder Photography, Corset: Corsetry & Romance, boots from Aldo, blouse and earrings from Vanyanis.

I completely acknowledge the absurdity of “shying away from the [still] camera” when I’ve been a consistent vlogger on Youtube for the past 7 years – but the truth is, I’ve somewhat avoided professional photoshoots between the years of 2014-2017 as I prioritized other projects (and again, with the weight gain in previous years, I didn’t feel quite like myself).

However, when Rosalind Guder contacted me and said that she would be in the Toronto area this summer, I just couldn’t pass up the chance of working with her! I gained a newfound confidence in June and July, working with Rosalind and modeling the amazing Bur Oak ensemble from L’Atelier de LaFleur, plus a few additional pieces from my personal corset collection.

Mina LaFleur herself pulled a few all-nighters and helped style the first of these three photoshoots, and was an amazing assistant the day of. It couldn’t have gone more perfectly, and we all made a fantastic team. It was incredibly fun and I can’t wait for the next time I can work with both Rosalind and Mina!

A Focus on Family

Tibby, my cockapoo, on her 15th birthday, July 2017 (with a smol blep)

In late 2016 I decided to try out 23andMe, and it was a fascinating and eye-opening experience in many ways. However, the most valuable part was finding some of my DNA relatives. Through these connections, my family found huge branches of our family tree, and especially a rich history of our East Indian side. Unfortunately we still know relatively little about our Ghanian, Chinese, and Aztec ancestry (largely due to adoption, Anglicization of names, etc), but we’re more optimistic than we were before, now that we’re in touch with many new cousins.

Throughout the summer and autumn of 2017, there were family reunions on both sides of the family – by pure serendipity, several cousins we had never met before (our ancestors lost touch decades ago, back in Jamaica) happened to also live right in the Toronto area!

In addition to finding new family this year, I also nourished the relationships with my pre-existing family, the family I’ve always known, and gave them higher priority in my life in 2017. I was bridesmaid (and emergency seamstress) to my cousin in her wedding this past year, and I cherished spending time with my siblings and cousins more this year than in previous years. Also, my dog Tibby will be 16 this coming year and due to her bladder schedule and various medications, I haven’t had a solid night’s sleep in well over a year – but I believe that pets are family to the very end, so sleep is a necessary sacrifice in order to comfort Tibby in what is very likely the last year of her life.

Plans for 2018

This is the part where I cringe a bit, because my intentions for 2018 aren’t that much different from my previous plans for 2017.

New Ebook – last year I had the intention of completing my new ebook (a buyer’s guide and beginner’s manual for the corset novice), which had incidentally also been on the back-burner since 2014. In fact, I first made the announcement for this in mid 2016 when I put my consultation service on hiatus! I can only imagine how embarrassed I might be by the contents of that book had I released it in 2014 as intended, as I’ve learned so much more about corsets in the past 4 years. However, it’s gotten to the point where I feel as though it’s a disservice to “hoard” corset knowledge, even though it was through fear of embarrassment that kept much of this under wraps in the past. I have an obligation to share what I know, so this guide will be of higher priority in 2018.

New Videos – there are also videos that I’ve been afraid to film in previous years: research that pertains to Physical Effects of Corseting; more fitting advice; more sewing, alteration, and repair tutorials – the time-consuming and difficult topics! I will also be branching out my video topics in 2018. As I approach the 6-figure subscriber mark, I’m learning how important it is to diversify. I know that followers are also interested in my nutrition videos and haircare videos, as well as more fun and light-hearted fashion videos. I’ve already finalized the 2018’s video lineup, and it’s going to be amazing.

Solaced in Paperback – …. *sigh* I’m ashamed about how long it’s taken to get this finished. Solaced as an ebook has been out for 1.5 years now, and the paperback is beyond late. While there were some hiccups along the way (the person I had chosen to design the internal layout of the book couldn’t follow through; plus I made the choice to replace some stories, and finally dealt with a piracy issue later in the year), at some point I have to acknowledge that finished is better than perfect. I resolve that Solaced will be out in paperback in 2018.

New Timeless Trends Corsets – another resolution from 2017, I had resolved to design more OTR corsets for customers who have neglected / under-served body types within the corset community. The difference this year is that I’ve already done my part of the design process, and I’m excitedly waiting for production of the Gem-short hip and the Libra corsets!

Tying Up Loose Ends – this year I’m “going back to school” again! I clearly have an issue where I can’t stay out of school (don’t worry, I’m not going on sabbatical again this year)! The difference is that these nutrition CEUs are self-led and can be completed as my schedule allows. I’m also much more organized and disciplined than I was two years ago, and have better stamina regarding spinning multiple plates. (Hopefully.)

More Giveaways! – as I approach 100 000 subscribers on Youtube, I’m compelled to give back to this amazing community. In 2017 I had relatively few corset contests and giveaways, and I would like to do more giveaways across all my social media in 2018, including a huge one once I reach the 100k mark!

Here is to an amazing 2018 for all of us. Thank you for sticking with me for the past six years, and I hope to make the corset community proud this year.

What are your goals, hopes and intentions for 2018? Leave a comment below, I would love to know!

9 thoughts on “Reflecting on 2017; Looking to 2018

  1. Excited to hear that one of the patterns will be a short hip version of the Gemini (length is the major reason I haven’t yet tried one, the other being an allergy to wool as I’d be more likely to wear black over the cream version). And also intrigued about the Libra – can’t wait for more info on that! Glad to see the Gemini starting to get more colour options as it’s such a beautiful pattern it really deserves having just as many fabric choices as the other styles TT offer.

    My own goals for the year aren’t particularly concrete. I’ve never been good with setting goals or writing “action plans” because I really struggle with working out how to break a larger goal down into smaller steps and how to figure out how much time is appropriate to spend on each (or how much might reasonably be expected to be required). Then I struggle with knowing how to reward myself too! So it usually just too overwhelming to think about.

    I received an additional diagnosis this January of Asperger’s so now am planning to find resources to help me cope with that better and also looking into accepting certain parts of myself better like my need to stim and putting myself first more in terms of my environmental requirements to minimise my sensory issues so I suffer fewer shutdowns/meltdowns.

    I’m also going to try and prioritise my physical health more. I have issues with hypermobile joints and it’s basically been something I’ve almost used as an excuse for not doing more because I am afraid of damaging myself doing things I have no idea how to do. I now know that some of my issues are with proprioception and as I have the hypermobility, that’s a particularly bad combination. Instead of just doing nothing though, I’m going to try to get my doctor to refer me to a physiotherapist so that I can get a better understanding of my range of movement and what it should be and have them work out an appropriate set of strengthening tasks to help my muscles support my joints. That way I can start getting fitter again without damaging myself and giving up before I have made any progress.

    I have discovered my body type (turns out I’m an ectomorph) and that my old “natural” grazing habit was actually best for me. So I’m now planning to work towards eating more meals per day rather than just the 2-3 big meals that’s been common the past few years. It just doesn’t agree with me! I already managed to lose 6lbs over Christmas allowing myself to graze. And that’s without adding any exercise in.

    And then also prioritising my mental health and really fighting to get the talking therapy I know I’ve needed for too many years (at least 26yrs!). I tried before with little success but have now learnt how you are meant to explain your symptoms (with examples of how it impacts you, rather than what I did before which was just list them an expert the doctor to ask follow up questions). It’s time to finally kill the cPTSD (as much as is possible). I can’t keep taking Jo for an answer when asking for treatment.

    So that’s basically it. In previous years I was all about focusing on wanting to make corsets and set up a business but it’s honestly not a possibility until I’ve worked on the basics first. Without focusing on my health, I’d only be setting myself up for failure and though I’m used to that, I need some positive results in my life. So I’m not allowing myself to set goals related to corset making until I have made enough progress on *myself* that it will be a viable option. I spent too long beating myself up for not already being a corsetiere when I wasn’t even able to consistently do the basics like have a shower/bath at least once per week!

    I’ve made great progress (for me) on building up a schedule. Im using Habitica to provide instant “reward” when I complete tasks which is helping slowly to build up my confidence that I can do this. I’m allowing myself “down days” rather than punishing myself if my mental health plays up. I’m allowed rests after doing anything draining like socialising/going into town. I’m writing a bullet journal style diary recording things done rather than things still to do to build up my ability to see the little things as successes too. It’s hard work, but I’m noticing little changes. I’m allowing myself to do things my way rather than getting annoyed that the “positive affirmations” helpful to others don’t work for me. I’m totally ignoring the CBT they tried to teach me in the group which only worsened my mental health when trying it (especially considering a lot of my root beliefs came from childhood trauma and believing what my parents said about not “faulty thinking” – so the “what would others say to you about x” bit of CBT always said I was a terrible person – not at all helpful!). So now I am working on my own set of principles and how I think I’d be most likely to “heal” rather than just trying to follow something which studies have shown don’t work well in complex comorbid conditions especially if unmedicated/in an episode. But which they always want you to try because it is cheaper than therapy!

    Anyway I’m making some kind of progress so that’s good. About time at age 30 right?! 😉

    1. Urgh I hate autocorrect so much. It looks like I made so many typos but it was just autocorrect being a jerk and switching words when I press space. Fffff

  2. Whether you know it or not, you make us cry,make us smile,make us laugh, somehow teach us along the way. Continue being you and we will continue to follow you to the ends of the world. May each day be better than the last and May there be many more days of sunshine.

    1. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Heather <3

  3. Fabulous update and so happy to see you feel like you’re back on course, especially with your health. So sorry about Tibby – of course pets are family and I know you’ll make the most of what little time you have together. Can’t wait to see what comes up this next year, and also, would love more about the nutrition (related or not to corsets). Finally, sign me up for a paperback version of Solaced, as I’ve LOVED the e-book and want a hard copy (or four) to enjoy and share with friends and family!

    1. Thank you so much, Marla! :)

  4. I enjoyed reading your reflection. Thanks for taking the time to be such a wonderful learning resource. Here’s to another year!

  5. Your dog is beautiful. <3 She looks healthy for 15 – her coat and eyes are bright and shiny, and she's holding her head up high. I understand cutting back on your internet activity to spend time with a friend who won't be around for much longer.

    1. Thank you Emily!

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