Farewell, Thankyou and New Beginnings
A farewell from Pretty Fluffy's original editor and founder, Serena Faber-Nelson.
Copy: Serena Faber-Nelson
Photography: Petal Photography
Pet lifestyle expert Serena Faber-Nelson is the founder of Pretty Fluffy. A contributor to Everyday with Rachael Ray, Modern Dog Magazine, Cesars Way and more; her modern, stylized take on DIY dog treats has seen her recipes viewed millions of times over.
Serena is the author of the go-to dog mom bible, Dog Mama, and the popular dog treat recipe book, Healthy Homemade Dog Treats.
In possibly the hardest post I have ever had to write, and with a bittersweet heart, today I am here to tell you I will leaving Pretty Fluffy at the end of 2020. I am overjoyed to announce that Pretty Fluffy will continue without me (and has SO many exciting things to come – more on that later!), however I am sad to say this post will be my last.
Pretty Fluffy started with a girl and her dog. That girl was me, and that dog was the black and white bundle of fluff you see on Pretty Fluffy’s logo – my forever muse – my Border Collie, Soda.
When Pretty Fluffy started a decade ago, I could have only dreamed that it grew into what it is today. When I started this blog back in 2010, there was no Instagram, no Pinterest and no such thing as an influencer. Pretty Fluffy literally started with just me, my laptop, and my love for all things ‘pretty’ and ‘fluffy’. I was working as a TV producer on quite an emotional documentary series based in a hospital. Each day I saw the fragility of life, and wanted to do something that put a bit of joy out into the world.
Blogs were starting to become mainstream, and while there were countless wedding, interior design and cooking blogs, there were very few pet blogs. Back in 2010, stylish dog products were hard to find – you often had a choice of functional brown pet accessories, or products covered in hot pink and sequins. I can remember spending hours trawling the internet and pet stores to find stylish, beautiful products to share on the blog, and bit by bit you, my readers, found us.
Pretty Fluffy was born to make life with your pet sweeter and easier. With a very particular aesthetic, I soon found a tribe of style conscious dog owners who loved their dogs like family. Our first tag line was “Live Your Best Life with Your Dog” – and we’ve never looked back. We became much more than a place to find cute pet products, but an online destination where all aspects of living well with pets was embraced. Over the course of 10 years, it’s been an absolute joy to watch the pet lifestyle and ‘dog mum’ industry explode. I like to think that Pretty Fluffy played a small part in making the world a more dog friendly place.
Throughout my 10 years at the helm of Pretty Fluffy, I’ve loved creating a space where kindness to animals is embraced. Some of the posts I’m most proud of to this day are The 13 Project – a post encouraging 13 acts of kindness towards animals, In Defence of Rescue Dogs – this one went viral and I hope led to many, many adoptions; and Superfoods for Dogs – first published back in 2013 (long before the fresh dog food delivery services we have today!) – this post introduced the idea of pet wellness to many of our readers, and their pups loved them for it! My all time most popular post still remains the closet to my heart: How to Prepare Your Dog for a Baby (A Dog Lovers Guide). I wrote this post when pregnant with my first baby, and was appalled by how many parent guides treated dogs as a troublesome piece of furniture to be discarded outside when the baby came along. It seemed like many of you agreed with me that, with a little effort, we can have fur-babies and real life babies living happily side by side.
Each new addition to the blog saw me welcome new readers. My first ever dog treat recipe went live in January 2012 and was an instant hit. In the eight years that followed I’ve published countless recipes, authored two ebooks, and most recently became a published author with the hardcover dog treat recipe book Healthy Homemade Dog Treats. From our much loved DIY Projects, to Home Tours, Desktop Wallpapers, Gift Guides and more, I can honestly say every post I have ever written came from the heart and it was always a thrill to press ‘Publish’.
From the early days of saying “oh my gosh, I got 100 visitors to my blog today!”, to when we clocked our first million hits, I can genuinely say it’s always been the direct contact from you – my readers – that has meant the most to me. I’ve loved chatting with each and every one of you – on socials, in comments back in the day, on DMs or emails. From people who tried cooking dog treats for the first time and thanked me for making them easy (my rule is always, if I can do it – you can do it!), to new mums who wrote to me telling me they cried tears of relief when they read my ‘How to Prepare Your Dog for a Baby’ post, to the general messages of love, support and gratitude that have found me over the past 10 years. I can say hand on heart, each and every one has made my day.
I couldn’t possibly farewell my time at Pretty Fluffy without mentioning the people that made it great. To my husband and family who supported me every step of the way, thankyou.
To Sarah Dickerson, my trusty Pretty Fluffy sidekick and dear friend, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, for everything you have brought to Pretty Fluffy over the years. I can safely say, without Sarah, Pretty Fluffy wouldn’t be the site it is today. From creative direction, to thoughtfully crafted posts, and stunning photography, Sarah literally is a force of all things beautiful and graceful. A hilarious side note about Sarah and me – neither of us can sew to save our lives. So if you’ve ever wondered why there are so many ‘no-sew’ tutorials on Pretty Fluffy, now you know! Thankyou Sarah, for your work, your wisdom and your friendship – I’ll always be grateful for the world of blogs connecting us.
Developer and all round wonder woman, Madeleine Borgensen, has kept Pretty Fluffy afloat for years now and has not only made the site easy for you to use, she’s also fielded a high volume of random questions from me – as for someone who is the editor of a website, I really should be more tech savvy!
The decision to leave Pretty Fluffy has not been an easy one, and took many, many months to make. As many of you know, I said goodbye to my little furry soulmate, and the inspiration for Pretty Fluffy, Soda, at the end of 2014. In the years that followed, my family and commitments grew, and we also welcomed the beautiful Butterscotch into our home. Over the last two years, I was blessed to not only have my second daughter, but also was offered a two book deal which resulted in my two published books Healthy Homemade Dog Treats and Dog Mama. Upon creating these books, and approaching my 10 year anniversary with Pretty Fluffy, I felt unbelievably proud of my legacy and achievements, but also realised that it was time to say goodbye. While in my heart I will forever be a ‘crazy dog lady’, my life now is very different to the one I had 10 years ago when I created Pretty Fluffy. While I will forever have countless ideas for the blog and love connecting with you, my readers, I know now is the time to pass on my beautiful online baby to people who can nurture Pretty Fluffy and take it into the next decade.
And so what of Pretty Fluffy in 2021? I’m incredibly excited to say that I will be passing the reins over to the new editors, Katy and Shell – two dog mamas that I have known for years and know love Pretty Fluffy as much as I do.
You may recognise Katy and Shell as the lifestyle pet photographer and writer duo behind Melbourne-based Dogfolk Pet Photography. For over four years Katy and Shell have celebrated the special connection between dogs and their people, capturing beautiful family memories at home and sharing their love stories. I couldn’t have asked for more dog loving people, that have a commitment to creative content, and an eye for all things beautiful. I know they will take Pretty Fluffy to new heights in 2021 and beyond. Like a proud mum who is sending her children off to college, I will be stalking Pretty Fluffy and can’t wait to see all the new content, additions and surprises Katy and Shell have in store for us. I’ve already had a few little sneak peeks and I cannot wait for them to share what they’ve got planned for you all!
I have so many people to thank for supporting Pretty Fluffy over the years – 10 years of thank yous to be exact. To all the blogs that had me guest post in the early days, the bloggers who became life long friends, to the magazines that featured us, to the brands that advertised and worked with us (and literally allowed me to get up each day and create the content I do!) …to everyone that shared our articles, pins and stories… and finally to YOU – every reader that gave us your precious time. Thank you. Without you, there would be no Pretty Fluffy. I am eternally grateful for your support and for allowing me to be part of your lives for the last ten years.
I don’t like to say goodbye, so let’s say “see you soon”. For those of you that would like to follow along with me as I embark on new beginnings, you can always find me at my new Instagram account @serenafabernelson (there’ll be dogs, I can promise you that!)
So, from me, farewell and thank you. Thank you for letting me create a little corner of the world that is full of joy, beauty and puppies. It’s been my absolute pleasure. Please, give your dog a hug from me.
Much love always,
Copy: Serena Faber-Nelson
Photography: Petal Photography