A decade ago, in 2008, I founded Ivy-Style.com. A couple of years later, I announced the 2.0 version, live from New York. And now on this Independence Day 2018 — 1,800 posts and 50,000 comments later — I’d like to announce the next stage of the site, Ivy Style 3.0. We have reached a crossroads, and can either fall back or march forward. But for the latter, I’ll need your help.
Besides its faithful readers, Ivy Style depends on its loyal advertisers, many of which have been supporters since the site’s beginning. I keep rates reasonable to give these small companies the opportunity to reach a niche consumer. But the media landscape is ever-shifting, and earlier this year — as part of a larger Internet trend — we lost a significant number of display advertisers. As one of the few men’s style bloggers from a traditional journalism background, I don’t sell editorial space or take commissions on things I link to, nor do I resort to annoying pop-up ads for products unsuited to your tastes. And I’d rather spend my time writing and editing rather than prospecting clients or processing credit cards and shipping packages. Then there’s the growing cost of running Ivy Style’s New York headquarters (that’s a joke: there is none), maintaining its health plan (another joke), and paying for tech support, which is no joke. So I can either budget more time for other gigs, or refocus on what I do best, and which nobody else does quite the same, and that’s entertain and inform the readership of Ivy Style.
But to do that, I think the way forward is the model that drove public radio over the decades, and great artists over the centuries, and that’s the noble tradition of patronage. Which means I need true fans to make like the guy in the image above (except with better collar roll).
For those of you who haven’t heard of Patreon, it’s a hugely popular website through which independent creatives can harness support from fans. You become a patron by signing up and pledging a monthly donation in the amount of your choosing. If enjoy Ivy Style’s content and would rather get new content more like every day rather than three times per week, sign up right here and pledge your support.
As an independent creative, I’m very fortunate to have a loyal audience, and I’m aware of the responsibility that comes with it. In turn, I hope you understand the challenges in consistently producing quality content. Just as trad is a timeless look that never goes out of style, I hope that we can continue indefinitely. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD