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Conversations with the Inspiring Lauren Massarella and Michelle Anderson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren Massarella and Michelle Anderson.

Lauren and Michelle, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
We created our blog, The Sister Project, in 2015 with the intention of sharing anything and everything our little hearts desired. For three years we blogged on a very wide range of topics from mom stuff and recipes, to vacations we went on and fashion. We also wrote and shared about our mom’s diagnosis of a rare form of dementia called frontotemporal dementia (FTD). We shared our grief, the steps we have taken to make her life more comfortable, and advice for those going thru the same as us.

In 2018, we took a creative hiatus. We needed to take a moment and a step back to look deeper into what we wanted to share. Plus, it was time to give our website a major makeover. During this break from blogging, we came about the word and Danish lifestyle concept “hygge.” Once we learned more about this glorious way of living, we realized that we were indeed raised in a very hygge household – all thanks to our mom, June. Her love for all things cozy and her admiration for the Midwest’s four seasons was strongly passed down to us. Because of our mom, we too, have fallen in love with creating a warm, cozy environment in which we live in.

We use our blog not only to celebrate our love for the hygge lifestyle but to also raise awareness for this increasingly tragic and heartbreaking disease our mother lives with daily. The more we write about dementia and the struggle, the more we realize we are far from alone in this journey. Our community grows daily as well as our drive to educate our readers about FTD. A disease that we hear is so rare, yet so many people come to us saying they too, have a loved one with this form of dementia. We are on a mission.

The Sister Project is our outlet for creativity and awareness. We hope to inspire readers to find time to disconnect from the incredibly busy lives we have and to enjoy the simple things and moments in life. It’s the hygge way.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Like a lot of things in life, having a blog and social media presence has not been a smooth road. We’ve had some bumps along the way. There are some major learning curves when it comes to managing a blog and figuring out how the hell Instagram and it’s algorithm works. Now, that’s a struggle.

The single best advice we got when we first started our blog and are so happy to pass on to anyone looking to do the same… one word… consistency. In order to build a following and a community of readers, you need to write, post and deliver on a very regular basis. It will help drive traffic and keep your readers coming back for more. Consistency is hands down, one of the best ways to build your community. That and being true to who you are. Be authentic.

What should we know about The Sister Project Blog? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We are really proud of our authenticity. Our blog is exactly how we would be having a conversation with you if we were speaking in person because we feel that it is imperative we use our most authentic voice. That has really helped us connect with our readers on a deeper level. We want people to know who we really are and what we are really like. That’s the point of a blog, after all.

Along with sharing our hygge lifestyle of well being and cozy living with our readers and the world, we share our journey with dementia. Our mom was diagnosed in 2015 with FTD (frontotemporal dementia), the same year we began our blog. We did not anticipate that we would share this tragic turn of events, but we found that writing about our journey was extremely therapeutic. We also discovered that there are so many individuals and families that are affected by this terrible disease. Our blog has helped us and others connect. It helps us all feel less alone.

What sets us apart from other lifestyle bloggers? Our mission. Our need and want to raise awareness for dementia. We have created a platform where we are able to share our favorite recipes from growing up as well as share our journey with this disease.

Do you have a lesson or advice you’d like to share with young women just starting out?
Follow your dreams and dream big. Whatever it is you want to do in life, do it. We all get one shot at this thing called life and if there is something you are looking to change, improve or explore – do it! Do it for you and for nobody else.

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.thesisterprojectblog.com
  • Email: contact@thesisterprojectblog.com
  • Instagram: @thesisterproj
  • Facebook: The Sister Project / @thesisterproj


Image Credit:
Alisha Tova Photography, Alina Tsvor

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Meg

    January 11, 2019 at 4:13 am

    Love The sister project!

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