We collect the best brands made by women over 40 in fashion, home decor, beauty products, and lifestyle items, offering a unique way to shop and find things you love while supporting your peers. Let us provide you with inspiration, excitement, and satisfaction with just the one item that stands out.
This community originated from my love for photography, fashion, lifestyle, and consciousness. After I turned 40, I started to miss inspiring websites with coolness and authenticity towards aging.
It’s 2018; I’m sitting on a Thai beach with my then 3-year-old son during a 3-month winter break away from home. Dutch winters can last forever.
I went to Thailand for a reason. Becoming a mother at 40 turned my whole life upside down. I lost a part of myself but didn’t want that part back; I wanted, next to my newly acquired motherhood, a new professional purpose for the second part of my life.
People regularly ask me what made me start ANDBLOOM, and I always say it was born out of a lack. I didn’t understand where all the extraordinary women went after turning 40. While sitting in Thailand on the beach, looking for online inspiration from the women who preceded me, I saw the opportunity.
I’ve worked in media for 30 years, and I’ve only started to see some mainstream media represent the people and conversations I want to see in the last couple of years. I wanted a place to read women’s stories, a place to see real women living their lives positively, a place to inspire, and a place of realness and agelessness. And at the time, that didn’t really exist. I thought, ‘Why not me?’
The community you can build on social media is so instant, so intimate.
AndBloom began more as a digital portrait project. In the early years, I photographed the women who crossed my path and gave them a makeover through makeup and styling to inspire my followers.
I became more visible within my community when Covid descended on us because I was no longer allowed to portray. With the rise of social media, AndBloom has become a social-first space with nearly 370,000 Instagram followers. The community you can build on social media is so instant and intimate. The audience is worldwide based, between the ages of 35 and 100, and 97% women.
One of my favorite things is how they “self-community-manage”. If a troll or incel comments nonsense, they respond so quickly and eloquently that I rarely have to step in. Being a public female always triggers some critique, which can take its toll. Still, my mental health feels protected, thanks to the community’s support.
Building an authentic audience is challenging with so much competition. You can use every algorithm trick and a new feature – but if your message isn’t vital and your content hasn’t got the point of difference, it’ll be tricky to grow. People can tell when your message is inauthentic.
From the outset, I never had a ‘goal’ for AndBloom, never wanted a certain number of followers, or had plans to monetize; everything has been done from the heart rather than from some commercial machine. All portraits I made were free of charge for the women. I wanted them in front of the lens, without money in between. And I wanted to portray the women I had in mind. Of course, from the start, I daydreamed about what it would be like to make AndBloom my job, but partly due to Covid, it seemed to only work out for a short time.
Something that is often forgotten in a time when people can go viral overnight or get instant success is that this is different for most people. AndBloom has grown steadily, slowly, and consistently for over five years. I’ve learned so much about my own aging journey; the community and the followers have changed with me.
Five years after the first portrait, I reflect on an inspiring time. There is now a book, a large online community of age-positive women, and a website, and we are embarking on a new adventure. The growth of AndBloom is partly due to the followers who clearly indicate their needs and interests. We are ready to take the next step and give women a platform to be themselves and show more of themselves in terms of talent.
There is a need for a place for women made by women who are in the same phase of life. AndBloom is all about the inspiration for women over 40 because the second half is different but also fun, exciting, and captivating.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I accept myself as I age?
Accepting yourself as you age means being content with who you are, regardless of your age. It is essential to focus on the positive aspects of growing older, such as the wisdom and insight gained from life experiences and being compassionate and accepting towards yourself.
How do I stay positive as I age?
To stay positive as you age, adopting a “growth mindset” can be helpful – viewing challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. Focusing on what you can control, such as nourishing your body and mind with healthy activities, can help you remain positive. Additionally, connecting with people on a deeper level and accepting social support can help you stay positive in your aging journey.
How do I care for my body and mind as I age?
To care for your body and mind as you age, engage in activities promoting physical and mental wellness. Eating a balanced diet and staying active can help you maintain good physical health, while meditation and journaling can help boost your mental health. Additionally, it can be helpful to schedule regular medical check-ups to ensure that any health concerns are identified and managed.
How can I boost my self-confidence as I age?
Building self-confidence as you age can be achieved by honoring and loving yourself. Practicing self-care activities, such as setting boundaries and pursuing activities that bring you joy, can help you feel more confident in who you are. Additionally, having a positive self-image and recognizing your accomplishments can help you better accept and love yourself as you age.