the part two that you see today was not necessarily the original plan. It took years of mulling over and then additional months of reinvigorated, purposeful implementation to get to launch.
Ever since becoming friends in high school, "Co-Everything" Founders Alicia Dutkiewicz and Sydney Septoski have always found reasons to work on things together. From class assignments and multiple state competitions to a long-running blog and countless other side projects, they have used their like-mindedness, creative skills, and natural synergy to their advantage and as motivation to continue working together, even while attending different colleges and eventually in their post-grad lives. It was only a matter of time before the two realized that their shared interests and personalities could be used to build something long lasting.
Given the vision it has come to be based around, it is kind of ironic and also fitting that the part two began as a new chapter. After a few years of running an everything-under-the-sun blog called We Think Therefore We Create (now referred to as “the part one” for all intents and purposes) that had posts on travel, music, beauty, crafts, and the like, Alicia and Sydney decided they needed some change. Though they had fun interviewing up-and-coming bands, designing graphics, and sharing their ideas and photos online, all of which was very time consuming—especially in their late high school and early college years.
Rather than giving up on their joint project completely, there was always talk of rebranding or decreasing the scope of the part one. That’s initially where the name of the site came from: the part two was originally meant to just serve as a second try or placeholder for a new blog until "something better" came along, but the name instead stuck through multiple shifts in Sydney and Alicia's vision for a new piece of ‘online real estate’ and deciding to keep it actually ended up making the most sense in the end.
When conceptualizing what the part two should be about, the founders set out a few goals for themselves: to create an actual, expansive website, rather than just another blog, which they could brand as wholly their own; to continue generating the types of content they had liked doing the most in the past (such as interviewing cool people and exploring new places) and cut out the noise by having a more coherent message; to make their new site more collaborative and tailored to a more specific audience; and to really make it an inspiring and visually appealing experience for all that visited it.
The journey to their official launch was understandably a long one, filled with lots of detours and roadblocks. After the idea to narrow the focus on the site came back in 2016, the duo were only halfway through their college careers. However, the lack of free time and being in two different cities actually proved to be beneficial as it allowed for more time to brainstorm and perfect their vision. This project needed time to grow, and they needed to work through their ideas; otherwise if they had just jumped into it the part two would’ve turned into something very different or possibly nothing at all.
Fast forward to the start of 2018 when Sydney and Alicia's discussions started to center more on what they liked most: helping others, learning about other people's backgrounds, exploring new places, and trying new things. On top of this, for years, they continuously pointed out how there is a lot of content topics missing online that they knew they always wanted to see and that other people like them could benefit from.
This also was at a time when lots of life changes had already begun. They were heavily influenced by the fact that they were entering the real world without a clear path on how to make their goals happen. Alicia had just graduated early, but without a job offer; she was disheartened by her search for employment but also inspired by reaching out to and networking with professionals in her industry. Sydney was wrapping up her last semester of college, busy with clubs, classes, and figuring out her own professional aspirations. The notion of focusing on the excitement and confusion of this time that they and their peers were experiencing came from discussing the obstacles they were facing made the most sense.
The aha-moment came when they realized that "the part two" could hold a lot more meaning than just a second attempt at something. It actually evokes the excitement and curiosity around new beginnings. The two decided that they could make that the central point of their website and it wasn’t long before Alicia had created the base for their website design, which focused on stories and guide posts. From then on, the overall vision has remained unchanged.
Over the spring and summer of 2018, both used every ounce of free time they had to work on building up the site in the back-end, formulating their messaging and identity, writing their own content, interviewing fellow millennials, sharing their ideas and receiving feedback from peers, and seeking out potential contributors. The entire process was exhilarating, especially since they knew other people were becoming as invested in their project as they were. That is how it continued until the soft launch of their site design on September 2, 2018, and from then into the part two’s official launch with actual content on October 22, 2018, and hopefully how it will always be.
Because the part two is meant to be a collaborative effort, Alicia and Sydney currently share almost all responsibilities of site ownership and curation, including website design, content generation, social media management, and interviewing. They also both recruit new content guest writers, co-edit each post, and always keep on the lookout for new opportunities. You can connect with them on their personal Instagram and LinkedIn accounts.