Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays to you from The American Classic. Around this time of year we typically spend a lot of time in Missouri, Colorado, and Pennsylvania; this year we’re keeping it St. Louis exclusive while returning home to Los Angeles just in time for the new year. Given my location, I have an inordinate amount of time to work on our annual report so hopefully this one will be as insightful for you all as it is for me. This year has been an interesting one for us. We’ve been absolutely slammed working on some very cool projects with very cool creative companies around the country leaving us the least amount of spare time to work on The American Classic since we started measuring our analytics in 2010. We’ve steadily reduced our features on this site by an average of 14 articles year-after-year for the past four years; this is somewhat intentional and somewhat just a product of focusing our collective attention on a lot of projects all at once. In 2012, I refocused all of our effort on “quality, not quantity” for 2013 and that year we trimmed the fat by 53%, losing unnecessary and somewhat forced article series designed to be low effort grabs at gaining followers. In 2013 alone, we had more visitors, views, and new followers than all of the previous years combined. Less content, better content, more engagement. This was incredible. Everything we hoped to gain out of cutting our publication worked perfectly and we were happier, being able to generate 100% of our own creative. We stopped using content from other providers, focusing solely on creating our own stuff for use on our own site. This decision alone cost us at least 10 articles that year, the remainder of missing articles made up entirely by ones we consciously chose to cut.

This year The American Classic featured 7 individual brands with an unprecedented average of 3 items featured per brand. We featured 6 different shops in 4 different states and visited at lest two dozen more than what you see here. Looking in to 2015, we already have 6 articles written in-full, just needing the photographic content to piece the whole thing together. As I write this, there are still one or two articles set to release in 2014 before the year is up and we’re looking forward to seeing those close out our year.

Our Instagram account had insane growth this year, thanks in large part to the kind dudes over at Snake Oil Provisions. The two photos I shot of them this year alone make up our most popular photos on Instagram since we started our account. We more than doubled our following this year, which comes on the tail of 500% growth in 2013, which I’m very proud of. While this site is our bread and butter, I’m happy to see such exponential growth in another medium for us.

2014 was a year that took a little more re-tooling and re-focusing. I upgraded all of my camera equipment which yielded some amazing photos but also left me shooting on outside projects so much of the time. This is great for my professional life and terrible for The American Classic. The mantra for 2013 was “trim the fat; quality over quantity”. The mantra for 2014 was “maintain” which we certainly could have done a better job of. Our mantra for 2015 is “growth while maintaining quality” and we’re excited to get started on some new programming in the early days of 2015. Be sure to click through all of the images below to see the articles or images on Instagram. Without further ado, here’s our top lists for 2014.

Our Top Posts of 2014:

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Our Top Instagram Photos of 2014:

Snake Oil Provisions in an alley. Long Beach, CA.

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Snake Oil Provisions in front of their shop. Long Beach, CA.

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Ray & Charles Eames Case Study House. Pacific Palisades, CA.

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Red Wing Iron Rangers at Lambert International Airport. St. Louis, MO.

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Red Wing Iron Rangers in a field. Montgomery, AL.

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