1) What inspired you to start your own fashion blog?
I have a lot of friends that would ask for advice on where to shop for certain things, what to pack for trips, what to wear to certain events, etc. I would send them detailed emails with all sorts of advice and wonder to myself if other people could use the same guidance. I’m a big lover of online inspiration, be it on Instagram or Pinterest (visual mediums). I’d been following a lot of different bloggers there and thought to myself “hey, I could do that, too!” but with my own spin.
2) What do you feel makes your blog different?
My blog’s tagline is “Life and Style For The Real Girl” and I truly believe that it isn’t about being the “every girl”, it’s about being real and true to yourself. My goal is always to provide my readers with a personal and honest perspective. Whenever I collaborate with brands or recommend products to my followers, I honestly like them; I’m not willing to sell out for a paid partnership. I also have a number of other writers who provide additional perspectives and expert advice in categories that I don’t know much about, but want my readers to have access to.
3) What keeps you motivated?
There are two main things that keep me motivated. First, it’s my readers. I love to engage with them and learn about what they’re looking for so I can provide solutions. Quite often an email from a reader asking something like “Where do I shop for resort wear that is age appropriate, inexpensive and still fashionable?” will turn into a blog post! The other thing that motivates me is that I am truly thankful to have the opportunity to do what I love full-time. Not everyone has the luxury of pursuing their passions, so I’m thankful for that every day – it’s what keeps me going.
4) What do you love about having your blog based in YYC?
I’ve lived in Calgary for almost 17 years now and have always loved the diverse fashion styles that a city as unique as ours allows for. Whether it be the wear-to-work styles that are different across industries, or the different cultural and ethnic differences across fashion that we have access to. There’s also the casual and outdoorsy sides of fashion because we’re so close to the mountains. The opportunities to dress up or dress down are endless here, maybe in a way that other cities don’t allow.
5) What can readers/followers expect to gain from your blog?
I always like to say that “I want the best of everything, but for $5”. In reality that translates to something along the lines of champagne taste but on a more reasonable budget. I want to provide fashion inspiration for my followers but at a price point that is accessible to them. I also like to include a lot of classic pieces in my looks that work from season to season because we don’t all have the money to be turning our entire wardrobe around a few times a year.
I offer personalized services through my website (link: https://www.styledtosparkle.com/services/) if readers are looking for one-on-one help or advice specific to their own style.
6) What are 3 things you think the general public doesn’t know or understand about the real work involved with being a successful fashion blogger?
Oh my – so many things! A curated Instagram feed and proper blog posts take a lot of time. There’s planning your outfits (and finding the pieces to create them), taking the photos and then editing the photos for optimum lighting and size. Writing the copy and finding inspiration are the easiest parts – it’s the composition and desktop publishing to make a relevant blog post that takes the real time and effort. It’s also risky putting yourself and your ideas out there because you don’t know how people are going to react.
7) Tell us one thing about yourself that most people wouldn’t know?
This is tricky because I’m pretty open about most things! I guess I would have to say that if you took one look at my Instagram feed, you wouldn’t know that I used to play hockey, that I love trap shooting or that I often leave the house without makeup on!
8) What is your hope for the online community in the next 5 years?
I’ve found that I’ve met some really great entrepreneurs, particularly women, in the online community that I wouldn’t have otherwise had an opportunity to collaborate with and learn from. I find that women are much more collaborative in the blogging community than in other industries, too. I hope that the online community not only maintains this level of collaboration and sense of community going forward, but that it continues to grow and expand.