As I mentioned some days agoy, I released my final project last tuesday, and today I come with one of the interviews I want to show you: Rebecca, from The Clothes Horse blog.
One of the things that made me contact with Rebecca is the fact that not only I love her style, but also I think she's a very experienced blogger and that she could tell me lots of interesting things about the blogger's world. And I was right, because her interview was very successful.
1. Hello Rebecca, and thanks for attending to this interview... so, first of all, could you please tell us who you are and a brief description of you?
I’m Rebecca, the author of The Clothes Horse blog. I’m 23, petite, and extremely introverted.
2. What do you do? What do you like to dedicate?
I just graduated from college with a degree in Marketing. Right now, I’m working on a couple of different projects and dedicating a lot of time to my blog. Next fall I’m going to law school.
3. That sounds so interesting! Can you talk a little about your interests?
I really enjoy old movies, reading, and art—admiring it and drawing every now and then. I also really love to visit and explore new places; other countries and in the wilderness near where I live.
4. Tell us a book, an album and a movie without which you could not live.
Book: Martin Eden by Jack London. Album: The Crane Wife, by the Decemberists Movie: Bringing Up Baby
5. Would you share with us a memory that makes you smile?
I studied abroad in Greece and on weekend a group of friends and I visited Aegina during the off-season—we were the only tourists on the island. We stayed at this quiet villa with a private spot to dive into the ocean. I lost a contact lens from jumping into the water and had to spend the whole weekend half-blind, but it was just a glorious time. Whenever I think of it, the weekend is a haze of golden sun, good food, and extremely welcoming people.
6. Have you got a favorite quote?
“Behold I do not give lectures or simple charity, when I give, I give myself.” –Walt Whitman
7. That was a good one! So, at what age did your get interested in the fashion world?
When I was young I liked to go to the fabric store with my mother and she would make me dresses from the pattern and fabric I chose. In junior high I started to follow Japanese Street Fashion through Fruits. However, I never actually read an American fashion magazine or watched a runway show until I was a senior in high school. So, part of me feels that personal style has always been an interest for me, but the fashion world of designers and runways didn’t come until late high school.
8. Could you explain us a bit what has been the evolution of your image?
When I was very young I wasn’t really afraid to experiment and try things out, but around junior high school age I got very self-conscious. For many years I wore a uniform of jeans and a tee shirt and just wanted to blend in with the crowd. In college I studied abroad in Sapporo, Japan and no matter what I wore I stuck out like a sore thumb! So, while I was there I started to wear clothes that I actually liked. I get more comfortable in my own skin every year and my style gets progressively closer to wearing exactly what I want to wear.
9. How would you describe your actual style?
Due to my penchant for dresses and skirts it is considered feminine by a lot of people, but I add quirky and retro details. I don’t always wear vintage, but I like vintage silhouettes and I like to mix up basic outfits with unique jewelry, interesting tights or socks, and fun headpieces.
10. What inspires you in choosing your clothes? Do you follow a pattern to match your clothes or just choose randomly?
I just start every outfit with one piece; that piece can be a dress, a pair of shoes, a hat, or even a ring. But I always just start with one piece I feel like wearing that day and then build everything else around it. Things tend to come together organically.
11. Where do you usually get your clothes? Do you customize or sew any garment to you?
I buy clothes from everywhere! I buy a lot of things online because I live in a rural area, but around my home I like to go vintage shopping at thrift stores and antique malls. I do occasionally sew garments, but I’m more likely to customize by adding some small detail or hemming a dress.
12. Have you got any special obsession, like shoes, bows, skirts...?
Headpieces are probably my obsession. I have a large vintage hat and fascinator collection and a number of flower and shell tiaras. I haven’t worn all of them, but I keep collecting more!
13. And now, a little bit about blogging... when and why did you decide to start writing a blog?
I started my blog shortly after my semester in Japan; it was the summer of 2007. I was back at my college in rural Pennsylvania and I was bored out of my mind! My blog connected me to people with similar interests and became a creative outlet because I started taking pictures and writing posts regularly.
14. What do you want to express with your blog? Do you think it adds anything to the people who read it?
With my blog I just hope to express my love for personal style and the beauty of art and nature. I hope that people just find it a nice bit if escapism from their routine and possibly brings them some inspiration.
15. As you may know, you're such a great inspiration for people all around the world; what do you feel when someone says you are his/her inspiration? What would you say to those people?
I usually just try to say thank you! It’s really flattering to hear that someone thinks of me as an inspiration and I’m actually not very comfortable with it! I’m working on getting over my awkwardness!
16. What do you think about the actual Bloggers' world? Do you think they've got some influence into the fashion world? In which way do you think they make the fashion world evolve?
I think fashion bloggers reflect a change the fashion world is going through—I don’t know if fashion bloggers push the change more than they are an example of it (if that makes sense). Bloggers are definitely having an impact; several designers have put bloggers on their mood boards as inspiration for collections and bloggers with a large audience have become a new form of media and advertising—stores can have more impact sending a blogger a dress than they could buying an ad in a magazine.
17. Have you had some experience with any fashion or beauty brand for being a bloggers, just to promote them? Which ones? How it was?
I have worked with some smaller and independent boutiques and I’ve had inquiries with larger brands. It can be a great experience and I’m always flattered when a store or brand approaches me. It can also be abused though, because some stores want the bloggers to write about them, but don’t really offer anything in return. Quite often I get invited to write about a product, but the brand or store isn’t interested in sending me the product, but I always respond that I can’t review something I have no experience with!
18. In the USA it's very common ask for a sponsor; something that in Europe, for example, isn't very common. Can you explain a little bit more of this, please?
It’s not too common in the USA to ask for sponsors and it is still in the beginning stages. I actually know several European bloggers with similar arrangements, but they might be less open about it. Sponsors are stores or brands that treat a blog like a magazine or brand representative: they partner with you to promote their products and often pay you (although sometimes in clothes rather than cash) for what you do. When you write a post on a product, you’re reaching a significant audience and you’re also generating words and images for them as if you were part of their marketing or advertising department. Small boutiques can benefit a lot from a blogger’s exposure and it is cheaper than traditional media. When you write, “now accepting sponsors” it just lets stores and brands know that you are open to partnerships with them. I can name several French and British bloggers who have similar arrangements with brands, but are less vocal about it. The US government has made full disclosure necessary here and some bloggers are pursuing this as their full-time job, so we aren’t too shy about asking for more sponsors.
19. How many sponsors do you have at the moment? Any special one for you?
I think I’m working with eight different sponsors right now. There’s several that I have been working long-term with. All of my sponsors are special to me; I’m working with stores I actually enjoy shopping at and they bring discount codes and giveaways for my readers. My sponsors also make my blog possible: I wouldn’t be able to dedicate as much time to my blog and every post that do if I didn’t have their banners in my sidebar!
20. And finally (but not less important), tell us a tip for your readers (a tip for their lifes, for the fashion bloggers' world or whatever you want to say to them.
I think the best advice I’ve ever heard is “be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Plato said that and it’s so true. Even when I’m having a terrible day and I get angry at people I try to imagine that they’re experiencing as bad as me or worse.
Fashionwise: don’t be afraid to take risks. Sometimes getting dressed can be an adventure and it should always be fun.
That was a great advice, Rebecca, thank you very much!!
Did you know about Rebecca? You can visit her blog here, enjoy!