One of my goals for the following months was to start including more quest posts on my blog. As the number of blogs in my reader lists increases, I'm finding more inspiration from other bloggers, and my curiosity about them grows. One of those bloggers has been Ashley of Nashville Styled. I was introduced to her blog after she left a comment on one of my posts, and immediately was impressed by her amazing sense of style and quirky, approachable writing. I asked Ashley if she'd like to be featured, and when she agreed I sent her a list of questions. Here's a bit about Ashley:
1. Describe your blog - how long you've been blogging, what your focus is, what topics interest you, what you hope to accomplish.
I have been blogging for approximately three weeks. I created a 30 Before 30 list (30 things to do before I turn 30) and “start a blog” was on that list. I knew it would be a challenge for me and I am always up for a good challenge. With my new blog, I decided to focus primarily on my personal style. I realized recently that I wear black—all the time. Then I would get frustrated, thinking I have nothing to wear, and go out and buy more clothes. All of them black. It was a vicious cycle. So my goal with this blog is to chronicle my daily style and hopefully learn to incorporate color into my wardrobe. I am interested in learning more about thrifting and photography as well, so look for those topics to be featured on my blog in the weeks to come.
2. What inspired you to start blogging?
I started blogging because I put it on my 30 Before 30 list. So, I kind of had to. However, when I was doing research on blogs prior to starting my own (yes, I am a nerd like that), I was drawn to the fashion/style sites. When I saw real women, on real budgets working their closet, I was inspired to do the same. As I mentioned before, I was stuck in a style rut and needed some serious inspiration. And I have found tons of that through the style blogging community. Before I started my own blog, I merely lurked around other sites, never commenting or getting involved. However, I find that the more I do the more serious I get about my own site.
This one is difficult. I really can be very versatile when I try so it can be hard to pin down my style. I like to think that I am more preppy-meets-whimsical. I could live in button-ups and oxfords, but if I can mix that with frills and lace I am in sartorial heaven.
4. In a sea of so many blogs, what makes yours unique?
I am so new to blogging that I am still trying to find my niche. I try to be as real as possible. My voice in my blog is exactly how I would talk to you if you were right in front of me. And the clothes I wear are what I really wore that day. I didn’t put them on just to take pictures and then change. It’s important to me that I come across as approachable. Because I am. So right, what makes my blog unique? Well, I think that I have some fun little features on my blog right now. For one, my readers will get to follow along as I work through the thirty items on my 30 Before 30 list. In fact, I will be completing something on that list very soon so watch for that as a post on my blog. Also, I love tutorials. Specifically, Photoshop tutorials. I think good photos can really enhance a site, and I want to share my knowledge of photo editing with others. I don’t find a lot of style bloggers doing that so I want to make it a focus on mine.
5. When you're not blogging, you are...
I do have a full-time job. I work at a private art college helping students through the financial aid process. Glamorous, I know. In addition to that, I am also a full-time student working towards my master’s degree in psychology. My social life is pretty non-existent these days. When I do have free-time, I like to spend it with my amazing boyfriend, Rafael. He is super supportive of my blogging endeavors and has taken a lot of my pictures for me. So, what do we do for fun? Well, we are both pretty big dorks and love to visit museums and historical places of interest. Or just hang out and watch a DVD. We like to keep it simple. I am also a very big reader. But the only thing I am reading right now are textbooks. Also, I recently bought a new camera and have been spending a lot of time learning how to use it. Photography is a big interest of mine right now.
6. What do you love most about blogging?
My favorite thing about blogging is the sense of community. I love to interact with my readers and other style bloggers. I get genuinely excited when someone leaves a comment on one of my posts. And I love perusing other style blogs looking for inspiration and new blogging buddies. I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I started by blog, but I have received some amazing feedback. If you didn’t know it, style bloggers are really nice!
Well, initially it was just getting started. I was so afraid of what people would think of me. Would I look superficial and narcissistic? I seriously considered revising my bucket list and scratching “start a blog” off. But my boyfriend said the fact that I was so nervous to start one was exactly why I needed to keep it on there. He told me, “Ashley, you are an interesting person and people are going to care about what you have to say. Let’s think of a username and get started.” So I did. And it’s been great! Other than that, I am learning to put aside my perfectionist nature. Whenever I start/learn something new, I want to be immediately great at it. Sometimes I get discouraged when I look at other style blogs because I think, “Wow, I will never be as good as that.” Talk about the wrong attitude to have. This experience is definitely teaching me a lot about patience!
8. What are some of your favorite blogs?
Wow, there are so many that I have to check every day. But my very first experience with a style blog was (and big surprise here) Jessica Quirk of What I Wore. I love her site because her style is never over the top or too trendy. I think she wears timeless pieces, and the best part is her look is so attainable. From there I found Kendi of Kendi Everyday. Again, her style is easily attainable on a real budget. Not to mention I think she is hilarious. So funny, that gal. Other sites I stalk are Dwelling and Telling, My Edit, Steffy’s Pros and Cons, The Daybook, and of course Elissa of Dress With Courage. My favorite thing about Elissa is that she really has something substantial to say with each of her posts. She inspires me not to just slap up some pictures and call it a day. (Awww - thanks Ashley!)
9. Share an unusual fact about yourself!
Warning: this is going to impress you. When I was a senior in high school, I was ranked as the 4th best female bowler in the state of Tennessee. That’s right, I bowled for my high school team. This fact did not increase my popularity among my classmates. But who cares? I could throw a mean hook.
Interested in being featured on Dress With Courage? Leave a comment and let me know!