I remember the first time I knew I had a love for fashion. I was roughly 12 years old and in middle school. Growing up I learned how to play two instruments: the piano, and the flute.
It was 7th grade and a few members of the band were asked to compete in a “battle of the bands” of sorts. Since I was one of the only flutists, I was asked to be a part.
For the competition the band members were required to wear black bottoms, black shoes and a white shirt.
I remember to this day exactly what I wore. I had a black maxi skirt, with a slit up the side, a plain button down shirt, and my moms knee-high velvet boots, with a 4″ square clunky heel, and a box toe.
From that day on, my soul was sold to shoes.
After that, the boots became mine because I basically took them from my mother. (Sorry mom…)
The next time I remember having a love for fashion was in high school. My freshman year. I was wearing a monochromatic brown outfit. Looking back, brown may not have been the best color for a monochromatic outfit, but I digress. I had a brown pair of gauchos, a brown tank top, and since it was in the mid 2000’s (2006 to be exact) the rage was the zip up shrugs, much like the one below.
All of that, paired together with a pair of black, pointed toe, knee high boots with a 3.5″ heel.
I understand that the outfit was not my best outfit, however, the ridicule I received as I walked from class to class was enough to make me rethink everything I had chosen to wear that day.
I remember one girl ridiculed me by calling me “brown girl” for the rest of the month. She was a senior while I was a freshman so what did I really expect.
Starting from roughly the same time, I wanted to learn whatever I could about fashion. Learn the designers, what fashion week was, how to dress, how to be a part of the fashion community; I wanted to learn EVERYTHING.
Since I was only 16-20 in high school, I wasn’t really making my own money so clothes shopping with my mom was the only way I could get new clothes, and at this point, my wardrobe was function only, I hadn’t really found my style yet.
Fast forward to college. I think I peaked in college to be honest. I entered the University of Maine in the fall of 2009 with a major in Journalism and a minor in French.
At that time I wanted to be an on-air reporter for a news station, but I knew I needed to do something with fashion.
One of my classes for Journalism required us to start a blog, and we needed to blog about a topic we were passionate about. Obviously, I decided to blog about fashion.
My fashion blog was born. I used the blog for the remainder of the semester.
After my class had ended, I did not want to stop blogging but I needed a way to get my blog out into the world. This is when I decided to pitch my idea to the Bangor Daily News. After a few weeks of going back and forth with the head of their blog department, we agreed that the blog would do well and I came up with the name Brilliantly Chic. The name has not changed over the past 7 years.
Now, what is unfortunate about blogging for the Bangor Daily News is that when I would post an article, I would lose the rights to that article. It was technically no longer my own.
Another unfortunate part was that I was unable to collaborate with companies like I do with AmiClubwear, and Isaac Mizrahi. I was not able to get items for free in return for a review. It was in my contract that I signed.
When Isaac Mizrahi’s advertising team contacted me to do a review, I knew I had to stop blogging on the Bangor Daily News website and venture out onto my own. My blog had started to gain a small bit of attention and I knew I had to start a new blog, on my own site host. This is the Brilliantly Chic you know today.
I have been blogging on my site for the past two years, even though technically, Brilliantly Chic started 7 years ago. I also took about a year off when I was in France from 2013-2014.
Now: as for the why? Quite honestly, I don’t even know why I wanted to keep blogging. Maybe it is a way of keeping a journal without keeping a journal, and having that journal be public? I quite honestly do not know, however, over the past year or so, I have maintained my blog for a few reasons.
With the launch of Instagram, you get a look into people’s lives, and it seems like being “Instagram popular” is more highly sought out than sunken treasure. I blog now because I want to prove that you do not need to be InstaFamous, and have the perfect Instafeed to be able to contribute.
I write monthly blogs for AmiClubwear. I review their shoes. I am not a model, I do not have a professional photographer friend who I can call up and ask if they want to shoot today. I have an Android phone, about 1100 followers on Instagram, and I take photos of myself, my two cats and what I am eating.
I am still able to have a successful blog and I am not InstaFamous, however, if you can prove to companies that your input is valuable, and you have some inkling of knowledge on a subject, being InstaFamous is not required.
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