A lot of people ask me what I do as fashion/style blogger, and to be honest it's something that can't be explained through 'small talk' without losing the other person's interest. As I pack for a short beach vacation and get away from technology (well, at least attempt to) I thought this would be a good time to reflect/share this piece for my readers; from the ones (literally) across the globe to the people near and dear to my heart.
To get straight to the point, my reason for being a blogger is to inspire people. My list of personal goals is 90% service-driven, and having someone tell me that they were inspired by something I posted is worth a year's pay in my heart.
It's a lot of work though.
Obviously I get a lot of inspiration from the real world. Not just from what people wear, but from art, nature, movies, color palettes and so on. Here's the catch: having an online presence is the name of the game of being a blogger. The photo shoots, the events I get to attend and brands that I interact with is only half of the job. Here's what my typical day looks like:
- Wake up around 5:30am to meditate, read, reflect, and prepare myself for the day ahead
- Afterwards I have a drink of coffee (or two..or three..maybe four?) and read/comment on the other blogs that inspire me
- Make sure that the post for the day is ready to launch, then I schedule/plan my social media posts for the next day which include Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Bloglovin', and Lookbook.nu
- Engage with other bloggers plus my readers (respond to emails, comments on the blog and social media outlets) and keep an open line of communication with brands and publications that I'm doing projects with. After that I study menswear publications to stay up on news in the Men's Fashion Industry.
- In the middle of the day is when I usually take a break for lunch, a good workout and running errands
- Return to the computer and work on my other projects (i.e: I do editorial work for Greensboro Fashion Week, Gallant & Co, and Pellicano Menswear)
- This is where the fun part happens— photo shoots. At this point, all that's left is the afternoon where I try to carry out the basic functions of a nineteen year old (hangout with friends, go to events, shop, etc.)
Passion Project or Business?
For people who do this as a full-time career (some of my favorites are Scout Sixteen, I Am Galla, The Kentucky Gent, Style Society Guy), there's a LOT more than what I have to do; like contacting brands to work with, traveling the globe, scheduling professional photo shoots, selling ad space on their site and being in affiliate programs, joining PR programs for paid collaborations (aka sponsored posts), and hosting events. I do have aspirations of doing this as a career in the future, as being able to inspire people (even in my sleep) as an entrepreneur and make a living off of it is a dream to me. NASA could send me to the moon and I still wouldn't be as excited as having this dream come true.
As of now, I don't have any sponsored posts (aka get paid) because right now my focus is getting used to this blogging thing and finding my spot in it. When the day comes that I do sponsored posts, at the bottom of the post you'll see "This is a sponsored post in collaboration with ____". I ask politely in advance that no one asks me through email or in person how much I make. I've been asked this already (of course that answer was $0.00 for now) by a stranger and I was very offended. Would you ask someone who works a 9-5 how much they make?
As a final note, I do want to be completely honest; I do receive free products, but they come very few and far between. Under "Collaborations" you'll notice that there are only three brands that I've styled products for. For every offer that I do accept, there were 5-10 offers that I didn't accept because I don't believe in trading time for clothes. I only wear brands that I thoroughly believe in, that I've followed for a long time, paid for myself, or that believed in me and saw potential in Tailor Made Style from the beginning. Blogging simply to receive stuff and going to events for free is your first-class ticket to misery, trust me.
A special thanks to my parents (even though they don't completely understand what I'm doing) for their support and not shooting down my dreams. Also thanks to Jo, Daniel, Cecil, Josh (C and D), Ryan, Hunter, the Trips, Bridge, Alex, Randy, Haley, Baker, Nate, Dr. Smith, High Point University, Witneigh and Giovanni from Greensboro Fashion Week, Igee Okafor, Jamal Jackson, and Steve Nonoja (google those last three names) for your support. If I forgot your name, please forgive me. Brownie points will be at your disposal when I see you.
That's all for now folks. Now it's time for my lunch, errands, and anticipating the smell of salt water coming my way in three days.