Ashley from Blonde Collective is a fashion, beauty, travel and lifestyle blogger. In this interview, you will get to know more about her opinion on fashion trends, how she describes her style and what is her advice about collaborations. So let’s read the interview and enjoy it!
Hello Ashley, could you shortly introduce yourself?
Hi! I’m Ashley, the writer and voice behind Blonde Collective (my blog), and @ashbegash (my IG account). I’m born and raised in California, went to college in San Diego, and now I’m living in Los Angeles with my fiancé, Brennan! As of June 2018, I’m working on my blog full time, and it’s been the greatest journey I’ve ever experienced! My time in Los Angeles has truly been some of the best years of my life, and I’m so excited for the year ahead.
You are a blogger on Blonde Collective. When did you start your blog?
I technically started my blog on December 30, 2012. So basically 2013. I was really self conscious about sharing it for a few years, so I would say my confidence in talking about my blog didn’t truly start until 2015! It’s been a great journey and I’m so thankful I decided to go for it; I can’t imagine life without my blog and the opportunities it’s brought me.
You write about fashion, beauty, travel and lifestyle. Which one of these four is your favourite category to write about and why?
The easiest thing for me to write about is lifestyle (specifically if we get into my lifestyle as a full-time blogger…I could go on for HOURS about social media and blogging). But my favorite topics to experience and photograph are fashion and travel! I have been clothing-obsessed since as early as I can remember. Whenever I was sad as a kid, I’d ask my mom if we could go to Nordstrom. Clothes have always brought me so much joy; from styling, to fabrics, to patterns, to the way a good outfit can make you feel. It’s all so captivating. And travel is a no-brainer! I developed my love for travel in college when I studied abroad in Italy. It opened my eyes to how many things are waiting to be discovered in the world, and I haven’t stopped craving adventure ever since. Brennan and I love to getaway for weekend trips as much as possible so we can experience things around our home, and it’s been one of my favorite aspects of our relationship!
Talking about fashion, how would you describe your style?
That’s so hard for me to sum up! My style changes daily with my mood. I always love to think my style is California casual boho. I always want to be comfortable, feel good in my outfit, and look like I’m headed to the beach! The ocean is my happy place, so anything that makes me feel like I’m headed on vacation or headed to the beach makes me feel good. But don’t be surprised if you see me dressed up on occasion when I’m feeling sassy, or edgy when I’m feeling like really mixing things up!
Do you have any advice from the fashion world you’d like to share with our readers?
Do your best not to lose your passion and drive if fashion is truly what you see yourself doing for your career. Fashion is a hard industry to not only break into, but to work in and advance in. The fashion industry doesn’t always play by the rules, and often you’re working WAY harder and longer than you’d ever imagine. Not to mention, when you get hired for a job…you typically take on 3 more “job titles” in the position you were hired for with no pay increase. But if you love fashion and know it’s your future, then just power through it and work harder than everyone else around you; if you do this, stay true to who you are, and spread love to those you encounter on your career journey, then life will continue to reward you. It’s not always easy, but it’s 100% always worth it.
What do you think about the current fashion trends? Are you a fan of them or not?
I’m really loving the leopard and snake skin patterns that are resurfacing everywhere! I’m also a fan of the ‘dad shoe’ or oversized sneaker. I know they’re not everyone’s favorite…but I think they’re fun. Fashion is meant to be a way of self-expression, and that’s exactly what these trends are allowing everyone to do!
If you would have to choose just one piece of clothing from your closet that you have to wear for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Hands down, my AGOLDE Riley High-Rise denim. They’re the BEST fitting jeans I’ve ever owned, the best light-wash, and the perfect length for me. I’ve never loved a pair of jeans more.
What is your dream brand to work with that you haven’t collaborated with so far?
My dream would be to collaborate with a high-end luxury brand! Gucci, Chanel, Chloe, Givenchy…just to name a few.
Could you tell us your favourite brands that you’ve worked with so far?
Ah, so many!! That’ so hard. I’ve been so blessed with the brands I’ve worked with, and everyday I feel like I need to pinch myself to remind me it’s real life! Just to name a few that come to mind immediately: Salty Mane Studio, VICI, Bella Dahl, Topshop, BHLDN, Anthropologie, Ancient Nutrition, Kate Somerville, L*Space, Amuse Society, Beach Riot, Golden Road Brewery…ahh I could go on!!
… and what about advice for our readers about collaborations?
Collaborations will come and go, but my biggest advice would be not to compare yourself to other bloggers & influencers! It’s so hard when you see someone working on a campaign you wish you were a part of, but I promise you – your time, and your DREAM collaboration will come! Just stay consistent with your content. Work as hard as you possibly can to bring something different to the table so you stand out to brands. Always tag the brands you’re featuring in your photos so you start to get noticed and reposted on IG accounts. Use hashtags so you’ll be more easily discoverable. Interact with the brands you want to work with on Instagram. Support them BEFORE they want to collaborate with you so that when the time comes for them to find new influencers, they already know you use and love their brand. Be true to who you are! Don’t work with a brand you don’t believe in or you wouldn’t normally buy with your own money. I could go on for hours, but those are my top tips 🙂
Is there any brand you’d never work with? And why?
I have no problem saying no to brands that don’t align with my personal goals as well as my style. There are SO many brands out there – new ones are created daily. And that’s amazing! But they’re not all my cup of tea. I really admire people who create brands, but the brands that I jump at the opportunity to work with are the ones that are doing their part in making the world a better place. Whether it be with minimizing their packaging to help save the environment, eliminating harmful chemicals, never testing on animals, creating jobs for people around the world, etc. As I become more educated on sustainability and clean products, the more I gravitate to converting my home to a space that reflects that as much as possible.
Beauty has a lot of parts from skincare through makeup to haircare. Which one of these is your favourite and why?
My favorite aspect of beauty is skincare. I really wish I paid attention to my skincare needs way earlier in life, and wore SPF everyday like I do now…but I wasn’t very educated on how to care for my skin until more recently. Now, my skincare routine is my time to unwind and really pamper myself. I used to rush through the “get ready for bed” part of my day, but now I love to just shut the bathroom door so I’m not interrupted and truly take my time with each step. It’s amazing how many things there are in a skincare routine, but your skin really does show progress with each day that you take the time to care for it! Especially now that I work from home, I try not to wear makeup as much as possible and just pay attention to what my skin needs. It’s been a slow and steady journey, but I’m finally starting to see a big change in my skin!
You are engaged to Brennan, who is also very active on Instagram. Does he comment, or even criticize your work on blog and Instagram or he rather says nothing and lets you do your work?
Brennan is my biggest supporter! He’s the reason I felt confident to even pursue my career as a blogger full-time. He was such an advocate for chasing my dreams with my blog and Instagram. Though he is my #1 fan, he LOVES to watch my stories and poke fun at the things I say; mostly because he knows I get so awkward about talking on stories!! Haha…so it’s all in good fun. He is the first to say when something doesn’t look ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ though; which I appreciate. He supports me, takes my photos, participates in photoshoots as a model himself, and always listens when I want to vent or just bounce ideas off of him. I love having him as my partner in life and in my career!
Do you consider yourself an influencer? What does this word mean to you?
I know ‘influencer’ has been the buzz word lately, however I prefer to define myself as ‘blogger.’ They definitely go hand-in-hand; in having a blog, my goal is to influence my following, however my career all started with the creation of my blog. I love to write and connect with my audience on a deeper level through long-form content. It’s amazing that being an influencer (without a blog) is a job now, but I will always define myself first and foremost as a blogger.
What option would you choose from these?
gin tonic / wine
pizza / burger
movie / series
sneakers / heels
mountains / seaside
half-empty glass / half-full glass
Thank you for your time. Our last question is: What do you think about our project InfluenceDot?
I love it! It’s amazing to have a platform where influencers can connect with the online community of other influencers and brands. Super helpful, and makes the job seem a little less stressful to have a resource to turn to when needed!
Thank you for your time!
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Source: Iva from InfluenceDot, Edited by: Lucc & Petra, Photo: Instagram @ashbegash