Fashion Blogger Interview – Anastasia
Anastasia is the founder and voice behind Natbee’s Fashion, a fashion and lifestyle blog where she explores fashion trends, recipes, products and places. She launched the blog back in October 2008 as a diary, but started blogging more seriously in 2009 when she moved to the UK.
Anastasia’s blog is a place to chronicle and share her personal style, beauty tips, fashion obsessions and travel adventures. She dreams of a life, where she will be able to travel around the world with friends and enjoy the little things in life.
Follow her along the journey………..
By the way, you’re free to follow me too!
It’s been really great connecting with Anastasia. I visited her blog and really loved the photography and positive vibe!
Here, Anastasia gives tips on developing and managing a fashion blog. She gives some insight as to how long it takes to get followers. And I think it shows that you have to plug away at it, have faith, be creative, but most of all love what you’re doing! Otherwise what’s the point?
1. Hi Anastasia, could you start by telling us a bit about yourself?
Hello, I am Anastasia a phd student in her late 20’s. I am originally from Greece but moved in the UK a couple of years ago. Since then I have lived in four different cities all around the country, including London. I have lived in the South for most of the part but much more prefer living in the North. I love travelling and living life to the fullest, like there is no tomorrow. I try to find happiness in the small things of life. The top of my favourite afternoon’s list is a long walk by the beach, walking barefoot, drinking freshly squeezed orange juice and looking at the sunset.
2. Can you tell us about your blog, and what inspired you to start it?
I started blogging in 2008 but at that time fashion blogging was not very famous, so my blog was more like a place for random thoughts and ideas. At some point when I moved in England, back in 2009, I was looking for ways of communication with my family and friends. I wanted to show them how my life was, the places I was visiting and the friends that I made but without having to post my pictures on Facebook. Gradually, I started posting more frequently about my life and adventures so as my family could follow. I remember there were some days that I was so busy working and I did not have the time to call my parents. However, they had managed to catch up my news through my blog! After a year I found the “30 for 30 remix” at Kendi Everyday and decided to start my own challenge. It was very fun and realised that I could turn my blog into a place where I would share my daily outfits and so Natbee’s Fashion was born!
3. How would you describe your own personal style?
I don’t think that I have a particular style since I wear what I like and that changes from time to time. I have a thing for colours and I love wearing dresses. So you can say that my style is a unique mixture of multicoloured and romantic trends. If I could choose a style to adopt for the rest of my life that would definitely be the 60’s style as I am a Beatles girl forever.
4. What do you think will be the big hits fashion wise for next season?
In most catwalks I’ve seen mini skirts and maximum volume sweaters over layers of pastel colours like grey, beige and pink. Also another upcoming trend is the neo-minimalism; straight midi skirts with origami pleats and clutch bags. They have already been featured in famous fashion blogs and I am definitely going to wear them.
5. Where do you tend to buy your clothes, and why?
Every season I go for window shopping and have a look at the trends according to the famous designers. Then I try to take advantage of my wardrobe and follow the trends without being a fashion victim. I tend to buy mostly during sales from brands like Topshop, Next etc. but I do thrift shopping as well. Lately I did a bit of shopping from Very and Boohoo and so far I’ve been very satisfied with the benefits of online shopping, so in the future I might use it a lot more often.
6. What do you spurge on? (spend a lot of money on)
“A girl can never have enough shoes” they say and so I agree. My grandpa was a shoe designer and producer so I believe it is in my genes to love shoes. Every time I purchase a new pair I tell to myself that I will not be buying another one for the next 6 months but I always fail to keep my promise. Unfortunately I do not have a famous designer pair in my closet yet, but I can proudly say that I own more than 80 pairs.
7. Do shops and advertisers send you samples of their goods to feature?
Before answering that question I would like to make clear that when I started that blog it was never in my intention to get something in return, but since Natbee’s Fashion has been a fashion focused blog I have received many gifts and been invited to many fashion events. I enclose as “c/o” all the samples that have been send to me under every post and I mention “sponsored posts” when I have received payment to express my opinion on the product(s) reviewed. However, the best thing about blogging is not the amount of freebies I have received but the interaction and friendships that have been created along the journey.
8. Do you have any fashion rules when putting an outfit together?
“Wear as many colourful pieces as you can get in the same outfit”. Coming from a sunny country and moving to moody England has changed my style in a unique way. I have learned to bring the sun with me anywhere I go and that means that I wear colourful outfits that make me as much happy as being to a sunny place. Also simplicity is another rule that I follow. I wear practical simple outfits that can get me throw the day and make me feel comfortable anywhere I go. Besides what’s the point of wearing high heels when you are to run all day from a metro station to another?
9. Where do you find the inspiration for your blog posts?
Almost from everywhere! When it comes to outfits I tend to build them around one piece that has caught my attention, so it mainly depends on my mood. I get a great inspiration from other fashion bloggers and the street style that I see during the day. There are so many fashionistas out there that I take my hat off for their style.
10. Is there a person that is a fashion inspiration to you?
My mother has always been a great inspiration to me. Though she lives in a small village in Greece, she has always been very fashion conscious and has been following the fashion trends in a balance with her personal style, way of living and character. When I visit her I am more than happy to explore her closet and find clothes that suit my style; and that happens very frequently as we wear the same size and have the same fashion taste.
11. What’s your next fashion must have?
A Mulberry Bayswater bag in black natural leather. It is a timeless classic piece that I will be wearing nonstop and I will never regret investing my money on. Still working on it!
12. You have a lot of followers to your blog how did you do this? Was there ever a time when you had say only one follower? How did you get more?
At the beginning of my blogging journey and for the first year I had only 3 followers, including myself. Then I asked my friends to follow but no one bothered since they would check the blog anyway. Gradually other bloggers that found me through the “30 for 30 remix” started following me and asked me to follow them back, but soon enough I realised that this is not working for me as the point was not to increase the number of followers, but to establish your place in the fashion blogsphere. For the past two years I have made many efforts to do so, from buying a new camera to changing the blog design and deleting previous post. So far it seems that the blog design is very important to attract readers but in order to make them followers you have to be yourself and interact with them. After all they are the people without who I would have never done it.
13. Once you’ve got the followers how do you keep them?
As I mentioned before I interact with them through Twitter or Facebook. Unfortunately I don’t have the time to reply to all the comments I receive, but I do my best to reply to their questions on fashion dilemmas. Also if they leave me their blog link I visit their page and make a comment.
14. What’s the biggest tip you have for anyone wanting to start a fashion blog or website?
Be true to your readers. Don’t lie to them because sooner or later they will find out and you will lose all the work you have built. Always enclose or list the sponsored items you have received and never mislead them. If a product does not work for you, then simply don’t feature it on your blog, or if you do state that you had a problem with it. It’s a shame to see some bloggers claiming that a product was perfect for them and then having followers complaining that it wasn’t as good as described on the blog. Also don’t try to be something that you are not! If you don’t have an expensive designer’s bag then don’t buy imitation bags and claim to be real. People follow you because they want to see your fashion taste and get inspired by that, and unfortunately there is no inspiration on fake bags.
15. Who does your amazing photography?
That’s so sweet of you Lindi to say that. Thank you! All my outfit photos are taken by my friends or sister and the rest are taken by me. None of us have ever taken photography classes and I am always trying to do my best and work with different angles and lighting. Also I am in the process of learning photoshop and I understand why so many people use it, it is amazing what you can do with that thing!
16. What is the biggest challenge about fashion blogging?
Nowadays there are so many girls out there claiming to be fashion bloggers but this is not always the case. Having a blog doesn’t necessarily mean that you are a blogger as well. It takes a lot of effort, personal time and sacrifices to be a real fashion blogger. So for me the biggest challenge is to distinguish myself and not be another fashion blog.
17. What do you love most about blogging?
There are many benefits when it comes to blogging. I have learned to love myself and be more confident. Five years ago I would have never considered getting pictures of myself that frequently, but now it just comes natural! Also it is amazing how much support you can get by the blogging community. I got the chance to meet so many beautiful (inside and outside) people, that I would have not met them if it wasn’t for my blog.
18. How many times a week do you post?
I try to be consistent and blog at least 4 times per week. Of course that might change especially since I travel a lot. Also I believe quality matters most than quantity. So if I don’t like the pictures of a photo shooting then they will not make it on the blog.
19. Where do you see your blog in the next five years?
That’s a very difficult question to answer. There are two answers that I have in my mind at the moment; either I will keep blogging or I will stop blogging due to the nature of my job (I haven’t seen many lecturers being bloggers at the same time). However, I will try to do my best and keep blogging even if that means that Natbee’s Fashion will not be a fashion blog anymore but a lifestyle blog.
Thanks for this great interview Anastasia!