Believe it or not, even the most talented people have to get their start somewhere. Here’s a look at where I came from and how I’m turning my own styling dreams into a reality!
My love for fashion started young and developed as a teenager when I gained access to fashion magazines. They opened up a whole new world of possibilities for me!
This lead to starting my first fashion blog in 2008. My intent at that time was to use it to share my outfits because none of my other friends in high school shared the same passion that I had for clothes or thrifting.
Growing up in a small Midwest town, fashion was viewed as frivolous.. or at least I thought so. So I kept fashion to myself as a hidden hobby. I always thought it would be cool to pursue it as a career but I didn’t want to be seen as vain or shallow so I dismissed it.
Becoming The Outfit Repeater
When I left high school, I had no clear direction or plan and spent the next few years living at home, applying for odd jobs and getting rejected. This was when I got really into blogging and was even getting free gifts from sponsors within my first year.
Things changed a lot around the age of 21. I finally confronted a health issue that I was hiding since I was 17 and started going to doctors to get a diagnosis. I started to accept that I would not have a traditional, cookie cutter life. There wasn’t going to be 4 years of college and then jumping into the workforce. But, because I’m a creative person, I knew there had to be something I could do to make an income given my restrictions.
I was aware of people making a living from full-time blogging so I started to pursue that route. After months of pouring over Google and Pinterest articles, I decided it was a good fit for me. So in 2015, I rebranded my blog as The Outfit Repeater and started taking it seriously and learned how to monetize my site through sponsorships, ads, and affiliate networks.
I used my new platform to leverage myself as an authority on thrifted, vintage, and affordable fashion. It was something I felt knowledgeable about as I grew up with it my entire life. Eventually, I expanded my content into more than just outfits and started creating tutorials and resources for the public on those topics. Things really heated up when I started posting YouTube videos! My audience grew faster than I could keep up. (This is all starting to lead to where I am today, promise!)
Finding my Footing
Running a website and writing for my blog taught me a lot about digital content creation, networking, trend forecasting, and so much more. I was able to play a lot of different roles and see which ones I liked without making huge, life-changing commitments.
One role started standing out more than any other and that’s playing with clothes. No matter what kind of content I created, I always defaulted back to outfit posts because I loved creating looks and expressing myself through personal style. It was also a bonus that my outfit posts were most popular with my readers!
Becoming a personal stylist felt like a way to finally work in the fashion industry. It was something that I definitely had the eye for, years of practice behind me, it matched my unique skill set and physical limitations, and I already had a community of potential clients at my fingertips.
Now it was just a matter of someone taking a chance on me.
The Next Step
Because my health actually got worse in 2017, I had to take a step back from creating online and was worried about what that meant for my future. Turns out it actually helped push me beyond a screen into the real world. I applied for a stylist job at a boutique and, contrary to my previous job applications, I was hired! Through that position I’ve had the opportunity to meet and dress interesting people, polish my styling skills, learn more about running a business, and get support from a corporation that encourages creativity and using your unique qualities.
From there I’ve had others see my credibility that I’ve built online and in-person and they, too, have taken a chance on me and helped to advance my career.
One day I still want to get back into blogging full time and commit to freelance style jobs. I’m working hard to make that happen by setting up a solid health and financial foundation to start on.
If you’re at the beginning of your story and it feels like you’re going nowhere and you’re not being seen, hang in there. It will all make sense in time and give you one heck a post to write about on your blog!
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