Blogging to success

“You should never feel confined to fashion rules because last time I checked, there are none.”

This is the latest of quotable phrases in Emilie Etc., a fashion and lifestyle blog created by current Queen’s student Emilie Nolan. A mixture of fashion photographs, street style profiles, personal anecdotes, product reviews and even her own shop of personalized tees, Emilie Etc. aims to capture all things she believes to be aesthetically pleasing to her and her readers.

Nolan, a New Jersey native, is currently finishing up her studies in drama at Queen’s. She travels back and forth from Toronto, where she is the social media marketing manager for clothing company Hangar 9. See what Emilie has to say about her blog’s one-year history and own personal style, among a number of other topics.

How did you come up with the idea to start a blog? More importantly, how did you stick with it? Was there an inspiration behind it?

There are two main reasons that I started it. I was feeling creative, and I wanted a passion project. Instagram had become my outlet and I was becoming more deliberate in what I was uploading. Another small contributing factor was that I saw myself graduating in a year and didn’t see myself having a step above anybody else. I don’t do a lot of extracurriculars, so I wanted to make myself look more marketable to companies. And it’s paid off, because it got me a job!

What does the ‘etc’ in Emilie Etc encompass for you? How do you see it evolving?

The etc. encompasses the human condition. You can never be one thing and you are always evolving. The etc. allows me to upload recipes, product reviews, and interviews, without feeling untrue to my brand. It allows my blog to be a more accurate representation of me.

What has been your proudest moment thus far in your blog’s history for you? Is there a moment you could definitively point to?

The coolest moments are when people recognize me. The whole point of the blog is to reach people who are interested in the same thing. You never really know when you’re reaching anyone. Everyone who follows me is a friend or a family member, the moments where I met people and had no idea who they were was a very definitive point for me.

Who/what kind of audience do you aim to gravitate towards when you’re writing your blog?

Definitely people my age. I’m not writing in a Teen Vogue voice – I’m writing in my own voice about topics like sex and staycations. My audience is people like me who are looking for a little inspiration.

How would you describe your personal style? Is it hard to make that fit within the scope of the university lifestyle?

My personal style on a daily basis is laid back, a touch androgynous, and a little messy. I like to wear my clothes a little oversized; that works fine at school day-to-day, but when I’m going out or blogging a certain type of outfit, it would feel weird being in Kingston. For the most part, I can wear what I want and not feel like Kingston is holding me back.

Do all the pieces in your blog come from your closet? Are they things you can afford on a student budget?

I actually can’t afford it at all! I am constantly collaborating with different designers or stores that mesh with pieces from my own closet. I’ll go to a store and pull the looks that I want, photograph them, and then give the clothes back. If you would open my closet, I think people would be surprised. I’m a believer of buying and then reselling because I have a very short attention span for anything that isn’t basic.

Are you the kind of person that likes to buy investment pieces and keep them, as opposed to reselling?

I shop designer things and I buy them on sale, but every now and then I will buy a fast fashion piece. I have a beautiful sequined jacket that was originally $800 that I bought for $99. It’s those kinds of pieces I usually keep in my closet and everything else that I don’t love anymore I’ll sell.

Do you have any tips for those wanting to start their own fashion blog?

You have to really define your personality and stick to it because you don’t want to sound the same as everyone else. The way I approach my blog is with a little bit of humor and crass; that’s how I brand myself. My advice is to know yourself and let it come through on the blog. People appreciate you being authentic and genuine.

Be sure to check out Emilie’s weekly posts on emilieetc.com.

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