Thursday, 4 August 2011


Soooo... You might notice a bit of a change in terms of the content on FFS over the next week or so . As many of you know I've been working towards my Masters in Multimedia Journalism this year and I'm coming to the end of it. In fact, my final hand-in date is next Friday. Cue much hyperventilation, sweating and hand-wringing...

For my portfolio I've been conducting lots of interviews and writing loads of articles about young, successful, inspiring, positive people, trying to celebrate all the great things about being young and having a wealth of opportunities at our feet. Too often I read loads of articles (most recently something in this week's Grazia, but seriously, all the time) about how young people in their 20s are lazy, complacent or simply overwhelmed with the realities of working for a living (or even just GETTING a job in this economic climate), that many of them find themselves floundering, wasting potential and falling off the radar.

These kinds of articles really depress me, so I chose to focus on the positive side of being young, educated and ready to change the world. I interviewed designers, social campaigners, writers and bloggers, and I'm thinking of sharing the fruits of this hard work with y'all. Bear with me if you're only here for the fashiony stuff, normal service shall resume after next week...

In the meantime, here's the interview I did with Gem from Gem Fatale - one of my favourite style blogs. If you don't already follow her, why the hell not?! She's totally cool, stylish and super down-to-earth - ticks all the Excellent Blogger boxes in my book! Enjoy!

Tell me a little bit about yourself and Gem Fatale?

I have just graduated from a degree in Fashion Promotion, and I live in Canterbury with my boyfriend and my cat. I work part-time at Topshop, but am in the process of finding a grown-up-job! Back in 2007, I was living in a sleepy (and elderly) seaside town. Most of my friends had moved away to uni and I was working as a receptionist in a hotel think 'WTF' about life. I liked to dress differently (a sort of emo-fashionista hybrid...) but had nobody to share my style interests with. I used to get distracted on the computer at work checking out the fairly new blog on the block, Style Bubble, which kick-started my own interest in the fashion industry, and as a result, I started my own style blog.

Why do you think your blog has become so popular?

Well, I'm under no illusions that my blog is that popular. I still feel like a tiny fish in a big pond, but I am happy as larry with the modest and loyal following I do have! I think the thing people like about my blog is that I don't overthink it or try that hard. It still looks pretty lo-fi and all over the place aesthetically, and I can always have a laugh at myself, which seems to be quite an endearing quality! My main blogging aim is to make people chuckle rather than to showcase my supposed style, so hopefully that's why the blog is where it is today!

What are the sorts of posts that get the most views/comments - why do you think this is?

Outfit posts and video blogs seem to go down the best. People seem to prefer the more personal posts rather than more promotional ones about brands/products. I guess the joy of reading blogs is the feeling of reading a 'real person's thoughts, so the more character you can get across in the post, the more engaging it'll be for readers. Whereas when it comes to more promotion-based posts, some readers can be skeptical of the legitimacy of your viewpoint when freebies are involved, so engagement can be hindered a bit with those kinds of posts. Also, my Tuesday Tip posts are probably the most popular posts of all time (on my blog, that is, not EVER!), because they inspire readers on ways to live stylishly on a budget - a cause I am VERY passionate about! I adore seeing pics of people that have tried out tips I've shared with them, it's lovely!

What do you think of fashion and style blogs in general?

I think they are a great source of style inspiration and a great way to interact with like-minded ladies via comments and tweets.

How do you feel about sponsored blogs and the contro around them - a big hooha over nothing or an important issue?

I don't mind product placement in blogs as long as it's objective and the sponsorship is disclosed. I think objectivity is crucial if you're going to post about freebies, as a gooey lovefest over your latest freebie can be interpreted as boasting or sucking up to brands for more freebies! I always ask brands that want to send me a free item if they can offer my readers something too, such as a discount code. They don't always oblige, but where possible, I like to share the freebie love with my readers! As for sponsored posts, again I think they are acceptable as long as they are well-targeted to the reader and objective.

Do you think the fashion industry needs to take more interest in bloggers, or do you think they already do - maybe TOO much?

Not at all. I think they importance of bloggers has probably been blown out of proportion by the industry over time, to the extent that if anything, I think brands should be more selective in the bloggers they choose to engage with. For me, the blog has only ever been a hobby. Industry attention (event invites etc.) has been a fabulous byproduct but I don't feel aggrieved that I don't get more attention, and I don't expect/want anything from the industry because I'm a blogger.

What's next for you and for the blog - where would you like to take it in the future?

Having just finished my degree, I've had a big think (read: meltdown) about where I want my career to go, and whether the blog should/could play a part in that... I have always seen advertising as merely a source of pocket money I can spend on getting to events etc, and don't want to jeopardise my integrity by trying to monetise the blog any more than I have. Looking for a 'real job' has definitely asserted the point that the blog is just my hobby, and I look forward to just keep going as I have been. Outfit posts, DIY's, lolz and probably some more video content seeing as it seems to be so well received. I quite like the idea of filming a kind of 'what LFW is really like' type video when fashion week comes around again!

Total dawhl.


@NickOhLaa said...

This has only reaffirmed my love for Gem. She is ace.

Jen said...

I loved this! Also a big fan of Gem.

J x

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

Best stream of consciousness rambler in the blogosphere! I love Gem's blog, and like also her common sense assessments here!

Holly said...

Oh, I love reading Gem's blog! And through reading this interview I found your blog.. Woo! x

lucy said...

Great interview! I love Gem's blog and all her DIY posts and her thrifty finds.

Lucy from Lucy's Locket x

the nyanzi report said...

interesting girl with cool style.

E is for Eleanor said...

She is ace, I'm so glad her blog has taken off. Really happy for her! Great interview. xx

Vicki said...

great interview!! Love gem fatale! love hearing blogger interviews and opinions, :) x

Gem Fatale said...

Thanks for the lovely comments y'all :D xxxx

Temporary:Secretary said...

I love this so much - I'm a huge fan of Gem's blog! Thanks for the fab interview! x

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