fashion blogger

Blogger Spotlight: Kemi of SKYLISH

Black fashion blogger

Introducing Kemi of SKYLISH...

Tell us a bit about yourself and your blog.

My name is Kemi and I'm a full time Investment Banking analyst who blogs part time. I blog about all things fashion/life/advice with a little bit of beauty here and there. A definite niche to my blog is the number of advice posts I churn out - essentially my goal is to support, motivate and empower women. This is one of the ways I do it. I tend to reminisce about a lot of experiences I have had myself in order to give some insight and tips to those who may be going through similar things.

When did you start blogging and what motivated you to start?

I actually started making websites when I was very young, around 10 years old. I had the generic website where I would just post photos and talk about my friends and days out (memories), then I started creating websites whereby I offered out free graphics for people to use on their websites. There was a huge community of us young 'graphic designers' back then, we all ranged between 13-15 years old however a lot of those people have disappeared off the web now. I started having a go at beauty websites when I was 16 but I was really quite in and out of it until I was around 19/20 where I started to take it a lot more seriously.

In terms of what motivated me to start… I think I've always just been a creative person, and this was just a means of expressing that side of me. For example by the age of 5 I started writing stories, and by 15 I was typing up 100+ page novels onto Word; I used to edit videos of all of my family holiday videos on Windows Movie Maker which I started doing around age 12; I also self-taught myself to code HTML at a similar age and started selling web designs when I was 15. Basically - I was always, always doing something creative, so when I fell in love with makeup I decided to combine both things and make a beauty blog, which of course has evolved over time.

How has your blog evolved since starting your blogging journey?

I think the number one thing has got to be the quality of my blog - the content I produce now versus what I was producing a while back is simply so much better. I also put a lot more effort into my blog now in general, it's definitely still a hobby (as it was when I started out) but of course the longer you blog the more it starts to become a sort of business where you're managing your own finances, content and also interacting with brands. Naturally you devote more of yourself and your time into producing content that is as top notch as can be. However, one thing I miss about being a new blogger that is that there was a lot less pressure (because I didn’t take it too seriously), and therefore a lot more fluidity in terms of what I content I would create.

What has been the most challenging part about running a blog?

I think the hardest thing about blogging is how mentally challenging it can be. Of course producing content and trying to grow your blog is tiring and requires a lot of hard work and dedication - but the mental challenges of blogging to me are even more tiring! Basically, there are some days I'm so proud of my blog and the direction it's going in, but there are many days I just feel like giving up and essentially feel lost in a world of thousands of blogs, completely irrelevant. It's so hard sometimes not to compare your blog and your content to others - so I'm always in between these two mind sets.

What's your favourite post/s and why?

Of my recent blog posts, three of my favourites include:

1. "The tragedies of Valentine's Days passed" - this was a post for Valentine's Day where I just reminisced on a few funny stories of v-days I've had in the past. It was just nice to appreciate how much I've changed and how much life has changed since these events.

2. "How to balance blogging with a 12h a day job" - this blog was quite a popular one, so I guess a lot of people found it useful to learn a bit about how I stay organised with my blog when I'm not a full time blogger! As everyone knows investment banking isn't a 9-5 job, in fact it's more like an 8-8 job and that’s on a good day! But it’s definitely not a job that can ever pull me away from my passion for blogging.

3. "My 2016 in words" - because who doesn't love a good yearly round up post? And 2016 was definitely a good year...

Where do you see yourself and your blog in five years’ time?

In 5 years’ time for myself - I'll be 27, and by that time I would hope I had purchased my first property/have a mortgage of some sort. For my blog – I would want my blog to have expanded to being more than just a blog; in 5 years I want 'Skylish' to be a full-fledged brand name! And of course, I would want another business of my own by that time as well. 

Do you have any bloggers you admire and follow yourself?

I'm a big fan of Fisayo Longe, love her work ethic and think she's generally just killing the industry. Same goes for Sarah Ashcroft, I really cannot pinpoint many people that produce content that's as high quality as what Sarah produces. Others I like include of course Patricia Bright, Shirley B, Sammi Maria, Chloe Plumstead from The Little Plum, and so many others.

Do you have any advice for bloggers who want to get into blogging?

To get into it – just start, put yourself out there and start creating content. Also, strive for quality! Blogging/vlogging is now a very over saturated market so one way to get yourself out there is to just produce amazing quality content, it's a proven method of success. Otherwise be passionate, put your all into it, and also be patient. Do it because you love it and everything else will fall into place.

What are your hopes for the Black British Blogging community?

Recognition! There are too many times I just sit and shake my head at brands seeming to never work with black bloggers when it comes to their campaigns and their events, so for the BBB community, what I really want to see is more recognition!

Visit SKYLISH and find her on Twitter and Instagram

Blogger Spotlight: Adelina of Ad's Diaspora

black female bloggers

Introducing Adelina of Ad's Diaspora...

Tell us a bit about yourself and your blog.

I was tired of seeing a stereotypical narrative of Black people in the media, or no narrative at all in some spaces. I decided to write about the stories I wanted to see. I had a bit of a barrier though. With memories from school still in my mind, I convinced myself that I ‘couldn’t write’. Something I regret because I should have started blogging a lot earlier. Once I started, the insecurities I had about not being able to write ebbed away as I kept writing! Writing more helped me refine my style and opened opportunities to feature in publications.

I wrote for Dual Magazine, the first official magazine for the annual Africa Utopia Festival 2016, at the Southbank Centre London. My feature, “No ‘Fro Zone”, discussed the acceptability of natural hair in the corporate work place. As a natural myself, it was something I related to.

Black British Female Bloggers

When did you start blogging and what motivated you to start? 

I’m always having discussions with friends on the topics I write about. It was a friend who recommended I start a blog. I wrote a few posts in the beginning, receiving positive feedback. This did motivate me, but a lack of time, meant I wasn’t consistent. I started focusing properly on blogging from 2015. Being consistent makes such a difference, even though it is difficult as I still work full time in an unrelated field.

How has your blog evolved since starting your blogging journey?

My writing has become a lot more streamlined. In the beginning, I wrote about anything that interested me, regarding the Black experience. This included sport, history, entertainment, etc. but that wasn’t sustainable. I took a step back and looked at recurring themes in my posts and narrowed them down to fashion, beauty, food and positive or topical stories about the African diaspora legacy. 

My fashion posts are written from a different perspective. Along with emerging African fashion designers, I also write about diversity issues in the mainstream fashion industry. Most of my posts look at the underlying stories. For example, when supermodel Ajak Deng quit modelling, that inspired a post about racism in the fashion industry.

Beauty posts include anything from natural hair (I have a curation of natural hair vloggers I follow), information about understanding natural hair, visibility of black men and women in the beauty industry and UK Black owned beauty businesses (usually these are direct interviews).

Considering the historical legacy of Black people in the UK, our food hasn’t become mainstream like Asian food. After a friend declared she would not go out socially to eat unless we went an African or Caribbean restaurant (over the years we’ve spent so much money eating food from other cultures), I’ve been interested in looking at the African-Caribbean food experience.

Black British Beauty Blogs

Where do you see yourself and your blog in five years time?

Hopefully it will be a fully established popular lifestyle blog. At that point (or sooner) it would be great to work on it full time as well as other writing ventures.

Do you have any bloggers you admire and follow yourself?

I follow so many hair and beauty vloggers on YouTube! I also follow blogs and magazines on Wordpress and via other social media platforms. It’s good to follow other blogs/vlogs operating in similar spaces as I stay in the ‘know’ and get inspiration. I try to live by this Stephen King quote, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things, read a lot and write a lot.” I’m also starting to consume more literature from Black authors.

Your blog has varied content but is centred on the Black British experience, do you have any advice for bloggers who want to go down the same route?

Do it now! The Black British experience is usually only shown through a specific gaze, to change that we need to re-write and create our own narrative. We should tell the stories we want to see, they’re our stories after all!

Black bloggers

What are your hopes for the Black British Blogging community?

I hope it continues to grow and diversify. Black people are known for entertainment whether that be singing/dancing/acting, but we are also doing great things in science, technology, business, academia, health, and these stories should be told too.

Visit Adelina's blog and find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Blogger Spotlight: Stella of Fashion & Style Police

Fashion & Style Police

Introducing Stella of Fashion & Style Police... 

Tell us a bit about yourself and your blog

I am a full time blogger, freelance PR consultant and writer. I also wrote a book - How to Cash In as a Blogger (Available on Amazon).  I have a very busy life running my online business and family - I am a twin mum to soon to be 3 years old boy/girl toddlers. They keep me very busy.

When did you start blogging and what motivated you to start?

I started blogging October 2012. I hated my job and I was at a low point in my life. I needed a creative outlet so Fashion and Style Police was born. I have not looked back ever since.

How has your blog evolved since starting your blogging journey?

It started off as a fashion blog, along the way I decided to add a bit of beauty and lifestyle, and I love the direction in which the blog is going now. Writing about only fashion would have been a bore.

Where do you see yourself and your blog in five years time?

I see myself still blogging and offering my services a a PR. I see my online empire growing with millions of followers and many clients. And I see myself still loving what I do, which I think is the most important part.

Do you have any bloggers you admire and follow yourself?

Yes I do. I admire so many but I will just name two. I admire Emma at Fashion Mommy because she is a full time blogger and mummy and she kind of reminds me of myself. I see a lot of my hustle in her and that motivates me to work harder. I also admire Amber at Forever Amber, I love her photography and the quality of her blog posts.

Do you have any advice for bloggers who want to get into fashion & beauty blogging?

Start. Just start blogging and don't overthink too much. Ignore the 'noise' in the blogging industry and pay attention to your blog and your growth. Focus on quality rather than quantity. Invest in a good camera and photo editing software if you can afford to and just blog.

What are your hopes for the Black British Blogging community?

I would like to see more Black British bloggers doing well. I think the majority of us are not noticed as much as we should be and I would like to see that change for the better.

Visit Stella's blog and find her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram