Category Archives: interviews

5 questions: carly, the college prepster.

Barbour Jacket

having been an avid reader of the college prepster for some time, as well as a fan of her style and smarts, it was a real pleasure for me to interview carly, the girl behind all of the splendor. amidst the excitement and chaos of jetting off to scotland shortly, carly answered a few of my silly questions. enjoy!

how would you describe your perfect snow day?

getting to stay in bed extra late with a cup of coffee and a book and then a movie marathon on netflix. (seamless delivery, not optional).

if you could live in any movie, which would it be and why?

grease–poodle skirts and spontaneous singing? i’m in!

what’s at the top of your stack of unread books? what have you read lately and loved?

an abundance of katherines, the invisible bridge, the art of fielding, and reconstructing amelia are all on my to-read list! just finished catcher in the rye and loved it!

you recently wrote a very heartfelt post about teddy, your toy poodle. what is the most endearing thing about him? 

his personality–he’s funny and cuddly, but also super playful!

what is your quintessential new york city moment?

zipping between meetings in cabs or on the subway always feel so “new york.” there’s always traffic or something slowing me down and i constantly feel the adrenaline from rushing to and from and making it to the meeting in the nick of time!

image courtesy of the college prepster 

5 Questions: Nikki of Adriana Trigiani Tours

One of the highlights of the summer was my internship for Adriana Trigiani Tours, as Nikki and Gina were so responsive to any ideas I had and created a constructive work environment. Once I have my semester in full order I hope to continue the work I was doing for them, but for the time being, let me introduce you to Nikki!

 If you were the third sister on Charmed, what would your supernatural ability be?

I never watched Charmed! But assuming I could have any special ability it would be useful to be able to influence the mood of a room/group of people.

 What area have you yet to travel to but can’t wait to visit?

South America- particularly Argentina.

 How would you describe a perfect NYC day?

Wandering around the Village, stopping for lunch in a restaurant with a back garden, and ending with some window-shopping in SoHo.
 What is your favorite movie theater snack?

Lemon heads.

 Do you have any fall traditions, and if so, what are they? 

 Switching out the summer clothes for my fall clothes in my closet (a seasonal ritual!).

Only the Best #24: Jessica Quirk of What I Wore

While I am enthusiastic and love every interview that I do, I freaked out when I had the opportunity to interview the one and only Jessica Quirk of the blog What I Wore. While there are several blogs that I’ve been following for a long time, Jessica’s is the very first blog that I ever read. I’ve found that most of what compels me to continue the adventures of What I Wore after all of these years is that not only do I admire Jessica’s sense of style, but I also find her extremely relatable and easy to get to know. She’s always working on something new and in honor of her new book and the launch of my new site, I bring you this lovely interview.

1. As a college student at Indiana University, studying Apparel Merchandising, Marketing, and Costume Construction Technology, did you ever envision the empire that you have created? What was your original idea for WIW and how has it stayed the same or morphed over the years? When did it hit you that you were a “professional blogger”?

Ha! I don’t know if I would call What I Wore an empire, but I do consider myself extremely lucky to have such a fun job! The concept of taking a daily style photo was something I did as a part of the flickr group “wardrobe_remix.” It should be noted that I’m absolutely NOT the first woman (or man!) who’s had the idea to document an outfit a day. After being a part of the diverse and positive group for about a year (and having my own personal blog at the time) I decided that my outfit photos should have their own home and that’s how the WIW blog was started. In many ways, it’s remained the same. I still use the same format for my posts (when, what, where and why) and I still attempt to post 5 days a week. What will always change, however, is me! I was a 24 year old single girl when I started the blog and my budget, taste and lifestyle have changed so much since then! I still have many of my favorite pieces of clothing in my closet, I’m just wearing them in different ways.

2. How would you define your personal style? Where do you find inspiration (both in fashion and in life)?

I like to tell people that I’m equal parts a jeans-and-tee loving gal as I am a ladylike woman who wears vintage dresses. I’m usually inspired by an era of the past. This season, I’m very much into the 1970s. Film from that time period is a big influence – movies like Annie Hall, Network and Bonnie and Clyde have such amazing styling.

3. What are some of your all-time favorite outfits, as seen on What I Wore? What are some of your go-to outfits? What makes you feel great?

I can’t pick just one! What makes a favorite for me is when I push myself a little, when I love the outfit and when my readers support it too. A little compliment goes a long way! As far as go-to outfits, it all depends on what time of year and what occasion. For a fall weekend, I’d probably go for a great pair of high-waisted jeans and a cotton gingham blouse (tucked in) with boots, a belt and great bag. I love an olive colored jacket for a casual look. I probably have a dozen variations of that look, which I love. It’s not always photo worthy, but I always feel put together and comfortable in that type of outfit.

4. How would you say your style has evolved/morphed since you started WIW? Do you feel that your environment (living in Indiana, Brooklyn and then in Indiana) and/or single/married has had any effect on how you dress?

Absolutely! As you’ve noted, so many things have changed in my life over the past four and a half years (I count when I started taking daily photos). I’m definitely don’t feel old, nor do I feel that I dress old, but I am indeed an older woman. I feel like I’m finally honing in on what I love, what investments I can afford and what makes me feel best about myself. When I was younger I’d buy any cheap polyester dress I could get my hands on, the brighter the better. These days I’m just more relaxed.

5. What are some of your least favorite trends, and what are some of your favorite trends?

One thing I hate is when something that I consider a classic becomes trendy and subsequently becomes “out”. Classics are never out!! As far as actual trends, I could never see myself wearing harem pants. I like leg lengthening looks and a dropped crotch doesn’t get you there! Ick!

6. Which fashion-related items are on your dream list?

I’ve been able to check off a lot of “must haves” in my closet, but I still have classics I hope I can afford one day… a black Donna Karan cashmere turtleneck has always been on my list, for example.

7. I love your catchy blog post names! How do you come up with them? What is your process for writing a post?

It’s really all off the top of my head. I think the more I can relate that I’m a real girl and the more I can share about my life, the better. I like to think that What I Wore isn’t the most trendy, off the runway blog, but something that women can read and get inspired by.

8. What have been some of your biggest challenges and successes with What I Wore? What have been your favorite aspects of working on WIW?

I think my biggest success was the opportunity to write and publish a book that I really believe in. The positive feedback I’ve received is so validating and heartwarming. It’s really all about how I can connect with other like minded women and share the look good, feel good attitude. I love that! I have the same challenges with my job that anyone might have – looming deadlines, dealing with clients, and staying on top of all my work! My favorite part of What I Wore is getting dressed each day and editing my photos. I’m so lucky to have such a great husband who puts up with taking my pictures (and he IS a pretty great photographer too!)

9. You use this fabulous quote from your blog, “When it comes down to it, what you think about yourself and how you feel about yourself – well, that’s the most important thing. When you fill yourself up and are at your best, you’re able to be better with your work, with the way you treat others, with everything!” You seem like a very positive and vibrant person, how do you do it?

Being positive everyday is something you have to work on! I know how I feel when the glass is half full and it’s just a better way to go through life. It also helps to surround yourself with uplifting and goal oriented people. Like attracts like!

10. When you’re not working on one of your many projects, what do you enjoy doing?

Almost everything I enjoy ties back to the blog one way or another, like sketching, sewing or crocheting. On the flip side – I love being outdoors. Hiking is one of my favorite ways to spend a weekend afternoon.

11. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? I’m so curious, what were you like as a teenager?

I’ve always been a clothes horse. My dad jokes that I would change before dinner when I was a young girl and when I was in high school I wrote down what I wore everyday for my junior and senior years. I also loved school and loved being active. I was a varsity cross country and track runner for all 4 years of high school and was really involved in DECA (which is a national marketing club)… not to mention about 10 other clubs. I think I was listed in my senior yearbook on 21 different pages.

12. After having left Brooklyn, what do you miss most?

I miss the food, the architecture and most of all – my friends.

13. Is there such a thing as a “typical” day for you? If so, what is a day in the life of Jessica Quirk like?

I like a little routine in life! My goal day is something like this – dressed and out the door by 9, outfit photos by 9:30, writing and editing a post by 11, lunch break from 12-1 and then the rest of the afternoon catching up on everything else. I do think I have a pretty good home/work balance and try to shut down my computer by 6pm.

14. How did the WIW book come to be? What was the process like for you? And what have you found most rewarding/challenging/exciting about the experience?

Writing a book has always been on my list of goals and how it all came to be was a series of serendipitous events and a lot of hard work!

15. What other projects do you envision in your future (either relate to WIW or otherwise)?

I’m really not sure! As much as I love running What I Wore, I’m definitely looking for new and bigger challenges in the future.

Only the Best # 23: Jessie of The Concrete Catwalk
When I first came across Jessie and her blog, The Concrete Catwalk, I was in a real style rut and needed inspiration A.S.A.P. Lucky for me TCC was there for me! What’s even better is that Jessie is exactly what I look for in a blogger (and a friend too!) because she’s smart, fearless, entertaining, stylish, kind, and so very talented. Getting to interview Jessie was definitely a perk of writing this blog– I just wish I could meet her!
What inspired you to start your blog, The Concrete Catwalk?
 I first started TCC when I was working full-time at a job that was not scratching my creative itch.  I started the site as a place to document all of the fabulous street style I came across in Kansas City, and has since morphed into a place where I can also share my personal outfits to hopefully inspire the style of others. 

  


What do you find most exciting about what you do?
One of the most rewarding parts my job is receiving emails from clients saying how I’ve helped them find their own personal style and inspired them to take risks with their own fashion choices.  When a client tells me that I’ve helped them to feel better about themselves and raised their confidence and self-worth, it means I’m doing something right (and it also means that I’m probably crying.) :)

What are some of your favorite looks, as shown on TCC?
Hm… that’s a great question, the first ones that pop into my head are one, two, three, four, five, six & seven. (Probably way more than you were hoping for, but I tried to at least pick one from each season.)
 {I just had to keep that in the interview because it’s so cute! I’ve posted the photos in order 1-7}

How do you approach piecing together an ensemble? Where do you tend to find inspiration for your looks?
Truly, much of my own fashion inspiration comes from other style bloggers and often the clothes themselves.  The majority of what I wear is vintage and/or thrifted, and wearing such unique pieces can sometimes mean that my entire outfit is dictated by the most challenging piece.  For instance, if I know I’ve been wanting to wear a floral printed pair of silk pants, I’ll start with that as a base and just add other pieces and accessories to that!  A lot of times, I end up coming up with outfits before I have a place to wear them to, so I have a rack in my studio full of pre-assembled outfits just ready and raring to go! (This also eliminates a lot of stress when trying to find something to wear in the morning!)


If you could keep only five items from your wardrobe, what would they be? 
Ach! Nightmare! My fave pair of distressed boyfriend jeans (surprised I answered that because I rarely wear jeans!), my sequin striped puff-sleeve vintage sweater, my blush colored tuxedo jacket, my vintage olive-colored silk jumpsuit & my fringey silvery little black dress.

Is there a trend/look that you’d never try?
Never say never! I love experimenting and trying new things… it’s how I’ve discovered some of my favorite trends!


How do you approach styling clients?
I always like to find out lots of little tidbits and details about their personality traits and day-today life before I start helping someone choose clothes for themselves.  I view dressing as such an extension of oneself, that getting to know someone like you would a friend, always seems like the best place to start. I get asked quite a bit if I impose my own personal style into the looks I create for others, but I can’t ever imagine putting any of my clients into the exact outfits I wear, because I created them for myself.  Even if I’m just coming up with an outfit for a magazine feature, fashion show or blog post, I always have to have someone specific in mind.  That said, trying to put myself in a clients shoes (metaphorically!) and styling them that way, just comes naturally to me.

When you’re not working or running TCC, what are some of your favorite past times?
I love to cook for my husband and our friends and we find ourselves entertaining quite a bit.  I love thrifting (OBVIOUSLY), traveling for work and play, and attending local fashion events.  I love to do pilates, run and swim to stay in shape, and if there is ever any extra spare time after that, you can usually find me watching TV with my puppy, reading blogs & painting my nails.

Your mom is so cute! Have you rubbed off on her or has she always been so stylish?
 Ha! I love that you noticed my cute Mama! :) I always remember her as being stylish, but she would probably say that I’ve encouraged her to pay more attention to accessorizing and current trends.  I always think she looks great, but she sometimes asks for my help. Believe it or not, I think I get a lot of my personal style sense and appreciation for fashion from my Dad, too. He’s a very well-dressed gentleman… I’ll have to feature him on the blog someday! :)





What are some of your favorite/least favorite moments in popular culture?
I’m not sure if I really have an answer to this one! I don’t stay that “current” on pop culture, and I’m usually the last to know if something big happens. (Unless, it hits twitter, then I’m pretty plugged in.) :)

How do you approach shooting street style?
I used to be SO nervous to walk up to people, and I’m sorry to say I missed out upon quite a few great photo ops in the early days of TCC.  Once I realized how flattered most people are to be asked, I stopped worrying about it so much.  Plus, I’ve honestly met some of my greatest and closest friends to date by walking up and asking to take their picture!!!


What are some of your future goals and hopes for TCC? 
I’d love to get back to shooting more street style around town, but it’s just so darn hard to find the time! I’d also like to perhaps have a feature where I could take and post reader submissions of their own outfits or street style that they find, but I haven’t fully developed how that would work yet. I’m looking forward to working with some more independent and local brands and designers this summer, and that is something that I’d also like to expand upon as well.  Oh, and more DIYs!!!
Only the Best # 22: Kendi of Kendi Everyday
While she may claim to have been “lame” in high school, I have a difficult time believing that Kendi of Kendi Everyday was ever anything but the wonderfully-awesome person she is now. Well that’s probably just me being lame! Without doubt, Kendi is one of the whittiest, smartest, most modest, and most entertaining people whom I have ever had the pleasure to interview! Plus she totally seems like the kind of girl whom you’d be very lucky to call a friend, but I’m sure you already know that!

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You’re very vocal about why you began your blog, Kendi Everyday (i.e. defying the stereotypes of getting married and moving to a small town) and I’m wondering what getting started was like for you.

Let’s see — this is how it went. One day after looking at style blogs for 2 years, I said to my husband “I think I want to start a blog” which really meant “will you take my photos for me?” After much pleading, he said yes and we started taking outfit photos, which I uploaded to Flickr groups. Kendi Everyday is actually my third attempt; I had two other blogs that I just couldn’t get a feel for. Once I got started with K.E. I kind of found my place in the community of every day girls who were interested in personal style.

Along with be whip-smart, sarcastic, fun, etc… how would you describe yourself?

 Introvert (shocking, I know), funny, overly emotional, dog lover.



How would you describe your personal style? Where do you tend to find inspiration for your outfits? Do you have a process for piecing together an ensemble? If so, how would you describe it?

Gosh, this is the hardest question to answer because I feel like my personal style changes every day. I would have to say a mix between quirky and classic, because I love classic pieces that I can mix in with eclectic accessories or colorful shoes, etc. As far as inspiration goes, by far other bloggers give me the most inspiration. I love blogs and I’m always on the look out for new ones to read and be inspired from. Sometimes it’s something as simple as a color scheme that can get me going on an outfit, or it’s a certain piece that I have something similar to. It amazes me how creative people are. I’m so appreciative to those who share their style.

As far as the process, it looks a lot different now than it did when I started my blog. When I first started, I was in the habit of shopping for a whole outfit, then throwing it on in the morning while rushing to get to work on time. Little to no thought of why I am buying something ever crossed my mind. So when I had already worn an outfit, I felt like I had nothing to wear so many mornings I would just throw something on and hope it worked. Now I write down outfit ideas in a little notebook when I think of one, or I clip out cute photos in magazines or catalogs and create an inspiration board. Sometimes I’ll play dress up in my closet and pair cute outfits together so that in a pinch I can look put together without having to go through half of my closet. 

What are some of your favorite looks, as shown on your blog?

I guess lately my “Over the Weekend” post has been one of my favorites, as it was just so comfortable to wear and I felt so put together, even though I was in jeans. 


If you could keep only five pieces from your wardrobe, what would they be?
So many tough questions, Emily! I would say my skinny jeans (loooove my skinnies), red heels, my fitted blazer, my orange silk tank, and my creme button down blouse. I might have to throw in a skirt or two as well. 

What inspired you to start the 30-by-30 Challenge?
Last April when I first started my 30 for 30 journey, I really had two things in mind: to learn to shop better and to be happy with what I owned. I had seen a few remixes in magazines and wanted to challenge myself to see if I could mix up my clothing for 30 days. So with few readers and nothing more than 30 pieces of clothing, I set out to prove to myself that I could make the best of what I have. I’ve since done the challenge for all 4 seasons and have learned something new each time.


What does a day in the life of Kendi look like?
Well, I wake up at 3 pm, grab lunch and then quickly go back to bed. Just kidding, that’s what college looked like for me though, now that I think about it…My morning starts at 6 am (I know right?) with a trip to the gym, then I’m strapped to my desk most days answering emails, working with sponsors and keeping up with my blog. My husband and I are working on our photography business and getting ready to launch a new site. Besides not cleaning our house and cooking the occasional dinner, that’s what my day looks like! 

How would you describe your life in small-town Texas? And if you don’t mind me asking, whereabouts did you live prior to moving to Bryan’s hometown?
Our life is simple, really. It has become comforting in a way, where as before we were always on the go, always in two places at once it seemed. We lived in Dallas before, right smack dab in the middle of the metroplex where it took 25 minutes to get anywhere. Now if we drive for 25 minutes we’ve made it to another town. As much as I talk about my town’s lack of fashion sense, it really is a great place to live a simple life. I couldn’t imagine my blog and what I do working anywhere else, so for that I am so very grateful for the way our life turned out. 

9. I admire your sarcasm and whit, but I wonder if it’s ever gotten you into trouble, like mine has for me.
Oh yeah. I’ve finally learned to keep to myself after one too many foot-in-mouth situations. More often than not, most people that I meet don’t get my humor right off the bat or at all. So I have to tone my sarcasm down most days, unless I know I’m in good company.


What do you find most exciting about what you do?
Meeting and connecting with people. May it be online or off — it has been SO MUCH FUN (yes I’m that excited) meeting new friends this past year and a half. A blogger and I started emailing back when I first started blogging and never really stopped. We quickly became email pen pals and then she ended up visiting me last month in Texas. It’s cool that I can find a best friend who lives a million miles away from me all through blogging.
How did you become involved with Jessica Constable of Jess LC and Makeunder My Life?
Jess contacted me last fall to be a part of her Diversey collection look book. She asked if my husband and I would be interested in coming up to Chicago and shooting the look book and I said an emphatic “yes!” When she picked us up at the airport, we were instant friends. Since then we’ve kept up our friendship through emails and phone calls and the occasional guest post on her blog (most recently our Dream Reporter gig).

What are some of your favorite/least favorite moments in popular culture?
 Real Housewives of …Anywhere. That show is addicting! Least favorite? Snuggies? Mainly because I received 4 all in one Christmas. That was a cruel joke. 


What is your biggest guilty pleasure?
 Shopping aside, date nights with my husband. We are really, really good at catching happy hours at just the right time.
What are some of your hopes and goals for the future of Kendi Everyday as well as your personal life?
For Kendi Everyday, I hope to just continue to journal my outfits each day and see my style continue to change and grow. I hope to be able to help more people with finding their own style within a budget with not only my blog but on a personal level as well. And as for personal life? Who knows! Maybe a new city, maybe a baby, maybe I’ll just cut some bangs. I’ll just go where the wind takes me. ;)


Thank you Kendi!