Why Blogging is Hard - Social Media Vs Reality
I felt like it was time to write on this topic. People say to me, “wow your photos are amazing, you have the best life.” I smile to myself because while my photos make people feel happy for me and while I love the content we create, I really want to give people an insight into how much work really goes into it.
You do not need me to personally tell you that social media is a highlight reel. In 2020 we know that it’s carefully selected versions of our real life and our ‘best’ selves.
Fashion, to me, can be like social media - a conduit for connection. It’s important to me as someone who is a mum, not at all Gen Z and didn’t grow up with a smartphone attached to my hand, that we humanise ourselves and share the guts and the glory as well as the highs and the glam.
While I’m not at a level where I’m ready to post images of my bum cellulite or armpit hair I will happily be myself, be transparent and show you the raw realities of my life exactly as they are.
My boutique opens at 9:30am which means we need to start capturing pre-planned content at around 7am. On top of this I have to co-ordinate getting my kid and all his sports and academic possessions to school, getting my car packed with what I need for the day plus all my blogging outfits. I live up high in an apartment and I’m parked in the basement.
This means several heavy, awkward trips down the stairs and down in the lift carrying my entire wardrobe to and from the car. I think that the landlords of my building must watch me on the cameras and laugh each week. I can’t blame them! I must look like I’m moving house.
Sometimes I just sit there and cry because I have such big days, late nights followed with early mornings it all just feels like such hard work with a never ending business to do list to boot.
If you’re feeling yucky and fat on a blog day and you’re hot from changing outfits multiple times and you’ve been up since the crack of dawn with no breakfast yet you just plain don’t feel like doing it. You feel sluggish, grumpy and you would rather sleep a little longer, eat burger and not pump out the content.
And my social media manager gets cranking. Because she’s my work wife and I work with her so much, I know all her faces and know when I’m in the dog house and not getting it done. So I remember I need to be grateful for the help (and there is SO much assistance, because when I'm up early and standing out there in the sun, so is she) and push through and get it done. And please don’t hit me hahaha or I’ll hide in the garden. One day I hid behind a suitcase to avoid making content but she found me because my hair bun gave my hiding spot away.
On days like this I tell myself to focus on the future, I tell myself to realise that I’m making others happy and that so many people all over the world look forward to this blog every single week. It’s such a trying time and I have a real opportunity here to offer people the relief of humour, hope, fun, a chance to feel inspired and entertained. It’s an outlet for us all (myself included) to really push back against the constant bad news and fear that can sometimes surround us in this time. We all need a mental and emotional oasis and this blog is exactly that, for us.
I get into bed at night then really appreciate the work put in and be able to see the pictures I’ve wanted to create coming to life. Content creation takes time and costs money so you have to love it and really want it. The best bit for me is wearing my pyjamas, climbing into bed and feeling accomplished. Then seeing your messages come through saying ‘thank you’ for tonight’s blog or today’s Instagram posts. That’s what I’m here for.
How do we capture content?
We pull up at our location early in the morning. Then I jump out of the car and stand in position at the first photo location.
The first outfit feels great then the entire process really begins.
I stand on the side of the road (because my car is full of clothes so I can't get changed in there). I'm half-dressed in the first outfit and half changing into the second outfit so that I’m not nude in public.
Sometimes my arms or shoes get stuck or I can’t get buttons to un-do or do-up or zips get stuck. I’ve been stuck accidently showing early morning cyclists my butt when I bend over to get changed.
What I can tell you is that, jeez, it’s bloody hot standing here in the sun trying to get this photo.
I’m sweaty, I’m trying to social distance and I’m already thinking about which outfit to shoot next.
A year ago I never thought I’d have a blog let alone be stripping on the street.
On occasion after struggling into my next outfit and rushing to the next photo spot in the essence of time, and getting into position, people or employees will come up to me and say “you can’t take a photo here.” This seldom happens but when it does it really throws you off your schedule and game emotionally and mentally.
Some people have a love hate relationship with social media.
Everyone has an opinion, some good and some bad. Some people don’t understand the impact, the immediacy and the invaluable reach and connection it offers a small business or an individual to send out their message to the world.
Reality Vs Social Media What I do: rummage around my boot and car, look for my next outfit, change, misplace my car keys...
Finally get it together, realise I didn't bring the bag I wanted to wear with this. Lock the car then walk to the location spot. What you see on my social media:
Such fashion, so brunch. So calm, such lifestyle.
I wanted to share these photos with you. Because you always see the end result, the ‘perfect’ photos. I have in fact been driving around with my car packed full of my wardrobe like this for four days because I live high up in an apartment and park my car in the basement and I can’t be bothered to take all of this up with me at the end of the day.
Sometimes the pressures of having ‘perfect skin’ or the perfect tan when in reality you’ve woken up bloated and exhausted are full on.
On the bright side the toots on the side of the road always help. It’s so fleeting. The ‘whoo-hoos’ the whistles. But maybe it’s an 87-year-old man doing it, with a beer belly and loud horn. It’s too bright outside AND I’m short sighted so I can’t even see properly, how would I know?
The Fashion Fox
The fashion fox name came about because I feel like I am always hunting for the best fashion pieces. Ever since the beginning of my boutique, Miss Henry, I was on the hunt for the best designs and brands.
In fashion I have to be astute, switched on and discerning. At showings, in my boutique and in one to one fashion styling sessions. It’s a high focus job because it’s all about the details, people and reinventing fashion identities.
In showings I’m known for being in and then straight out, getting my orders on collections completed quickly. I’m swift because I have a very clear aesthetic and I always buy with my customers at the forefront of my mind.
Everything I select is for them and in line with the Miss Henry signature style. So when you go into a showing know exactly what you’re looking for, this makes it easy to be in and out and onto the next even when hundreds of garments are in one room. You can immediately see what you love. I think it’s unique. Fashion agents seem to like this because I don’t take up lots of other people’s time in a showing and pride myself on being decisive.
The ‘real’ me is when I attend an event. It’s a look that is high fashion, New York, it’s aspirational, it’s me on my best day. This is who The Fashion Fox is to me.
While I love throwing on my jeans and beautiful sweaters, who I REALLY am is glam, chic and international. In my heart and soul.
I’m known for being almost like a nicer version of Miranda Presley in The Devil Wears Prada because I’m all about outcomes and being direct but then it’s all about being warm, open and building relationships and lifelong friendships.
It’s sometimes hard running a business, being ‘Miss Henry’ (because I’ve become my boutique’s namesake) and while I love her so very much, sometimes I just think FML. And sometimes I wish I just sold tyres. Because this would mean that the expectation of my outfit and “what are you wearing” wouldn’t be so high at every event or dinner I go to.
Mama Dee told me that if I sold tyres instead of fashion customers would come in to buy 20 run flats when they only needed 4. She said I would bring the tyre industry to whole new glamour level.
The process and the outcome to create content for The Fashion Fox
So now I ask you, who is your alter ego?
What’s he or she like, what does she do and when do you get to ‘be him’ or ‘her’?
How does he or she push you, inspire you and take you to new heights?
Are you grateful when you get the fleeting chance to be your best version of yourself?
I have promised myself that I will spend more time from now on walking in the Fashion Fox’s shoes.
I bet they are gold, Valentino heels. That aspirational bitch.
It feels good to embrace this side.
Blog homework Creating the blog begins at least a month before we start making content. Each week I write notes, then match up useful, valuable photo concepts with each section of the blog. Next I pick content days for the month ahead then choose my locations.
Lastly, I gather up my matching outfits to go with each blog (this part takes a bloody long time). Then late at night I do several trips to load up the car, set my alarm for 6am on a school day and then mentally prepare before bedtime for the absolute fashion carnage which will follow when I wake up. I’m constantly thinking of topics, sometimes topics pop into my head so I quickly jot them down for later. I thought of a topic last week but I’m scared that if I write it you might unfollow me. Topics such as “Why are some people so mean?”
Then there’s the self-doubt. What if this week’s blog is bad? And you all log off? What if last week’s topic was far more enticing?
This has been a year of learning and moving differently for me. I’ve never grown so rapidly in such a short space of time. Sometimes blog topics make me feel emotional and I have to have a break from writing them. There’s also a healing element to it too. I’ve got some hum-dingers coming up ladies. That’s a promise. I’ve really dug deep recently to deliver some raw and personal topics for us soon.
How to get motivated People always ask me where I get my energy from. I think it’s because I love what I do.
I have a hunger and a sense of urgency. And a focus on the future. It was originally born from the need to provide for my son and make a new life. Then continued from habit.
Nowadays I get motivated to make people happy (your kind words and feedback inspire me and push me forward more than you know). I get a high from boosting people’s self-esteem and being able to connect with you through fashion and life no matter where you are in the world.
My favourite thing is creating meaning around fashion and being able to make it relatable and attainable for every woman. Fashion can be a topic that is excluding, biased and aloof. My mission is to close that gap.
So even though I’ve got 2000 dollar pants in my boutique, I have a collection of designer, bespoke and affordable investment pieces for every woman and every age and stage of life. AND we get to laugh, have a good time, drink champagne and really level up our personal style.
Fashion brings us together. It’s something we all have in common.
Sometimes I feel like there will be a blog every week for the rest of my life because there is there is always something to blog about. I have so much knowledge that I’ve accumulated over my lifetime in fashion, business and motherhood.
Also, off topic, one of my friends popped in yesterday and he couldn’t be hotter. He has beautiful olive skin, he’s older than me and I’ll I could think was, “Lay on me now please sir”.
Am I allowed to say that on here? So perhaps I should entertain this and do a whole blog about it. Hahaha. You now know I dedicate all my time to my kid, my business and my blog. But maybe I could just have one night off. What do you think? Perhaps he could come over and borrow a cup of sugar.
Thank you for hanging out with me tonight on the blog. I hope this topic gave you some insight into the world of content creation and blogging. There's so much that goes on behind the scenes of just one blog and just one photo. Hopefully this makes us all feel better when we see all the 'perfect images' out there, especially when we feel low energy, bloated and just want to eat hot chips and drink wine. On Tuesday night next week I'll be back with an open heart, wardrobe, and attitude to bring you another Fashion Fox blog. If you'd like to spend time with me before then feel free to follow my boutique or personal Instagram account. See you soon! Nicole Aka The Fashion Fox @misshenryboutique (my business) @the_fashion_fox_ (me)