One day my student suddenly asked me what I had wanted to do when I was their age. This question got me thinking. There were 3 jobs that I really liked back then, news reporter, police officer and lawyer. As you can see, somehow I wanted to make this world a little bit better if I can, Lol! I am a full time teacher and a fashion blogger now and I sort of accomplished my childhood dream. Because both my day job and my blog are inspiring others to be the best they can be. Blogging has been a great way to get to know a lot of other people with my same passions and interests. Today I’m starting a regular feature where I will interview some of my favorite bloggers and introduce them to you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
I met Rhea through my fashion blog. As a new blogger I am always so happy when I receive positive feedback on my posts. She left some great comments and I went back to visit her blog. I loved how she styles her outfits! She has that casual but chic vibe that I really relate to. And she is such a nice person! I feel that I already know her, even though we’ve never met face to face. I have to say, blogging is a very interesting way to meet people and make friends. I admired her blog so much that I decided to ask her for an interview. Luckily for me and you, she agreed! And here it is. Enjoy!
Rhea is the girl behind the blog (and namesake) RheaEtCetera.com. A Los Angeles, California resident and a marketing professional by day, Rhea started her blog in January 2013 as a creative outlet for the things she is passionate about: fashion, food, and random travels.
Once in a while she shares stories of her adventures with her husband and their Shih Tzu and Yorkie mix named Mochi. But, for the most part, she chronicles her love for skirts and dresses through RheaEtCetera.com. Outside of blogging, you can find her posting random photos that make her happy through Instagram.
1. Can you tell us about your blog and what inspired you to start it?
I actually started blogging from way back when the Internet was just gaining popularity. I was on Friendster and Xanga (anyone else remember these old school social media platforms?). I stopped blogging due to high school and eventually college, but knew I would always want to go back to blogging as a creative outlet. Early 2013, I felt I was ready to come back to maintaining my blog. I wanted to write about my personal style, travel, food, books, fitness…. I couldn’t decide then on that one niche, so I named my blog “Rhea Et Cetera.”
2. Can you describe a typical day as a blogger while also having a full time job?
Blogging is a full time job in itself! So, I started blogging in January 2013 which was right smack in the middle of my wedding planning, then right after I got married, I got a new job that required a whole lot of my attention. Because of these things, blogging took a backseat just when I was just getting started. But, I needed to blog to keep me sane as it is my creative outlet and I love getting to know other bloggers that I really made it a point to make time for blogging no matter how busy my schedule gets. I post new blog posts on Mondays and Fridays and both of these posts I would have done and scheduled from the weekend prior and in between I would sneak in commenting and visiting other blogs. Due to a full time schedule, I am not able to promote my blog as much as I would like to, but I do what I can.
3. What do you enjoy most about blogging? What is your biggest challenge?
What I enjoy the most is the interaction with fellow bloggers. I love talking about fashion and seeing how others style their outfits. I’ve made friends through blogging that translated to an offline friendship, and for that I am grateful.
My biggest challenge would be sometimes the lack of time due to competing priorities.
4. How do you deal with unpleasant comments and spam?
Since switching over to Word Press and having the plug in to block spam, spam has not been an issue. Hmm… once, I received a comment that my outfit was outdated already… I just shrugged it off an smiled. 🙂
5. Do you have any specific goals for the year?
Yes — this year I am working towards making a dream of mine come true… I’ll be sharing on my blog soon what it is! 🙂
6. Who was your first style icon? How would you describe your personal style?
My favorite style icon is Stacy London — love, love her!
I’d describe my personal style as feminine and casual. I rarely wear pants…. I prefer skirts and dresses all the way, but outside of being “girly girl” and wearing skirts and dresses with heels, I love styling them with sneakers, canvas shoes, flats.
7. What’s the one wardrobe essential you can’t live without? When you can’t think of anything to wear, what is your go to outfit? Do you have any fashion rules when putting an outfit together?
Skirts! 🙂 I love skirts — wrote a blog post why I love them so. They are my essential and my go to outfit. My general formula for putting an outfit together is
long sleeve top + knee length skirt + (flats or heels) = my kinda outfit
8. Where do you tend to buy your clothes and why? What is your next fashion must-have?
Lately my favorite shops are Ann Taylor and Uniqlo. I love their feminine and casual styles. My next fashion must-have… I’ve been so into
9. Who is your photographer? What camera do you use? Any tips about how to take better photos and have a good pose?
Usually, my husband takes my blog photos either using our Samsung Galaxy point-and-shoot camera or our camera phones. I’ve worked with a friend who is a professional photographer as well.
To take better photos — it’s all about lighting. And, since we live in a digital world, don’t be afraid to take quite a few shots until you find the perfect one! As far as posing, just natural posing is the best. 🙂
10. What is the best advice you’ve received about blogging? Where do you find the inspiration for your blog posts?
Just be yourself. It’s easy to get caught up with number of followers, etc, but your followers grow if you are true to yourself to how you write.
Hmm…. to be honest inspiration strikes out of nowhere. I keep a notebook with me all the time to keep a list of blog post ideas that suddenly come to me.
11. Do shop and advertisers send you samples of goods to feature? What tips can you give us about how to find one and work with them better?
Yes, I’ve had my share of sponsored posts. It’s an exciting feeling to be contacted by a boutique requesting your personal styling on their product. I’ve had some shops contact me for a sponsored posts, but their products were not really my style — so as far as tips, I would say if you are approached, you don’t necessarily have to say yes to every proposal — make sure the product you are representing still represents you.
12. What social media do you use? Which one is your favorite?
I am on Instagram all the time! 🙂
13. You have a lot of followers to your blog, how did you do this? How long were you blogging until you got your first follower? How did you get more?
I participated in a few group giveaways to put myself out there and gain followers. I think though that the best way to get followers, while it may take longer, is to have engagement with fellow bloggers. I love visiting and discovering new blogs whose style really interest me and because I am interested in their style blog, I naturally leave a comment and follow them. If they like my blog, too, they follow back. Sometimes really it’s not about the numbers too…it’s the value of your engagement with your readers. 🙂
14. What is the best tip you have for anyone who wants to start a fashion blog or website?
Just be true to yourself…. find your own voice online, share your personal style and just enjoy blogging. The more you enjoy what you do, numbers will just naturally grow. PS: A good knowledge of HTML coding helps, too!