A guest post by Peyton of Love 'N' Labels
How did you get started as a blogger?
I've always loved all things fashion and studied fashion merchandising in college. In one of my college courses, I learned about fashion bloggers for the first time right when the blogging industry started to take off. I was amazed by it all and began religiously following some of my favorite bloggers. My boyfriend at the time (now my hubs) mentioned that I should start a blog since I loved fashion so much and was so intrigued with the blogging world. I said "me?? heck no." right off the bat. Then, he convinced me and made me a website (He's a web developer, so at least I had that going for me at the time LOL). So ... love 'n' labels was officially born back in 2013. And I didn't do anything with it for 3 YEARS!! Between being a full time student, cheering at UT, and then (later down the road) planning a wedding and becoming a wife, I just felt that I had too much on my plate at the time to try to focus on making LNL a success.
After graduation, I went on to become an Assistant Buyer for a large corporate fashion company, and I learned SO much there. However, something about sitting at a desk all day punching numbers wasn't working for me. My inner creative juices were begging to come out! That's when I decided it was time to start working on my blog and get it ready to launch. I officially launched and published my first blog post on October 4, 2016. I had no clue what I was doing at first!! I took courses and did TONS of research so that I could somewhat know what to do / what not to do. Overtime, I got to a place where I knew how to pitch and negotiate with brands, and I began to make a little bit of side money from this "part time" side hustle. I was still working a 9-5 job and did this for about 7 months before I decided I was mentally, physically, and financially prepared to take my blog full time in April of 2017. Best. Decision. Ever!! And here we are today ... I never thought I could love a "job" this much, but I'm so thankful for this career path!
I love the reasoning behind your blog name, Love 'N' Labels - Could you fill our community in on the inspiration and how you've built your blog around it?
Thank you! 🙂 The name of my blog, love 'n' labels, is based off of a quote by Carrie Bradshaw (who just so happens to be my style icon) ... "Women come to New York for the two L's: Labels and Love" - Carrie Bradshaw
Now, I'm not living in the Big Apple, no. I’m just a small town girl with a big city heart (I’m just overly obsessed with NYC) and two things that I am most passionate about in life are fashion and love. So … it only seemed fitting to name my blog after some of my favorite things and inspirations. Through this blog, I aim to share with my readers how to get those ‘New Yorker street styles’ anywhere in the world! I love to wear high-fashion, streetstyle looks as much as the next NYC it-girl, so who says I can't wear those types of outfits right here in Tennessee? I want to inspire my readers to embrace their inner fashionista, no matter where they are from.
CB was definitely one of the biggest inspirations when it came to choosing a name for my blog, but I like to think that I am taking my own spin on her quote by relating it to the everyday, fashionable, lovable woman – the one who can join me in mixing both high and low fashions & spread love to every person we meet.
How do you prepare for a photo shoot?
It starts off weeks in advance when you are working with a brand on a collaboration because you must go back and forth via email to determine the campaign details and what products you'll be shooting. Once they arrive in the mail, I update the brand on the arrival and inform them of the day I'll be shooting/posting the campaign. Typically, I'll get all outfits, accessories, shoes, products, props, etc. prepared the night before my photo shoots. This includes tasks such as steaming and hanging all apparel and styling the outfits head to toe (hair accessories, hats, earrings, bracelets, belts, shoes, sunglasses, handbags, the clothes, etc.). Then, I'll pack up all of the accessories and shoes into separate bags and put the outfits in order of how I'd like to shoot them. Then, we think about locations for each look. It's a lot longer of a process than many people may think!
With having a degree in Fashion Merchandising and Business, do you ever see taking your blog to the next level? As in, creating a line, opening a store, etc.; Why or why not?
I go back and forth on this. I used to want to open my own boutique where I would have a brick-and-morter store as well as a website. However, I'm thinking about taking that idea in a different direction now. I will say that before I even thought about starting a blog, my ultimate goal was to create my own line of clothing. I would still (ideally) that to make that dream a reality someday, however, I'm just following God's lead! Right now, I think I'm right where He wants me to be.
You have such a fierce body girl. How do you find time in-between all you do to stay so fit?
Oh goodness LOL! Thank you 🙂 To be completely honest, it is SO hard to find time to make it to the gym. I love it when I take the time to go workout -- I feel like I can get so much more done after a good workout. But, it's not something that happens everyday for me. I try to go to the gym at least 3-5 times per week, but sometimes it only may happen once if I have a super crazy week or if I'm on travel. Since I do stay so busy, I like to keep my workouts quick and intense. I try to be in and out of the gym in less than 45 min. My ideal workout at the moment is Kayla Itsines BBG program in the Sweat app. Each workout is super intense, but it only last for 28 minutes. And I feel like I've worked out for a solid hour once those 28 minutes are over. It's such a great, toning workout with cardio mixed in, so I feel like I get a lot out of it and it's super quick. It only makes me take 30 minutes out of my crazy schedule, which is ideal! (You can also do a lot of the BBG workouts at home, so on the super busy days when I feel like I can't leave, I'll try to do it at home.)
What's your favorite workout trend this year?
Leggings with the pockets on the side!! Genius. (Also, high-waisted leggings - gotta have them!)
Your style is so fun and unique, what pieces do you start with to create a look?
I typically start with the dress / romper / top / etc. itself and then go from there. Unless it's a statement shoe or accessory, then I'll style the look around that main piece. Basically, I find one piece of the outfit that I want to be the main focus and then add to it as needed!
You have been blogging for a little over a year now and have seen some amazing growth. What tips do you have for growing a following?
Yes - coming up on 2 years in October, woo! I actually just posted a very real, detailed, in-depth blog post with all of the tips I've been using to grow my following. Unfortunately, there's no secret way to sky rocket over night (and gain REAL followers), but I've tested out many different strategies that really help and included them all in my blog post.
You did a post last summer about blogging for a living and listd out the many different hats you wear to make it happen. What's your favorite part about blogging for a living?
Bloggers truly wear so many hats - it's unreal. But it's SO rewarding. My favorite part about my career is getting to connect with so many amazing women. Whether it be one of my loyal readers, a brand rep, or a fellow blogger turned friend, I love getting to meet/connect with them and hear their stories. I've gained some of the sweetest friendships just from Instagram messaging with a fellow blogger and then when we finally meet in person, it's that "where have you been all my life??" moment! One of the best parts is receiving messages, comments and emails from my audience telling me that my post helped or inspired them in some way. I can't begin to describe the feeling I get when I receive messages from readers saying that because of me being open and honest about my faith / fashion / real life stories / etc, that they feel led to speak out about Jesus / try that new fashion trend / tell their story / etc. Connecting with my audience is truly the most rewarding part of it all!
What's some advice you can give to bloggers starting out to help find their groove and their spot in this ever-growing industry?
Stay real. Stay true to YOU (and your brand). Stay original. Stay creative. Start NOW!
Pay it forward and stay supportive. Never be afraid to help others along the way who may be starting out in the industry ... there's enough success to go around, so share your knowledge with others if they ask for help. I love this quote and feel that it's really important to keep in mind in the midst of what can be a very competitive industry: "A candle doesn't lose its light by lighting another candle. You don't lose your knowledge by sharing. You only gain more." Lift others up and be a supportive, encourage boss babe! 🙂