This month’s featured blogger is Josie of With a Wink and a Smile. She was one of the first bloggers I connected with after starting my blog and I’ve followed her ever since. Josie does classic prep well, while giving it her own spin (and always with a smile).
Location? Swapping between Minneapolis, MN (my hometown) and Notre Dame, IN (where I’m a junior in college)
Who takes your pictures? My saintly mom takes photos in several outfits when I’m home on breaks and I post them sporadically while I’m at school, so I have to plan several months in advance.
What kind of camera and photo editing software do you use? My mom is kind enough to let me use her Canon PowerShot S3 IS when I’m home; at school I use a pretty basic little Sony Cybershot.
How did you first get into blogging and why? I was a freshman at school and feeling pretty uninspired by the gray days and mundane work. I’ve always loved reading and writing about style, so figured that this would be a great way to bring a little extra color to my life.
What does an average day look like for you? Weekdays are pretty basic at schools; I usually have classes, eat lunch and read blogs, then go to the library for several hours to study. Working out and writing posts usually happen late at night. On weekends, I’m generally sleeping later than I should before spending most of the day studying. At home, I’m always shopping, seeing friends and spending time with family, and exploring my Twin Cities (and usually getting lost).
What is your favorite thing about blogging? My favorite thing about blogging would have to be the outlet it gives me. It’s such a great way to express my personal style and write about something that I’m passionate about. And of course the blog community is fantastic.
How do you handle it when you just can’t think of anything to write about? I usually try to step away from the post for awhile and go look for inspiration – outside, on other blogs, anywhere I can find it.
Who do you look up to within the blogosphere/fashion industry & why? I’m more than a little obsessed with Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere; I think that she’s done so much to pave the way in terms of fashion blogging. I also think that Anna of See Jane is so classy and chic and Carrie from This Free Bird is a true original. But I think that anyone who works hard at what they do deserves loads of credit.
Would you like blogging to become your full time job? I don’t know – I love blogging but I don’t know if I’d have the discipline for it to be my full-time job. I would like to do something in fashion, though, so I see it as a great stepping stone and something that I’d want to keep doing for fun in the future.
Where do you see yourself blogging wise in the next 6 months, and 5 years down the road? I certainly hope to still be blogging and have the blog be growing in the next several months – I’m spending spring semester in Washington, DC, so I’m excited to see how that affects my style and what I blog about. In 5 years, I’d be thrilled to still be blogging, hopefully in addition to writing for a fashion magazine or contributing to the industry in some other way.
What do you do when you aren’t working on your blog? Mostly homework – the life of a student is just so thrilling. I love shopping, baking, and will take quality time with my friends and family over just about anything else.
What advice would you give to new bloggers? Make sure you’re writing about what YOU want to write about and be sure that you’re doing it for you – not for anyone else or for any reason other than that you love it.
What mistakes/ realizations have you come to throughout your journey as a blogger? Is it harder/easier/more fun than you expected? Blogging is definitely harder than I thought, but it’s a blast and I wouldn’t trade With a Wink and a Smile for anything. I didn’t know that fashion blogging had become so big and, while I’ve definitely had some missteps along the way, I’m pretty happy with how the blog has shaped itself.
What networking do you do that you feel helps your blogging business? Of course reading and commenting on other blogs is a great way to connect, and I use social networks, especially Twitter, though probably not as effectively as I could. I do think it’s a great way to connect with other bloggers and follow what’s going on with favorite companies.
How would you describe your personal style? I’d describe it as classic feminine prep with a twist.
Where do you get your style inspirations? I draw inspiration from everywhere: celebrities, magazines, seasons, other blogs, and the people around me. I think that street style is so fantastic because how people put outfits together is absolutely fascinating.
Who are your influences/ fashion favorites? Celebrity-wise, I love Audrey Hepburn, Lauren Conrad, Rachel Bilson, and Jennifer Aniston. They always look beautiful and chic. As a J. Crew addict, I’m also a big fan of Jenna Lyons and Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere due to her consistently impeccable styling.
What role does your budget play in shaping your style? Budget plays a huge role for me: I’m a college student and therefore perpetually broke. I worked at an upscale resale shop for a few summers and have always been a big fan of buying pre-owned clothes. A lot of the time I find designer pieces with tags still on them for a third of the price. I love sales and am always hunting for a great deal, but I will spend on absolute classics: perfectly-fitting jeans, great boots, and fantastic coats.
Whose closet would you most like to raid? Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere and Rachel Bilson’s – and can we consider all of Bloomingdale’s and Barney’s to be “closets?”
If you could trade places with any other person for a week who would it be? Oh, gosh – maybe Taylor Swift. I’ve always wanted to be a diva.
If a movie was made about your life, who would you like to play the lead role? Katie Holmes – she does smart and sassy so well.
What is your secret dream? It’s hardly a secret, but I’ve always wanted to work for a fashion magazine – there’s something so alluring about it to me. But I mostly just want to be happy with whatever I do in my life.
What are some things on your bucket list? I’ve never been to Western Europe: I desperately want to go to Italy and France and the UK.
What is your personal motto? “The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.” Thank you, Audrey Hepburn.
Ever been to another country or state that you liked better then where you currently live? I really do love Minneapolis (it’s a very cool city), but every time I go to New York, I get sad when I leave. I think I’d definitely love living there. I also am a big fan of California, from San Francisco all the way down to LA.
A phrase you use far too often? It changes every month or so – right now, it’s “just saying.”
To see more Josie, head on over to With a Wink and a Smile.