The Story So Far
Lets just start by saying Happy New Year! I hope you’ve all had an amazing start to 2017? The New Year sees lots of us looking towards the future, fresh starts, resolutions and lots of positivity, which of course I love. However today I wanted to look back! I think it’s important to take the time to reflect and give yourself a pat on the back for all that you have achieved! I say, if you can’t blow your own trumpet, who will? Seriously though, this isn’t a look at what I have done brag, but a refection on the journey that the past year has been. I’m hoping it will inspire you to follow your dreams and do what makes you happy.
So yes, that is what the past year has brought me, happiness. Wind the clock back a year ago and I had just left my full time job, a job that had quite frankly zapped the life out of me (more on that here). It took me a good couple of years of well considered thought to come to the decision that I needed leave. So by the time 2016 came and my three month notice period was over, I just knew that I had made the right decision. There was going to be no looking back, quite ironic given this blog post, but alas, I had mixed emotions. I was excited, a new venture, I felt free. But in contrast I had a little bit of the good nerves, the unknown, relying just on me, myself and I to make this happen. I just knew it was going to be A OK, I had a good feeling but there was no certainty.
This photo (captured beautifully by the husband) above is literally the moment I decided to leave teaching and become a blogger. Yes we were in paradise, yes we may have had rather a lot of Prosecco, but I just knew it was right. This was what I needed, this was me!
Now it is no secret that pre justauniform I was no stranger to posing in front of walls. I was known for making my friends take poor quality photos of me on my iPhone 4. I’m looking back now and questioning why I did this? I didn’t even know that blogging was a thing, I always dreamed of working for a fashion magazine, but it was simply that, a dream. I suppose now I think about it, I liked documenting my outfits. Friends, then strangers, then even brands (thanks Monsoon) starting commenting and reposting my pictures. It got me thinking, I liked it.
The real turning point took place on the day of the picture in the pool (above). I know what you’re thinking, go on what happened? Well I watched IRIS, her love of fashion mimicked how I felt, how it made me feel excited. I loved how she didn’t care what the world thought about how she dressed, she dressed her way because well, she loved it. Watching her documentary made me realise what really made me happy, fashion.
So yes, my appearance has changed! I’ve had my nose pierced and I’ve had more hair colours than you can count on your fingers. This isn’t just about the look though, this is about me being able to be me. Being able to express who I am. The six years previous saw my colourful personality being chipped away at, as the years went on I could hardly recognise myself. No make up, hair that only saw a salon if I had time (and I never had any of that) and clothes that were worn due to convenience. Forget all of that though, one huge thing was missing, my smile!
This year has given me my energy back, I’m smiling and I’m back to being who I want to be, the bonkers, crazy, slight screw loose, me.
The Journey in Photos
This is the very first photo posted on justauniform.com. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I found a doorway (that’s what I thought bloggers do and I wasn’t wrong), coerced my friend into snapping a few pics on my phone for me, and got to putting them up on my shining new site for the whole world to see.
Lesson number one was learnt here, if the shoes are high, bring spares to change into. Anyway, off I hobbled ……..
This is my very first professional shoot, it was with my photographer and very good friend Samantha Taylor. On this shoot I discovered my love of colourful street art as backdrop. I am still absolutely smitten with this shoot.
Lesson number two, if you are lucky enough to find a great photographer, that not only takes good picture but you gel with, treat them like royalty. You need this to create a successful shoot.
The photos Sam has of me when I’m dying of laughter are under lock of key, I have to pay her in good coffee to not share them with the world.
This leads me nicely onto lesson number three, create the images that you want. It is your blog after all.
It is so so tempting to get feed envy (yep this is a thing) and try and imitate another. But seriously, DO YOU! What is the point in doing something somebody else is already doing? The bloggershere is becoming more saturated by the minute, if you want to be noticed, you need to create your own ideas.
It’s not until I got thinking about what I’ve been able to do this year, that I actually took a step back and thought, wow, you’ve been one lucky lady. From my very first press event to attending both London Fashion Weeks, each and every event has given me something. Firstly pure joy, I mean how exciting, a brand wanting me to attend their event? But secondly, connections, no matter how small the event, it has been 100% been worth attending.
I remember being so nervous attending my first press event, I had images of the Devil Wears Prada. You’ll be pleased to hear my worries were not needed, everyone I have come across in the blogging world is pure delight. It’s like we’re all in it together, one big happy fashion loving family.
Before we go any further let me take this moment to tell you my favourite part of the past year, FASHION WEEK! To me it is the most wonderful time of the year, I absolutely love it. In the words of Carrie Bradshaw, “It makes me feel alive.”
What have I learnt from attending blogger events? Be the best kind of you, friendly, grateful and bring business cards, lots of them! That reminds me, I need to get ordering some more.
This year sees me attending fashion weeks across the globe, be sure to follow my adventures on my youtube channel. Cheeky plug there, but if I can’t do it here, where can I?
The OH MY GAWD Moments
Does this section need much explaining? I hope not! That is me, yes me, next to Emma Watson on Pretty 52’s feature on rose gold hair. ACTUALLY CRAZY!! My friends were tagging me saying, “Siobhan, it’s you.” After 2 hours it had been shared 21 THOUSAND times. I’m still getting my head around it to be honest.
My favourite shoe brand asked me permission to use this photo on their newsletter and I nearly died. I screamed so loudly that Jay (my husband) thought something terrible had happened. It hadn’t.
The Luckiest Girl in the World
I can’t get over how many brands I have been privileged to collaborate with. From the small independents to the world wide mega brands, all have been an absolute dream, they’ve taught me something along the way and made me, as a blogger, improve.
My only advice here is only work with brands who like what you are doing, essentially, your brand. I am a colourful blogger. If I start posting minimalist monochrome photos and raving about Scandi style, all because I’m being paid to, then I have completely lost sight of why I went into this in the first place. Yes working this way means that it takes that little bit longer to build your blog, but trust me, it’ll be worth it.
Take Solarium Point, for example. I love that place, they are phenomenal, collaborating with them is an absolute breeze. Do I find it hard to promote them, no, I could do it all day, every day. Why? Because I truly love it there and I believe that you will too. I rave about it way more than I’m asked to because I love it. Have I said that I love it? In all seriousness though, could you imagine if I raved about getting my hair done at a salon, then you got your hair done at said salon and it was awful? What would that do for my rep? I never want to be responsible for hideous hair, point made.
So what does 2017 look like? There is travel, lots of it. New collaborations with some phenomenal brands are on the horizon. New blogging friendships are blossoming and really who knows? I know everyone says this at the beginning of a New Year but I’ve got a really good feeling about 2017.
Looking forward, here are a few quotes that I live my life by.
- Your vibe attracts your tribe.
- Be a radiator, not a drain.
- You only get what you give.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this rather lengthy post (even by my standards).
Wow, what a year it has been!
See you next Saturday for the usual fun filled fashion blog post.