As a budding blogger I will admit I really didn't know what I was getting into. So it seemed fitting that I learn from a pro. As I shadow 24-year-old blogger Ashley Weddington, I gain insight into what it takes to build a brand and social presence while trying to stay relevant. With a whopping 11.3K followers, Ashley’s fashion blog A Styled Mind is on the fast track to success.
At a location in Midtown, I meet Ashley and her photographer Nick for one of their bi-weekly photo shoots. As they begin to shoot you can instantly feel the chemistry between the two. The energy from their positive photographer / model dynamic carries over into the photos they produce. The shoots are easygoing yet strategic, with neither one losing sight of the main goal which is getting the “perfect” shot.
For the past two years Ashley has curated and created a persona around her blog, A Styled Mind that sticks true to who she is. As we sit at brunch discussing life, burgers and (finally) her blog, you can tell that the passion and drive she puts into A Styled Mind is what gives it the lasting power it takes to stay relevant in this forever changing social media age.
Saturday School: So I’ve been following your blog for a while, when did you first start and what made you want to start it?
Ashley Weddington: I started my blog March 20, 2015. This was an idea I had before graduating college, but once I moved to NYC and began meeting other entrepreneurs, I was determined to bring my idea to life and put my creative energy into something that was 100% mine.
SS: How did you get your initial inspiration for A Styled Mind?
AW: I’ve always been a lover of shopping and personal style. During my college career, I always enjoyed planning my outfits for various events and styling my friends -- it came naturally to me.
SS: Blogging has always been a huge mystery to me. When I started Saturday School I wasn't sure where to begin. I'm curious, what is your creative process?
AW: A big part of my personal style is “versatility.” That said, when planning for my photoshoots my only constant thought is to not repeat the same type of looks over and over. Aside from that, I enjoy going to different stores and just seeing what pieces jump out at me. My locations, are rarely ever planned-- I like to walk around until I find an area that compliments the outfit as a whole.
SS: Since starting A Styled Mind what’s been the biggest struggle you’ve had so far?
AW: The biggest struggle I’ve had to face thus far has definitely been comparing my journey to others. Since I’m trying to break though such a highly saturated industry, it’s easy to lose sight of my own goals and get distracted by the milestones others are making.
SS: Most definitely! In New York everyone is trying to make something out of themselves. What are some words of wisdom you would give other aspiring “creators”?
AW: Find your passion and pursue it. Build a brand and create something that’s yours-- even if nothing comes of it financially, it’s a reflection of yourself that no one can take away from you.
SS: When you’re not working on your blog, what is your 9-to-5 job?
AW: I’m a Campaign Manager for Time Inc.
SS: Awesome! So you have the blog and a full time job, what is your end goal?
AW: My end goal would be to create an advertising and media hub that people can come to for inspiration, fashion services, and product promotion.
SS: Last question, what advice would you give high school you?
AW: Your over-analyzing, and planning ahead is not totally a bad thing; follow your gut and enjoy every moment.