It's been a little over three years since I started writing spashionista.com.
Within that period of time the fashion-bloggersphere has expanded exponentially. That's not necessarily a good thing. Often bloggers get so caught up with the trendy, upscale aspects of fashion that they end up being exclusionists. It's easy to get caught up in the frenzy of self-promoting through sponsors and monetization that can skew a blogger's original premise in exchange for more readers, bigger ticket promotions or incompatible merchandise. It can be difficult to stay true to your message, especially if it garners a niche following that doesn't necessarily bring in the big numbers. After all, what's the point of writing a blog that no one is reading?
While I haven't sold my soul for higher page views I have explored different groups within which to impart my message. In doing so I've met some really wonderful people - most of whom don't have more than a passing interest in fashion, but are similar in age range, or weight, or physical limitations. I have read blog posts and followed the social media entries from the individuals in these groups. I learned three very important lessons.
A lot of women find it beneficial, even cathartic, to write about many aspects of their lives in great detail. It works for them; it's never worked for me. Brevity and succinctness is my style and I rarely stray from that. However, in person I find it infinitely easier to connect with people and foster good relationships as I deliver my message. I'm at my best when I'm exploring Nashville and all of it's shops, boutiques, restaurants and venues, and all the people that make this city so very vibrant.
Something else I learned is that I don't strongly identify with any one particular group. My identity exists at the intersection of these circles of individuals.
Lastly, and most importantly, I learned that not one single woman within my acquaintances is perfectly satisfied with themselves and their bodies. Rich, poor, young, middle-aged, old, short, tall, thin, curvy, disabled, able-bodied, Caucasian, African-American, Hispanic, etc - none of them! This is especially true for women who don't have access to resources that allow them to dress the body they have in the best way possible.
While I can't claim to be perfectly satisfied with my own body I have learned what it takes to look my best. I've had to be tenacious in finding shops and artisans, both brick-and-mortar and online, that carry pieces that will work for my specific body type, size, disability, age and budget. It's always going to be a work in progress, but I'm worth it - and so are you.
In moving forward, I want to focus a bit more on assembling resources for those of us that aren't served by standard "off-the-rack" clothing. That includes petites, extra-small and plus sizes, narrow, wide and extended shoe sizes, and adaptive clothing in as many price points as I can find. I'll continue covering Nashville and stressing the "shop local" premise whenever possible, because I think it's important and with the creation of the Nashville Fashion Alliance this town is poised to become the nation's next fashion capitol.
I want to foster and empower every woman reading Spashionista to be confident in their beauty and exude their own sense of style. Because fashion is for every body.
Now there's a T-shirt slogan I would wear. What about you?
I want to hear from all of you. What is holding you back from looking and feeling your best? Do you have specific fit issues that you need help addressing? Are you having trouble finding clothing that falls within your sense of style? Talk to me!