Hello, my vitamins! Today's blogpost is going to be a little different from the usual. Of course fashion is still involved and I'll explain what I wore in this photoset. However, today we are going to go a little deeper into my mind, my career, and my lifestyle.
Fashion has always been a part of me. My grandfather was a menswear designer and tailor back in Vietnam, while my mother has always been the most stylish woman I know. I was put in beauty pageants as a baby and grew up with a camera always in my face. I loved getting my photos taken and I loved dressing up. At age 12, I began my modeling career. I signed with LA Models and did commercial print jobs for Target, H&M, JC Penny, Sprint, Disney, etc. I was constantly going to LA for auditions, which is how I developed my skill of sleeping and doing homework in the car without getting carsick. I found this passion for modeling; yet, as I grew up my height got the best of me and my academics became more important.
As I slowed down in the Hollywood entertainment industry, I started blogging during high school on a platform called Tumblr. Back then it was all about reposting aesthetic photos and music, writing "deep" text posts, and occasionally posting some photo sets. I guess you can call it a way to release my tender teenage angst. After getting so many "asks" about my style and clothes, I realized I wanted to take blogging to the next level. That's when I started "OHVIPOSH."
OHVIPOSH was my first URL. It derived from the saying "oh pish posh." For some reason, I thought it was the cutest name for a fashion blog; it was the perfect mixture of sassy yet simply me. I wanted to use this website to share with the community how I styled my looks and the fashion advice I'd come to develop. But to be honest, having a blog was a means of word dumping my thoughts and a photo dump for all the photoshoots I did.
As my blog grew, so did my Instagram account. I realized that my generation is all about what's happening now. We live in such a fast pace society that our attention spans can only focus on so much. That's when I started to put more emphasis on my social media as oppose to my own website. People preferred double tapping over scrolling through long blog posts, which is completely understandable. And thus, I neglected my website.
Now that I look back on it, there's so much I could've written the past few years. There's so much that I could've said or could've recorded. I had lost focus on this path and was too focused on countless of other things. I had too many interests.
So now to the nitty gritty: what I learned about being a blogger.
It is not easy
More often than not, I have a lot of people telling me that being a blogger is an easy job. "You just have to take pictures in cute clothes and talk about it." What most people don't realize, is the entire process behind the scenes. There's the emailing process where you talk to PRs, brands, companies, etc. You have to be on top of your game and make sure you're following up. You have to be professional, but also yourself. These people are only seeing the Internet side of you. You have to produce original content through quality posts that not only showcases the product but also your own unique sense of style. Then there's the networking side where you go to events, meet people, remember names and faces, and make yourself known to the world. But to me, that's the fun part - being able to dress up and take photos and talk about your looks. On the outside my job is basically dressing up, looking pretty, and taking photos. On the inside, it's hours of editing, researching, communicating, etc.
It's not all about receiving free stuff
Sure, getting products is awesome! New clothes for the new season? Amazing! Eyeshadow palettes and skincare products I've been wanting to test out? Wonderful! But blogging isn't just about the products. It's not just about the free stuff. After hitting a certain amount of followers on Instagram, brands began reaching out to me. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I didn't need to buy things anymore since I was getting them in the mail. But as I kept accepting theses collaborations and partnerships, I started to lose my originality. These products became so saturated ... and ended up not being unique. Now that's nothing against these items. I just started to realize that I was drifting from myself and my own brand. I decided to no longer accept collaborations just because they reached out. I became pickier with who I wanted to work with because I simply want to be genuine and true to my followers and readers. I want to wear brands and use products that I believe in and that I'd actually wear and use.
Many brands use social media influencers as a new way of marketing. It's a fast and easy way for their products to be seen by the thousands - potentially millions - now that print magazines, catalogues, and newspapers are not as commonly used. But the industry is saturated and more often than not ... bloggers and influencers are being taken advantage of. We are doing free marketing in exchange for products. Yet we put so much time and effort into making them look good.
Thus, it's best to stay true to you.
When I was down in a slump and began losing followers and engagement, I kept blaming Instagram's algorithm. "People aren't seeing my posts." "Instagrams doing ____" Blah, blah, blah .., I kept looking for excuses. During this time period, I had the opportunity to do some much needed self reflecting (which included breakdowns and panic attacks). I realized that it doesn't matter what Instagram's doing. Yes, numbers are important ... but so is staying true to you. I began blogging because I wanted to share my style with the world. I wanted to help give advice to people who sought it. I wanted to inspire, empower, and motivate. If I was so hung up on the fact that people were unfollowing, how could I provide genuine content to people who believe in me?
It's about the team around you and those who support you.
People come and go. There's no stopping that. But like the saying goes, "it takes a village to raise a child." In my case, my child is my blog and my social media accounts. Creating this platform of my own was not a one man show - although, it can be for some. I wouldn't have been able to continue on if not for those around me. Anything you do - whether it's blogging, music, your academics, etc. - it involves the people who believe in you, who want what's best for you and want to support your growth. It's the family, the friends, the team, the readers, and the followers. They are the hands that pick you up when you fall and the hands that pat you on the shoulder when you succeed.
In conclusion ...
Being a blogger while being in school and focusing on a number of other goals is and was not easy ... but it's something I love doing. Blogging takes dedication, focus, and a strong mind. Like many other aspects in life, there are the ups and there are the downs and there are the in betweens. I've realized that as long as I stay true to myself and not worry too much about what others think and/or say, then why not? In the end, everything is a "why not?" Does that make sense?
Now onto this look!
If you guys read my previous blog post, DESERT RICH, this photo series may look a little familiar. That's because we took these the same day as the previous post. While the sun was shining its ever so beautiful rays, the weather was incredibly cold. I had pulled these pieces from Joyrich to potentially shoot in a music video I had styled, but since we ended up not using them I decided to wear them to shoot myself! (Thank you to everyone at Joyrich for always believing in me and my vision). I love how these warm tones complimented the desert landscape so effortlessly. The mustard yellow puffer jacket with the satin red bikini top were the perfect combination of unexpected colors and textures.
Photos by Stephy So
Thank you for reading, loves! To more posts in the future!