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These Women Tell Us How They Made It to the Top of Their Game

Lifestyle Bloggers in Greater Palm Springs

Sharon Wu of Style Lullaby

Q: What inspired you to start a blog? What about the city of Palm Springs inspired you to use it as the backdrop for your blog?

Sharon Wu: Originally modeling full-time under agency representation in Los Angeles, I have always been immersed in the fashion and beauty industries, and fascinated by both to say the least. One day, my younger brother encouraged me to start a blog to share my passion with others. Having a background in the web-hosting and tech industry, he helped me set up my website and it went from there! My boyfriend is a commercial photographer, so we work together to create fresh content consistently.

Style Lullaby has evolved quickly to cover a diverse range of topics ranging from fashion and beauty, to my life in Palm Springs. I absolutely love living and blogging here. Ever since moving to Palm Springs, I can’t imagine myself living anywhere else! I like that the backdrops aren’t as “overused” as those in major cities, but are still very much trendy and photogenic. It’s always exciting to find hidden gems that only locals might know about, and to inspire others to come enjoy the beauty of the desert with me!

Q: When did you feel that you had become a successful blogger? What event made you feel like you had “made it?”

SW: I am always growing everyday as a content creator. There is no definite point of “success,” and it’s all about celebrating both the small and big wins! When I launched Style Lullaby, I had no intention of making blogging a career, it was merely a creative outlet that gave me fulfillment. Being able to do what I love for a living today, all from the comfort of my own home in Palm Springs, is a dream come true—not to mention working with my favorite brands too! It makes me happy knowing I am able to inspire so many people, whether it’s to try a new beauty product, experiment with evolving fashion trends, and of course, visit a new place like Palm Springs.

Q: What do you hope that readers and followers will take away from your blog and Instagram?

SW: I hope that my audience will stay inspired to always be open to trying new things, explore places they’ve never gone to before and embrace their own unique selves!

Q: You try to represent desert living and style throughout your life and travels—if you couldn’t live in the desert what kind of environment would you like to live in?

SW: Hmm, that’s a hard one, because like I said, I don’t think I could imagine myself living elsewhere! I do require a warm and sunny climate to function though. I am definitely a California girl, so I think if I couldn’t live in the desert, I would live by the beach! I spent my college years at UC San Diego and loved being just five minutes from the beach.

Lifestyle Bloggers in Greater Palm Springs

Cynthia Serna of Notes By Cin

Q: What inspired you to start a blog? What about the city of Palm Springs inspired you to use it as the backdrop for your blog?

Cynthia Serna: Notes by Cin started out of my pure love for writing, sharing information and connecting with others. As a student at California State University, Fullerton, I started off as a journalism major, but later switched my major to public relations instead. However, I never quite let go of my desire to write more once I graduated. So in 2017, I decided to get back to my roots and start my own blog site that focused on the place where I grew up: Palm Springs, California. The majority of my family lives in Orange County, and they would always ask me what there was to do in Palm Springs because they weren’t too familiar with the area. Sharing my thoughts with them on fun, food and things to do and see in Greater Palm Springs gave me the idea to create my very own blog, Notes by Cin, which is ultimately a place where I can share my beautiful desert playground with a diverse online community.

Q: When did you feel that you had become a successful blogger? What event made you feel like you had “made it?”

CS: Being included in the poll for Favorite Lifestyle Blogger in Greater Palm Springs really made me feel like my blog had become successful—especially because Notes by Cin is still such a young blog in my eyes. Then, being announced one of the poll winners was really big for me because it was just an honor for me to even be considered! I honestly was super surprised when I read the email about being nominated, and was even more surprised when I was announced a winner! It was such an amazing feeling to know that people were voting for this little blog of mine, and that they enjoyed it and liked what they saw. I am very appreciative of the recognition and the opportunity to be featured, and I can’t wait to see how Notes by Cin will blossom in the future.

Q: What do you hope that readers and followers will take away from your blog and Instagram?

CS:I really hope that those who read my blog and follow me on Instagram feel inspired to learn more about the region and to explore it more. Palm Springs has grown so much in recent years, and it’s only going to continue to keep growing. Through my blog and Instagram, I really want to be able to showcase what the region is all about and bring forth all the fun, cool and exciting activities there are out here, while also showcasing our amazing cuisine options and the valley’s stellar views.

For locals, I hope I can inspire them to see more of what’s in our own backyards, and also inspire them to try out new things nearby. It’s important to support our local economy, and I hope that through my blog and Instagram page, I can do just that.

For visitors, I hope to become their source for all things Palm Springs! My blog is still growing, and I have so many plans for it, so hopefully I can become that one day for all travelers to the oasis.

Q: Coffee is your drink of choice—if you could only drink your brew from one cafe in Palm Springs for the rest of your life, where would you choose?

CS: Oh, that is a tough one, but I would definitely go with IW Coffee in Indian Wells! Everything I’ve tried there is delicious, and the cafe’s aesthetically-pleasing views always put me in a relaxed mood. My current drink of choice when visiting IW Coffee is Chaitro, the chai tea version of the cafe’s nitro cold brew.

Lifestyle Bloggers in Greater Palm Springs

Brooke Butler of Brooke’s Style Diary

Q: What inspired you to start a blog? What about the city of Palm Springs inspired you to use it as the backdrop for your blog?

Brooke Butler: When I initially started my blog, it was a way to keep myself inspired after I graduated high school. It started off as “TheTrappedFashionista” and the theme was that I was “trapped” in the world of fashion while still living in my parents house before starting college. Over time, I realized I had matured out of TheTrappedFashionista brand, but wanted to continue my blog. I then switched it over to Brooke’s Style Diary, because I love showcasing my personal style and life in Palm Springs as a way to open myself up to my readers.

Q: When did you feel that you had become a successful blogger? What event made you feel like you had “made it?”

BB: You know what’s crazy? I still have those wow moments to this day with blogging. Since I have been blogging for so long (almost 10 years), I have moments when I lose inspiration and motivation. But the first had to be being accepted into Teen Vogue’s Fashion U program. Part of the reason my admission was picked was due to the editors seeing my blog. That was a great moment that recognized my blog. Since that opportunity, I have been fortunate to attend Lucky Mag’s blogger conference, I blogged with Pepsi for the Super Bowl, plus I have met and connected with other influencers around the world, and have been featured in many publications (including Locale Magazine).

Q: What do you hope that readers and followers will take away from your blog and Instagram?

BB: When followers head to my social media pages and blog, I hope before they even click on a photo, that they see my love for fashion. Many of the photos on my Instagram specifically showcases fashion “looks” on myself.  I am a color fanatic and I’m typically dressed in head-to-toe print or color, which I believe attracts new followers to my blog. I believe the first impression, even on social media, makes a difference to how someone will follow or want to learn more about you.

Q: You’re a Disney superfan and have been to almost every Disney park in the world. Where do you hope they build the next Disney theme park?

BB: Honestly, I think they need to have some type of attraction in Palm Springs! Seriously, this would be an awesome way to keep the Disney brand in California, but bring tourism dollars to other parts of Southern California. Can you imagine a midcentury-themed Disneyland in Palm Springs? It would be so cool and unique, it would have a retro vibe but help the midcentury preservation. Plus, this will make my quest to hit every Disney park in the world much easier. Like I mentioned before, I just need to go to the Disneyland Park in Shanghai and I will have accomplished this. Let’s start a campaign for Disneyland Palm Springs!

Nicole Bowen of The Darling Niki

Q: What inspired you to start a blog? What about the city of Palm Springs inspired you to use it as the backdrop for your blog?

Nicole Bowen: A pair of shoes! I had just left the hospitality industry after more than a decade and struggling with what to do next so naturally I went shopping! I found so many great pieces that day and I thought to myself, ‘Why not share my finds and style with other women?’ That was June of 2013 and The Darling Niki was born.

The climate and lifestyle of Palm Springs are so inspirational for me. I think so many people tend to gravitate to the bright and bold aesthetic, but I’m more into the neutral, earth tones of the desert and natural fabrics—breezy cottons and light linens that can be worn here year round. Not that I don’t love a gorgeous, silk kaftan as much as the next girl!

Q:When did you feel that you had become a successful blogger? What event made you feel like you had “made it?”

NB: The first time I realized that people were actually reading my blog and following me was three years ago. I was at a restaurant opening in Palm Springs and a woman sitting at the next table kept looking over. As I got up to leave she came over and said, ‘Excuse me, are you The Darling Niki? I follow you!’  I was literally blown away but still didn’t feel like I had ‘made it.’ For me the first time a multibillion dollar brand trusted me to represent them for a sponsored post was when I really had that ‘Oh my gosh!’ moment.

Q: What do you hope that readers and followers will take away from your blog and Instagram?

NB: Authenticity. I strive to stay true to myself when picking out looks, choosing a restaurant, or saying yes to sponsorships and collaborations. If it’s not a brand I believe in or already use I won’t share it. I also hope that my followers walk away feeling inspired to step out of their comfort zone whether that means experimenting with a new trend, going to a restaurant I recommended or trying out a recipe I shared.  

Q: You made the career move from celebrity relations manager to style blogger, dream jobs for women everywhere—if time, money and talent were not factors, what would be your dream job?

NB: Wow, what a great question! There are so many things I would love to do—social media for a major fashion brand, wardrobe stylist, interior design—but in an absolute perfect world I would love to work with animals. I met a woman recently who is creating an animal sanctuary in Washington so that she and her team can rescue animals from high-kill shelters. Doing something like that in Palm Springs for dogs would be amazing, there are so many sitting in shelters that are too big or too old and never get adopted, like my dog Sarge; he was in a local shelter for years before we found him.

Kelly Lee of Kelly Golightly

Q: What inspired you to start a blog? What about the city of Palm Springs inspired you to use it as the backdrop for your blog?

Kelly Lee: Kelly Golightly was born out of a desire to create a lifestyle guide for the modern-day Audrey Hepburns of the world. It’s a cocktail of color, charm and glamour for those who appreciate a Slim Aarons bygone era. Palm Springs is the ultimate playground for the Golightly girl! With its mid-century architecture, candy-colored doors, infinite palm trees and poolside cocktail culture, there is no place better in the world.

Q: When did you feel that you had become a successful blogger? What event made you feel like you had “made it?”

KL: To me, success is living a life you love. Ever since landing in Palm Springs, I feel like I’ve been living a life I love. Palm Springs is the happiest place on earth and I pinch myself everyday that I am lucky enough to call it home.

That said, there have been a few pinch-me moments: Getting to photograph the Poolside Gossip reunion of the original two ladies from the iconic Slim Aarons photo, Poolside Gossip, back at the Kaufmann House in Palm Springs 45 years later, was surely one of them (it was featured in The New York Times).

Another unforgettable moment was being asked to appear on The Martha Stewart Show to host a Fashion Fixes segment with Martha herself. Talk about a moment I’ll never forget! With that said, the best part of my job is all of the connections and friendships that I have made. Blogging is really a great community, and I feel so grateful to have met and befriended the people that I have.

Q: What do you hope that readers and followers will take away from your blog and Instagram?

KL: I hope they’re inspired to create and live a life they love!

Q: If you had to embody another Audrey Hepburn character—aside from Breakfast at Tiffany’s Holly Golightly—which of her characters would it be?

KL: Princess Ann in Roman Holiday! I’d love to explore the streets of Rome (again) with my love @fredbaby13. Except in my version—spoiler alert—we’d end up happily ever after.

Lifestyle Bloggers in Greater Palm Springs

Liz Castle of That Desert Chic

Q: What inspired you to start a blog? What about the city of Palm Springs inspired you to use it as the backdrop for your blog?

Liz Castle: The idea of blogging crossed my mind at various points in my life. I thought I was delirious and was secretly blogging late at night without publishing. Then one day it just happened. I knew I had to get out there and showcase my own backyard, Palm Springs. I looked around and found activities, things to see and restaurants to visit; at the same time it gave me the opportunity to show people my passion for thrift shopping. There is something about the desert that is enchanting, you always end up coming back for more!

Q: When did you feel that you had become a successful blogger? What event made you feel like you had “made it”

LC: I feel that I started to become successful the day I stopped caring about people’s opinions about where I was going with blogging. Honestly this all started from my passion in journaling and what a better way to share ideas than through the power of fashion and lifestyle posts. Receiving awesome feedback made me realize I had ‘made it.’ Also, having people reach out to tell me that I have inspired them to blog has been the best feeling in the world!

Q: What do you hope that readers and followers will take away from your blog and Instagram?

LC: I hope that I continue to inspire people to follow their passion and just go out there and give it a shot! Whatever it is—a new city, a hobby, a career—just go out there and do it!

Q: How do you balance raising two children and building your blogging business?

LC: Raising two children, having a full-time job and a blogging gig definitely has its challenges. I am a planner so I think time management is a big one for me. I try to plan events, photoshoots, and everything else around my number one job which is being a mother. If I have the kids with me I will take them along for photoshoots at a maximum of one hour shoot time followed by ice cream, outdoor activities or hanging out by the pool. Talk about being a cool mom! Lifestyle Bloggers in Greater Palm Springs

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