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These Fashion Forward Women are Making Strides in the Blogging World

Written By: Chelsea Raineri  Orange County Bloggers

Photos of beautiful places, stylish clothes, and glamorous events – these are just a few things we’re used to seeing from bloggers on our Instagram feed. Although it might seem like all fun and games, the life of a blogger takes a lot of hard work. Thanks to your votes, we’ve gathered your top five favorite bloggers in Orange County, who’ve shared what it’s like to be a lifestyle blogger. We’ve rounded up every question you’ve ever wanted to ask a professional blogger, and these five amazing ladies answered honestly. Read on for insights into how they started blogging, their favorite boutiques, and much more!

 

Ash n Fashn – Ashley Tarkington Jackel

Q: What inspired you to start your blog?

Ashley Tarkington Jackel: I’d been reading fashion blogs for years and my boyfriend at the time (now-husband) kept telling me I needed to start my own since friends and co-workers would come to me for fashion advice. I finally listened to him and together we started the blog almost five years ago.

Q: What was your first blog post about?

ATJ: It was about Coachella fashion and I’m cringing reading it!

Q: What’s your favorite topic to post about?

ATJ: I love posting about my personal style. Putting together looks is a huge passion for me and so much love goes into each post from the styling, to the shooting, to the writing, etc.

Q: What does it mean to you to be voted a favorite lifestyle blogger in Orange County?

ATJ: This is a huge honor. I love Orange County so much. I grew up here and moved back a few years ago after years in LA.

Q: What are the steps that go into creating a post?

ATJ: It depends on the post but usually some product research, styling, photography, writing, and a whole lot of emails.

Q: What are your go-to boutiques?

ATJ: I’m currently pregnant so I have all things baby and comfort on the brain — Land of Nod and Eberjey top the list.

Q: What was it like going to the Golden Globes?

ATJ: In addition to my blog I’m also a stylist in LA. I’ve been going to awards shows for years now, and while it looks like so much fun when you’re watching on TV, it’s actually quite the opposite. Red carpets are really crowded and small and stylists are usually lurking behind the scenes trying to watch and make sure nothing is out of place without getting in the shots.

Q: What celebrity have you been most excited to meet?

ATJ: I get asked this question a lot and the weird thing is they all kind of blend together after awhile and it’s hard to keep track. Most recently I was really excited to see Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively together on the red carpet and I had an interesting meeting with Martha Stewart a few years ago.

 

We Wonder and Wander – Cassydy Gavin

Q: What inspired you to start your blog?

Cassydy Gavin: I was inspired to start my blog in Hawaii when I was vacationing with my now-husband, Matthew. I was working in the legal industry and hated my job and its lack of creativity so I thought it may be fun to start an Instagram account that was public and focused it on fashion, food, travel, and lifestyle.

Q: What was your first blog post about?

CG: My first Instagram post was a picture at the Grand Hyatt Resort and Spa in Kauai and included my favorite Oliver People sunglasses, a book by Andy Cohen (because I’m deep like that) and a lava flow!

Q: What’s your favorite topic to post about?

CG: My favorite topic to post about is usually something fashion-related but I love to post about beauty, travel, and food too!

 

Q: What does it mean to you to be voted a favorite lifestyle blogger in Orange County?

CG: It is so humbling to be voted a favorite lifestyle blogger in Orange County and I can’t thank everyone enough for voting for me! Hopefully, it means that I bring inspiration of some sort to others and if I can make someone laugh in the process…I have succeeded.

Q: What are the steps that go into creating a post?

CG: There are many steps that I use and I often vacillate between them all. Most importantly I do my best to ensure the photo quality is amazing and I also want to make sure what I am posting is relevant to current trends as well. Additionally, I use certain photo-editing software to provide continuity to my photos.

Q: What are your go-to boutiques?

CG: My go-to boutiques in Orange County are Bardot and Elyse Walker and I have also asked to have my ashes scattered at South Coast Plaza! (Sorry, Bergdorf’s!)

Q: How would you describe your personal style?

CG: My personal style truly can’t be defined. I am not afraid to try anything when it comes to fashion. But don’t fret, I’ve tried booty shorts and…lesson learned!

Q: How often do you go to Disneyland, and what do you enjoy about it?

CG: I go to Disneyland a LOT! I am a Disney-a-holic and secretly wish that my birth parents were Mickey and Minnie.

 

My Style Diaries – Nikki Prendergast

Q: What inspired you to start your blog?

Nikki Prendergast: I’ve always, always known that I would work in fashion, but I just didn’t know in what capacity. I spent two years as a fashion publicist in Beverly Hills working with editors, journalists, stylists, and celebrities. At that time, the blogging world was just getting its start, and I thought it was such a cool way for women everywhere to sort of have an online stylist, someone they could look to for style suggestions. With the help of my family and friends, I started the site and quit my job to focus on my blog full-time as a business.

Q: What was your first blog post about?

NP: My Style Diaries was started as a place where readers could write in for outfit suggestions and I’d answer them by posting clothing, shoes, and accessories that I’d likely wear to whatever event they had coming up.

Q: What’s your favorite topic to post about?

NP: I love when I can share great affordable fashion with my readers. Yes, I love throwing in a splurge-worthy handbag or piece of jewelry, but for the most part, I’d say fashion steals are a definite favorite.

Q: What does it mean to you to be voted a favorite lifestyle blogger in Orange County?

NP: It means there’s someone out there reading this blog of mine! Kidding, but it really is so nice. A lot of work goes into every blog post, but I certainly don’t take this job for granted. I know how lucky I am to get to call My Style Diaries my job, but it’s also nice to know that people care about the posts I’m putting out.

Q: What are the steps that go into creating a post?

NP: I shoot every look with local photographers. I plan my outfits ahead of time and usually shoot once or twice a week, depending on upcoming deadlines. For the outfits, I usually try to feature pieces that are in stock or that have similar options available so that readers can easily steal the look if they want. Photos are then edited or resized and uploaded, everything gets linked, and copy is written to go along with the post. Each post is scheduled out ahead of time along with the social media shares that go along with it.

Q: What are your go-to boutiques?

NP: I’m a fan of Modern Romance at Fashion Island and Sadie Slick in Costa Mesa, and since they’ve opened all the brand new shops at Lido Marina Village, I can’t stay away. Eberjey has the most amazing PJ’s and loungewear, and I’ll take one of everything at Jenni Kayne.

Q: What’s your favorite occasion to style for?

NP: I normally love the dressed-up holiday looks or anything inspired by the awards season red carpets, but lately I’ve been REALLY into the casual posts. I love sneakers of all kinds, distressed denim, leather jackets, and the ongoing search for the perfect buttery tees.

Q: What has your biggest turning point been in your blogging career and why?

NP: My biggest turning point was probably when I realized that I couldn’t wholly focus on my blog and my business if I was giving my attention to other freelancing projects that I worked on for so long. Also, my eyes really started to open when I began to focus on finding balance and creating quality over quantity.

 

Personally Styled – Courtnee Rodgers

Q: What inspired you to start your blog?

Courtnee Rodgers: My inspiration to start a blog started when I was pregnant with my son about three years ago. I had stopped working to stay at home full time, and this was when social media really started to take off. Since I was at home most days, I turned to Instagram as my outlet of inspiration. I fell in love and was inspired with how young women were showing their love of fashion and personal experiences with motherhood on an online platform.

Q: What was your first blog post about?

CR: My first blog post is my favorite post to this day. I wanted my viewers to see in my photos, as well as in my post, that even though you’re a mom it doesn’t mean that you still can’t dress your very best! I wore the most colorful A-line dress paired with leopard pumps and carried two-dozen gorgeous pink roses that matched my dress perfectly.

Q: What’s your favorite topic to post about?

CR: Most of my current blog posts are directed towards fashion, so I love explaining how you could wear certain pieces different ways, as well as provide them with a designer versus dupe option to be able to recreate each look no matter what your budget is. I love incorporating little stories about my family or what we have been up to during the week, that way it ties into a reader’s everyday life!

Q: What does it mean to you to be voted a favorite lifestyle blogger in Orange County?

CR: Thinking back over the past year, I feel extremely blessed and humbled to have been voted a favorite lifestyle blogger of Orange County. I told my husband and myself that if we started this business that I didn’t want to do it if we couldn’t put 110 percent into it with each and every post and photo.

Q: What are the steps that go into creating a post?

CR: I am a stay at home mom, with no babysitters or nannies, no photographers, and no relatives around to help watch my son or take photos of me, so my husband is truly the backbone to helping make all of this possible. We fit in taking photos between his job, and then I edit them, and get them ready for a blog post.

Q: What are your go-to boutiques?

CR: I used to love shopping at little boutiques, and still do, but it is so hard to find items that my followers can also purchase at a boutique so I stick to purchasing things from big retailers like Nordstrom.

Q: How do you decide what pieces to send someone based on their style profile?

CR: When a client fills out their style profile, there are many questions breaking down what they prefer to wear currently, colors they like and dislike and what their current style is. I love starting with the basics when working with a new client. I send them suggestions of different pieces that would work together, and they only purchase what they want from that selection.

Q: What is your favorite accessory to style with?

CR: I keep it simple when it comes to accessorizing, however, I do love big and bold statement earrings no matter what season it is. I also love a good handbag and a great pair of shoes.

 

According to Kimberly – Kimberly Luu

Q: What inspired you to start your blog?

Kimberly Luu: I’ve always had a passion for designing, and started a blog as an avenue to share my creativity and what inspires me. My blog is a place for readers to step out of their comfort zone and try new things.

Q: What was your first blog post about?

KL: One of my first blog posts was a local discovery on a delicious crepe place called La Creperie in Long Beach, which I still go to even to this day.

Q: What’s your favorite topic to post about?

KL: Definitely the inspirational ones! Whether it’s motivating others to reach their goals or giving tips on life lessons, those are the posts I enjoy the most.

Q: What does it mean to you to be voted as a favorite lifestyle blogger for Orange County?

KL: It’s quite an honor actually. I’ve been blogging for a couple years and to be recognized as one of OC’s favorite lifestyle bloggers is a tremendous opportunity. It makes doing what I love to do even more enjoyable.

Q: What are the steps that go into creating a post?

KL: Pre-planning is the way to go! When I work with brands, there’s usually a timeline of when posts are due so that helps with coordinating a schedule. As for my blog, I usually figure out what types of photos I want to use for the post and then create the content afterwards. Once I have my photos and content ready, I schedule it in advance on when to have it post on my blog.

Q: What are your go-to boutiques?

KL: Working full time, blogging, and running my online dress shop leaves little time left to physically go shopping so thank goodness there’s online shopping available! For fun and trendy clothes, you can’t go wrong with Forever21 whereas Zara and Banana Republic are my picks for classic pieces.

Q: What are your favorite places to travel to?

KL: So far, I feel blessed to have been able to travel to Cabo San Lucas, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Joshua Tree, Portland, Seattle, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Montreal, New York, Spain, and many other places. It was also a blast to travel to Spain with my fiancé and friends, and experience the culture over there too.

Q: Which life lesson has taught you the most?

KL: “People may forget what you said, people may forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”—Maya Angelou

This has always been one of my favorite quotes to live by. I am a firm believer in treating others with kindness no matter who they are. We all come from different backgrounds and experiences, but the impact we make truly does leave a lasting impression — so let’s make it a good one.

Your Fab Five Fashion Bloggers in Orange County

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