It's a small, small, small world. One of the greatest perks about fashion blogging is "meeting" and getting to know other people from around the world who share your interests and passions about style and fashion.
One of those people is a sweetheart who hails from Atlanta named Eboni Ife, and she's been blogging this past year as The Fashionista Next Door. In fact while she's has been on my radar since last summer, it wasn't until I got my blogger butt on Twitter that I've had the pleasure and the opportunity to get to know her. It was through a conversation on Twitter that I discovered that Ife has Sac-town roots- her dad is from Sacramento, so while she is living it up in Georgia, I know she loves my hometown!
Reading her blog always leaves me feeling a little punchy like I've just been sipping on a a few too many Mimosas, so intoxicating is her smile AND style. I can't wait to introduce you to her, and I am confident that if Ife is NOT already on your blogroll, she will be before this interview is over. Enjoy!
|In Your Neighborhood: The Fashionista Next Door|
What's your name and the name of your blog?
My name is Eboni Ife’ although I often use my middle name – Ife’ on it’s own. I have always been a bit obsessed with my middle name. I try to convince people to name their kids Ife’ all the time. Lol! I wrote a post about it when I first got started with the blog because I got a lot of questions about my tattoo – http://fashionista-next-door.com/2010/06/whowhatis-ife.html
How would you describe your blog (in a sentence)?
I like to think of it as a fun, light-hearted, and most of all affordable approach to everyday fashion and personal style – a nod to the stylish girl next door.
Where are you from and where do you live?
I always say I am a true Cali girl – not SoCal… not NorCal… just Cali. I was born in the Bay Area and grew up in Richmond/Oakland/San Fran (we moved a lot). When I think of home, I think of Richmond. That is where my Grandma lives and it’s a constant… that is home. But, my mom and I also moved back and forth to LA for periods of time when I was younger so I totally identify with LA, too ( My mom still lives there now.) I basically did early elementary and High School in the Bay Area and late elementary and Jr. High in LA. Oh, but it gets more complicated! My Dad’s family is from Sacramento and I spent summers and vacations with him there sooooo I also consider that to be home for the same reasons I said above. My paternal grandparents are there in the same house they’ve always been in. Lol! So I am kinda just from California… all up and down it. J
“Where are you from?” always throws me for a loop. I never know what to say! I am sure you didn’t really need my life history, but I feel like that bit of history really gives people a picture of who I am. Especially if you are from California --- you know how culturally different NorCal and SoCal are and I’ve definitely been influenced by both. I think that even comes across in my style!
Currently, I live in Atlanta. I just moved here last summer to get married after doing long distance for about year.
Why did you start blogging? How long have you been blogging?
Hmm, well I have always been pretty fashion obsessed. When I was a kid my mom was an Image Consultant. I’d tag along with her to consult clients and she’d do color analysis, and make-up tutorials. She and my aunts would be coordinating and modeling in local fashion shows and I’d be running around back stage. It’s always been something that I love, but never actively participated in…aside from shopping like a maniac! I subscribe and read SO MANY MAGAZINES and when I discovered fashion blogs I was in heaven. One day it occurred to me, that the blogs were just regular women with the same passion for fashion and there was no reason why I couldn’t start my own. So, I did! That was in May of last year.
In a sentence, what advice would you give new bloggers?
Oh gosh, I am a “new” blogger so I don’t know how qualified I am to give advice…I guess I would say BE GENIUNE!
Name your 3 favorite blogs
Disclaimer: There is NO WAY I can pick three favorites, but I will name three blogs that have really inspired the direction of my blog. These are blogs in which I saw characteristics that I wanted my blog to have.
She inspires me to hone my craft, and strive to be a better writer and have strong content.
She inspires me to always keep my blog personal. It’s a blog, not a magazine. It should reflect me.
She was just the very first personal style blogger that I really fell in love with. Her style is the perfect balance of wearable and high fashion, in my opinion.
What's your latest project?
I recently started a group called Fashionable Atlanta and I am hoping to bring together Atlanta’s fashion bloggers for a big meetup – a day of fashion and pampering. It was actually inspired a blogger meetup that Anika (http://byanika.com/2011/02/07/feeling-happy-in-london-london-plus/) attended and posted about on her blog. The group has also become a great place to share info about fashion events in Atlanta. If you have any readers in the Atlanta area that would like to join, they can email me at email@example.com for an invite.
Has blogging impacted the rest of your life? How so?
Absolutely. First of all, it has amplified my fashion obsession tenfold. I am no longer reading magazines and blogs in my spare time any more; I am reading them 24/7. Lol. I have really had to be conscious about setting aside designated times for blogging so it doesn’t consume my life.
It has also made me painfully aware of my spending habits, which is actually a good thing because that awareness has helped me get control over it.
I think it has also helped me cope with some of the frustration in my professional life. I am in my late twenties and have come to the realization that while I like my job, it is not going to fulfill me. At the end of the day, it is a job. Unfortunately, I am workaholic by nature. I really sucks to pour your life into something that is not yours and is not fulfilling your personal passions. This blog has given me an outlet for my passions…it’s mine... and yes, IT IS A LOT OF WORK, but it is also very personally fulfilling.
Green!!!! Any shade…
Do you monetize your blog? If so how so?
Yes. I am a member of two affiliate networks – Linkshare and Commission Junction. Affiliate networks are a great way to get started with advertising. You can choose to work with advertisers who are relevant to your content and place banner and text ads on your site. You can also do dedicated posts embedded with your affiliated links (always disclose!). I have only just started working with advertisers directly.
If you could pick a company to sponsor you, who would it be and why?
Hmmmm. Target! I know that is going to perplex people. But here is why… I could have easily chosen a luxury brand because seriously…who wouldn’t want to be sponsored by one of those? BUT the fact of the matter is my blog is about AFFORDABLE fashion. If I all the sudden start sporting Gucci every day, I would feel like I had abandoned my readers who come to my blog looking for stylish inspiration that fits within their budget. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t love to get my hands on some luxury items. I hope my budget will allow for that “when I grow up?” Lol. I have ALWAYS loved fashion but I have NEVER had a lot of money. Target always has great options for my budget and to top it off, I can get my designer fix there, too. I can’t tell you how ECSTATIC I was when Isaac Mizrahi partnered with Target… remember that? Then Target launched Go International… I was like OMG, OMG, OMG! You mean to tell me I can get a little Proenza Shouler , Thakoon, and Rodarte in MY wardrobe on MY budget? And I don’t have to go to Neiman’s at 3 AM on Black Friday to do it? Whaaat? Needless to say, I am a big Target fan. I walk in to buy toilet paper and walk out with at least three dresses EVERYTIME (and sometimes I even forget about the toilet paper. LOL…no lie!)
Tell me 3 things you plan to wear this summer.
Wedges! Flowy Maxi Dresses/Skirts! Neon Brights!
Do you have a fashion icon?
Hmmmm. I can’t say that I do. I draw inspiration from so many women. I am a child of the 80’s, though. I LOVE ALL the many phases of Madonna. She continues to reinvent herself time and time again, but she is always relevant. (Although, I still wouldn’t call her my icon.)
Be sure to add her to your blogroll!