Delightfully Tacky: What is your favorite part of blogging?
Annie: I definitely have a love/hate relationship with blogging. I love the community so much, but simultaneously, I never have enough time to read and comment on all of the blogs that I would like to. I seriously get stressed out because of this! And, I’m not a photographer by any means, so that has been quite challenging for me because I want to share the best, but sometimes I can’t always make things appear as great on camera as they are in person (or as I imagine them in my head.) So, these are some dislikes. But, the likes far outweigh the dislikes! As I said above, the community is amazing. Everyone is so encouraging and it’s crazy how you start to make friends halfway across the country and even the world. It makes that dream trip to Vancouver or San Francisco all the more exciting because I now know a few more people that I can add to my list to go visit! I think one of the things I like the best about my blog, though, is that it’s something that’s completely mine. My friends know that I post daily outfit photos on Chictopia, but they do not know the full extent of my internet activities; they don’t know that I have my own blog! My parents and two siblings are the only people in the world (other than you other bloggers!) with whom I’ve shared this. So, blogging is this private outlet of creativity where I can do my own thing and not be worried that someone’s going to judge it or put me down. It’s my own little part of the universe and I can do or make it into anything that I want it to be. A little weird that I go to the internet to find a private space, right?
DT: What made you want to start blogging? Were there any bloggers in particular that inspired you to start your own?
A: Blogging for me was a personal challenge to improve my style. I love clothes; I love thrift and vintage shopping. I always find amazing things out there! But sometimes it’s the execution that I have difficulty with. So, I felt that having my own blog would really force me to put together amazing outfits from day to day, and to improve on them. I still have those days where I post the pictures and realize the whole ensemble was a total flop, but I learn from it and the next day I have a new, better idea. It was on Chictopia that I toyed with the idea and I have to credit Christina of Second Skin and Tieka of Selective Potential for really encouraging me and inspiring me to take the leap!
DT: What was it like going to New York for Fashion Week and Chictopia10? Had you ever been to New York before?
A: I had been to New York twice before; once on a family trip and another time over winter break with my boyfriend when I was in college. I actually really enjoyed being in New York this last time because I didn’t feel like a tourist! I hate that feeling! I loved hopping on the subway or grabbing a taxi for dinner here or a blogger meet-up there. Before the trip, I was actually incredibly nervous about going to the Chictopia 10 Summit. I am extremely introverted and shy, so naturally, I was anxious that I would have a really hard time connecting with anyone. But, I was so pleasantly surprised! I loved meeting so many people I’d admired from afar who were all so welcoming and fun to be around. I was also so honored to be part of the Chictopia 10 crew, to get our photos taken at Bryant Park, and meet amazing people like Susan Koger of Modcloth and Helen Zhu and Corinne Chan of Chictopia. So, I was not able to catch any museums this time around, but I met amazing people, ate amazing food, and collected some amazing experiences to remember.
DT: What do you do, as far as your non blogging life is concerned? School, Work, Hobbies?
A: I graduated from college in 2007; I studied American History, French, and Women’s Studies. I became really interested in labor history as an undergraduate, actually, and was lucky enough, with the help of a wonderful professor, to get a job working at a labor union in the Twin Cities. I’ve always wanted to work for a non-profit, so this was a perfect fit as far as the type of work environment I wanted to be a part of and my academic interest in the lives of working-class women. Most people don’t generally know what I do what I say that I “work for a labor union,” so, in a nutshell, I advocate for working class people, either by negotiating better wages or helping people that have just been laid off, etcetera. When I’m not at work, I’m thrift store shopping, singing (I’ve been in a lot of different choirs in the past few years), or going to pub trivia at a local bar with friends.
DT: Is there anything that you would say epitomizes your style?
A: Yikes, this is a hard question! I’ve actually been trying to use my blog to figure that one out! So, to answer your question, I’ll say what I hope epitomizes my style: thrifty, vintage quirkiness.
DT: When did you become interested in style/fashion? What was it that sparked that interest?
A: My interest in personal style blossomed while I was an undergraduate. The Twin Cities are full of really creative, thrifty hipsters, and I really envied all those cool looking people around me. So, I started trying to dress more uniquely. Post-college, when it came time to furnish my apartment, I fell in love with vintage furniture which quickly led to my love for vintage clothing. Since then I’ve been trying to incorporate thrift and vintage finds into my wardrobe to be that unique person on the street I always admired.
DT: Why do you think people should bother with putting together interesting outfits or caring about what they look like?
A: Simply put, the clothing we wear on our bodies is a form of self-expression and/or self-identification. I used to think that caring about style or clothing meant I was just a huge materialist, but on the flip side, wearing thrift store clothing shows that I care about the earth and wearing vintage clothing shows that I support small businesses. Style is performative; we are able to shape our own identities in a very tangible way.
DT: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: If I was just going on a trip to visit, I would go to Tokyo in a second. I think it would be unlike any other place I’ve ever experienced before. In college, I studied abroad in Paris, and I would love to move back four years later and re-experience that city again. I also love London and New York. I just can’t decide!
DT: What inspires you on a daily basis?
A: Real people. Someone sitting next to me in a coffee shop or at the movies.
DT: What is your favorite era?
A: For fashion, the 1950s and 1960s. The silhouettes of a 1950s housedress and a 1960s shift are amazing. They are definitely my favorite eras for which to go vintage shopping. At the same time, I love the Victorian era. There’s so much to be inspired by. I could go to a museum filled with Victorian era antique clothing and furniture and be awestruck all day long.
DT: Describe your dream house:
A:I think my dream house already exists! Napoleon’s Second Empire era palace at Fontainbleau outside of Paris is magnificent. Every single thing around you is some over-the-top, beautiful, colorful pattern: the wallpaper, rugs, curtains, upholstery. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s up for sale anytime soon, so my second choice dream house is a 1920s era home with all the built in hardwood floors, hutches, and window trimmings. And I’d fill it with mid-century modern furniture. Oh, and a standard poodle.
DT: In five years, where do you see yourself?
A:This is actually a difficult question for me. Six months ago I would have said “getting my PhD in American History.” It turns out that getting into doctoral programs this year is extremely difficult with the economy in the tank, so my near future is a little more uncertain currently. All I know is that my career dream is to work as a historical museum curator, so hopefully in five years I’ll be five years closer to that goal.