NOLA-area blogger Christy Lorio is the creator of fashion blog Slow Southern Style and also the group Southern Fashion Bloggers. I recently interviewed Christy about her blog, the Southern Fashion Bloggers, and combining an online passion with real life events and opportunities.
1. You started the Southern Fashion Bloggers. Can you tell me what prompted you to do so?
I was milling around the IFB (Independent Fashion Bloggers) discussion forums, which is a hugely successful and popular resource for fashion bloggers. I was looking for other southern based bloggers to connect to but I was having a hard time 1. finding active bloggers based in the south and 2. finding ones that would be interested in trading guest posts and doing other fun, community building activities so that is when I decided to form the group. We do a monthly group post where everyone posts on the same topic and hold meetups every other month. Leslie Almeida (http://NOLA-eats.com) came onto the project when I asked her to help with the event planning aspect since she is really good at that.
2. You’ve had a couple of live events with the Southern Fashion Bloggers–was it fun to meet in real life?
Absolutely! I’ve made some great, genuine friendships that I wouldn’t have made otherwise. Meeting people from the internet is a funny thing; sometimes you make friends with someone that you wouldn’t have met otherwise because you don’t run in the same social circles. I made a real effort to invite girls with varied backgrounds to the first meet up that we had at the Windsor Court in New Orleans and we even had several girls drive down from Baton Rouge. I hope to meet many more bloggers and encourage other girls to host events in other cities outside of Louisiana that are involved with us.
3. Do you have any advice for bloggers who would like to take their passions offline and into the real world?
I’d say stay true to who you are online and it will be easy to translate that to IRL relationships. While it is true you can take on any personae you choose online it will be easy to read through that if it isn’t authentic. It also helps if you already have some established connections with local businesses beforehand.
Last year I co-hosted an anniversary party with Scott Simon of I Heart NOLA for both our blogs. It was a big success, I think we had about 150 people show up. There is no way that we would have secured a venue, liquor sponsors, band, DJ, and vendors had it not been for our existing relationships with everyone that helped make the night a success. The same thing goes for the Southern Fashion Bloggers tea at the Windsor Court. Leslie and I worked hard to put on the inaugural event and though we didn’t pay ourselves to do it we wanted to set the bar high, which I think we did.
4. Your blog has opened some doors for you professionally and garnered you mentions in print media–could you tell us about that?
I’ve taken on some freelance jobs both in print and online as a result of my writing being out there on the internet. It is a great feeling when someone approaches you to write for them because they’ve already seen your work and they enjoyed it.
I also can’t stress enough how instrumental social media had been to my success, especially Twitter. I was really apprehensive about Twitter but Leslie of NOLA Eats urged me to sign up for it and I’m so glad I did. As a direct result I have several people who work in traditional media that regularly follow Slow Southern Style which is really flattering. The site has been mentioned in The Times Picayune and in the Gambit both in print and online. I’m always appreciative of individuals that organically help me get my name out there.
5. Where do you hope to take The Southern Fashion Bloggers and Slow Southern Style next?
For Slow Southern Style I never set out with any particular goal for myself other than to write and expose interesting
Southern Fashion Bloggers Meetup Photo via Rach LaRoche
shops that I come across and talented southern based artisans.
I have a full time job that doesn’t center around writing so this is just fun for me. I’d like to take on writing in a larger career capacity but I’m doing things on my own terms. I don’t have to write XYZ article to pay the bills which gives me the luxury of only taking on projects that I really love.
For the Southern Fashion Bloggers I’ll continue hosting meetup so long as there is interest in it. Our next meet up is in June and I’m looking forward to working with a locally owned boutique to host it.
You can catch up with Christy:
Or the Southern Fashion Bloggers: