Happy Holidays Foxes!
Today is yours truly’s birthday and I scheduled this farewell post so I could indulge in a totally Internet free and relaxing date at Montreal Scandinave SPA. I am probably enjoying their Eucalyptus steam bath at this very moment.
I originally planned to close the #12DaysOfUnfolding series with my own interview, but decided to write something more heartfelt at the last minute.
As miss SLY! heads for a fifth year next April 2013 (which is more like 12 in fashion blogging years), I felt the need to reflect on a loaded past, a past which includes OMG!! moments like meeting Jean Paul Gaultier, talking to Iman, interviewing Jeanne Beker…, major accomplishments like hosting @FashionUnfold live from NYC Fashion week, regrettable mistakes of course but I’ll get to that in a moment as well as valuable lessons.
Today felt like the right time to share it, or maybe it’s the Holiday Spirit, but nonetheless, I bare it all for your reading pleasure.
All the things I am not so proud of and the lessons I’ve learnt, all out in the open. So, go ahead and
gasp, shake your head in disbelief read on and once again, Happy Holidays!
Five years is a long time, even more when this time has been spent Blogging, think about it: 30K+ tweets, 5K+ Goodies bags, 1K+ blog posts, 500+ fashion shows, 200+ interviews, 100+ missed events and the list goes on.
They say that it takes about 10,000 hours (5 years) to master a skill but I wouldn’t call myself a master blogger, I think I’ve just become better than I was five years ago.
Among other things, my writing style has greatly improved, my graphic and editing skills are definitely better, my photos are much more focused and my ability to say NO is sharper than ever, Oh and another thing worth mentioning, I tolerate pictures of myself a little more now, true story!
When asked how I got into Fashion Blogging, I always say that I didn’t get into it, it’s the opposite: Fashion Blogging got into me.
I first introduced miss SLY! to the world back in 2008, in good ol’ Ottawa (see foxes, anything is possible ). A lot has changed since then and I am not just referring to my fro’ going red, I’ve learnt this whole blogging thing on the go, something I am pretty sure the best Fashion Program couldn’t have taught me – at least not so harshly. So without further ado, here they are…
The 5 Major Mistakes & 13 Valuable Lessons Fashion Blogging Taught Me… Over 5 Years:
5 Major Mistakes I committed, For Fashion Blogging’s Sake(Avoid them at all cost, or at least STOP the bleeding):
- Taking on way more than I could handle: From RSVPing to too many events, recording more Interviews than I could transcribe and accepting products for reviews (including ones I was never really interested in), are just few of the many blogging offenses I committed for saying YES more than I needed to, I’ve gotten better since then.
- Covering multiple fashion weeks simultaneously: Ah the curse of an ambitious mind. I clearly underestimated Le fashion week crazy workload in my early days. I wanted to do it all, and it didn’t always work out so well. Most of the time, this resulted in belated posts or worst, stories that never made it passed the draft mode, and of course dealing with disappointed PR, Designers and contributors who were expecting their story to be published. Le (double) sigh.
- Posting without a set schedule or editorial calendar: Blasphemy, I know! This wasn’t an issue in the early days when miss SLY! was focusing on quiet Ottawa, but as I moved on to busy Toronto, Montreal, Paris and New York, a structure was much needed, and it took me a while to figure one out. I was definitely running before I could properly walk, and boy did I stumble… multiple times.
- Procrastinating on producing a quality media kit: Perfectionism is the Devil. But trust me, the amount of great opportunities I missed out for this very reason got me back to that drawing board pronto, so all I can say is no matter at what stage you are in your Blogging career, get that media kit ready, STAT! (and update it frequently).
- Trusting the wrong people and giving away too much: This was definitely a tough one for me. I remember giving extra media pass or seats to people who couldn’t attend a show, just so they could snob me after, inviting people as my +1 to realize that wine made them ‘way too happy’ or worst, endorsing someone publicly right before they went on a Twitter rant, against a PR company nonetheless… Brutal. Thankfully, I know better now.
13 Valuable Lessons Fashion Blogging Taught Me (guiding principles I now live by):
- Trust my gut at all times
- Under promise and over deliver
- Keep my excitement for the results
- Work tirelessly at perfecting my craft
- Enter action with boldness when necessary
- Name my price and stand my ground firmly
- Balance planning with a dose of spontaneity
- Concentrate my energy on one project at a time
- Reinvent myself while staying true to my vision & goals
- Take myself seriously but always remember to have fun
- Surround myself with reliable people who excel where I falter
- Say NO when a yes could ruin a potential business relationship
- And finally, recognize that there is no such thing as perfection and be OK with it.
There you have it Foxes. 5 years of blogging in 1 post.
This has been rather therapeutic . 2013 will be an opportunity to share even more of what goes into the making of miss SLY! but I won’t share too much just yet (see, lesson #2 above), all I can say is stay tuned.
Before bidding 2012 goodbye, I want to thank my team of Good Girls Gone SLY: Fama, Nisha & Adrienne for their assistance this year and for devoting so much of their time, skills and efforts in producing all the pictures featured in this post. We were lucky to shoot them at the inspiring Montreal House Of Jazz last week, such a lovely place highly recommended if you enjoy old decor with a glamour touch, and live jazz music bien entendu.
Fama is my go to resource when it comes to brainstorming crazy yet feasible ideas, Nisha my go-to makeup artist and virtual assistant, and finally Adrienne the newest addition to the team, a talented photographer I am lucky to have met. Together, they made it all happen and I am grateful for it all.
Alright, I am finally done with this (long) post and with 2012 altogether!
This is Goodbye Foxes, I will see you, tweet you, Instagram you and Facebook you all in the new year. As for now, enjoy the rest of your holidays safely in a spirit of joy, gratitude and peace. Oh, and HAPPY SHOPPING!!!
Thank you for a truly memorable year.
xox – @NoellySam
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