When people ask me how I started my blog and how it became my business I usually don’t even know where to start, because it all went so gradually and organically to me. I started my blog 1,5 years after finishing my studies in Advertising at de Willem de Kooning Academy. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to work at an ad agency and always said I wanted to do everything: from illustrating children’s books to having my own magazine to creating my own fashion label. I’ve always been ambitious, I just never knew what I wanted the most.
When I finished the academy the crisis just hit and it was actually quite hard to find a job without any experience. Luckily I found a part-time job as a graphic designer via a friend. I had some time on my hands for another creative outlet. I’ve always loved reading blogs and had a real knack for fashion and trends. My friends even started calling me ‘the blogger without a blog’. I was afraid to start a blog since there were already so many, but after giving it a thought I decided to try anyway. That was almost exactly 4 years ago, but it wasn’t until last year that I started doing this full-time.
Up until halfway through last year I’ve always been employed as a graphic designer & marketeer for various companies. This means I’ve always spent all of my spare time on A Dash Of Fash. I took as many pictures as I could during the weekend and evenings – which is especially hard during winter time! I even shared illustrations, thinking that people who would find my blog might want to hire me for that as well. I just did what I loved and didn’t think too much about it. Of course I hoped I once could do what I loved full-time, but I had no idea how. I joined Instagram and started sharing my outfits there as well, since I saw other bloggers doing that. Back then it was just a fun and casual app and I could have never imagined that it would become my main source of income!
While spending so much time on the ‘gram I started to get the hang of it: my pictures got more professional, I started gaining more & more followers and brands started noticing. First I would get free products in exchange for exposure, but of course free clothing does not pay the bills. This has been hard to explain to companies, but I feel like last year something changed and more and more companies understand now why it’s in their interest as well to pay a blogger for the work they put in a project. For me it really helped to get paid jobs when I started gaining more followers.
Of course I don’t take any job I get offered and always look if it suits me and my followers (a.k.a. you guys!). But last year it got a little out of hand and I juggled my blog and other design & marketing work. I guess I was still a bit scared to focus 100% on A Dash Of Fash, even though it was already doing well. Eventually I made the decision to do it and it feels so good! I can go on a holiday whenever I want and put all my energy into creating content, which I love.
For me it really helped to have a platform like Instagram where I could grow and reach a big audience. It just so happened to go the way it did, but as I mentioned I also love creating and designing things. So if I put more time in that than in blogging I might as well have my own shop on Etsy, which is a perfect platform for that. I recently bought the Moschino belt I’m wearing in today’s post there and that’s when I saw so many talented shop owners, working on their own dream.
Etsy is starting a really good program at the end of this month which can help you turn your dreams into reality. Thanks to their platform you can already reach a big audience and the best thing is Etsy will help you to create this all for free! Their program is called Etsy Resolution: a free email course where you’ll learn the whole process of opening your own Etsy shop. Basically you’ll get all the tools you need to start your business on Etsy.
Now if that isn’t good news I don’t know what is! So if you have a talent you want to explore and don’t know how to do it and where to begin all by yourself this might be just what you need. Sign up for free and who knows, 2017 might just be your year!