Photos courtesy of Rachel Martino
Rachel Martino just revamped her blog, RachMartino, this November, and with over 20,000 followers, she's now getting attention in a major way. Rachel is a Southern girl who moved to Brooklyn to pursue a social media career, but she has a major French following, as well. (Listen up, Francophiles!) She's also just as sweet as she is stylish!
This week, Rachel tells us about making the big move from Nashville to NYC,spills her go-to blogs for style inspiration, and shares how she balances blogging and a full-time job:
College Fashion: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Rachel Martino: I'm Rachel. I'm a Southern girl living in the Big Apple. I work full-time as the Community Manager for Origins here in New York City. I also have a fashion blog and two YouTube channels focusing on beauty: one in English and one in French.
CF:How would you define your style?
RM: I would describe my style as a mix between feminine, retro styles and Williamsburg trendy.
CF: How did you find your personal style?
RM: What a good question. I think personal style is very organic, I've always worn what I love and what makes me happy, whether it was popular or not. So much of 'personal style' is determined by your surroundings as well. Moving to New York definitely had an impact on my style, but I tend to stay true to the things I think look great.
CF: What inspired you to start a personal style blog? What motivates you?
RM: I started off making YouTube video about 3 years ago, and I realized there were so many makeup tutorials but much less content about style. After moving to the city, I knew I wanted to really shape my blog to match my incredible New York experiences and the clothes I live them in. I relaunched the blog (it needed a serious makeover) in November and I'm now posting regularly!
Photos courtesy of Rachel Martino
CF: Did you go to college? If so, what did you study? What was your college experience like?
RM: Yes, I was a French and English double major at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. College was an amazing time for me and I can say with great confidence I'm glad I went to school in a city like Nashville. I can't imagine going to school in a city like New York. I don't think I would have ever made it to class! My experience in Nashville really fostered learning and artistic creativity. The South has shaped me as a person, but New York represents my future.
CF: Where do you like to shop?
RM: Oh, everywhere! I love buying clothes second-hand or thrifted, so I am often frequenting Buffalo Exchange and Beacon's Closet in Williamsburg. I buy a lot of my basics at Zara, Uniqlo and Forever 21 and fun pieces from Anthropologie, ASOS and Urban Outfitters.
I'm also a total online shopping addict. I cannot get enough ModCloth.com and I'm on HauteLook.com everyday and often buy from their sales at Eva Franco, Dolce Vita, Seychelles, Free People, BBDakota, I could go on like this for hours. Also, Etsy.com is awesome.
CF: What advice do you have for being stylish on a college budget?
RM: Don't buy things that you like, buy things that you love. I still have so many clothes I bought in college that I've never worn to this day. But I also have things I bought when I was in high school for cheap that I wear all the time. Those are the things you want to buy.
When you're shopping really think: "what exactly would I wear it with?", "where would I wear it?", "would I really feel comfortable in this all-day?" (very important). My mom taught me about CPW, cost-per-wear, when I was really young, so I always try to remember that. It's simple math, instead of spending $100 on a sparkly dress for NYE that you might wear once or twice, spend $100 on jeans that you'll live in. If you wear them twice a week for 6 months, they were less than $2 per wear, unlike the dress.
CF: What are your favorite pieces in your wardrobe?
RM: A bright fuchsia dress from H&M, a Paris print skirt from PinUpCouture, a simple red dress from ModCloth, a black and white polka dot sweater from Forever 21, my live-in Urban Outfitters High-Rise BDGs and my Brooklyn Brewery men's tee-shirt.
Photos Courtesy of Rachel Martino
CF: Who/what inspires you?
RM: I love bloggers. I don't even read magazines anymore, I just follow my favorite bloggers. Keiko Lynn, PaulineFashionBlog and Jess Here&Now are a few of my current favorites. I also look around me in New York City, there is so much inspiration in the street fashion here, it's endless. Like when it snowed for the first time, and I had no idea what to put on my feet that wasn't hideous, the Union Square platform at 9am had all the answers; I just had to look down.
CF: What advice do you have for new bloggers or college students starting a blog?
RM: Understand what your goals are in having a blog and be realistic. Not everyone is going to be Leandra Medine or Danielle Berstein. Having a blog is a lot of hard work, so know what you want and go for it, but be sure to manage expectations. Look at other bloggers, read IFB, and collaborate with other bloggers. That's key.
CF: What's writing a blog really like? Could you describe a typical day?
RM: There's so many different parts to being a blogger. Most people tend to think it's all about fun fashion shoots and glamorous backstage passes to Fashion Week. For me at least, it's not like that at all. It's the art of juggling.
On a typical day I work 9-5. When I come home, I make some dinner, have a glass of wine and get back on the computer to respond to blog comments, schedule and edit blog posts and/or videos.
For me, the weekends are my real blog and YouTube time. I generally get up early and get a latte and breakfast in my neighborhood. Then I come home and pull together a few looks for a blog shoot wherein I'm running around my apartment throwing shoes, necklaces and skirts every which way.
Then my awesome blog photographer Jeff shows up around noon and we shoot the different looks for the upcoming week. Once he leaves, I review the pictures and choose my first round of favorites. Then I usually film around 4 different videos and upload them to my computer.
While they're uploading I'll make a final round of edits for the blog photos and upload them as drafts with witty titles (my favorite part of the process) to my blog. Then I edit the videos for a few hours (editing video=so time consuming). Then I'll usually publish one video to YouTube and one blog post to blogger and get excited as comments come in. Then it's time for dinner and a drink with my boy! All in a day's work.
Does Rachel's story inspire you? Which fashion blogs do you follow? Who should I interview next? Let me know in the comments section!