Interview with Kristen Berry
Let's meet Kristen, a communications and public relations expert who ties her passion for journalism with her exquisite sense of style. All of this culminating into her creation, Faux Fancy.
Lust Have: What inspired you to start blogging?
Kristen: One of my very best friends, Mary-Katharine, and I bonded over our love of all things fashion and beauty while working at a tech PR agency in the San Francisco area. We decided to start Faux Fancy to pursue the things we love in a completely new way, share all of our awesome finds with an even bigger community, and demonstrate that it's possible to look and feel like a million bucks without spending all of your precious time or money. MK has since stepped away from the blog to pursue other passions, but the heart and soul of the blog -- one that she was instrumental in creating -- definitely remains!
LH: In one sentence, how would you describe the purpose of your blog to a potential new follower?
K: Faux Fancy is dedicated to providing approachable inspiration for a stylish life.
LH: Who is your number one fashion inspiration and why?
K: It's so difficult to choose just one style muse, but Victoria Beckham is a consistent star of my fashion mood board season after season. I love that her aesthetic is both strong and feminine, and sexy yet chic.
LH: What are some of your current style obsessions?
K: I recently moved to Los Angeles, and I'm currently obsessed with integrating a bit of the city's laid-back casual style into my generally girly wardrobe. LA is also a huge denim town, and I'm on the hunt for the perfect pair of effortless-looking, high-waisted, slightly faded, moderately distressed, boyfriend-cut jeans that somehow still flatter my figure. It's a tall order, I know!
LH: What are your predictions for the next big style trend?
K: I'm hoping that by this time next year, the whole 1990's-inspired look will be officially over! Also, neutrals will always be a classic choice, but I'm predicting that there will be a growing appetite for more color in our wardrobes soon.
LH: Tell us about a typical day working on your blog.
K: I wish I were able to work on my blog every day! My current goal is to publish a new post each week; I've decided that this is manageable given the demands of my PR career, but still gives me the ability to produce quality content.
When I'm ready to write a new post, I check the running list of topics on the Clear app on my iPhone -- they're typically directly tied to a current fashion/beauty challenge that I'm tackling personally. If the post will feature pictures of me wearing a new/newly styled outfit, I'll research locations several days in advance. I'm currently taking full advantage of all of the beautiful murals and landmarks scattered around L.A! I'll typically dedicate an hour to selecting and lightly editing photos (cropping, color-correcting, brightening, etc.).
If I'm working on a shopping story, I'll usually spend a few hours over the course of a couple days researching the best finds from my favorite retailers. And I always plan my social media posts and schedule even before I publish the piece -- it's such a critical component of blogging these days!
LH: What changes have you noticed in your life after starting your blog?
K: I've learned a lot of new skills since starting Faux Fancy -- a bit of web design, search engine optimization, video editing, photo editing, social media management...the list goes on. This process has taught me that I'm capable of problem-solving just about anything -- it has made me even more fearless about tackling new challenges at work, in home repairs, and in just about every aspect of my life!
LH: What is your next big milestone for your digital diary?
K: I've stepped back from creating video content recently, but it's something I'd like to refocus on. And given all of the talent and skills in my new home city of LA, I'd like to take this opportunity to learn more about the medium, and create better content than ever before.
LH: Who is your favorite photographer for your shoots?
K: I'll let you in on a little secret -- the vast majority of the photos on Faux Fancy are taken by me, using a tripod and the self-timer on my Nikon! I was inspired when I read that Margaret Zhang actually captures many of her streetstyle photos this way. I love the freedom that this provides -- I'm able to take most of my photos all on my own, without having to bother anyone or shoot around their schedules.
LH: What is the toughest lesson you have learned so far from the world of fashion blogging?
K: When you're a blogger, it's very easy to fall down a rabbit hole of metrics. You can quickly become obsessed with how many readers you have each month, how many followers you have on all of your social media channels, how many likes each photo you post receives, etc. I actually wrote about this in a recent post, "Blog for Love, Not for Likes."
Instead of obsessively checking my analytics across these various platforms, I limit myself on how often I check this information, and use it only to make make improvements to the content I post -- not simply to gauge my "popularity" on a given day. I also make sure to set goals that have nothing to do with numbers, such as writing about an ambitious new topic, or tackling a format that I'm less comfortable with, such as video. Achieving those goals, and seeing the feedback I receive from my community when I create something meaningful, is so much more fulfilling than reaching a new milestone that's solely based on numbers.