Sometimes, given the fact that it really is on the other side of the world, we might forget what serious style power Australia has – labels like Karla Spetic or Grace Loves Lace and inspiring style bloggers like Jiawa from Beige Renegade.
While she is almost a veteran of the blogging scene, her style constantly evolved and never got repetitive or boring. From a very cute girlie look through countless experiments, Jiawa is currently all over minimalism. I have been following her for a while and I love how I want to restyle most of her outfits immediately. They are very wearable and cool, which separates her from countless other that focus more on flashy extravaganza.
Jiawa has been so kind to answer us a couple of questions about her life, career and style:
You just launched Beige Renegade? What was the idea behind it?
‘Beige Renegade’ is a consolidation of my brand identify, which, as it evolved over the years, no longer resinated with my original brand. ‘Beige’ seeks to convey style and lifestyle preferences for all things simple, plain and, even boring to some (in other words, minimalism). ‘Beige Renegade’ is a tongue in cheek reference to someone who is so ‘Beige’ that they become almost a crusader or a revolutionary; someone who rebels against fussy fashion and a clutter lifestyle, and lives by minimalism in the face of changing fashion trends. My new website is an inspiration source for anyone who might fit this description, or who mighty merely be ‘Beige-curious’.
You have been blogging for quite a while, when did you decide to treat your blog as a business and why?
It was always in the back of my mind that I wanted to turn my blog into a business, but it wasn’t until 2014 that I really started to take it as seriously as I do now. It was more due to outside influences than anything else. I realised that as I put myself out there, I was increasingly being approached by brands and companies to collaborate, and that it was possible to turn my interests into a real job. While my blog opened doors for me to get involved in many aspects of the fashion industry, from fashion photography and styling to fashion writing and creative direction, I eventually came to the conclusion that it was important to have a core business, which should be my blog and brand platform.
There isn’t exactly a handbook for career blogging. How did you approach treating your blog as a business?
For me, treating my blog as a business started with deciding on a clear direction, both in the creative and financial spaces. In terms of creative direction, this is entirely a question of creating a brand identity and product that aligns with an identifiable target audience. On the financial side, it was deciding on some goals about the level of income I hoped to generate, over what period of time, and how this would be achieved. Once you have a direction, you start feeling that sense of accountability that comes with running a business. And this, to me, is one of the biggest differences between a hobby blogger and a career blogger.
How important is social media for Beige Renegade? How do you use it?
Social media has grown to be the largest component of my platform. In the past, the majority of my readers followed me through my RSS feed, but now my social media followership has far outstripped those numbers. I now use social media, mainly Instagram, to do virtually everything that I used to do primarily through my blog, including publishing content and engaging with my followers. Advertisers are also preferring Instagram promotions to others.
There is an on-going debate about transparency in the blogosphere. How do you approach this on Beige Renegade?
My impression is that bloggers are more than happy to be upfront about their sponsorships. Nowadays, aligning with popular brands will boost, rather than damage, a blogger’s profile. However, I think that it is both possible, and extremely important, for bloggers to maintain their credibility by ensuring that the brands they work with are consistent with their creative direction. Beige Renegade is a minimalist blog, and I try to be quite firm about only collaborating with brands which are a good fit with my brand.
What is the best thing about being a blogger? And what is the worst?
The best thing about being a bloggers is of course, being able to do what you love every day. The worst thing is the anxiety and self doubt that you inevitably experience, trying to work within a creative industry. As a lawyer in my day job, I have a pretty clear idea of what to do, and how to measure my success. As a blogger, it’s a roller coaster ride of highs and lows. One day you’re feeling great because you got a feature in a magazine, then the next you’re feeling rock bottom because something you posted didn’t get as many likes or comments as you expected.
Where do you want to be in five years?
In five years, I would love be blogging out of a dream location like Tokyo or Paris. As a blogger, you really can be based anywhere, but it’s just a matter of getting there.
What is your definition of success?
For me it’s simply achieving financial freedom, but this has got as much to do with your earning capacity, as how you design your life.
Your style changed a lot over the years, how would you describe it now? What is your power outfit?
I often describe my style as ‘relaxed minimalism’. It’s about dressing in a minimal, livable way – opting for comfortable shoes, and quality, well made clothes that last, and that facilitate your lifestyle, rather than require you to make sacrifices for the sake of ‘style’. My ‘power outfit’ is probably a t-shirt, jeans, and a leather jacket – with Converse chucks of course. When you feel comfortable, you feel powerful.
Where do you find inspiration?
What is on your wish list right now?
On the top is a pair of Charlotte Olympia Kitty Flats and a Givenchy Antigona. Did I mention my birthday is coming up?
Charlotte Olympia Kitty Flats & Givenchy Antigona:
Shoes: Get them here
Bag: Get it here
Pictures: Beige Renegade