This week we’re talking to Stephanie Ziajka of thediaryofadebutante.com.
Steph is from Tampa, FL and is not only a blogger but a model, personal stylist and an advocate for Eating Disorder Awareness.
Check out her Q&A and get the scoop on her favorite designers and what inspires her to blog:
Why did you start blogging? And what currently drives you to keep up with it?
I started blogging during a period of medical leave from my financial day job a few years ago. I developed a severe eating disorder that kept me out of work for almost three months, so to pass the time, I started a blog! And Diary of a Debutante’s “birth story” is what drives me to keep up with it. Since I was so dramatically affected by body image issues myself, my blog’s mission is to promote eating disorder awareness and body positivity every day through a variety of affordable fashion, realistic beauty, and healthy lifestyle topics.
What would you consider your personal style to be and what influences your style?
My style is preppy, colorful, and classic.
I’ll admit that I do follow and fund some trends, but it pains me to invest in clothing that’s designed to go out of style in a month or two (that’s mostly my boyfriend’s frugality talking).
Also, my fashion icons influence my style most— Audrey Hepburn, Kate Middleton, and Victoria Beckham have completely shaped my closet into what it is today! I love how effortlessly classic they always look, and none of them are afraid of color, which is another driving force behind my style.
If you’re going to live, might as well follow Kate Spade’s advice and live colorfully, right?
Are there any fashion labels you love?
Because I love color so much, Lilly Pulitzer and Kate Spade are my absolute favorites. Also, I used to work in finance, and 95% of my professional wardrobe is either from Ralph Lauren or Banana Republic.
As far as brands that are (just a bit) outside of my modest price range, I’m obsessed with pretty much everything that Badly Mischka, Herve Leger, and Vera Wang designs. They make the retired pageant girl in me swoon. And if I had a billion dollars and I could only buy one fashion label for the rest of my life, it’d be Chanel.
What beauty products do you live by?
I don’t know what I’d do without my Clarisonic. It’s amazing. My skin is super sensitive, so unless I’m taking photos, I really only use brands that cater to my skin type, like It! Cosmetics, Trufora, and Cosmedix. For photos, I love Make Up For Ever and MAC. As for my hair, I swear by my Wet Brush and the Long Sexy Hair line.
What bloggers do you follow and why?
This sounds horrible, but I don’t really follow very many other bloggers. I want my ideas to be original, and if you’re constantly reading other people’s content, it makes it easier to (accidentally or intentionally) use someone else’s ideas.
If I had to choose, I’d say that Pink Peonies is my favorite— just because everything she does/wears/makes is so classy… and those kids (and puppy) of hers? Goals! Also, Ashley Brooke, Mash Elle, and Money Can Be Lipstick are three of my closest friends, and I’m constantly amazed at the incredible and unique content they produce!
Do you blog full time?
I do, and I love it!
Who takes your photos?
It depends. Most of the time, it’s my boyfriend Kyle. Other times, it’s either another local blogger, like Ashley Brooke or Mash Elle, or a professional photographer.
What is your favorite part about blogging? And what’s the worst part about it?
The best part is getting to connect with my readers. Nothing is more gratifying than an email or comment from someone who loved or was positively affected by one of my posts. The worst part (for me) is not having an office to walk into. I worked in finance for five years, so working from home has been a challenge.
What do you love most about your blog?
I love that it’s a source of body positivity for so many young women, including myself. I don’t think I could blog professionally if I felt like “just another fashion or lifestyle blogger.” It’s important for me to feel purposeful in my work, and publicly advocating for mental health and eating disorder awareness is purpose enough for me.
What piece of advice would you give to anyone starting their own blog?
Do it! It’s incredible, and the blogosphere is so happy to have you! 🙂 Just please don’t expect to get rich quick. I get so frustrated when I see pins on Pinterest saying “I made $20,000 this month blogging, and you can, too!” Blogging is hard work, so be prepared to put in the effort before you start reaping the rewards.
Have any fashion blog goals for 2017?
For the past three New York Fashion Weeks, I’ve had prior engagements I couldn’t miss. I’m determined to go to NYFW in the fall!