Since celebrating her own blogiversary one short year ago, Jessica Keys has taken the blogging world by storm: she’s now the Fashion Editor at The Everygirl (an L&C favorite), has been featured on Refinery 29’s “10 Up and Coming Chicago Blogs,” and has partnered with TJ Maxx and Vera Bradley just to name a few. More than just partnerships and accomplishments though, Jess is a blogger with a voice- she’s one of those rare writers who inspires through words, pictures and impeccable style.
She’s a WWL to the bone, and we’ve picked her brain about everything from her accomplishments and style to Christmas gifts and more.
WHEN DID YOU BEGIN BLOGGING AND WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO DO SO?
I actually started blogging about a year and a half ago, but was really hot and cold about it, posting really inconsistently. About a year ago, I buckled down and started writing the Golden Girl and took it more seriously.
I got started with it because I’ve loved blogs forever, and was really craving more of a creative outlet than my corporate advertising job could provide. It was a slow start to say the least.
I THINK I SPEAK FOR ALL OF YOUR READERS WHEN I SAY WE LOVE YOUR STYLE. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PLACES TO SHOP?
Thank you! My go-to shopping stops are Asos, ZARA, and I’m also a big Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx diva. My style is my favorite creative outlet, so my shopping stops are just as eclectic as my wardrobe.
YOU’VE HAD SOME INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITIES WITH BOTH THE EVERYGIRL AND GOLDEN GIRL- WHAT HAS THAT REMARKABLE GROWTH BEEN LIKE?
To say it’s been amazing would be a massive understatement. A lot of these opportunities were being in the right place at the right time. I would never have gotten the opportunity to write at the Everygirl in February if I hadn’t started my personal blog first. At GG, I’ve been lucky enough to partner with local shops like Vintage Charm and even big retailers like American Eagle Outfitters- it’s been a whirlwind of great collaboration and meeting the coolest people.
WHAT ARE A FEW OF YOUR FAVORITE PARTNERSHIPS YOU’VE WORKED ON?
Again, I’ve been super lucky with the partnership opportunities that have come my way. One that really sticks out to me though is my very first blog partnership with Shamelessly Sparkly. I was a customer myself, and sent them a link to my blog where I featured their jewelry. The owner was a big fan and asked if we could work together! The best part has been that we’ve now become pen pals and great friends.
YOUR INSTAGRAM IS KILLER- WHAT’S YOUR SECRET TO A PERFECTLY STYLED PHOTO?
Thank you- I spend a lot of time on it! My biggest takeaway is always use natural light, your photos will come out infinitely prettier. Through some experimenting, I’ve learned that aerial photos do really well, whereas adding graphics to a photo tend to not do as well. It’s important to post when people will be most engaged with the platform, so commuting times are best. Instagram is an incredibly engagement driven platform, so interacting with your followers, liking, commenting is so important to have them reciprocate.
WHAT’S ON YOUR CHRISTMAS LIST THIS YEAR?
I really want a leather camera strap (like this one, from etsy). But as I’ve gotten older, I really like “experiences” vs “things”. A trip somewhere new, trying out a new restaurant, those are always much better. You can’t buy experiences yourself!
WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE EVERYGIRL? AND THE GOLDEN GIRL?
We definitely have some exciting stuff planned for the Everygirl, but you’ll have to stay tuned for those details!
As far as Golden Girl goes, I’ll be delving back into more lifestyle content in 2015, and would love to eventually start offering a blogging introductory class since I’ve been receiving a lot of questions about starting a blog, which is something I’m beyond excited about!
ANY PARTING ADVICE FOR BEGINNING BLOGGERS TO GET THEIR FOOT IN THE DOOR?
Your biggest obstacle is yourself. My style in college was questionable at best, and when I started thinking about blogging, I remember asking “who am I to give style advice.” My boyfriend gave me a big push in the right direction, and as all things backed by passion and support, it turned out great. Don’t be afraid to believe in yourself- I believe in you too!