Chanelle Laurence is a Vintage Maven! She’s a girl that’s “hopelessly in love with fashion and everything involved with it.” As the owner of Penelope’s Vintage and a blogger at http://thepenelopetimes.com/, her unique style is spread over the social media outlets like Bloglovin’, Lookbook, Facebook and Twitter. Check out why is she so popular! Here’s her story:
Tell us a bit about yourself and your love for fashion
My name is Chanelle and I’m one of the few LA natives. Fashion has been apart of my life ever since I was a baby, starting with my mom dressing me in all the best fashions. I spent my life planning outfits and shopping until I dropped, I even designed my own prom dress. I graduated from FIDM with a degree in Fashion Design and I’m currently working on my own clothing line with my graphic designer boyfriend. I have an online vintage clothing store that I started in 2010 to get a business going and also to build a following that can transition over to the clothing line. I’m also a professional dancer and have been dancing since the age of 5 (that’s something not a lot of people know).
What inspired you to make your own blog/website?
I started a blog back in 2006 just about my crazy experiences being young and going out in Hollywood mixed with clothing lines I was really into at the time. I was in fashion school and so inspired I needed a place to put it all out there. After I had graduated, I started my own online vintage clothing store, Penelope’s Vintage, and I started a blog for that on Tumblr. When I found out bloggers were making a living off their blogs I got re-inspired and switched the store’s blog over to a personal one which is what is now (keeping the same name so they tie into each other), The Penelope Times. I figured either way the store or blog would help each other out and I would come out on top by having a creative outlet to have fun with.
Did you have any professional help or did you created it yourself?
I created the first one myself and had my friend who does web development code in my current blog’s design that was created by my boyfriend who is a graphic designer.
What CMS — Content Management System are you using (is it WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Blogger etc.)?
Have you ever redesign your blog/website in order to boost traffic and are you happy with your traffic overall? What is the feedback like?
I haven’t yet but my boyfriend keeps encouraging me to. I’m attached to how minimal it is, I like how the content stands out and it’s all you really need to concentrate on.
Now, THE BIG QUESTION that everybody’s wondering; is it possible to make money out of fashion blog?
I’m going to be honest here, the window is getting smaller and smaller with the amount of people that are now starting blogs. The market is over saturated and the gap between big time bloggers and growing bloggers is getting bigger and bigger. It’s definitely possible but it’s a little harder than it used to be. Just stay true to yourself and your style, be passionate about what you do, keep pitching yourself and collaborations and be easy and fun to work with.
You have a lot of followers to your blog — congrats on that! How did you do this? How important do you think social media is as a part of promoting your website?
I think it’s really important that you try and put yourself everywhere you can, if you don’t tell people how are they going to know about your blog?
How active are you on a weekly basis, how often do you post and communicate with your followers?
I used to be a lot better, posting about 3-5 times a week and now It’s anywhere from 1-5 times a week. I’ve learned it’s really important to stay consistent and post constantly, but don’t put any extra stress on yourself if you don’t. Quality over Quantity!
What would you say that is the biggest challenge about fashion blogging?
I would say for me it’s getting the same traction as all the “trendy” bloggers. Most people are drawn to simplistic and trendy and I’m not that. I’m edgy and like to wear things that no one’s wearing yet and it’s hard for people to relate to sometimes, which is fine. I’ve learned to just stay true to who I am and the people who can relate will read and people that don’t will find what they can relate to. That’s the best thing about fashion, there’s room for everyone’s personal style.
How would you describe your own personal style and is there a person who is a fashion inspiration to you?
My style is edgy with a hint of vintage and all L.A. I love looking like a tomboy one day and throwing on a dress the next… it’s always changing but that’s why I love fashion — I can wear whatever I feel like being that day.
What would you say that is the greatest satisfaction of being a fashion blogger (gifts, invitations to fashion events, interaction with people, etc.)?
Well it’s always nice to get those invitations to very intimate events because not everyone is invited to them but I think the most gratifying thing is finding companies that really enjoy what you do and building a long lasting relationship with them. It really means something and you create such beautiful work together that way. I’ve also found some great friends through blogging who I’m very close with now and that’s one of the greatest satisfactions in my eyes.
The biggest tip you have for anyone wanting to start a fashion blog or a website would be… ?
Do it because you love it or you want a place to express yourself. When you start doing these things for money, gifts or fame you loose site of why this whole movement started in the first place. If you do it because you’re passionate about it, all of those things will come naturally. Also, work WITH other bloggers instead of against them. It’s not a popularity contest and by lifting each other up you both become more successful than you would alone.
Looking to Start a Fashion Blog on your own?
Check out our website and look for the free step by step instructional guide on How to Start your own Fashion Blog. Find out yourself how easy it is to become a top fashion blogger using our tips provided within the tutorial and see what other expert fashion bloggers are saying is the key to success!
Images ©Chanelle Laurence