Thursday, April 25, 2013

behind the blog: jeans and a teacup

This week for Behind the Blog we have Jessica from Jeans and a Teacup. Jessica writes the blog with her sister, and is known for the fashion side of the blog. She lives in sunny California where she works as a movie extra (isn't that so cool?!). I love her fresh and clean style and I know you will too!

Tell us what motivate you to start blogging. Were you following a lot of personal style/fashion blogs before you started blogging?

I followed “the big ones” like Kendi Everyday, Cupcakes and Cashmere and Atlantic-Pacific for about a year before I started to think, “I need a hobby, maybe I could take pictures of my outfits everyday!”
But I’ll be honest, starting a blog seemed like a big step.  So I got my sister involved! I knew she was interested in blogs and so our initial plan was to start a lifestyle blog.  It’s since evolved to mainly fashion/outfit posts but that’s ok.

Which blogs do you read every day? 

There are so many lovely blogs I read everyday, I wish I could list them all! I love Crazy Style Love, Delusions of Grandeur, Because of Jackie, Because Shanna Said So, Camo Meets Couture and Dreaming in Cashmere to name just a few.

Who takes your pictures? What camera and lens do you use? Have you ever been caught in the act of taking these?

My husband takes my pictures!  We use a Canon Rebel XSi camera and Canon Zoom Lens EF 70-300mm to take outfit pictures.  He had spoiled me with the camera and lens for Christmas and my birthday before I had even started blogging so I’m lucky on that end. I am super camera shy which does not mix well with living in an apartment in a city! I have to take my photos on the sidewalk with neighbors and cars passing by.  Awkward! Although, people don’t usually stop and stare which is nice.

Do people in real life know about your blog? What were their reactions when they found out about your blog?

My immediate family knows about the blog and they are supportive. I also told my two best friends and I think my sister has told some of her friends.  But I guess I’m too scared to tell my other friends that I have a website where I post pictures of myself!

How has your style changed since you’ve started your blog?

I have definitely become more adventurous with my style since I started blogging.  I used to be a “jeans and a tee” kind of gal before I started. (Hence part of the inspiration for our blog title…Jeans and a Tea-cup! hehe) But now I’m not afraid to try mixing prints, different styles/trends and pants other than denim jeans!  I can also say that I have an easier time “shopping my closet” and mixing things together that I would have never thought of before.

Many fashion bloggers hop from one trend to the next. How do you manage to stay on trend without breaking the bank and just blindly following each trend?

I don’t think it’s bad to follow trends.  You can usually find things at Forever 21 or Target without breaking the bank (especially in the clearance section)! I also make sure that I can wear that “trendy” item a couple different ways.  For example, I bought a pair of floral pants in the fall but I made sure the print worked well in other seasons and I could wear a lot of different tops with it.  I also only spent $20 on them!

However, stay true to yourself and don’t buy something unless you like it and can incorporate it into your wardrobe.  You will never see me wearing a pair of wedge sneakers! It’s just not me!

Putting yourself on the internet comes with the expectation that not everyone will always love what you are wearing and writing. Have you encountered any of these criticisms, and if so, how do you handle it?

I have been lucky so far to not get any negative comments! I’m actually surprised since I know people can have strong opinions. But I also don’t post controversial/negative material on my blog so the comments I get are positive.

What has been the best thing to come out of blogging? 

It’s given me something to do! But seriously, blogging has been such a fun hobby.  I never expected to “meet” so many cool ladies and find so much inspiration out there in the blog world.  It’s also been really great to collaborate on something with my sister.  We weren’t super close growing up and now we live in different states so this blog is something that we can work on together!

When it comes to promotion of your blog, what methods do you use? Do you spend a lot of time commenting on other blogs, pinning your looks, doing link ups?

I do spend a lot of time visiting and commenting on other blogs.  Maybe too much time!  My degree is in music performance and I’ve definitely been neglecting my clarinet in favor of blogging…oops! But blogging is my hobby and I love spending time looking at other people’s outfits and finding new blogs. Link ups are a great way to participate in the blog community and find new blogs.  However, I don’t want people to follow me just so they can get a follow back.  I’m hoping for genuine followers which might mean my blog grows a little more slowly since I don’t necessarily respond to “I’ll follow you if you follow me” comments.

I also try to keep up with my social media accounts by updating and promoting my blog on facebook, twitter, and pinterest.  However, I don’t have a smartphone which can make it difficult to “keep up” with social media. It also means I can’t participate in Instagram (I feel so out of the loop! Haha)!

I promised my husband when I started this blog that I wouldn’t have to spend any money to do it! So far I’ve been able to keep that promise.  That means I can’t spend money to buy ads on other blogs.  Maybe one day if my blog generates any money I’ll be able to do that!

What tips or suggestions do you have for your fellow bloggers?

If you are posting outfit pictures please make them as large as you can! I get so disappointed when I visit a fashion blog and I can’t see what you are wearing because your photo is so small!

Work with what ya got! I believe you don’t have to have an expensive camera, Photoshop or designer clothes to have a good blog.  It might mean you have to put a little more time and effort into finding alternatives or teaching yourself how to make your “point and shoot” take good pictures but it’s worth it!

Thank you so much for taking time to answer my questions Jessica! Please go visit Jeans and a Teacup and don't forget to follow them on bloglovin to stay in touch!