Thursday, April 11, 2013

behind the blog: mai-heart

This week's Behind the Blog is all about Mai Heart. Crystal works as a college professor and always has a chic but affordable outfit on so not only is she a smarty pants, but also stylish. She's also currently holding a giveaway on her blog so make sure you go and enter that while you go say hi!

Tell us what motivate you to start blogging. Were you following a lot of personal style/fashion blogs before you started blogging?
I started my blog because I wanted to share my story with everyone. My friends have always encouraged me to start a personal shopping business for everyday women. However, starting a business takes a lot of dedication and hard work and I am not experienced enough to take the plunge. Instead of building a business, I decided to create a blog to share my shopping experiences, life and outfits.

Before I started my blog, I was reading a few blogs at the time, Atlantic-Pacific, Along the Lines of Style (Between the Lines, then), Kendi Everyday, and Sequins & Stilettos. These blogs are completely different from one another, which made it encouraging to start my own!

Which blogs do you read every day? 

Every morning I wake up, I pick up my phone and go straight to Along The Lines of Style, Franish ( of course!!), Mix and Match FashionAtlantic-Pacific, Sequins & Stilettos, and Kendi Everyday  This is by no means in no particular order. It’s my routine to check them all. It’s like brushing your teeth you have to do it!

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

Me, myself and my manfrotto tripod. My significant other bought me this amazing tripod that’s light as a feather but extremely sturdy. At the moment, I do not have a DSLR but use a Canon G12. One day I will snatch my significant others DSLR and call it my own and use a lens that works? Haha. I get caught in the act almost every single time I take pictures of my outfits. It doesn’t matter what time I take it. I think most of my apartment building thinks I am vain. Lol.

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

When I first started my blog, I was shy about telling people in my real everyday life. I was not sure how they would approach my love for fashion. Surprisingly, no one has made rude remarks, besides a little tease here and there, which I do not mind. Some were afraid my students will run into it and other’s knew my addiction for fashion, so there were no surprises for them.

You work as a college professor – what kind of limits does that put on your wardrobe?

No limits at all. Of course, I put limits on myself. My rule is, if I can bend over with no stress. I am dressed appropriately. I kid! Honestly, I try best to dress fun and professional. Sometimes my challenges are dressing frumpy on my lazy days, which I think everyone has.

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?

When I buy trendy items, I refuse to pay more than $15 for it. This way, if I wear it 3 times, I will not feel as bad. However, when it comes to basic items, such as a black blazer, nice jeans, or timeless handbag, I most likely break the bank badly and blindly; it’s bad.

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?

Every individual is entitled to his/her opinion. I take criticism lightly and reflect on why it was given to me in the first place. If the person had a legitimate criticism, I will take it into consideration; otherwise I ignore it.

What has been the best thing to come out of blogging?
Meeting all these wonderful people in the blogging community. It’s important to keep strong relationships with a few people who understand you! It makes blogging worthwhile and fun! Also, blogging has inspired me to dress less frumpy for work! Whitney from Along the Lines of Style and Tara from Mix and Match Fashion has helped open up my eyes to frumpy-free dressing for school! Thanks, girls!

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?
At the moment, I do not spend a lot of my time promoting my blog, which I should. However, I comment on blogs that I truly believe in. I pin my looks when I remember and do link ups to share with women in the blogging community where I’ve found the best deals that week.

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

BE YOURSELF! I cannot stress this enough! Originality is what sets you apart from everyone else. And do not be afraid to accept criticism, look at it from a positive prospective and move on! You do not need to be like a specific blogger to become successful, do it because you love it! Sure, the blogging community has become a big competition. However, if you have come to the point that blogging is a chore, you are doing it for all the wrong reasons! Sometimes, we all need a break from the cloud. For me, I post when I can and share what is worthwhile!

Thank you so much Crystal! Next week's behind the a surprise!