Creative Business Diaries – Wardrobe Oxygen
Hi guys! Welcome to another interview in the Creative Business Diaries series. This week we have Alison Gary, the founder of Wardrobe Oxygen, a destination for women who want to live a stylish life on their terms. Regardless of age, size, budget, or lifestyle, Wardrobe Oxygen offers realistic tips to help demystify fashion and have fun defining your personal style through the wardrobe, skincare, and living an authentic life. Content includes capsule wardrobes, sale tips, answering reader questions, and Alison’s personal style through outfit shoots with a focus on cusp – and plus-sized fashion and looks for work, working from home, and the everyday.
What do you create?
A lot of fashion bloggers call themselves influencers, I see myself more of a content creator. I love to write and I love to help fellow women so I create content on my blog and social media that makes fashion accessible to all and empowers women to live life on their own terms.
Why do you create?
I have always loved writing and started a blog because of that. But I continue to create because the community that has grown from my blog inspires me and motivates me to keep thinking of creating new content.
When did you start creating?
In 2005; I had a new job but they didn’t yet acquire the contract for which I was hired. They asked me to “look busy” until the work came in. I heard about blogging on a news show and thought that would work and 13 years later…
What advice would you give to someone who wants to share their creations/start a business but doesn’t know where to start/is afraid of reactions?
Just start. Start disorganized and scared and unprepared. Don’t start trying to instant success, start it like a journal or a hobby. Make mistakes, learn from them, find your rhythm. All the preparation in the world won’t guarantee success, so there’s no point in waiting. Once you’ve found your rhythm, share it with the world.
Favourite social media to promote/to find inspiration and what tips do you have to succeed on that network (if any)?
Pinterest is my BFF, I get a huge percentage of my traffic from there and regularly receive comments and emails that new followers found me on that platform. I recommend using a mix of Tailwind and actual pinning. Pin not just your content but what your audience is interested in. Create keyword-heavy descriptions for your boards and use keywords and hashtags in your captions. Because Pinterest was taking up a lot of my time, I hired a VA to focus on my Pinterest so I can use that time to create more content.
Who inspires you and why?
Oprah. She had no connections, no nepotism, no hookups. And the bigger she gets the more she gives back and works to make this world a better place.
What are some of the disadvantages of the business you are in and how do you beat them?
The blogosphere continues to get more saturated; the only way to stand out and survive is to offer something different. I don’t try to compare myself to my peers but I watch trends and look to see how I can put a different spin on them, or offer what is lacking in my niche.
Was there a moment when you wanted to quit? Why?
I almost quit when my daughter was born because blogging was so time-consuming. A good friend offered some suggestions on how to consolidate the blog and reduce the time on it. I also considered quitting a year ago; the blog had grown a lot plus my day job had become more demanding. Instead, I quit the day job to focus on the blog full-time and it was the best decision!
How has your business evolved since you started it? Did it go in the direction you were expecting?
I started as a way to pass the time, and now it’s a career that supports my family. Back in 2005, I would have never imagined it would have become as big and successful as it is, or even that it was a possibility.
What makes you mad about the creators’ community and how would you change that?
The cattiness and competition. We all create different things and our audiences are different; I don’t understand why we compete so viciously against one another.
Chocolate or Pancakes?
Sweet or Salty?
Wine or Beer?
Swimming or Skiing?
Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings?
Can I say neither? I know, I’m the worst!