It’s a new month, and it’s also Friday. Can you think of a better way to end the week?
The first Follow Friday of February 2013 takes us to Los Angeles for a profile on Ambu of Ambuji. By day, she is a lawyer; by night, a fashion blogger who challenges the concept of fashion blogging. Make the jump to learn more about Ambu, from the philosophy that influences her blog, her absence from the blogging world, and her advice about the word “conformity.”
* * * * * * * * *Name: Ambu
Name of blog: Ambuji
Date of founding: October 2010
A short description of your blog: It is a philosophical blog about “Living Life Elegantly.” Elegance is internal and external. It applies to external factors such as fashion, food, beauty, art, travel, literature. Elegance is also internal. It applies to thoughts, feelings, actions and living a life that is elegant. This Elegance is what I want to share with my readers.
How did you find your way into fashion blogging?
Ambu: I was born a creative and sensitive person. Fashion was the first expression for such creativity. As I grew older, my sense of fashion and style evolved and I acquired a passion for it. By a twist of fate I entered into a profession diametrically opposed to my creative sensibilities. Thus, when my life as an attorney failed to provide me the necessary creative fulfillment, I turned to fashion blogging as a creative release, even if for a fleeting moment.
What is the story behind the name of your blog?
Ambu: Ambu is my name and “ji” is a suffix used in India as a sign of respect. Since my blog is the most honest extension of myself, I aptly picked the name. The suffix “ji” was just a fun afterthought. However, now that I think about it, it was a subliminal act to respect myself. And why not, if I don’t respect myself, who else will!
With few exceptions, from the end of 2011 until recently your blog has gone into hibernation Could you tell us more about the decision, if any, to go silent, and the events surrounding the hibernation?
Ambu: Actually I wrote a whole blog on this issue, “To blog or not to blog.” There are multiple reasons. The first one is paucity of time. I am a partner in my law firm, and law is a jealous and stressful mistress. At the end of the day, I am spent and have no energy to muster-up creativity. My blog is a work of art for me, and I don’t want to put up just any post to record an entry. Writing a meaningful blog takes time, which I lack.
Another reason was a sense of disillusionment with the blogging world. There was way too much discussion in the blogging world regarding numbers, traffic, hits, frequency of posts, etc. I felt blogging became all about numbers with absolute disregard for the quality of the content. Of course, I do realize that I do not have to pay heed to the very commercial aspect of blogging, and use the blog to unleash my creativity.
Ambuji blazes its own path as far as fashion blogging is concerned, where each post provokes the reader to think about beauty and culture, and their influence upon the reader. How did you come to take this approach to fashion blogging?
Ambu: It was not a conscious decision. I am an analytical person and analyze everything in life whether it is something as mundane as a fairness cream, a cup of coffee or a philosophical matter. I abhor superficiality. The depth of my thoughts and feelings are projected in my blog.
Has your professional life as a lawyer, if at all, influenced the writing and experiences within your blog, and in what ways?
Ambu: There are pros and cons of having a background as a lawyer. The pros are that as a lawyer, I am a wordsmith; the organizational and analytical skills help as well. The cons are that law is restrictive. It forces you to think linearly. I was trained in the Socratic method of thinking. For creativity you need fluidity and malleability. Hence, I have to remind myself to forego the rigidity.What has been your favorite moment as a fashion blogger?
Ambu: The excitement I feel when the seed of a blog germinates in my brain. With my overactive mind I can make the seed flower into a meaningful blog. The flowering process excites me as it is creative.
Why do you blog?
Ambu: I feel I have a unique perspective, with a wide global radar and can comment on any issue with a degree of depth and philosophy. I wish to share my perspective not only with like-minded people, but also to inspire and expose readers to move towards living a more elegant life.
What post best defines your blog?
Ambu: I think my very first blog “Tight Clothing and Conformity,” as it sets the tone for my entire blog. I am a non-conformist and it applies to all walks of life not just fashion. It is evident in my entire blog.
What advice would you offer to my readers regarding…
Style: Non-conform and BE BOLD!
Knowing yourself: My motto is, “A life unexamined is not worth living.” Examine your life; it gives great insight and perspective.
Life in general: Live it elegantly, as you only live once.
Who is your blog for?
Ambu: Myself and the non-conformist, eccentric, unique reader like me.
Who are the bloggers you most admire, and why?
Ambu: I do not visit too many blogs, for the simple reason that most are a concerted effort to cater to the numbers game. Blogs may have multiple postings a day, but the quality is sub-par and hence does not pique my interest. I am hoping that more people will write blogs that are thought-provoking, yet fun.
Any final words?
Ambu: Delete the word “conformity” from your vocabulary.
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