Two years ago, I began blogging in earnest. I wasn’t sure what my first step in fashion blogging would be, until I came upon Tokyobanhbao, the first blogger I would profile for what is now known as “Follow Friday.”
I’ve come a long way since then, but it will always be a pleasure to shine the spotlight on my fellow fashion bloggers until it comes time to fade into the fog of history.
Thankfully, that time has yet to come.
This week’s profile is on Scottish blogger Amber McNaught of Forever Amber. Aside from her personal style blog, she also operates The Fashion Police, Shoeperwoman and Hey, Dollface! full time. Make the jump to read more about McNaught as she talks about how her skills as a journalist influence her blogging, the origin of her blog’s name, and what other bloggers should be mindful of as burgeoning professionals in their own right.
Name of Blog: Forever Amber
Date of Founding: May 2006
A Short Description of Your Blog: Forever Amber is really just a journal of my life, with a bit of personal style thrown in, and a lot of photos of my dog!
How did you find your way into fashion blogging?
McNaught: My background is in journalism, but I realised I wasn’t really cut out for news writing: I wanted to be able to work for myself and write about the things I was interested in, one of which was fashion. I had no experience in fashion writing whatsoever, so I figured that as no-one was going to offer me a job in the industry, I’d just create one for myself. I launched The Fashion Police in late 2006, and didn’t look back!
What is the story behind the name of your blog?
McNaught: The blog is named after Kathleen Winsor’s novel of the same name. My name is Amber, the book is one of my favourites, and although I had no idea what the site would end up morphing into it when I started, I knew that it would be “forever Amber,” so it seemed fitting!
You not only have your personal blog, but also run The Fashion Police, Hey, Dollface! and Shoeperwoman as part of your blogging business. How has your professional writing, if at all, influenced Forever Amber, and has your personal blog influenced your professional work?
McNaught: When Forever Amber started, it was really just a personal diary: There were hardly any photos, and I didn’t talk much about my own personal style, because I didn’t really have any! The fact that I spend my entire working day thinking and writing about fashion, though, means that it’s a much bigger part of my life now than it was when I started out. My own style has changed to reflect that, and I think my blog has, too; there’s now much more of a personal style element mixed in with the day-to-day stuff.
You reside in Scotland, whose government is currently preparing for possible secession from the UK. How does the fashion in Scotland compare/contrast with its neighbour to the south, as well as other capitals of fashion such as New York and Paris?
McNaught: I don’t think there are any differences between fashion in Scotland and in the rest of the UK, or not that I’ve noticed, anyway. Obviously there are people everywhere in the world with very different styles, but Scotland has the same stores as the rest of the UK, and the same kind of influences in terms of popular culture etc, so I think we’re much less different than a lot of people seem to assume!
If any of my readers were to visit Scotland, what would recommend regarding lodging/dining/shopping/cultural norms to be mindful of et al?
McNaught: It would really depend on which part of the country you were visiting. The best shopping opportunities are found in the larger cities: Edinburgh now has quite a few stores like Anthropologie and Harvey Nichols, which you won’t find elsewhere in Scotland, and also has a lot of good vintage and thrift stores.What has been your favourite moment as a fashion blogger?
McNaught: A couple of years ago I started doing an annual challenge on Shoeperwoman, in which I attempt to wear all of my 100 pairs of shoes at least once in the space of a year, and document my progress on the blog. This year, I decided to open up the challenge to my readers, and launched a new community part of the site where people can sign up and do their own Shoe Challenges. I had almost 100 people register in the first week, and it was an amazing feeling to see how enthusiastic people were about it!
Why do you blog?
McNaught: At Forever Amber I blog because I love to write: I’ve always kept journals, and am the kind of person who feels like an experience isn’t really “complete” until I’ve written it down. Blogging is a natural extension of that, and a good way to share those experiences with other people.
What one piece of advice would you offer my readers regarding:
Style: Don’t follow fashion purely for the sake of it. Work out what you like and what suits you. It’s much more rewarding than just wearing the same things as everyone else. And don’t be afraid to be different; the most interesting people always are.
Writing (blogging, journalism et al): Worry more about what you’re writing than who you’re writing for. I see a lot of new bloggers who seem to really obsess over how to get more followers, but I think it’s more important to create content that people will want to follow.
I also think it’s really important to educate yourself about the legalities of publishing, which is what blogging is. Too many bloggers seem to be under the impression that the internet is different from “real life” and that there are no rules, but online publishing is subject to the same laws as any other kind of publishing, and it’s really important to be aware of that and not get yourself into trouble!
Life in general: Try not to compare yourself to other people. Just concentrate on making your own life the best it can be.
Who is your blog for?
McNaught: Anyone who wants to read it!
You can find McNaught’s personal style blog at foreveramber.co.uk. You can also find her on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook, as well as through her professional blogs at thefashionpolice.net, shoeperwoman.com and hey-dollface.com.
Photo credits: Wikipedia (title card) + Amber McNaught.