Hey ShopStyle Collective! You are a very special and exclusive community, so we are always striving to help support you as a brand! We started doing Blogger Spotlights to showcase our unique members and highlight their blogs so you can learn a little more about them as fellow bloggers. Today I’d love to introduce you to Kileen from Cute & Little.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a 30-something who has always loved getting dressed up! I’m a wife to a loving husband, mom to two wonderful children (ages 3 and 1), and I work full-time as a software developer in the financial services industry. I’m always on the hunt for a good deal and work hard so I can shop harder!
When did you start blogging and what made you want to start a blog? How long have you been blogging?
I started my blog back in October of 2010 after discovering a petite fashion blogging community online. I immediately felt a connection to the other petite bloggers I met who also struggled with various fashion trends and finding age-appropriate clothes that fit and flattered. It wasn’t long after that I decided to start my blog to share my fashion finds as well as tips and tricks with others. I did take about a year and a half’s break while I had a high-risk pregnancy and was on bedrest for half of that time. Although I wasn’t sure if I could jump back into blogging after having taken such a long hiatus, I truly missed the blogging community and decided to start up the blog again thereafter. It’s been almost three years since coming back from my blogging break and I love it more than ever!
What’s the story behind your blog name?
I knew I wanted my blog to focus on me and my life. While a domain under my name was already taken, I decided to find two adjectives instead that I felt described me, my life, and the fact that this would be a petite-centric blog. Hence, cute and little!
How do you stay true to yourself while continuing to evolve in the blogger community?
Blogging has evolved so much over the years and it was especially apparent to me after coming back from my blogging break. While blogging has become much more monetized and professional, I stay true to myself by only sharing the things that truly excite me. I love discovering new shops and brands through blogging, but if the style doesn’t fit my aesthetic, I don’t believe in trying to “shoehorn” it in. My blog is always my space to share things that excite and inspire me with my readers and I will never stray from that philosophy!
How have your style and blog evolved since starting your blog journey?
My style originally focused on business professional workwear as I worked at a high-end hedge fund when I first started blogging. Since then, I’ve changed careers a couple times as I transitioned to be a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) for a year and a half, and now am back in the workforce but at a more casual startup development company. As a SAHM, my style was definitely much more relaxed and, depending on the timeline, it may have been maternity or nursing-friendly focused! Since coming back to work, I share mostly business casual looks that transition from work to after hours with ease!
What’s your take on springtime style? Are you a boho chic kinda gal?
Spring is my favorite season to play with soft pastels and light, flowy layers. While my style isn’t exclusively boho chic, I do love the more relaxed silhouettes and natural styles that springtime allows.
Any Spring trends you are excited to wear this upcoming season?
Give me an off-shoulder top, lace-up espadrilles, and accessories with pom-pom/tassel details and I’m a happy girl! I love that these trends have carried over from last Summer as they’re so much fun to wear!
You have a substantial following on social media; any tips or tricks for a blogger looking to grow their influence?
Post consistently and don’t be afraid to experiment! Instagram is my favorite social media account and I’ve had a bit of luck in growing it over the last couple years. I initially started off only posting once a day and it was only syndicating whatever my latest blog post was for that day. Since then, I’ve started posting flat-lay styles as well as top-down “from-where-I-stand” selfies that give my followers additional content that may not have made it to the blog but are inspiring to me at that given moment. I now post up to four times a day on my Instagram and have found that the community has really shifted over to Instagram these days!
Who are the fashion or lifestyle bloggers in the space you admire and follow yourself? Anybody you look up to?
My favorite fashion bloggers include Extra Petite, Stylish Petite, What Jess Wore, and stylemepretty661 for petite styles. Other fashion bloggers I love include Southern Curls & Pearls, The Sweetest Thing, and Pink Peonies. Mom and lifestyle bloggers I love include The Daybook Blog, Sandy a la Mode, and The Freckled Fox.
Speaking of looking up to — you’re a mom to the sweetest little boy! Tell us about your work-life-blog balance and how you get it all done and make it look so chic!
My little boy is the sweetest and he actually became a big brother last year to baby sister Kennedy! Managing work-life-blog is a constant juggling act and one that I’m working on getting better at every day. For me, it’s all about making sure the most important things are prioritized first — for me, it’s family, then work, then blog. I make sure that all my deadlines are on my calendar and check every day to make sure that I’m on top of my projects and responsibilities. I plan ahead when I can but oftentimes I’m sacrificing a couple hours of sleep in order to get a blog post up!
As an influencer on the go, what is the one thing you always have to have with you when out and about?
Like most people, I can’t live without my phone! Especially since I’m posting on my social media accounts throughout the day, I always rely on my phone for taking pictures. Lately though, I’ve started also carrying my Olympus PEN mirrorless camera with me as I love the DSLR quality without the bulk and the built-in WiFi has allowed me to still share instantly on my phone!
Do you have any tips for bloggers starting out or bloggers looking to focus on a vertical like lifestyle/fashion?
If you’ve been thinking about starting a blog, the best thing to do is just start. I’ve talked to so many people over the years who have always said that they’d like to start but just don’t know where and/or are too scared to. Trust me, my first blog post was horrendous, but you learn as you go. The hardest part to starting any endeavor is the uncertainty right before you start, but once you start, you inevitably get better along the way. Lifestyle and fashion blogging only requires that you have a passion for sharing that part of your life with others, and the rest will come!
Photography is a big deal for a fashion blogger — what kind of camera and lens do you shoot with?
I use a Canon Mark II 5D with an 85mm f1.8 lens. I take my own pictures and just rely on a tripod and camera remote.
You’ve worked with some really great brands. What would be your next dream job and dream collaboration with?
My favorite brands that I’ve collaborated with in the past have included Nordstrom, Shopbop, and Express. My dream job would be to create and launch a petite-friendly line of clothing with Nordstrom!
As a fashion blogger, you get to wear some incredible brands. Which are some of your favorites?
Favorites include J.Crew, LOFT, and Banana Republic. All of them have great options just for petites!
Where do you do most of your shopping — online, in-store, boutiques, etc.?
With two little ones, most of my shopping is done online. Any store that has a great shipping and return policy has my heart!
What is the one thing most people would be surprised to know about you?
I took Latin ballroom dancing classes back in college and used to love going out salsa dancing!
Favorite social media outlet?
What are all of your social media handles?
What do you love about ShopStyle Collective?
I love that anyone can open up a ShopStyle Collective account and start earning money for sharing things that they love. I also love looking through my analytics and understanding what has resonated with my readers. Most recently, I’ve also gotten the opportunity to work with some amazing brands and couldn’t have done it without ShopStyle Collective!
Thanks so much, Kileen- it was such a pleasure getting to interview you! If you’d like to be considered for our next Collective Blogger Spotlight email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.