We traveled to Paris and got a chance to sit down with one of our favorite ShopStyle bloggers, Maristella Gonzalez! Read below to find out a little more about her life, the source of inspiration, and advice for new bloggers taking on the game.
- What was the inspiration for your blog?
I wanted to work in fashion somehow but at that time, there wasn’t really a good creative opportunity or position available in Panama. The Sartorialist, Face Hunter, and Tommy Ton had broken onto the scene recently and I was really inspired by what they were doing, so I thought I would follow in their footsteps and start my own blog. Hence, my first blog was about street style. I would go around Panama, or places I was traveling to, and capture people on the streets.
- How would you describe your design aesthetic and fashion sense?
Eclectic, quirky, dynamic.
- What’s your go-to outfit?
Button-down shirt, jeans, and sneakers.
- What would you say are the best and hardest things about fashion blogging?
The best thing is getting to do what I love. The hardest thing is being misunderstood and underestimated.
- Do you think the success of blogging has an expiration date or is it here to stay?
It depends on the industry’s capacity to adapt. Video killed the radio star and the cycle hasn’t stopped. I think nowadays, no matter what your career, you always need to think ahead because things are moving so fast and changing so often.
- Do you have any tips for bloggers starting out, or bloggers looking to focus on fashion and lifestyle?
Be consistent, be patient, and accept that it’s a different journey for everyone. Try to carve out your concept and niche, and focus on branding.
- What are some of the tools you use as a blogger to help you navigate content?
I have an Excel calendar that helps me plan out my upcoming months and to view the scope of my content. I’ve also been with Chloedigital since May 2016 and they are amazing with helping me strategize and prepare content; to really plan ahead and see into the future. As for content editing tools and such, I use the usual: Photoshop, Lightroom, VSCOcam, and UNUM.
- Since you travel between Panama and the United States often, what are your 3 top packing tips?
Plan ahead. Every time I pack in a hurry, I always overpack and take things I never end up using. I like to use a rolling rack and pull things from my closet to start planning outfits around the same items. For example, I’ll pull one skirt and try to get two or three outfits from that skirt. Same thing with a blouse or jeans. Depending on the weather, I’ll also layer items to make new outfits, like a turtleneck underneath a dress, for example. I have also started to limit the number of bags and shoes I take. I can’t take one pair of shoes just because one outfit looks perfect with them. Shoes and bags can be the heaviest things in a suitcase, so I really had to optimize that situation.
- Where is the most inspiring place you have traveled to and what lessons did you learn from that place?
Rio de Janeiro. I was sunbathing in Copacabana and I will never forget this man that walked into the sand barefoot in a suit with his loafers in one hand and a briefcase in the other. He walked up to a beach chair, took off his clothes, and laid down in his sunga to tan. That city has it all: beaches, art, architecture, music, nightlife, food, and the nicest people around. They’re people who really know how to enjoy life.
- Who are your fashion muses?
Pernille Teisbaek, Camille Charriere, Courtney Trop, María Bernad, and my friend Sofía.
- When you’re not blogging, what do you like to do?
Watch television series and read about them! Haha… I really like television in a geeky way.
- What do you love about ShopStyle Collective?
It’s such a beautifully designed interface — so easy to use and easy on the eyes. The search features are really quick and I love that we get paid commission not only on purchases but also on clicks. I also love the constant support of the team directly on the platform and of the other members on the Facebook page. You really feel as though you are a part of a community and a support system.
- What have been your latest learnings with IG? How do you see the platform evolving?
IG has definitely been disappointing in the last year, specifically with the new algorithm. But on the upside, I’ve stopped obsessing about it so much. I’ve stopped trying so hard to “win” at Instagram. I’ve gone back to focusing on my blog which is really my branded space — one that I have worked very hard on and where I can really express my ideas more honestly, and put my skills to greater use. For now, it seems like Instagram will turn into another Facebook, where if you don’t pay to have your content featured, it will just get lost in the noise. Especially if you’re a micro influencer. It’s a shame, but like I mentioned before, things are evolving so quickly now… We really need to think ahead and rely mostly on what we can control, and that is our blogs. Our platforms. Our newsletters. Maybe even take it back to the real world and create physical spaces to share with like-minded individuals. A ShopStyle Collective IRL!
Click here to visit Maristella’s blog!
Thanks, Maristella! If you want to be featured leave us a comment here and let us know why!