Six years ago I was pregnant with my third child, I had been out of the fashion loop for some time and was yearning to get back into doing something related to fashion, I had previously been a fashion designer for girls wear high street brands, followed by starting up my own fashion label Phlem in 2002 which I loved!
Phlem had lots going on including a market stall, a website and a unit in a fashion shop in Bristol. Sadly, a lack of funds and help for start ups at the time meant that my business had to come to an end in 2005 after the birth of my eldest son and another baby on the way. It had to end so I could look after my children as we couldn't afford the childcare costs at the time and literally one day, I just stopped designing.
By 2008, after a very bored and uninspired stint as a stay at home mum, (I love my kids but honestly that life drove me nuts) I had landed myself a job at Venue Magazine (which would lead me to where I am now, but I had no idea at the time!) I loved the magazine and it seemed a worthwhile job to do and put my kids in childcare for, I never understood the mentality of working long hours, barely seeing your kids, paying for childcare to work a job you hate?? This job was fun, it was inspiring and it just about paid for the nursery costs!
I loved it at Venue, I met so many interesting and inspiring people, we were all creatives one way or another and despite my job at Venue only being in admin, it sparked something in me to bring fashion back into my life!
My husband Phil had been going on at me for ages to write a blog, but I had no idea about them and dismissed the idea, then I found Susie Bubble and Tavi Gevinsons blogs....I was hooked and thought, 'yep I can do that'. So I did. Friends had also commented on the outfits I wore around the same time and so naturally the blog started as a 'what I wore' type of blog but there was a catch, I was 20 weeks pregnant with child number three (alright, I know, three kids!!). Since I had no choice in the matter, my blog started as a pregnancy fashion blog, I really do not cope well with my body expanding, I didn't bloom, I moaned but I accepted the challenge!
The No Debutante blog has evolved over the years from a high street fashion loving blog, to a what I wore blog, to a short stint as a life style and beauty blogger (it wasn't for me), even a brand ambassador blogger, all in my attempts to make it as a blogger! I came to the realisation that I didn't want to fit in, I didn't care if I had hundreds of followers, this was my fashion diary, my platform and if anyone else was listening then great!
I began moving away from the high street and writing more about the non conventional designers like Meadham Kirchhoff and Ashish, and new brands like The White Pepper and Lazy Oaf who were the leaders in oversized fashion at the time which I was obsessing over! I then started promoting sustainable fashion after attending a fashion salvage event which lead on to Bristol fashion.
With my personal style posts becoming less frequent as I wanted less me and a bigger variety of content, I slowly noticed that my hometown Bristol was briming full of fashion creatives who needed to be recognised by people outside of Bristol. We needed to be taken seriously! With my heart going out to them as someone who also once was a Bristol designer struggling to get some press, I knew I could help out, even if it was just a little bit!
I now meet new creative Bristolians every week, honestly, it's nuts, I will never run out of content at this rate. I have met so many amazing, talented and inspirational people in Bristol and I am so proud of myself for going out there (nearly always on my own) and introducing myself as a self-confessed, Bristol fashion ambassador! I am enjoying every minute and I'm so happy that my six years of hard work as a fashion blogger has turned into something good!
The final bit of icing on the cake was Bristol 24/7 Magazine (many of my ex-colleagues from Venue Magazine work there now after Venue was sadly shut down - kicking and screaming - back in 2012, luckily for me some of them had read my blog!) got in touch, which brings me to where I am now, a Fashion Editor for Bristol 24/7 and still an avid fashion blogger (never forget where you came from) not bad for a fashionista mum, with a mashed up fashion sense and no qualifications in journalism, eh?
Thank you to everyone who has read and followed my blog over the years, I hope you enjoyed the No Debutante story...so far.....I really couldn't have done it without you! Mwaaaaah xxxx