Interview: Holly Stephenson
Holly is aspiring to go into fashion communication or marketing whilst running her fashion blog. Her Instagram and blog are always full of wonderful clothes and accessories. I was lucky enough to have an interview with her about her blog and fashion.
Hello Holly! Thank you so much for letting me interview you. How are you?
I’m great thank you!
I adore your blog posts. What inspired you to create your blog?
Thank you, I always love hearing that! I had a blog when I was 14 but gave up with it, as I was still discovering who I was and it ended up not fitting with my personality anymore. I have always loved clothes, and used to make quite a lot of my own, when I had the time, so a blog seemed like the perfect outlet for it.
Why did you choose Bisous Holly Olivia as the name?
It was originally ‘Holly Olivia Creates’, to go alongside the clothing I was making, but it felt too restrictive when I wanted to post about clothes I had bought. Just last year I decided to change the name, and just liked the ‘Bisous, Holly Olivia’. ‘Bisous’ means kisses in French, and is used in a similar way as ‘love from’ is in English, which I liked and I admire French fashion anyway so it fit well!
What is an important design element to have for a blog?
I think personality is very important. I am in the middle of a redesign because I feel like my layout and design isn’t very unique. Photography is important too, I will always read a blog if the photography is beautiful.
What equipment do you use for your photography and Facebook page?
For my photography, I use my Nikon D3200 and a 35mm lens. I used the standard 18-55mm lens for ages, but was never happy with how it looked. With the lens I now use, it is so much easier to get a blurred background, which I love. For my Facebook page, I just use the photos from my blog, and occasionally share other posts that I have read. I find that Facebook gets the least engagement out of my social medias, however.
Why has social media been an important platform for you to use?
I love photography anyway, as I am a very visual person, so always get inspired by other people on platforms such as Instagram. I also love using it myself as a way to promote my content. I tend to get more people following links to my blog via Twitter, but Instagram has allowed me to work with brands so it is a great way to promote what you do.
Who inspires your blog and Facebook page?
I don’t tend to have a set style, so I drift between people who inspire me. Somedays I am really into women from the 60s, notably Anna Karina, Audrey Hepburn and Jane Birkin, but other days I am more into a grungier look. In terms of bloggers, I love Megan Ellaby, Liv Purvis and Lizzy Hadfield. They all have quite different styles to each other so I like to combine elements of their styles together.
What do we hope to see in this up and coming year for your blog?
I have some work with fashion brands coming up, so that should be amazing! I have just started a full time job, which will also allow me to spend slightly more on clothes and have more content which links to current trends, which will make a nice change from using the same few clothing items in posts.
When did you start getting into fashion?
I think I have always been into fashion. I used to love dressing up in my grandma’s vintage dresses and have always loved the textures of garments. I have got more into it since I left high school, however, I had more time to experiment with what I wore and found that people at college were much less judgemental about what others wore.
Have you always been into fashion photography?
My first encounter with Vogue magazine was when I was at my Aunt’s house and my Nan was complaining about how many adverts there were in fashion magazines, but I was so drawn to the photographs and the clothes in them. I also loved the unit I did on fashion photography during my A level in photography, although not having a model held me back a lot. I think photography is just as important, if not more, than the clothes that are being promoted. No one would want to buy clothes which are photographed for adverts in bad lighting.
What are your favourite pieces of clothing?
One would definitely be my baker boy cap. I got it off Depop and I wear it in most blog posts- so people are probably sick of the sight of it! I just love the retro vibe it adds to an outfit, and it keeps my fringe in pace on windy days. I also love my leather jacket. I got it for my 18th birthday and wear it most days, it just goes with everything and will last me forever so was such a worthwhile investment. I have never been one for designer things, but I recently was treated to a Vivienne Westwood bag, made in collaboration with The Cambridge Satchel Company. It is such a good size for when I don’t want to carry much with me and it is so unusual in the design. I am definitely getting carried away here, but I love this vintage, white dress which I got online. It has a lace and ruffled bodice and a knee length skirt and it is so dreamy. It also looks great with everything and I love having vintage pieces as they are one of a kind!
What could you not live without?
My camera. I am always taking photos and love everything about photography. My only issue is that I can’t take my own blog photos!
Do you have any career plans?
After this year of my marketing apprenticeship, I am planning on going to university to study fashion communication and promotion, which is quite an open subject, encompassing everything from styling to photography so we will see where life takes me!
Do you have any advice for anyone who would like to set up their own blog?
Just do it! I look back and cringe at my old blog posts, but blogging is such a learning curve that you will discover so much about yourself and what you love along the way. It is also such a good way to meet people, I met my best friend Beka through blogger Twitter chats.
What's the best piece of creative advice you've ever been given?
I don’t know if I have been given any creative advice, I always tend to do my own thing and enjoy being different but I love the Matisse quote ‘creativity takes courage’, because it is so true!
For exciting updates, please make sure to take a look at her wonderful blog ‘http://www.bisoushollyolivia.co.uk’.