I first "met" Christina when I noticed she'd left a few sweet comments here on Magchunk. I clicked over to her blog, Down and Out Chic, and was immediately smitten. Christina definitely has her own style and fun writing voice and I always love seeing what she's posting about each day. You could get stationary, fashion, puppies, or Elle Decor! She just opened up an etsy shop with darling jewelry and accessories (my fave are the rings). But why don't you let her tell you....
1. When did you start blogging? Does Down and Out Chic have a main focus? I started blogging at the end of January this year. I started on a complete whim- I had recently transitioned from a high stress job as a social worker to a job that was leaving me kind of *unchallenged.* I was bored one weekend and thought, "Hey, I like a lot of things, and I'm not rich, maybe I could write about that..." Since then, I've been flying by the seat of my pants (or skirt). Down and Out Chic has a specific niche although I cover a lot of topics on the blog. I strongly believe that anyone, regardless of economic status or challenges, can lead a "stylish" life. Good taste and being rich do not necessarily coincide and this is the point of my blog. I don't really write about deals and I'm not an avid coupon collector; the blog is more about my specific perspective on affordable, stylish goods.
2. What is a typical day for you like? I'd like to preface my answer by saying I work...a lot. I don't like feeling bored or useless (some might say this is a problem.) I wake up early and head off to work. I work in grants administration so I'm looking at a lot of technical stuff including budgets and financial stuff i still don' t understand. I spend my lunch break perusing my favorite blogs and I try to post on D&OC at least once a day but I shoot for twice. I monitor my Etsy shop when possible and search for inspiration for the blog. When I get home I like to indulge in an adult beverage (or two) and I get to work on either packaging items for the shop, creating items for the shop, or posting new items for the shop (are you seeing a trend here?). B, my sweetheart, cooks (thankfully) and we share a meal. I then get back to working on the blog or the shop. I try to allow some time for me to sit with B and lately we've been watching a lot of Mad Men.
3. You just opened an etsy store (congrats!). Tell us a little about your sweet little creations.
The shop has been a long time coming, I just had to muster up the courage to take the leap. I'm making vintage inspired jewelry that is affordable, fun, and really easy to wear. The pieces are really feminine and they're all true to the vintage look. Currently, I'm doing a lot of experimenting and I'm not a business woman so I'm having to learn what's appropriate for pricing, advertising, etc. 4. Any advice for someone who is on the fence about starting an etsy store? What have you learned? Like a blog, and Etsy shop is quite the commitment. I've seen a lot of people give up on both of these things very quickly. I'd say if you're confident in your product and you have the drive and passion then do it; just don't let fear stop you! I've been lucky to be surrounded by an unbelievably supportive blogging community that has encouraged me in so many ways, including with the shop. I'm still very new (my shop is only a couple of weeks old) but I've learned a couple of things...1) I need to get way more organized. 2) The shop is A LOT of work. 3) Making a sale feels wonderful and is worth all of the work!
5. What fashion-finds are you looking forward to this fall? I'm loving the current statement necklaces that are everywhere right now. They're an easy way to update your look in a flash. I've been a huge fan of vintage silhouettes for some time now, but the vintage trend has made finding these thing super easy. I'd love to get my hands on some belted shifts and flouncy dresses this fall. Mostly though, I've been wanting this velvet blazer from J.Crew that I really think I'm going to need to splurge on. I know everyone's into boyfriend blazers but this velvet one has my name written all over it. I want it so badly I'd almost be willing to take up a collection for it...almost.
6. To me "chic" is... an attitude mostly. Chic can be a white t-shirt and jeans or a fancy, designer outfit. Chic begins with what's inside. I think so many people think of French women as "chic" because they exude this kind of care free confidence that we all envy. Chic can be cute, sexy, classy, trendy, or even outlandish. It's all about how it's presented an dthe attitude behind it.
7. Who are your style icons? Where do you get inspiration? I don't really have any style icons per se, but I am inspired by those that don't seem to take themselves too seriously and have fun with their clothing, including contemporaries like Zooey Deschanel, Sienna Miller (although I kind of love her hate her depending on the day) and Chloe Sevigny. I get my inspiration from anything or anybody that will give it to me. I'm not going to pretend that I'm an original or that I'm even doing anything special; I'm simply filtering my environment and adding my personal spin onto pre existing ideas. That's all any of us can really ask for and that's work enough!. 8. What are five things you can't live without?
Well, I definitely couldn't live without B, I mean he cooks for goodness sakes. I also kind of depend on my dogs to make me smile, and they do a good job of it (they're kind of goofy) so I have to include them in my list. I depend on my Nikon DSLR for a lot nowadays and it minus well be a member of the family. This fall, I will not be without my vintage Frye boots and I'm especially proud because I bartered clothing for them! Finally, I can't live without my computer because I would miss all my bloggie friends way too much.