To start, tell us a little about yourself and your blog!
I started my personal style blog Not Dressed As Lamb exactly three years ago (I just celebrated my blogiversary on my 42nd birthday this July) and have been a full time blogger for nearly a year. I describe myself as “a Londoner now living in the country”, so my photos often have rolling hills and beautiful countryside in the background. The blog was initially only intended as a one year project to see if I could improve my style as I approached my 40th; my favourite things have always been photography and fashion (my aspiration after my photography degree was to become a fashion photographer). When I was younger I loved creative writing, so a fashion blog seemed a natural thing to do to combine those two loves and encourage me to pick up the third again. My husband is my photographer, and I’ve taught him the basics over the past few years but frustratingly for me he’s the one taking the great photos! I really enjoy the photo editing and design part of blogging, however, and I try to give a little back by passing on what I know about photography with posts on how to take better pictures for your blog, as well as blogging tips (things I’ve learnt the hard way over the last three years).
You blog specifically about fashion 40-somethings. Do you think the fashion blogging work focuses enough on 40+ women?
It’s definitely a growing community, without a doubt. The more that older bloggers are used in brand campaigns, the more that 40+ women will realise that fashion and style don’t just stop being an option on your 40th birthday. I seem to be getting more and more emails from readers who have thanked me for opening their eyes to this fact – they seem to be turning to blogs for ideas on what to wear and how to style clothes much more than they do to celebrities or magazines. As a result, brands are learning very quickly that women are a demographic that they can no longer afford to ignore, and that’s a lot to do with the fact that we tend to have more disposable income to spend than teenagers and 20-somethings. So there’s a long way to go for all brands to realise this fact; the blogging world is getting there slowly but surely. I definitely wouldn’t have had the recognition I’ve had if I’d been in my twenties – my age is what’s made my blog stand out amongst a sea of 22 year olds.
What has been the highlight of your blogging career so far?
I’ve had a few: this year I’ve modelled for British brand Fever London; I won a trip to Paris and a 12-month ambassadorship with La Redoute, and I’ve been featured in a video (to be released at the end of July) for Bare Minerals’ launch of their new foundation. It’s all come at once for me this year and I’m unbelievably grateful for all the opportunities passed my way.
Where would you like to see your blog in one year from now?
This year has been such a whirlwind with so many projects I’ve been part of, I’ve ticked a lot of blogging boxes already! But I’d like to get involved with more brand campaigns if possible – I think that seeing more women over the age of 40 representing their own age group will encourage older women and make them see that 40 is absolutely no big deal. I’m proud that my blog has given so much encouragement to so many women – and I’d love that to continue.
What difficulties do you think most bloggers face today?
Bloggers often talk about over saturation because there are so many blogs out there. When I started three years ago, I thought I was late to the party… but I reckon there’s double – or more – the number of blogs now than there were back then. So for new bloggers, standing out is difficult. It’s more important than ever to have a unique voice and to ensure you give your readers great content, great photography, great design – and solutions to their problems. As far as established bloggers go, getting fair pay for your work is often difficult and too many companies have yet to realise that we should not be working and promoting their brand for free. I’ve recently written about the problems of trying to make a living out of blogging – we’re battling with brands at the moment, especially in the UK; we deserve to be paid for not only putting quality content out there but also heavily promoting a brand at the same time.
And finally, who are your favourite bloggers at the moment?
There are so many, I find it hard to keep up with them all! But to name a few of my top, top faves: Brits Rachel of Rachel the Hat and Daniella of Lella Victoria have amazing style (and are lovely, lovely girls), and international bloggers don’t come much better than Audrey of Frassy, Keiko of Keiko Lynn and Sheree of It’s Not That Deep. Of these some are better known than others, but all of them never fail to wow me.
If you love the look of Catherine’s blog then take a look here: http://www.notdressedaslamb.com/