Most of you may already know her, she’s got the warmest and most welcoming smile in the blogosphere that makes you feel you comfortable and that you can be friends for life. She not only radiates positive through her photographs but her writing reflects her wit and charm. The girl is funny as she is bright! She has the most amazing dress collection and her sartorial choices reflects her love of details, vintage and romance. She’s truly one of those that are beautiful both on the inside and out (she once or twice tutored me on photo editing and Blogspot) and I’m fortunate to have met her even before I have started out this blog. Alors, je voudrais vous présenter the beautiful JoAnn of Sidewalk Chalk:
On Style and Fashion…
What and who influences your style?
I think my personal style is 30% romantic vintage, 10% borrowed inspiration from other bloggers and 60% listening to my inner 5-year-old. I can be like a moth — if it’s bright, shiny (or ruffly), usually I am drawn to it. I shop at thrift stores a lot, because that’s often where the best vintage pieces are, so seeing things from the past put my creativity into gear. I also put a lot of thought into fabric and design, because the durability of pieces is very important to me.
What’s your favorite outfit you’ve ever worn?
I once had a Scarlett O’Hara costume from “Gone With the Wind” that I bought for Halloween when I was nine. I’ve lived in Georgia for most of my life, so the débutante Halloween clothes were pretty common. The dress was red and black, and had a big hat. Even after Halloween that year, I kept making up excuses to wear it in everyday life, like at elementary school. I once wore it to school to read to a bunch of preschoolers, because I was a Miss Goody Two Shoes like that. Though the book I read had nothing to do with my costume (the book was about mice and cookies). Needless to say, the kids were so confused. And possibly traumatized.
Any childhood or early fashion memory?
Besides Scarlett O’Hara? Hmm. I used to have these shoes and I’m convinced they were the most perfect shoes in the world. They were bright pink and purple sneakers, and they had zippers, velcro fasteners and shoelaces that changed colors in the sun. But wait, there’s more! They also lit up whenever I took a step. I was so sad when I outgrew them.
Why and When did you started Blogging?
I turned to style blogs after I got tired of the same old cycle in some of the fashion magazines. It felt like a few wizards behind the curtain were just arbitrarily deeming things in and out, and I really just wanted to have fun with my clothing and not feel pressured to wear this or that because of my age. At the time I started reading blogs a couple years ago, I was in college and felt like I needed some true inspiration from someone around my age — someone who is about to enter the professional world and can’t rely on sweatpants but wasn’t ready for pantsuits, and wanted to retain a sense of personality but also had to deal with budget constraints.
One day I discovered Jessica from What I Wore’s blog — back when she was just starting out. It was inspiring to see a non-model, non-celebrity with style — it was easy to relate to her. After that, I got hooked on The Clothes Horse, Orchid Grey, My Edit, just to name a few. With the encouragement of my husband and my sister, I started my own blog. It’s amazing to me that thousands of style bloggers, just by being themselves, are contributing to the democratization of fashion, because now I think magazines, stylists and designers are taking a lot of their cues from regular Janes and Joes.
What makes you come back to visit a blog?
I love reading blogs where the writers are fearless in being themselves — whether it’s sharing their personal stories, artwork, or wearing clothes in a different way. I also like reading bloggers who can tell stories — if you’re funny or can weave a good yarn, I’m so there.
I’m nosy, what do you really do for a living? Would you blog full-time?
I graduated from college last year with my bachelors degrees in psychology and journalism, and since then, I’ve worked a few jobs here and there— I’ve written for a couple publications and interned at a political press office. Most recently, I’m working in retail, and I am hoping to get into grad school next year for my master’s in international policy. My ultimate goal is to work as a researcher or a policy analyst for a think-tank or a government agency.
I would love to style blog as a full-time position, but relatively few people have been able to monetize their blogs successfully in that way. I will say that I do hope to continue doing this in the next few years — I am very passionate about writing and style. I also like the idea of documenting what I wear — it’ll be a nice little online scrapbook for when I’m older!
On Lovin’ Life…
What 3 things do you wish someone had told you when you were younger?
I wish someone told me to not pass over that vintage Diane von Furstenberg silk blouse I found in 2006 that was in mint condition at a thrift store for $2. Two dollars. What was I thinking? Just kidding. I wish someone told me to care less about what other people thought about me, and to not be so hard on that redheaded boy who was nice to me, because I’d eventually marry him.
What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
I once moved to NYC for three months for an internship. Didn’t know anyone really in the city. It was such a good life experience for me to navigate a new town on my own. The other most adventurous thing I’ve done was get married last year. I planned a budget wedding while I was finishing up college, working full-time, job searching and apartment hunting. If that’s not living life on the edge, then I don’t know what else is.
Describe your perfect day/perfect vacation?
I’d be on a beach in Hawaii with my husband, trying not to piss off the sharks. And probably tweeting about it.
Fill in the blanks…
Whenever I’m bored I usually play Sporcle quizzes online.
Don’t tell my husband but I love peanut butter. He has a sick hate for the taste, but sometimes I miss my Reese’s too much.
This Fall, I want these Anthropologie boots. These might be second place to my pink/purple sneakers.
If I had superpowers, it would be invisibility. Then I would know everyone’s secrets, and take over the world. Muhahaha.
I wished Twenty York Street asked me about how wonderfully awesome I think Marilou is! (I swear she wrote that herself!)