When I met with Swarovski to discuss a blogger collaboration, 1 of their themes was “sustainable”. Now when a big brand like Swarovski is talking about sustainability, you know that it’s a buzz word! Luckily for me, I’ve always been a big fan of upcycling – I have a whole section of DIYs that reuse materials commonly found around the house! And since we’re all about sustainability, what better way to talk about it than to talk to Sheri Pavlovic, who is the queen of refashioning things! We actually did a joint collaborative project last year in which we both upcycled old denim jeans- here’s the link to what I did and here’s Sheri’s really cool project – I love seeing how we both came up with such different ideas using the same material!
Isn’t her style fun?!
And now for a confession: Sheri and I actually agreed to do mutual interviews in 2015. For some reason, the interview I published either never went live (I switched over to self-hosting in 2015 and had a lot of problems changing themes and trying to back up posts) or somehow got deleted from my site so poor Sheri got shortchanged. Which is why I am making a very public apology 🙁 SORRY SHERI!!!
Meet Sheri- I love those flares that she upsized!! Now we know what to do with all the straight cut jeans that don’t flatter us!!
1. Tell us about your journey to becoming a full-time blogger/ creative.
I’ve always been an avid thrifter and upcycler but it wasn’t until I inherited a vintage 1960’s sewing machine a few years ago that my passion for refashion was ignited. I’d actually avoided sewing machines since I so spectacularly failed Home Ec in school (years ago, when they still forced hausfrau studies onto unsuspecting art geeks) but that heavy metal machine combined with the fact that clothing rarely fit my body properly soon had me sorting through my wardrobe and having a go at re-creating old clothes and upcycling thrifted fabrics into cool new gear!
Once I got comfortable with the machine I started sharing my creations online to help inspire others and prove that even those who haven’t a clue how to thread a machine can begin (re)creating fantastic fashions and decor, all it takes is some creativity and practice. After 5 short years I can proudly say that 99% of my wardrobe is thrifted and handmade and I’ve shared nearly 1000 step-by-step tutorials and articles covering everything from groovy clothing and accessories to funky home decor and ethical fashionon my blog!
Another cool outfit by Sheri
2. One thing aspiring full time bloggers worry about is finances. Do you do anything to supplement blogging income? Any tips to share?
Making money from blogging is incredibly difficult. The truth is, I don’t make any money from my blog. I write and create tutorials for online and print publications, sell my sustainable fashion and e-books books online as well as making special “made-to-measure” orders and teaching upcycling workshops locally. Although it is a bit disheartening to be unable to earn a living wage from my Confessions of a Refashionista blog, it isn’t any cause for alarm at all as I would think that most of my blog visitors and followers pop over for the groovy free tutorials and inspiration to create something themselves and (unfortunately) not to purchase me-made items.
Confessions of a Refashionista is my groovy home online where I can share my knowledge and experience with an ever expanding audience, connect with like-minded bloggers-of-awesomeness + it’s a fantastic tool to use as a showcase for my talents on the road to achieving my amibitions – soooo much better than the giant portfolio and show reel video I lugged to auditions in the 90’s.
This cute shirt actually reminds me a lot of Moschino!
3. Your blog’s all about ethical fashion and refashioning. How did you start with DIY and what led to the passion for eco fashion? Where do you get inspiration for your blog?
I’ve always been a thrifter and home decor DIYer but it wasn’t until I inherited that old sewing machine 5 years ago that I really discovered my passion for refashion and upcycling. As my skills for sewing and recreating grew so did my curiosity about the people behind the clothing I was transforming, you can’t help but think about who actually created a garment when you’re carefully unpicking the seams, which led me to discover the shocking truth behind how modern fashion is actually made and the horrible unethical treatment of garment workers throughout the world. It was then that my commitment to sustainable, ethically produced fashion began and my Confessions of a Refashionista became what it is today: a space full of easy to follow refashioning & upcycling tutorials, ethical fashion information and sustainable style inspiration!
4. On your blog, you talk about your book baby. That is so exciting! How did that come about?
To date I’ve actually written and published 11 book babies! Taking the plunge into self-publishing was the next logical (& scary) step in my mission to help further the refashioning movement. Creating, photographing, writing and designing each and every tutorial and each and every page of my books was a daunting and difficult task but incredibly gratifying and I absolutely adore receiving messages and photos from people who have begun recreating their wardrobes, accessories and home decor with the help of my quirky, easy to follow how-to’s.
5. What’s a normal day in your life? Do you blog everyday/ have a blogging schedule/ revisit old posts?
Organizational skills are a full-time blogger’s best friend. In order to provide groovy new tutorials and content 5 days/week on my Confessions of a Refashionista blog as well as create videos for my channel, source daily DIYs for my Refashion Nation blog, design the next book(s) in my ongoing series, keep up with my social media, Gone Thrifting group and e-mails I work 10-15 hours per day, 7 days per week. Juggling what to create, where to shoot, how to edit and write and when to publish each fab new post is definitely a challenge that requires more than a bit of behind the scenes coordination.
6. Best and worst thing that has come out of blogging for you?
It’s absolutely fantastic that I’m able to share my creative tutorials with the world, encourage others to embrace sustainable ethical style, reach such a large audience and form incredible friendships, unfortunately becoming popular online also means ridiculous comments and messages from the cruel and ignorant trolls that find it acceptable to take out their aggressions on strangers on the internet. I wrote an entire blog post detailing how I deal with trolls.
7. Most and least enjoyable thing about being a blogger? One full-time blogger said everyone wants to go full-time but the problem is when they do, they run out of things to write about and become boring- do you agree with that?
Blogging has given me the platform where I can share my passion and talent. Receiving a comments or messages from strangers across the globe letting me know that they not only enjoy what I do but that my creativity and humour has brightented their day is an amazing feeling. The downside is it’s a lot of tedious behind the scenes work to create an effortless-looking blog and unfortunately the majority of bloggers can’t afford to employ a PR company and must also do their own marketing in addition to all of the other jobs involved in creating an inspiring online presence, which is why it’s so awesome when readers show their appreciation by sharing their fave posts with their online circles. Sharing really is caring when climbing that rocky uphill road to blogging success.
8. What other blogs do you visit/ read?
I actually have an ongoing feature on my blog called Totally Smitten With where I share interviews with the amazingly fabulous eco-fashion warriors, thrifty style gurus, upcycling stars & refashionistas that I’m totally smitten with and completely crushing on + their top DIY & thrifting tips!
Before we end, do you have 3 tips for bloggers that want to go full-time?
– Blog post titles: Descriptive titles work better than esoteric titles E.g. Forever in blue jeans sounds great, but it’s “how to refashion jeans into a bag” that will get you more hits
– Images: Good images are a must, but don’t forget to resize them first or you’ll use all your blog server space!
–SEO : Not just important for your post! Using the same title for the photos as the blog post increases SEO visibility and makes sure that Pinterest Saves have the right description.
For more advice, take a look at my behind the scenes of blogging series for my completely honest look at what exactly goes into creating a blog that can lead to a career.
Thanks for joining us Sheri and sharing your journey!