Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July's Blog Crush

This month I'm crushing on...

 Background: I met Sonny through a mutual friend at Smith College (Little Miss Flint) while Sonny attended Oberlin. We've been Facebook friends since, and I've enjoy watching Qwear develop! I asked Sonny to participate in a little Q&A, and I'm so glad & thankful she said yes!

Harvard Square, photo by Sam Murray (website)

What is Qwear? A fashion blog for lesbians, queer women, trans* people, women with gender nonconforming styles, and anyone who can rock suspenders.
When and why did you start your blog?I started my blog in June 2011 on a whim because my friend was starting a fashion blog and I thought it looked like fun. I had also just discovered all these clothes that fit my identity really well and wanted to show them off. I had done zero research about fashion blogs, but I assumed that there would be a need for queer ones. There was!
Dapper is the first word that comes to mind when I’m checking out your recent outfit updates. What other adjectives are you going for when you suit up in the morning?
Dandy, fly, clean-cut, daring!
I love that Qwear is all about collaboration in the queer fashion community – how did you select your Style Consultants?

Thank you! A.D. is a friend from college (Oberlin) and they reached out to me at some point about helping to answer questions. Ironically, we never bonded over an interest in fashion while we went to school together, so it was a totally awesome coincidence that we both developed an interest later on! They are so brilliant and knowledgeable and I’m really lucky to have their perspective on Qwear.
Blake reached out to me on Tumblr because she noticed that I needed help answering plus sized questions, and she’s also amazing and a fun person to be in touch with! I’m obsessed of her style and jealous of her thrifting skills and I hope to meet her in person someday.
Courtney reached out because I put a post out looking for dapper shorty consultants and I’m so glad she’s been able to share the tricks up her sleeve and keep up with us throughout her adventures studying abroad!
Rae/The Handsome Butch is my big life-time crush and a wonderful friend (whom I met through our blogs.) We were discussing wanting her to get involved in Qwear for a while, and finally settled on tailoring as an area that I could use help in.

Supper Dapper! Photo by Sam Murray (website)

Qwear seems to be getting a lot of attention lately, how do you balance blogging and working your day job(s)?
I just make it a priority. I’m a barista half time and I work for Fourteen part time, and then I'm just blogging and hanging out with friends! It had been a priority for a while whether I wanted to admit it or not, but about 6 months ago I was like, "Let's do this" and cut out distractions in my life that weren't as important to me.
I also learned how to cut down on time with posts. I used to spend hours and hours looking for the perfect photo for a post, and realized that was a waste of time. Generally if I can't find a photo on my Pinterest board or through a quick Google search, I don't obsess over it.
Where do you want this blog to take you in 3 years?
People ask me this all the time, and I still don't know the answer. I’d love to continue traveling and hosting queer fashion events around the country, not just on the East Coast. I’m trying not to push the blog in one direction or another before I’m sure what’s going to happen.
Go-to-feel-awesome staple piece?I have a short sleeve button up from Good Will that I got tailored (George brand) that makes me feel SO AMAZING. I don’t know why! I just never feel bad about myself in it! The fabric has a thickness to it that creates this super androgynous shape.
Advice for bloggers (like me) just starting out?
Brick and Bowties. Photo by Sam Murray (website)
I think Qwear was successful because
A. I was very passionate and driven the entire time, which showed through to my readers
B. I didn’t pretend to have knowledge that I didn’t. If I didn’t know the answer to a question, I opened it up to the community, or found someone who did. So basically I was never anything other than myself.C. I listened to feedback from the community. People told me what they wanted me to blog about, and sometimes criticized things I had done, often around language usage and inclusivity. I listened to everyone and took their comments seriously (even if they were mean), often even making drastic changes for the better.

D. I reached out to tons of people every week to be a part of it. I just sent quick messages on Tumblr telling people that I loved their style and invited them to submit to my fashion blog. Almost everyone was really excited about it and wound up reblogging the posts that featured them.
E. I blogged consistently, updating at least 4 times a week, sometimes every day.

F. I reached out to all my favorite bloggers for collaborations. These connections were genuine and based on the common goal of empowering the queer community through fashion. They also allowed us to share our audiences. Whether I know these people in real life or not, I now consider them to be my friends!
G. I think about my blog all the time. Seriously! Most of the time I’m talking about fashion and and bouncing ideas off my buds. And then they’re like, “Sonny, I need pattern mixing help! Can you write a post?” Or I’m like, “Damn girl, I like that belt and dress combo. Can you write a post for me?” My active and continuous discussion with my friends and community helps keep Qwear fresh and relevant. Thanks to them, I never run out of ideas or contributors.
A HUGE thank you to Sonny for taking the time to chat with me! Seriously, go check out Qwear!

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