Who thought we would end up here? I sure as hell didn’t way back at the inception of Stolen Inspiration 10 years ago. Picture me: 15 years young, halfway through high school and bored out of my mind. One of my friends Bayley and I had newly discovered our love of fashion on the internet (to the point of obsession). Back when Who What Wear and Lookbook.nu dominated and Instagram wasn’t even thought of. It was then that she introduced me to the idea of fashion blogging, to which we both decided we would give a go. And now, a decade later here I am.
Stolen Inspiration is so much more than a blog to me in ways that people will never know. I can say that there is no area of my life that it hasn’t touched. Back in the early days, it was an outlet – a kind of online diary. A place where I could be creative. I could write and submit something into the world that didn’t have to have anything to do with my life. Completely without responsibility. Even now you can go back and read some of my first ever posts. The good, the bad, and the ugly: It’s all still there.
Then somewhere along the way, it became a passion. I remember saving up to buy my first camera so I could share much more of my own life. From friends’ birthday parties to my outfits on the street outside of our boarding school. I’d be the token girl at school running around with the “fancy camera”. With that camera my readership grew, I made internet friends and it quickly felt like I had support at times when I was really lonely IRL.
I think once school ended I realized that blogging could be a real career path. I started to be approached by big brands wanting to collaborate, I got my first overseas trip to NYC and I was getting PAID. Never in a million years would I have ever expected that. It also opened so many doors that I don’t think even my friends realize. I mean, I got ‘headhunted’ for my first job the week I finished university because my soon-to-be manager read my blog when she worked at Topshop in London. Small world, huh?
While Stolen Inspiration is still relatively small in comparison to other bloggers, I don’t think I’d want it any other way. One of my most asked questions is “would you ever blog full time?”. My answer is simple: no. I have always loved this as my hobby only (and to fund my shopping addiction). Also, I have to be in the company of people far too much to be self-employed. I consider myself lucky that I have the best of both worlds, and that this hobby has taught me most of the skills I use now in my job daily. Such as how to: use a camera, manage projects and deadlines, write better, SEO, market yourself online, do your taxes, use the entire Adobe suite – just to name a few.
If there is one take away from it all it’s this: trust yourself, it will be worth it. I remember when I first started out people would whisper about me saying it was weird what I did. Even now I don’t think people take me seriously when I tell them “I can’t come out, I have a blogging deadline.” There have been so many times when I have even questioned whether anyone would care if I stopped. But for some reason, that nagging feeling continued to push me to carry on. Call it boredom, call it intuition. I don’t know what it is but hell, my life would have been so different without it.
So I want to say thanks. To anyone who has been here for a while and for everyone that has stopped in along the journey. We’ve really grown together along the way. Those who’ve commented on posts, who’ve shared with friends. Your support has gifted opportunities this small town girl would have never dreamed possible. So cheesy but incredibly true. And to all the special people I have shoved a camera into the arms of and said: “just take one more.” I couldn’t have done it without you!