Who doesn’t enjoy some great cocktails mixed with your fashion?! In comes Julie Van der Borght author of the blog Cocktails & Heels – the fashion and fun blog. In-between her full-time job, writing her blog and Julie was kind of enough to give us some of her time. Writing her blog out of Duffel Belgium not only does she provide some great fashion advice but she also covers some of the great spots to visit in Europe. Give her a read (cocktailandheels.com) and a follow on Instagram (@cocktailsandheels)!
When did you begin your blog and what made you decide to start one?
I started my blog a bit more than a year ago. I’ve always been passionate about writing, ever since I was little. I had started my first own blog when I was around 16 but this didn’t run as smooth as I imagined (and being impatient might have to do something with it too ;-)). In 2014 I started blogging with a group of girls and after some time I decided to spread my wings and start my own blog: Cocktails &Heels was born.
Have you always had a passion for style and fashion?
Haha well, no ;-). Up until I was 16 my clothing style was horrible. I dressed in the weirdest clothes and well, I will tell you these pictures will never ever be revealed. But as soon as I got out of my puberty I started to love fashion more and more and the last years it’s become really important to me.
When you launched your fashion blog, what was it like to take that leap and start your own blog?
It was scary at first. I didn’t know anything about setting up a new blog, or taking fashion pictures. So, I watched a whole bunch of YouTube video’s, read articles from successful bloggers and took the leap. Second thing you’re worried about is, will it ever catch on? I was really scared people would not like it or would think I was the 100th person doing this. Last thing I worried about was time. Having a full time job, a busy life and a household is already quite hectic. Adding a blog to it, how would I ever manage? I can say my life has become even more hectic and at times this can really freak me out. I work around 30 hours a week on my blog, and then 40 hours a week at my work – trying to get friends, my boyfriend and the household in there too is sometimes crazy.
How long did it take you to grow your following?
The first months it was hard. You had to come up with a lot of ideas, had to buy new stuff and had to constantly try to grow your following. After I’d say six months especially my Instagram started growing, and the bigger you get the faster it goes. After 8 months I had 10k on Instagram, that’s quite fast!
How do you avoid awkward poses while shooting? You look so natural in all your shots!
Haha, well, first of all – I have a photographer whom I trust to bits and pieces, namely my boyfriend. He does not like it to take the shots but he supports me 100% in the end. So I already feel comfortable when posing. I also have two friends who shoot me sometimes and I’m so relaxed when they’re around that I do not feel awkward. I remember a blogger once saying ‘Why feel embarrassed when you’re posing, when you will put all this pictures on the whole wide web for everyone to see?’ That stuck with me and ever since then I don’t feel awkward. I also do ‘the walk’, which is constantly moving forward and backward to make your poses more natural.
How many looks do you shoot in a single day?
Since my boyfriend is not that fond of being my photographer, we try to bundle a couple of shoots together. I often pick out four looks which we will then shoot on different locations. This would take us around 2 hours.
How do you stay up to date with the latest fashion and beauty trends?
I mostly try to do my own thing, so I do not follow the latest trends if I do not like them. I get my inspiration mainly from other fashion bloggers though. Internationally there are some great bloggers but in Belgium we got some huge talents too! My three favorites? @annabelpesant, @dogsanddresses & @madebyf. You should definitely check them out!
What are your top three tips for looking “put together” in a hurry?
Make sure you got lipstick in your bag, you will look dashing in a second when wearing some lip colour. Secondly, take a hat with you. It will immediately make you look va-va-voom. Lastly – choose a stunning purse, people will only look at it when you pass by ;-).
What is in your purse?
Way too much. I never leave without my keys, wallet, smartphone, agenda (yes, old fashioned but I love it!), lipstick (multiple) and some perfume.
Where do you hope fashion blogging will take you in the future?
In the ideal world I’d love to set up my own fashion webshop – by building a strong community around my blog I hope to get a strong start when I ever take the leap. For now, I just enjoy sharing my passions with amazing people like all of you! And if you’re dreaming about setting up something yourself, just go for it! Hard work and dedication pays off, I promise!