The bloggers we've featured here at IFB have backgrounds that are pretty diverse: we've interviewed a scientist, a model, a full-time male blogger, and a feisty plus-size advocate. And now we bring you Samantha O'Brochta of Sam's Fifth Avenue, who may wear the most hats of anyone we've profiled yet. The 24-year-old New York City resident is an actress, comedian, graphic designer, photographer and a social media coordinator for a well-known personality (We tried twisting her arm for names but no dice). She spent a year living in London and traveling before moving to New York, and considers herself a red carpet master judge.
And like most bloggers, shopping is a past time. “I have a really unhealthy obsession with the European store Primark, which until recently was a far away dream, but it's now in the U.S. so my life is ruined in terms of my savings account.” Learn more about Samantha in our interview below!
1. How long have you been blogging?
“I had been doing the emo teenager blogging thing since I was quite young, but truly got into blogging for a bigger purpose in college. I started a few different themed blogs (plus-size fashion, travel, photography), but finally realized about a year and a half ago that I could combine all of those things into one professional space.”
2. How did you hear about IFB and why did you decide to join?
“I had actually joined the site back in 2011 when I was curating a plus-size fashion blog on Tumblr. IFB seemed like a great place to find other like-minded bloggers and share helpful material. More recently, I was trying to figure out ways to make my current blog more marketable and remembered IFB and what a useful community it was, so I joined again!”
3. You live in New York City, how does the city influence your style?
“I have been so inspired by all the beautiful and fashionable people I see around me every day. New York is truly a fashion capitol and its residents totally live up to that name. When I'm on the subway to work each morning, I see great fashion inspiration and it allows me to recall upon it when I go buy new clothes or even put together outfits in the morning.
4. How did you first become interested in fashion?
“I've always loved shopping and putting together outfits, but as a curvier girl, I didn't think I could get anything but the drab clothes that many stores had. But in college I was opened up to a new world where I finally realized that bigger girls could dress well and found stores near me and online that could cater to my inner-fashionista. I started to want to show off my outfits and post them online. I realized I could break the rules and that's when I was hooked.”
6. How would you describe your style?
“This is always the hardest question for me to answer because my style changes every day! But if I could boil it down to a simple phrase, I would call my style “hipster chic.” I really like the grunge look (which reminds me of my Pacific Northwest home), but I also like to glam it up with some more feminine items and possibly something unexpected.”
7. You seem to have a lot going on! How do you manage to fit blogging into your schedule?
“Thankfully all the things that keep me busy fuel my creative juices to continue to write and photograph content for my blog. All the comedy I'm involved with is great stuff to write about, as well as the traveling I try to do as often as possible. The fact that I live in New York helps me keep busy, but busy in a way that makes it so I never run out of stuff to write about.”
8. What would you say makes your blog stand out from all the others?
“I think my mixture of the topics I write about, as well as the fact that I have very advanced photography and design skills makes me a more well-rounded blogger than others I've seen. I don't want to just be a travel blogger or just a fashion blogger. While I do focus on some topics more than others, I also just have things I want to write about and that's why I think people might find my blog interesting and different than the rest of the blogging world.”
8. Are you monetizing your blog? What do you find works best for you?
“At the moment the only aspect of my personal blog that I monetize is that I accept the occasional sponsored post. In addition to that, I sometimes get freelance gigs to write for other websites or do design or photography work for clients to add to my income. I am in the beginning stages of attempting to monetize my site, but am trying to learn all that I can before I go all out. I just started working at a social media firm so I am going to take tactics that I've learned from my work and apply it to my blog. I've found what works in terms of spreading awareness is just being brave enough to ask people for cross-promotion or submitting guests posts. You never know who will say yes.”