With a Bachelor’s in Bioinformatics Natasha Kundi’s life seemed like it was destined for Science. But after years in a stressful job that kept her away from home and then getting pregnant she realized things had to change. With her passion for color and the dream of raising her son and being able to watch him grow she took the initiative to find a better option.
She started with makeup lessons and that has flourished into full time blogging which has brought her various opportunities she would never have had otherwise. She’s now one of the Official Bloggers for Cannes Fashion Festival and she has started covering Indian and Pakistani Film events in London.
Read on to see how Natasha took the leap from having a full time job to freelance writer and how her life has changed.
Name: Natasha Kundi
Location: London, UK
Profession: Full Time London Lifestyle Blogger and Freelance Writer
Can you share a little of your story on how and when you started your blog?
I was going through a rough time at work and I decided to do some makeup courses just in case things got worse. It was during my maternity leave in 2013 that I thought I need to do something that would keep me close to my child. I was working as a Full Time Credit Manager at a well known company which meant being away from home for at least 11 hours a day. So I started with some makeup courses to work as a makeup artist. When I set up my website in January of 2014, I knew I had to come up with content for it, so I started writing product reviews. This caught the attention of beauty brands. It was very exciting. I carried on blogging and never looked back.
What are your responsibilities with your role?
Apart from being a full time blogger, I'm also a full time mom which is pretty much self explanatory (laughs). I work for myself as a freelance writer and a social media manager. As for my blog, I work very hard on the photography and the writing. Once I nail these two aspects, the rest becomes very easy to manage.
Where does your passion for beauty and fashion come from?
Since a very young age I had passion for colours. I was always good at art. Growing up in Pakistan I knew art could never be a profession, so I did it as a hobby. As I grew up, I started liking makeup. I actually used a black colour pencil as an eyeliner. My dad was kind of strict about me wearing makeup at such a young age, so I used to find ways to somehow use and learn makeup myself. I always knew science was the only option for me, but I didn't stop learning how to do makeup.
As for fashion, I used to follow Pakistani Fashion a lot. Pakistan has a huge fashion industry and I always wanted to be a fashion designer. I used to design my own clothes because in Pakistan we are used to getting custom made clothing. All we had to do was buy the material, design it at home and take it to the tailor. But as the time came for getting my Bachelors, just like any other Pakistani kid, I knew I had to put my passion on the side and study science. I have a degree in Bioinformatics, something I knew could not pursue, and today my blog helps me get back to my passions: beauty, fashion and above all, writing.
You started as a beauty blogger, but have transitioned to more of a lifestyle blogger. How has that affected your work and personal life?
Yes, I started out as a beauty blogger but living in London, one can just not only be a beauty blogger. London has so much to offer. When I started getting invitations to beauty and fashion events, I discovered new nooks and corners of London that are just hard to resist. Then I decided to make it all about a blogger's life in London. London is all about beauty, fashion and lifestyle and that’s what my blog is all about.
How did you learn the ins and outs of running your blog as a business?
I learned everything on my own. First of all, I joined different Facebook groups related to pro blogging and freelancing. At first it was all about Facebook but when I discovered the true essence of Pinterest, everything changed for me. There is a lot of material on google but I personally think it’s mostly outdated. I would highly recommend Pinterest to new bloggers. Don't waste your time on google, use Pinterest to read the latest tips and tricks about blogging and how to turn it into a business.
You write a lot of product reviews…What advice would you give people on working with and building relationships with well known brands?
It is quite hard to build a relationship with brands unless you have a lot of traffic and following. Most of the time, the brands will work with you only once and it’s totally normal. The one advice that I would give new bloggers is: don’t make your product reviews only about the product. Instead turn it into an engaging and an interesting blog post e.g. if it’s a lipstick, make the post about tips on lipsticks. This will bring more readers to your blog. Although, it is also true that people are always looking at reviews on google before buying the products so don't forget to mention that yours is an honest product review.
Tell us about your journey to becoming the Official Blogger for the Cannes Fashion Festival.
One fine day I was just sitting and going about my normal business until I received an email about Cannes Festival having its own Fashion Festival. At the end of the email, there was an accreditation form that I filled and sent over. After a few days I received an acceptance email and I was totally over the moon. Out of 900 applicants only 50 were selected and I was one of them. Although there were a few of other bloggers chosen from UK, I was the only one who physically attended the event. It was an amazing experience. I owe a big one to my husband for his huge support along the whole journey of my blogging career.
Best moment of your career so far?
I have recently started covering Indian and Pakistani film events in London and I think that is currently my favourite part. Having to face and interview celebrities is my new found love that I never in my wildest dreams thought would ever happen to me. It is a newly discovered talent.
Other than that I have recently collaborated with Hawes and Curtis which was also an amazing experience.
What is the most rewarding thing about working for yourself?
The most rewarding thing is when people tell me they read my blog and really like it. Even better is the fact that I get to spend more time with my son which wasn't possible when I had a job. He is always in front of my eyes, I can watch him grow up and we can do everything that he likes to do together.
If you could go to lunch or grab a drink with any famous blogger who would it be?
There are actually a few London bloggers I would love to meet one day. Joanne Hegarty from The Stylist and the Wardrobe, Rosie Londoner from The Londoner, Poppy Loves and Josie from Fashionmumblr.