Being a Failed Fashion Blogger and all, I sometimes get a little down in the dumps. That's when I go social media and get even sadder checking out the model-thin, model-young women with tens of thousands (millions, even) of followers.
But then, if it's a good day, I wise up and remember the women I really admire—the ones who may not have taken traditional paths but are killing it nonetheless. Maybe their success is actually because of paving their own way. I hope you, too can be inspired by these self-made powerhouses.
She co-founded Lucky Magazine, is former global creative director at Michael Kors, and is currently creative director at Iconery. Oh, she's also published four books: most recently The Cool Factor, previously The Lucky Guide to Mastering Any Style, The Lucky Shopping Manual, as well as I Want to Be Her, which is based on her very successful blog of the same name. On top of all that, she just had a gorgeous baby. Can you say badass?
While most of her peers were designing stark, white, minimalist spaces, Blakeney was creating lush, colorful, tropical plant-filled interiors that make you want to settle in and get real cozy. She calls it jungalow style. She's been featured in approximately a jillion magazines, and recently published The New Bohemians. She designed an incredible collection of shag rugs with Loloi Rugs, wallpaper for Hygge & West, and lots more. And she's not shy about wearing a swimsuit on Instagram (in front of her 215k followers). Favorite quote: “How to have a beach bod: 1.) Have a body 2.) Go to the beach.”
Zayas runs Le City Kitty, and she inspires me for several reasons. Yes, tattoos have become much more mainstream in recent years, but this blogger has a huge one of a winged insect (I think it's a moth?) on her chest, plus lots more all over her body—clearly her ink is not about jumping on a trend. Also she's a New York City native, drinks whiskey, is 5″1″ tall and isn't afraid of wearing shorts.
This young woman inspires me with her story of being booted from modeling for Victoria's Secret because they found her too curvy, and for being rejected as too thin for the plus-size market. That in-between territory that's not easily marketed to the masses is a difficult place to be. But Lawrence staked out her own corner of the world, which she has grown to 2.5 million followers on Instagram, walking in her first New York Fashion Week show, and contracts with the likes of Aerie lingerie and more. She is an outspoken advocate of accepting one's body as it is, and we could probably all do that a little bit more.