Why Starting A Style Blog With Your Cousin Is The Key To Fashion Blogging Success

If Carrie Bradshaw ran a style blog, it would be very similar to Mimosas and Manhattan.

Courtney Seamon Kelly McFarland

Lucky for Courtney Seamon and Kelly McFarland, the masterminds behind the Mimosas and Manhattan, Carrie never took up blogging. These two Brooklyn-based babes have successfully bottled-up the living-in-NYC, “Big City Dream” and have eloquently delivered it to us in blog format.

Founded in 2013, when both girls were interning in NYC, Courtney and Kelly didn't realize the potential that Mimosas and Manhattan had until they launched the Instagram page in 2015. “Things really began to take off from there,” says Courtney, who works in Product Development at Macy's Corporate for Thalia Sodi.

That's right, you read it correctly; both girls hold down full-time jobs while running the blog, managing collaborations and sponsorship requests, and maintaining the Mimosas and Manhattan brand identity (Kelly works as a Digital Creative Specialist at Small Girls PR). On top of all that, you'll find them featured in the likes of InStyle Magazine online and Women's Wear Daily – not bad for what began as a creative outlet between cousins.

Courtney was kind enough to answer a few of our questions about balancing a full-time job with running a blog; working with family (Courtney and Kelly are first cousins); and how she and Kelly keep the creative juices following in style blogger-saturated NYC.

Read on if you want to know more about how these cousins manage to “do it all”, while giving old Carrie a run for her money!


Mimosas and Manhattan’s Courtney and Kelly at a glance:
Names: Courtney Seamon and Kelly McFarland
Ages: 23 (Seamon), 24 (McFarland)
Current Location: Brooklyn, NYC

Mimosas and Manhattan Fashion Blog

On Staying Original in a Fashion Blogger-Saturated World

There are so many style bloggers and influencers based in NYC –  the city has literally become a fashion blogger capital. How do the two of you manage to keep the content you feature on the blog original and fresh?

It can be tricky at times, because everyone wants to shoot in many of the same places – like Soho, Central Park, The New York Public Library, etc. I think it helps us that we live in Brooklyn; this gives us a whole borough to explore and make our own! Our photography style also helps to differentiate [from other fashion blogs.]

On that note, the photography featured on Mimosas and Manhattan is absolutely stunning. Do you shoot all your images “in house” or do you seek external support in capturing such gorgeous shots?

We have always used a photographer to shoot the majority of our images. Somewhere down the road we learned that pictures of the two of us work better than solo shots. Therefore, we will always need a photographer to capture that kind of content. Over the past year, we have been exclusively working with [photographer] Lauren Listor – but we do take the time to shoot with other artists if the opportunity arises.

Recently, the two of you have used the blog as a space to discuss growing pains that many people in their twenties go through. How do you balance relating with your readership on these important issues, while still keeping true to the light-hearted Mimosas and Manhattan brand? 

Our main reason for starting the blog was for fashion, but our second reason was to create a platform – especially a platform [targeted at] women. We want to be as true to ourselves as possible and to never [depict] a persona that is “perfect”. After all, we are twenty-three and twenty-four – our lives are far from perfect! We want to share as much as possible [about our real lives] with our readers.

Courtney Seamon Kelly McFarland Celebrate

Don't Bother Starting A Blog With Your BFF – Do it With Your Cousin Instead!

There’s no secret about it: Working with family on a project can be tough. As the two of you are cousins – and live together – how do you work through any conflict that might arise between the two of you (be it blogging-related or not)?

I think because we are family it makes our working relationship even better. We always say that we could never do this with a friend, that there would be too many emotions [involved in running the blog] . . . Of course there will be conflicts, as it is not possible to agree on everything. Our biggest piece of advice would be to always look at the bigger picture, to never get held up on the small stuff.

How do you divide up the workload of running Mimosas and Manhattan between the two of you?

We do not really have set “roles” within the brand. Given Kelly's background in digital marketing and public relations, she definitely helps a lot with the collaborations and the email verbiage. She has taught me a ton in client relations and how to conduct yourself at an event – as that is her full time job and career.

Mimosas and Manhattan Blog

About That (Full-time) Work-Life-Blogging Balance…

Both of you work full-time, outside of running and managing the blog. It’s obvious you both have a lot on your plates. How are the two of you able to “do it all”, so to speak?

We are still figuring out how to do it all!

We have learned that you never want to get to a place where you hate what you are doing. [Mimosas and Manhattan] is our creative outlet . . . If we do not balance that [with our work life] in a healthy way, then we lose the whole purpose as to why we decided to start this [blogging] journey. Balance is the key to our lives.

Do you foresee a future where running Mimosas and Manhattan will become a full-time role for either one of you? 

That is a great question. Obviously it is “the dream” for us to be able to do this full-time. If we were given the opportunity, we would take it in a heartbeat. That being said we are both young, want to grow our careers and see where that part of our lives takes us. For now we are very content in where we are with Mimosas and Manhattan.

Do you use any organizational tools or apps, in order to organize content and social media postings?

Our lifesaver is Planoly. We use it to plan out our social content on Instagram, and keep statistics on what images are working well for us. We recommend this app one hundred percent!

Mimosas and Manhattan Interview

Plans for 2017?

What can we expect from Mimosas & Manhattan in 2017? 

We keep saying 2017 is our year! It has started out so strongly for us – we are really looking forward to Valentine's Day! We are doing a super collaboration with Space46 and we hope to continue this momentum into Spring . . . [And] also plan to share more personal [anecdote posts] . . .  [and] more stories on boys and dating. We love dishing the details on the male species!

*All images from Mimosas and Manhattan.

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About The Author

Laura Andrea Kell is a Canadian freelance writer and IFB's Editorial Assistant, and is based in Dubai, UAE. She also writes for itpliveme.com and occasionally blogs at lauraindubai.com Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @lauraandreakell

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2 Responses

  1. Rida Ali

    Hey Laura Kell, I do agree that Blogging with your cousin or siblings help you a lot. It is just because that you can share your individual thoughts on a similar fashion topic. One plus one is equal to eleven! Oh yes here I just started a fashion blog blog with my sister that is http://www.fashioneven.com/ and trust me that it is tremendously working just because of the collaboration of two minds! Thanks for the best ideas for better fashion blogging and it it is extremely helpful for me. And we have a wonderful plan for 2017 ahead. Huge thanks 🙂

  2. Jessica

    Great advice about “We want to be as true to ourselves as possible” because readers prefer authenticity and would connect with you more.