We had the good fortune of connecting with Grace G. and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Grace, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I started my fashion blog in 2016 between my sophomore and junior years of high school. I used to get home from class every day and excitedly sit down at the kitchen table so I could catch up on my favorite fashion bloggers’ posts. I loved seeing their styles and reading about their glamorous lives, but I quickly realized the clothing items they shared weren’t always affordable or practical for a high schooler like me. Sure, I loved their tulle skirts and neon heels, but I would never wear something like that to a regular day of classes. I finally thought to myself, “Heck, I should start a blog, too!”, so I purchased a domain name and set out to provide the everyday outfit inspiration I was missing from my favorite fashion bloggers. At the time, I didn’t know anything about running a website or how I could turn my blog into a profitable side gig… I just knew how much I loved fashion – and that I had a constant itch to do something creative with my spare time. In hindsight, there are a lot of things I would have done differently when I first started, but the past five years have been an incredible learning experience, both in creativity and entrepreneurship. While blogging has provided its fair share of frustrating moments, the creative challenge and the opportunities it provides have kept me dedicated and coming back for more.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
What sets my fashion blog apart from other style blogs is my emphasis on cost per wear. While most fashion bloggers constantly wear and promote new pieces, the outfits I share rarely include items that are still in stores. For me, the fun of fashion is finding new ways to mix and match old garments instead of always wearing something new. I keep a very detailed cost per wear Excel spreadsheet to keep track of everything in my closet and how often I wear each garment. Not only does this hold me accountable on my spending, but it also helps me make smarter purchases in the future; the spreadsheet allows me to realize which pieces I reach for repeatedly and which ones I never wear. At the end of every blog post, I refer to my spreadsheet to list where I purchased each item, how much it cost, and where it was last featured on the blog. I always want to be transparent about my outfits and their prices to show that style doesn’t have to be expensive. Additionally, by linking to the last blog post where an item was worn, my followers can always see multiple ways to wear the same piece. I think that is a more practical approach to fashion than always striving for the newest garments and trends.
As one of my entrepreneurship professors taught me, one of the most important lessons an entrepreneur can learn is to fail early and to fail often. I do not consider my fashion blog to be successful – yet. After five years, I only just made my first penny and collaborated with my first brand in the last six months. I’m laughing to myself when I say I have been mostly failing up until this point, but in that time, I have learned so many valuable lessons about blogging, entrepreneurship, and myself. I am finally turning a corner, and the years of struggle and dedication really have made the success I am achieving now taste that much sweeter.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Downtown Denver is a must for anyone who is visiting. It’s always fun to make a stop at the Capitol building and get that iconic photo at the “5280 feet above sea level” plaque. There is also the Milk Market and Union Station to explore, and seeing a Rockies game at Coors Field is a great way to spend an evening out. Every now and again, I love to check out the exhibits at the Denver Art Museum and pick up unique gifts in their gift shop. If you need a place to stay, the Oxford Hotel is a beautiful and historic option, and their restaurant The Urban Farmer offers a delicious selection of meals and drinks. Another downtown favorite is getting high tea at the Brown Palace Hotel. However, since I go to school at the University of Denver, some of my nearby hang-out spots include the Gaylord Street neighborhood and the Pearl Street neighborhood. Gaylord Street is home to my favorite restaurant, Wash Park Grille, as well as the cute W Boutique for trendy women’s fashion. Pearl Street offers a fun Saturday market and the best clothing store in town – Gracie’s Boutique. The store is expensive, but twice a year they have a killer sale where everything is steeply discounted. Of course, another nearby favorite is Bonnie Brae Ice Cream on University Blvd. The line is always long, but it tends to go quickly.
Last but not least, Adrift Tiki Bar on Broadway is the best place for a little island escape in this landlocked state! Their giant tropical cocktails are oh-so yummy.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to give a huge shoutout to everyone who has helped take my blog photos over the years, especially my parents and my brother. They have to put up with my pickiness and perfectionism, and I cannot thank them enough – I wouldn’t have a blog without them. I also want to thank my two friends who read every single one of my blog posts. You know who you are, and your support means the world to me!