With over 20 years of experience in the world of women’s magazines, if there’s anyone who knows anything about what to wear, and where to wear it, it’s the founders of lifestyle blog Wear and Where, Natasha and Alex. The pair met while scribbling for InStyle and you’ll have seen their work in print across titles including Red, Glamour, Vogue, Easy Living, The Guardian and The Telegraph. Focusing on style, culture, family and travel, Wear and Where is bit like a Little Black Book of stylish destinations, fashion editor’s picks and delicious recipes. The girls describe Wear and Where as a “beautifully-written, terribly gorgeous website,” and we’re inclined to agree. But can Alex and Natasha run in heels? We found out…
When and why did you start blogging?
Alex: We started the blog in January (2013). Both Natasha and I are journalists and have been aware for a while that online is the way the industry is going. We wanted to jump on board before it was too late!
Natasha: I love my job, but there were lots of things I wanted to write about for which I had no natural outlet. Alex and I had talked about doing something online together for ages, where we could write about the things which mattered to us, our passions, our interests. Plus, as Alex says, the online world is booming and we wanted in! So, when I went part time in January this year, it all fell into place, and we launched Wear & Where at the end of February.
What’s your blog about?
A: We think of it as an online lifestyle magazine for women focusing on style, interiors, home, travel and family – with elements of culture and beauty thrown in. Anything and everything we’re interested in really!
N: Style, home, family, lifestyle, travel – and issues which matter to us and, we hope, to other women like us. It is a total joy to be able to write about what you love.
Who inspires you?
A: Corny, but true – my family. Professionally, successful women who manage to juggle a family with a career (harder work than it appears!) I have a great friend called Tasmina Perry, who I used to work with at In Style. Not only is she an amazing journalist, but she’s also a brilliant author and blogger. She is also incredibly encouraging and inspiring.
N: The women in my life. My amazing mother. My wonderful friends (most of my best ideas come from chatting to them). The women I know who are fantastic mothers and/or hold down jobs (every working mother knows that the work/life balance is perennial struggle). I’ve been lucky enough to work with some incredibly inspiring women – Susie Forbes (now Principal of the Conde Nast College), my Editor at Easy Living; Jo Elvin, my current Editor: their vision, creativity and drive are awe-inspiring (as is the fact that they are both still brilliant mothers).
What’s your day job?
A: I’m a freelance journalist.
N: I work at Glamour as the Assistant Editor. (I jobshare – jammy, I know – and work Monday to Wednesday).
What do your family and friends think about your blog?
A: They love it – but then they would say that!!
N: They are hugely supportive and brilliant about sending emails/texts to say how much they love such-and-such or could we possibly do a post about x.
Do you read any other blogs?
A: Cup of Jo is probably the main one. Although Laura Fantacci’s Wearing It Today is fab.
N: Oh yes. I love Design Sponge for interiors inspiration; Wearing it Today, The Sartorialist (does everyone say that?) and The Frugality for fashion (and I love Little Spree for children’s fashion – written by a fashion ed with an unerring eye for a stylish bargain); Frolic, Cupcakes & Cashmere and This is Glamorous for sheer loveliness; A Cup of Jo, The Littlest, Modern Mum Must-Have for the family side of things.
How do you use Twitter and has it changed how you blog?
A: Twitter is amazing. I was a Twitter virgin before launching W&W and never really got the point of it. But, we signed up and now I’m hooked. It is such a good way of attracting readers and building our ‘brand’.
N: Like Alex, I was total Twitter virgin until recently. I now have two accounts on my iPhone! I love tweeting press day finds (or indeed, anything I chance across that I think our readers might like). And I love the support network from other bloggers/websites: I wrote a piece about having only one child and had some really lovely, heartwarming, thoughtful responses from people I didn’t even know. It is also a hugely useful tool for promoting new posts and seeking out things to write about. [RIH: follow W&W @WearandWhereUK.]
What couldn’t you live without?
A: Other than the real essentials food, family, a roof over my head – it would have to be coffee. I’m an addict.
N: Aside from my family, of course, books – which I consume voraciously; my laptop; and my morning dry cappuccino (I know that sounds pretentious, but I cannot bear a too-milky cappuccino).
How do you stay motivated?
A: Hmm tricky one. Because I have to? I have ambitions I want to fill and no-one else is going to do it except me.
N: It is hugely motivating working with a friend who you respect and admire. I want to make W&W as good as it can be for my sake, but I would also hate to let Alex down. Plus, we really believe in our product – and want more and more people to engage with it – and when they do, it’s a real boost.
Typical blog wardrobe?
A: Ha ha ha. I work from home, so it’s hardly glamorous!
N: Usually one of two things: Breton stripes or something from J. Crew. (Or possibly both!) On occasion, my pyjamas.
A:Nothing. I can’t work with music on.
N: Radio 4. Unless my husband is working alongside me, then it’ll be jazz (he can’t work to the spoken word).
Favourite European city and why?
A: Paris. It’s just so heartbreakingly beautiful and chic. It makes you feel special just being there.
N: Hmm. Can’t choose between Paris and Amsterdam. I love Paris for its beauty, food, museums, shops – and because it holds so many memories; but Amsterdam is gorgeous and has such a gloriously relaxed vibe.
What do you think is the biggest problem in British society today and what is the most positive thing?
A: Without meaning to sound like an old fart, I think it’s lack of respect. I don’t think people respect each other enough. It’s not so much people not respecting other’s way of life/religion/viewpoint, (see below) – but the rudeness – the swearing at bus drivers, talking on your phone and blanking a cashier, people barging past each other in the street – day-to-day rudeness and lack of consideration for others.
Most positive thing – saying all that, I think in general, British society is fairly accepting of people – be it your sexuality, religion or race – it’s pretty inclusive, which is great.
N: Positive: Inclusive in so many ways – and getting better by the month (vis-a-vis equal marriage). When I see some of the dreadful problems elsewhere in the world, arising from intolerance of what others believe, or your sex, I say a small mental ‘thank you’ that I am a woman living in the UK.
Problem: Rudness. Alex sums it up well as a lack of respect. And intolerance, where it creeps in which – sadly – it does. (I realise I am in danger of contradicting myself…)
Do you ever get blog block?
A: Yes! It can be hard thinking up fresh ideas day after day….
N: Of course – doesn’t everyone? But you just push on through. It’s enormously helpful having someone to bounce ideas off.
A: A beautiful house in the country
N: A house by the sea. And a really great handbag (you know, Hermes Birkin – something along those lines).
Is blogging a viable career?
A: Ask me in a year!!
N: Come back to me on that one…
Where do you see yourself in five years?
A: Ok – so this is a bit of positive visualisation (it will happen, it will happen..) Living in the country and working on Wear & Where, which has turned into a huge success with employees and a lovely, sparkling office
N: I’m rather partial to Alex’s vision, I have to admit!
Can you run in heels?
A: I could probably wobble.
N: I used to be able to. Does that count?! Am prepared to bet I still could if had to…