Last Saturday I delivered my very first presentation about my little blog modaFix.
Aoife from Swell Sligo had contacted me in the run up to the Swell Summit to see if I’d like to pitch my blog in the WEB section. She probably knew I needed a little push, as I’d never go out of my way to stand up and talk about it otherwise. Public speaking makes me just a tad nervous! A special thanks to Allan Dixon for these images.
Since I’ve started this little hobby, I accept any invitation that comes my way. I say YES to everything and then figure it out along the way. It’s a good idea to step outside your comfort zone and challenge yourself. You always feel better afterwards and learn something in the process.
I’m really glad Aoife gave me the opportunity as it made me sit down (late the night before!) and assess just how far I’ve come with modaFix and what direction I’m going with the blog. It has brought opportunities that would never have presented themselves had I not just gone for it.
God knows what I actually said on the day, but here’s what I had intended to say.
Concept behind modaFix
I’m a language teacher by day. I teach Spanish, Irish and French. I often wondered ‘what if?’ if I’d taken a more creative career path. That road less travelled. I chose the academic route, but I used fashion as a way to express myself. I always loved style and had a keen eye for design.
Strangers would regularly stop me on the street to ask where my outfit was from and I’d often get emails about dresses I wore to weddings and events. It happened A LOT, with people telling me I’m in the wrong game and that I should be designing and making my own clothing. One Christmas a friend suggested I have my own style blog.
I didn’t even know what a blog was! I’ve since discovered that a blog is writing about your passion and building a community around that passion. I really needed this outlet for all my creative energy. I didn’t know what to do with it before this.
ModaFix was born
On New Year’s Eve (two years ago) at 8pm I nervously set up a Facebook page, entitled modaFix (moda is the Spanish for fashion). I chose Facebook as it was the social medium I was most familiar with. It was my New Year’s Resolution. Then, I legged it into The Strand bar and escaped for the night. By morning, there was a couple of hundred ‘Likes’. Denise from Starling Digital Media Direction offered me invaluable help and direction.
I started sharing style ideas, interests and my own personal style. The response was overwhelmingly positive. But then again, what else would you expect from the Strandhill community?
If you have an idea, I’d encourage you to just go with it. You can figure it all out in the process. You learn a lot by actually DOING. I am definitely not tech savvy and I’m still learning all the time.
You’ll be surprised at how encouraging, accepting and positive people are.
Social media channels
I branched out to Instagram, Twitter, Depop (where you can shop my wardrobe) and most recently, YouTube. My actual website only went live less than a year ago… I took the scenic route, but that’s always been my way. The presentation was effectively about how I use the web to do what I do. ModaFix wouldn’t exist without the web! I particularly like Instagram as it’s so visual. I’m all about the imagery and that’s my blogging style. I work from an image. I try to tell a story with little text (usually), with my reader in mind.
I talked about my appreciation of local, Irish designers. Their talent fascinates me and I choose to celebrate this on my blog. That is something unique to my blog.
Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street… Fashion has to do with ideas , the way we live, what is happening. (Coco Chanel)
I discussed the opportunities that were born from modaFix and how it evolved from solely fashion blogging to lifestyle. It has been a natural progression from sharing personal style to reviewing products and subsequently to reviewing events.
Opportunities and highlights
Some highlights include: working with David McConville and Suzy McCanny to document my journey with Invisalign clear braces in a series of video blogs, an invitation to review Neven Maguire’s Cookery School, a day trip to Kildare Village to compile a Christmas Gift Guide as part of their Step Into The Story Christmas campaign, being part of fashion series #TRENDING ON RTÉ 2 with presenter and stylist Darren Kennedy, a year’s free hair dressing with Salon 2, reviewing laser treatment at Sligo Laser Clinic, spending a day being pampered at Solas Spa at Radisson Blu, collaborating with Rachel Murray Eyecare at her Eyestyle events to launch new designer collections, being nominated for Blog Awards Ireland 2014 and Social and Personal magazine‘s Best Fashion Blog… among many, many more.
Fashion Writing and Styling
I’m grateful for all these opportunities. Something that never would have happened without my blog was being approached by Sligo Now magazine to write a monthly fashion spread. I really enjoy this as I love the informal register in magazine writing. I like the freedom I have too – to explore new possibilities, meet new people and style photo shoots.
In exchange for much of the work I do, it’s product payment. Although I appreciate these luxuries, they do not pay the bills! As you can imagine, it’s time consuming to write a blog and edit photos so I’d love to find a way of monetising my efforts. I’m open to any suggestions and any advice.
I like to think that my brand denotes quality and good taste.
Hopes for the future?
Who knows? I’m open to new prospects and a good challenge. I enjoy the thrill of selling clothing online, so that’s an avenue to consider. You can shop my preloved clothing on Depop app (username: @modafix)
My ultimate dream would be to design or create something – be it an item of clothing or an accessory. I couldn’t think of greater job satisfaction than seeing somebody on the street wearing something that I had designed! So perhaps a modaFix mini collection is on the cards! There, I’ve said it!
I’ve always messed around with garments to make things my own and I started jewellery making as a teenager. With the interest in my blog and the following I have, it makes sense to have a product! I’m hoping you will be supportive of this, should I actually make it happen and again I’m open to your suggestions, help and collaborations.
Another opportunity that has come from my blog and DIY sharing are my refashion classes. Hullabaloo contacted me to see if I’d like to run classes and I jumped at the opportunity. I run four week courses, where we create a new accessory every week – from something old. We repurpose old costume jewellery and upcycle preloved clothing. Read more here. See samples of our creations here and here. I was also invited to host my first DIY Christmas Jumper party at Shells Café, which will hopefully be an annual event. See our creations here.
Thanks for reading!