You’ve all heard of Retro Flame. She’s the Irish blogging sensation from County Kerry and she now lives in New York. I’ve followed her exciting journey for years and she is an inspiration to so many fellow Irish bloggers. I love her slick, minimalist approach on her blog, not to mention her sleek sense of style. Some blogs are very busy and the reader gets lost. Erika Fox of Retro Flame has the fine art of blogging down to a T.
Her hair really is that beautiful.
Glenlo Abbey Hotel, Galway
We caught up with Erika at Glenlo Abbey Hotel on Sunday last over afternoon tea… what a spread! You know sometimes when the idea of afternoon tea is nicer than the actual act of eating: crusty, hard sandwiches that have been left out all day… that was the complete opposite experience at Glenlo Abbey. The sandwiches were so fresh and really delicious… I’m usually more sweet than savoury, but in this case I couldn’t get enough of their sandwiches, crusts removed and all! The macaroons and pastries were second to none. I didn’t take any photos of the set up – just a couple of on snapchat (@modafix). The grounds at Glenlo are stunning. We had stayed there a few years ago and dined in their train carriage restaurant – The Pullman aboard The Orient Express, which was such a novelty! The steak was belter.
The event was organised by ITWBN who work tirelessly to support Irish bloggers. They have helped me secure exciting gigs like my TG4 feature, a Galway Races styling event and pool party with Debenhams (read here) and most recently my new blogging role with Athlone Towncentre. For any new bloggers out there make sure you get in touch with ITWBN. It’s like an agency for bloggers in Ireland. It’s really great to meet other bloggers at these events.
Erika shared her exciting story
A commerce student at NUIG, she deferred one year to attend GTI to study Fashion and Business. Her tutors told her to list her favourite fashion bloggers. She didn’t know any! This made me relate to her instantly: when my friends suggested I should have my own fashion blog – I didn’t even know what a blog was!
She was fortunate enough to secure an internship with Irish designer Natalie B Coleman and worked alongside Whitney Port of The Hills for 12 days during New York Fashion Week. She gushed about meeting American fashion publicist Kelly Cutrone (The Hills) – that at the time this was the best thing ever. Erika spoke honestly about her job removing stickers from shoes backstage at NFW. Since, she has worked with Refinery 29 and Olivia Palermo (taking photos of her during NFW). Listening to her relate her journey, I thought: wow! How lucky!
She’s of the opinion that luck is where opportunity and hard work meet. She couldn’t be more right.
She said that when she first started blogging she posted one outfit online, got shy and embarrassed and stopped for awhile. I can 100% relate to this. I often feel silly and very uncomfortable getting my photo taken, although people have asked me to write about their brand or business. You can wind up thinking too much about what others think. I don’t care so much anymore. I see it as part of my job now.
Erika currently works in New York for fashion label Vince Camuto. She looks after there social media and works on her personal brand Retro Flame, which is going from strength to strength. When Erika first started blogging there were only around 5 fashion bloggers in the whole of Ireland… how times have changed! She spoke about other bloggers – you may think they are competition, but in fact they’re not: we each have our writing style, personal style and picture style. I totally agree with this. I love to read, support and encourage fellow bloggers’ work – I appreciate content, images, ideas, opinions and work that is original, genuine, authentic and not mimicked.
In my opinion it’s important that a blogger trusts their own voice and stays true to themselves.
Erika is a credit to the Irish blogging community. She is instantly likeable, down-to-earth and approachable. She is proof that hard work and the luck of the Irish can go a long way. She shared some blogging tips and answered all our questions. She cleared up some of my own concerns too.
As bloggers, we all need to value ourselves. We generate sales and brand awareness and need to realise this more and be rewarded accordingly.
This week Erika announced that she won Kerry’s Best Young Entrepreneur 2015. She developed a business plan and pitched her ideas to a panel of judges… and she won!
Thanks for reading.