Juggling a full time job as a deputy editor and a blogger of fashion, beauty and travel, we find out what makes Jessica Harris tick.
We sit down with style blogger Jessica Harris to ask her about Twenty6Style, her blog focusing on fashion, beauty and travel. Juggling a full-time job as a deputy editor for the likes of Look, Wedding, Glamour and Marie Claire with writing two posts a week for her blog, we find out how she does it.
I’m hypermobile, which means yoga can be great fun!
I feel like the things I’m most passionate about – fashion, beauty and travel – couldn’t be combined into one job description so I wanted to create something that allowed me to do all three in my own way. I’m very lucky that I have access to the latest products, launches and news before they hit the shelves and I want to share that with as many people as I can. We live in such a fast-paced world that I started to feel overwhelmed with what was ‘in’. We waste a lot of money on things that will be out of fashion the following month. I want to show that there’s an alternative. TwentySixStyle.com is fuelled by affordable, sustainable trends that will stand the test of time. Whether that’s an amazing hair mask you’ll buy over and over again or a pair of jeans that you’ll wear til they fall apart.
That would be Carmen Haid. An amazing entrepreneur who is a fantastic example of women taking the fashion industry by storm. She has a wealth of knowledge with an incredible career – from YSL, Vogue, Atelier-Mayer and beyond. She’s the most professional, connected and stylish woman I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. She gave me my first job out of uni, threw me in at the deep end and I’ve never learnt so much from someone.
Definitely! I’ve always read blogs as well as magazines and I’m equally influenced by both. I think that Lucy Williams (fashionmenow.co.uk) is doing an amazing job and Jacqueline (mikuta.nu) and Mary (happilygrey.com) have the most beautiful styling and photography. These ladies have a very organic and subtly high end way of putting things together that I think is really inspiring.
Haha, most of the photography is done by me but yes, occasionally my Insta-Fiancee will get behind the camera.
Where do I start! I think it’s a misconception that blogging is easy. It’s incredibly hard. You are, effectively, a photographer, stylist, PR, social media manager, writer, graphic designer, website builder and marketer all in one. With the way algorithms are these days, it can be challenging to reach your goals and grow your online platform the way you want. There is no secret sadly but I have read and educated myself a lot. From webinars, books and forums, the information out there is endless and overwhelming but I’m trying to take it all in in bitesized amounts. The blogging industry is incredibly new and the possibilities are endless right now. This means that it’s becoming more accepted as a whole and I felt conflicted for a time because I’m a journalist and blogger which have been contrasting professions in the past. But, I think it’s coming together more.
With great difficulty! I am a self-confessed work-a-holic and I have to remind myself to put the laptop down from time to time. It’s a work in progress! I’m careful about what I share with my followers as I think it’s important you keep some things just for you. Having a full-time job as well as blogging means I have to dedicate mornings, lunches, evenings and partial weekends to shooting, editing, calling in bits and phone calls with PR’s. It can get busy and winter is super restrictive because of the light with fewer hours in the day. I always make sure I set aside an hour every day to workout for my sanity and try to be outside as much as possible!
I think about this a lot. I think I would tell myself to be more fearless – stop worrying about what other people think and how they will react to a decision you’ve made, you may be left with regrets. Don’t be so eager to grow up, take your time, make mistakes, learn from them and go easy on yourself.
That’s a brilliant question and the answer is – it’s anyone’s guess. I think it’s already heading in a very exciting direction and it’s interesting because I know a lot of bloggers who are getting more opportunities than journos at the big glossies. They view the collections before anyone else, get flown by private jet to Paris for Fashion Week and have one-to-ones with designers. I can see why that would aggravate people but is it a sign of things to come? Are bloggers more influential than print? I personally still love to hold a magazine in my hands and lose myself in the pages. I think it’s on a tipping point to keep your authenticity when you become that big and I know a lot of bloggers I used to love have now lost that ‘thing’ I loved about them which is sad.
Know your worth. This is so important. I worked for free for two years and occasionally still catch myself doing freebies! But, there comes a point where you need to stop and consider what your time, effort and expertise is worth.
Start! I was really late to the game and wish I’d started years ago when I first considered it. Yes, the blogging industry is saturated and everyone says you have to think of an original idea to make yourself stand out but I don’t agree. You makes you stand out. That’s enough. In terms of practical advice, invest in two things – a good camera and a good website design. We live in a visual world and they will hold you in good stead. And you HAVE to enjoy it. Don’t be a blogger because you think it’s going to make you rich, do it because you love it if one person reads it or a million read it.
With thanks to Jessica Harris.
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Images © Twenty6Style