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Today on the blog we have Natonya Medford, a US-based fashion blogger at Just Natonya. The first time I came across her blog was while participating on her campaign on Stylehub. Guess what intrigued me? Her art of writing is just spectacular and again, her topics are just inspiring. Apart from inspiring ladies on how to dress like they were born for it, she also styles ladies. She’ll definitely tell us more about that lovelies…
Thus, ride along and find out ‘who’s Natonya?’ from our interview…
- Tell us more about Natonya? Or rather, Simply Untamed Natonya?
Just Natonya is a fashion and lifestyle blog about living a carefree stylish life. Think of me as your online fashion guru, your personal style or the bestie who has all the fashion secrets and advice. Not that I have insight into the industry personally but as someone who has a passion to help others, you can believe I will find out everything you need to know.
I want everyone to feel beautiful, so I write inspirational posts about living your best life with motivational tips. Because I am a fashion enthusiast…whoop whoop! You know I must give you the hottest trends with tips and tricks for you to become a style icon!
- You are a graduate in Public Relations under Fashion, right? Would you please tell us what being a Fashion PR entails?
Yes, I graduated my university with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations, with a focus on fashion. I scored with this major because I was able to combine two passions of mine, communication and fashion. Not necessarily book definition but this is how I define it: Essentially PR is all about communicating a message effectively to an audience with the intent to persuade, motivate or inform.
When you combine PR and fashion you are communicating a brand’s campaign to not necessarily sell to the consumer because that’s the advertiser’s job, a Fashion PR practitioner’s job is to relate to the consumer. It’s like you’re the mediator between the brand and the audience. Find out what the audience needs, what does the consumer gain and how do you elevate the brand to new heights to beat out competition. Whew! I hope this makes sense 😊
- I totally love your fashion blog. You have a segment where you interview male models and it is total inspiration. What stirred this up? Because yes, your blog is a female fashion blog no doubt?
O totally, my fashion blog is female geared, but I also noticed a niche in the blogging world that is steadily growing, male fashion bloggers/models. If I’m honest, I’m obsessed with men’s fashion. I like the simplicity to their style and how they pop one piece as a fashion statement, the way they accessorize and use of blended textures.
My curiosity to how they develop their style is what prompted me to create #StealHisStyle Series. Would you believe me when I say some of my male blogger interviewees all say they get style and inspiration from female bloggers? YES! I like it when we all can inspire and share, truly creates a world full of spiritual connections and genuine acknowledgement towards others.
My goal with the series is to have at least one interview per week and I hope to interview top male bloggers/models such as: Mariano Di Vaio who is the king of male fashion blogging, he exudes style variety. Nicolas Simoes whose charismatic and sophisticated style effortlessly refreshes your take in men’s fashion. Renan Pacheco blends lifestyle and fashion together authentically. Andre Hamann, really want to pick his brain in how he started his clothing line, Haze & Glory.
- You’ve worked with big brands no doubt! From the likes of PERDITI, YOINS and StyleMoi. Would you please share with us your experience; from how to pitch to brands to the point of actually working with them. Moreover, what would you advise an upcoming blogger who would want to pitch to brands? It is obvious to see many holding back just because they don’t know of their first move.
WOW! I would say I’m no expert in pitching to brands because every brand I worked with has come to me and most of that was by the discovering of my Polyvore (inserts crying face). Now that Polyvore is no longer with us, I must go back to reaching out personally. I’m going to give you 3 tips in approaching brands/magazines:
a. Have an organic interest in the brand.
Don’t apply because you think you’ll get paid. Apply because you want to be a part of their movement, and the changes they are bringing to the industry.
b. Keep it brief! Seriously like no more than 250 words.
Executives and PR are so busy they don’t have much time to read long pitches, get to the point. IMPORTANT: Say why you’re interested, what you can bring, state your idea, ask for feedback and leave contact info.
c. Don’t be afraid to stick yourself out there because you’ll gain experience is reaching out to brands. It’s ok if you have a low following count because companies and brands are more focused on reach and engagement. Make sure you’re interacting with people to leave an influence on them because sometimes people with a large following don’t have the greatest engagement.
- You are also an online wardrobe stylist; and the best part is that you offer a free super-amazing package. How has it been working with these gorgeous women trying to revamp their closets and walk out of the house looking too sassy?
My online wardrobe styling services is new! YAY! Y’all feel free to let me style you, it’ll help me gain experience and you’ll get free personalized fashion services. No, I’m not technically a professional but I have styled family and friends. I started this service because I was having a tough time finding styling gigs. If you’re not in the “US fashion capitals” Los Angeles or New York City, styling jobs are super tough to find. So I had to get creative because I am not going to let my location stop me from pursuing my dream.
Being a stylist is way more than putting together cute outfits. It’s about being organized, understanding every BODY type and knowing which piece of fabric is flattering. You need to patience in finding clothes to cater a person’s personality and unique figure, keep up with the latest trends, and discover clothes to fit the person’s budget. I like making women feel beautiful, showing them how to style pieces they would never buy or see themselves wear.
It’s liberating when I see the look on my mother’s face when she approves of a dress she might was hesitant about when I picked it for her. Sometimes you get people who do not like the choices you made, this is when you remain positive, go back to the drawing board and find something 10x’s better.
- Suppose this is your ideal client: tall and curvy. Describe her look and where you’d shop the look from.
I suggest a tall and curvy client would benefit from stores like Eloquii, Ashley Stewart or Avenue who all carry various sizes catered to tall women for different occasions. I would tailor her style to items suiting her personality and lifestyle. Such as a casual lady may appreciate the athleisure trend and a sophisticated woman may want to embrace a different take on dresses such as asymmetrical or empire waist.
- As an icon on Polyvore. What can you say about the sudden sale of Polyvore to Ssense? An action that broke the wild influencer community apart from ruining our sets-creation hobby?
It’s a shame to see Polyvore sold to SSENSE. As loyal the Polyvorians were to the platform, you would expect the company to inform us about the abrupt change. Polyvore was more than creating sets and discovering style, it was a community. Polyvore allowed for men and women of all ages to come together and share their stories, fashion backgrounds and unique interests.
Truly disappointing because some people depended on the platform as an additional resource for their blog. I do hope other companies and platforms pay attention to the outrage and understand how valuable their platform is to consumers. Never take advantage or people for granted.
- What is your go-to online resource for style inspiration? And why?
I read magazines print and online because for me, the material is a fashion tip book or your study guide to the latest trends and what’s in season. Plus, it’s prep work for me to launch my own in the future 😊. As for style, I can never get enough of my favorite blogger Camila Coelho, she is always uploading fresh content.
- I’m in love with your natural hair! I wish I’d keep mine as well. Share with us your secrets.
Thank you so much Dalene! Well, I’ve been natural for three years and after heavy research and serious studying of my hair, I have finally learned how to grow it out. I would say less is more. Try to get you routine refined, keep it consistent and your hair will flourish.
Do what your hair likes. Sometimes people try to tell you the things you can’t do but if it works for you, do it. Example: if your hair likes sulfates or grease use it. Just don’t allow people to put you in a box because you’ll never reach your full potential.
One hair secret I discovered is how to properly use natural oils.
Check out my post on Sistah’s Place for the detailed version:
- What about your quick fix? What can you say transforms your look instantly?
I like style questions! Style is about comfort but embracing what you have. Okay, a quick fix for me is high-waisted jeans. I’m learning how to flaunt my curves more and high-waisted jeans hug my hips giving this effortless appeal but comfortable sense of being stylish.
- Your 5 must-haves? And yes, your signature style?
Oh boy, this is an exciting question! My signature style is always a vibrant print, I really like mixing floral and stripes. Typically, you will catch me in a floral anything worn with heels or canvas sneakers.
My top five must-haves include: High-waisted jeans. Denim jacket. Combat boots. Sunglasses. Luxury handbag.
- Tell us about your most humbling moment?
My most humbling moment was last year after being rejected for the 37th time in applying for a job. Yes, I applied to 37 jobs last year and was rejected by every single one. It hurt but I realized God has bigger plans for me and right now working at a company isn’t the route. I had to realize I can’t do everything on my own. It’s ok to ask for help.
- What about your worst moment in this field? And how you eventually handled the circumstance?
My worst moment was pitching to do an interview with this male model on Instagram for a magazine. The model was super kind and eager to participate but his agent was tough. I mean she tore down all my ideas and interview questions. It was my first time pitching and it sucked because she declined the interview after all the negative feedback before it even started but this situation gave me thicker skin.
Not everyone will like your ideas, not all the time you’ll hear a yes but don’t give up, just know there is a higher meaning for the situation. Prayer takes care of everything. I just called on God and he erased the mistakes and showed me the lessons I needed to learn so I could move forward.
- What is your advice to an upcoming fashion blogger who is uncertain about sharing her opinion now that the blogosphere is as ‘saturated’?
As my mother always taught me, “there is always room at the top”, never feel like there is no room for you. Yes, the blogosphere is saturated but to me that means it’s growing. God made us all unique, which emphasizes how different but valuable our perspectives are in the world. Just know your voice is meant to be heard. We all may say the same thing but the way we translate it can be interpreted many ways by others. Naturally, someone will find the information you promote valuable.
- What are your future aspirations?
My dream is to become a fashion editor, launch my own magazine and design a clothing line. I want to be in the fashion industry to change the perception of feeling like fashion define us. I want to show the world, “We define fashion, don’t let it define you.”
CONNECT WITH NATONYA
That’s Natonya! If you’re as inspired as I am, please feel free to let us know about your thoughts in the comment section below…