Through amassing over 12,000 Instagram followers and working with top brands like Coach and Neiman Marcus, SPU sophomore Morgan Gaston has learned a thing or two about fashion. I sat down with Gaston to discuss her blog, Morgan Lillian, and to learn her secrets to success.
SPU Styled: What made you want to start morganlillian.com?
Gaston: I originally started my blog as part of a project for a high school art class. I had been following lots of big name bloggers and thought it would be fun to give it a try. I am actually quite shy and introverted, and blogging is a great platform for branching out and expressing myself.
SPU Styled: How has your style evolved since you started blogging?
Gaston: My style has changed so much since I started blogging. I can’t believe it! I have always been a trend follower, so I love looking back at the trends that I loved in the past. When I first began blogging in high school, my style was much edgier. Now, I’d say it is more refined and classic.
SPU Styled: What are some of your current favorite trends?
Gaston: I love statement sleeves. They make every outfit more interesting and are easy to wear. My go-to outfit right now is always a statement sleeve and a pair of interesting jeans. I live in denim, so I love jeans with interesting cuts and funky detailing.
SPU Styled: How much work does it take to be a blogger? What do you wish people understood about blogging?
Gaston: Honestly, it takes a lot of work to run a blog. I run my blog like a business, so I put in a ton of work to see it succeed. On a typical week I spend at least 15 hours a week working on my blog. This time is spent editing photos, creating content and working with brands on collaborations. Not to mention the countless additional hours it takes to shoot photos and run my social media. I wish people understood that blogging is a lot more than wearing cute clothes and taking photos. It’s a business that involves real skills like strategy analysis, website analytics, editorial calendar management and lots of professional relationship building.
SPU Styled: Can you give our readers some tips on taking good photos? How do you make sure your photos on social media are just right?
Gaston: The most important thing to understand is your angles. Look in the mirror and at other photos to find what works for you. Oftentimes, things look good in person but don’t translate well into a photo. I’m only 5’2, so I often come across short in photos. To combat this I do certain poses like crossing one leg in front of the other or shooting a seated pose to help elongate my legs. For Instagram always use natural lighting. Good lighting is key to a good photo.
SPU Styled: What style advice would you give to your fellow SPU students?
Gaston: The most important thing you can do is be confident in whatever you have on. Fashion isn’t really about the clothes but how you feel wearing them. Whether it’s always wearing the latest trend or the Birkenstocks and yoga pants you wear everyday, if you feel good it will show. The confidence you project is what makes your style great.
SPU Styled: What is something you wish you had known when you first started blogging? What would you tell SPU students who are interested in starting their own blogs?
Gaston: Right out of the gate, you need to decide if you want blogging to be a business or a hobby. If you want to do this as a business, it is going to take a lot of work. Don’t worry too much about comparing yourself to other bloggers. Everyone compares themselves no matter how many readers they have. Blogging isn’t about gaining followers, it’s about gaining a voice for yourself and increasing your confidence.