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A new magazine about fashion bloggers!


Back to School Trends:

HOT FOR TEACHER Talking Business with


Behind the Scenes of



Create Your Own


MAKE MONEY with Affiliate Advertising

PLUS: News Blogs to Watch One Question, Three Bloggers

Karen Blanchard’s ...and she shares her style tips!



Editor-in-Chief Tamia Stinson Contributors Ashe Mischief Kathleen Flood Anna Yanofsky Cathy Crystal Hunter Michelle Nickolaisen AJ Pangilinan

To subscribe, visit For information regarding permissions and advertising, contact Published by Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike


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{Because you’re worth it! } P

ublishing and editing a magazine is hard work, y’all. There are plenty of late nights spent putting together page layouts, learning how to use complicated new software, a serious lack of the time (and desktop space) needed to get everything done by deadline-it’s crazy! It’s also incredibly rewarding, especially when the stunning photos, well-written articles, and brilliant ideas come barrelling into my inbox as the deadline draws near. That’s where I’m at as I write this, and you should know that I get positively giggle-out-loud giddy about the amazing words and images you see in each issue, none of which would be possible without all of the lovely bloggers who contribute. Flip through and take a look at what happens when a passionate and crazy-stylish community collaborates to create something for everyone.

I’m always interested in what you want to see/say/read, so feel free to drop me a note at, and don’t forget to subscribe at www.stylesamplemag. com to keep up and stay in touch!

contributors Kathleen Flood Natural Disaster Ashe Mischief Dramatis Personae Ashe Mischief inspires men & women to explore the many facets of their personality & style in a most theatrical manner. She also designs glamourous headpieces for her Mischief, My Dear! etsy shop.

Crystal Hunter Ssasy Chic Crystal is the author of SsasyChic, a style blog for smart, sophisticated and sexy women. Check out SsasyChic for quality content about the latest trends in beauty and fashion for real women.

Natural Disaster is a style blog inspired by colors, textures and finding the patterns and coincidences in everyday life. Like the weather, it’s gracefully, and sometimes wickedly, unpredictable.

Michelle Nickolaisen Decline Designs Decline Designs is about fashion, but not following trends. Michelle focuses on things like figuring out your personal style, learning to love it, and lots of shoes, with occasional forays into other areas.

Anna Yanofsky I Want to Wear It Anna Yanofsky is a fashion history geek who documents the culture of dress, past and present, on I Want To Wear It.

Cathy Self Indulgent Fashion This aspiring fashion journalist can’t stop writing, reading, loving, and wearing fashion. In her spare time she constantly peruses new and exciting blogs as well as being a gym fanatic and an almost obsessive healthy eater, with bit of chocolate here and there. Hey, she’s human!

AJ Pangilinan Vintage Petite She’s petite but not vintage. Born and raised Manila blogger AJ Pangilinan adores fashion as equally as her penchant for writing. Find her blogging at Vintage Petite and read more about the city she loves, Manila.


contents NEWS


The latest happenings from around the blogosphere.




Featuring Ophelia Ford, Secretista, Fashion Mind, and Custom Fashion Deliveries.



Nini Nguyen of Nini’s Style treats us to a day of per- sonal shopping, gorgeous designer clothes, and true Texas style!



Six great bloggers revisit back to school in the most stylish way possible! Edited by Ashe Mischief of Dramatis Personae



Jewelry designer Wendy Brandes dishes about what it takes to create and manage a successful jewelry line. By Kathleen Flood of Natural Disaster



Cha Cha designer Lori talks about the inspiration behind the gorgeous leather handbags she creates in her Manhattan studio. By Cathy of Self Indulgent Fashion



English beauty Karen of Where Did U Get That? lets us in on her style secrets and what makes her tick. By Anna Yanofsky of I Want to Wear It


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Everyone is trying to figure out how to make money with their blog these days--affiliate advertising may be the answer. By Crystal of SSASY Chic



You know how you want your blog to look--here’s how to create your own theme with Artisteer. By Michelle Nickolaisen of Decline Designs



One Question, Three Bloggers with Assa of CIAA Afrique, Marie-Louise of Marie-Louise’s Pulse and Christine of Futurelint. Edited by AJ Pagnilian of Vintage Petite



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NEWS The latest happenings in the blogosphere Blogger Mademoiselle Robot

Mademoiselle Robot launches style consultancy MADEMOISELLE STYLE

Laëtitia Wajnapel aka Mademoiselle Robot created style consultancy to help women discover their own unique style through services such as the Online Style Booster, Full Wardrobe Detox, and Introduction to Vintage. “I launched the site...after a couple of months of testing. I got really positive response to the services, and added the online version of all the consultations as well so people could benefit from my services all around the world” says Laëtitia. The ex-pat Parisian Journalist and Editor is now living and working in London and can be contacted at

Style Coalition says DON’T SHOP!

13 top NYC fashion bloggers participated in a special video shoot for DON’T SHOP! campaign and created a message showing the importance and value of supporting our favorite fashion designers in these tough economic times. The Style Coalition is an organized group of independent online fashion publishers (bloggers) who are combining their love for fashion, passion for social media and technology, and enthusiasm for the industry.

Like Mother, Like Daughter


Jane of Sea of Shoes and her mother Jane of Atlantis Home are featured in the August issue of US Vogue. Looks like the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!

THE CURVY FASHIONISTA set to launch online boutique

Marie Denee

CURVY. CONFIDENT. CHIC. The blogger behind The Curvy Fashionista will launch Marie Denee, an upscale contemporary online boutique that offers today’s fashion forward, curvy, confident, and chic plus size woman a place to confidently shop for the latest designer fashions in her size. Founder Marie Denee is proud that “The plus size fashionista is finally being offered fashion forward, premium designer pieces but no centralized location that caters to her discerning lifestyle. I have created Marie Denee, a contemporary plus size designer boutique, to deliver her options that cater to her and her fabulous curves!” will feature apparel and accessories from designers like Gayla Bentley, Kingley & Posh, Oola Lingerie and more, and is slated to launch in

Blogger Alicia of InnyVinny has been keeping herself busy with a number of ventures, from the line of hand-crafted jewelry available through her etsy shop to the delicately grotesque necklaces of Talonalia. “All I want to do is share my love of odd jewelry with the world” says Alicia. Soon, the Talonalia line will include rings, earrings, and more necklaces, and a super-secret capsule collection for a special venture will be revealed later this year.

Necklaces from the Talonalia line.


Designing a new line, opening a shop, starting a new business, or have a special announcement? Send your tips and information to with “News” in the title.

Style Coalition’s DON’T SHOP! video




Fresh faces and unique concepts in the world of blogging


Dara, New Jersey

Who do you hope to reach? When I write, I write for the person who needs inspiration. A good portion of my blog has me including my readers on my journey into the magazine industry, adulthood and college. And being that I’m a firm believer in hardwork, dedication and positivity, a lot of my posts portray just that. My life’s journey are always taken with a smile.

What’s your favorite part about blogging?

Why did you start blogging?

I’ve actually been blogging since I was 10 years old. Before I used the Blogger platform for Secretista, I had a Xanga page where I mused about Japanese Street fashion. Blogging is something that has always been a part of my life. I started Secretista in December of 2007 for the sole purpose of having a place to unleash my inner fashionista. I started college in Fall of 2007, where I attend a school that has no fashion concentration. I had plans on going to a fashion based school, but my parents thought otherwise. So there I was, a pre-med freshman at Hofstra University on Long Island forcefully who hated her Chemistry class and couldn’t wait for the semester to end. In 2007, there were a handful of fashion blogs so I decided to hop on the slow moving bandwagon. I had been intently reading for about three years before and thought it was time I took a stab at a blog that was focused on fashion.


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The writing and interaction. I’m an aspiring journalist and writer so it’s natural that I love just writing. I also love reading comments. The things readers say are usually helpful and funny. I get to know my readers a little better when they leave comments. In addition, I feel like a piece of me is on the Internet. I love sharing my inner thoughts and what the readers say usually leaves me with more food for thought.

Nataly, Russia

CUSTOM FASHION DELIVERIES Why did you start blogging?

Simona, Romania

I would like to have had a ‘higher’ purpose when starting this personal style diary, but I actually did it to sort out my closet, at least in an online manner, since I do not get around to physically doing it thoroughly. I have a lot of items in my wardrobe that do not get sufficient attention from me, so this is a means of getting as much wear out of them as I can. Plus it keeps me on the self-improvement track fashion wise.

Who do you hope to reach?

I am hoping, and to a certain extent it seems that I have succeeded, to gain readers who are interested not as much in the uniforms laid on the table by the runway trends and mall cults, but rather in personalizing fashion to a point that they let themselves speak about their own clothing and not the other way around. Basically, fashion interpreters, not fashion victims. Why did you start blogging?

I was reading different fashion blogs for quite a long time and then my boyfriend told me that I should start my own blog too. I thought, why not? Another reason is that the Russian fashion blogosphere is not developed at all so I decided to show through my blog what is considered stylish and trendy in my country. It is also a great way for me to find people with similar interests because fashion is really a passion for me.

Who do you hope to reach?

I want to find people that also love fashion because only a few of my friends are interested in it and I need to share my thoughts with somebody! In the future I want to become a fashion designer so maybe my blog will help me to understand what people like.

What’s your favorite part about blogging?

I’m having fun writing my blog , taking pictures for it, and so on. The best part about blogging is that I can get feedback on what I’m doing immediately. Nice comments always cheer me up and make my day. My blog is my style diary so when I look through it I can see what I like and dislike in my outfits and what I want to change to make my style more perfect.

What’s your favorite part about blogging?

I am going to tell you about a beautiful thing that happened a while ago : I was just checking out this girl’s blog when I got an email notification that she posted a comment on one of my posts...It seems really amazing, two people who do not know each other, from totally different parts of the world, thinking of each other at the same time! This is what I like the most about blogging--the opportunity to communicate with people you would never meet otherwise.

OPHELIA FORD DUBLIN Where are you from? I live, study and work in Dublin, Ireland. I am half Arabic, half Irish; my Mom is from Ireland and my Dad is from Libya. I was born in Sao Paolo, Brazil... So I’m a bit of a mixing pot! But I have spent most of my life in Dublin. Style here is currently evolving and flourishing. We have nothing on the eclectic Londoners, classically chic Parisians, or sleek New Yorkers... just yet! Dubliners love to try new styles and trends and take a very bohemian attitude to dressing; anything goes, as long as you wear it with a smile and a good sense of humour.

Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging in December 2007, which makes Ophelia Ford Dublin approximately one and a half years old. Many people ask ‘Why Ophelia Ford?’ to which I don’t really have a valid response. I used to always dream of creating my own fashion empire and conjuring up glamorous names for the line was a fun part of the game. I took the name Ophelia from my favorite painting by Sir John Everett Millais and just thought Ford added a nice ring to it. I can’t really remember what inspired me to start my own blog. I guess I just wanted a creative outlet for the fantastic illusions and enthralling fantasies that I daydreamed about fashion on a daily basis. I was studying for a diploma in Journalism at the time and I thought that blogging about something I love a little bit everyday would help improve my writing.

Who do you hope to reach?

I write about a vast multitude of topics of interest within the fashion world and I hope my blog caters to more than one niche. Ophelia Ford Dublin is basically a running commentary on anything and everything super hot and über cool that catches my eye. Whenever I see something inspiring or covetable, I love to post about it. My style and preferences are so erratic that these sources of inspiration vary a lot!

Zohra, Dublin

What’s your favorite about blogging?


I love the way my blog is basically a digital scrapbook of things that have really stood out to me in fashion over the past year or so. It is alsoreally nice to make new contacts through blogging and become acquainted with people who share your interests. Blogging has become such a powerful form of media and this is really interesting to me, because marketing and communications are two of my favorite subjects; I’m currently studying for a degree in Business & Management and undertaking an internship in the Marketing & PR department of Brown Thomas, a sister company to Selfridges and Holt Renfrew, here in Dublin.


If you’d like to be considered for “Blogs to Watch”, complete the online submission form at!



Nini Nguyen

LIFE: of Nini’s Style




treats us to a day of fabulous shopping, lunching with clients, and interior decorating. I work as a fashion consultant at Barneys New York in Dallas, TX. I have been doing this for the last 6 years. All my life I have been in sales. I love people and I love what I do and that’s why I’m still in this field. My dream is to move to NYC or LA to be a stylist but I don’t think it will come true because my family is so important to me--I can’t leave them here in Dallas!


I wake up and start to get ready. Sometimes I eat breakfast at home, sometimes I don’t. My hours can fluctuate between 10am and 12pm but I love to sleep in so I never have time to check my email in the morning! Every morning when I wake up I always wish for a fresh day, fresh start and a lot of positive energy to begin my day.


I pick out my clothes according to my mood every morning. I like to choose a piece of clothing or an accessory and then build my outfit around my favorite piece of the day. Today I choose a Rick Owens dress, Givenchy zip-up booties, Rodarte-inspired spider web tights made by Sam Spears, and rings from Forever21. For fall style I’m all about simplicity with a twist of whimsicality. Right now I’m really liking the novelty cigarette pant with a simple tee, some spacey shoes, and the hair in the pony tail with super straight bangs.


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10:45am Off to work! I head to the store and greet my co-workers and walk-in customers. I check my email and call a few clients to set up appointments.



Client Appointments. An appointment consists of finding out what the client is trying to achieve, so I ask them what events they are attending and what shoes and accessories they would like to wear. If they need an entire outfit, I put together two or three outfits for them to try.

1:30pm I meet up with a client for lunch. We talk about what pieces she will need to have for the next season, chat about her family--everything about the customer, of course! My favorite restaurant to meet at is The Zodiac inside Neiman Marcus.


More client appointments. For one of my favorite clients, I select a Lanvin deep v-neck top in gray. I picked something with a low cut neckline in soft jersey because she’s short with a large chest for her body, and the jersey laid really well on her frame.

6:00pm I get off work and head home to cook and eat dinner. Tonight it’s shrimp grilled with onions, lime and cilantro. I mostly cook at home--I rarely go out to eat.

7:30pm I love anything related to fashion, art, photography, and crafts, and lately I have been getting really into interior decoration. I make a few adjustments to my latest project, my boyfriend Loc’s living room and fireplace setting. It looks great!

9:00pm I head to my computer to look at other blogs, check my personal email, and reply to the comments on www.ninistyle. net.

10:30pm I sit down to relax and read one of my favorite books. I really like Customers for Life and How to Become a Rain Maker. I believe that life is short and that we must live today to the fullest because you never know what’s going to happen tomorrow. Every day is a great day for me. Although some days are more difficult than others, I’m thankful for what I have and I am not one to complain.

8:15pm I love fashion in general and Loc, even though he’s geeky, is really into art and fashion as well. We talk about new ideas and locations for the next photo shoot. We love outdoor shoots and the hour or so between 7-8:00PM with the sunset coming down is a beautiful time to take pictures. The last photo shoot we did is the one where I wore the Givenchy wide leg pants at the park by his house with silver swings.


and see what she’s been up to lately at



HOT Mallory, Ecopaper Notebook, The Green Office

The Green Office stocks just about any office supply you could possibly need. I love the tree-free notebooks and papers from Ecopaper. The paper is made in Costa Rica from a mix of post-consumer waste and agricultural waste fibers from banana plantations there.


Messenger bag, MoopShop Moop is my go-to line of handmade, durable messenger bags, totes, carryalls and purses for any occasion. Their simple, classic designs transcend time, they’re roomy enough to lug around just about anything.


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Shaunya, Shop, Eat & Sleep La Fume frames,

I was glam even in a Science and Math school so I love these vintage cats eye frames.

-----------------Anna Sui for Target dress, I have been out of school since let’s not go there but now my bulky September fashion mags let me know I need to get new things for fall. I am totally anticipating Anna Sui’s Gossip Girl inspired collection for Target.

Michelle, Decline Designs Tano Bag, MustHaveBag

Store all of your (or your students’!) homework and look great at the same time with this Tano bag. Its roominess notwithstanding, the great purple shade gives the perfect pop of color to any outfit.

----------------Fluevog shoes,

When I hear the phrase “Hot for Teacher”, the very first thing I think of is a 50’s pin-up image. The Fluevog Sumatras, with their classic two tone detailing, channel that aesthetic to a tee.

Because everyone needs to revisit school once in a while! Edited by Ashe Mischief of Dramatis Personae

Sandra, Debutante Clothing Bracelet, Betsey Johnson

Just like fashion, school days come full circle because today, I am a teacher. When my finicky teen students compliment my outfits, I know I’ve still got it because despite what your parents told you, school IS a fashion show!

----------------Playsuit, Stop Staring

My Senior year of high school, I discovered Rockabilly! I had always loved old movies and music. I was enamored with the beautiful women of the golden era of film. I never knew there was a whole world of people who lived this vintage lifestyle. I was hooked!

Laetitia, Mademoiselle Robot Denim jacket, American Eagle Erica, Fab Unfunded Rebel Yell hoodie, Karmaloop

When I think of school, I think of sitting in class all day wrapped up in a comfy hoody. Hoodies were a staple for me when I was in school and this one has a bit of an edgy fashionista flair to it. Love it!


I was in high school in the early 90’s, so it is strange for me to pick items that remind me of my school days as everything in the shops at the moment does--like this denim jacket.

----------------Skirt, Miss Selfridge

From body con jersey skirts to plimsolls, I have worn it all before! Hell, even 90210 is back!”

Hello Kitty backpack, Sanrio You know you made sure you found the sickest backpack when you were school shopping. I’m loving this Hello Kitty one. Girly and punk all in one!



Image: John Muggenborg




Image: Jennine Tamm

Jewelry designer Wendy Brandes is known for her historically inspired, feminine pieces and slightly twisted humor. By Kathleen Flood of Natural Disaster


f jewelry designer Wendy Brandes were a piece of jewelry she would be a locket. “Preferably one with insanely intricate carvings – that would open in multiple ways. In real life, I don’t see two sides to a story – I see about 10 sides. The locket would represent my complicated worldview.” Hailing from “The capital of the world,” or New York City to us laypeople, Wendy started a joint business in 2001 with the woman who made Wendy’s own engagement and wedding ring – Wendy’s first “real” designs. Since her business partner’s death in 2006, she’s raised the business by herself. “I started designing my own pieces because I wanted jewelry that was bold but not bling-y. I envisioned a kind of casual luxury that’s not necessarily obvious until you try on the pieces and see the intricacy of the design and feel their weight.

Wendy in her Christian Francis Roth graffiti dress.

Wendy took a graduate diamonds program at the Gemological Institute of America, but mostly she creates on instinct, drawing on her love of fashion, dogs, books and history, especially naughty royal ladies. “One of my favorites is Edburga, an Anglo-Saxon queen who used to poison her husband’s enemies till one day – oops! – she poisoned her husband.”


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Wendy started out working mostly with diamonds and 18K yellow gold with a matte finish, “but now I’m craving deep, vivid colors, like the lapis lazuli in my Nefertiti poison ring.” Unless she’s on appointments in the diamond district or out with clients, Wendy’s online business keeps her on the computer all day working on her blog and website. Her online presence has actually led to another business opportunity blogging for clothing designer Christian Francis Roth, whose graffiti dress is currently one of her “favorite children.” Wendy has three main lines in her collection, Vivat Regina, Latin for “Long Live the Queen,” where each piece is named for a royal lady; It Girls, which covers other notable women including friends and family members; and the Eden collection which features pieces inspired by mother nature. Wendy is very open to custom pieces and might even add it to her collection if she likes it enough. “I’m in love with story telling, which makes the pieces intimate and meaningful to the owner. The personal touch is best.”

Image: John Muggenborg

Check out Wendy’s blog at and visit her website at




Designer Lori of Cha Cha creates handcrafted leather handbags and accessories. By Cathy of Self Indulgent Fashion


y creative philosophy is quite simple and selfish: I make things I like. Thats the only way I can make anything good. I have tried making what I think people want and it was a mess.”

I have tried making what I think people want and it was a mess!

Lori, who currently resides in Toronto, Canada, is the brains behind these stunning handbag designs. Her creations began when she was at university. As a poor college student with a handbag addiction, she knew something had to be done. If she couldn’t afford the things she liked, she reasoned she could make them, and so the brand was born. She recycled the material of old Goodwill skirts and jackets and made them new again. Nowadays, her main materials are leather and canvas, which she enjoys working with due to their durability. You can find her working in her studio in the West end of Toronto drawing inspiration in countless ways. “Everything I make is a reflection of place I have been, a colour I saw or a conversation I had.” Lori’s fall line launches this August and will be available at Simple, pretty shapes and textures make up the collection, designs that you can’t help but feel for yourself. She’s also looking out for the environment: her new line will see more organic and recycled fabrics and leathers.

So what does the future hold for Cha Cha? Lori is beginning to see that Cha Cha is a company; it has grown and is no longer just a means for survival and a hobby that gets the bills paid. Her perception of the company has recently changed and over the next few years she sees Cha Cha, “offering high quality, thoughtful pieces that will never go out of style. Cha Cha will continue to be sold and loved all over the world.” Her designs deserve to be out there, to be admired by the world, and hopefully Lori’s dream of having her bags sold in Holt Renfrew, one of Canada’s only luxury department stores, will be fulfilled. Lori’s handbag designs are wonderful, but she also says she would love to branch out.

Cha Cha handbags from Lori’s spring collection.

“I have a bunch of different projects in mind but I haven’t figured out a way to connect them yet. I do plan on offering a few leather jewelry pieces in the next line. I would love to make little light weight leather jackets, but making clothes intimidates me. Jackets will happen one day.” Find Lori online at and



’s d r a h c n la B n e r Ka

Don’t hate Karen Blanchard of Where Did U Get That? because she’s beautiful; love her because she’s letting you in on all her style secrets! By Anna Yanofsky of I Want to Wear It


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At first I would pose in the house, then I made it to the front door, then down the street, and now? I’m posing in Times Square!

Karen’s boyfriend happens to be Michael Marrs, an excellent photographer. With camera in hand, the two hit the streets of New York at sunset and document Karen’s chic mix of designer and DIY duds. Posing in front of interesting backgrounds in public places has become second nature to the photogenic stunner, but she admits that her comfort with the camera had to develop over time. “At first I would pose in the house, then I made it to the front door, then down the street, and now? I’m posing in Times Square!”

Growing Up

Karen’s sense of style similarly took some time to develop. Growing up in London she didn’t really have a distinct look, but Karen would follow her Mum through the aisles of the city’s streetmarkets absorbing bargaining techniques and deal hunting skills.


he modelesque 28 year-old is quickly making a strong name for herself in the fashion blogosphere. Her relatively new site, a baby at under a year old, was started as a creative outlet for London-raised Blanchard’s love of style, and is growing by leggy leaps and bounds. The site is Karen’s answer to the first question many ask when the sartorially savvy looker enters a room: “Where did you get that?” And Karen is not being shy or holding back at all! On her site she lets you in on the contents of her wardrobe, and even brings you into the dressing room with her.

Day and Night

In her 9-to-5 life, Ms. Blanchard is an Administrative Assistant for a print company that services the music industry, but when her boyfriend picks her up from work at the end of the day, she does a quick change and becomes one of New York’s most striking street style setters. “I do a lot of shooting on the weekends of what I think I’ll be wearing in the week ahead, but if I have a particularly great outfit on I’ll tell my boyfriend to grab his camera before he picks me up.”

As she grew into herself and started to find her own fashion voice, that shopping strategy of combining a sharp eye and a haggler’s wit stayed with Karen and is still her M.O. “When I shop, the first thrill is finding something gorgeous, but the really fun part is finding something gorgeous for a bargain.” If that natural love of recession shopping tactics doesn’t make Blanchard the perfect style icon of our times, I don’t know what would.

Shop Art

As a bargain hunter, Karen still loves to shop flea markets and thrift stores. With fashion forward icons like fellow Brit Kate Moss, the funky fresh Ms. Erykah Badu, up-and-comer Zoe Kravitz, and even vintage snaps of Yoko Ono as inspiration, Karen searches flea and thrift spots for vintage short skirts (if you had her legs, you’d be hiking it up too!), Pucci patterns, boyfriend blazers, and body con everything. Karen makes equally good use of chain stores like H&M, Forever 21, and Zara, proving that a keen sense of how to wear something erases any chance of it being seen as “that top from that store everyone shops at.”


Also, Karen’s Ebay skills are gold medal worthy. She recently scored a perfect fitting pair of 2001 Stella-era Chloe trousers embellished with bronze horses. ‘Nuff said.

Doing It Herself

If Karen can’t find what she’s looking for in her regular shopping spots, she busts out the elbow grease and gets to work in do-it-yourself style. At the moment Blanchard’s projects consist mostly of a particularly cool mix of basic garments and bags embellished with just the right number of metallic studs. The results are pure, of-the-moment cool. A recent trip to Urban Outfitters seemed to signal that some industry creative types might be on to Karen. There were brass-studded berets, belts, and bags that looked a lot like Blanchard’s handiwork. She doesn’t take credit for the trend, stating smartly that “studs have been around since the days of punk,” but she’s certainly riding the crest of the wave of its revival.

Industry Insider

If industry types haven’t become regulars on Where Did U Get That? yet, there’s a strong chance they will be frequenting it soon. Karen’s been snagged to star as one of four “non-model” models in the new look book for Rachel Rachel Roy, the eponymous diffusion line of the big name designer’s main line.


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When I shop, the first thrill is finding something gorgeous, but the really fun part is finding something gorgeous for a bargain!

Blanchard has also recently been featured as a MySpace Muse on Who What Wear. She says she hasn’t been recognized yet from her blog, but that seems poised to change. Don’t worry; she’ll still spill her insider secrets to you via her site when she hits the big time. She promises.

Visit Karen’s blog at and check her out on Chictopia as KarenB.





Earning Money with Affiliate by Crystal of Ssasy Chic



nless you have a sugar daddy, a trust fund or another full time job, monetizing your blog is a necessity. In addition to selling ads directly and utilizing Google Adsense, affiliate marketing is a viable option for creating a sustainable blog. Here is a guide for how to become an affiliate and implement affiliate marketing effectively while maintaining the integrity of your blog.



Sign-up with Affiliate Networks:

Rotate your ads: Your readers like to

The first step to becoming an affiliate is to sign up with affiliate networks. I suggest signing up with no more than two to start. This will give you a chance to experience how affiliate marketing works without getting overwhelmed in the process. A few affiliate networks to consider are: Commission Junction, Linkshare, ConnectCommerce and Amazon.

Choose companies wisely: Once

you’ve become a member of an affiliate network, begin relationships with specific companies by applying to their programs. Instead of adding every brand name or store you recognize, do a little research. For example, if you add Smashbox and Sephora, compare their commission rates. You might just need to add Sephora if their commission rate beats Smashbox’s.

Find out if your favorite companies offer affiliate relationships: Consider becom-

ing an affiliate for your favorite stores. You know their products better than those at other stores and will be able to provide knowledgeable recommendations. Check the footer of your favorite store’s website and see if they have an affiliate or advertising tab. If not, do a simple Google search for ‘[store name] affiliate program’.


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see new content on your site, right? The same is true for your ads. Don’t leave the same ads up in your sidebar or header for more than a few days. The more dynamic your ads are, the more your readers will click on them.

Use relevant product links: If you

write a fashion blog, advertise fashion. Readers are not likely to click on an ad for something unrelated. This is why Google ads take your content into consideration.

Read email: Once you belong to an af-

filiate network and affiliate programs, you will begin receiving emails. It’s tempting to ignore these since they feel a bit like spam. Take the time to read what the latest deals and offers are. This will allow you to offer your readers up to date information about sales, discounts and promotions. It may also spark a post idea for you!

Continue to produce quality content: This is the most important of the

tips I can offer. I’ve visited many blogs where it’s evident the blogger belongs to a specific advertiser’s affiliate program because all they show are items from that store’s inventory. Don’t let advertising interfere with your creative process. Adding affiliate ads or product links should be an afterthought--not the basis of your post.

Be patient: Monetizing doesn’t happen

overnight. This is especially true if your blog is fairly new and your readership is still growing. It’s important to be patient. Most blogs do not begin making much money at all until year 2 or 3.



Design Your Own Blog Theme by Michelle of Decline Designs


ave you ever spent hours staring wistfully at web design packages that you know you can’t afford? I know the feeling! This is where Artisteer comes in. It’s a program that lets you design templates for your blog or website, and while it doesn’t replace a professional’s talent, it lets you turn your vision into (virtual) reality if you’re willing to put a few hours into it. Of course, it costs money - the Home edition is $49.95. If you decide to purchase Artisteer, you’ll probably want a quick way to figure things out. So here we go!






edition, I get a choice between HTML template and WordPress theme. After that’s clicked, a template will come up so that you can start modifying it.



also choose the template’s foreground and header, and control the styling of your navigation menu, footer, buttons, and sidebar items to your heart’s desire.



You can select the way your header and menu will be situated, the number of columns you want and how they’ll be arranged, and position your sidebar categories (search, archive, blogroll, etc.).




You can select from a number of included themes, or you can make your own. The Fonts area controls the font that makes up the majority of the type (the posts). The post title and header fonts are controlled elsewhere, as are the fonts in the sidebars.


You can choose from a variety of built in backgrounds, or you can use one from a file. You can also change the gradient, glare, and fill color here.


the “Articles” tab the post’s title, footer ,category, tags, comments, fonts used, and whether they have a border or not are all changeable here.

When you’re all done editing, just click “Export” and tell the program where you want the files to go, and you have yourself a WordPress theme to upload!

Don’t forget to save it as an Artisteer file too, because unfortunately you can’t re-open the theme again if you don’t. Artisteer is a wonderful tool for the blogger who knows what he or she wants and isn’t afraid to put some elbow grease into their design. Short of learning CSS or PHP yourself (shudder!), it’s really the next best option!


One Question, Three Bloggers Different perspectives, shared experiences


What was your biggest style splurge?






My biggest style splurge was a pair of caramel lace up heels from Aldo. Things in Denmark are more expensive than at home in the US, but when I saw the heels, I knew I had to have them! The funny thing is that after I brought them home, I realized I had put them before in my inspiration collage earlier this summer. It was fate! I just smile when I see them!

Four months ago, I stumbled upon this beautiful BCBG dress. I tried the dress and it fit perfectly. Even though I might not wear the dress in the near future; pampering myself from time to time is not a big deal. Even my husband was happy that I bought it! Well, guess what? The dress is still sitting my closet. The feeling of having it is enough for me!

I recently bought a horn and gold Michael Kors watch with crystal indexes. I didn’t need a watch and considered it a frivolous desire to want such an expensive item. I rationalized the purchase by waiting to buy it until June, when I could call it a reward for surviving my first year as a school nurse. It’s utterly perfect and it makes me feel so chic--even when I’m surrounded by bloody noses!


Funny/interesting/thoughtful comments from the blogosphere

“You may have a shopping addiction, but at least you don’t get ripped off!” Gisela’s Addiction to Shopping Continues, Heights of Fashion

“I’m not sure I could still look so stylish in all that mud!” All Points West, cocorosa “Just when I thought I was over buying new tights & patterned leggings, up pops these…”Resistance is Beautiful, The Coveted

Style Sample Magazine Issue 3  

The August/September issue of Style Sample Magazine, a magazine about fashion bloggers!

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