As the only lifestyle blogger at the Claremont Colleges to date, Jenny Heyside, a Senior at Pitzer College, also known as The Blondera (because she's blonde, and she wanders) is certainly bringing her A-game. Ranging from fashion and beauty, to art and travel, The Blondera encourages her readers "who chose to run wild and free" to embrace and feed their 'inner adventure'. In addition to her blog, she has a Youtube Channel, where she posts monthly fashion favorites, thrift shop hauls, and entertaining weekly vlogs.
Because we were so obsessed with the idea behind her blog and everything she's about, we interviewed The Blondera herself about her experience as a blogger.
Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChrwq_RnD9iKDHQ4xjSvL4A
MISFIT: How/When did you become interested in fashion?
JH: I honestly can't remember a time when it was not a part of my life. I think it probably stems from the fact that from the day my parents shipped me off to school (at 2 and 3/4!), I had to wear a school uniform. (High school was an annoyingly strict dress code.) Every few months we would have a Friday when in exchange for a charity donation we could wear our own clothes to school. These days were vigorously exciting - days when we could all see who our fellow classmates were outside of the classroom. People always shocked me when they arrived in outfits I never could have predicted and even back then it led me to wonder who they were in different contexts. Over the years, I have come to realize that fashion is one of the main ways that I interact with the world around me, and from there attempt to figure out my place in it.
Plus, it's really really fun.
MISFIT: How did you come up with the idea for The Blondera?
JH: Last week was actually my 8-year anniversary of creating my first blog (shout out to Facebook for reminding me), so the process that has ultimately ended up leading to the creation of The Blondera has been a long, soul-searching one! Basically throughout the first few years of high-school I had a purely fashion blog called Sidewalks Are Runways, which was my pride and joy. (Miley Cyrus once reached out to me about it and I thought I could die a happy blogger!) Then the summer after my junior year of high school I began seriously traveling internationally by myself and (wrongly) convinced myself that fashion was too futile a pursuit to warrant that much of my attention. So, I started a purely travel blog called Jenny's Yatra (it means 'journey' in Sanskirt) which documented my travels throughout senior year and my gap year.
Throughout the first couple of years of college I dabbled around with posts, nothing too serious, but blogging never truly left my mind. So, finally last summer I decided that 7 years of being interested in something makes it a little more than a hobby and that I should probably actually pay attention to this longing. But, I needed something broader than just fashion and just travel. Voilà...The Blondera!
With The Blondera I really want to create a well-rounded lifestyle destination for women all over the world. I say that it is a place "for the wonderers and the wanderers". An online destination where we can embrace our weirdness and feel comfortable in the fact that appreciating fashion and art and food and travel doesn't make us any less intelligent. One day it is a book review, the next a new favourite restaurant from any far-flung corner of the world, the next a ramble on road-trips. It is mostly travel and fashion, but I just started a beauty section, I have the book club, "off-the-beaten-path" destinations, a lot of LA wanderings. I really strive for each post to either inspire, inform, or entertain (or if it is really good all three), but mostly that the site as a whole serves as a daily reminder that you can mold and create your world into whatever you want it to be.
My recent foray into vlogging is a little less...highbrow.
Also, I should point out that The Blondera is pronounced with an English accent — The Blon-der-a (as in because I am blonde and I wander).
MISFIT: What do you like most about blogging?
JH: Personally - I have my own space where I can write and question and indulge in anything that tickles my fancy. I am supposed to over-analyze and over-research and that feels good. There is no time I feel more "me" than when I click publish.
As my business - I thrive on the fact that I have to do everything. I love it. Writing is my favourite part, but also marketing, content curation, content planning, photography, editing photos, filming video, editing video, exploring, shopping, styling, research, networking, accounting. I am never ever bored because there is always an element of the business that I need to learn more about and improve on. For me, the balance between the creative side and the business side is so perfect that I can't imagine doing anything else.
MISFIT: Who are some of your favorite bloggers?
JH: Man Repeller for fashion essays, Legal Nomads for travel essays. Gal Meets Glam for her beautiful photos, Sea of Shoes for her ability to wear vintage, Pandora Sykes because she is my dream girl, Sonya Esman for her vlogs. Honestly though, one of my problems with blogs now is that they don't write enough. So I still mostly read magazines and newspapers. I dream of filling that niche.
MISFIT: Any advice for people wanting to start a blog?
JH: Just start. And learn some HTML.
Article by Maddie Wilson