Behind the Blog: The Fashionable Hostess
September 16, 2015
If you've spent any time browsing the world wide web lately, you've probably come across the lovely Amanda of The Fashionable Hostess. We adore her, and she is quite literally the hostess with the mostess. With her exquisite taste and her belief that no pleasure should be deemed guilty (amen!) she's someone we definitely would like to share a glass of rosé with.

Q: What did you think your dream job was before your dream job found you?

A: I am still searching for it, I think! What I love about Fashionable Hostess is that it opened this creative side in me that I love to share. I feel like the door has just opened and there are still so many directions it can take, from helping plan events, to curating a line of home decor items. I am excited to see where it takes me.

Q: What’s your favorite quote that describes your creative process?

A: "If you can dream it, you can do it" -Walt Disney

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to a blogger just starting out?

A: Give it two years to “make it”. I remember when I read a bio on Cupcakes and Cashmere about how when she looked back at her initial posts she was mortified. I laughed, and then two years later did the same exact thing at my own site. As you begin to blog you are just finding your style and aesthetic, you slowly evolve and make yourself better, whether it’s picture quality or photo details. I spend so much more time planning and perfecting than I used to and it shows. I am sure in another two years I will look back with disgust again, and it’s healthy!

Q: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything?

A: Nothing. I think everything happens for a reason. Some of the biggest mistakes in my life have been the best lessons.

Q: What would you tell someone who’s considering starting a blog?

A:Write about something you are incredibly passionate about. Realize it will be a lot of work. Don't expect free things right away. Only align with brands you truly use and love.

Q: What is the tipping point in your business that made you feel like your blog was going to thrive?

A: When Style Me Pretty named Fashionable Hostess “An amazing blog to follow”

Q: What is the hardest lesson in business you’ve ever learned?

A: I am not sure which was the hardest, but an important one was to be incredibly careful before signing your name to something, like a contract - they can be binding so I am always sure to have my husband and/or a lawyer review a contract before committing.

Q: What’s your best tip for balancing work and personal life?

A: Live in the moment. When you are working, pour your heart and soul into it. Set goals, push yourself, and celebrate successes. When you are with your husband / kids / family, put all the work away and make it all about them. Have weekly date nights where you re-fall in love, and when with your kids, dance like no one’s watching.

Q:Your secret to success?

A: I look to others for inspiration, and never compare myself or get envious. Everyone has a spark, talent, and a time to shine. If you work hard enough, your time will come.

Q: One tip to bloggers hoping to monetize their blogs?

A: Affiliate networks are a great way to see what your readers click and are interested in buying. From there, use those stats and google analytics to reach out to brands you think would do well partnering with on your blog.

Q: The best advice you’ve ever received?

A: Don't do random giveaways to grow your following! I used to get jealous when other bloggers did giveaways on Instagram and would walk away with thousands of new followers. But I realized that by growing my following the natural way, it's a group of people that truly care about my work - a much more loyal bunch!!

Q: What’s a typical work day for you like?

A: Everyday is so different as a blogger which I love. First and foremost it gives me total flexibility as a mom which is incredibly important. Whether it’s school pickups, or a swim lesson, I love that I can be there for little things when it comes to my kids. As for blog work - I spend 3 days a week solely at the computer, writing, working on brand partnerships, and doing social media, while 2 of the other days are spent prepping for photo shoots, meetings, and events. I recently hired an assistant to help with more of the busy work because in an ideal world I would spend more time being inspired, browsing Pinterest, and reading, but there’s always so much todo. I consistently feel like I need another 10 hours in each day.

Q: Any guilty pleasures?

A: Why do pleasures have to be guilty? I love wine, cheese, and chocolate, but feel no guilt whatsoever when enjoying them!

Q: What is your favorite item in your home?

A: We just moved from New York City to our new house in Nashville {check it out with hashtag #TNChateauFH on social media} so everything is fun and new because I literally spent months picking it all out! My favorite pieces for sure were some of the new light fixtures, like my dining fixture by Aerin Lauder and my family room fixture which is by Urban Archaeology - true show stoppers for anyone who comes in the house.

Q: One thing every style savvy homeowner should have?

A: One? How about four? A pretty entry table {it’s the first thing you see when you enter the house!}, a great selection of candles, fresh flowers, and pretty linens in the guest bath!

Q: What color do you think will stand the test of time?

A: White

Q: One small design change that can make a big impact?

A: A great light fixture.

Q: What design trends do you think will stand the test of time?

A: Great coffee table books. I love mine, especially ones from favorite artists or designers.

Q: Number one interior design tip?

A: Minimalism is chic! All because you received 20 gorgeous baccarat vases for your wedding that are stunning does not mean you need to display all of them. When shelves are over-crowded (no matter how gorgeous or expensive), each individual item is lost. Display a few pieces and maybe rotate out each season!

Q: One place everyone must visit in their lifetime?

A: Aspen, Colorado in the summer. Everyone thinks it’s a winter haven but summer is actually where it’s at. Hike, bike, spa, and eat like a king. I have vacationed there every summer since I was young and it is my happy place.

Q: The best job you ever had?

A: My current job. It doesn’t beat having a dream and then being able to live it.

Q: Stranded on a desert island question…what’s the one cocktail you would take with you?

A: While I love making cocktails, hands down I am a Rosé wine kind of girl.

Q: If you could buy yourself a single gift at any cost, what would it be?

A: A new handbag every season for the rest of my life.

Q: One thing you can’t live without?

A: My family.

Q: Some words you live by?

A: "The secret of getting ahead is getting started" -Mark Twain