I’v been following Ashlee Coburn, commonly known as Oh So Femme, for as long as I can remember. I remember sending her messages years ago asking for advice on starting up a blog – it’s safe to say she gave great advice!
The Northern Ireland based influencer has drummed up over 17,000 followers on Instagram alone, and shares her honest fashion and make-up tips with them all. You can follow her on Instagram here.
Tell me about your blog? When and why did you set it up?
I would call myself an influencer rather than a blogger now as I have changed my style with online social media presence. I used a wide range of social media platforms over the years but now have found my niche and condensed it down to utilising Instagram as my main social media outlet – it works best for me.
I initially never meant it to be a ‘blog’ I used it as a creative outlet to showcase my personal style as I was too afraid to wear ‘my own style’ in public and after coming out of university with my fashion design degree I couldn’t get a job in fashion design like I had hoped, I thought it would have been a lot easier but they wanted experience you didn’t have and wanted to see an online presence of your style aka a blog that I didn’t have – this was due to everything moving to an online base.
So blogging started for me as not only a hobby but a way of hoping to secure a fashion design job later down the years but I didn’t expect things to move on the way they have now its crazy!
What do you love about blogging?
I love that it has helped make me a stronger person and more confident with my style that I now feel comfortable to wear what I want in public whereas I didn’t have that confidence before, I love that I have met a lot of supportive people through it and made friendships with so many different personalities and that it has given me the chance to travel and collaborate and work with brands I had never imagined I would be working with today.
It has by no means been an easy journey though, in the last 4 years it has been a great learning curve but so rewarding. All the hard work and motivation I have put into it has paid off.
Some people get lucky but for me its been tough and a long road to get where I am today which makes me so much more thankful for everything I have earned over the years and I feel it makes me a more understanding and supportive person to those starting out because it can be a difficult road.
I can relate, I was once where those only starting out are now.
What do you think of the blogging industry in Ireland at the minute?
I think it has came on leaps and bounds but I think its all happening in Dublin in regards to PR at the moment and the rest of Ireland is at a learning curve, I think especially up north where its still trying to understand what blogging is and how social media can affect sales. Some companies nail it and others like anyone that is new to anything are practising and learning of the benefits.
In regards to bloggers I believe that this year has been quite a controversial one with bloggers. Pages calling out bloggers for advertising things with false opinions etc. For me blogging was first created to give the people a real opinion of a product to call out advertisements for being misleading and I believe that should still exist today. I think if you really want to take on the role of an ‘influencer/blogger’ you need to be true to yourself and work with brands that fit in with your style or your opinion, its hard to keep a lie going and eventually people catch you out or stop believing in you which in the end doesn’t work out for you or the brand.
Everyone is unique and individual so its about finding and working with brands that work with you best – PR companies need to be mindful of this too – its not about the following its about the engagement and the truth. This is why I love working with Bellamianta, I had been using, tagging and in love with their brand for well over a year before I was asked to be brand ambassador.
How you are and bump keeping?
Keeping extremely well, I have thankfully had the best pregnancy to date, although had a couple of emotional days and a couple of scary days where you panic because you don’t feel your kicks, its such an exciting time but if you are an over thinker like me a tad scary too at time lol. I loveee how pregnancy has changed me as a person for the better and given me a more positive mindset, this year has been the most positive for me, I don’t worry over silly things anymore, I just make sure I keep myself in a positive situation at all times, if there is anything I deem to be negative I remove myself from it because all I want is the best for my baby ….and now I sit back and think why did it take me until I was pregnant to do this???
Has it been difficult to transition to maternity wear?
OMG yes, I mean everyone thinks its been easy but I cried my eyes out a couple of days when I couldn’t wear what I usually wore, high waisted jeans and crop tops went out the window when the belly popped out and I cried. I wasn’t a dress girl, I hated dresses and learning and understand to dress me and bump was hard at the start, your body shape changes that quickly and that drastically- what you had learnt suited you over the years all of a sudden no longer suits you.
Its training your mind to accept that your style has to now change and being able to understand your new shape and what to wear to still be you but just adjusting your style slightly to suit your new shape. Honestly its tough but I think my fashion design degree helps as Ive an eye for detail and now I love dresses -which I never anticipated
What’s your top tips on staying super on-trend while pregnant?
Wear everything high waisted – high waisted pencil skirts etc and throw a belt on above your bump even on a dress to show bump off, when I started getting a bump I wanted everyone to know “I’M PREGNANT” instead of people wondering did I gain a few extra pounds.
Tight fitted clothes are so nice to show off bump.
If you lose your style slightly and are afraid of wearing boring clothes then just wear more prints – I find wearing prints has brought life back into my style when I can’t style things the way I originally wanted.
Where do you love to shop?
Asos, Zara, Pretty little thing and Topshop (when I have money).
What’s your favourite trends at the minute?
I loveeee the accessories that are coming in for autumn winter 2018/19 all the quirky basket bags atm, beaded bags and the vintage jewellery and buckle belts coming into Zara!!
Love snakeskin print but although very picky on the snakeskin, and everything I always see and want is out of stock.
Cant wait for winter trends the big cosy jumpers and metallic jackets this upcoming season!
Shoes or handbags?
I used to say shoes but as I said autumn/winter 2018/19 is going to kill it in the handbag dept!!
Who are some of your favourite influencers?
I’ve so many from the whole of Ireland I love and there’s too many to mention. I’ve made so many connections on a personal level that I couldn’t even pick a favourite and I wouldn’t want to leave people out so I will only mention the ones I don’t know on a personal level and who I simply love for their Instagram alone:
Fashion and style I am obsessed with:
Hannah Whiting at the moment: https://www.instagram.com/imhannahwhiting/
Lauren Crowe: https://www.instagram.com/laurencrowe88/
Pregnancy and Bump:
Thessy Kouzoukas: https://www.instagram.com/thessy.k/