Interviewed by Sara Elliott + Karly Dwenger of Cincy Chic — To see this Cincy Chic article and more CLICK HERE
1. What inspired you to start your own blog? Where do your topic ideas come from?
I started this blog a year after I graduated college when I moved back to the States as a way to funnel my creative energy. To me art is life. As a writer, art dealer, and art appraiser, I see art everywhere. The topics I write about really stem from the art I see and experiences in my everyday life. I grew up in the Clifton Gaslight District, close to Mt. Storm Park, and then moved to Wyoming, left for college, lived abroad, and now live downtown. Some of my first food memories are of Ambar and Mei. My palate was sparked with spices at a very young age thankfully, so when living in France and Italy and traveling beyond while finishing up college, I had the ability to not fear trying anything. Writing about food during my travels near and far seemed second nature to me. Now living downtown for five years, I continue to write about amazing eats, watching this local culinary evolution grow and continue to grow. I want to express to my readers that art is edible – that the artists in our city not only carry paintbrushes, but also knives. The culinary arts are very much alive in this city.
When writing about art, I feature a lot of artists on the blog from Malton Gallery and beyond, locally and internationally. I post all mediums on my blog and also write about guest artists, including graffiti artists coming to the city. The Cincinnati Art Museum to me is a sanctuary, but I also want to remind my millenials and younger that you can make your home a museum as well by investing in art. The preservation and continuum of being a patron to the arts is something I want our generation to be aware of and involved in. So, what better place to start the awareness than by writing about it. When it comes to fashion, the love affair started with a dress from France that I would not stop wearing at the age of 5 that my mother bought for me when she was traveling to France and Switzerland. I feature a lot of local boutiques on my blog. I also feature fashion, jewelry, and makeup brands that speak to me, as I find a lot of inspiration from fashion in the movies that I watch and was at one time was a film major before diving head first into art history. The wonderful thing about fashion is you can jump from decade to decade, choosing what outfit suits what mood. Why wouldn’t you want to be in a killer outfit considering your life is the greatest feature film, so dress like the lead. Another section of the blog is surrounded by our Home, covering more from our everyday life with my husband (Justin Bostelman), our holidays, home decor wins and woes in creating our downtown oasis with our curious West Highland White Terrier, Bella. Travel is also a big part of our life, and is also a topic I cover on the blog. I love different languages and obviously food, style, and remember one of my first dishes I created besides Indian cuisine being Russian and French. Life is short and finding time to see beyond ones comfort zone is when I feel people really truly start living. Travel has taught me just that, to adventure a bit harder, to breathe a little slower, and open my eyes a little wider.
2. When did you first start VB in the city?
I started documenting my interestes on my tumblr vartfashionfoodiefanatic.tumblr.com where the blog first rooted almost six years ago. With the city growing, so must my blog and with that came about VB in the City. You can still find years of posts on the tumblr which is linked to the official VB in the City blog.
3. What opportunities has your blog given to you?
I am completely grateful that this blog has opened a lot of doors for me and continues to, including the ability to connect with so many wonderful leaders in each industry I touch upon. I have been an ambassador for many fashion houses, met one of my idols Debra Messing when researching for a political piece, and I have also have had the pleasure to be featured by fashion and makeup brands such as Covergirl, Butter London, Ohio Against the World, Libbys OTR, YUNI, Make Me Chic out of the United Kingdom, Milly + Grace out of Nantucket Island, and more. Also because of my blog I have had the opportunity to write for Lucky Magazine, Venue Magazine, and be a Popsugar select fashion blogger as well as an ambassador for the Discoverer. I’m finding the possibilities are endless when you embrace who you are.
4. Can you tell me about the different sections of your blog, or which ones are your favorite to write about?
I cover Art, Food, Fashion, Travel and Home life on the blog. I also post about local business, organizations I hold dear to my heart, future leaders, and a segment called Music Mondays where I feature upcoming artists. Right now, my favorite topic to write about is food. We have a couple restaurants that are within walking distance from our downtown home that have been featured in publications such as Food and Wine, so the ability for me to be so close and witness and revel in this foodie renaissance in our city is a food connoisseur’s dream come true.
5. How often do you update your blog?
I try to update my blog daily. With the city growing, the content is endless. This city is starting to be a city that never sleeps, and I adore it.
6. Where did your interest in fashion/beauty/food come from?
My interests in fashion definitely started with the dress from France at age 5, but really it has evolved with each experience I have had in life, and I have had some wild experiences with my travels and with Cincinnati being my main base. It has molded me into embracing the unknown, the wild, and the untaped. The movies like I said are also a big influence in my love of the arts. Some days I like to be a Veronica Lake, and others Liv Tyler out of Empire Records, or Gwyneth Paltrow in the Royal Tenenbaums. My love of fashion, food, travel and the arts really stems from me listening to operas at age seven, being a part of Playhouse in the Park at age ten, going to the symphony with my semi-pseudo mom, Anne Black, and little brother and sister in my teenage years, tasting the delights in San Francisco, seeing the frescos and fabric in Florence, Italy, me being in the art gallery scene for ten years, but also because I see fine art everywhere. The term fine arts to me is being reinvented. The tattoo shop, Crying Heart Tattoo, located in OTR, is doing just that and has artists that strike magic with a needle. The ability to express oneself is why I enjoy the arts, why I love writing about the arts and or innately ingesting the arts. I feel all art is completely intertwined so for me to just write about fashion wouldn’t necessarily fully express or embody who I am. Now writing about food, art, fashion, travel, love and beyond that is what I thoroughly think expresses who I am. I also like to feature in my blog those in the industry that are paving the way for future leaders, forward thinkers, the non play it safers, especially when it comes to equality and awareness for those that do not have a voice.
7. What is your motto for life?
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”― Oscar Wilde
8. Where do you hope to see your blog in the next few years?
I would love the blog to continue to grow with that of the bustling city life, I want to continue to embrace the topics above, and I am currently working on a cookbook as an extension of the blog and hope to write more after my first cookbook is finished. I would also like to see the blog expand with an online shop.
9. Is there a certain blog post that has been your favorite? Which one and why?
I adore looking back on all of our travel posts, with our lifestyle being fast paced, its nice to look back and embrace the beauty of the world, appreciate it, and slow down a bit.
10. Have you always enjoyed writing or is this a new hobby?
I have always loved writing and really saw it as an outlet, I encourage everyone to keep a journal even if it is just to jot a down a few ideas each night. Life is interesting. Your life is yours, it is beautiful. Make sure to document it.
Interviewed by Karly Dwenger of Cincy Chic — To see this Cincy Chic article and more CLICK HERE
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