Kyla, founder of House Of Hipsters, goes one step beyond the rest with her writing quality so it’s not surprising that she took home the US Best Written Blog Award at the 2018 Amara Interior Blog Awards. Discussing how she felt when she won the award and where she hopes her blog will take her in the future, the IBA Blog sits down with Kyla for a quick interview…
What inspired you to start your blog?
After having my second child, I felt like I had lost myself. I felt stuck in a home and could do nothing but change diapers. There was no creativity in my life. One day during maternity leave, my husband said to me, “You need to find yourself a hobby”. Easier said than done. What was I supposed to do? Play tennis with this thing attached to me (pointing to the baby). I wound up watching a lot of home decor television and stumbled upon Emily Henderson’s Secrets From A Stylist. She was shopping in vintage stores and decorating in a style that just spoke to me. So I decided during nap time to get out my camera and start playing around. I ordered some vases and when they arrived it was like Santa came! I’d move things around and take a new photo. Then I started styling flatlays and uploading them to Instagram. It snowballed from there. I never set out to become a blogger. It just sort of happened.
How did you feel when you won the IBA18 Best Written Blog Award?
I was so bummed I couldn’t make it to the ceremony. By the time I made it as a finalist, flights to London were extraordinary. I asked a few UK friends if they could help me find someone to represent me and record it, even if I didn’t win. Rachel from the Ordinary Lovely volunteered to share clips from the night. We had never spoken before awards night. I’m incredibly thankful for her. That’s one thing about the blogging world — we all help each other out. When it came to awards night, I’d periodically check in on Instagram. With the time difference, I was working and slammed that afternoon. My friend Marianne called asking who won. I laughed and said I was afraid to check. If I didn’t look, I could just remain a finalist. After much prodding I finally opened Instagram.
“Holy sh!t, I won!” I watched the video like 294 more times to make sure I hadn’t imagined it. Nope, it was true. I had been an Amara nominee year after year, but this time, this time I won! It sounds dramatic, but tears and dancing ensued. I hung up the phone and ran downstairs to tell my husband the news…and of course immediately put it on social media.
Do you have any advice for new bloggers?
I’m gearing up to speak at Alt Summit, a blogger conference here in the US. Attendees usually introduce themselves in a Facebook group. If I had a nickel for all the posts that read “I’m getting ready to launch my blog in a month and have been working on my branding”, I’d be rich. I must look like that head tilt thinking emoji guy. Why not just start blogging? Launch that puppy. Why waste time branding? Why wait? There will be no onslaught of traffic. I can’t tell you how many times in the beginning I would check my analytics only to see 3 visits… me on my computer, me on my husband’s computer, and me on my phone. Trust the process and start writing. Figure out what your brand and voice is along the way. I guarantee you’re going to change quite a few things in 6 months anyway. Most importantly, don’t force it. If it happens, great! If not, at least you’re having fun.
What’s your biggest blogging achievement?
After being laid off from my advertising job, I made the decision to work for House Of Hipsters full-time, figuring when else would I be given the opportunity to reinvent myself. Over the course of the last 2 years, I’ve managed to keep my head above water and actually make a living. Writing the blog hasn’t necessarily been a huge money maker, but it has opened doors for me. Winning the Amara Interior Blog Award, becoming a Better Homes & Gardens Style Maker, opening a vintage shop and studio, speaking at the Design Influencers Conference and most recently filming with Pinterest and Bravo TV. I can’t pick just one of those achievements as the biggest and bestest. The last 6 months have been really good to me. I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunities it’s brought into my life.
Where do you hope your blog will take you in the future?
This might be the most difficult question to answer because I have absolutely no idea. If you were to have told me 5 years ago that I’d be where I’m at, I’d never believe you. My hope is the brick and mortar is successful, and I’d love to have my own furniture line. Licensing my brand and creating a physical product is definitely a goal. Fingers crossed!