Daniela Ramirez is the author of NanysKlozet.
Q. What are the most positive and/or negative things about being a Latina blogger? The most positive things are: the sense of community. I've heard stories in the Anglo-Saxon community and they are way more competitive and catty. I love how Latina bloggers support each other . . . and most importantly we have become close friends and I get very excited when I see them succeeding. I also think we have the advantage of talking to an important "minority" in the U.S. I'm putting it in quotation because by now, we should not be considered a minority. In my case, as a Latina fashion and beauty blogger, Latinas outspend Americans when it comes to beauty. We, Latina bloggers, talk to an important niche with a great spending power . . . and brands are noticing that.The negative could be that some international brands are taking longer than they should to notice the purchasing power of Latinos and the influence of Latina bloggers. The blogging world is still considered a white world — and I think this happens even more in the fashion world. There was a time I had a terrible experience at a fashion show (a show I was very grateful to be at); I saw many American fashion bloggers sitting at front row while I was standing in the back (which, at my 5'2" height, I couldn't see anything). I asked the PR girl that invited me if she could get me any closer because I wanted to get good content for the blog . . . and she just said, "Unfortunately, no seats for Latina bloggers." I felt defeated and definitely discriminated against.
Q. Where do you personally find inspiration related to the topic/topics that you blog about? How has that changed/evolved over the last year?
I find inspiration everywhere. I follow a lot of blogs — especially blogs that are not 100% my style, that way I can get inspired by them and adapt it to me. I love browsing through magazines, fashion websites . . . sometimes I get inspired by old movies, celebrities, etc., and, of course, Instagram. In the past year I've found myself finding more fashion inspiration on social networks than visiting fashion websites.
Q. How did you first become interested in becoming a blogger? What was it that made you choose the topic areas that you chose?
I started blogging during my last year of college. I was about to graduate from business administration, and I would spend my summers in Venezuela with my family. In Venezuela, the summer break is between July and September, which meant that there was a month that all my friends were in class, and I was at home . . . bored, very bored. At the time, I was applying to different internships (senior year requirement) and I got a call for an interview at Telemundo (the second-largest Hispanic TV network in the U.S.). My first reaction was to Google: what to wear to an interview? At that very moment, I found thousands of fashion blogs in English . . . and none in Spanish (this was June 2009). The only content that was available to Latinas was from websites owned by magazines . . . and they were not relatable at all. Instantly I thought, why don't I open a blog? And that's how my first blog was born (it was called Fab Chic and Fit and hosted on onsugar.com). I would spend hours and hours reading about body types, trends, what to wear, etc. etc. I wanted my content to be relatable . . . it wasn't about a stylist or expert telling you what to wear, it was a regular girl (with a college budget) going to school . . . and just very passionate about fashion.
Q. How would you describe your voice when it comes to blogging/vlogging? What are the elements of your "brand" that you want readers to resonate with?
Years later I went back to school for fashion merchandising and I did a professional makeup workshop on the side because I wanted to have something to back up what I was writing. I didn't do it for my readers (because I still want to be relatable . . . I want to always be seen as a regular girl), I did it for myself and because I always saw my blog as a step to get closer into the fashion industry. I've always told my readers to have fun with fashion, that having fun with clothes is a way to express who you are and who you want to be. However, fashion does not define who you are . . . it's not only looking AMAZING in a dress, it's what you are doing in that amazing dress. I want to inspire my audience to follow their dreams, to forget about what people say, and ALWAYS work hard for them.
Q. How has your blog evolved over time? How has the emergence of various new forms of social media and other communication platforms changed the content you create or how you connect with your audience?
I started blogging in 2009 — even Twitter was just starting and I can say I have definitely felt the evolution of social media. My blog still is like my headquarters . . . I use all forms of social media to encourage people to go to the blog and see the whole thing. However, people used to visit (and read) more blogs at the beginning of my blog — my page views have definitely been affected in a negative way since the form of social media. But on the other hand, I love how social media has allowed me to expand my community and it has also helped me to connect in different ways with my audience. I love that just by using #myklozet (a hashtag I use to encourage my audience to share their outfits with me), I can see what my audience is wearing; I can comment and like what they are doing. Also it is very easy to interact with my readers via social media . . . now it feels more of a two-way communication than a "here is my blog, leave a comment." Instant social networks have truly changed the game . . . now with Snapchat, Periscope, and all live social, people really get to see YOU . . . unedited, raw, relatable.
Q. How do you maintain an authentic relationship with your audience when you work with brand partners?
For me to maintain an authentic relationship with my audience I only partner with brands I truly believe in (and that I would have bought myself). I would never collaborate with brands that do not align with who I am. If your style is very preppy and you are reached out to by a super edgy company, of course you are going to find at least a simple tank that you like . . . but would you have bought it yourself? Would you even go to that store? I think staying true to yourself and your brand is the most important thing.There was one time I was supposed to do a review with a skincare company and the product made my skin very sensitive and red . . . so even if there was a contract and money involved, the product did not work for me. Maybe it was an amazing product, but I couldn't recommend it. I also believe in letting my followers know when a blog post is sponsored — even when I make sure that the post is 100% me. I follow many followers that do not disclose sponsored post or videos, and it drives me crazy as a consumer.