Daniela Ortega Aepli
“Turn your passions and dreams into a reality.”
Five years ago Carmen Ordonez had just obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from FIU, when she started her career in journalism in a local Miami TV station as a reporter and producer. However, because of life circumstances at that moment, she had to make the decision to switch to a job that offered more security even though it was not in the field she loved. In 2008, Carmen had taken this full time job and it was then when she decided to start a fashion blog as a hobby. Four years later her blog (stated at the bottom of the interview) receives hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world every day. She’s a fashion columnist for Vista Magazine, has become a spokesperson for brands like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Microsoft and David’s Bridal, appears regularly in national TV shows… In addition, did I mention she is also happily married?
So how does she do it all?
D.O What inspired you to start a fashion blog as a hobby when you already had a full-time job and household to run?
C.O I had just left my job working in journalism; this was around the time where the industry and the economy were going through many changes. I had recently gotten married and buying a house so I ended up switching to a much higher-paying job that was not in the journalism field. Then a friend of mine gave me the idea that I should start a blog. So I did, and I loved it because it became a way for me to continue pursuing my passion (journalism) combined with my love for fashion on a budget.
D.O When did Viva Fashion transition from being just a hobby to a promising
career and business opportunity?
C.O I started seeing that other bloggers that I would follow were already doing this full-time, so I thought one day that could be me! Therefore, after almost two years of blogging I started getting contacted by advertisers and companies interested in my blog and started working on national campaigns and partnerships with brands. That was the point were I realized the potential Viva Fashion had.
D.O Currently your blog has allowed you to earn as much as you would in a full time job. So exactly what happened after that point?
C.O I decided to reach out to brands that would be a really great fit with my blog, since I write about fashion on a budget I decided to reach out to TJ Maxx and Marshalls. They were actually looking for a fashion expert in Miami to do segments and stuff like that and that’s how our relationship got started. I have been working with them ever since doing TV segments in Spanish and English for shows like Despierta America in Univison. Thanks to that it eventually opened other doors such as becoming the 2012 National Hispanic Spokesperson for David’s Bridal, to working with other leading brands such as Microsoft and JC Penney.
D.O Wow! That’s definitely playing in the big leagues… What has been your favorite moment so far?
C.O I would definitely say the feedback I get from my readers and being able to inspire other women. For instance, a girl once told me “Thank you so much for the fashion tips, you have really shown me how to dress a regular girl on a regular budget.” But of course, two of the coolest moments happened this year. The first one was when I was chosen as one of seventy bloggers who were invited to the White House to participate in a briefing on the issues affecting the Hispanic community. Then I was invited to Barcelona as part of a national campaign with JC Penney. We did this photo shoot with ten bloggers, it was awesome, a lot of fun.
D.O You are involved in so many projects… How do you manage to find a balance between your personal life and work? I think that is one of the issues affecting many young professional women today.
C.O I would say learning to prioritize has been one of the most important things.
Sometimes I won’t be able to make it to an event because I rather use that time to be at home with my husband, and that’s OK…! I have come to accept that I can’t
do it all, I am just one person. Sometimes that might include having to turn down a project if I see I am spreading myself too thin. Finding that key balance between life and work is very important to be happy.
D.O There are so many blogs out there, what advice would you give women that want to start a blog?
C.O Choose a topic that you are really passionate about. Blogging is a lot of work so if you are writing about something that you love, it will make it a lot easier especially if you to do it everyday. I would also say to do it for all the right reasons… Unfortunately, blogging success doesn’t come over night, therefore if you are blogging because you are really into the topic it will tell in your writing. Don’t be afraid to pursue your passion, you’ll probably come across many people that won’t believe in you or your ideas. I use those comments as encouragement and motivation to prove them otherwise…
To visit Carmen’s blog click vivafashionblog.com