Andrea Loredo is the NYC streetstyle blogger behind PrettyProperQuaint.com. Her style is a mix of feminine, yet edgy, quintessential NYC look. She has been blogging since 2014 and grown her following on Instagram to 25K followers and worked with many brands from ASICS to Pantene. In addition to blogging, she is also a photographer for other bloggers and provides marketing/content creation advice to others in the industry. She lives in NYC with her adorable corgi Nala (@nala.pig)!
In this interview, she tells out how she got started on Etsy and her career advice for future fashion bloggers.
You are the founder of PrettyProperQuaint.com. What inspired you to start your blog, and why did you choose to focus not only on fashion and style, but also on fitness and health?
In 2014, when I was studying for the CPA exams, I decided to open a vintage clothing shop on Etsy (PrettyProperQuaint) with all my grandmother’s vintage clothes and named the shop after what I would describe her: Pretty, Proper, and Quaint. I then started my blog (and associated Instagram) to serve as a lookbook for how to style the vintage pieces and to drive traffic back to my shop. I noticed that the pictures I took of my friends wearing the vintage pieces were getting better engagement than the images I posted of just the pieces. I started to incorporate more of myself and what I was wearing, not just me in the vintage pieces. From there it grew to what was really important to me. After I went through a very stressful time in 2015, I realized how important health was and how fitness helped me feel better on many levels (physically and emotionally). I love sharing how to integrate health and fitness into my daily life as inspiration for my friends and followers!
Did you have any professional help, or did you create the blog yourself?
I created my blog myself and did so mostly by referencing other online blogs on how to start one. I used a template I found on WordPress.org and taught myself some HTML code. I’ve also been a little familiar having old online writing and photo platforms (hello LIVEJOURNAL, XANGA, TUMBLR). As far as my content, I myself am a photographer so I have the equipment to take professional photos and then use the help of my friends to take the photos of me. I will then edit the photos myself and write the posts.
What is the biggest tip you have for young people wanting to start a fashion blog or website?
The fashion blog world is very saturated at the moment, so the best thing you can do is differentiate yourself. Find YOUR brand and be consistent. Define what consistency means to you and just continue that. It may mean that you publish a certain blog post (or Instagram image) every Monday or Friday. Make sure all your social accounts really showcase the brand you created and that people know what to expect from your blog/website from this.
Finally, engage! Engage and support your fellow bloggers on Instagram and on their blogs. Also engage with your audience! Ask your audience a question, answer their questions/comments. Instagram is constantly changing what determines your posts to get seen, not just in your follower’s feeds, but also on hashtags. A big driver for getting your posts seen more is the engagement on your posts, and how quickly your posts get the engagement.
You have worked with brands like ASICS, Saks Off Fifth, Pantene, Rimmel London, Toyota, Rebecca Minkoff, Pandora Jewelry, Puma, and Kendall & Kylie Eyewear, amongst others. How did you start your collaboration with these brands and what advice you would give to aspiring young fashion and fitness bloggers to start a collaboration with them?
Most of these brands had reached out to me. The goal is to get noticed by the brands (or PR companies that represent these brands) and you do that by tagging them on Instagram whenever you wear them (or wearing similar brands). I always make a priority to tag the brands on Instagram (in the photo or in the caption), and by using their hashtags. If you’re unsure of what the brand’s hashtags are, check their website, their Instagram bio, or the photos that they post themselves.
If I am interested in working with a particular brand, I will at times reach out myself. I will typically already have an idea for a blog post in mind and then find any and all email addresses for the brand (typically on their website). I will send then send them an email pitching the blog post idea and how I plan to incorporate the brand in that post. The brand typically wants to know your audience and/or traffic, in addition to how many links (and tags) they will get. If I am unsuccessful at connecting with the brand via email (or the right people at the brand), I will just send them a DM (this has actually worked a few times!).
To have engagement on Instagram is very important nowadays, and you have almost 25k followers. If you had to provide 3 essential tips for future journalists, marketers and bloggers to grow their Instagram following, what would they be? Once you have got the followers, how do you keep them?
1. Brand management & consistency
Make sure your Instagram properly portrays the brand you want to have. You should always have your brand in mind when posting content (this includes images on your feed and videos on Instagram stories). It should be very apparent of what someone can expect to see when they follow your Instagram and you need to stay consistent with what you post, staying inline with your brand. Post at least a certain amount of times a week. I make sure to post at least once a day, every day.
2. Stay relevant & try new things
Instagram is constantly changing, what the people want is constantly changing. Even when you think you have a strategy down, don’t stop learning and growing. Always look at what others are doing and what the platform is offering. Be ahead of the game by using and mastering the new features offered by the platform. Don’t be afraid to post a new type of photo (or by the reaction it might get at first). You can’t grow and stay relevant without trying new ideas. Plus, the more you keep trying, the better you will become.
3. Support & engagement
Supporting fellow journalists/marketers/bloggers is extremely important. This includes on Instagram (liking/commenting posts) and bringing the support to “In Real Life”. Collaboration is so key because you can share great tips and share audiences when posting about each other on your own respective Instagrams/blogs. Ask questions when commenting on other people’s posts and respond to comments/questions you receive. Also, the more you engage (like/commenting/following others), the more opportunities there are for your Instagram profile to be seen by others!