My job started as a simple hobby, something I would do on my lunch breaks, usually from my car. And eve though following your dreams isn’t always as easy as it seems, this is how I followed mine and wound up here…
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I have been meaning to make my ‘blog comeback’ for a while now and have many drafts saved.. but nothing seems to make it live. I would blame this on a mix of overthinking everything I produce, lack of confidence and a weird shift that I have felt within the blogging world. A few years ago, I would tell people I was a blogger and they would give me a blank expression – usually too polite to ask me “what is that?” but now when I tell people, everyone has an opinion and it can sometimes be pretty negative – which I find difficult. I guess we can thank the media for that! For me though, blogging has been the greatest thing I’ve ever done. It has saved me from bad relationships, working in terrible jobs and so much more than I can even explain to you right now.
I figured that sometimes when people think badly of bloggers, they might not understand how they first started this crazy ‘job’. I assume that you guys have been here from the beginning because I obviously have… but that’s rarely the case. So, whilst drinking my morning coffee I had a brain wave that perhaps I should share the story of how I came to start this blog and how it became my full time job…
I’ve always been interested in the internet. I remember one of my Mum’s friends asked me what WWW stood for and when I found out it meant ‘world wide web’, I was instantly hooked. I used to get a few minutes on the (very expensive) dial up to look at the Pokemon website and it was always a great few minutes. Later on when the internet was way more accessible, I began making websites (some of these can still be found online, but they make me cringe far too much!) and when asked at School what we wanted our careers to be I confidently said “a website designer”, everyone gave me blank stares.
18th March, 2012
After a few years of making websites, I came across some bloggers. I was already kind of doing the whole blogging thing on a private diary website (hello Livejournal crew!) and so blogging came naturally to me. I actually started my blog wayyy before 2012 but this was the official date it became “Tiny Twisst” – shout out if you remember me as this name! I deleted all my old beauty posts (so annoyed at myself for that) and re-branded as a fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog. I had obviously also purchased some disco pants, of course. You can see my first ever fashion post, here.
I was working in a interior shop attic (yes, really) as a Graphic Designer. I spent a lot of time alone in that cold, dusty attic and my blog was the result. Every lunchtime I would spend time redesigning my blog, writing posts or thinking of ideas for outfits – instagram was only just a ‘thing’, which is mad to me now. I used to take a selfie everyday and post it, for a mere 6 likes. I had also just gone through a big break up and it literally gave me something to focus on, which was just what I needed. I guess looking back, I was finding myself and having a blog really helped with that. I felt really happy whenever I was spending time writing, taking photos and uploading content. I never imagined it would become a job for me (as jobs from blogs didn’t even exist then) at the time, it was just the greatest hobby ever.
13th March, 2013
A year later and I started my YouTube channel, which went mental – I gained a load of subscribers very quickly and I really enjoyed making videos. I was still working full time, so I spent my entire weekend taking blog photos and filming videos. I’d spend every evening sat at my little desk in my bedroom writing up posts and editing videos, it was great. I was very single, so I had all the time in the world to work on content, which looking back now.. was really great for the foundations of what I do now!
I also found my ‘style‘, which was girly with a rocky twist and even though now when I see the outfits I have a little giggle.. at the time I was doing really well. I would do a little ‘Picks of the week‘ post too and I loved browsing through websites finding the best new in pieces (still love that to be fair!) Brands had even started sending me free clothes which was amazing – I remember my first ever PR package was from Glamorous and my parents asked me if I should send it back before I got into trouble.. ohhh, man! I absolutely cherished the clothes they sent me (and probably still have some of it somewhere!) and I still get excited by PR samples arriving in the post.
18th March, 2014
A few years on and I had moved to London. My blog took a backseat for a while because not only had I relocated, I also had an even busier full time job than before. Plus I no longer had a garden which made shooting photos really difficult. Whilst I’m so glad I got to know London more, living there wasn’t what I had expected and I was lonely. I later got made redundant from my design job and attended LFW with some other bloggers, some of which were full-time. I had never thought about going full time with my blog and to be honest, didn’t even know if it would be possible but it seemed perfect timing since I didn’t even have a job anymore anyway! When I left my job I decided to put even more effort into my blog and I got my first ever paid campaign and a magazine feature, which was amazing.
This was the same for my YouTube channel too, I made a video about my short hair which now has over 2 million views. I remember logging back on to my account after a few days and seeing how many views it had – I was shocked! This was definitely the reason I kept up with making videos and it gave me the push I needed to start believing I could make a career for myself.
After a break up, I then left London and moved back in with my parents. They have always been so supportive and agreed that I should stop working in London and focus on my blogging.. which I’m forever grateful for. Who knows, without their backing I may not be doing this today.
15th March, 2016
Over the next few years I kept shooting in my garden (I had changed locations though..) and I started working on some freelance projects. I was starting to feel like blogs were heading in a different/more professional direction than shooting in your garden. I had also started dating Chris previously.. who was also a great photographer. Whilst we didn’t discuss work much at the start, as time went on he was really passionate about helping me work on some shoots. He is such a creative person that his opinion was a really great addition to my ideas, which after years of blogging had become a little set in their ways! We started shooting out in different locations, making the photos more pro and slightly editorial and I loved the creative side of it. We shot this one together which is one of my favourites as he proposed a few minutes after shooting it – a day I will never forget, for sure.
My style evolved, my life changed and I started getting more work through my blog.. this led me to stop my freelance jobs and focus solely on my own blog, which was an amazing step for me – something I am so grateful for everyday and never take for granted.
So, that brings me to today! I’m still in awe of how a simple hobby I started years ago is something I do as a job. It still feels like a hobby everyday too, which is so special. I love working on creative content, exploring new styling, the feeling I get when I’ve shot a new batch of photos, the comments and messages I read from you guys and even the thought of one person sitting at home reading this post. I work with so many brands that I adore, including new ones I’ve only recently discovered but also older ones I have loved my entire life.
I know that I’m so lucky that I come from parents that have always wanted me to be happy, doing what I love. They have never forced me into jobs I wasn’t interested in and when I told them, ‘that’s it.. I’m leaving my career in London to be a blogger’ (something they knew very little about at the time!) they greeted me with open arms and that made a huge impact on being able to do this. It’s something I always hopefully vow to do with my own children one day and something I tell all my friends. Follow your dreams, always. Chris has since left his full time work to be a photographer and musician too and I feel it’s so important to have hobbies you love, as you never know where they might take you.. but if they take you nowhere they’ll still make you happy, which is what we’re all after.