Monday, September 28, 2015

Blog of the Month: Holl & Lane Magazine

We started following Sarah a few years back when she was pursuing similar passions of sharing fashion and lifestyle content. Not to mention, she had a great closet on Because I Shop Too Much that we were often perusing (and we thank her for that support!) 

Fast forward a few years and she has made a transition from blogger to magazine editor which has been fun for us to watch and you can tell she has carried over a lot of the skills she gained through blogging. With that said, our September blogger of the month feature is a bit unique but focused on a person and idea we think you'll really enjoy...

Holl & Lane is a digital magazine focused on bringing you the stories that make up our lives. With topics ranging from style, interior design, business, family, travel, and life tales, the magazine encompasses all facets of life. Aspirational, approachable, and real, Holl & Lane desires to make your stories heard, while feeling like you are talking to your best friend.

We recently chatted with Sarah about her new venture...Here's what she had to say:

 1) Why did you decide to leave the world of fashion blogging?

Once I had my son, the focus of my blog shifted from fashion to lifestyle. And that's not to say that I didn't love fashion anymore or that I was suddenly dressing in sweatpants all the time. I still love clothes and love to dress nicely. I just didn't have time to do outfit photos anymore- or actually, I didn't want to spend my time doing them is the more honest answer. I work full time and during the week I only get a couple of hours to spend with my son in between getting home from work/daycare and him going to bed. So I wanted to spend those hours with him, not focused on getting a perfect outfit shot. I also never quite liked being in front of the camera.  I'd much rather be behind the scenes snapping photos (as evidenced by my Instagram).

2) What would you say that is the biggest challenge of blogging?

Trying to be consistent when you are feeling overwhelmed.  It seems the key to "making it big" as a blogger is always consistency so that your readers know what to expect. Over time, it can begin to feel like a chore if you're not careful. I truly love to write, but there are days where I don't have anything to say or where I have too much going on to sit down and write. And other days I just don't want to share anything more about my life. So on those days, I felt pressured to put up a post so that my readers would have something new. I came to realize that my loyal readers didn't care if I blogged five days a week, or two. They'd still be around.

3) Where did you come up with the idea for Holl & Lane? What inspired you?

I've wanted to work at a magazine since the time I was very, very young. As I mentioned, I love to write so I initially went to college for journalism but quickly changed my major to fashion when I got scared.  didn't want to move to NYC and work the hours that most do at a publication. So, it got put on the back burner. And then a few years ago, the thought entered my mind of beginning my own magazine but because I had no idea how to do that, it kept getting put off.  

This year I decided to finally do something about it. I had an idea of what I wanted the magazine to be, and I figured everything else I'd learn along the way. The heart of Holl & Lane are stories. The most frequent comment I received through blogging has always been that people appreciate my honesty and that I'm willing to talk about things that others don't. I wanted to bring that to H&L in a bigger way. I wanted to give people a chance to see that they're not alone. But I always wanted to invoke fun and adventure into the magazine with the other features- such as style and beauty, interiors, and travel.  

4) How has your blogging experience helped you with your new venture?

The biggest way blogging has helped is through the network of people I "know".  Each member of the Holl & Lane team, except one, I had gotten to know through blogging and when they volunteered to work on the magazine I knew I could count on them because of that. It's also opened up a world of contributors because of the relationships I've developed. Plus, the blogging family I've connected with is also willing to help me promote the magazine which is completely invaluable.

5) What do you hope people take away from Holl & Lane? What is your message? 

I hope that people realize that they're not alone, no matter what they're going through. I hope that they read a story that connects to their heart and think that they'll too get through whatever situation they're in. We've had stories on PTSD, being a teen mom, life as a military wife, postpartum depression, cultural identity, a mother's disappearance, and weight loss surgery. Coming up next year we have stories on miscarriages, being a single mom of four, addiction and eating disorders, life after breast cancer, divorce at age 30 and so much more. I'm so proud of our stories and I'm so humbled that women are allowing me to tell them.  These are brave women who are opening up and sharing some of the hardest times of their lives and so I hope others will recognize that, appreciate it, and be a little more open about their own struggles. Each time we open up, we help someone else and that's the message I want to get across.

6) What is your greatest achievement outside of the magazine?

This may sound cliche, but in my personal life, it's my son.  He is a truly amazing tiny human and to see how healthy, happy and pleasant he is... makes me feel like I'm doing something right in my life. In my professional life, I'm most proud of how I've managed to balance being a mom and wife with working full time, running the magazine, being a blogger and doing freelance graphic design. My life is never dull and is often overwhelming but I'm doing so many things I love that I've never been happier.

Do you read any digital magazines on a daily basis? 
What bloggers/writers inspire you?