When we first met with the Brooklyn based stylist and blogger, Latonya Yvette, she came into our meeting wearing bold gorgeous prints and orange lipstick. It was one of those meeting where you both keep saying, “RIGHT!” “YES!” and thinking ” This chic totally gets it!” The conversation quickly turned to all the bullshit that’s out there online, and on Instagram and how refreshing it is when you come across people who are just real about life, and that sometimes it’s really hard and shitty, and sometimes that what’s beautiful. So in that first meeting we knew we wanted her to break it down for us, how to stay authentic and have integrity in blogging, because Latonya is for sure one to tell it like it is! While her blog is full of pretty images, and she works with big brands, her work has a voice of authenticity that makes it truly special.
You must have tons of brands reaching out to you to collaborate. How do you decide what’s a good fit?
What do you think people relate to most about you?
I think people, even if they find my personal style a bit out there- they connect with a lifestyle that feels true to them. Whether it be the color of my skin, family life, me being a young mom of two, or simply choosing my own career and making it work.
Any rules that you apply to involving your kids in shoots or posts? Do they enjoy being involved?
What sort of project gets you excited?
I love projects that speak to the stylist in me, but that require me to be a businesswoman behind the scenes too.
Any advice you can give to newbie bloggers on how to stay authentic?
Do you socialize with a lot of other bloggers? What’s the community like in New York?
You know, I didn’t notice a huge NYC blogging community when I first started, but there actually was! Now, I have about two or three amazing blogging friends in NYC I’ve had for years and years. Blogging isn’t really discussed in most of our relationships. We are friends because we are friends. It’s what we do, not who we are. Initially, I developed a lot of relationships online with the common ground of being a blogger. They weren’t sustainable relationships, because in reality, behind it all, we didn’t have much in common. It takes some time around the block- and at one point I was confused about it all. But now, I’m really relieved. Life is full. The few blogging friends I do have are dear friends. They’re the wine night, pajama party, call me sobbing-lets raise our kids together friends. I love that.
Do you feel it’s important to surround yourself with like-minded creative women? If so how has this been important to you?
I have a ton of friends who are amazing freelance writers- some are writing books. I have designer friends, and jewelry making friends, friends who own stores, friends who are artists and musicians. I think it’s good to be in circle with constantly floating creative energy-but not just in your field.
What do you see happening on-line right now? Is there a push for people to be more real and take down the curtain? Show what’s really happening?
If you attended NYFW you probably noticed how most of the models were your beautiful everyday girls of all shapes, sizes, and colors. This is happening everywhere, in all areas- not just online, it’s beautiful to see.
How do you think this is affecting the rest of the on-line community and the way brands are working with content creators?
Is there such a thing a sharing too much?
Any women you admire out there, that do a great job of being real and innovative on line?