Q&A: Fashion blogger Erika Dellatorre is teaching others her tricks

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From the July 18, 2013 edition
  • Photo by Meghan Ralston

Erika Dellatorre is a successful blogger who’s helping other women follow in her footsteps. In May of 2012, she started the popular local fashion and lifestyle blog Piece of Chic. A year later, Dellatorre and co-founder Alison Lehman introduced the Haute Blog workshop, a women-only seminar designed to get a WordPress blog started and thriving

The first workshop was a sell-out and the next is scheduled for the fall. Between now and then, Haute Blog will be going on the road for out-of-town workshops, holding an upcoming advanced tutorial and helping the women from the first event build a community.

Piece of Chic also promotes having a happy, healthy lifestyle before anything else. If you don’t feel good, you won’t look good and do your best. It’s really a holistic view of fashion and lifestyle and everything is evenly divided up. We have as many recipe and fitness posts as beauty and health.

Piece of Chic is myself, Erica Zurmehly and Lauren Chaves. Erica [works] for Victoria’s Secret and Lauren is a registered dietician. Our whole M.O. is people to get to know us and only put products on here that we buy, use, love.

Haute Blog is a pop-up workshop. Columbus is our home base and we’ll be doing things throughout the year here, but we’re also taking it on the road. Our next workshop is in Chicago, followed by Indianapolis. Our whole approach is we want the workshop to be an experience. There’s a champagne mixer in the morning with mimosas. There are flowers and candles on the tables.

It’s crafted to get your blog off the ground. The first things we do are set up hosting and show you all the inner workings of WordPress — how to design a header, go into some plug-ins and widgets and some simple coding. You also get a professional headshot to use on your bio page. Alisonand I both developed the curriculum for website and we both teach 50/50. She handles the graphic side. Since she’s also a professional photographer, she takes the photos.

We keep our class sizes small because people love that they’re able to get one-on-one time. If you have a specific question, there’s a period where we [meet] with each individual.

The women all stay in touch after the workshop and email us with follow-up questions. We’re trying to build a community where people with the same interests can connect with each other.e’re also trying to get some events, lunches and mixers together, and we’re in the process of building the online community [through a Haute Blog forum]. And we’re holding Blog Talk & Coffee this Saturday at Grandview Grind. It's a chance for past attendees as well as local bloggers to connect and ask questions in an open forum setting.

The next [Blogging 101] workshop will be in the fall because we want to hold an advanced workshop first. It’s if you’ve been blogging, but want to take it to the next level. The plan is to do advanced and 101 every other month.

My personal style is eclectic, but polished. I like to mix-and-match. If I’m wearing a dressy skirt, I like to throw it on with T-shirt; or wedge sneakers with a dress. I like to be unexpected and not too girly or too casual. Just mix it up and be comfortable.

Since I’m Italian, I grew up idolizing Sophia Loren.Her ability to smolder while simultaneously exuding class was captivating and a trait I try to emulate.

I think trends just reach their peak and people move on to the opposite.For a while excess was in, then super minimalistic. The next year it’s the opposite. It’s like a volcano—it erupts and then people want far away from it. Or maybe this is a little cuter: It’s like a champagne bottle it pops and it’s gone.