Q&A: Miche Harrison, personal style blogger

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From the November 21, 2013 edition

For Columbus style-blogger Miche Harrison (buttonsandbirdcages.com), blogging isn’t about self-promotion. The social worker-turned-fashionista has made a name for herself in the blogosphere by using her thrifting and sewing skills to create looks any well-heeled reader would envy. Though her blog focuses on styling, Harrison really enjoys using her blog to document her personal growth and connect with others who share her love for fashion.

I wanted to start blogging because it’s like a diary you can look back on. I started following some of the bigger style blogs, and after a while I found that I knew a lot about the bloggers personally. I knew when they got married, or had kids, or moved. I started to think, “This is a really cool diary they have,” so I decided to start my own.

I think people have a misconception that I’m self-absorbed because I have a personal-style blog. It’s really not about me; it’s about the clothes and documenting my style at this moment. Like other bloggers, I like having this online diary that shows how I’ve grown. Style is a way to express who you are without necessarily talking to somebody. I want my blog to show who I am and help me connect with others.

Blogs are about real people with real style. That is why I prefer them to magazines. In a magazine, I’m looking at a model I don’t look like, who is wearing clothes I can’t afford. On a blog you get to see how a regular person puts things together. I take inspiration from these people and I try to recreate higher-end looks by thrifting and making things myself. The feedback I get from the style blogging community is really supportive.

It is weird writing about your life, knowing everyone can read it. I want to be open and transparent, but I have to keep in mind that my friends, their parents, my parents, and anyone else who wants to read what I’ve written can. I try to keep things at an arms-length, and keep the posts about the clothes as much as possible.

One of the coolest things that came of my blog is I got to do costumes on a feature film. I got to fly to North Carolina and work directly with the actors and the crew. It’s called “The Stranger in the Dunes;” it’s currently in post-production. They are hoping to have it come out some time next year. Another time, a girl I followed asked me if I’d wear jewelry she made specifically for me. I was so flattered. She ended up sending me a necklace with a birdcage charm and buttons on the chain.

The hardest part about having a personal-style blog is taking the pictures. It is so awkward to take pictures of yourself in public. People are always staring and it makes me uncomfortable. I just try to be confident and get them done. But I like looking back and seeing how I’ve grown in both my style and sewing abilities.

The best tip I can give other bloggers is don’t be intimidated. This was the hardest thing for me when I started. It’s easy to get lost in what the readers want or what a company or brand wants from you. It’s important to be transparent and stay true to yourself. It’s important to remember your blog is your place on the internet to write about things you love. One day, you’ll be able to look back on your posts and you won’t care about what other people may have thought when looking at them, all that will matter is that it was a true representation of you at that moment.

Photo by Meghan Ralston