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Blogs We Love: Shoeper Woman
Friday, Nov 19, 2010, 9:57 AM / United Kingdom
Amber McNaught, of Shoeper Woman, certainly lives up to her blogger name, whether morphed into 'shoe' or kept as the original 'super'. Before she entered the world of entrepreneurial blogging, the Scottish blogger worked as a journalist with a brief stint in PR. But she didn't take to the corporate environment and dreamed of working for herself and writing about her own interests. When her then fiancé, now husband, was diagnosed with kidney failure and was forced to give up his job and go into dialysis three days a week, the young couple had a serious wake up call. "Clichéd though it sounds, it made us realise that life really is too short to spend your days doing something you don’t enjoy, " McNaught explained to TribaSpace.
So they decided to start their own small business, in which he worked as a website developer and she as a freelance journalist and copywriter. She began to get freelance blogging work and in turn realised that blogging was the perfect medium for her and her career. "I'd had various personal blogs through the years, but it hadn’t really occurred to me that I could potentially earn money from it, so when I realised that other people were doing just that it was a bit of a lightbulb moment and I’ve never looked back! And my husband celebrates the fifth anniversary of his kidney transplant this year––we’ve been so lucky!"
TribaSpace was lucky to chat with McNaught about her journey, her shoe obsession and the challenge that she has given herself this year.
TribaSpace: Do you have any advice for people who would like to blog professionally?
Amber McNaught: My best piece of advice is that if you want to be able to make enough money from blogging to live off, you have to be prepared to treat it as a business. There’s a big difference between blogging for yourself, and blogging professionally, and while I think a lot of people assume that it must be an easy way to earn money, it actually takes a lot of hard work and perseverance. It can take a long time to build up a steady income from it––I had to continue freelancing for the first couple of years because I just wasn’t making enough from blogging to be able to do it full-time.
What is it that you love about shoes?
I love shoes because they’re so uncomplicated––you never have to worry that a shoe won’t suit you, make you look fat, or any of the other things you have to take into account with dresses or jeans––they’re one of the few things that can be enjoyed by everyone. A great pair of shoes can transform even the simplest of outfits into something much more interesting. I also think they’re like little works of art: a fabulous pair of shoes can make your heart flutter.
Which are your favorite brands? Shoe shops?
There are too many to choose between! My favourite designers are probably Christian Louboutin, Brian Atwood and Nicholas Kirkwood, although I could list many more! In terms of stores, I love Kurt Geiger, Office, Topshop, and I also have a soft spot for New Look, which sells a huge selection of shoes at really affordable prices.
What is the favorite pair you own? What is your dream pair?
Again I find it so difficult to choose, because I have so many favourites! I’d probably go for my purple suede Christian Louboutin peep toes. My current dream shoes are Louboutin’s “Feticha” pumps in bright red, but ask me again tomorrow and I might give you a different answer!
Tell us about your shoe challenge?
The Shoe Challenge was an idea that came to me in the shower at the start of this year. I realised that although I had a reasonably large collection of shoes, my storage issues (I live in a shoebox-sized house, so my shoes were all tucked away in any spare corner I could find for them), combined with sheer laziness, meant that I tended to just keep wearing the same ones over and over again, while dozens of pairs languished unworn in the closet. It just seemed so wasteful to have all these shoes I didn’t wear, so I decided to institute a “use it or lose it” policy whereby I have to wear each pair at least once in the course of the next year and post the photos on my blog as evidence. Any I don’t wear will go to charity, so hopefully someone else can get some use out them.
The challenge has forced me to really look at my shoe-spending habits, and become a more thoughtful consumer. These days I will only buy shoes if I’m sure I’ll get a lot of use out of them, and while my shoe collection will definitely shrink at the end of the challenge, I’m actually looking forward to it. I’ve realised that I’d much rather have a small collection of shoes that I wear constantly and get my money’s worth out of , than a huge collection that just sit there gathering dust. It’s also forced me to be a little more creative with my style in general. I was one of those people who’d buy shoes on impulse even if I had nothing to wear with them. I don’t do that any more, so I’ve had to find ways to make them work with my wardrobe, which has been fun and often challenging!
Where do you live and what is unique about the style there?
I live in a small town in central Scotland, which is unique only for its lack of uniqueness! It’s a very casual kind of place, and there isn’t much of a fashion scene. People tend to stick to what’s available on the high street and dress very similarly to each other.
How do you pick which shoes go on your blog? Where do you find them?
I find them everywhere––I spend hours every day trawling the Internet for shoes and I feature the ones that jump out at me from the page.
Megan Cahn | TribaSpace
Interested in reading more stories like this? Keep an eye on the TribaSpace Magazine:
Shoes, Footwear, Media
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