My Story of Becoming a Fashion Blogger

Hey Guys! 

So I’m posting this from the beautiful Grand Hyatt Hotel in Melbourne after spending Wednesday night at the MyDeal.com.au Australia Top 50 Influencer Award ceremony. The award night was really well attended and was really diverse – it was a great celebration of the impact of influencers and it was really unique to have a room full of ambitious, dedicated content creators who share so many values, attributes and the common thread of hard work.

It was important for me to be recognised among a group of influencers and bloggers, because often people don’t really understand what we do – and I can forgive people thinking that we’re a bunch of girls taking selfies and photos of food, but in reality I’m part of an empowered network of fashion-lovers, entrepreneurs and hobbyists who have very diverse backgrounds and objectives, but a common passion to communicate.

So first I want to thank all of my supporters and my network of influencers and bloggers for their undying love, and also thank the gang at MyDeal.com.au, who were the sponsors of the event, as well as the judges for awarding me a place in the top 10.

The judges asked some really great questions as part of the competition entry, which was a great opportunity to tell my story – I have posted it all below – enjoy!

How did you start being an online influencer?

Ever since I was a little girl I dreamed of being able to shop for a living. This wasn’t possible for many years – from moving to Australia from Thailand as a little girl, going through boarding school and then studying at university, I simply didn’t have the money or the time to support my passion. After working in the dental industry for many years, I got myself into a position where I could spend more time working on my wardrobe and purchasing the kinds of pieces I always wanted, and then at the beginning of 2015 Miss Gunner was born.

It started off as my creative outlet where I started sharing my outfits, travel and shoes! I didn’t even tell any of my friends or family about it until a year later! It was getting too hard to keep a secret because I started popping up on their discovery feed, and by then everyone knew what I was up to. I was scared to tell people because I was worried that my own friends might judge me for taking photos of myself and posting on social media, but I was surprised! I guess your family and friends will always love and support you, especially when you are doing what you absolutely love. The biggest difference is that all my friends ask me for fashion advice all the time now!

 

Have there been any crazy/unbelievable moments that have happened since you began your blog?

After eight months of working on my Miss Gunner Instagram profile, Cleo magazine contacted me to for a photoshoot and interview on the next generation of influencers. I couldn’t believe it and it was my first professional shoot for a magazine that I grew up reading! I was so honoured to be on the page next to some huge and amazing bloggers.

Also getting invited to Fashion week as a Microsoft ambassador was also a lot of fun. I was working with Elle Ferguson and Tash Sefton, who I’ve been following forever! I couldn’t believe I was standing next to them during the campaign. I was probably just star struck and stared at them like a weirdo, and then I saw Margaret Zhang at at bar during fashion week and didn’t know what to say etc. She too probably just thought I was a weirdo! Hahaha.

Lastly, becoming a shopper for a living is crazy to me. I still can’t believe that I make a living out of shopping and trying on clothes. I still pinch myself and I’m so grateful that I’m able to work with brands that I truly love and connect with a world of fashion-forward girls at the same time. To me this is crazy!

 

Why do you think online bloggers have become so influential and popular?

I think online bloggers are able to tell a different story. That I’m a normal girl, with a normal size body and I wear clothes that suit my body shape and perhaps people are be able to relate to that better than a model wearing an outfit. Bloggers grow through individuality and by being authentic, and I have never felt the force of commercial pressure to do anything or wear anything different to what comes naturally. People respond to that honesty, and I put in the time to form genuine connections and interact with my followers. I could never be introduced to and form friendships with my fashion buddies around the world without the blog or my social channels – it’s very powerful.

I think it is difficult to become a passionate follower of a company, because they primarily exist to sell you something and make money. As an individual, however, I choose the way wish to look and act and I don’t report to anyone. So probably 80% of my work is purely driven by my decision to buy something, wear it and shoot it; and 20% of my work is where I work with a brand I love and get paid to wear and shoot their items.

 

How do you think you inspire others?

I try my best to tell the story that dreams can come true. I’m not a supermodel, I didn’t grow up with money or expensive things, all I had was a dream and plenty of trust that the universe would be kind to me if I was kind to others. If you watch Steve Jobs’s 2005 Commencement Speech, he talks about connecting the dots. This is so true for me. I always had faith that if I studied hard, worked hard, helped people and didn’t judge others, that all of the little experiences and pursuits over the years would eventually make sense and turn into something special.

Before blogging became my thing, I was a dental hygienist, an IT graduate, I tried starting a business doing hair extensions, designing shoes, doing some content creation etc. Don’t ever see these little ideas and pursuits as dead ends – they’re just opening and closing doors in order to help you find something really special that can ignite your passion.

I try to inspire other women so they can look amazing at any size and at any price. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to look and feel amazing! You just need a bit of creativity! I really love mixing fast fashion and high fashion. I have a few expensive pieces that I love and bought them after years of working hard.

So dream big or go home! One amazing piece of advice someone gave me is not to limit your dreams. Dreams are the one place where you can be whatever you want to be, no matter who you are – and they can come true. You will have plenty of people in real life who will try to limit your expectations, so you don’t need put limits on yourself! So be kind to yourself and go for it.

 

 What is the best part about being a social media influencer?

I live and breathe fashion. It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up and and probably the last thing on my mind before I go to sleep. To be able to wake up every single day and do what I love just makes me so happy. I really, really love spending time putting together outfits and researching new looks and trends.

Most importantly, I love being part of a beautiful, supportive, creative, generous and inspiring group of girls and guys (…ok, mostly girls!!!) who share my passion. I started off without any intention of making money from this and I was just happy to be able to connect with like minded people. Anything else is just a bonus. Every time I travel I meet new friends and form new friendships. There are so many big hearts and hard workers among my followers and friends, and I just feel so blessed to be a part of the whole thing.

How have you stayed grounded since becoming an influencer?

My mum is a huge help. When I’m not shooting or shopping or posting, I’m sitting at the kitchen bench speaking Thai and eating Thai food with my mother. I’m so lucky to have her in my life and she is my connection to my entire life, before and after being a blogger.

And if I get a bit princess-y or precious, my husband always gives me a bit of a death stare and reminds of what’s important. But that’s not often! I promise!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Quite possibly doing the exact same thing. It’s funny, when things go well often I do get caught up thinking about how I could turn my brand into more of a business, but the fact that it is not a business is why it is a good brand to start with. An idea and an opportunity might come along one day that sits really well for me, but for now I’m just having too much fun – I never want it to end.

 

Have there been any hard times in your career that made you question your decision? How did you overcome this?

Yes, loads. LOADS! Starting was hard, I started with 0 followers and i didn’t want to tell any of my own friends. Only my husband knew because I made him take my photos for me! I just had no idea whether I might grow. Blogging is so personal. Will people like my taste? Will I seem pretentious? Will the haters punish me for owning a Chanel handbag or two? But when you are passionate about something, you make it work because it’s the one thing you love doing. Your passion will get you through the hard times. Whatever that may be.

My husband, Scott is a huge support. When things gets tough, He simply asks me two questions.

“Are you having fun?”

“Will you regret any part of this if you were to walk away from it?”

They’ve always been the same questions and my answers are still the same after two years! It’s always fun, even when things are tough. When it’s no longer fun that’s when you should stop because life’s too short to be unhappy! And I do this because I love sharing my love for fashion with other people, and I could never regret the amazing connections I’ve made from this experience.

Having built an amazing group of bloggers friends that are amazingly strong and inspiring woman makes it very hard to question why I’m doing this. A group of friends who wants to see people do well and always be there to support one another is such a luxury. I am truly blessed to have found these girls. They really help me navigate through the blogging world.

Having faith in the universe eventually delivering an opportunity, or simply designing your life so that you can happily pursue blogging without the huge pressure of it becoming your fulltime job are great ways to deal with the pressure of ‘succeeding,’ whatever that means to you.

 

How does your blog make a difference in the world?

Miss Gunner’s job is to create a bit of dreaminess and happiness that can be shared with a large audience. I’m not a journalist or an environmentalist, and I know that people have millions of opinions about millions of things – so I stay away from claiming that I do things like make a difference to the world.

My blog is my way of giving and connecting and if that is bringing some happiness to a handful of people around the world, then I’m happy,

 

Is there any advice you’d give to those who want to follow in your footsteps?

Yes – start at the start, don’t overthink it, be yourself and find your niche. Not everyone will love you, not everyone will find your words and pictures interesting, but the ones who do will touch you and you will form great friendships and learn a lot along the way.

With the Instagram world being so competitive now, the only thing that will distinguish you from others is the unique combination of your personality and style. There’s only one of you in the world so JUST DO YOU. You don’t have to compare yourself to others. We are all different and unique in our own ways.

Also, create a dream book. I wrote in my dream book five years ago now and this was way before I even started blogging, let alone knowing how to blog. I wrote down all the little details describing what my life would look like as a fashion blogger and how many followers I would have by 2017! That was five years ago now. Luckily I managed to cross a few things I have achieved off that list and watching these dreams come to life just blew me away.

I’m a big believer in creating my dream life in detail, and that can mean many things to many people. The mind is an amazing thing and it will work day and night to create something rewarding if you spell out exactly what it is that you want your life to look like in the future. So, literally, get a scrap book, start printing some photos and make some dot points about exactly what you want. In my experience, it works. So write it down! Whatever your dreams may be!

 

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23 Comments

  1. Dee on March 17, 2017 at 7:28 am

    Ash I cried reading this. You have been one of the most genuine human beings I have had the pleasure of crossing IG paths with. You have always engaged and never thought of yourself as a super blogger whose better than everyone else. (Even though u are a super blogger lol)
    I’ve been blessed to know you over these last 2 years and I hope we get to have that coffee soon xx

    • Miss Gunner on March 20, 2017 at 8:39 am

      Dee!! this is sooo sweet!! thank you so much for all y our love babe! hahaha i am not a super blogger!!!Just plotting along like everyone else babe. its been amazing getting to know you and your blog!! (and of course your wonderful family!!) coffee soon!! xxx

  2. songbirdechoes on March 17, 2017 at 7:39 am

    This was an amazing post!!! I’m just even more excited to meet you and chat over coffee one day. The way your hubby supports you reminds me so much of mine. It’s always refreshing to know that genuine people like you exist in this industry ❤ Wish you all the success and happiness Ashley!

    Gunjan | http://www.songbirdechoes.com

    • Miss Gunner on March 20, 2017 at 8:37 am

      hehe awww babe!! I cant believe we bonded over India!! hahaha so good to have connected with your stylish self!! coffee sounds perfect!!! I will be in London from May so hopefully we can make it happen!! xxx

  3. Britta on March 17, 2017 at 7:49 am

    Ash! You inspire me everyday! You are so genuine in everything you do and I am so fortunate to have met you! Thank you for always being so kind and uplifting. I know I have said this a lot lately but I am so proud of you! You have come so far and archived so much in a short time!
    So excited to see you soon!
    Lots of love
    Britta

    • Miss Gunner on March 20, 2017 at 8:36 am

      Sis!!! Seriously you have been soo supportive and I honestly couldnt have done this without you and Kelly!!! So much love and admiration for you!! xxx

  4. styleunsettledblog on March 17, 2017 at 7:52 am

    This is so emotional and inspiring!! I have to say that the biggest reward for me from blogging is connecting with like minded individuals from all over the world. I always dreamed about that and more time goes by, the more awesome people – like you – I discover and connect with! I’m so happy you decided to follow your passion and so happy that I got to know you a little bit through your amazing posts <3

    Much love
    xoxo
    http://www.styleunsettled.com

    • Miss Gunner on March 20, 2017 at 8:35 am

      Absolutely babe!! Good friends are hard to find!! my bloggers friends have now become my life long frineds!!Thank you so much for your comment lovely!! xxx

  5. La Bijoux Bella| by mia on March 17, 2017 at 8:11 am

    Beautiful post … Reach for the stars and just one day we’ll be within touched … so inspiring to read. This is only a start to a fabulous path to success. Never give up and always strive for what you truly believe in and never forget who you are in the process. This is why you are one of the best Mademoiselle Ashley! 🙂

    ?LA BIJOUX BELLA? | BY MIA | A Creative Lifestyle Blog

    • Miss Gunner on March 20, 2017 at 8:34 am

      Thank you so much beautiful!!! you have been an incredible support!! thank you soooo much for all your love!! xxx

  6. Ana on March 17, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Dear Ashley this is very motivating! I could really recognize myself in your words. You have just inspired me to keep on going and not giving up. I have just started with some intensive blogging 2 months ago and it is a really hard work to be noticed. I hope that one day I could say the same thing as you and say that I’m living my dream and that I would blog for a living. Blogging is amazing experiance, it makes so much fun and for me is also the best thing getting to know so many great girls just like you are. Hope we will meet in person next time you visit Switzerland!
    Lots of love!
    Ana

    • Miss Gunner on March 20, 2017 at 8:34 am

      Ana!! thank you so much babe!! Never give up babe!! Just keep doing your thing!!! I hope to see you this summer!!! xxx

  7. jenellewitty on March 17, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    This was so great to read through Ash! I am so proud of all of your hard work (and your husbands!) such an inspiring woman. Congratulations!
    xx Jenelle
    http://www.inspiringwit.com

    • Miss Gunner on March 20, 2017 at 8:33 am

      Janelle!! Thank you so much babe! means so much coming from you! lots of love always! xxx

  8. Alisha on March 17, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    So amazing Ashley! You deserve it. So proud of you!

    Alisha

    Saffrononrose.com

    • Miss Gunner on March 20, 2017 at 8:32 am

      Thank you so much gorgeous girl!!! xxx

  9. Reese on March 18, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    My inspiring blogger babe friend! This was such a genuine and honest read! So glad you took the plunge in 2015 and joined the blogging world because it’s been a pleasure knowing you ?

    Keep on inspiring

    Reese

    • Miss Gunner on March 20, 2017 at 8:30 am

      Thank you girl! you are the funniest human being around! Love you and cant wait to hang out with you in London!! xxx

  10. @fashionevolve on March 19, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    Seriously loved this post! You are so inspirational Ash! Good things happen to good people and you my friend are great people! I still remember the first day we crossed IG paths.. before you I had never even spoken to anyone via DM ? You introduced me to a whole new supportive, encouraging world. Love you to the moon.

    Yvette xxx

    • Miss Gunner on March 20, 2017 at 8:30 am

      Awww babe!! you are like the very first people i look up to!! hahaha more like i had 0 followers and you had 3k!!! Never thought i would be here today. For real. We’ve had so many amazing times together especially in Firenze! Hope to see you this year in London babe!!! xxx

  11. Carla Abreu on March 21, 2017 at 6:29 am

    Ok where to start… Outfit, that’s why, you are in this path, to inspire us, perfection in all sorts of levels! The interview…Straightforward and truthful talk, candid!! Girl you’re killing it big time! Congratulions you deserve all!! xxx Carla

  12. Stacy Semiklit on March 31, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    Hi Ashley, I just wanted to tell you that I enjoyed so much reading this post. I usually too lazy to leave any comments but this one is worth commenting on ? It is so beautifully said and you go very personal in there so it does feel very genuine, which you don’t always come across in blogging world. Thank you so much for sharing this and for inspiring us! And the bit about being real human with real body I absolutely loved it!! It’s such an important message!

    Congratulations on your award, it’s well well deserved ?

    See you on Instagram, and say Hi if you feel like it ?

    xxx
    Stacy
    @stacysemiklit

  13. OnTrend on April 2, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Your post is so inspried. I actually cried while reading your 2 questions when you wondered about your job. And that’s the feelings I feel all the time when I lose my faith. I’ve just started my blog for a month, but this is what I had to do 4 years ago. I lthink that I’ve lived with my dream for so long. And I know this is time for me to do, no more hesitation. Anyway, thank you so much for so inspired post. And I really found myself on this post. <3
    http://ontrend.cf/

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