|Milo Beloved of Harold&MOD|
Last week while covering events for Birmingham Fashion Week 2014 I had the opportunity to interview Milo Beloved of the locally-based vintage lifestyle brand Harold&MOD. Located at 2323 1st Avenue North, Harold&MOD is a unique shop offering fashion, art, jewelry, gifts, and home decor all locally designed and produced and they specialize in revamping vintage clothing.
While chatting with Milo I was struck by how so much of what he said could be valuable advice not only for fashion designers but for bloggers too.
Here are five lessons bloggers can learn from fashion designers like Milo Beloved of Harold&MOD.
1. Tell a story. In a recent video interview with Ivette Thomas of AllAboutBham.com, Milo said that he and his partner Heidi Smith try to tell a story with their store and with their designs. Likewise, you need to tell a story with your blog. Even if you’re simply trying to pass along information, tell a story with each post. Furthermore, think of your entire blog as one big story. And the next time you’re struggling with your blog’s focus or theme simply ask yourself: What story do I want my blog to tell?
2. Find out what’s missing. Milo says that he wants to design for a variety of women from “the business woman” to the “fun, flirty college girl.” So he makes sure his inventory reflects this goal. “When I see one end (of the spectrum) start to dissipate I try to provide for that,” Milo said. Take a look at the different aspects of the mission of your blog and see if you’ve been slacking a bit on one of those objectives. Did you start a fashion blog that you hoped would tackle tough industry issues but lately all you’ve been doing are outfit posts? Then step up your game! Also, if you’re trying to refocus your blog figure out what’s missing in your niche. What is the blog you want to read but can’t find? That’s the blog you need to write.
3. Embrace being in the South. Birmingham-based bloggers, this tip is for you. Birmingham may seem an unlikely place for a shop like Harold&MOD but Milo thinks it’s just right. The Harold&MOD line debuted last year with a pop-up shop during Birmingham Fashion Week 2013. That was a huge success and soon the brand was being featured in magazines and Milo and Heidi were being asked to help with video shoots. “There was this collective energy around it that pushed us forward and launched us in a way that I don’t know I would get in a bigger city,” Milo said. So instead of thinking you need to move to New York for your writing career to blossom, decide to bloom where you’ve been planed and know that you can find the support in Birmingham to do just that. In the South, Milo said, “We’re friendlier, we’re warmer, we’re a little bit more relaxed in a lot of ways. There’s something sweet about Southern fashion that you don’t necessarily see in other places. You can make up your own rules if you’re daring enough to do it.” Be daring enough to not only make up your own fashion rules, but make your own rules about your writing career too.
4. Pay attention to people. “I watch our customers very closely,” Milo said when asked how he decides what he will design next. And he said he feels a true connection with his customers, too. Likewise, bloggers should get to know their audience and be sure to produce content that will add value to their readers’ lives.
5. Keep moving up. “I always want to think up and think bigger,” Milo said. He went on to say he’d like to see the Harold&MOD shop offer more local art and that they’re working on creating a product that they can mass produce. So what’s next for you? Figure out how you can take your blog to the next level. Maybe it’s a new feature. Perhaps your blog needs a new look. Or maybe you want to completely change the focus on your site. Decide what you need to do to get bigger and better and then do it!
A few looks from the Harold&MOD featured at this year’s Birmingham Fashion Week:
Want more from Birmingham Fashion Week 2014? Check out the Birmingham Jane feature on designer Elizabeth Singleton at SeeJaneWriteMagazine.com.