Hey, ladies, it’s Anna again from Fash Boulevard, bringing you another edition of my interview series, Ladies Who Laptop. This month’s spotlight is former event planner turned author and lifestyle blogger, Camille Styles. This busy mom of two has a passion for inspiring others to live their best life, whether that be through her beauty tutorials, sharing life lessons or one of her extra creative DIYs. It’s easy to see why everyone’s pining for an invite to one of her Pinterest-worthy parties. So much so, that her book, Camille Styles Entertains, quickly became a best seller. Today, Camille opens up about the difficulty for bloggers to remain authentic, her summer entertaining tips, and her favorite go-to dinner ideas. Let’s dive in…
Let’s go back to the very beginning. What were you doing before you decided to start your blog?
I started my career in event planning, and I loved so many things about it—planning menus, designing the décor, helping my clients realize their vision for a party—but I soon noticed that most people put so much pressure on themselves to make every detail of their event perfect that they really didn’t enjoy the process. I found myself wanting a creative outlet where I could rediscover the fun in entertaining and cooking, so I launched my blog Camille Styles as a place where I could explore the topics I loved and also share what I’d learned as an event planner with a wider audience. As the site has grown over the past 7 years, we’ve broadened the scope to cover all types of lifestyle topics including fashion, beauty, and design, all through the lens of showing readers how to live their happiest, healthiest lives.
Your blog covers a variety of topics. What is your favorite thing to blog about and why?
The best part about writing a lifestyle blog is the chance to explore so many of the topics I’m passionate about—so, all of the above? Just kidding, if I had to choose, it would definitely be healthy recipes. Cooking is my favorite creative outlet, and I love developing seasonal recipes that inspire readers to spend time in the kitchen and lead their happiest, healthiest lives.
On your blog you share a lot of entertaining ideas, do you have any tips for summer entertaining?
Summer is my absolute favorite time to throw a party—I love to gather friends on our back terrace for a casual meal with grilled pizzas and lots of rosé. And maybe even a nighttime swim! Here are a few tips for entertaining in the summer:
- For an easy (and gorgeous) tabletop centerpiece, fill a big wooden bowl with summer fruit like cherries, pineapples, citrus fruit, and strawberries.
- Set out platters of food on the table and let everyone dig in family style: it makes things easier on the host and the food takes center stage as a decor element.
- Place an herb sprig or breakfast radish on each napkin and tie on a little card with guests’ names for a farm-to-table touch at each place setting.
I know it’s difficult to decide but what are your two favorite blog post you’ve written and why?
I have to cheat and say the entire Entertaining With series—we go into the homes of our favorite stylish ladies and dig into all their secrets of how they throw a dinner party. Some of my favorites have been with Jenni Kayne, Haylie Duff, Athena Calderone, DVF’s personal chef Jane Coxwell, Daphne Oz, Aida Mollenkamp, designer Timothy Corrigan at his french chateau, and so many more.
What’s a common mistake that you see new bloggers make that you believe could be preventing them from becoming a top blogger?
The rise in social media has changed our society in so many ways, with one of the biggest being that we are exposed to what everyone else is doing all the time. The upside of this is that it provides endless inspiration… the downside is that it can be really tempting to try to replicate what someone else is doing successfully. I know it’s kind of a cliché, but I love the quote about always being a first-rate version of yourself, not a second-rate version of somebody else. Think about what you love, what you feel passionate about, what excites you—basically, that thing you’d be doing and talking and thinking about if you weren’t getting paid for it—then figure out how to do that thing better and differently than anyone else. You are the only person that can do YOU, and that’s why your authentic personal brand is your greatest asset.
What fashion trends are you most excited about for spring?
I love the bohemian, ‘70s-inspired vibe of the season: embroidery, off-the-shoulder blouses, breezy midi skirts, and tassel earrings.
Since you blog about your favorite beauty products, can you share a couple of your current favorite items?
Where do I begin? I am truly a beauty product junkie and love discovering great new finds. Current faves include Glossier Cloud Paint, Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum, and NARS Pore & Shine Control Primer.
We are huge fans of your Instagram. Do you have any tips or tricks for achieving an aesthetically awesome Instagram page? Any social media tips?
Thank you so much! I only post images that I really love, even if that means that I skip a day here or there. I use the app UNUM to plan my posts and see how an image will look in the overall feed before I post it. The important thing is to make it authentic by posting the images that really resonate with you. Don’t overthink it, and don’t worry too much about likes—just enjoy it!
What’s a day in the life of Camille Styles like?
It starts early! Coffee, workout, then making breakfast for my husband and our two kids (Henry, 2, and Phoebe, 4), which is usually oatmeal or scrambled eggs with avocado. Once I’m at my desk, every work day is different! Some days I’m plowing through my inbox, meeting with my team, scheduling calls with our brand partners, and writing blog posts. Other days I’m in the kitchen testing recipes and shooting videos all day. The one consistency is that I’m always collaborating with my team and the amazing freelancers we get to work with, which I really love.
I usually wrap up late afternoon and take the kids to do something fun— the park or a smoothie date are faves—then home to make dinner. Or if it’s been a long day, we’ll meet my husband at our favorite Mexican food spot for tacos and margaritas!
What is your favorite and least favorite thing about blogging?
My favorite thing is getting to work with a creative team that continually inspires me. The only thing I don’t love about my job is having to do accounting for our company every Friday… but I’ve learned so much about running a successful business from doing it myself, so I know that it’s great experience.
What are a couple of your go-to dinners?
What are some foods/ingredients you love cooking with recently?
My cooking is very inspired by the seasons, so right now I’m excited about all the spring produce that’s hitting the farmer’s market! Artichokes, sugar snap peas, strawberries—all those fruits and vegetables that feel so refreshing as the temps get warmer.
You live in Austin, TX! What are a few of your favorite places that you would recommend to someone visiting your city?
As a successful blogger and a mom, how do you find a healthy and productive balance?
It’s not easy, but I try to stay really present with whatever I’m doing at the moment. When I’m at work, I do my best to focus on work and really prioritize what’s most important for me to get done that day. When I’m with my kids, I do my best to put away my phone and spend time with them—talking, listening, playing, and truly engaging. I’m not always successful at it, but I try to bring my best self to each moment and not feel guilty when I don’t do it all perfectly.
For all of the dreamers out there, the fresh-out-of-college future entrepreneurs, what advice would you give them?
Find your unique point-of-view; no one else is just like you, and I believe that everyone has something personal and creative to share with the world. Be consistent, stay true to your vision, and know that growing a career takes dedication and perseverance, so it only works if you feel really passionate about what you’re putting out there.
Who would you like to see me interview for my next Ladies Who Laptop?
Let me know in the comments below!