Raindrops of Sapphire was created by denim lover and self-proclaimed fashion addict, Lorna Burford, to document her style, and love of using accessories as finishing touches. Skilled with keeping her readers engaged with the quality and detail in each of her posts, Lorna updates her audience with a range of her favourite outfits and styles, including materials like velvet, leather, denim and suede. In this spotlight, Lorna chats to us about her personal style, why she chose to blog about fashion and dealing with internet trolls.
How would you describe your personal style? This one is always a tough one to answer. I would say it’s mostly classic and wearable as I love grey, nude, black, cream, brown. All the neutral tones, but I have an addiction to jewel tones like burgundy or sapphire. I like to keep things classic with skinny jeans and heels/boots, but mix it up with fun knitwear, coats, leather jackets etc. So it’s simple and styled/fitted, but with hints of fun sometimes. Mixing high street with designer pieces is what works for me.
Why did you choose to blog about fashion? It sort of fell that way when I opened a blog to write about the things I loved, and share that with people who loved it too. It turned out to be mostly fashion as I have always had a passion for clothes and accessories ever since I was little. That’s why I ended up writing what felt right to me.
Where do you see your blog in five years’ time? If you had asked me that 5 years ago, I wouldn’t have a clue, but since opening it in 2010, things have grown and changed so much that I can only hope that it will continue to grow each year and be as much of an enjoyment as it is now, if not more. The main goal is to continue to work hard and hopefully it keeps getting bigger. Nothing is set in stone though!
Do you think that fashion bloggers have a big impact on their audiences’ buying habits? I do actually. It depends on the fashion blogger and the clothes they wear, but I definitely do. I know first hand how much of an influence they can have on you. I’ve often seen pieces worn by other fashion bloggers and wanted them myself, and you always get such great styling inspiration too. I know the big league bloggers are known to make products sell out just from linking to them.
What trends do you think will be big this year? Coral is coming back in full force, which I am excited about! It’s one of my favourite colours. Thick and chunky folded hems on jeans are also popular, as is embroidery and patches on jeans. I mostly know denim trends as I work in that industry on The Jeans Blog. I think velvet has had its moment though and won’t be popular again this year, but I am hoping that plaid or flannel shirts get an increase. I’m very much into those currently.
Who are your favourite designers and brands? With designers, it varies for me as I have gone through phases of loving Christopher Bailey during the 2012-2014 era, but now the designs are a little out there. Karl Lagerfeld sometimes does some wearable pieces, but not often. Marc Jacobs used to be quite similar to myself though, but I would say Victoria Beckham always keeps it classic and chic too. If it’s for watching a runway show, Betsey Johnson always has fun, so does Tommy Hilfiger. I love their shows!
When it comes to brands, my favourites for bags are Louis Vuitton, Celine, Balenciaga, and Chanel. They make some gorgeous bags! But when it comes to clothes in general, I like Valentino, Chloe, Citizens of Humanity, PAIGE, Sam Edelman, even Topshop a lot of the time for simple basics. ALLSAINTS has to be my favourite high end high street store though. I could live there.
How did you build up a relationship with your audience? I didn’t have any specific plan in mind, I have just always lived by the rule that you should treat others how you would like to be treated, and replying to every comment that someone leaves me and being accessible to them if they need advice or have questions, seemed like the right thing to do. I like to know who’s reading my blog and communicating with them is the best way in my opinion. I very much believe that your blog is only successful or as good as it is because you have readers. Without them, there’s no success. Obviously, you should do it because your passionate, but being there for your readers is of huge importance. Be yourself and be open.
What are the challenges of being a fashion blogger? There are quite a lot. Being constantly on 24/7 is hard because you never wind down. What with blogging ideas, outfit shoots, social media etc, it’s very full on, but I love it. There’s also challenges with trolls or people who like to dish out abuse or those who are inappropriate to you, but you just let that fly over your head. I would say if you’re getting into the blogging industry, watch out for fake people as you can meet a lot of those on your journey who just want to use you. I like to build relationships and get to know the people I work with, so it’s nice to give more time to people.
Do you feel pressured to stay on top of trends? When it comes to denim, definitely. I need to give people the latest scoop on the jeans trends, but when it comes to what I wear, not so much. I think dressing for your body shape is better. There have been trends that just didn’t work for me as I’m bigger chested and not super slim like the models, plus I’m about 5ft 4, so I have to be careful what trends I dive into. When I find one that works with my body shape though, I’m off like a rocket!
What have been your favourite PR and affiliate campaigns that you have worked on? And why? There have been a lot that I have loved to work on, and so many amazing people at the same time. I would say the one that’s had the most impact on me would be working with Katie from the Hayo’u Method, via the PR company, Octane based in Bristol. They have been great at building a relationship and working with Katie on health related problems and my lifestyle has been life changing. Of course, I love working with brands too as I have done with Harvey Nichols, PAIGE, Topshop etc. along with charities like WWF and Sky Rainforest. That’s always wonderful to take part in campaigns for such a good cause.
What advice would you give to PRs who would like to work with you? I’m extremely friendly and am open to all the emails I receive, the good and the bad, so just send me a friendly email and it’s fine. I’m not unapproachable. One tip would be to not send the generic copy and paste email that gets sent to everyone, make sure it’s personal in some way. I’m always thankful to the PR people who read my blog too and speak about something I wrote or did. It’s nice to know they actually took an interest in your work and actually care about working with you, rather than a bulk email in mass to everyone at the same time.
Will you be working on any exciting projects this year? I do have a few in mind actually, which I think are exciting, but I can’t say anything at the moment as I never like to jinx collaborations. Since it’s only February though, I’m hopeful some more might come my way too! We will see! Thank you for doing this interview with me.