By Madi Allen
In a world of social media, LinkedIn profiles and a myriad of blogs, three Baylor freshmen are attempting to make their mark on the Web, running an on-campus fashion blog called “Buttoned Bears.”
With a “currently stalking” and “street style” section, Buttoned Bears profiles and highlights the fashion choices of Baylor students around campus, as well as forecasting the next trends.
The Lariat sat down with the three bloggers, San Diego, freshman Taylor Wong, Los Angeles freshman Hannah Kleinick and Plano freshman Abby Thompson to talk about how they run their blog, their fashion inspirations and what it’s like to find their place in the blogging world.
Q: Can you describe what Buttoned is?
Kleinick: Buttoned is a fashion blog by Baylor students for Baylor students, and it’s an outlet for students who are interested in fashion or want to see their peers that are fashionable on a site.
Q: What inspired you to start Buttoned?
Kleinick: Last semester was kind of a slow semester for us. There wasn’t a lot going on and we realized that there was nothing like a fashion blog for Baylor students about Baylor students on Baylor’s campus.
Students are so interested in fashion and with such a great fashion merchandising program and a great journalism program, we thought we should put the two together and make it happen.
Q: What have been some of the biggest challenges in running the blog?
Wong: Probably getting it out there.
Thompson: Making it known to people and getting them to understand what it actually is. It’s not a personal blog; it’s a blog for Baylor students
Q: What have been some the biggest successes of running Buttoned?
Wong: We just got to 10 thousand views, and I think it’s about 12 thousand now.
We also just had alumni ask us to advertise for them and they gave us clothes.
Thompson: Just getting feedback from people saying stuff like, “the blog looks really good!”
Kleinick: The feedback we’ve gotten is so rewarding.
People are into it and they want to get involved, which is so awesome. We want more people to get involved.
Wong: And almost everyone is thrilled when we ask if they want to be on the blog.
Q: How would each of you describe your personal style?
Kleinick: I would say I’m definitely bohemian with a little bit of an edge — I love a good leather jacket with anything floral.
Wong: I would probably say casual chic, with kind of a bohemian flair.
Thompson: I would say vintage inspired and girly, but sometimes a little edgy.
Q: Who are some of your style icons?
Wong: Probably Alexa Chung and Rachel Bilson.
Kleinick: Kate Bosworth. She’s perfect. I love everything she wears.
Thompson: Emma Watson, Elle Fanning and Grace Kelly.
Q: Do you feel like running a blog and becoming known is more difficult, especially in the blogging world of today because it is so competitive?
Wong: I think in general, yes. It’s a lot harder because almost everyone has one, anyone can start one. But for us, I think it was easy because Baylor didn’t have a fashion blog like ours.
We had a place to go. And that’s why it wasn’t really hard for us, but in general it is a lot harder these days.
Q: What do you do to make your blog stand out? What would you call your “X factor?”
Thompson: I think what sets us apart is that we have actual students featured on the currently stalking section.
Everyone likes to see their friends or someone they’ve probably seen around campus. It’s just cool to get recognized.
Wong: I think the “What to Wear Next” is really applicable to Baylor students because we do events for Baylor. It’s just more applicable to students here.
Q: What do you look for in someone you decide to “stalk” each week? And is it difficult to find candidates on campus?
Kleinick: No. It’s really exciting actually and we get to meet people and we’ve made so many new friends because of it, and people are pretty much willing. I think we’ve only been denied a few times.
We don’t really look for anything in particular, just somebody that has their own personal style, because that’s what is most important to us.
Q: How often do you work on the blog and who does what?
Kleinick: There are only three of us. If there were more of us we would probably post stuff everyday, but we also have work and school and we’re part of other things.
Thompson: We work on it everyday. We may not post every day, but we do something every day. I am in charge of most of the writing.
Kleinick: I do some of the writing, and I kind of come up with a lot of the ideas, like what is in right now; what we should be putting out there for Baylor students that would be applicable to them; and what they would like and social media. I do all of the Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Wong: I am the photographer and I manage the entire site, so I post everything and kind of decide what goes where on the actual blog.
Q: Do you look to other blogs for inspiration?
Kleinick: I definitely look at other college fashion websites. A lot of colleges have fashion magazines that pair with a fashion blog, and we definitely look at those to see what is successful there and what would maybe be successful at Baylor.
We look at personal blogs and fashion posts and things like ‘ManRepeller’ to see what fashion bloggers are doing, but I would say that I think we look most at other college fashion websites.
Q: What are some of your favorite memories or moments from running the blog?
Wong: Probably getting denied. It’s usually pretty funny and we laugh about that.
Kleinick: When things get busy and we just blast Beyoncé.
Thompson: It’s all fun and a good release for us.
Q: What would you say is the key to a good blog? What is the thing that keeps people coming back?
Wong: One reason is that it is applicable to them, and we have a lot of good visuals. It’s very user friendly and then having people be able to see their friends and their peers and people they have classes with on it keeps them coming back, and they want to see what everyone else is wearing.