Tuesday, March 30, 2010
By Jody Marich
Six months after she stuck her stilettos in the fashion door, Ashley Spiker, is getting noticed. Since becoming an internet fashionista, Spiker has become a well-known name in the world of fashion bloggers.
Not only did Spiker create her blogging website, Alice In Stilettos, but she contributes to Modern Hippie Magazine, which is an online source focused on promoting eco-friendly living and style. Since beginning her blog in October, Spiker has received a lot of attention. In January alone, she had over 3,000 hits and was featured three times by the Independent Fashion Bloggers website, which is a community of online fashion bloggers. She also recently began working for Sleekfly.com, an online celebrity website, as the marketing director. With all her spare time, she is also an up and coming personal stylist. Creating her own website, ashleyspiker.com, Spiker gives tips and advice for interested customers.
Her credentials include:
- Creating and developing the fashion website,
in Stilettos Alice
- Being featured frequently by Independent Fashion Bloggers
- Contributing for Modern Hippie Magazine
- Attending Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, Fall 2010
Spiker is quickly getting her name out there and networking.
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Spiker. A dear friend and a fellow fashionista, she tells us how she got to where she is.
How have you gotten your foot in the door in the world of fashion?
“I really took the marketing that I had, because I know how to get people interested, so I took more of that angle of it. I just started my blog in October and babied it. It honestly took a while. Then I found Modern Hippie Mag, began writing for them, and just let all my friends know what I doing. My friends really believed in me and started spreading it. I started a twitter and joined Independent Fashion Bloggers. It’s slow the first 6 months, and it’s still slow. I’m not where I want to be but I’m ok with that because it’s growing and that’s all that matters. I want to keep contributing to more sites, so I can get more traffic and more exposure.”
Spiker has learned that video is important, especially when it comes to the cutthroat field of fashion. “Because everyone is doing blogs and it’s already pretty saturated, the next thing is video. Video just does better. People are more willing to watch a video than read an article on how to bleach your jeans.” On Spiker’s website, Alice in Stilettos, she has a “do it yourself” section where she gives you a video explaining steps as well as a written version so you can better understand the process.
How did you begin Alice in Stilettos?
“When I realized how passionate I was about starting a website about fashion and style, I began to explore ideas for a name.”
On a plane ride home from New York, Spiker tried to come up with a name for her new creation. “I really wanted stilettos in the title because I am obsessed with shoes.”
With an adoration for Alice from Alice in Wonderland, Spiker had created the perfect name. “Alice is innocent, conservative, and stuck in a mindset that she doesn’t want to be in so I was like what if I take the concept of Alice, kind of grown up and expressing herself.”
What inspires you?
“We’re sitting here at Starbucks, I’m talking to you with a tape recorder, and it’s just so beautiful. I’m in a really good place in my life right now where I am very appreciative of everything in my life and I live in such a beautiful city. I like being creative. I never felt like I was good enough to write where other people would want to hear it or that I wasn’t there yet, but you have to realize that if you want to do it, you are there, you have the passion for it and I just started believing in myself.”
Who is your favorite designer?
“I have always, always had this special place in my heart for Christian Dior, especially their couture collection this season. As far as Fashion Week in New York this year, I think one of the best new designers is Irina Shabayeva. She is amazing. She has a real niche, because she does things like hand painted leather and feathers. I forget where she is from but its heavy influential in her designs. I love it. She is amazing.”
Spiker was fortunate enough to go to New York Fashion week for the Fall 2010 showcase and see the fabulous fashion first hand, including Irina Shabayeva. With that experience, she has learned a lot. She has been able to create DIY’s, write reviews of runway shows, and write other posts about fashion.
Who is your fashion icon?
“Some brilliant upcoming designers are from the middle of nowhere. They are isolated to a certain extent and they come up with these brilliant designs. I know that I have that capability. I’m not designing but I’m coming up with creative things to do. I just really like to be unique and not look at other blogs when I am writing. For fashion bloggers I really like Sea of Shoes. Her site is just amazing. She has a very elaborate style.”
Sea of Shoes was created by Jane Aldridge at just 15. She began blogging about her love for designer shoes. Two years later, Aldridge has signed a deal with Urban Outfitters to create a limited edition shoe collection. It just shows that if you believe in yourself and “just keep writing” as Spiker would say, you can make your dreams come true.
“I think Karl Lagerfeld, for Chanel, is amazing. He is weird but he’s himself. I like anyone who is so unique. And I love that Marc Jacobs said he’s not going to bring celebrities to his show this year because they’re boring. I love that designers, more and more now, are not being afraid to really express themselves. I just love anyone who is extremely unique.”
What is your job and how did you get it?
“I am the new marketing director for a celebrity gossip site called Sleekfly, which is based out of Tampa. It’s really fun and I get to work from home. They are going incorporate my blog into their site. It’s a celebrity news site, like Perez Hilton without the attitude.”
Spiker is in charge of promotions as well as their Facebook and Twitter accounts.
“I had a Google alert set up for ‘fashion writer needed’. I think I had applied to almost every fashion writer job known to man and I was like this is crazy there is always going to be someone who has better credentials than me. Literally, the day I thought, maybe I should go back to marketing, I was on Craigslist and it just said social media something, so I sent out my resume and it turned out to be a celebrity gossip site. It was just meant to be.”
What made you want to get into fashion?
“I just like looking creative. I don’t like when people are creative in every other area in their life but when it comes to what they are wearing they don’t care. People are visual. I don’t see why anyone isn’t, to a certain extent, interested in fashion. You can enjoy fashion in a way that is best for you.”
Spiker just created her personal stylist website. She wants everyone to feel confident and proud of the clothes they wear. “Be honest. I think that’s the most important thing about styling is to be honest with your customer. Who cares if they get mad at you, you were honest with them. Stylists are trying to help people find clothes that look good on them.” As we swapped stories about working in fashion, Spiker and I both believe that “everyone is self conscious about something, but sometimes you have to be brave enough to try new things.”
How would you describe your style?
“Eclectic. I like city chic mixed with vintage.”
Paris is one of Spiker’s favorite places to go. She studied abroad for French and fell in love.
“I think that’s really where I got my vintage style from. When I studied abroad, there were so many wonderful boutiques but things I just couldn’t afford so I tried to find the places where local girls shopped.”
Once she began creating her own unique style, Spiker wanted to find more vintage clothing in the US. She began looking for stores locally in Sarasota and Venice as well as online. She says Ebay has a great selection. “Just be careful because sometimes you can get charged for things that you haven’t purchased.” She suggests the site ASOS, an online fashion store with hundreds of brands and thousands of pieces to choose from. “I have learned a lot through fashion bloggers, when they say where their stuff is from, so there is a bunch of new brands that I’m so excited to check out.”
What is some advice you want to give people who want to get into the fashion world?
When she answered this question, she immediately came up with these five suggestions:
- Be confident
- If this is what you want to do, go for it.
- When you write something, bring the value to people so they want to read your stuff.
- Be friendly and make friends
- Last but not least: Believe in yourself.
“If you stick to these things, honestly you will improve.”
When she first started her blog, like many, Spiker was intimidated, thinking no one wants to read what I have to say. “When I was first getting into it, I was like man I only have two articles up here but I wanted the content up there so I was given some advice, Just keep writing. As you know, as a writer, you keep going, you keep learning. You don’t want to put something up on your site that you’re not proud of or you don’t have a point to. I think blogging is just a good way to improve, get yourself out there, and build your content.”
Her personal stylist website is the next step she is taking into making it in the fashion world. “I want to give people a portfolio of picture and things they look good in.” With her career taking off, and her name floating around the fashion world, Spiker is excited to see where the future takes her. From one fashion blogger to another, Ashley Spiker has what it takes to make it in the fashion world. With her unique style and personality, this bubbly fashionista will definitely make a name for herself.