One of the rare bloggers to cross over into television and traditional media, Lindsey Calla has gone from focusing on budget style via her first blog, Saucy Glossy, to introducing a new focus on athletics, wellness and activewear on her current site, Calla In Motion. Take it away, Lindsey!
How did you get into blogging six years ago?
I was working as a fashion assistant at Cosmopolitan for about three years. During that time, I was noticing a shift into digital. I had an opportunity to be [featured] in the magazine as someone who worked in the industry and had style. It turned out really well, and I realized people want to see real people, they don’t necessarily want to see models. So I pitched Cosmo the idea of doing a daily blog of my outfits at the office, but it was almost too soon; they didn’t have strong digital platforms yet at the magazine. So I ended up quitting and moving to Australia with my boyfriend. Then, I started my website. I felt like the shift was happening and I wanted to be a part of it. The recession had hit, so it was really all about looking super stylish on a budget. That’s how it started!
Your original blog was Saucy Glossy and now you’ve rebranded to Calla in Motion. What triggered the switch?
In 2009, I was in my mid-twenties, and as I grew and the blog grew, I had accomplished a lot of the goals that I had wanted to do pretty early on. I felt that I was changing and evolving pretty quickly, and that my blog wasn’t a true representation of me anymore. I felt that fashion blogs have become more like catalogues than a source of real, authentic inspiration, so I decided to evolve it into something that really fits the things that I’m into now. Before I worked at a magazine, my whole life was about sports. When I worked in New York City in the fashion industry, I put that life aside. Now, I’ve rediscovered my passion for wellness and fitness and sports. I often noticed the fashion industry embracing the sport culture and fitness. When I first started my site, I wanted to help people dress everyday, and I was just using myself as the example. Now, I really approach my site now as less of a “look at me, here’s what I’m wearing” blog and more of a “Here’s how I can help you, here’s how we can do it together.”
What did your readers think when you broke the news?
Everyone was pretty positive about it. A lot of people felt like it was very organic and natural. I think they appreciated the site’s honesty and the authenticity. I think my reader is also evolving. What I’m writing about is a lifestyle that a lot of people are living now. It’s more about being active, and being a little more casual and less about super high heels and a tight, fitted outfit.
You were the first blogger to be a Maxxinista for TJ Maxx, right?
Yeah, I was really the first blogger to cross over into television. That was a big moment for me: I had always wanted to use the blogger platform to do TV and get to communicate with people on a whole different traditional media platform. Interestingly, I was most successful Maxxinista that they’ve ever done, and I’m also the only one that they’ve ever used more than once. It was really successful because it was very authentic. I had been much more budget conscious in my twenties, at the time. But that was one of my goals when I started my blog, to have that platform, and I was able to do a lot of on-camera work on morning shows, like MTV and CBS.
You now live in New Orleans. When did you leave New York?
Almost a year ago. I felt like I accomplished a lot of my goals, and the city was becoming overwhelming to me. I think a lot of people think that New York City is changing and they’re kicking all the creative people out. I wasn’t feeling inspired anymore and I was losing my sense of self. New Orleans was a place I was constantly going to for fun. I have a lot of great friends down there and I ended up meeting my boyfriend in New Orleans, so I decided to be down there full time, and it’s been the best decision because it’s such a vibrant city. There are a lot of artists and creative people. It’s a place where I can develop a really unique point of view because it nurtures that creative side. And it’s a little slower in pace, so I’ve been able to get into new things.
Has your style has shifted since moving there?
It’s so different. I’m really a completely different person than I was when I worked full-time in the city for vast reasons. My lifestyle’s all about yoga and being active, and it’s much more casual than New York City’s polished look. New Orleans just has this laid back vibe where you’d be completely out of place if you were dressing like you lived in New York. I love it. I have so many sports bras now! That’s all I wear: yoga pants and sports bras.
What are your go-to activewear brands?
I love Stella McCartney for Adidas. I really love this yoga brand called WearGrace: It’s a really cool line of yoga wear that is super luxe and high-end; things that are really interchangeable that you can wear going to the gym, paddle boarding, hot yoga, everything that I do. I’m excited to see Tory Burch’s active wear line and Donna Karan is doing a yoga line. I’m not doing anything that’s insanely performance driven, so I can have more of a fashion-forward look for the level of athletic stuff I’m doing.
Tell us about your exercise routine.
Yoga’s something I’ve gotten really into and I really love, and I’m certified in. But it’s more of power yoga. I’ve gained a lot flexibility through yoga and also calmness and a different point of view of how I look at life and business. I also really love biking outside. There’s actually a place in New Orleans that does 35 minutes of biking, 15 minutes of high intensity, and 30 minutes of power yoga. It’s amazing. It’s all my favorite things pretty much wrapped into one. I’m not a big runner, but I will do high intensity like sprints and intervals, and a lot of light weights. I’m not really big into the fitness class thing. I prefer to motivate myself.
Do you have any collaborations in the works?
Yes! One of the big things I’ve been focusing on recently is the act of travel and the idea that everybody vacations now because they want to get away and not feel terrible. I’m working with Barneys and will be contributing to their site, covering travel and activewear. I’m also going to be working on my own line of athletic wear. Lastly, I’m also going to partner with a lot of brands over the next year to do yoga, in addition to hotels like the Ritz Carlton.
What’s your end goal?
The blog has always been really great platform that I’ve always tried to tie in with other things. About two years ago, my goal was always to be a TV host, and I’ve really changed a lot in my perspective, which is on business in general and my own goals. In the long-term, I want to have a really strong activewear brand and would also love to lead yoga all over the world, traveling to inspire people to just change their life and find the balance that they can find through fashion, technology and fitness. I think wanting to help people is probably the biggest goal that I have. It’s less about my personal goal of wanting to conquer television, because a lot of that’s changed.
PLUS! Lindsey’s Five Tips For Aspiring Bloggers
1. Have a unique point of view! It’s better to be really strong at something than okay at a lot of things.
2. Listen to yourself. Your gut, and where you want to take your personal blog and brand is something you can’t rely on others to tell you. You need to do it for yourself because it helps your refine your personal voice.
3. I’m really big into quality over quantity. Put a lot of time into your photos and make them feel ultra special and high end, instead of just throwing something out there everyday.
4. Don’t neglect the backend of your blog and website: learn about SEO and technical aspects.
5. I’m a big believer in work experience with people and putting in time to break into an industry. I had a strong professional background and made a lot of great connections in the industry, which helped me tremendously. A lot of people think they can just start a blog and that’s going to get them to the level they want to get to, but it really is important to learn from others!