ENTREPRENEURIAL LESSONS WE LEARNED FROM LEADING A CREATIVE LIFE

03Untitled-1Fashion bloggers, Entrepreneurs, Style, Fashion, Fashion photography, San Francisco Fashion Blog, SF Blog, French Vogue, Personal Style, The Blonde Salad, Gary Pepper, Shine By Three, Oracle Fox, San Francisco Street Fashion Blog, Best Fashion Blog, Fashionista, Style, Entrepreneurship, Artist, Silicon Valley Fashion Blog

We had no idea what we were getting into when we decided to start a fashion blog.  It began as most projects do, with lots of exhilaration, excitement and grand visions, but after the initial rush we experienced a period of ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ syndrome and, like many creators had to navigate our own path.  We have had a rollercoaster of ups and downs along the way, and are truly embracing the process of growth. Whether you want to be a fashion blogger or not, our 2016 resolution for you is dare yourself to take actionable steps to start that dream project, hobby or idea that you have been putting off!


Fashion bloggers, Entrepreneurs, Style, Fashion, Fashion photography, San Francisco Fashion Blog, SF Blog, French Vogue, Personal Style, The Blonde Salad, Gary Pepper, Shine By Three, Oracle Fox, San Francisco Street Fashion Blog, Best Fashion Blog, Fashionista, Style, Entrepreneurship, Artist, Silicon Valley Fashion Blog

“When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.” – Ellen DeGeneres
Never write off your dreams – take your aspirations seriously. They’re a crucial part of you!  Entrepreneurs are leaders willing to take risk and exercise initiative.  Entrepreneurs come in many forms, so don’t be intimidated by the Mark Zuckerberg/Silicon Valley image (although we do love Mark).  We might be shy people, but we are always coming up with new ideas for our blog and itching to make it GREAT – even when the going gets tough.  Our great expectations and love of the next idea drive us to take those important risks – sometimes that means getting over the embarrassment of strangers watching us shoot, other times it means getting over our fear of intimidating “important” people when saying a bold HELLO! to them at that fashion party.  Other times it means persisting through the downtimes when morale is low.

Fashion bloggers, Entrepreneurs, Style, Fashion, Fashion photography, San Francisco Fashion Blog, SF Blog, French Vogue, Personal Style, The Blonde Salad, Gary Pepper, Shine By Three, Oracle Fox, San Francisco Street Fashion Blog, Best Fashion Blog, Fashionista, Style, Entrepreneurship, Artist, Silicon Valley Fashion Blog

Pursuing a new endeavor takes so much work that you need to be grounded in your sense of authenticity in order to see it through.  It was very easy for us to get confused at the beginning – should we be an everything blog where we post beauty secrets and lifestyle tips?  Should we be focusing on trends even when we would never wear those trends?  Should we wear less colorful clothes and try to be minimalist fashion bloggers?  We also made a lot of unhealthy comparisons to other bloggers at the beginning… and now we have realized we will never have as many Chanel bags or be as blonde as The Blonde Salad, but we have something else just as important to say in the visual space of fashion blogging.  After much agonizing and discussion, we realized that our brand identity is very much tied to the expressiveness of our core personalities, and we felt much happier when we started focusing our shoots on letting our personalities shine.  

Fashion bloggers, Entrepreneurs, Style, Fashion, Fashion photography, San Francisco Fashion Blog, SF Blog, French Vogue, Personal Style, The Blonde Salad, Gary Pepper, Shine By Three, Oracle Fox, San Francisco Street Fashion Blog, Best Fashion Blog, Fashionista, Style, Entrepreneurship, Artist, Silicon Valley Fashion BlogFashion bloggers, Entrepreneurs, Style, Fashion, Fashion photography, San Francisco Fashion Blog, SF Blog, French Vogue, Personal Style, The Blonde Salad, Gary Pepper, Shine By Three, Oracle Fox, San Francisco Street Fashion Blog, Best Fashion Blog, Fashionista, Style, Entrepreneurship, Artist, Silicon Valley Fashion BlogFashion bloggers, Entrepreneurs, Style, Fashion, Fashion photography, San Francisco Fashion Blog, SF Blog, French Vogue, Personal Style, The Blonde Salad, Gary Pepper, Shine By Three, Oracle Fox, San Francisco Street Fashion Blog, Best Fashion Blog, Fashionista, Style, Entrepreneurship, Artist, Silicon Valley Fashion BlogFashion bloggers, Entrepreneurs, Style, Fashion, Fashion photography, San Francisco Fashion Blog, SF Blog, French Vogue, Personal Style, The Blonde Salad, Gary Pepper, Shine By Three, Oracle Fox, San Francisco Street Fashion Blog, Best Fashion Blog, Fashionista, Style, Entrepreneurship, Artist, Silicon Valley Fashion Blog

Human beings are very visual animals.  A fashion blog is an especially visual space, so you need to learn to develop your visual skills through practice, failure and revision.  In the first month we felt frustrated because although we did have our photographer Victor helping us, his time is limited and we had to start shooting each other on days when he wasn’t free.  We are regular subscribers of French Vogue, and when we saw our images were so far away from the Vogue quality level, we were very disheartened.  But, we did some research, bought a new lens, and practiced!  We are still learning, and have started taking photography classes from another amazing friend – it is definitely a work in progress but feels amazing to start to see improvements.  We recommend researching photographers, artists, blogs, and magazines you love and also watching Youtube videos for pointers.  You don’t need an Instagram husband (although we wouldn’t say no to one!) if you are confident in your technical abilities.  Keep working toward mastery of your visual skills!

Fashion bloggers, Entrepreneurs, Style, Fashion, Fashion photography, San Francisco Fashion Blog, SF Blog, French Vogue, Personal Style, The Blonde Salad, Gary Pepper, Shine By Three, Oracle Fox, San Francisco Street Fashion Blog, Best Fashion Blog, Fashionista, Style, Entrepreneurship, Artist, Silicon Valley Fashion Blog

Like any start up, we had very little money to start this blog and were forced to be scrappy.  We wouldn’t be where we are today without the friends that stepped in to help us!  First and foremost, we have to thank each other, because starting a blog by yourself is a lot tougher than having a co-creator.  It was a big step for us to reach out to our friends and let them know we were starting a fashion blog – we weren’t sure how they would react and were scared to put ourselves out into the unknown when we really didn’t know what blogging was all about.  Thankfully everyone was excited and onboard to help us in any way they could.  Our photographer Victor helped us brainstorm and plan shoots, our marketing friends helped us contact Fashion PRs, many friends have let us borrow their clothes and our business friends gave us the tough love that we really needed to hear.  We also have met so many other creatives who want to collaborate and get involved.  Now we have grown a community of creatives that want to work with us on projects or be featured on our blog – having their essence on our blog adds to its depth and richness.  So reach out and let people help you!  You will be surprised at all the hidden gems you have in your network.

Fashion bloggers, Entrepreneurs, Style, Fashion, Fashion photography, San Francisco Fashion Blog, SF Blog, French Vogue, Personal Style, The Blonde Salad, Gary Pepper, Shine By Three, Oracle Fox, San Francisco Street Fashion Blog, Best Fashion Blog, Fashionista, Style, Entrepreneurship, Artist, Silicon Valley Fashion Blog

When something isn’t working, move on and re-route.  We have had plenty of failures, but we are focused on scratching those ideas that just weren’t panning out.  For instance, we had planned an amazing shoot on University Ave in downtown Palo Alto, but everything went wrong.  The lighting wasn’t right, the background was boring, we weren’t allowed to shoot in the boutique we wanted to feature,etc.  We really wanted to persist – and went through with the shoots, edited the photos and posted.  A couple days later, one of our keen marketing friends mentioned that the post just didn’t fit.  Everything was off brand and off personality.  We decided to delete the post, which took a lot of courage after all that work – but felt much better.  It is key to accept that when something isn’t working, you movie on and re-routing is much better then getting stuck in a rut.  There will always be a better path!

Fashion bloggers, Entrepreneurs, Style, Fashion, Fashion photography, San Francisco Fashion Blog, SF Blog, French Vogue, Personal Style, The Blonde Salad, Gary Pepper, Shine By Three, Oracle Fox, San Francisco Street Fashion Blog, Best Fashion Blog, Fashionista, Style, Entrepreneurship, Artist, Silicon Valley Fashion Blog

Inspiration comes in many forms, and we love absorbing and applying all the information that experts from different fields have to share.  We try to listen or read something motivational everyday – instead of listening to music we run on the treadmill to a Tim Ferris podcast, or while editing pictures we listen to a YouTube interview with Ramit Sethi, and we love watching Elon Musk giving talks.  The more you surround yourself with people who are innovative and have created their own successful path on the road less traveled the better!  

Fashion bloggers, Entrepreneurs, Style, Fashion, Fashion photography, San Francisco Fashion Blog, SF Blog, French Vogue, Personal Style, The Blonde Salad, Gary Pepper, Shine By Three, Oracle Fox, San Francisco Street Fashion Blog, Best Fashion Blog, Fashionista, Style, Entrepreneurship, Artist, Silicon Valley Fashion Blog

So you don’t live in a fashion capital?  Not a problem!  We have found that our audience loves to see visuals of our life in San Francisco and Palo Alto, and although these places tend to be less fashion heavy than Paris, we try to delight our audience with the hidden beauty and culture that we find in Northern California. We have discovered so many amazing fashion bloggers in the Bay Area we just had to hunt them down.  If you have a visual eye you can bring your habitat to life, and also find that niche audience in your area that is dying for some fashion love!  You can also be a fashion innovator in your area if it lacks a fashion presence – by being one of the first fashion bloggers to make his/her mark.

Fashion bloggers, Entrepreneurs, Style, Fashion, Fashion photography, San Francisco Fashion Blog, SF Blog, French Vogue, Personal Style, The Blonde Salad, Gary Pepper, Shine By Three, Oracle Fox, San Francisco Street Fashion Blog, Best Fashion Blog, Fashionista, Style, Entrepreneurship, Artist, Silicon Valley Fashion Blog

It is really hard to take care of yourself when you are shooting for 6 hours a day, editing and writing, and going to fashion parties to network and grow your audience.  The life of a blogger can be tough, with little room left for yourself.  We try our best to make time to sleep 8 hours a night,exercise daily, as well as eat with nutrition and health in mind.  Although we don’t have much time for socializing outside of our blog, we try to get in one day of complete downtime to unplug and watch a fun movie or go to dinner with friends where there is no Instagramming allowed!  

Fashion bloggers, Entrepreneurs, Style, Fashion, Fashion photography, San Francisco Fashion Blog, SF Blog, French Vogue, Personal Style, The Blonde Salad, Gary Pepper, Shine By Three, Oracle Fox, San Francisco Street Fashion Blog, Best Fashion Blog, Fashionista, Style, Entrepreneurship, Artist, Silicon Valley Fashion Blog

While it is key to remain true to yourself, keep your eyes and mind open to ways that other fashion bloggers are being creative and successful.  Follow what is happening on the fashion blogs that truly resonate with you, and don’t be afraid to tackle some big goals.  Our personal blog goals for 2016 include:   creating images as rich as Gary Pepper Girl, art directing like Shine By Three, writing with the humor of Zanita, and curating Instagram as well as Oracle Fox.  

Valentina & Francesca

Valentina & Francesca is for the millennial individual who sets the direction to her life with optimism and an unwaveringly open mind. A high-impact, laser-focused digital platform generating unique content inspiring connected women to discover their personal style. Valentina & Francesca enhances your brand’s story with bold contemporary narratives celebrating confidence and power in a smart, irreverent way within a highly engaged community.

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