Your blog name itself makes you incredibly unique. Can you tell us the story behind it? What made you come up with ‘Mr. Bazaar?’
Bright Bazaar was a name that popped into my head one evening over four years ago as I sat in front of my iMac trying to think of a name to put into the Blogger registration screen. I wanted a name that described my love for colourful, eclectic style, while also being memorable. ‘Bright’ is the nod to my love of colour and the ‘Bazaar’ references the Moroccan souks that are full of vibrant and diverse design finds.
You graduated from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism. Now you work as a freelance interiors journalist and blogger as well as writing Bright Bazaar. What has that journey been like?
My first experiences in styling came when I worked in visual merchandising for UK retail brand Habitat whilst I was a student. Transferring from a sales assistant into the in-store visual team was the ideal move for me because I had realised how much I enjoyed the process of creating an inspiring shopping experience for customers. From assisting the Visual Merchandising Manager to set up the seasonal window displays to creating room sets and little vignettes, the experience gave me a solid grounding in arranging products with colour, texture and composition in mind. As this was retail-based styling, the focus was as much on creativity and experience as it was on encouraging up selling and sales, so when I founded Bright.Bazaar in 2009 it was exciting to have a space for which I could style and write without restrictions or required elements. I started the blog after I graduated from university with a Journalism degree, and have since written interiors articles on a freelance basis for both newspapers and magazines. I now write freelance on a full-time basis as Market Editor for both Sweet Paul and The Simple Things magazines. I’m also writing and styling my first book, which is due to be published next year.
You speak a lot on blogging and give blogging workshops so people can become savvier on social media. If you could give readers one tip about blogs/social media, what would it be?
Think about how you time your updates. I’ve met lots of people who see social media as a tick box exercise on their To-Do list, when in reality to make social media work hardest for your business, brand or blog you need to time your updates according to your business strategy. For example, if you’re looking to move into a new overseas market you need to be engaging with your audience and/or customers in that timezone. Use programmes like Hoot Suite to schedule tweets and be sure to respond first thing so that you start and complete conversations as you build a new audience. If you grow quickly, consider reaching out and hiring a freelancer to manage your social media platforms in those timezones. You can find more of my hints and tips for blogging and social media in these two infographics: Bright.Bazaar’s Guide To Blogging Infographicand Mr. Bazaar’s Five Tips To Rock Social Media
You recently took a trip to Spain and took some incredible pictures! So far, what has been your favorite place you have traveled to?
That’s so tricky to answer as I love so many places. I visited Stockholm for the first time in February and it was an amazing place full of interesting people and places. That said, I have to admit that being in Paris this January during their heaviest snowfall in almost a decade was pretty magical. You can see all my pictures from the trip, here.
How would you describe your own personal style?
I find it hard to classify my style as I don’t gravitate to a certain era – for example, my home isn’t full of retro 1960’s prints or, say, mid-century furniture. Rather, I follow my heart and bring pieces into my home as and when they inspire me. That said, I do dream of being able to have white floorboards throughout my house one day – I love light, bright and airy Scandinavian interiors where colour is introduced in bold, surprise pops against a cool white base.
What has been the most rewarding part about the success of Bright Bazaar over the years?
Aside from the wonderful friendships I’ve been lucky to make with bloggers all over the world, on a career level I was super excited to recently sign a worldwide publishing deal to release the first Bright.Bazaar interiors book in 2014. I’m both excited and nervous about the huge challenge that lies ahead, but I can’t wait to dive into the project and start learning more about book publishing. I’ve always written Bright.Bazaar so that it feels like my readers are right there with me soaking up all of my colorful design adventures, and I really hope the book will feel like this, too.