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My Blogging Milestones… So Far!!! + Giveaway Winner Announcement

Before I started blogging, I was 24 (still am!!), at an age where if you’re not already establishing a career, you feel like you never will. I mean I’d travelled halfway across the world for my education, worked my backside off to achieve a First Class degree (which I did), did an additional teaching course in London but it seemed none of that was enough to get me an actual job. I was seriously contemplating what I wanted to do in my life, questioning the purpose of me being in this country even. I felt lost. Someday three months ago, I sat down to gather my thoughts regarding my future for the first time and reminded myself of what I really enjoyed doing. Much to my surprise, teaching was nowhere near the top of the list. Even though throughout my uni years, I was convinced that would be my priority, to impart my knowledge of the Chinese languages and culture to those who wish to learn… but no, it wasn’t that. Instead, I rediscovered my desire to write, which was shocking because after four years of essays writing, I thought I would’ve had enough of it by then. Tired of waiting for opportunities to come my way, I figured I might as well get up and make them happen for myself!! So I searched for writing jobs on the Internet and eventually wrote my first fashion feature article for a local online magazine called Back To Black. It was soon publised on their website (read) and I decided that I wanted to do this more often but at my own pace preferably since having spent almost half a decade in college and university, I’d kind of grown allergic to the terms “deadline” and “submission”. So that’s essentially how Suede & Symphony came about.

 

At the very beginning, I was informed… warned, almost, that male bloggers tend to find it more difficult to attract followings so I prepared myself with little expectation of how my blog would be received. However, the response I’ve been getting from the blogosphere itself and the fashion industry within the short space of time has been truly overwhelming:

1: In a few weeks of blogging, I’d been the ZipZone Paris showroom in Paris Fashion Week – which led to an interview with Yuzzo London (read) and Stefano Tartini. (read)

2. Soon after returning from Paris, I received an invite to 7 For All Mankind boutique opening in Manchester. (read)

3. Less than two months, I was invited to the Private White V.C.‘s A/W14 collection launch party. (read)

4. Followed by a semi-collaboration with Cat Called Esteban Vintage that got my name and images featured on their official social media accounts.

5. Then, I was asked to join the beta tester group for FashionFit (follow me) and promote a competition held by Mainline Menswear (read), both of which I did.

6. Two months into blogging, one of my earlier looks received a feature on LookBook‘s social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter and last but not least, Instagram, where it gained over 7,000 Likes…

Screenshot_2014-12-12-00-02-06

which was super awesome!!

7. Most recently, I interviewed the very lovely Amanda Svart (follow @amandasvart), a rising Swedish designer from Royal College of Art in London.

On top of all that, I’m hoping to attend London Collections: Men in a month’s time as a student journalist ‘slash‘ blogger. This will be my first but fingers crossed NOT my last!! Shortly afterwards I’ll be travelling back to the Far East where I’m originated and conduct a series of meetings and interviews with local designers from my homeland to promote Malaysian contemporary fashion to more international audiences. And that’s all thanks to my blog. It tires me to feel like I’ve done a year’s worth of work in just three months but I’m actually relishing all the doors my blog has opened for me so much. People tell me everything happens for a reason and it does look as if all the jobs that turned me down have done me some good!!

 

Additionally, I also have some great personal achievements that I’m even prouder of myself for. My social anxiety is not a condition I like to admit but it’s one that I’ve always suffered from since a young age. Socially anxious people are intimidated by large crowds, especially of strangers. They used to suffocate me until I started this blog. I’ve been pushing myself harder than before to attend various events, socialise with people and make new friends that I never would’ve made if it wasn’t for blogging. Most of these I accomplished by myself and that, to me, was a far more impressive feat than anything else. If you like to read more about how I’ve managed to blog away my insecurities, head over to the super cute and inspirational Penned by Jenny for my guest post (here).

 

To thanks all my readers for the support, I did a little giveaway over a week ago for one lucky reader to receive FIVE UK number-one album from this past year and I now have a winner… IT’S BILL!!! Please check your email for details – your requested CDs will be with you shortly and I sincerely hope you enjoy them!!

 

Hopefully this time next year I’ll be writing another one of these posts and by then, I’ll have done much much more. One thing for sure is that every new follow will still surprise me just as much and every like and comment will always make me just as happy as the firsts so please do keep them coming!!!

 

Love, Oliver

Thanks everyone for entering the giveaway!! I have more exciting plans in the near future so keep your eyes peeled!! 😀

7 Comments

  • Reply
    Bill
    December 12, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Yay!! I’ve never won anything before so this is a wonderful Christmas present!

    Thanks very much for the CD’s Oliver…and for introducing me to some great new music through your blog.

    • Reply
      oliverinstead
      December 12, 2014 at 6:39 pm

      I hope you enjoy the music – you’ve got some great ones there! 😉

      Oliver

  • Reply
    manchesterflickchick
    December 12, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Those are fantastic experiences which I think happened because you are a male fashion blogger not despite that fact. I’ve developed social anxiety as I’ve got older and I know how hard it is to push yourself and get out there, so to conclude, you are awesome!

  • Reply
    JennyLeungX
    December 12, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Isn’t writing awesome? This post must have been so empowering to write. Always be proud! :)

  • Reply
    twirlytwirly
    December 13, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    This is such an inspiring post. I’m feeling all empowered now! You’ve achieved so much in a small space of time, so well done! And don’t be ashamed to mention your social anxiety, people should understand. Sounds like you’re tackling it now anyway.

  • Reply
    Oh So Gawjess - jessica
    December 13, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    Some amazing achievments Oliver, you should be really proud of yourself.

    Keep up the good work

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