Bree Aylwin / The Urban Umbrella

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We had the pleasure of interviewing the stylish Bree Aylwin from the blog, The Urban Umbrella.  Bree is not only talented at styling outfits but she also provides some amazing beauty and blogging tips on her blog.  We are excited to introduce you to Bree!

Tell us about yourself, and how you started blogging.

I am newly engaged to my boyfriend of 7 years, who also happens to be my photographer. I have insatiable sweet tooth – and it seems I can never grow tired of macaroons. My weekend treat usually revolves around indulging myself in decadent cappuccinos and lattes at one of my favourite cafés, which include Revolver, Prado, and Timbertrain.

I started my blog back in 2012 after a few months of debating whether or not to launch it. I had loved fashion, beauty, and lifestyle and always had wanted to start my own. After working at a particular corporate job for some time, I was feeling really uninspired with my life and I felt like I needed to create something just for me which allowed for a bit more creativity in my life. So, on October 14th, 2012 I started The Urban Umbrella!

Give us the ‘inside scoop’ – what does a day in your life look like? 

Right now, my daily life looks a bit chaotic! I work full-time and run The Urban Umbrella so each day looks a bit different depending on the projects I am juggling. Typically though, it starts with a big cup of coffee, and ends feeling like I haven’t gotten anywhere with my “to do” list!

What types of readers are in your business ‘pink book’ and who are you looking to connect with?

Mainly I try to connect with the “every girl” because that’s how I identify myself. To me, the every girl is someone who lives on an average budget and is looking to explore and enjoy their style and beauty. They are women who are looking for relatable lifestyle, beauty, and style content to apply into their own daily lives.

Do you think it’s important to love what you do, or make good money?

I don’t see why you can’t do both. I think the most successful people in life turn what they love into a career. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be a millionaire from it, but I do know when you love what you do it’s easier to succeed at it because you’re willing to put the effort in.

Is owning your own blog as glamorous as it sounds?

Definitely not! There’s a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into running a blog. While it’s one of the most fun jobs I’ve ever taken on, there are still challenges that arise. The big thing about blogging that people don’t realize is how techy it can get! You really need to put in the time to learn the techy elements to make your blog succeed – and that isn’t all that glamorous!

What inspired you to start your own blog? What made you decide to take the leap?

Honestly, reading other blogs. I had been reading blogs for about a year when I finally decided to create my own. I thought it was such a fun idea to create something and give myself little projects that were more creative and fun than the spreadsheet projects I had given to me at the office!

What are your tips for setting yourself apart in the fashion blog industry?

The quote “Be yourself, everyone else is taken” couldn’t be more true with blogging. It’s a really saturated market and you need to be authentic in order to establish yourself and create a relationship with your audience.

What is the biggest challenge about fashion blogging?

The answer to this really changes for me from day to day! Some days it’s the techy aspect of blogging. Sometimes it’s juggling multiple campaigns alongside a full-time job. And other times it’s simply trying to get through a creative block. There are and will always be challenges, but that’s part of the fun of the job!

How would you describe your personal style?

My personal style is an easy and effortless mix of femininity and bohemian fashion. My blog is dedicated to the every girl, and I feel my style really reflects that – it’s relatable, realistic, and affordable.

Who inspires your style and why?

I feel like I am constantly gathering inspiration. Vancouver is such a beautiful city and we have such unique and diverse takes on fashion that it’s easy to just walk out the door for a bit of inspiration! As for celebrities though, I’d say that modern fashionistas such as Gigi Hadid and Olivia Palermo inspire my style. I also can’t help but love the classic trendsetters such as Brigitte Bardot and Audrey Hepburn.

What is your favourite travel hot spot?

To date, Cinque Terre is my favourite travel location. I felt completely inspired while I was there. It’s a place that I often let my mind drift to when I feel like I need a little calming escape.

Can you offer any advice for new bloggers or entrepreneurs looking to promote their business?

The main thing is to not get discouraged. When you first start your blog it’s overwhelming to learn all the ins and outs of it (like SEO for example) but rather than allowing yourself to get discouraged, look at each aspect as an exciting challenge. Sign up for classes, reach out to other bloggers, and search for the answers to your questions.

Where do you see your blog in the next five years?

My plan is to take The Urban Umbrella on full-time and build it into an online destination that covers a wide scope of topics. I hope that within the next five years I am able to continue to grow The UU, learn more, and explore new opportunities.

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