Thursday, July 31, 2014

Ri(t)ch Styles 5th Blogversary + Blogging tips :-)

Ri(t)ch Styles turned 5 years old this week! A milestone I am so excited and proud of! Unbelievable as it seems, its 5 years since I started this blog on a rainy rainy day, which today I believe was God showering me with 'Good Luck' and 'Success' for the lovely days of blogging that lay ahead of me :-)

I still remember the lovely fashion blogs I used to read in 2009, and think what a great job those bloggers did. Then one fine day it hit me to start my own blog to express myself, where I could share my ideas, outfits, tips and a lot more and that’s how Ri(t)ch Styles came into being. I remember sitting on my laptop trying to figure the best platform to have my blog on - figured that blogger was simpler than wordpress, signed up and four days later I was on my way. Those 4 days were spent figuring the best ways to post, picture sourcing details, kind of content that I would post, linking back and alignment(ughh - it sucked then) issues. I had no clue then as to how many people beyond my family and friends and clients(styling business) would read it, but I was highly motivated to get it going! Today I'm glad I took that step, and it has been one of the best decisions of my life.

The blog started as a fashion blog and the focus still remains that, but it has transcended into a lifestyle blog that also encompasses beauty, travel, food and other related aspects of lifestyle. In these 5 years the bouquet has become bigger with the Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram and finally a YouTube channel getting added to the Ri(t)ch Styles family.

Over the years I've had various experiences that have resulted in some learnings that I would associate with a successful blog and blogger, and sharing it with you guys was the apt thing (especially for all those of you who have regular questions about how to start a blog and go about it). It took me a while to find my way around as well, nothing is in place right from the start, but these can help like they still help me to get better every day :-)

  • Content is King
The frequency of your content doesn't matter if your content doesn't engage or give out some kind of information to your reader. Even if you post everyday but the content is not of any interest to your reader, then your efforts are going to go waste. Also if yours is the same content that is on numerous other sites, then the reader doesn't have anything new to read on your blog. I stay away from copy-pasting press releases as I believe in customised content for my readers/followers and my brands. As per feedback from people, this has really helped my blog in standing apart from a lot of others. Also copying or plagiarizing content is a big NO-NO - Be Original!

  • Passion
Blogging is not just about writing and putting up some pictures. It is way beyond that. You have to be passionate about what you are doing and the topics you are writing on. Please do not think of starting a blog just for the fun of it. You will lose interest eventually like a lot of bloggers that I have seen come and go in these 5 years because of their lack of passion. You have to keep the blog posts coming and be consistent so that your readers stay engaged. Blogging has to become a part of your daily life - not in terms of churning a blog post out every day, but atleast in thought and planning so that your blog takes shape well.

  • Patience and Positive Attitude
Patient bloggers do not let lack of response or not touching their targets in terms of numbers or page views or comments get to them. It takes time to generate traffic but you should keep churning out blog posts irrespective of the response, believing that sooner or later things will turn around for you. Sometimes a lull comes even from brands getting in touch with you, but treating it positively like an intermission/break for some breathing space works, before reader responses/brand work starts pouring in again. Also there may be days that you face 'Bloggers Block' where your mind is not able to churn out ideas. Don't worry, it's just a matter of time before you get your groove back!

  • Be Approachable and Friendly
You need to be approachable as in be really interested in knowing your followers and fans where in they should be able to reach you through comments, emails and your social media platforms and you should equally interact with them. Nagging followers/stalkers should be politely handled until and unless they cross their limits and that is when you should stop engaging or block them. Networking and meeting other bloggers at events or through other mediums like networking platforms, blog comments and more is also important. It helps you learn and grow as part of a community. I have had the privilege of meeting some great bloggers that I have formed healthy relationships with. Building friendly bonds and having a good understanding with the brands you work with is also key. Everything at the end of the day is built on relationships.

  • Keep educating yourself
It is important to keep improving and learning in order to stay relevant to your followers. There is no end to learning even if you are getting more and more popular. In fact the pressure increases to do better in every way. Learning from mistakes is vital as well. Embracing feedback and trying to work on it to improve is essential. Read, interact with the industry, acquaint yourself with new happenings, mingle with peers - basically do whatever it takes for you to keep educating yourself further in order to educate your readers. 

While there are a lot more learnings, these are the most important ones that I thought I should share :-)

Thank you to all you lovely people who have supported me in this journey through your reads, follows, comments, motivation and referral to friends and family. I truly appreciate it especially through through the last one year where I haven't been as regular due to my pregnancy, but you guys stuck around. Love you all!

Cheers to many more 'Ri(t)ch and Stylish' years ahead! 

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Monday, July 21, 2014

An evening to remember - All White in Rado!

“If we can imagine it, we can make it, and if we can make it, we will.” 

Sounds familiar to the the thought process of most successful personal style bloggers when you replace the word 'make' with 'wear'. However those are the famous words that make for the vision of RADO watches, words that fed its inception in 1957, the start of an unusual success story. This vision inspired by an unshakable belief in the strength of technology turned a clockwork manufacturer into a world-class brand. An exceptional team of engineers, scientists, and designers set to work to create the impossible – and they succeeded. 

Started as the Schlup & Co. clockwork factory in 1917 in the small Swiss town of Lengnau, by three brothers Fritz, Ernst, and Werner Schlup,  in 1957, it became Rado Uhren AG and the first watch collection was launched under this name. From there has been no looking back for them!

When I got the opportunity to be part of such a story where our synergies matched - an invitation to be on board the exclusive panel of bloggers that RADO is currently curating, it was a sign that my destiny is taking me places too! :-)

Rado hosted the Mumbai chapter of their 'All White In Rado' meet up a few weeks ago, involving only a few select luxury, fashion and lifestyle enthusiasts in Mumbai. Their endeavour was to invite us to a showcase of the world class collection of Rado's white watches. Be warned, this is a picture heavy post :-)

My favourite - Keep reading below and you will know why! :-)

Involving a sit down dinner at the Taj Lands End, over a candid interaction with representatives from Rado and their brand ambassador Lisa Ray, we got into the heart of the elegance that goes into the making of a Rado Watch. Innovation was the key feature of the evening, that we got to witness along with a journey into the heart of Rado's glamour and technology.

Simran Chandhoke - Brand Manager - RADO & Piyush Kumar - Marketing Manager (India) - RADO took us through the history of RADO and the watches and their technology

A big hello from the lovely Lisa Ray!

Lisa talking about her prestigious association with RADO as their Brand Ambassador

My favourites from all the watches that we experienced that evening was the "Esenza Ceramic Touch' Collection which is woman centric and the most advanced collection from Rado. It focuses on the concept of 'Touch' and is crownless. You can set the watches by softly touching the case of the watch to activate it and stroking its sides to make the minutes and hours fly by or turn back. Made using round-breaking technology with high-tech ceramic and the famous Rado monobloc case construction, these timepieces are scratch-resistant, light and incredibly comfortable to wear. So while it may have no crown, it is surely fit for a queen. Rado is in the process of patenting this technology as they have the first movers advantage here!

Simran demonstrating how to set the watch

Finally I lay hands on this piece! :-)

Suits me perfect, doesn't it? :-D

Being seated next to Lisa was the other highlight of my evening. Our conversations rolled from fabulous watches, food, films, blogging to other fun topics and I found her very warm and approachable along with being super charming and drop dead gorgeous! She shines from within and the ease with which she talks about her successful fight with cancer, makes my respect for her grow even more.

Candid conversations with a brand team of a luxury brand have never happened with so much ease as they happened that evening and I am glad RADO made that effort. We will be having a lot more happening with them and I am looking forward to it :-)

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Ri(t)ch Styles Featured on IFB Links à la Mode: July 10th - Style Everywhere

I'm soooooooo happy to share with you that my blog post - Pregnancy/Maternity Dressing for Special Occasions has been featured on this week's Independent Fashion Bloggers’(IFB) list 'Links à La Mode', a weekly curation of the best 20 blog posts from around the world.

Those of you who are unaware about it, let me give you a few details. Independent Fashion Bloggers cultivates a community for international fashion bloggers to share their experiences and create a resource so everyone can build a better blog. The 'Links à La Mode' is a list the features the best 20 articles on fashion chosen from a long list of submissions by bloggers who die to be on this list. This is my first feature in the round-up and I am on top of the world!

Do check out the other fantastic bloggers too who have been selected with me in this round up.


Style Everywhere

This week we have all kinds of links. From the very personal getting to feel comfortable in your own skin, to the runways of Paris and the runways Kendall Jenner is on. When is the best time to go shopping? What do you do with your old necklaces? Questions, questions, all those random things that go through our minds throughout the day... will be fit for musing with this week's roundup! Enjoy!

Links à la Mode: July 10th

Want to be featured in Links à la Mode?

1. Read the clarified rules and submit your links on this page: Links à la Mode.
2. If your link was selected and you need this week’s code, visit this page: Links à la Mode Code.

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Pregnancy/Maternity Dressing for Special Occasions

Most people think dressing during pregnancy is a chore, especially when you have an occasion to attend. When I got pregnant, I thought the same. However getting myself at ease with certain ideas and thoughts, helped me decode some really easy tips to continue using my existing wardrobe and continue to wear some of the pretty dresses I own, for special occasions. When I say special occasions, it could mean anything from weddings, parties, movie premiers to date nights :-) You can also keep these tips in mind while picking up new outfits for special occasions.

Be proud of your bump
A lot of people like to hide their belly. In India we have a lot of superstitions surrounding it which I am not going to get into, but after the first few crucial months, when the critical stages have been passed, I see nothing wrong in showing your bump. To flaunt your belly along with staying comfortable, choose dresses that are snug in the bodice and have a looser skirt area that is free flowing around the hips and stomach. Make sure the bodice is well fitting and not tight so that in sometime you don’t start gasping for air! 

Plan ahead
Special occasions mean fun times and when your heading out is restricted during pregnancy, the few times you head out, you want nothing to spoil it. Avoid any discomfort in your outfit by planning ahead! Choose a comfortable dress which will also fit you a few days/weeks ahead depending on when the occasion is planned for. Plan and keep your footwear comfortable too, especially if it involves being on your feet for too long.

Keep in mind the length of your dress and heel height
The dress you wear should be of an appropriate length which means not long enough to cause you to trip! That could just be too disastrous! Also if you must wear heels (not a good idea), then stick to wedges as they provide more stability and a base to your entire foot. However try and avoid heels after your second trimester.  

Material check
Pregnancy makes you feel as if your body has an additional heating system within. This happens because you have around 40% more blood pumping around your body to cope with the needs of your unborn baby. Hence, the material of your dress (especially in summer) needs to be such that it can let your body breathe. So, stay away from synthetics as much as possible and choose more of cotton and non synthetic georgette and chiffon.

Simple and long lasting make-up
My tip would be 'Keep it Simple' and let your pregnancy glow show! However, whatever make-up you do use, make sure it is the long lasting and water-proof as you don't want to be rushing for touch-ups in your already heavy state.

Well these are the 5 main ones I keep in mind, and used it to my best at my recent Babymoon in Goa. PS took me for a special candle light dinner to the Spice Studio at the Alila Diwa Goa where Chef Eida attended to us personally and gave us one of our best Goan food experiences ever. I was all dressed in this gorgeous Aztec Print Dress from Romwe and ready to be courted for one of the most special dinners of my life :-)

Tribal Print Diamante White Dress - Romwe
Blue stones flats - Queue Up Footwear
Blue Geometric Stone stretch bracelet - INPINK 

On my lips - L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Moist Matte Lincoln Rose
On my eyes - L'Oreal Kajal Magique, L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Le Kohl Portofino Blue 
and L'Oreal Paris Super Liner Gelmatic Pen Glamor Gold

If you want a RED Lipstick that doesn't bleed and doesn't wear off weirdly in bits after food and drinks, then try the L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Moist Matte Lincoln Rose (YES, exactly the shade that Aishwarya Rai Bachchan wore at Cannes) and watch it stay in place even after a complete meal!

I loved the lit up passages at the Alila Diwa so much that you see I couldn't stop clicking pictures there. Also, you must also get a glimpse of the lovely dinner we had! 

Hungry?! ;-) I would highly recommend the Goan Potato Soup, Dhabewala Mutton with Appam and the Fish Curry Rice here.

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