Spread the Love….Make the Connection

I know what you’re thinking not another Valentine’s post, the holiday has passed. Well yes it has, but in honor of Skirt’s Love issue I am planning on sharing the love all month long! Recently I got the chance to meet some amazing ladies, Kristen of Cat’s in My Closet and Nikki of Look Fabuless. Not only did we get to take part in a fun photo shoot, but I decided I would do a little interview with them as well. I wanted to get to know them a little better than what one blog shoot would offer and dig a little deeper. Blogging is fun and the shoots are a blast. Another huge part is making connections, reaching out to like minded creatives, and genuinely caring about the friendships you create. So, I decided to create a little interview session that highlights the ups and downs on how people generally go about making new friends.

Q: What do you look for when making new friends?

Kristen: When making new friends, I love meeting people who aren’t afraid to be true to themselves. Some of my friends have really creative or even random hobbies like fire-spinning or cosplay; some of my other friends are very vocal activists and are engaged in non-profit work; a few of my other friends are stay-at-home moms.  I love surrounding myself with people who are unapologetic about who they are, because that gives me the freedom to be the same way.

Nikki: When making new friends (which is honestly a bit hard for me) I try to find common ground. Is this person a good person? Do they have a sense of humor? Do they get my sense of humor? Do they have a good sense of direction? What are their goals? You can find most of these things out pretty quickly, but these are some things that make getting to know someone pretty intriguing.

Q: What’s the hardest hurdle to overcome when meeting new people?

Kristen: I’m naturally a very awkward person, so I have a tendency of talking A LOT when I meet new people, partly because of excitement and partly because of sheer nerves. I often have to catch myself so that I give someone new a chance to speak, and I’m working on being a better listener.

Nikki: The hardest hurdle to overcome when meeting new people is getting over my anxiety. I hate small talk, so I have to get myself in the right state of mind before any event I attend. When I get to the small talk portion of an encounter and I find myself finally being at ease with the situation, I know things are okay. It’s all about mental preparation for unknown situations for me.

Q: What type of connections tend to create your lasting friendships?

Kristen: For me, the emotional connections far outweigh the more superficial or shared interests aspect. The sort of people that are there for you during the tough times, and more specifically, the ones who show up in general and offer support in the things that you do, the ones who listen, the ones who continue to inspire you day-to-day–those are the friendships that are lasting in my life, as opposed to an acquaintance who happens to like the same fashion designers as me (although that’s not to say we can’t slay some street style photos together!)

Nikki: I think when you understand and appreciate the things that make you different and you don’t judge those differences you’ve created a bond of trust that’s the cornerstone of a lifelong friendship. It’s that connection–knowing that there’s someone out there who just gets you and still thinks you’re alright, no matter how dramatic or awkward or introverted–that makes friendship a pretty dope thing.

Q: Being a blogger in Charleston, how does collaborating help forge new friendships?

Kristen:  Because the market is so saturated now compared to when I first start blogging in 2012, having a solid base of blogger babes to turn to when I’m feeling overwhelmed or stuck or excited is essential to ensure growth. Collaborating has helped me make a lot of new blogging friends, because these campaigns and photo shoots are a shared interest that we all take pride in, and it’s something we’re all passionate about. Collaborations are an outlet that allows us to be creative, and we act as a support system to each other because we KNOW what it’s like to blog and understand the unique challenges and opportunities that come with the territory. In turn, I have met a lot of bloggers from different niches and cities that I might not have under regular circumstances due to these collaborations.

Nikki: Collaborating forges new friendships because you’ve met someone who’s into the same thing as you, no matter how obscure or mainstream. There’s common ground that allows you to bounce ideas and concepts around and get solid feedback and advice. You want to see each other do well and help each other achieve goals. I’m forever a fan of collaboration.

During the interview I realized that we share so many similarities to each other. Back when I first moved here and knew no one in the fashion/blogger world I would force myself to go to events, even though I knew I would not know a soul there. At least I would be interacting and attempting to make new friends. Let me tell you it was not always pleasant and most of the time very uncomfortable. This is coming from an extreme extrovert by the way. Now I go and I have made some truly wonderful connections with people from all walks of life. That to me is the point of these shoots and blogging in general. I have now met two more amazingly, talented, and creative women! They look to include, look to create, and look to unapologetically be themselves, which in turn brings out such a positive and confident vibe in me!

So during this month and the whole year just remember spreading the love shouldn’t just be about showering it on your present friends and family, but continuing to make new friendships that have the capacity of lasting a lifetime. I know at times it can be daunting, but trust me in the end it will be much more fulfilling. Now get out there and spread the love! Whether you blog or not, has nothing to do with it. Friendships can be made anytime, anywhere. I know I have found two more ladies that will always be a source of inspiration for me and make future collaborations a blast. All it took was one e-mail to get the party started!

Bloggers: Kristen of Cat’s in My Closet | Nikki of Look Fabuless | Clothing: Dandy Boutique | Photographer: Stephanie Stein | Flowers: Charleston Flower Girl