As I mentioned in a previous post, I wanted to reinvigorate the Saturday Spotlight by focusing more on the businesses and bloggers and allow them to tell you firsthand what makes them worth reading. Today, I am proud to present the first entry in the rebooted series: Scarlet’s Letter. Named one of the five blogs to watch for 2014 by the Lingerie Addict, Scarlet’s Letter is a lingerie and fashion centric blog which showcases everything from full-bust favorites to hand-made Etsy brands. Before I severely lapsed on the Saturday Spotlight front, Amber’s blog is one I had really wanted to share with you, and I am so glad I now have that opportunity.
The blogger behind the curtain: Hi! My name is Amber, and I run the lingerie blog Scarlet’s Letter. I’m in my early 30s, and have been blogging since I was a teenager…when “blogs” were called “online journals”! 😉 I’ve also been an active actress in stage theater since I was 10 years old, and I love to sing and dance. I’m also a total beauty addict, and a collector of antiquarian books. I speak French, and I’m currently writing my first novel which I hope to have published sometime in 2015. Oh, and I also love love love lingerie. Obviously 😉
Scarlet’s Letter according to Amber: Scarlet’s Letter aims to showcase intimates for both lingerie novices and addicts alike, with a focus on full bust, handmade, and luxury brands.
What made you decide to start Scarlet’s Letter? What did you hope to accomplish? Do you feel like you are making progress?
I’ve been blogging for around 15 years off and on, before blogging was really as popular as it is now. Though I’d had blogs over the years, they were more personal based, and I’d never had a blog that focused on fashion and something that I really enjoyed and reviewed. By starting my blog, I was hoping to share my opinions on beautiful lingerie and hoped to help readers along the way with suggestions and honest reviews. Scarlet’s Letter has only been around for nearly 2 years, so I do feel like I am making progress, but would love to take the blog further.
What mistakes have you made in the past?
Well, I didn’t learn about proper bra fit until my very late 20’s, so when I first started writing about lingerie on my blog had misconceptions about bra sizing and fit, and was a total bra size newbie when I began. I had been wearing the wrong bra size nearly my whole life, but after learning through the lingerie community and bra fit blogs and lingerie bra fit retailers, I found that I was wearing a cup size 4 sizes too small for me!
What are you plans for the future? How do you hope to achieve them?
As for the blog, I’d love to add more features and more interactive posts, as well as continuing to add new topics. I recently began collaborating with my blogger BFF Tiah from the lingerie blog The Daily Knicker, and I’m hoping to expand the blog and hope to add better photography to my reviews in 2015.
In what ways does your blog stand out from the crowd?
In the lingerie blogging world, we’re lucky to have bloggers of many bust sizes, including full bust. Besides adding my voice to the list of full bust lingerie bloggers, I try to create content that is fun. I truly think that to enjoy blogging you need to have fun and really like whatever you’re blogging about, so I make sure to have fun in whatever I do on Scarlet’s Letter. Some of my most popular features include my Inspired By storyboards, The Geeky Fan Girl’s Guide to Lingerie series, as well as my newer series Let’s Talk About Sets, Baby!
What advice would you offer someone considering entering the same industry?
If you love lingerie, do it. Write it. Review it. Share it. Especially women of color, members of the LGBT community, women with less common bra sizes, and women who are 40+. I feel like we’re lacking enough voices in the community, and would love to see any woman who loves lingerie add her voice to the world of lingerie blogging.
Have you ever received criticism from readers? If so, what did they say, and how did you address it? Did you feel it was legitimate?
I’ve had readers have a different opinion of a lingerie piece than I do, but thats great. We all have different tastes, and if someone doesn’t agree with my review or opinion I fully respect their choice and don’t see that as a negative thing. Lingerie is about making you feel good, and what works for me may also work for some of my readers, but it doesn’t mean my opinions will resonate with all, and thats okay! I’m lucky to have readers that are very kind, respectful, but also like to share their own opinions.
What do you think is the hardest part of blogging/running your business? How have you coped with it?
I think finding your readership is one of the hardest things about blogging. Finding a niche audience that follows your blog and interacts with your blog can take some time. Even as a blog, rather than say a brand or shop, I feel that marketing is important. Putting your best foot forward and helping to create content that engages people and makes them want to share your posts, or subscribe to your blog.
Have you ever had any moments when you wanted to quit and throw in the towel? What kept you going forward?
I’ve definitely felt that way at times, I think many bloggers probably do. Where you question all of the work that goes into running a blog (it takes a lot more time and money than most people think) and ask yourself if it’s worth it, and if you’re contributing anything important at hand. But, what does “worth it” mean? You know? It’s different for each person, but it’s a good idea to weigh the pros and cons of having a blog, and if at least one of your pros says “I enjoy blogging”, then that makes it worth it to me.
Were there any people who helped pave the way for you to succeed in this industry?
There are many brands and shops that have been so nice to me, letting me review lingerie for them, and then sharing my posts via social media. I think the relationships that I’ve made within the lingerie industry has been so important and so vital for Scarlet’s Letter to thrive. Then there are the other lingerie bloggers who I not only respect and admire but also feel inspired by many of their posts and their passionate opinions on the lingerie industry.
What are your favorite posts that you have written? Why?
One of my favorite posts was Why Lingerie for Women in Ageless, which I wrote in the summer of 2013 and is still one of my most popular posts. I enjoyed writing the post, and feel like it shared how I truly feel about lingerie: that every woman, no matter age, color, or size, should be able to feel beautiful wearing it.
What’s something you hope to change or wish you could change about the industry or your business/blog?
As for my blog, I’ve definitely wanted to change the name to something more lingerie inspired, as I feel like my blog has kind of outgrown it’s name. As for the industry, I’d just love to see more diversity, I really can’t stress that enough. I would love to see more brands and shops using diverse models in their photoshoots and campaigns.
What has had the biggest impact (positive and/or negative) on your blog?
My readers! They’re so amazing. I get some of the nicest emails, well thought out comments and social media shares. Other lingerie blogs have helped Scarlet’s Letter grow as well, as many of them have been so kind and linked to my posts or added me to their blogroll, which means a lot to me. The lingerie community is a small but really warm place and I’m glad to be a part of it, and hope to see it continue to expand and grow.
And now for something totally different . . .
Please share your favorite recipe.
I’m sugar-free, so I don’t bake sweets often, which is hard for someone with a huge sweet tooth. One of my favorite quick recipes are these great super easy peanut butter cookies that everyone gobbles up whenever I bake them! They are flourless! One cup of peanut butter (natural or regular), 1 large egg, one cup of Splenda baking granules (or sugar, if you’re not sugar-free). 1 tsp of vanilla. Mix all ingredients until well combined. Spoonful rounded scoops onto a baking sheet, cook at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool completely. Makes about a dozen bite sized peanut butter cookies.
What’s one of your secret talents?
I like to surf!
What have you bought recently that you absolutely loved? Hated?
I recently bought the Sheer Show Pant Suit from Dottie’s Delights, and it’s swoon-worthy. Really well made and so unique and fun. As for recent purchases that left me underwhelmed, I was a bit disappointed with a few small Etsy brands that I tried recently, which is hard to believe because I nearly always have an amazing experience with Etsy lingerie designers. A great thing about handmade brands though, is there is always room for improvement, and I’ve seen many brands grow and prosper between their first collection and their second. Which is why I’m such a big fan of buying handmade, the prospect of the brand coming into it’s own and becoming even better.
How do you like to unwind after a tough day?
Books. I love to sink into a good book and disappear for awhile.
Guilty entertainment pleasure?
I try to make a promise to myself to never feel guilty over things that I enjoy, so my answer would be that I love Netflix shows, especially Orange is the New Black, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and Bomb Girls. Obsessed, but totally without guilt. 🙂
Would you consider yourself more of an extrovert or an introvert?
I’ve always been more of an introvert, I’m more introspective. I’d rather spend a weekend with people I love, doing things that make me smile, than going to a club or party full of strangers. I’ve always been a bit melancholy, but I’m also a writer, so I think they go hand in hand. Artists are always a bit mad! 😉
Do you prefer movies or TV series (and books do not count as an answer!)?
Movies, mostly because I love a story that builds and can make me feel a range of emotions in just a few hours.
The secret to happiness is . . . Letting yourself have it! Do what makes you happy and make no apologizes about it.