What were you doing when you were 14? Going to school? Hanging out with your friends? Me too, which is why I was a little bit jealous when I read Blurb’s interview with Tolly Dolly, a 14-year-old fashion blogger who’s already been featured in magazines and on the BBC. Oh, and she gets to live in France, too. Tolly and I were both finalists in the Company Blog Awards 2013 and we rubbed shoulders at the glamorous awards event, and I’ve since gone on to win a POSH fashion award judged by Tolly Dolly herself, so I’m really pleased to share details of her recent interview with Blurb. Tolly started fashion blogging aged just eleven and now, with her first fashion design contract in the bag, she’s been talking scrapbooking (with a hashtag), achievements, ambitions, and all things festive.
Tell us about you, when and how did your creativity begin to manifest and how has it developed to what you’re doing now?
I’m a teen blogger. I’m 14 and started my blog, Tolly Dolly Posh Fashion, in 2012 when I was just 11. I decided to start my blog to get me closer to achieving my goal of becoming a fashion designer. I’ve been featured in UK magazines and have spoken on BBC Radio 4, and I would definitely say this has helped me get to where I am now in terms of my blog and my writing skills. It’s also been an amazing way to gain new skills and add to my portfolio for the future.
What inspires you?
Lots of things inspire me, in terms of people I would say other bloggers, fashion designers, and upcoming artists. All kinds of creative people. I like to look at people who do what they want and don’t let anybody get in their way. It is definitely inspirational.
Tell us about your process.
In terms of blogging, I am very organized so I get things done quite swiftly, which is quite hard when I’m a busy teen mixing blogging with education. I gain inspiration from magazines and articles I read and think up how I could make them into something brand-new and start from that. I love photography so I mainly use my own imagery, which is always fun to put together. I edit the pictures down and start writing. I like to use music as a bit of a boost too. It really gets those creative juices flowing.
What have been your biggest achievements?
Like I mentioned, I would love to have a career as a fashion designer. Blogging has definitely made me 100% sure that is what I want to do. I’ve recently signed my first design contract with Dutch brand Mooi en Lief and I am so excited for the collection to come out. I can finally say I’m a designer … weird?!
What ambitions do you have and where do you see yourself taking this in the future?
I would say my main ambition is to just keep going and to carry on being confident in what I do. I don’t see the point in carrying on working on something you don’t enjoy, and I certainly enjoy writing my blog. I’d also like to see myself opening up a shop or two by the time I reach 25 … this might sound crazy, but I really hope I can achieve this!
Please tell us about the project you’ve decided to share with us.
I started #ScrapSocial as a way to gain inspiration for my designing as well as a way to get me off the computer when I have the urge. It’s a great way to get those creative juices flowing in a fun way. I use magazines, which I love, especially ones with matte paper. I love using fashion editorials and putting them together in quirky ways, as well as adding texture and new levels with sequins and fabrics, etc. The name “Scrap Social” mixes scrapbooking with scrapping social media, but then the # means you can go ahead and share your scrapbook too when you’ve added a few pages. I’m really enjoying it so far and it went down a storm on my blog!
What is special about the festive season and Christmas for you?
I love the feeling of being around all my family. Presents are obviously a bonus, but just being in a nice, warm environment with lots of laughter and happiness is such a magical feeling. It’s almost a day to celebrate being together, and I love that, especially now that my older siblings are starting their own little families!
I love the cozy feeling that Christmas brings. Warm wooly socks, a hot fire, and hot chocolates. It makes me feel so happy and warm inside. I love it!
Do you have a personal Christmas ritual or tradition?
Not really, other than my parents putting my stocking at the end of my bed in the middle of the night… Unfortunately I don’t believe in Santa anymore, but the stocking will do
If you were to make a gift book, what would it be and who for?
I would probably make it for my sister. We’ve got quite a big age gap (she’s 12 years older!) and I’d like to give her a book so she can remember all the memories we’ve had as big sis and little sis so far. I think it would be so sweet and I’d love putting it together.
Seriously stylish gift books (with a little French flair)
If you’re looking to copy Tolly’s style—or, better yet, improve on your own gift-giving style—check out these books inspired by fashion, youth, and France.
Explore the streets of France in gorgeous black-and-white art photography shot on medium format or 35mm film and printed as scans of original negatives.
How Do I Look?
Tolly obviously doesn’t need this book, but a teen in your life might enjoy an A–Z guide to cutting-edge personal style.
Flawless Issue 14
A new magazine promoting aspiring and established creative artists in the industry, dedicated to bringing you the best talent the fashion world has to offer.
Alexander McQueen: Controversy
Meet a true visionary who set the fashion world alight and left it all too soon