Mattie James is the founding editor of Mattieologie.com and style editor at CocoaFab, a lifestyle destination for multicultural women.
Her motto, “Live what you love,” is an aspirational call to action designed to get her readers and viewers to focus on the people, places, things and type of work that bring them joy. The motto is also something that Mattie readily applies to her own life, often taking to twitter to share insight into the challenges she’s faced and overcome as a style blogger and to share advice that she’s picked up or learned along the way. The underlying message to all of it being ‘if you want something bad enough, you have to just go out there and get it.’
I recently caught up with Mattie to learn more about her plans for Mattieologie.com, which just turned 4, and to get some insight into her pitch preferences and her inspiration for writing.
Hashtags + Stilettos (H+S): What are your day-to-day responsibilities as the editor of Mattieologie.com?
Mattie James (MJ): As the editor of my blog, Mattieologie.com I handle email correspondence and content quality on my blog. I have an assistant and a photographer, but I am the only who posts on my blog. I’ve tried [working with] writers in the past but it wasn’t the right fit for me. I like posting original [content] that has to do with my personal style or experiences that I’ve had. It also seems to have a more positive response with readers. I usually produce outfit posts on the weekend and post those throughout the week.
H+S: You’re also the style editor at CocoaFab. What are your responsibilities there and how do you balance the two roles?
MJ: I’m a style editor at CocoaFab.com which means I produce four style posts for the site daily. I also have a web show on the site called, “Mattie’s Mix” where I chat about all things style and beauty. It’s a bit overwhelming because I have a 9 to 5, a blog and this gig. But I try my best to balance it out and manage my time as best as I can. Sometimes I fail and I just tell myself “tomorrow’s another day” and [pledge] to do better next time.
H+S: Your blog- and perhaps your life motto is “Live What You Love.” What inspired that statement and what do you want your readers to take away from that?
MJ: I’m all about “Live What You Love”. I had a conversation about life and entrepreneurship with my sister about how overwhelming it can be and then asked a simple question “why don’t we do more of the things that make us happy?” And that was really the basis of the motto. We get so caught up in the hype and stress of things that we forget why we started doing things in the first place. Myself included. “Live What You Love” was a reminder to live, not exist, in your work, in your relationships, in your life. I hope readers feel encouraged by my tweets, posts and/or pictures and want to do that themselves.
H+S: What inspired you to become a style blogger and writer?
MJ: I’ve been into reading (especially fashion magazines) since I was a little girl and went to school for journalism. So I believe it was a natural transition. I believe it’s part of my purpose.
H+S: Mattieologie just turned 4. What goals do you have for the blog this year?
MJ: Increasing my readership, building relationships with other bloggers and brands and making sure I stay true to who I am through my content. It’s easy to get lost in the blog shuffle, so authenticity is definitely a goal of mine.
H+S: There are thousands of personal style blogs on the web today and it seems like every day new ones pop up. What do you think it takes to stand out in such a crowded space?
MJ: I’ve said this before, but if content is king, consistency is queen. Consistency is what makes you stand out. If you’re delivering quality, memorable content on a daily to weekly basis you will go far. Especially because it takes a solid two years if not longer to really start making money from your blog.
H+S: Which brands have you partnered with in the past and which ones would you love to work with?
MJ: I’ve been blessed to work with many brands that I respect and admire. The first big brand I worked with was Sunglass Hut and then everyone from American Express, Club Monaco, TJ Maxx, Rent the Runway, Madewell, Topshop/Nordstrom and Cotton. I honestly am open to working brands in the future. There’s not one I’m particularly crossing my fingers for.
H+S: Do you have any upcoming projects or content that you’re excited about?
MJ: I’m working on a lot more video content for the rest of the year and have an exciting national feature coming out in a magazine in May. Can’t wait for everyone to see!
H+S: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to follow in your footsteps?
MJ: Just to live their story and of course live what they love. And that it’s WAY harder than it looks. But as long as you’re persistent and consistent, kind to people and work hard you will make it. Build relationships; don’t only reach out to people when you need them and stay true to who you are.
H+S: What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
MJ: Not to be afraid of success. It’s attainable and never by accident.
H+S: How do you prefer to be pitched? Phone/Email/Social Media? No Preference?
MJ: To be honest, I love to be pitched via email. You don’t always have the time to have an in depth phone call. However, I don’t mind scheduling one after a few email exchanges about a project that we’ve agreed on.
H+S: What types of stories, content, projects are you looking for?
MJ: I’m pretty open to projects that are creative and exciting for my readers and myself. They can be video, hosting events, a fun post, a post series, etc. It has to make sense for my brand though. It has to be Mattie friendly. If it’s something that doesn’t feel like me or can’t be edited to be seamless with my content, I’ll opt out.
H+S: When is the absolute worst time to send you a pitch?
MJ: If emailed, I can be pitched anytime. For phone calls, late morning or early afternoon.
H+S: Biggest PR peeves?
MJ: When you spell my name or blog wrong. Do your research. Google makes it easy.
H+S: Name one thing journalists can do to have a better relationship with PR people?
MJ: Send PR contacts a quarterly update email about your blog and what you’ve been up to. Also, if you happened to mention their client in a video, blog post or article, let them know. What you’ve got going on could be compatible with what they’ve got going on and something could happen. And even not, at least you’ll be on their radar. Also in your email, be sure to send them a kudos on a current project they’re working on. People love to know they’re being noticed and respected for their work.
H+S: How can a PR person or brand get on your “always respond” list?
MJ: By always being aware of what’s going on with the blog and using my name. Anytime I receive a pitch where it starts “Dear blogger” or “Dear fashion editor”, I immediately archive the email. If you don’t know my name, we don’t need to be working together.
H+S: Please complete the following sentences:
My favorite inspirational quote is… “Fall down seven times, stand up eight.”
I’m currently reading… You, Inc.
My favorite book is… 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene.
I had the most fun working on… The Cotton 24 Hour Runway Show as the Southeast Fashion Influencer
I’m most proud of… My faith in God, my marriage and my home.
You can find me… @Mattieologie on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube.
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