The bubbly and unabashedly girly Vie Society gal has a growing following for her lifestyle blog, a lust for life, and a propensity for adding "balloons" and "balls" onto the ends of words. We find out what makes her tick.-
At Vie Society, our mysterious lady blogs about wondrous vacations, fashion fabulosity, technogeek adventures, her niece Baconbit, and, of course, sugary treats. We interviewed her about her blogging philosophy, hot trends, and how to have your cake and eat it too (literally). Did we see her face, dear reader? Never! All our correspondence was via email, and very hush-hush.
You seem to come from a privileged life outside of the public eye. How'd you come to dive into the world of blogging? And why did you decide to do it anonymously?
Expectations for female behavior are so rigid in traditional trajectories for success. For domestic roles, we learn girliness, femininity and demureness; for professional roles, those attributes are anathema, to be replaced with aggression and masculinity. Same with sexiness - a requirement in our private lives to attract the boys, but a liability and frequent hindrance professionally.
So what happens when we want both roles? Either we lose out on one for failure to adapt to the schizophrenic expectations, or we live our lives straddling two personalities. This forced dissociation - I find unwelcome, and clinically proven to be unhealthy.
So I admit I started this blog for me, me, me. To have a space where I could be ridiculous, creative, ubergirly and (gasp) princessy in a professional world where I'm told that's distasteful. The anonymity helped because I could discard all judgment and expectation... and was appropriate because it was never about my face or my hair.
But somehow, the blog has morphed into a calling card for women seeking a similar outlet, and that makes me appreciate the anonymity even more.
How did you amass such a large following? Was it organic and steady growth or spurred more by events like the Gilt Groupe pricing coverage?
Like most blogs, it grew in blips and bumps and skittles. But amassing a "following" was never the goal! If anything, visibility has created more problems for me than it's solved.
Any advice for those hoping to become similarly prolific/hip internet kids?
My only advice (as more of a reader than a writer) - is don't morph yourself into what you think readers want to read, just write whatever you want. Don't censor. It's just infinitely more interesting - to you and to any potential visitor.
Your site is a great mishmash of fashion, food, lifestyle, philosophizing, writerly pursuits, etc. What governs what goes up? Is there an overarching editorial calendar that's invisible to those of us who have the blog bookmarked?
Ha! No way! I did just start a Friday feature for Reader Submissions upon realizing how much I loved and learned from reader emails.
Beyond that, I don't plan anything - not even a schedule; the content is really more a mental arc of my Gush! Swoon! ZOMGers moments. Also, blogging is peripheral to my life; I don't plan meals or activities "for the blog." I live my life then sometimes document part of it.
It would feel inconsistent with my own authorial purpose to create an editorial calendar.
I'll admit I'm partial to your coinage of slang words like "moopigs" and "amazeballoons." Where are those from? Teach me to coin my own slang!
I admit I'm tickled pinkballoons that my ridicul-isms have found so many adopters. "Moopig" is my nickname from Husby - He's alternatively enraptured and repulsed by how much I eat. Amazeballoons, wonderballs, ridiciballs & hilarzeballs are all my degenerate versions of Jessica & Hunter's coinage of "Amazeballs USA." And to the madness, there is no method. As if!
What are your pet trends/authors/styles right now? Any predictions for what's up-and-coming?
Today I'm into leather shorts, thigh jewelry, Ghesquiere & Marchesa... and still mourning McQueen. My go-to spiritual author is Timothy Keller, a New York City pastor. Travel: Obsessed with the Maldives & Belize... Cartagena is huge. Everyone I know went on safari this year. But travel with a social mission is trending high (good for the world, bad for guilt). Nightlife: Even lounges can't keep up with the need for exclusivity - it's all about private member clubs, secret speakeasies, private dance parties accessible only via text.
Who are your own style icons?
My family. Have you met my mom? She is iconic... in every way.
It seems that your readers turn to you for advice on life and love because, on the surface at least, you seem to have it all! What would you tell girls who read our site - the ones who sit in an office all day working hard in a pantsuit but want to find a way to have fun, travel and let their inner disco ball shine?
As women, we're forced to suppress any instinctual ridiculousness for the sake of "professionalism," for fear of being labeled "shallow." Boys have it better; carousing is "brotherly" and enhances male bonding. But honestly - with all these restrictions on social behavior, appropriate lifestyle, diet, acceptable body type, personal grooming, political correctness, etc., how can we not implode with neuroses overload?
So sometimes - when not detrimental - just freaking indulge yourself. Like big time. Cheat on your diet with the biggest fattest juiciest doughnut you can find, take a break from the gym to go noodle & poodle with girlfriends, prance by the pool in an insane monokini, wear a bejeweled bra under your pantsuit and a bedazzled tiara to the airport, then cab downtown for Sublime Doughnuts during your two hour layover in Atlanta.
Believe you me, I've worked 20 hour days, and it's during those periods of our lives when your ROI (on indulgence) is actually highest!
But to clarify - I nowhere near have it all. Just sometimes, I stop caring, and reward myself decadently, delusionally, as if I do. See? Infinite loop to contentment.
Would you ever consider spinning this off into a full time business? If so (or even if you don't but wanted to pretend for a minute!) what direction do you see the Vie Society brand taking on?
The Interwebs, they're amazeballoons. The most random, interesting people contact you with opportunities. May have some design collaborations and creative projects in the works... but whatever direction this takes, I feel compelled to engage in encouraging women - to unload, unburden all that weight from our childhood, society, school, men. To just shake off some of that heavy, heavy expectation and celebrate! Embrace... life, love, donuts, our bodies, whatever.
What's the best doughnut you've ever had? Have Dunkin or Krispy Kreme approached you about doing sponsorships or ads on the site?
THE DOUGHNUT PLANT. Their PB&J, White Peach & Blueberry donuts are my TDF faves. Been approached by a coffee company and a bedazzled-vibrator-maker, among others... but no donut maker! They must know that free donuts for the Queen of Moopigs would put them out of business. Moooink!
[All photos via Vie Society]