My name is Darrien Wheeler, and I joined the Style Souffle team this summer as an intern/”blogger in training”. I’ve always had a huge love for all things fashion and beauty related, and I’ve been an avid reader ever since I can remember, so combining all of those into blogging was a match made in heaven! Though I had no experience in either the fashion or blogging industry, I was enormously curious and eager to learn what it was all about. I will say, coming into this experience, I had no idea just what I was in for.
Having been friends with Taylor-Rae for over ten years, I’ve been able to see the creation and growth of Style Souffle from the very beginning. With that said, I knew that Taylor-Rae allowing me behind the scenes of her pride and joy was a huge honor, and I was so excited when she agreed to let me join her team.
As I stated before, I really didn’t know much of anything about blogging until June of this year, so one of the first things I did was familiarize myself with the big names in the industry. My first impression was that, 1. these women are better dressed than celebrities, and 2. they must have the easiest job in the whole world- I mean, how hard is it to take pictures all day? My expectation was that this new internship would be even more glamorous than I thought, and had visions of acai bowls, shopping trips, and photoshoots dancing in my head. However, I quickly realized that there is so much more that goes into blogging than I ever could have imagined.
The sheer level of emails and phone calls to return, the time that goes into managing social media, and the time and effort it takes when writing the actual posts themselves made my head spin. If you’re like me, and already worry about perfecting the captions that go on your Instagram and Facebook pictures, just imagine trying to come up with something witty and creative while you’re under pressure. Something that took for granted when previously reading blogs were all of those convenient links on each post to the direct website where you can shop for those items. Upon realization that someone (who is now me) has to find all of it online, link the image to the website, and check to make sure each one works, I have a new appreciation for bloggers’ patience. After beginning my internship, I’ve put my new little Macbook Air to work, and become more tech-savy in the last few weeks than I have in my entire life (thanks to Taylor-Rae).
During my first week as an intern, I was introduced to social media in a way I’d never seen it before. Instagram, moreso than the other sites, was no longer just a fun way to share pictures with friends, but it was the platform used to promote the blog. I’m not kidding when I say that bloggers have the prettiest Instagram feeds I’ve ever seen. Each picture is carefully planned, edited to correspond with the “theme” (and yes, that’s a real thing), and the captions are a whole effort in and of themselves. After my first lesson in Social Media 101, I went home and was feeling confident in my new knowledge when I got a text from Taylor-Rae asking which photo I liked better. My heart sank- I couldn’t tell the difference!
As time went on, I got much better at photo editing and my next challenge was taking a picture of Taylor-Rae packing for her trip to Charleston, and let me tell you what a challenge it was. I had no idea how long it takes to stage these things: adjusting the tiniest details, getting the right colors in the right places, and then taking the actual photo itself- how zoomed in or out should it be? It took nearly an hour, but when the final product was revealed, I must say I was pretty proud of myself.
As much work as Taylor-Rae and I put into this, we have just as much fun laughing while we do it. There was one day where we were so tired and braindead that we couldn’t stand to type one more word for the post we were working on, so we decided to go through pictures from a photoshoot as a way to take a break. What we didn’t know was that it would end up being one of our absolute favorite things to do. So when a blog post goes live, all you see are these gorgeous pictures of these women in beautiful locations- you know the drill. But what you don’t see are the bloopers, and boy are you missing out on some gems! The first time Taylor-Rae and I did this we were laughing to the point of tears for almost an hour.
After only a few weeks, I have such an appreciation for the time and effort that truly goes into blogging full-time. There were days that Taylor-Rae and I worked over ten hours a piece and still didn’t finish all that we hoped to. But the best part of this experience so far is getting to see how much love goes into Style Souffle. I’ve even noticed a change in myself, and how excited I am to come to work each day and do something I truly love.
Thanks for reading my little story! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.