Name: Christy Kuglar
City: Daphne, Alabama
Main Hustle: I’m the Sales Operations Manager at a healthcare software company in Mobile, Alabama.
How did you get started?: My friend Katie asked me if I had ever thought of starting a fashion Instagram account. I was super hesitant about it, but she was very encouraging and frankly peer pressured me into starting 🙂 In my first blog post, I talk all about how I got started and who helped me get there.
Putting yourself out there is a scary thing, but I’ve learned that you just have to start and never look back!
When/where do you work on your Side Hustle?: I do most of my “Bay Blonde-ing” on the weekends; however, I take a lot of my pictures when I’m at work. We have a big, beautiful hallway inside of our office building that has the best natural light. I take my #corporatedays photos there.
What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: Comparing yourself to others. You see other people’s IG accounts getting more followers or more likes and comments than you, and it can be discouraging. There’s also a lot of copying that happens, and as someone who puts extreme time and effort into being original, it’s frustrating when you see people flat out copying you. Fashion blogging is a very saturated market, so differentiating myself from others is so important to the brand I’m trying to create.
Time is another challenge for me. Since I do have a full time job, finding time to write content, come up with different outfits, schedule photo shoots, etc., is difficult.
What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?: There are obvious rewards, like free merchandise and the occasional “I’ll pay you if you post a picture wearing xyz,” but the best part about this journey has been the direct messages I get from girls saying they bought something I posted and love it, or they were inspired by an outfit I posted and recreated it.
That’s what The Bay Blonde is all about: inspiring women to dress in a way that makes them feel good about themselves without breaking the bank! I’m not trying to be a model or show how good I look in skinny jeans. I firmly believe that what I wear affects my attitude, and if I love it, then nothing can stop me.
Who is your greatest supporter?: Too many to count. Obviously my family and my husband are big supporters, but my corporate family has also been a HUGE support system for me. Every single one of them has taken a photo for me, helped come up with a witty caption, and are the first to “thumbs up” a photo I post. I’m encouraged by them daily, and I’m thankful for a job that allows me the flexibility to run The Bay Blonde in my free time.
The fashion blogging community is also very supportive. Those are the ones engaging in your photos the most. I’ve met several ladies through Instagram who I message with daily about different ideas or simply words of encouragement.
Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: Pinterest is a go-to for my outfit inspirations. I also follow a lot of other fashion bloggers, so I have been inspired by them to shop from different websites or wear a sweater over a dress for a different look. On the ladder some of the bloggers I follow inspire me to post outfits that are attainable to the average working girl. Not everyone can afford a $2,000 Chanel bag or an $800 pair of shoes. I try to post things that are realistic and affordable.
Have you received recognition for your work?: It’s not an award, but I have received opportunities through The Bay Blonde that I would have never encountered otherwise. The owner of Lotus Boutique reached out to me back in January, and I’ve been doing paid photo shoots for them ever since. This has allowed me to get my face out there more and gotten me out of my comfort zone. It’s also allowed for a little extra income; plus I get to work with some really awesome women!
What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: I’m living it. I never imagined The Bay Blonde would receive the recognition it has, but the support has been overwhelming. It started as just an Instagram account that has grown into a blog that I hope reaches women across the country. People ask me if I would want to do this full time, but the truth is I love my “real” job and the people I work with, and for the time being, I can manage that along with The Bay Blonde.
Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?:
If you’re thinking about it, do it! Don’t hesitate because you’re afraid of failing or what people will think. If you love it enough and dream it enough, you’ll do whatever it takes to succeed. People are going to talk about you–give them something worth talking about.