Many fashion blogs promote high-end brands, but Calgarian Amy Nelson presents unique and affordable options on her blog, amyflyingakite.com.

According to Nelson, she wanted to start a blog that everyone could be a part of.

“With fashion blogs, because there were girls of all shapes, of all sizes, all different cultures …. It made me realize that fashion was bigger than just this really expensive bag, or purse that you wanted but couldn’t afford. Everyone can be a part of fashion,” explains Nelson.

Currently, Nelson’s blog has more than 2,000 followers. But despite her growing popularity, Nelson never planned on becoming a fashion blogger.“Fashion is about taking pieces that you already have, and making them into something that defines you, not what you want to be,” – Amy Nelson

“I started posting photos with my words on my blog, not realizing that that’s kind of what a fashion blog is: outfits and self-portraits, and writing … Eventually, I tried to make it a bit more professional and then a few people started reading it.”

Nelson started blogging in November of 2008, when the Calgary fashion blogging community was still relatively small.

“When I first started going to a few blogger meet ups, there was only about maybe four or five of us … Then, it ended up being that the fashion industry in Calgary started to grow, and there started to be like creative mixers and fashion shows, and all this stuff was happening, and so more and more people were doing it.”

Nelson and her family never thought her blog would draw as much attention as it has, but according to her mother, Tracy Nelson, the blog’s popularity has blown the whole family away.

“People comment and reach out to her, people email her from all over the world to let her know that she’s made them feel so good about themselves, and that’s a wonderful feeling.”

Blogging has allowed Nelson to meet many interesting people, including her good friend and fellow blogger, Adelaide Love. The two have had a very different approach to how they run their blogs, but each have a deep respect for one another’s work.

Besides her passion for fashion, Nelson also is a musician and poet. Photo by Hayley Hynes.

“Someone like Amy definitely has a very specific niche that she caters too, that really fits her style, whereas I’m more varied,” says Love, who mostly reviews clothing and accessories on her blog, thestyletrenches.wordpress.com.

Nelson typically posts both detailed and full-body photos wearing eye-catching and colorful outfits in beautiful, outdoor environments. Nelson’s love for obscure and interesting fashion stems from her mother’s influence over her outfits as a child.

“We never did frilly dresses and curly hair, we did beautiful fabrics. I think early on she got a taste for loving colors, but not a style,” explains her mother. “You would never catch her going to the prom in a dress that everyone’s chosen, she would go to a vintage store and get something lacy.”

Even though she receives freebies and support from certain companies, Nelson refuses to use her blog to promote products that aren’t relevant to her work.

“I remember, once, Febreeze wanted her to write about their products because they offered her some freebies, but she refused because she saw her blog as a creative writing place,” recalls Nelson’s mother.

Nelson says she’s a huge fan of vintage fashion, not only for the unique aesthetic that it creates, but because of its affordability. She frequently shops in local thrift shops to find the unique pieces that define her style.

“Fashion is about taking pieces that you already have, and making them into something that defines you, not what you want to be,” says Nelson.

Although many of her outfits are inspired by generations long before her time, Nelson turns to modern day social media platforms to find outfit ideas.

“I really think Pinterest is great for finding really old photographs of the way people used to dress in like, Victorian times or like the Appalachian Mountains.”

The growth of the fashion blogging industry in Calgary excites Nelson and she hopes to see more people like her who are pursuing it for the creativity – not for the money.

“I think there’s some people who work really hard at making the fashion industry creative and really good in Calgary … Whether your blog has five followers or a million, you can still exist in the same place.”

hhynes@cjournal.ca

The editor responsible for this article is Mary Yohannes and can be reached at myohannes@cjournal.ca.