In the first interview of the Meet The Blogger series I catch up with Ashley Schuberg from Miss Gunner. We chat about her leap from dentistry to blogging full time, advice for new bloggers, big plans for 2017 and what her husband Scott really thinks about her blogging!
Name: Ashley Schuberg From: Sydney Blog: www.missgunner.com
Hi Ashley! We love your amazing blog Miss Gunner! You started it in 2015 right? What made you start blogging?
Thank you so much and I sure did! I started my Instagram page in Jan 2015 and launched my blog 6 months later! I am a self-confessed shopaholic. My husband Scott suggested I might as well share some of my style on Instagram. I was really scared because I didn’t think anyone would follow me! I didn’t even tell my friends or family about it until a year later!
My aim for Miss Gunner has always been just to share my love for fashion and style with like-minded people. So even when I had 10 followers, I was just happy to be able to share what I love and slowly things grew from there. The fact that it has brought about a full-time job for me now is a dream, but it’s the support, friendships and inspiration that I value the most.
You just recently quit your day job to become a full-time blogger, what made you take the leap?
I was a dental hygienist and it was a job that I absolutely loved when I started Miss Gunner. That job was the focus of all of my formal skills and experience and I would gladly return to it one day, and it allowed me to have the lifestyle that I wanted and to shop for the things that I loved. So I didn’t rely on making money from my blog, and I am grateful that there wasn’t that pressure to commercialise it – if I can continue to get a challenge and a sense of professional growth from it, great. If not, then I’m prepared for whatever life has planned for me.
But things started to get really busy recently and that made it super hard to keep my job and make myself available for travel, which is a component of blogging that I absolutely love. So in November I made the leap to full-time blogging and I absolutely love it.
Blogging requires a lot of hard work and creativity, how do you manage your time and motivate yourself to create blog posts and maintain a regular presence on social media?
Like any passion, the rewards and pleasure must far outweigh the hard work and pain in order to really enjoy it. It’s my business now and the more time I invest into creating content and engaging people, the more I get out of it. The leap from hobby to business is a great for motivation, because you suddenly have costs that need to be exceeded in order to pay yourself a salary – let me tell you, that’s a pretty good motivator and as they say, necessity is the mother of invention. The pressure to create engaging content and reach wider audiences is huge, but so long as you keep yourself healthy, maintain a still mind when you can and spend time with your loved ones, it can be handled.
I try to break my week up with days that I visit PR companies, days that I do my hair and makeup and shoot 4-5 outfits, and days where I’m on emails addressing new business opportunities, looking for new looks that I can showcase for my audience or editing photos and blog articles.
The rest of the time I’m usually focused on eating well, exercising and getting plenty of quality rest, which can be very hard when so much of your job revolves around a global audience that wants to chat to you 24/7!!!
What advice would you give someone who has just started blogging?
- Be yourself. The blogger-sphere is very, very crowded place and by trying to be like someone else, you just get lost in the crowd. There’s only one of you in this world so just DO YOU!
- Ok this next one is near-impossible but trust me if you can get over this, it will make your blogging career much easier. Do not worry about the numbers of followers you have!!! This is probably the best advice Scott has given me. Your number of followers doesn’t define your success. I was so happy to have my first 1,000 followers and I am still the same person and the feeling I get from being a part of this fashion peer group is still the same as when I started.
- Focus on your content. Put the best possible content up. Eventually people will notice you. It might not happen overnight, but just keep at it. Especially when it comes to Instagram, you never know when your growth spurt is going to come, but your audience will rely on the brand that you create therefore consistency will be rewarded.
- Post regularly. It’s important to meet the expectations of your audience and to tell a story, and this will require regular (whether that be one, two or three times a day) posts.
- Engagement. When you are starting out with 0 followers, no one will care about you. Trust me, I’ve been there!! You have to engage with other people and give a lot if you expect to get something back. Make sure you comment and like people’s photos. No one will care about you until you care about them. And I mean genuine comments – find those people who you really gel with and make them your buddies.
Your husband Scott seems to be a big support and features a lot on your social media channels! What does he think about your success? Is he tempted to start his own blog?!
He is amazing! He gave me the push to start because he knows how much I love shopping! Without him, I probably wouldn’t have started. Sometimes, you just need that one person to believe in you! I try my best to be that one person for anyone who wants to start a blog. I feel like if I can do it without any formal fashion or blogging background, then anyone can! Anything is possible! You just need to be really passionate about it.
He’s extremely proud of me, and he loves that I actually get paid to shop now!!! Hahaha. No I don’t think he will start his own blog. Plus it would take so much longer if I had to shoot him too!! He absolutely loves his work and is very busy with that, but he’s good with numbers and that was very helpful when this went from a hobby to a business.
Do you feel a pressure to be stylish and look great all the time? Does being a fashion blogger influence what you wear even on non-shoot days?
Yes! It’s part of the job I guess. Luckily I love dressing up! I try to post what I actually wear and love wearing. So on my non-shoot days I still wear the same clothes but usually I’m running around in sneakers or block heels. I save my super high heels for when I have meetings, events and going out. When I don’t have meetings or I’m working from home, I’m normally in my pyjamas!! Bliss!! I try to not put makeup on to give my skin a break too.
Your pictures are always stunning! Who takes your photographs? How do you select / reject photos for your Instagram feed?
My husband Scott!! He is amazing and very very tolerant of me. (I ask him to shoot three outfits for me, then after the 8th outfit he asks me how many more, and I say one, and then after 12 we’re done! Hahaha.) He is my Instagram husband and without him there wouldn’t be Miss Gunner. But now as things are pretty busy with the blog, I hire a photographer friend to help shoot me as well.
I do spend a lot of time editing and planning my Instagram feed. I know exactly how I want my feed to look, and I just operate a dummy account and keep swapping and switching photos until I love how it looks, and then that is the roadmap for my actual account. Again, it has to tell the story about me. Sometime’s Scott is like, “Why are you posting a photo of a bowl of strawberries,” and I’m like, “Shut up dude! I know what I’m doing!” Hahaha – you need to have or develop an eye for it and that just develops over time. Eventually it’s second nature.
What makes the perfect outfit for you?
Denim shorts, blazer, super high heels and of course a cute handbag. This is probably my signature look, because I just LOVE wearing it! You will never look bad in this outfit!! It’s a foolproof combo!!
What are your favourite stores to shop in?
I shop everywhere!!! There’s no discrimination when it comes to shopping! I love visiting high-end retail stores in different cities because the combinations of interiors, stock, staff and ambience all have subtle variations – plus it’s free! You can go hang out, drink sparkling water, eat macaroons, try out shoes and handbags and if you’re not in the mood, leave the spending for another day! Haha.
High-street fast fashion (Zara, Top Shop, H&M) is really interesting for me. I know the concept of fast fashion is not everyone’s cup of tea, but visually it gives me a lot of ideas to see so many designs in one place.
And then when I’m in local markets I just love it when I spot a beautiful little bag or dress. I plan to start buying stock of these little things and reselling them in my shop so I can find a way to help smaller operators who don’t have an online presence.
Tell us something we don’t know about you?
I have a computing and a dental degree. Now I’m a fashion blogger! Hahaha. I guess that’s just life – you can be studying one thing, start out in one industry and eventually you’re somehow led to something entirely different. Life is all about the journey and not the destination! Who knows in 10 years what I will be doing??!!!
Bonus question… What can we expect from Miss Gunner in 2017?
Good question! I hope to Vlog more and try to share more of my life on www.missgunner.com. But so much of being successful in this industry is not just about meeting your audience’s expectation, but also managing your own expectations. My expectation is to grow personally and professionally from this experience, and whether that comes from starting a new business under the Miss Gunner brand or simply expanding my appeal to a wider audience, I will focus on what I find rewarding.
I will continue to be aware and inspired by others but at the same time I will be strong and know that we’re all different and that’s what makes this platform interesting. So long as I’m happy and people find the content associated with Miss Gunner interesting, I know I’m doing the right thing.