Blogging as a pair, although fun, can be challenging. Add in demanding full-time jobs in NYC, and you have a pretty tricky mix going on. However, that hasn’t stopped cousins Courtney and Kelly, who have instead embraced the challenge and are the duo behind the highly successful blog, Mimosas and Manhattan. Courtney’s day job is as a Product Developer for Macy’s, whilst Kelly is a Beauty/Lifestyle/Entertainment PR Executive. We sat down with them to find out how they’ve managed to successfully build Mimosas and Manhattan into a reputable blog, despite the challenges of having full-time jobs and blogging as family members, let alone as a duo!
What’s your ideal Friday night out?
Courtney and Kelly: Our ideal Friday night out would start with dinner, obviously. Usually, we’ll go for a fun new spot in Brooklyn, or venture to the West Village. This would be followed by drinks at a chill bar, and then ending at a spot with amazing music and a few tecates/tequila shots!
If you could only wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Courtney: 100% jeans, black booties, white tee and a leather jacket.
Kelly: Jumpsuit, ankle booties and a statement jewellery piece.
What’s the most precious/sentimental thing in your wardrobe?
Courtney: The most precious piece in my wardrobe are my grandma’s pearls! Although I never wear them because I am so scared to lose them, it’s nice to know that they are there.
Kelly: My mother’s ruby necklace. I always admired it growing up, and now I wear it everyday!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Courtney and Kelly: Never take yourself too seriously. Always be yourself. If you have a dream, never let it die. All three of these quotes resonate with us on a daily basis, because as bloggers, we continuously put ourselves out there. It is very easy to conform to what society wants you to be, and you can easily lose yourself because of that. Never put too much pressure and think you are not good enough, or pretty enough or smart enough. Hard work justifies who you are.
What’s the best piece of advice you have for someone wanting to get into fashion and/or blogging?
Courtney and Kelly: The fashion industry and blogging, in our opinion, are extremely easy to get into. Every company is willing to take on a girl who will work hard for little to no pay, just to get her foot in the door. Our biggest piece of advice for setting yourself apart, is having a point of view. A keen point of view that is creative and concise, and your ability to articulate that vision will put you leaps and bounds ahead of the world. Anyone can post pictures of themselves on the internet, but having a reason and a story to tell behind that photo is what gets you noticed.
How easy/difficult is it to balance your jobs with blogging, especially since the blog is going from strength to strength?
Courtney: To be completely transparent, it has been very difficult for me to balance my full time job with the blog. As I have only lived in the city for nine months, I have also had to adjust to moving to New York from Indiana! It’s a hard transition. I think that what has gotten me through it has been having a counterpart in Kelly. I know as time goes on, I will be able to learn how to balance this in a better way, but for now, I do the best I can whilst still enjoying this beautiful move! Tuesday nights/Thursday nights are key!
Kelly: It’s hard to balance at times, but at the end of the day, we absolutely love what we do/what we have created, and wouldn’t change that for the world. It gets difficult to work all day and then come home and keep working, but since it is something we are so passionate about, we love to do it.
What made you decide to go into blogging together, as opposed to individually?
Courtney and Kelly: We began the blog when we were interning together in the city in the summer of 2013. We came up with the idea in my NYU dorm room and ran with it. We never ever played with the idea of doing it separately, it just seemed to be something we always wanted to share and keep us close throughout life’s adventures. We have always been super close, and so it just seemed like a natural fit.
What challenges, if any, are there with blogging as a pair?
Courtney and Kelly: There will always be challenges when sharing a business, no matter whether it’s food, tech or fashion. Two people collaborating under one creative umbrella representing the same vision is definitely something you will need to teach yourself and your other half. They key to success..COMMUNICATION. You always need to make sure each other are on the same page in terms of having the same goals and same direction.
Pros and cons of blogging as a pair?
Courtney and Kelly: Having a business partner and someone you can bounce ideas off of, and share a larger goal with, is so invaluable. In this industry, it can be difficult to fully trust others, but because we are family, we will always have each others’ best interests at heart.
Advice for anyone wanting to get into blogging with a friend/family member, as a pair?
Courtney and Kelly: Set guidelines from the beginning and figure out which ways of communication work best. Always speak your mind, and never let anything et bottled up! It is so much fun partnering with a friend/family member! Enjoy it, and make sure you are always having fun.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Courtney: Every single show on Bravo. I can sit and watch marathons of Real Housewives from dawn til dusk!
Kelly: Kylie Jenner’s snapchat. I sit and watch that thing from start to finish.
If you could be successful in another profession, what would it be?
Courtney: I would love to be a successful teacher! I have always enjoyed working with kids, and the fulfilment you receive from teaching would give me a reason to smile every day!
Kelly: Growing up, I always wanted to be a museum curator. I would love to work at a history museum down the road!
Tell us the most surprising thing that people may not know about you:
Courtney: I actually have grey hair! I used to be so embarrassed by it in high school, but now I am allowing it to grow out. Stay tuned!
Kelly: Singing is my first love and something that I am extremely passionate about. This is the first time in my life where I am not singing/performing, but it is just so difficult to fit it in with my full-time job and blogging.
Have you always had an interest in fashion?
Courtney: My interest in fashion probably started in 6th grade. I grew up in a very small Indiana town, so there really weren’t any outlets for fashion and creativity, so the majority of my passion came from magazines and TV shows. Once I started following Alex Chung, my imagination in my clothing style went wild!
Kelly: I have always looked at fashion as a way to express yourself. I am a very outgoing person, so naturally my fashion reflects that – it is loud, a little strange and pushes the boundaries.
What interests you most about fashion?
Courtney and Kelly: The trends and fads of it! We absolutely love that at one moment, everyone is wearing off the shoulder tops, then the next, we are in halter tops. Getting to experience the business side in our full time jobs has also definitely grown our love and interest. Courtney, who works in product development, loves coming in on Monday mornings and analysing what our customer is gravitating towards, and then being able to use our blog to execute those trends! It’s like my whole fashion life has come full circle!
How/why did you get into blogging?
Courtney: The first blogger I ever followed religiously was Cupcakes & Cashmere. I started dabbling with wanting a fashion blog during my freshman year of college, and it all came to fruition when Kelly and I decided to start one together. Having a partner/cousin/friend to share this with made the whole thing seem less daunting and scary!
Kelly: It seemed pretty natural to start one when we moved to New York to intern, because everyone was asking about what we were doing all of the time, so it sorta just made sense!
Describe your style in three words:
Courtney: Relaxed, oversized and boho.
Kelly: Loud, vibrant and eclectic.
What emoji are you?
Courtney: I am definitely the beers clinking emoji!
Kelly: The blonde girl with the side hand raised!
Would you rather fight 100 duck sized horses, or one horse sized duck?
Courtney: Ducks scare me, so definitely 100 duck sized horses.
Kelly: I actually just laughed out loud when I read this! Probably with Court on this one, though.
Would you rather walk around fashion week in a black bin liner and have everyone think you’re serious, or delete your Instagram?
Courtney and Kelly: We would do anything to avoid deleting our Instagram, so yes to the black bin liner!!!
What’s the staple item in your wardrobe right now?
Courtney: This beautiful long burnt orange pleated maxi with crochet detailing along the neckline – it is to die for!
Kelly: My white high-top Converse. I wear them all of the time because they are so classic and go with just about everything!