A little while ago, I interviewed Scarlett Dixon from Scarlett London (click here to view here blog.) However, it has since been announced that she will be soon releasing a clothing collection, at the time of writing. So, I emailed her a few questions to find out all about her new collection!
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Scarlett Dixon, c/o: Scarlett Dixon.

How did the idea for the collection come about?
Jody and I have been working together for a number of years and I’ve always admired her incredible style, talent and work ethic. When the opportunity arose to collaborate for an exclusive collection, I grabbed it with both hands. It’s been absolutely amazing to see the behind the scenes of how Jody works and what goes into a fashion collection! Plus seeing my designs turn from sketches to dresses has been INCREDIBLE!
Why did you decide to launch a clothing line/collection?
I’ve always been very passionate about the world of fashion and I do sometimes find it hard to find dresses and accessories that make you feel both empowered and beautiful. I think we all have a 10-year-old fantasy of becoming a fashion designer and sketching out clothes – but I didn’t actually think it would come true this time!
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C/O: Scarlett Dixon.

Did you have anyone in mind who you were designing for?
Just fellow ladies who love to feel feminine, sassy and empowered!
Was there anything particular that influenced your designs?
I think there’s a lot of my own personal style in the designs themselves, I am very much a girly girl and I adore pink and floaty shapes – however I also wanted to create pieces that travelled well because I myself am passionate about travel – and I wanted them to be versatile enough to dress up or style down. I am also quite an advocate for comfort, so each of the dresses are super light-weight and comfortable to wear. You can layer them with slips (underneath) and coats and jackets on top, for Autumn – but I know Winter sun holidays are ever increasing in popularity so these are perfect for this too!
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C/O: Scarlett Dixon.

Where is the collection available from and when can we purchase it?
The collection is now available for pre-order (click here)
In terms of designing, do you have anything further planned?
Jody and I are working together on an ongoing basis, so watch this space!
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For aspiring designers and bloggers, do you have any tips?
I think just to not limit your creativity, find an outlet for your designs (whether it’s setting up an Instagram page or a blog) and keep striving forward with your passions – nothing is impossible!
Thank you to Scarlett for taking the time to answer my questions; you can view the clothing collection here. 

If you’re like me, you’ll be a stationery aficionado, prone to looking up notebooks, planners, and everything online, for hours online. As a Blogger, I found out about That Lame Company not too long ago; everything on the website had me google-eyed at how pleasing the stationery was. Since this interview took place, there has since been a re-brand; That Lame Company is now A Little Amber. Here, I chatted to Chloe Smith, the founder and blogger, about blogging for business.
Firstly, could you tell us a little bit about your blog and business?
Of course. My blog is called Mojichlo – merging mojito and Chloe because hello, my name’s Chloe and I love mojitos. I began my blog during my final year at University. Mojichlo is a lifestyle blog, focusing on parts of Bristol and also my creative happenings. My online shop, That Lame Company is my little creative outlet on the Internet that allows me to design things and give them lovable homes all across the world.
What came first?
My online shop came first, I started it in August 2014. I started my blog in March 2015.
How did you launch your business?
Funnily enough I was emailed a 20% discount from a phone case printer and thought ‘ooh I’d love to design my own phone case’. From then on I started designing and selling phone cases, then branching out to stationery items.

My online shop, That Lame Company is my little creative outlet on the Internet

Do you think social media is necessary for bloggers and small business owners?
I think it depends on what you are trying to promote and sell. For me, I think photographs sell my products more on social media than by Googling ‘art print’. I’ve worked in businesses where social media does not benefit businesses, but I believe if you want to connect with your customers and engage then having a social media presence is very beneficial. As I have said before, my shop would not have become what it is today without the help of social media. I also think that bloggers benefit from social media as it allows people to engage with brands, share their views and connect with new people.
Why did you decide to specifically go into business that specialised specifically in stationery-based products?
Stationery cheers people up. Picking out a new notebook or selecting some stationery items before starting a new school term is pretty much the best thing about going back to school. Stationery is exciting and can help to motivate and organise people. From a young age I used to make notebooks and make my own pencil cases. I think I’ve just been able to develop my ideas a little bit further which is really exciting.
As a business owner, how much do you rely on bloggers for reviews, etc? And what do you think about that?
I ran my online shop for around a year before starting my blog. My shop dramatically changed from the help of bloggers. I remember the first time I sent a few products to bloggers. I had just finished University so I didn’t have any money, as I was an unemployed graduate. I sent a box of products to around 11 bloggers, which wiped out the last remaining money left in my overdraft and I just hoped for the best. Within a week so many bloggers and other people wanted to purchase the box after seeing the fabulous blogger reviews. Hello the #BoxOfLame began. I owe everything to bloggers, I would never have been able to grow my shop as much as I have without the help of bloggers, which in turn is why I bring out so many blogger orientated products and send thank you gifts and products to them as a thanks. I think that bloggers are influencers and really do have such a great impact.

Stationery cheers people up. Picking out a new notebook or selecting some stationery items before starting a new school term is pretty much the best thing about going back to school.

Where do you see your business heading in the future?
I have a two-year plan, so that in two years I hope to be fully self-employed. Working on my online shop full-time whilst blogging as a hobby. My blog has and will always be a little hobby, whilst my shop is something I would really love to take full-time.
For ‘a day at the office’, what could we find in your handbag?
Haha for my 9-5 working life I have so many snacks, a pair of headphones, I always carry a phone charger, a portable charger (hope you’re understanding I hate being without phone battery), a pocket mirror, deodorant but most importantly a little brown book that I record any ideas.
For anyone who wishes to follow in your footsteps, what would be your advice?
Just go for it. So many people um and ah about starting a blog or starting a business. In the time it has taken them to finally work their way up to starting something they could already be 2 months in. Everyone has to start from somewhere so it’s better to take the plunge. Never be afraid to ask for help, most people are more than happy to help out. Good luck on any new adventures, they’re exciting as hell.
Thank you to Chloe for answering these questions. To visit her blog, please click here.  And to purchase some stationery, click here to visit That Lame company. 

It was the cover that fascinated me whilst wondering round Waterstones; Dear Amy is a book with a red background. What intrigued me was the story, about a Teen girl who is missing, yet letters are written to a Newspaper Agony Aunt from an unrelated case from years before. Part detective, part crime, this is a true to form Thriller that I really enjoyed. I emailed Helen Callaghan, the author, some questions about the boo, and she obliged.
Growing up, did you aspire to be a writer?
I did. It was something I’d done from a very young age, writing “novels” about unicorns, complete with my own (terrible) illustrations, and whereas most people grow out of that I didn’t, I’m afraid. Though I’ve dropped the unicorns and terrible illustrations. At least for now.
What gave you the idea for Dear Amy
 
I’m really not sure. Without being too spoilery, I was very interested in thinking about my greatest fear, which is what happens to Katie and Bethan, and the difference between rescue and escape. I was very young when I wrote the first draft, and it was a way of exploring that fear, and ultimately defeating it.
Was there anything specific that interested you in the crime genre?
 
Yeah, there are some specific elements of it that are fascinating from a writing perspective. I’d written a few books before I was published and even though they were different genres, they were all constructed around mysteries – the main character has to save themselves by understanding and interpreting the chain of events they are part of, and there are big stakes for failure. In Dear Amy and Everything is Lies this is the process the heroine goes through – her life depends on her working it out.
The other thing I love about writing the psychological thrillers is that I get to explore my fears in a safe place – not just fear of physical, external danger, but also internal fears, such as loss, bereavement, and betrayal.
Without going into too much detail, how did you set out to write Margot’s character switch?
Initially, in the first draft years ago, as a writer I found that the temptation is to do what Hannibal Lecter calls “the elaboration of a bad liar” – to throw up a load of extraneous details like a smokescreen, and try to hide behind it. Part of the work of getting better was learning that it is okay to not endlessly explain everything.
How did you research extra details for the book?
 
My friend the internet, for the most part, and for things like teaching and nursing I spoke to friends in those fields. The most demanding part of it was the psychology research, because the central issue is actually a patchwork of symptoms rather than its own thing, but that was a fascinating thing to read about. There were a plethora of amazing stories of things that had happened to people that were just incredibly strange, you don’t know how folk would recover from that.
The fun part of the research was locating houses the Grove could be based on, and I visited some lovely places to get a feel of what that kind of brooding Jacobean manor would be like, including Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk and Gravetye Manor is West Sussex.
Did you ever expect the book to do as well as it has done?
Um, no! I mean, obviously you hope people will enjoy what you’re doing and the dream is to be read by as many people as possible, but you’ve no way of knowing. But it’s been absolutely wonderful and everyone – from my agent Judith, to the team at Penguin, to all of the fab readers who get in touch to say, hey, well done – people have been amazing and responded to it in a way I couldn’t have anticipated in my wildest dreams.
And it’s so odd, because the first draft of this book was written decades ago and I’ve been living with it nearly all of my adult life.
It’s also a strange thing because you can have been writing for years and suddenly this one is The One, the one that gets you published – and you’re wondering to yourself, how am I going to duplicate whatever it is in the next one since I don’t know what it is?
Writing the follow-up to Dear Amy may well be one of the scariest things I’ve ever done…
Would you ever revisit the characters of Dear Amy, such as in a follow-up book?
Do you know, I’ve been asked this before and I’m not sure. I think Margot’s story concludes nicely in Dear Amy and getting her into any more trouble just feels like cruelty! She’s due a holiday.
That said, I liked writing Martin and the idea of the Multi-Disciplinary Historial Analysis Team could reappear – there is something quite appealing about the idea of identifying unsolved crimes through number-crunching, which then goes on to have horrifying real-world consequences. I might use them again when I write book four. If I did that, I think Margot would probably have a cameo.
Currently, are you working on any other projects?
 
I am indeed – I have two on the go. Book Three, which is currently nameless, is set on Orkney and concerns a missing archaeologist and a Viking burial, but at the moment I am literally just finishing off a new round of edits on Everything is Lies, which is about Sophia, a young architect, who comes home to visit her parents after a strange phone call the night before, and finds her mother seems to have committed suicide and her father is mortally wounded. Very shortly after, she discovers her mother had been in a cult in her youth and was in the process of writing an expose on it.
Sophia starts digging, and things start to spiral out of control from there…
Thank you to Helen Callaghan for answering my questions; to buy Dear Amy, click here. 

A little while ago I joined in with a #TeacupClub chat on Twitter; Envy Fisher tweeted about wishing to start a shop that sold stationery for Charity. Since then, she has set it up, which really impressed me. Click here to see her shop.  Meanwhile, I spoke to Envy about Blogging For Business. And if you’d like to know more about how her shop was set up, click here. 
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Firstly, how were you introduced to the concept of blogging?

A high school friend of mine casually said I should start a blog one day. It was a weird, whispered remark in the middle of English class, right after I’d secretly passed her a piece of my writing on a scrap of paper.
What made you wish to start blogging?
Shortly after my friend made that remark, I noticed I needed some kind of outlet. I had loads of things on my mind and no one to talk to. I had the kind of friends who’d say ‘do we really have to talk about that?’ or simply ‘shut up’ when I started about things I was passionate about. The blog remark sat there at the back of my mind, until one day I decided to give it a shot and see if it’d help me feel less isolated.
Could you tell us a little bit more about Lost In Translation?
 
I relaunched Lost in Translation in March of this year. I’d already been blogging for four years, first on a blog called Picking up the Pieces, which was like my online diary, later on what I now call the prototype of Lost in Translation. I was a bit lost, had too many options to choose from and no idea in which direction I should take my blog, when my blog was suddenly shut down. I built it up again and focused on a few of my favorite topics: travel, street art and all things geeky. Now I post every Monday and Thursday on one of those topics with a little lifestyle in the mix every now and then.
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What do you think about blogging for business?
I used to think that blogging for business was something unobtainable, that you needed thousands and thousands of followers to even get a chance to start some kind of business. It was my ultimate goal though. As long as you sell a product or service you can 100% support I see blogging for business as the best thing that could happen to a blogger.
Could you tell us a little bit about your current business venture?
 
I set up a shop on my own blog the other day, right here. I sell stationery: envelopes and notebooks with a wanderlust theme. I use as many recycled materials as possible: paper that would’ve been thrown away otherwise, scraps of thread for the binding, recycled covers. I use atlases people throw away for envelopes and try to waste as little as possible.
Why did you decide specifically to focus on notebooks?
 
I’ve had an addiction to notebooks since I was about six years old. I always buy more than I need and they’re always the first thing I look for when I found myself in a store that sells stationery. It’s been a lifelong dream to design my own line of notebooks. I could have waited ages and hoped for a miracle, but I decided to just take the plunge and work on designs with the materials I already had on hand.
 
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How will this be of a benefit in terms of charity?
I’ve always wanted to raise money to preserve wildlife and help protect the environment. As I was making plans for my shop, I was quite aware of the fact that I didn’t really need the money. I enjoy making stationery, but I wanted this to benefit more than just me and my wallet. That’s why I decided to donate €0,50 of every purchased item to the WWF, so they can keep up the good work in protecting endangered species.
Do you have any advice for fellow blogger?
 
If you want to change the blogosphere, go for it. I know it’s scary and it’s a big world out there, but you’ll be surprised to see how much an impact every single one of us can have once we give it our all!

As part of the relaunch, I am bringing in a new category; ‘blogging for business’. A little while ago, there was a buzz on Twitter about Bloggers Ball, organised by Scarlett Dixon of Scarlett London. (click here to view her blog.)  I love her blog, so I emailed over some questions.
Firstly, how where you introduced to blogging?
I actually set up my blog in 2011 as an aspiring fashion and showbiz journalist so my initial aim was for it to be an online portfolio of my work. I didn’t even know what a blog was at the time (oops) but then I discovered this emerging new world on Twitter and started following a number of inspiring fashion bloggers. My eyes were opened and I then started writing about more personal stuff on my website, gradually making the transformation into a ‘blog’.
What inspired you to blog?
Probably answered this above 🙂
How did you come to your blog name?
Looking back, I actually have no idea! I guess ‘Scarlett London’ sounded a tad more snazzy than ‘Scarlett Dixon’ which is my actual name – and I wanted to make it apparent from the outset that I was blogging all about my favourite city in the world!

Credit: Scarlettlondon.com , C/O Scarlett Dixon.

What do you think about blogging for business?
I think it’s exciting that blogging is an evolving and emerging new industry – it’s an incredible outlet! I think it’s super inspiring that girls and guys have carved an entirely new career for themselves using only the tools available to them by the digital world!
How did you go to being a full time blogger?
I gradually made the transition after five years of blogging as a hobby. I was graduating University and had to make the decision as to whether I wanted to start the job search or see if I could do this full time, for real! Luckily, it’s worked out so far – and it’s the dream! It never feels like work as I love it so much!
What do you think about working with brands?
It’s super exciting but also can be tricky to manage at times, because you want to stay integral and honest and maintain that trust you have with your audience. I always follow the mantra and ask myself the question ‘would I genuinely use and buy this product, or do I love this brand regardless?’ If the answer is yes, we take things further and look to work together. But I have turned down large sums of money because the brand or campaign doesn’t fit with my values or doesn’t stay true to me. So it’s all about sticking to why you started blogging in the first place – because you want to share the things you love!

Credit: Scarlettlondon.com , C/O Scarlett Dixon.

Do you have any tips with regards to this?
I’d say it’s important to retain creative control and put your spin on things, even if it’s sponsored or branded content – so this is something you have to ask from the outset. It’s super fun to do a sponsored campaign, because I can devote the time to creating something even more exciting than usual and I can order in props and hire incredible people to work with too – so often my sponsored stuff is the campaigns I’m most proud of! They allow you to really get your creative head on and explore what you’re passionate about – but obviously to do this, both you and the brand need equal creative control. Otherwise you may be following a strict brand campaign or guidelines – which can be tricky if you want to weave in your personality and creativity – which is the thing your audience love about you!
Could you take us through your routine, day to day?
Every day is different – some days I might be heading into London for meetings and photo-shoots, others I might be at home in my pjs doing emails and editing videos! But I absolutely love being my own boss and knowing what I put into each day, results in what I get out of it!
How did you set up your blog to run like a business?
It’s tricky because my blog was always my hobby – and still is, so putting a business head on was difficult initially. I have no business experience and I’m still such a novice, but I think the best way to learn is through trial and error. Also you have to put value on your work and know what your time is worth. Knowing your worth is key!
What inspired your posts?
Everything and anything! I often have brainwaves and lightbulb moments for posts at 2am – so I always keep a little notebook beside my bed to jot things down!
Are there are downsides to blogging for business?
Not really! I guess people don’t see the less glamorous ‘admin side’ to the job, but to be honest – I enjoy that side of things too! So really, I can’t complain!
What inspired you to create your own blog events?
I really wanted to meet other like-minded creatives and bloggers in London so started the events in 2013 as a way of getting such people together. The first one was a pizza party with ten bloggers, we had lots of cocktails and chatted the evening way. Over the years, they’ve got bigger in size – and now each event usually has around 200 guests, which is super exciting!

Credit: Scarlettlondon.com , C/O Scarlett Dixon.

For a day at the office, what would we find in your handbag?
I always carry my phone, a good book (for the train), chewing gum, snacks and a lipstick. My favourite right now is ‘Heaven’ by Bare Minerals, it’s the most gorgeous nude pink shade!
For bloggers who wish to follow in your steps, do you have any tips?
I actually filmed a whole video on this recently [see above] : but to sum up – just be YOU and let your personality shine! It’s going to be your niche and what your future audience will invest in, so don’t be afraid to show it off!
Thank you to Scarlett Dixon to answering my questions!