I certainly hope that you have enjoyed that you have enjoyed this fabulous installment of Blogger Inspired Fashion Week. I had so much fun doing this! The final feature in this series is none other than one of my absolute favorites, Cortnie from Style Lust Pages. Cortnie was one of the very first bloggers I connected with. When my blog was a baby (LOL), she left a comment on one of my posts and I checked her out and followed immediately. It was very easy to fall in love with Cortnie’s effortless style.
Cortnie’s style is so Casually Elegant. She knows how to rock her pieces well. No matter if she is keeping it casual or glammed up, she rocks every look effortlessly with comfort and sass. I love it! Add one of her “Love, Cortnie” bags to her look and that provides a stylish finishing touch.
Cortnie is a true Fashionista holding credentials from FIDM in Los Angeles where she majored in Merchandise Marketing. Putting that knowledge to use, Cortnie quickly launched an ETSY shop where she sold her fabulous oversized clutches after learning to sew from her Grandmother in 2011. If you follow anything fashion related on social media, I’m sure you have seen some of your favorite Fashionistas rocking one of her bags. I've said enough about this enterprising young lady, I'll let her tell you in her own words her Fashionable Story.
Name: Cortnie Hutchinson
Age (optional): 30
Full Time Career: Love, Cortnie Handbags
Tell Me and My Readers a little bit about yourself and your background.
I graduated with my BS in Kinesiology from the Univ. of Md, College Park in 2006 with plans to be a Physical Therapist. I worked as a PT Tech for over a year, but upon graduating realized that there was no way I would continue with school for another 4+ years to make that a reality. My Godmother asked me a question that would completely change my path. She asked, “If there was anything in the world you would want to do what would it be?”. Something in fashion, duh. From there I applied to FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising) in Los Angeles. I was accepted, found a place to live and moved to the other side of the country all in a couple of months. I graduated with my second degree in 2007 and moved back to Maryland not long after that. I gained so much knowledge while I was there for a year and a half.
Once back home, I worked in retail management for a couple of years and felt so stuck. It was definitely not something I wanted to be doing for the rest of my life. I was miserable. So toward the end of Summer in 2011 I found myself between jobs. I had always wanted to learn how to sew and it was important that my grandmother be the one to teach me. She can do just about anything. So she taught me and while learning I mentioned how it would be cool to make a clutch. In my mind I could always imagine the type of clutch I would want to have, but could never find one in stores. Everything was solid black and boring. I wanted a large size with prints and a fun lining. Boom. I decided to make one.
I posted the idea on my blog and shared it with my readers to see what they would think about me possibly making a couple clutches available for sale. The positive and encouraging feedback pushed me and without me evening knowing it, my brand was born.
I learned to sew and about a week later opened my Etsy shop with just 3 clutches available. The 3 year anniversary is less than a month away and I’ve now done over 100 different styles. I’ve also recently launched my first tote bag with a new bucket bag launching for Fall. I’ve shipped my pieces all over the world from Dubai, Germany, Australia, Japan, Bermuda, Canada and the United Kingdom to name a few. It’s been such a crazy ride and I’m loving every minute of it.
How would you describe your signature style?
Casual Chic. I’m super laid back, but can easily throw on a pair of heels to dress up a casual look. Jeans, a tee and fun sandals are my go-to, but I love being dressed up. Fun skirts or maxi dresses are my favorite. Apparently I’m all over the place, but more Casual Chic than anything else.
How do you go about creating an outfit or look?
I’ll usually choose the pair of shoes I want to wear and build a look around those. Or, if I want to wear a certain one of my handbags I’ll do the same thing.
What is your FAVORITE Feature to accentuate?
Do you have any Fashion Challenges?
Nope! If I like it, I wear it. But if I had to pick one it would be finding the perfect length in certain pieces. I’m 5ft tall and things tend to be a bit too long for me.
What are your FAVORITE places to shop?
Shopbop, ASOS and J.Crew
Who are your FAVORITE Designers and/or Clothing Brands?
At this time, I don’t think I have a favorite. Which I find kind of weird.
Is there a Fall/Winter trend that you’re dying to incorporate into your wardrobe?
I don’t really pay too much attention to trends when it comes to getting dressed. Usually, Fall/Winter trends are the same from season to season with maybe a couple of new ones. I love jewel tones, but I tend to wear a lot of black, white and gray. So if I incorporate any color it’s usually on my lips or in one of my clutches. I’m a fan of leather and I’m a bigger fan for chunky knits. So I usually stick with those.
Why Blogging? What turned you on to the Blogosphere?
I did not start blogging willingly! I started it to basically keep an online diary of my styling escapades, but it quickly turned into a personal style blog. Once I started blogging about my personal style and then started making handbags, it was easy to bring the two together.
What thing(s) sets your blog apart from other blogs?
I blog about me! I don’t think anyone else is LOL.
Where do you see your Blog a year from now?
Honestly, I don’t know! I’ve always posted twice a week and I’ve recently found myself with not as much time. So now I’m down to one post a week and I’m really liking it. I do enjoy it, but lately I haven’t had the time.
Name 3 Bloggers whose style you just live for.
As you know, my blog is geared towards FASHION and FINANCE, so tell me in what ways you combine the two.
A lot of people feel that as a blogger you may need to be wearing new clothes all of the time. You could go broke really quick if you tried living by this. I own a lot of clothes. This goes back to me working in retail for so long. What I have always found helpful is wearing pieces I’ve had for years and pairing them with something new. So I’ll get a skirt here, a top there and mix them with pieces I own already. I never wear the same outfit twice on my blog. I mix and match pieces.
What advice would you give to up and coming Fashion Bloggers?
Please be yourself! You are unique in your own right and no one can take that from you. Find what it is you love to blog about and stick to that. Be consistent with your posts too. If you post once a month no one is going to take you seriously. Lastly, always remember that social media is great for meeting new people and getting your blog or brand out there.
Cortnie provided some thought provoking insight in her interview and I’m sure you received just much fashionable stimulation from her as I did. Enjoy!
So, of course I had more than one of Cortnie’s looks that I wanted to recreate, but I made a decision and settled on…"Torn Levis & MoreDots" from her November 29, 2012 post. I love this combination of pieces. I hope you like my take on your look Cortnie!
Trying to nail Cortnie's pose, LOL!! Bare with me Dolls.
So Dolls, how did I do?