On Making Monster Zines, Dinosaur Jewelry, & Blogging : An Interview With Rebecca

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I first found Rebecca's blog while I was in high school and was incredibly inspired by her when I began my first forays into the blogosphere around that time. I've always loved her creative style and how each outfit seems so wonderfully crafted to capture a particular mood or emotion. This month I had the pleasure of interviewing her!

Hi Rebecca, would you mind introducing yourself and what you do? Well, I’m Rebecca or The Clothes Horse as I usually go by online! I started blogging way back in college, so it was more comfortable to have a pseudonym than use my own name—I feel like when I was younger everyone said not to go online because you might meet creepy people and now everyone says go online it’s the future career! I run a fashion blog and do a little bit of freelance work and make dinosaur accessories.

You’ve had The Clothes Horse for years now. How would you say your blogging style + fashion style has evolved since you began? When I started I was in college and I was just figuring things out—both blogging and style wise. I didn’t intend to be a personal style blogger, but it became really addictive to photograph my outfits and use the photographs as a way to assess my style and figure out what I liked. I don’t think my core style has changed much, just that I’ve gotten more polish and developed my “look.” I was wearing flower crowns in my first year of blogging (back in 2007!) but now I feel more confident in them and they look more natural on me.

Something that I really admire about your blog is the way you’re able to seamlessly integrate sponsored content into the posts — it never feels like something you have to say, but that it’s something you want to say. Has it taken time to get to a point where you know how to share a sponsored item in a way that fits with your voice? It can definitely be a weird balance and even if you feel authentic in it other people mind find it unnatural. I mean I’ve written about things before that weren’t sponsored, but because I was talking about a specific product people thought I was getting paid! But I’ve been doing it for a few years now and it’s partly about being very upfront with the brands you work with and also balance. For example all of the clothes I wear I choose myself—even if someone sends me something I chose it from their website and I send things back all the time too! If it doesn’t fit or I ended up not liking it in person, I mail it back to the store/brand. I also try to balance the sponsored content with non sponsored content, I don’t want a whole “c/o” outfit or several in a week and I try to post twice a day, so there are plenty of other things that I just found on my own and think are inspiring going up all the time.

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Can you tell me a little bit about how Monsters Zine came to be and what the process of creating it was like? Oh man, Monsters Zine that was such a love project. I’ve been talking about doing a zine since I was in high school but I always felt overwhelmed with how much work it would be on my own and deciding what subject to focus on. Last summer my friend Jon was fired up to do a zine too and we both loved the concept of monsters (we’re big scifi nerds) so we did it together. It was great. We just drew and wrote flat-out for a couple of months then found a local place to print it and loved our finished zine. We definitely want to do another. I have a list a mile long about monster concepts to make into more zines—Childhood Monsters, Monsters in the X Files, Homegrown American Monsters, Monsters from the Future, etc!

I love that you make jewelry out of dinosaurs! How did you get started in that? At Christmas I started hand painting dinosaurs as stocking stuffers and present toppers. I made dozens and each one with a different tiny design, people really loved them so I decided to try to figure out if I could make them into necklaces and such. It’s still a learning process, but it’s something I want to stick with. As much as I love blogging and photography I feel like I need to make things with my hands—it’s very rewarding in a different way.

Has your style ever been influenced by poetry or literature you’ve read and / or movies you’ve seen? How so? Old movies inspire me constantly. I mean like Audrey Hepburn’s character in Charade or How To Steal A Million are just the dream for me. When I was younger I always wanted to dress like characters in those movies, I wasn’t reading fashion magazines so it was movies I aspired to look like, but it wasn’t until I was in college that I started to realize I COULD dress like those characters. I always felt like fashion was for really rich people or people with different lifestyles (I was a cashier at a thrift store before college and worked at a convenience store while I was in college) and then I just sort of realized that you don’t have to be an editor or a wealthy widow trying to survive intrigue and find a missing fortune (ala Charade) to look chic and wear dresses every day. Books and poetry inspire me too, but in a different way—it’s more emotional. I read a sad book and I feel a bit gloomy and want to wear darker colors or I read about dragons and want to go on adventures and wear gladiator sandals and the like!

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Who are some of your heroes? Life inspirations, style mavens, people who make your soul shake. Soul shaking? I’m actually not too sure. I feel very moved by characters in books or movies and usually a less attached to real people. There’s always so much unknown with real people. I do admire Emily Dickinson, Maya Angelou, and others like them. And sometimes I get quite caught up in thoughts about all the unsung women, like Virginia Woolf's quote, “for most of history anonymous has been a woman.” All the women in science who are left out of the books when talking about their discoveries or inventions. Like Cecilia Helena Payne-Gaposchkin who proposed in 1925 that stars are mostly composed of hydrogen and helium. I took Astronomy in high school and learned all about what composed the universe and I never heard her name until I was out of college. Women like that who are forgotten now but were passionate about their work are endlessly inspiring to me. Even if they’re forgotten they were brilliant in their lifetimes and it’s a good reminder to just be passionate and work hard.

You can only read one book, watch one movie, one television show, and listen to one album for a year. What do you choose and why?

One book: I honestly can’t pick, I love too many books to choose a favorite and my favorite books I’ve read so many times already I probably need a break.

One movie: Charade; it’s Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn, beautiful clothes, comedy, and intrigue, everything I want in a movie.

Tv show: The X-Files; it is my favorite television show and there are so many seasons you could watch it forever with hardly a repeat.

One album: Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More; just a perfect emotional tidal wave of an album.

Last but not least — what would you tell a younger version of yourself who is just starting on this journey of blogging? Just do it; just get to working and taking pictures and writing about what you love. Don’t worry too much about your quality not being the best or not having as many followers as others—comparisons are odious and you’ll learn best by doing so just get in there and get your hands dirty and work at what you love.

You can connect with Rebecca on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.

I interview inspiring + amazing people every month! Want to read more? Check out the interview tag.

All photographs are from The Clothes Horse