London based blogger, fashion stylist and fashion journalist Ella Gregory has been publishing her thoughts on fashion and lifestyle since 2006 on her blog Coco's Tea Party. Over the years Ella has amassed a huge following of loyal fans and now updates her blog on a daily basis to keep her audience captivated. She has worked incredibly hard to get where she is today and has been featured in a range of publications, including Marie Claire and Grazia plus she has collaborated with fashion brands to lend her expertise to the retail market. Here, Ella gives us an insight into her life as a blogger and what secrets she has hidden up her sleeve for the future.
DONNA IDA: We love your name, how did you decide what to call your blog?
Ella: 'I wish there was a story behind the name Coco's Tea Party, but the truth is it was the first thing that popped into my head. The irony is I don't even like tea!'
DONNA IDA: Did you find it difficult to study as well as continue blogging at the same time?
Ella: 'Not really, if I'm honest. I think if you're passionate enough about something you can find the time to do it. I blogged all throughout my A-levels and degree, and also worked part time as a sales assistant and interned at magazines during this period too. You have to be disciplined and determined, but it is possible to juggle them all!'
DONNA IDA: You've been blogging for almost eight years, has it almost become your life now?
Ella: 'I write the blog full time now, and a lot of my friends are also fashion bloggers, so it has taken over my life in some sense.'
DONNA IDA: How did you get your big break?
Ella: 'The fact that I started blogging in 2006, before it became a 'cool' thing to do has really helped me. As when brands first jumped on the bandwagon and started working with bloggers I already had an established readership. Things really started to take off for me when Burberry returned to London Fashion Week - they invited me to their show, and it was the first time I'd covered LFW.'
DONNA IDA: Your success on the blogging scene has been huge! What advice would you give to fellow bloggers to increase their audience and an aspiring blogging star?
Ella: 'Things are so much more advanced now than when I started, so what worked for me four years ago probably isn't going to work for anyone else now. But, I would say the most important things are to stick to a regular blogging schedule and utilise Twitter and Instagram as much as possible.'
DONNA IDA: How have you evolved as a blogger over the years?
Ella: 'My blog has become more personal over the last 12 months, and I would hope the overall look and feel of Coco's Tea Party has become more slick and grown-up as I've learnt what I'm doing.'
DONNA IDA: What’s your favourite thing to blog about?
Ella: 'I love writing about the red carpet. I could literally analyse the ins and outs of who wore what and why all day long. My brain is a sponge for all things celebrity - I'm like a walking, talking Heat magazine.'
DONNA IDA: So give us a peak into your daily life, what is your typical working day?
Ella: 'I get up early - around 7am - and am usually at my desk by 8am. I always have the day's stories written and ready to go, so spend the morning scheduling content and social media updates. I then work on upcoming posts, handle my inbox and might have a few meetings or events in the afternoon and evening.'
DONNA IDA: How was it staying in the Mayfair Hotel during LFW?
Ella: 'It was so much fun. Probably the only time I'll ever get to live in Mayfair!'
DONNA IDA: What is your role as a member of the British Fashion Council Bloggers Strategy programme?
Ella: 'The BFC reached out to a handful of UK bloggers last September to find out about our experiences covering London Fashion Week. I think they're going to be rolling out a couple of changes to their set-up as the seasons go on to make things more friendly for a digital market.'
DONNA IDA: We always seem to be discussing the changing roles of bloggers, especially with fashion week, where do you stand?
Ella: 'Honestly I try to stay out of the discussion as much as possible. Every season there's another "should bloggers be at fashion week?" article that gets everyone talking, and I can't really believe it's still a conversation.'
DONNA IDA: What advice would you give to a younger you?
Ella: 'That's such a tricky question. Probably nothing, because every lesson is important.'
DONNA IDA:If you weren’t a blogger, what would you be doing now?
Ella: 'I studied journalism at university and always wanted to work in fashion, so I'd probably still be doing some version of what I do now, just in print rather than online.'
DONNA IDA: What’s next?
Ella: 'I have a few things lined up, some more video content, and hopefully some lots more exciting content as we move into SS14.'