Blogger Spotlight | Ellie from Selflessly Styled

written by JILL March 23, 2017

We just got back from a long road trip to L.A. and made some great stops along the way including a quick stop in Portland, Oregon to meet this amazing blogger Ellie Hughes, the brains and beauty behind Selflessly Styled!  Luke and I spent a few hours chatting with both her and her hubby Jordan about life and blogging and at the end of our conversation I felt like we had just made new life long friends!

I’ve loved her blog for sometime now as well as her approach to life and without ruining all the first hand details here is an interview sharing a bit more about this amazing blogger and information that will hopefully inspire and encourage you.

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Tell us a bit about you and do you blog for a living or have a side gig also? 

I grew up in Mexico, so I always gravitate towards sunshine, but my husband and I live in Portland, Oregon. It’s taken me a while to acclimate to the rain, but I’ve grown to deeply love this beautiful city. On the weekends, we can usually be found at one of Portland’s many delicious donut shops or out walking our corgi, Pip! My blog started as a hobby and has evolved into a side job. My “real job” is with a non-profit that finds temporary homes for kids whose families are in crisis. It definitely keeps me busy!

What was your first job? 

Unless you count babysitting, my first job was as a hostess at Izzy’s Pizza Buffet. Super glamorous! haha!

I was there for the summer after high school and then took off to travel for a bit. When I came home, I got a job at a cupcake bakery. It quickly became clear that I was a disaster in the kitchen, but my boss gave me the opportunity to work as the company’s event coordinator. When the company was sold, I left to start my own business which failed within a year, but I learned a lot through that process. Then I drastically changed gears and went from being an entrepreneur to working at a bank. From there I moved into the non-profit world, I’ve worked with a variety of organizations, both international and within the US for the past few years.

What is your blog about and why write about what you do?

The focus of Selflessly Styled is ethical fashion. I think it’s such an important issue, but it’s not typically on the forefront of consumers’ minds. Personally, I never considered where my clothes came from or the impact my purchases have on the world until the past few years. I’d like to use my blog as a platform to bring awareness to the issue and to help make ethical fashion less intimidating to people!

Why did you start blogging, what inspired you to start?

I started blogging as a creative outlet back in 2015. Initially, I was a “lifestyle blogger” without any specific focus.

A few months into that, I watched The True Cost documentary and my eyes were opened to the oppression of people in the fashion industry, I decided to change the way I shop for clothes. It took me months of research to figure out what brands were truly “ethical” and how to budget for the higher cost of fair trade or USA-made items.

Once I started to get a handle on incorporating ethical clothing into my lifestyle, I really wanted to share the resources and knowledge I’d acquired with others. This desire prompted me to adjust the content of my blog to solely focus on ethical fashion in the hopes of helping those who want to shop ethically but just don’t know where to start.

What is your morning routine? 

Assuming I don’t sleep through my alarm… I try to be up around 5:30 for morning yoga or a quick workout. Then I prep breakfast and lunch for the day, taking lots of breaks to cuddle our corgi. I like to brainstorm or do some writing before I open emails and check social media. Hair and makeup only takes about 20 minutes total now, which is a big improvement since I used to be the girl that took at least an hour to get ready! I’m out the door for work by 8:30 and listen to podcasts on my way to work.

What is your definition of a conscious lifestyle? 

Oooh, such a good question. I touched on this in a blog post titled Painfully Conscious. I think that it’s easy to mistakenly assume that a “conscious lifestyle” has to be synonymous with a perfect lifestyle. To be conscious is not to be perfect, to be conscious is to be aware.

When we keep our eyes open to the impact our lives have on the world, it naturally changes the way we act. However, we can’t completely escape the negative impact of certain elements of modern living. For example, I have changed the way I purchase clothes, but I know that’s not the only industry that people are being exploited in.

I’m increasingly conscious of the way other areas of life affect the world, from the food I eat to the technology I use. Being conscious doesn’t mean I know how to address any one of those areas perfectly, but it does mean that I’m aware. With that awareness comes a desire to take whatever steps I’m capable of towards a better way of living.

What are your top 3 ethical brands/ products that you love?

I’m always swooning over Amour Vert’s chic style. Everlane is my go-to for affordable basics. Another favorite is Alice + Whittles rain boots, I’m just so impressed with mine!

What/who inspires your style and how would you define it?

My style has evolved quite drastically over the years. Currently, I would define it as classical French (lots of flats, hats, coats) with an edgy twist (black leather jackets, skinny jeans, etc.)

What is a quote or saying that could sum up who you are or what you’re about?

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”

-William Wilberforce

That’s been a powerful quote for me when it comes to raising awareness about ethical fashion. I can’t control other peoples’ decisions, I can only shed light on the subject.

What’s been the biggest challenge for you in blogging, and how are you overcoming it? 

The biggest practical challenge is time. I never feel like there’s enough hours in the day to go to work, maintain our busy social life, and produce good content for the blog. I’ve been getting a lot more disciplined with my time and learning to say “no” to things.

The biggest emotional challenge has been accepting that when you take a public stand for something, you are going to be misunderstood by some people. I’m naturally a bit of a people-pleaser, so it’s been a challenge to let go of what others may think of me online. I think this is why finding a community of like-minded individuals to encourage you is so important.

What advice or tips would you give someone who is wanting to start blogging?

  1. Find something you are truly passionate about and try to identify a way in which you’re contributing to something bigger than yourself. This helps you to keep going even when you’re discouraged.
  2. Just start. Don’t wait until you feel completely ready to put yourself out there, because you never will.
  3. Be consistent with publishing content. Consistency is 99% of growth.
  4. Find a community of like-minded people to encourage you, because it can get lonely!
  5. Ask for advice from anyone, but don’t take advice from everyone. I’ve been given so much conflicting advice over the years; at some point, you’ve got to learn to trust your gut and run with your vision!

Who is your greatest inspiration and why?

This answer might change depending on the day, there are so many amazing people that inspire me, but currently, I’d say Safia Minney. She is a huge inspiration to me for her pioneering work in sustainable fashion. I just love her. Also, Emma Watson for her commitment to ethical fashion and women’s rights. She’s so classy.

If you had to pick a passion/ interest/ career totally unrelated to your blog what would it be and why? 

Oh man. So many things! There’s a series on Netflix called “Abstract” that highlights top designers in various industries, I would love to study under any of them. If I had to pick just one, I’d say sustainable architecture!

Any other comments you’d like to add?

It’s really exciting to see the amount of awareness that’s being raised around the issue of ethical fashion, I’ve found it to be such a positive community. If someone is nervous about taking the first step towards conscious consumerism, I just want to give them a big hug and say, “Go for it! We’re all here to support you, and no one is judging you!”

Go check out her blog Selflessly Styled and make sure to follow her on social media!

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