Esmirna Tapia thinks it would be so cool to get paid to blog.
Tapia's background is all over the fashion spectrum. Originally wanting to be a buyer for a store like Nordstrom, she's studied everything from fashion marketing to product development.
However, it wasn't until she began her first blog in 2011 that she seemed to find the right fit. "It had a different name, and I wrote about culture and the fashion industry, but I just couldn't keep up with it," she says. "I just posted whenever I could. But then I followed a lot of fashion bloggers and thought, 'If they can do it, I can start somewhere, too.'"
Tapia invested in a good camera, and with the help of her husband, who takes all her pictures, says, "So far, so good."
Her current blog, Platforms for Breakfast, is a daily outfit blog that is also translated into Spanish. Tapia herself is bilingual and knows she has people who speak both languages in her audience. She says a lot of good Spanish fashion blogs are based in Mexico and translate from Spanish to English. "I've always wanted to do it the other way around."
Tapia says her stye is actually pretty simple. She dresses according to her mood, the weather, or both. "It all depends where I'm going, because in Arizona it's so weird."
The blogger finds inspiration everywhere. "If I love your outfit, I'll probably keep it in mind and maybe imitate it. I like certain celebrities, other blogs, and if I see a color I like or if I'm people-watching, I draw inspiration and take notes from everywhere. I save images and get inspiration from them later."
All of Tapia's hard work and dedication to her blog is paying off. She recently won a Women's Wear Daily contest alongside seven other bloggers from around the country to attend the Magic Trade Show, an event held in the Las Vegas Convention Center twice a year, where established designers and emerging brands are showcased. As a winner, Tapia will be one of WWD Magic's official bloggers, attend seminars, and speak on panels.
That's not the only place the blogger's being recognized.
"Yesterday," she says, "my husband and I were in a mall in the small town of Calexico, California, where my husband is from. The cashier was staring at me and finally came up to me and told me she recognized me from my blog. She said she found me because a friend of hers liked one of my photos once. It was weird, but things like that are very so awesome!"
Right now, Tapia says she's "just blogging" but she's getting new opportunities all the time. She hopes to connect and network with more fashion lovers in Phoenix and is always looking at her blog from a business standpoint. "My blog is my baby," she says.
"If something comes up job-wise, I'll take it. I love blogging, but I have to keep that joy in it."
What are you wearing? A cropped striped sweater and black hat from Forever 21, a Topshop satin skort, heels from AMI Clubwear, and jewelry from Juicy Couture and H&M
What's the last item of clothing you bought? I bought an amazing, brand new Zara blazer for $12 at Plato's Closet. It was such a steal -- and just my size!
Where do you usually shop? I shop everywhere and anywhere. You can find great things at thrift shops, so some of my favorite places are Goodwill and Savers. If I want more trendy items, I go to H&M, Nordstrom, PacSun, or Forever 21. I go to different places depending if I want a certain staple piece or a quick fad item.
Name 5 items every woman should have in her closet. 1) Black blazer 2) Statement necklace 3) Little black dress 4) Classic trench coat 5) A really good pair of boyfriend jeans
What's one fashion trend you can't stand? A fashion trend that needs to go away and not make a comeback is flatform shoes! I love anything platform, but these have got to disappear.
Give us a childhood memory of you and clothes. I have always been very opinionated with what I wore, but one of my favorite childhood memories has to be when it was time for my fifth grade promotion. While all of my friends talked about buying dresses and really cute shiny black shoes, I opted for some camo overalls, Winnie-the-Pooh socks, and brown chunky shoes. My mother had a fit, but in the end she just couldn't get me out of my chosen attire for this grand occasion, and I couldn't care less because I thought I looked the best.
What's your one piece of fashion advice for Phoenix? My advice to anyone when it comes to style is simple and cliche: Dress for yourself, not for anyone else. Dress according to what you love, not what society (or fashion) tells you to wear. Your wardrobe should reflect your personality, and you should always feel confident with what you've got on.
Editor's note: This post has been modified from its original version.