The Read | Behind the Business
Meet Ania B. + Win $500 in Custom Shoes This Stampede
By now, you've hopefully heard about our ATBxPBFashionRoundup Pinterest Contest with ATB Financial and Calgary's Ania B. (you can pin to win $500 in custom shoes!). Today, we want you to get to know Ania, the gorgeous face behind the blog, and our project collaborator. The super-talented 28-year old isn't just a fashion blogger; she's also Flare Magazine's Alberta correspondent, a regular street style photographer for FASHION Magazine, a model with Sophia Models, and runs a production company with her husband, Tyler, doing photography, videography and design for both commercial and editorial clients. Here, Ania Stampede-styled her custom-made Blue Jean Baby Feminine Slipper from Poppy Barley's second Limited Edition Collection (see her full post here) in an all-denim ensemble (remember that denim-on-denim-on-denim trend we asked you about?) - and we're pretty ecstatic over the results. Below, she's answered a few questions for us. Take a read, get inspired, and don't forget to get in on our Pinterest contest to win your own pair of custom shoes! When did you decide to leave your day job? when tyler and i decided we didn't want to continue a long distance relationship and one of us had to make a move. i took that as an opportunity to make some changes in my professional life. i always wanted to be a full time blogger, punching the clock at the office doing accounting and not feeling fulfilled with what i was doing with my life. i wrote the blog whenever i could but being stuck at a 9-5 job really didn't give me the freedom to focus on it as a business. with Tyler being in Victoria i couldn't do the job i was doing remotely so it was like ripping off a bandaid. i was really scared, mainly because of the unknown of what was waiting for me next. it turns out when you need to, you can figure everything out. What made you start your blog? the lack of stimulation at my office job combined with the lack of local focus on fashion in calgary. at the time, me and a friend were shooting a lot of creatives and it was difficult to publish our work in local magazines, so i created a page where i could showcase the things i had been working on. at the time i was also taking some art classes at ACAD, so a lot of what i drew also made it's way to the site. i have a friend who kept encouraging me that i keep posting. when i finally felt like i could take the blog further i consulted a national fashion magazine about what i needed to do to get into the publication. they advised that the blog should have a clear focus on fashion. personal style was something more obvious than anything else, having been in the modelling industry since i was 14, and that's how aniab.net was born in the form that it is today. How did you grow your audience? posting all the time. being engaged on social media. sites like lookbook.nu and now apps like instagram really help reach out to an audience that might otherwise not known that you existed. when i started the blog there wasn't really anyone else in calgary that was doing the same thing so i had no one to reach out to for advice. i am always learning and growing with the site. now there are more available resources like books and online materials as well as other bloggers with whom we exchange tips. the progress is kind of exponential. What's your approach to working with brands? through the blog i get emails everyday about collaborating with different brands, i went through a big learning curve when i first started, but through the years i learned to be picky with the projects i take on. if the image of the brand or the product that they sell doesn't fit with the brand of the blog i will respectfully decline the partnership. the rule is that i only post content that i would have posted regardless of the relationship. if the product is something that i would have paid money for and gotten excited about outside of writing about it then i know it is a good fit. Describe your typical day. i am a total night owl. i work most efficiently when everyone is sleeping, probably because most of my daytime hours are spent replying to e-mails, producing shoots and contacting vendors. my phone is always beside me and i almost always reply to all of our correspondence right away, checking stats on the site and doing research. the phone is the first thing i check when i wake up. tyler and i work a lot in front of our desktops with breaks for location or in studio shoots that sometimes fall in between working hours. after work, around 6:30 we will usually go and shoot an outfit for the blog. if we are not shooting, we are shopping or pulling clothes for more shoots. we work around the clock and every day of the week, we hardly ever get a weekend off, which sort of works. when i was working a 9-5 job my evenings and weekends were taken up by the blog. i have a hard time to relax and nearly incapable of just doing nothing. How long has your husband and business partner, Tyler, been a photographer? tyler has been doing photography for over 10 years. before we started our company he was focusing mainly on stock photography. now, with both of us shooting, we can take on a lot more projects and make for a much more rounded team. we play on each others' strengths and together there is very little that we can not do. tyler is also a co-founder and does web design for stocksy.com, the stock photography agency we sell our photos through. When you're shooting street style - what do you look for? everything and anything. it's not about a particular genre of style. i am not looking for a specific look. the person who will catch my eye will usually be confident in what they are wearing. it's not only about the clothes, it's about the whole package, do they have a cool hairstyle or an interesting face? it's the way people carry themselves that makes them stylish. A basic tshirt and jeans can be made exciting by a topknot and a cool pair of sneakers. How does one dress "country girl" for Stampede in 2014? california has completely changed the game of western dressing. the desert and the popularization of indian motifs has opened doors for so many great new trends. there is endless variety of pieces you can incorporate into your wardrobe to dress stampede appropriate. i am a huge fan of bolo ties, with a small, simple accessory you can take a silk blouse from office to rodeo. the stampede street style has really gone down in the books as a festival equivalent for calgary which can be really cute and fun but i will always be a sucker for the guys and gals fully decked out in cowboy tack & wear. for me it's all about the costume. How do your Blue Jean Baby Feminine Slippers feel? its a perfect fit. i love heels but flats are nevertheless always the first choice in my wardrobe. when i first put on the feminine slipper i noticed right away how comfortable they were. i loved the cushion on the inside sole and i loved the colour. denim is a fashion icon in itself. If you won the $500 Fashion Roundup prize from Poppy Barley and ATB, what would you order? i've had my eye out for the classic riding boot. my problem with boots in general is that the calves are always made too big. i would love to own a pair that was made specifically to my width. You travel a lot. Are your travel habits similar to your husband's? tyler and i travel together everywhere. we had such a miserable time being apart that we decided never to be away from each other when we don't have to. What's one must-have for you when traveling? my camera and laptop. those two things come with us everywhere. What's the most stylish city in the world, according to you? there isn't just one and so many that i still have not seen. i like different cities for different things. tokyo is by far the most outrageous, and paris i like for it's ease and effortlessness. i really loved warsaw when i was there. it took me by surprise, i wasn't expecting it to be the beautiful metropolitan european capital that it is, it was lovely to see great things coming out of my home country (Ania is from Szczecin, Poland, and moved to Calgary in 1999). What's your favourite city in the world? as of recently, seoul. it is an understatement to say that we had an amazing first trip to korea this past may. Where do you see yourself in five year's time? 10 year's time? that's a really hard question for me to answer right now. because everything is still so new and fresh we are focusing on growth first and foremost. our businesses are all based online and things change and progress so fast now thanks to the internet. we want to take all the opportunities that come our way and so we focus on the present moment and what we will be doing in two weeks from now more than years time. ultimately, however, no matter what happens the goal is to travel. we want to integrate our travel into our work and vice versa. we are so lucky that so far it seems things are on the right path.