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Conversations with Rachel Leslie

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachel Leslie.

Hi Rachel, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
My fashion blog started during the lockdown in Scotland last June. I had moved back home to Scotland from London during the pandemic, and I started posting pictures of my outfits on Instagram for fun. My name is Rachel, and my middle name is Margaret (named after my fashionable grandmother) however, I thought Margarita sounded more current!! I had a really good response from the start and kept posting pictures. I grew a following quickly and have had some great opportunities. I had my first brand collaboration within a month of posting, and I knew this is what I love and wanted to keep doing. Within the first week, I was posted on top shops story. This gave me a real buzz, confidence and validation. I’ve grown organically and have built solid brand relationships. I monetise through like-to-know-it and affiliate links. I get to dress up every day and I love it!!!

I recently got the opportunity to work with Rancho Bernardo inn- a luxury resort in San Diego. It was a two day photo shoot with a team flown in from Chicago. I enjoyed the experience so much.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has definitely not been smooth. Through my blog career of ten months I have moved country (Scotland – USA) during a pandemic! It was tricky to stay consistent with content. When I first started, I was living on a farm in Scotland, and it was hard to find a glamorous background. I was often photobombed by tractors. Not to mention the weather was not ideal!

Explaining Instagram and fashion blogging to others is also tricky! I had a few unsupportive friends and doubters. But it made me strong and continue to succeed. Another funny story is Craigslist! I posted an add for someone to take pics of me one way a week for a few hours (10 outfits) when I got to the USA. I met a few strange people before finally meeting my new friend and weekly content photographer, josh. Just keep going!! I chose to put a Craigslist ad as I had nobody to take my pictures. My husband works full time and I didn’t know anyone here!

When I don’t have anyone to help take pics I take my tripod out which is usually a few times a week. There is a mall close to me which has some great spots. I get a lot of people pointing and laughing and staring but with that I also get a lot of people saying nice things too! I used to get embarrassed but now I just go with it!

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a fashion blogger/content creator/brand ambassador! It’s a fairly new concept! I specialize in women’s fashion and lifestyle. I am most proud of the picture I created being posted by Nordstrom (who have over three million followers!)

I am also proud of repeat brand collaborations with WAYF and pretty lavish. Two brands that I love! What sets me apart is that I am true to myself and my style. I am a Scottish girl who has lived in London, Sydney, Australia, and now the USA I bring all my experience and style inspo from my life journey to the table, and I have a classic British style with an exotic flare!! I love traveling and have gained so much from the places I have been. I actually started a dress rental business in Scotland as I had used this frequently in Australia, tenting dresses before parties etc. Scotland didn’t have this and I was Keen to bring what I had learned in Oz to the UK market. Then sadly covid hit!! But hey, I’m happy to be where I am today. I still love the concept of renting outfits and haven’t scratched that idea off yet! I believe it’s the way of the future.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
My husband of two months, yes I’m a newlywed! For being my hype man and photographer!! He also had a camera that I would say is now mine! He taught me some pretty cool shooting tips! My photographer, josh, who I met on Craigslist, has been a great help and actually was my wedding photographer too.

A couple of so cal bloggers reached out to me when I first moved here through Instagram and a fellow blogger, has been a great help. She is great with tech and tips. She got me into like to know it and how to use it. It’s great meeting people who do the same thing as you. I also love listening to motivational speakers in business on YouTube. My favorite is Gary Vaynerchuck. He is very inspiring, and I always think when I’m stuck or in a rut, what would Gary V do?! I highly suggest checking him out!

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