Girls Supporting Girls: An Interview With Fashion Blogger, Charlotte Dougall

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Recently, over on Instagram I mentioned that although I am a keen yogi I am also really interested in the world of business and entrepreneurship. In the modern era so many people are switching from their stale 9-5 jobs and diving into creating their own business. As a yoga teacher I am also a small business owner and I believe it is important to support others paving the way in their industry as well as my own.

This week I am interviewing the lovely Charlotte who is a fashion blogger and freelance marketer. We had the pleasure of meeting at university and Charlotte’s blog and business have gone from strength to strength over the last few years. Read on to learn more about her and how she runs her own online business whilst balancing her student and social life. She’s the definition of a real Scottish Girl Boss.

 

Firstly, for those who don’t know about you give us a bit of a low down on who you are and what you do!
Hello! I’m Charlotte. I always find it hard to sum up what I do as I have a few strings to my bow at the moment, but I’ll try my best. I’m a blogger at Colours and Carousels, I run a digital marketing business called Content by Charlotte where I help small businesses, startups and other bloggers utilise their online presence to build their brand, and I’ve recently started a website called Blog and Beyond. Blog and Beyond is a collaborative resource for bloggers, covering tips and tricks for building a successful blog and breaking into the influencer industry. Outside of the internet, I’m a marketing student, a bookworm and a bit of a foodie!
You’ve been in the blogging game a long time now, what advice would you give to other young women who want to use blogging as a way of promoting their message to the world?
Don’t be afraid to be yourself! There are a lot of blogs out there these days, which is great, but there’s no point being a carbon copy of someone else when you can be yourself. When it comes to blogging, you are your brand, and being yourself is the only way to stand out amongst the crowd. Also – don’t forget to have fun! Blogging is really fun and it gives us a platform to share the things we’re passionate about. It doesn’t need to be a serious business if you don’t want it to be. Mine was just a fun hobby for a few years and I loved it that way!
You are also a freelance digital marketer, how do you feel running your own online business?
It can be high pressure, but it’s amazing. It’s probably the most empowering thing I’ve ever done, to be honest! I love being in control and being able to work when it suits me most, but sometimes it can be a bit difficult to be responsible for everything myself. Alongside doing the work for my clients, I also have to market my own business, take care of all of the admin and deal with my own accounts and things like that too. It’s a lot, but I love it, and I don’t think I’d have it any other way.
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What piece of advice do you have for young women who want to get out there and start their own business?
Just get started. You will never be 100% ready and the moment will never be perfect, if you keep waiting for everything to fall into place you’ll be waiting forever. If you’ve got an idea, go for it. Even if it doesn’t turn out exactly how you want it to, it’ll still be a learning experience, and you never know where it might take you! I wish I hadn’t waited as long to start my business, but I was just stuck waiting for things to be “perfect”.
As you know, I speak a lot about mental health and my own personal journey on the blog and I know you yourself have been open about your own mental health history in the past too. What self care habits do you have for your daily life?
I’m a firm believer in the power of a good night’s sleep and plenty of water. I spend a lot of time staring at a screen so my night time rituals are very sacred to me as they give me time to switch off and relax properly. I love a good bath, or getting to the gym when I can, but ultimately sleep is what helps me most. Basically, taking a step away from the busy world of the internet every so often is crucial for my mental health.
I am hugely focused on creating female empowerment and promoting strong women and help them succeed. What three words some up female empowerment to you?
Just three? That’s hard. I guess I’ll go for a phrase that I remind myself of a lot – “yes you can”. We, as females, can do anything we put our mind to.
Finally, if you could look back one year ago, what would you tell that Charlotte to let her know her future was bright? 
I’d definitely want to remind her of all the tough times she’s already made it through, and tell her that if she can manage through that she can make it through anything. It’s something I need to tell myself all of the time, really, as I don’t give myself enough credit for coping with everything life has thrown in my way so far!
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Massive thanks to Charlotte for sharing more about her blog and business with me and I thoroughly enjoyed taking away some business hints and tips from this interview. Also, credit to Claire White Photography for the images too. If you enjoyed reading this do let me know I’m keen to get other businesses on the blog in a variety of different fields so you get well rounded information.
Until next time,
xo

How To Get ‘Beach Body’ Ready Without Even Hitting The Gym

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Gotcha! You might be thinking that by clicking on this post you’re going to get all the details on how to lose some weight in order to be ‘beach body’ ready in time for summer to allow you to flaunt that bod around the seashores on your summer holidays without a care in the world.

*Side note: I’m jealous of whatever beach location you’re heading to this summer – my summer holiday is to the wonderful Costa Del Glasgow and not the shores of Ibiza.*

Every summer the panic begins. You stand under the unflattering lighting of the store fitting room, staring in disgust at your body. You think to yourself, “I need to tone up and lose weight before I can even consider going to the beach half naked.” Next, you start googling “Clean eating” and wiping the dust off that old gym membership you took out in January and haven’t used since. Then you pick apart all the flaws with your body whilst watching Love Island slumped down miserably with a bar of chocolate to make you feel better about the awful day you’ve just had. It’s a situation I know all too well.

I struggle with this every summer and then start beating myself up for being so silly because here’s the thing, your body is beach body ready 365 days of the year it’s your mind that isn’t. From a young age, I considered being beautiful with being thin, unsurprisingly, because that’s all the media has ever told me. “Lose 10 pounds and reveal your best you,” “This tea will shed the weight and make you ready for bikini season.” The messaging is everywhere and so damn hard to ignore.

Recently, I’ve been pretty self conscious of my body after stepping on the sad step (that’s the scales for anyone who doesn’t keep up with Joe Wicks) and realised I had gained over a stone in the last 6 months. My weight by no means is at risk to my health but I initially felt ugly and disgusting because of gains nonetheless. However, I realise that it was my mindset that was totally off. I had to sit down and remind myself that six months ago I was so miserable I didn’t even have the energy to eat; I was on anti-depressants that made me nauseous and I was always run down with spells of flu and tonsillitis. No wonder I was thin- unhealthily thin if you ask my mum. Nowadays, I’m much happier; no longer taking medication to even out my moods; training to be a yoga teacher and doing something I love every day and I’m in a happy and stable place so my enjoyment for food has (thankfully) returned once again. So of course I will have put the weight back on and it’s ok.

Things change in our day to day life and our weight will fluctuate alongside it and in order to have a healthy concept of body image we have to accept that. Don’t underestimate how hard it is- it’s a battle I’m constantly fighting with myself and I am by no means perfect at loving my body regardless of it’s shape.

But try and be confident in that bikini no matter what your size. Focus on the parts you do like, whether it is your hair or your eyes or your legs or your bum or your boobs. Focus on that bit and let the confidence shine through.

Go and work out because it makes you feel strong and empowered in your body, or eat healthily because it makes you feel amazing from the inside out. Don’t eat a specific way or do particular exercise just so you aren’t ashamed of your own body on the beach. Every body is different and we all have things that we would like to change but it’s the imperfections which make us unique from one another and allow us to stand out from our friends. If we all looked the same the world would be an incredibly boring place to live.

Get on that beach and flaunt what you’ve got. Your body is ready for the world to appreciate right now – not in two months or when you’ve shredded at the gym for weeks. Right this second! And don’t stand in the fitting room tearing yourself apart, order that swimwear online and try it on in the comfort of your own home where you can strut about listening to Beyoncé releasing your inner Sasha Fierce- trust me it works a treat.

Until next time,

Xo

What is self care? Or more importantly, what isn’t it?

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As I write this post there are 5.1 Million #selfcare Instagram posts online. Posts full of inspirational quotes; bubble baths with pretty lush bath bombs; healthy dinner plates and yoga poses galore. Self care has become a buzzword and is expected to become the wellness word of the year. The question is, what is self care and why have we become so obsessed with it? Are we genuinely learning how to look after our mental health in order to better serve ourselves and others, or are we just following another online media trend?

The mental health awareness charity Mind, describe ‘Self Care’ as techniques or general lifestyle changes that allow individuals to create steps enabling them to manage their own mental health in a positive way.  These techniques differ from person to person, when I was suffering with depression I turned to my yoga practice to give me the opportunity to learn more about my thoughts and feelings and develop strategies when coping with the illness.

However, for others, self care may involve taking the time to cook a meal from scratch and enjoying it with a close friend or pouring a bath and giving themselves half an hour to read something that they enjoy or listen to an interesting podcast. What I’m getting at here is when practicing self care you have to do something which evokes feelings of love, care and joy within yourself. If  you are copying #selflove acts that someone posts online, but it isn’t bring you any form of happiness or contentment then you have fallen into the trap of following a trend and not developing healthy strategies to cope with the stresses that come up in daily life.

There has also been discussion in the media lately about whether self care is making Millennials more narcissistic and too involved in themselves. The term selfish gets a bit of a bad rep in British culture. If you’re ‘selfish’ people associate you to be someone who only thinks about themselves rather than do things to benefit others. However, I believe if you are consciously carving time out of your day for yourself, in order to recharge the batteries and calm the mind you will be able to serve others in a more productive way which not only benefits you it benefits those around you too.  In short, you’re probably not a narcissistic individual- well done for looking after yourself!

Self care isn’t a negative act, it’s an act of love and compassion towards yourself. I hope to teach people this in my future yoga classes and give them the opportunity to zone out from the world and channel their energy inwards to better themselves. This week I challenge you to take half an hour out of your day to do something that you love. Let me know in the comments below how it made you feel afterwards and if it allowed you to support your friends and family in a better way.

Until next time,

Megan xo

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