Prepare to fall in love with this week’s The Creative Closeup, the lovely Fabiola (@fabialamode), who just happens to be one of the sweetest and most stylish people you’ll ever meet.
Fabiola sat down with us to talk about what made her begin her blogger career back in 2012, how Instagram has changed over the years, and of course about her gorgeously girly style. She also adores kids and has even worked at a dual emergence grade school! I mean can this lady get any more amazing? And have you ever wondered how she came up with the cutest username on Instagram? We’ve got the scoop! Read on to learn more about the most relatable and lovable fashionista around!
Fabiola / @fabialamode / Aug 17 2018
- Age: 28
- Occupation: I am currently a full-time fashion blogger
- Ethnic background: My parents are both from Mexico, so I’m Mexican. But I was born here, so I’m Mexican-American.
- How did you come up with your Instagram handle?
- You know on the dessert menu there’s a brownie a-la-mode? I was like what is a brownie a-la-mode? So I searched it and then it’s literally just a brownie with ice cream on top, but a-la-mode also means fashionable. So jokingly, my boyfriend at the time was like “oh excuse me i’ll have a Fabi a-la-mode”. He was just trying to be stupid like a Fabi with ice cream on top, but the literal translation would be fashionable Fabi.
- What type of style do you influence?
- I mean I would say my style is really girly and really simple. Just girly fashion, everyday girl.
- How did you start? What made you start?
- I actually started in 2012. So I had just graduated from UCLA and I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. So, I always knew that I loved fashion and in college all of my friends were like “Oh you should be a blogger! You dress so cute! You should be a blogger, you’d be so good at it!” At the time I was like I don’t know, but then one day I was literally just at home and I was like ok I’m going to do it. I wanted to start a blog, like an actual blog not just an Instagram, but I created that Instagram that same day because that was going to be the Instagram that went along with my blog and so I started it and I didnt tell anyone about it because it was going to be something personal, just for me. And I started posting my outfits. I would just get my sister to take photos of me, and at the time I hadn’t even like told my boyfriend. And my sister would just take my photos and I started gaining followers. [In 2012] This was when Instagram was for iPhones only, so I didn’t even have an iPhone at the time I just had like an iPod Touch. So that’s how I would post on there. So I basically just started it as a way to distract myself from post-grad life. That was a really difficult time, you know? I really had no idea what I was going to do. I just started it as a hobby and I didnt know it was going to turn into something more.
- How would you describe your aesthetic?
- I would say like…a lot of people say I have a pink theme. I’ve never really realized it until I was like I just naturally gravitate towards pink, girly things. So anything that I see that is cute, I’m like oh I love that I’m going to take a picture. I mean I don’t even think about it, that’s just what I gravitate towards.
Social Media Presence
- How long did it take you to reach 10K? How long ago was this? How many followers do you have now?
- It took me 6 months…and then right now I think i have like 43,000 something followers. So, I reached it in 6 months. Ok, so back then they had this thing where other bloggers would host “shout out for shout outs” so I remember there was some sort of competition. You had to like post your Valentine’s Day outfit so it was like a Valentine’s Day lookbook. And it was 4 bloggers hosting it and then whichever person they’ve picked to be the winner they were all going to give a shoutout. So they were going to get a shoutout from each of the bloggers hosting it. Like people were competing for this shoutout, which sounds so silly but it’s like….it was so effective at the time. So let’s say there was a blogger…I mean I don’t even remember who the bloggers were….I don’t think they do it anymore…so, it was like bigger bloggers. I was one of the winners. I think they chose like 4 winners and I was one of them. And just from that I think I got 1,000 followers. And then that same outfit ended up getting posted by a major fashion account….it wasn’t @AmericanStyle, but it was one of those really big fashion accounts that has millions of followers. And that was when Instagram still had the popular page, so my outfit ended up on the popular page. So it wasn’t my post, it was the fashion account’s post. So people would go on the account and see that I was tagged and then they would follow me. And i think that got me to like 1,000 and that was in one day. And then from there I was just super consistent. I would post like every day. I mean at the time I was working so much, and i would still find the time to take photos and post. Sometimes even twice a day. And then I don’t know. I think because there was no algorithm, it was way easier for people to just find you and follow you. So I mean, I dont think there were that many bloggers back then. I think everyone was just starting out. So then I started getting sponsored when I had like 2,000 followers. Which is so weird! Can you imagine someone getting sponsored with two-thousand followers now? And then it was just getting tagged in photos from other brands…so it was just like cross-promotion I guess. I’m getting these free clothes and I’m getting reposted….so yeah. I wish that I had been more active back then. I feel like I could have gotten to like 200,000 followers back then.
- What do you think your followers like most about you?
- I mean I would hope my style. But I get a lot of DMs…like I think people really enjoy my captions. Especially when I was single, I would post a lot of captions making fun of myself for being single and a lot of people enjoyed those. I get a lot of DMs like “Oh my god! You need to showcase your personality more and your captions have me dying all the time!” I feel like I always have my caption ready and I’ll just look for the photo that fits it. Is that weird? I love helping other bloggers. If any bloggers ask me for a contact…here you can have it! I’m not going to be like oh wtf? I feel like we can all help each other grow. So I feel like I always try to help my friends.
- Describe your workflow process.
- I feel like the summer has been hard because I’m just trying to live my best life. So, I feel like I have taken a break like the last month or so. Usually, I spend my mornings answers all my emails, and I try and set a time to take photos, and a time to edit photos, and yeah that’s basically it. Before when I was working full time, I would only shoot on weekends. So literally just one day out of the week, but I would shoot like 10 outfits. Well not 10, but maybe like 5. But that’s exhausting. So now I only shoot one outfit per day because even doing two or three, it’s kind of a lot for me. I’d rather just say this is what I’m wearing today and i’m going to take a picture in it. Because then I just get really overwhelmed. I used to pack my car with like 5 outfits, and then it was like ok I need to shoot these five outfits and if I didn’t I’d be so bummed. Like oh my God I didn’t get to shoot all these outfits. I’d be so sad. It would take the fun out of what I do, and so now i just try to take it slow. Well, obviously I still have to plan ahead but I do try to do it. It’s good to take a break, but not forever because this is my job. It’s hard when you have high-paying campaigns and you’re like oh i’m good for a couple months, you know? But it’s not like that all the time. So what helped me have a chill summer was the fact that I was hustling throughout the year and had pretty big campaigns. I have to budget. You have to when you’re doing this full time. You can’t just be like splurging. That’s what I used to do with all my money. Because I knew I had a paycheck coming when I was working full-time. And now that i’m not I have to be smarter with my money.
- What tools do you use to make your life easier?
- I mean I have a planner is that old school? I have an actual planner. I like to plan things and it just gets kind of hard when you have all these emails, so it helps me when I can actually visualize everything. And it helps when I write everything down, like actually write it.
- How has the plug helped you in your daily process?
- It’s helped me literally bring my collaborations to life. When i’m emailing brands back and forth, it so easy for me to just plug in all the details and then just sending my collaborations to a brand at the end, its just so easy you just click agree. Like that’s so easy.
- What is your mission statement?
- My thing is when I first started my Instagram I wanted to inspire people to I guess help them get dressed in the morning. I know that for me, it helps my mood and just makes me feel better about myself. And I try to do that with my friends to like, you know, dress all cute and you’re going to feel better about yourself, you’re going to have a better day. It sounds silly, but it helps me and I know that it helps other people so I try to be some sort of fashion inspiration. I do hope to inspire people. I do hope to that it can help someone get dressed in the morning. I don’t know if anyone looks at my page like let me see…let me look up summer outfits, let me look at Fabi’s page. I mean I would hope so, that’s what I want to do.
- What drives you?
- Well the reason I started doing this fashion thing full-time is because I want to be my own boss and I would love to travel the world one day, but for free. So that’s my ultimate goal. I want to be able to have all these adventures and all these experiences and I know that I can do it through being a fashion blogger. And I mean I feel like I started doing that in like last September when I went to Paris. I was like ok i’m a full-time fashion blogger, i’m going to do this. I got to email like hotels and I got sponsored for that stuff, and I got like my clothes for free. And Paul Mitchell…. I got sponsored by them for like a hair post. So that was my first experience actually doing it full-time and traveling.
- What has been your biggest challenge?
- Umm…I think for me just staying consistent because yeah, i’m a fashion blogger and I get to do cool things, but I try to also live in the moment. So it’s hard because I do want to take all these really nice pictures, but I have to remember to just be present and actually be spending time with my friends and not just be on my phone catching it all on Snapchat. So thats what has been the hardest for me because there’s times when I’ve had some really fun times and it’s like I didn’t get any pictures? I think finding that balance…like take some photos but like stay involved. Even sometimes my friends will be like “oh my god that event you went to looked so cool” and it really wasn’t that cool, it just lookedreally fun. I don’t even get my hopes up for events anymore because sometimes I’ll be so excited and then like wow this was not that fun! I could have stayed home or could have done something else, I could have hung out with my friends, but no. I decided to put myself out there. But I feel like you have to put yourself out there no matter what. Because you never know who you’re going to meet…i’ve met some really awesome people because of the events i’ve gone to.
- Do you have a random talent? If so, what is it?
- I don’t think so. I will say that I’m really competitive and I feel like i’m just really good at everything but…let’s say you’re playing pool and ill be like i’m really good at pool, but im not. I’m just saying that, but then I end up being really good at pool. But I think it’s just I put it out into the universe “Ok i’m going to be good at this” and then I am. I don’t know if that’s a talent but…
- Tell us an interesting fact about you that most people don’t know.
- So I think most people don’t know that I love kids. Like I really love kids and I actually worked with kids for a long time prior to being a full-time blogger. I worked at a dual emergence school, so I taught kids how to speak and write Spanish. So kids of all different backgrounds, so it wasn’t just english. The class was 90% Spanish and 10% English and it was literally kids of all different backgrounds.