Monday, March 16, 2015

Work It, Bloggers: Jessica of Thread and Bones

Jessica is wearing a jacket and bag from a vintage shop in the Haight, top from Buffalo Exchange, pants from Endless Knot in Seattle, Swedish Hasbeens clogs, and a Madewell necklace.

What’s your name? Where do you live? What do you do?
My name is Jessica and my blog is Thread and Bones. I left SoCal around 5 years ago to escape the heat and traffic for the cool, foggy, historic shores of San Francisco. Somehow I managed to settle down in the one hot neighborhood in the city -- the Mission gets sun basically every day of the year, and I grow tomatoes in my backyard from April to early February. I pay for rent and fancy dresses (not often worn in this casual town) with my small business as a state contractor. Trust me, it’s more boring than that even sounds. What’s more interesting is my burgeoning photography business I started with my partner MB Maher. We began by shooting restaurants around town (assembled for your viewing pleasure here) and just recently (after photographing dozens of events for friends over the years) we’ve finally launched our much-talked-about wedding & event business -- Ritual Photo Work.

How did you get into blogging? 
See above about the boring contract work? It had taken over my life entirely and sucked all my creativity dry a few years of working way too much. Blogging gave me an excuse to shut off the work computer earlier, and the opportunity to exercise and stretch my creativity in more and different ways.

How would you describe your style? 
A friend described my style once as part boho, part sailor, and I stand by that. There’s definitely a lot of grandma/grandpa chic happening in my closet, although I think my time living in Paris a few years ago helped incorporate a little more chic-chic. Some of my biggest style influences have been from people watching, and when I discovered style and fashion blogging it was mind-blowing. I was so amazed to be able to check out the personal style of so many women around the world, and it definitely influenced what I wore and how. On a daily basis, I’m working around the challenges of constantly reinventing a slowly changing wardrobe, of staying physically comfortable and confident while also experimenting and trying new things, and mixing my love of retro styles and actual vintage in a fresh way that works for my look. Right now I’m all about harem pants and looser trousers, mixing prints and lengths, and flared silhouettes.

What have you learned from blogging? 
Where do I even begin? Blogging has taught me so much about myself -- it’s this incredible mirror when you go back and read through your posts. The combination of the photos with what you wrote at the time is such a powerful introspective tool, more so than any journal I’ve ever kept. Accepting my appearance, my strengths and weaknesses has hugely boosted my self confidence. I’ve reconnected with my creative self, I’m writing again and growing in my photography skills. I’ve even learned a bit about social media and networking, which I’ve always avoided like the plague, although on that note -- I’ve found my people here in SF and around the world. I’ve been working for myself for 10 years, so it’s been hard to meet people; now I have the most amazing folks in my life and the majority of them I know because of this blog.

How has blogging changed since you started four years ago? 
I feel like I started blogging fairly late in the game, when there was already a level of professionalism and brand-partnership happening. Since then the onus has been on bloggers to step up their game -- to increase the quality of their content. There’s an impression that you have to be a professional, or at least have a professional camera, if you want to have a blog, but on the other hand, that’s definitely not the case. The blogosphere is shifting and changing, but it’s so large -- there’s still plenty of room for people who are looking for a creative outlet, not a business change. And there is room for people with a great voice to gain a big following even if they don’t have the bells and whistles of some of the more professional blogs. It’s not quite the wild west anymore, but it is still changing, and I think there are still opportunities for anyone and any type of blog.

What can we expect to see from you in the future? 
My blog has evolved from lifestyle to style and fashion to travel and back to lifestyle. Last year my goal was to really hone the blog, improve the quality of the writing and photography, and further develop my voice. I’ve learned a lot in the past year and am really happy right now with the way the blog looks and what I do with it. I want to keep developing high quality content that captures a day or moment of my life -- the place, the clothes, the atmosphere. Content that inspires me as well as my readers. I feel like I’ve hit my stride with the blog, but I’m constantly seeking to improve myself, and I’m really excited to see where 2015 takes me. So far there’s been a lot more collaborations this year, which you’re going to start seeing more and more of over the next few weeks. And I’m dying to leave the country again soon! Hopefully in the second half of this year -- my fingers are crossed!

You can follow Jessica on her blog, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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