Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Work It, Bloggers: Annie of MontgomeryFest

Annie is wearing a J.Crew dress, a Mind Code sweater from Retail Therapy, a necklace from Urban Outfitters, stacked rings from a market in Barcelona, Nine West wedges, Hammitt clutch, and Warby Parker sunglasses.

What’s your name? Where do you live? What do you do?
My name is Annie and my blog is MontgomeryFest, on account of our last name and the pursuit of fun. I moved to San Francisco last summer with my husband, Justin, and we’ve been falling in love with this city ever since. I work at Minted, where my love of all things design and paper related have only gotten out of control - I’ve since started putting my painting to use on phone covers and the beginnings of an Etsy shop!

How did you get into blogging?
Four months after getting married, Justin and I moved our home from Dallas to Brussels, Belgium. Between the wedding and the move and him getting his Belgian citizenship, it was hard to keep track of to whom we told what update. I knew it’d only get harder living across an ocean, so I started MontgomeryFest as a way to keep in touch. Two years of traveling around Europe, a move to SF and so many blog friendships later, it’s evolved into a third family member!

How would you describe your style?
One part prep. Two parts free spirit. I have a lot of classic pieces going on in my closet that I like to stretch my imagination on how they can be unrecognizable. I love a good unexpected pop. I’m a big fan of mixing prints and scales. It’s both unfortunate and lovely that for such a miniature human (five foot two), I’m drawn to the largest of glasses, prints and hair.

How has living in San Francisco and traveling throughout Europe influenced your style?
Everything is more tousled. I immediately gave up doing my hair every day upon moving to Europe. The more bed-head it looked, the more I looked like a local. The French’s je ne sais quoi is a magical thing. It’s this mix of perfectly placed messy and I worked at it. Things have also become a lot more practical. I used to wear heels. I couldn’t let go and took my edited collection of twelve with us to Brussels. Hilarious. In the past two and a half years, I have worn heels maaybe three times. We walk everywhere now.

What do you like the most about blogging?
The people. The stories and the characters and the unending different ways people tell their tales. I started out in the expat community and let me tell you - that has got to be the most encouraging, most supportive community there is. We’re all displaced from our homes - Americans in Belgium, Brits in Tanzania, South Africans in Tokyo. We all struggle picking out groceries or figuring out directions in another language or currency. Our friends back home see it as an incredible vacation, which it is some ways, but not in others. There is no way I’d have this international network of amazing people in my life without blogging.

What benefits and challenges have you experienced blogging with your husband?
Ooo! Good one. As I mentioned up there, this thing has become a third family member. It’s a sort of project that we get to create together. We’re constantly chatting ideas (or rather, me bugging him to indulge in mine) and coming up with adventures we can go on to show off our city. I always have a second set of eyes if I need help on choosing photos or editing my, too often, overzealous words. When we introduce something new, it’s a team effort to figure out how it’ll work for us….for MontgomeryFest. But challenges! Oy vey. It can often become too close to home, so to speak. It consumes a lot of our time together when sometimes we need to be unplugged. When it comes to photos, he’s the main taker. Then, I choose, edit and incorporate it into my blog post. When he has the camera in hand, the day often looks dramatically different than how I was envisioning the story. It has taken us a long time to get down this bumpy road of transferring his vision to my vision. We’ve got a good vibe of it now, but if there’s an exact frame I have in mind, I know to capture it myself now. I don’t want to brag about the Portuguese sunset if I can’t show you a photo. And I want to brag about the Portuguese sunset!

What can we expect to see from you in the future?
I’m excited to be building my style column and featuring some really great local brands. I have ideas brimming for inspiration shoots and gatherings. We also have a few travels planned around the US and nearby. In between all of that, I’ll be working on collections for my designs and paintings. phew!

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

Check out more posts from Work It, Bloggers and San Francisco.

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