Archive for the 'Vancouver' Category

Niki Blasina is A Haute Mess in Vancouver

in British Columbia, Fashion Blogger and Vancouver


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Niki Blasina write A Haute Mess, fashion blog in Vancouver British Columbia

"It's fashion, and it's fun!" -Niki BlasinaNiki Blasina is a fashion blogger living and working as a freelance writer in Vancouver British Columbia. Her passion for fashion could have taken her to style Meccas like New York or Paris, but she has spread her couture wings and helped build a scene in her own beautiful city. Vancouver has an active textiles, garments industry and many print media and web publishers, and Niki has become a respected local authority on style and fashion; she writes for MTV Canada’s FORA, for Huffington Post Canada as a style blogger, and of course she has her own hit blog.

A Haute Mess is Niki’s fun filled approach to high fashion. She’s got style on page and in her pictures. What’s most interesting about Niki’s blog is how she presents her ideas – she’s got style on style as she blogs in a fun and unpretentious manner; ‘A Haute Mess’ is a blog that stays true to its title. There is plenty of forward-thinking fashion photos for readers to feast their eyes upon, but Niki combines her penchant for profiling trends with an approachable honesty,  earnestly publishing her own anecdotal stores about fashion blunders and the foils that all girls fall prey to: bad hair days, skin irritations and unflattering photographs.

A Haute Mess at home“I started blogging because I was a fan of fashion blogs, and a dear friend and fashion blogger said ‘Why don’t you start your own blog’,” says Niki. But “…the idea of putting pictures of myself on the internet seemed like a horror movie waiting to be written, and was way more narcissism than I could be comfortable with. But I did it anyway!” And she doesn’t regret it. Niki’s blog is stronger because readers can see her wearing the duds and leading the charge. Her posts often acrue twenty or more comments and a great many from other bloggers.

Niki, already a PR representative, found out immediately that writing a blog is a great way to open new doors. Within a year of writing her first post, opportunities were pouring in from all directions: “I owe so much to blogging and A Haute Mess,” she says. “It’s been a life-changing experience for me and I’ve had so many interesting and fun opportunities because of it.”

Niki Blasina as web star on the cover of Flare Magazine

Mixing cool prints with leather

Niki Blasina is profiled in FLARE magazine, February 2012

Niki’s adventures in blogging have connected her to a larger fashion community, and her readers have the pleasure of sharing this new found fame with her. In her recent post Sit DOWN Mayan Calendar: These Fashion Folk have Bigger Plans for 2012, Niki asked some of fashion’s darlings to spill their New Year’s resolutions, giving her readers an inside scoop into the thought processes of some of her contacts in the industry.

Style-wise, Niki likes to try everything–glam, retro, boho, rock ‘n roll–and her readers wait hungrily to see what she’ll be wearing next; in fact, Niki admits that she can’t keep up with requests. Most readers beg to to see her personal style diaries. She features two popular recurring series on her blog, Outfits and Outtakes, “which is basically a self-deprecating blooper reel of my personal style photos,” she says, and Terms in Fashion that Make Me Uncomfortable, “which is a vocab lesson on awkward terminology in fashion.” Of the series she says: “Like most of my blog, they serve as a reminder that fashion doesn’t need to be taken so seriously and that people do need to lighten up! It’s fashion, and it’s fun!”

sunny in hawaii, niki blasina relaxes by the ocean, author, haute messNiki has a Tumblr blog too which she uses like a reader’s digest version of her own domain to highlight her best pictures and call attention to the more significant journalism found there. Her Twitter persona @AHauteMess follows the same strategy but is peppered with celebrity gossip and cute photos and videos and is no doubt the source of some inspiration for her blog.

Niki Blasina, A Haute Mess on Facebook

A Haute Mess is a great resource for fashionistas and fresh apprentices – because its fun and flirty!

“I just want [my blog] to continue growing its audience and get bigger and better!” says Niki. “2012 is going to be a good year for me and me wee blog, and I have a lot of exciting projects in the works that I can’t disclose yet, but I am really looking forward to sharing soon.”


 


Vancity Buzz in Vancouver BC

in British Columbia, NHL Hockey, Photography, Sports, Tourism and Vancouver

Vancity Buzz bannerThe consortium of creative thinkers that conspire to craft Vancity Buzz are as diverse as the blog.

Vancity Buzz formed on the 21st July, 2008.  That’s when three contributors first put their heads together to create the best local blog in Vancouver.  And they succeeded in crafting a fine portal, and one that guarantees readers a fine batch of local content, served fresh daily. The photo rich text shares ideas and comedy related to the City of Vancouver, and most recently the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics; this blog is a digestion of Vancouver sports, politics and populism.

Coal Harbour on Vancity BuzzVancity Buzz is perhaps the first and best place to find obscure Vancouver restaurant reviews, music festival highlights, media meltdowns, and hip videos spiced with local politics, underground art and stories from and about their great city. Readers enjoy sports highlights from BC Lions and Vancouver Canucks, and local sports and recreation stories especially bicycling in Vancouver.

Originally billed as, “the best damn blog in Vancouver. Here you can expect to read on topics from our expert authors ranging from Sports, Culture, Entertainment, Development and any random spiel we feel like. One thing’s for certain, this page is going to be straight no chase!” there’s a heavy slant towards local and provincial politics. Think of this place as a premium online men’s magazine for Vancouver.

This is a men’s mag because of the images and style and general tone of voice; it’s definitely more guy-focused than girl-focused and a video of Megan Fox in the sidebar leaves no doubt. Discussions about Vancouver Canucks, homeless people, and hot models are always going to be more popular with guys.

VancouverismVancouverism
Here’s what makes the blog special – writers like Urban Dweller define something called ‘Vancouverism’. In the subtext it’s actually possible to read and enjoy their pride for Yaletown, Coal Harbour, North East False Creek and soon South East False Creek. The authors believe these are truly the communities of the future, and they are the byproducts of excellent city planning, mainly by a man they identify as Mr. Beasley, a visionary most famous for reshaping their beautiful city – they love him as they create a blog that celebrates Vancouverism.

Yet they are afraid of, and loath Surrey
The writers’ affection for metropolitan Vancouver contrasts their opinion of Surrey: “Upon entering it was obvious that Surrey doesn’t know what it wants to be, the city is so poorly planned, no doubt due to the rapid cul-de-sac infested development that took place over the years. I think I saw one cyclist, a few pan handlers on Scott Road, more suburban style strip mall in development and SUV’s galore. It felt like Prince George but with more people, not a good thing. As I approached Newton it was evident Mayor Watts has her work cut out. The urban decay in a suburban setting is truly horrendous. I pray I don’t ever have to go back. Oh and where are all the buses in Surrey? 400,000 people and I didn’t see a single fucking bus my whole time there. Egregious. If the future lives there we are in serious trouble…”

The blog boasts that approximately 80% of their readers live in BC’s lower mainland. They don’t shy away from politics. They are obvious social liberals, fiscal conservatives that despise all manner of taxation and any form of government control.

The Accolades
asshatsFreebase.com gave VCB five award nominations last year,
–         Dec 2008 Best Humour Site
–         Dec 2008 Best Site for Events
–         Dec 2008 Best Group Blog or Multi-Author Site
–         2008 Best Sports Site or Blog
–         2008 Best New Blog
But unless I’m mistaken, and perhaps we can read about it in the comments of this post (anyone?), I don’t think VCB won any prizes in any of the categories. It’s a fact that Urbanspoon Vancouver [a restaurant and review site; rates reviews from critics, food bloggers and friends] ranked VanCity Buzz at 41 out 100. But perhaps this is a start mark, the beginning of their journey.

Vancity Buzz – Tuesday July 27 2008
…Now I’m off to go throw pennies at the French hobos hanging outside the liquor store on Alberni. Hopefully they’ll get the message and hitch a ride back to “La belle Province”.

Most Contentious Posts:
Not surprisingly, VanCity Buzz has ruffled some feathers and the most contentious posts appear to be political and societal, based on the number of comments.  Its a fact Vancity Buzz defends pitbulls, and openly criticizes Vancouver’s approach to the homelessness problem, and makes public their disapproval of Surrey. These hot button issues have raised some eyebrows.

The Authors of the VanCity Buzz Spot
Now here’s where it gets a bit confusing. VanCity Buzz is himself an author, probably the principle brainchild of the blogspot. He has a good blog style and writes the meat and potatoes of the blog – usually the posts that most directly relate to the city.

Money J Skeets introduced himself in August 2008 in The Case of Matts Sundin and has held true to his promise of delivering sports gossip and musical goodies.  He also chronicles local street scenes and serves up late nite music in a weekly ritual – this writer is certainly very original with maximum style, and yet there are no pictures of him on the site. Money J Skeets is the 2nd most prolific contributor, but there doesn’t appear to be any pictures of this author, unless you count the shot of Nelly flashing his gold teeth?

Urban Dweller is outside the box and 100% original. He writes about the dark underbelly of the city and thinks in unusual patterns; he once detailed the physical element in poker.

Suburban Don lives in Richmond BC and writes about goings on in suburbia. He started strong and profiled Olympic athletes and some local businesses before gradually fading away.

Vancity Maverick – according to him, his writing is “focused on political matters from an analytical perspective, sometimes in a politically incorrect manner.”, but his pen has been silent for a spell.

VanGirl her real name Clo Harvey and she’s a very pretty freelance photographer from Australia that currently resides in Vancouver; she likes to shoot landscapes, cityscapes, people, pets, nightlife; self-taught photog, shoots digital and film, edits own work Clo’s online photo albums: http://cloimages.shutterfly.com/

InterVan-Buzz works in communications as a promoter / marketer / producer; “I am a young entrepreneur who has fallin in love with marketing. I believe it is a great tool… such a variety of ways to utilize it. Music & Fashion have become a big part of my life.”

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Net Chick in Vancouver

in British Columbia, Personal Blog, Photography, Tourism and Vancouver

Net Chick banner

Tanya Marie Davis has been writing her thoughts online for over eleven years! That makes her the most experienced blogger, with the oldest domain yet profiled on this friendly index. The thirty something British Canadian lives alone in Vancouver, and plays a big part in the city’s social net. Her easy going manner, self deprecating sense of humour, detailed profile page, and straight forward contact info tells readers that she’s very comfortable with who she has become…

Net Chick pink hairNetChick, This Chick’s Life is the personal journal of a popular west coast socialite who uses her blog for the forces of good. There are no Google ads or tacky widgets anywhere in the sidebar, just a lipstick promotion over a blog roll bearing links to other Canadian pioneers, most of whom also live in Vancouver.

Tanya Davis blogs from and about that beautiful city, and often joins her friends, Miss 604, Raincoaster, Tris Hussy and others at live events that help make Vancouver the foremost social media crucible in Canada. Although much smaller than Toronto, this city’s bloggers connect in real life at parties, sporting events and most recently, at the opera.

This Chick’s Life is as unique as it is popular. A two sentence description in her sidebar reads, “…a thirty something girl living her dream in downtown Vancouver.’ But what is her dream exactly? Perhaps its the expression of her independence? To live alone after her divorce? In posts from autumn 2002 and the winter of 2003, which are the oldest posts available to readers, Tanya is slight on details and uses the word ‘boyfriend’ with defining the term. Later, readers will discover and come to cherish NetChick’s semi perpetual search for a mate. The theme runs through later posts too, and as Tanya grows older she gets more and more comfortable sharing details.

Similar to Carrie Bradshaw, (Sarah Jessica Parker’s character in Sex in the City)  this single girl details the shortcomings of so many would be suitors that attempt to solicit her affections. It’s a fascinating study of (for) men, especially those who craft corny first contact messages. The activity empowers female readers, and makes men a little anxious – lately Tanya has been reposting whole conversations, or rather, intact solicitations from strangers that have no idea who they’re talking to, or what league they’ve just stepped into…

Net Chick, Tanya DavisA social butterfly, NetChick has adopted, or rather, inherited an earlier link exchange ritual (from Michele, a landmark early blog) known as Weekend Meet and Greet. It’s a simple idea that works to convince a community of readers to leave a chorus of comments for everyone’s benefit. This type of online activity is the spit and polish that sophisticated blog pioneers put up to harness the passion of the next generation. NetChick’s meet and greet has just two rules:  participants must first say hello, and then visit the blog above their comment; in turn the next visitor greets you and visits your blog.  Irregardless of all extenuating factors, the exercise is good for at least one visit.

On March 1st 2009 Tanya used her blog to do some good for society when she wrote to Support the Canadian Freestyle Ski Team With Canada Post and encouraged her readers to CatchAir.ca

Tanya Davis seems like the quintessential early adopter, a hot girl geek that’s always been in style. She embraces new technology and uses it to elucidate random elements of her existence; NetChick Flickr photos show off her friends and family, you can find Tanya on Facebook, and or follow NetChick on Twitter.

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Crunchy Carpets in Vancouver

in Blogging, British Columbia, Mom Social, niche blogs, Personal Blog and Vancouver

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Kerry Sauriol started Crunchy Carpets early in 2007 while raising two young children in a house in Vancouver. Given the circumstances, Kerry was destined to give birth to a Mom Blog. Two years later, her digital toddler is slowly growing into a Mom Blog monster.

Kerry Sauriol with Patrick at BlogHerUnless you’ve got kids, you may not understand the appeal of Parenting Blogs. It’s the premier shared experience for women, pregnant or otherwise. This genre has become increasingly popular as there are always plenty of readers, plenty of writers, and lots of good stories. Styled as a friendly conversation, Mom Blogs are usually short reviews or some relevant life observation followed by a long list of very opinionated comments.

Before blogging, Kerry spent time on parenting discussion forums. “I loved making friends and sharing news and views and generally being opinionated on whatever struck my fancy,” she explains. “With a blog…well, that is an ENTIRE site to warble on about what I think about things.”

Kerry SauriolBecause of the sheer numbers, it can be discouraging for some writers to carve their own niche and create an individual voice. Crunchy Carpets appeals to everyone in the niche because it’s a little different. While insisting that her blog is not a “parenting blog”, Kerry says she doesn’t give useful tips to parents. Building tips and recommendations, links to PVC trim suppliers for people remodeling their bathrooms. Ever since she started, she has offered plenty of insights into her family life, and always shares her thoughts on life from her perspective as Mom. She tells her readers the most personal things you can imagine – like how she is currently suffering from a painful hemorrhoid! She confesses her maternal anxieties over her kids’ schooling, family health issues, and she constantly alludes to her own moral, physical and spiritual shortcomings. Her simple prose is likable and compelling; it compels readers to comment on her posts. Even when they disagree with what she writes their admiration and respect for Kerry is obvious in courteous diction.

West Coast WomenStay at home Moms often feel lonely, and so Kerry is comforted by the sense of community and friendship that she’s discovered online. The ability to share advice and commiserate with other like-minded people has become Kerry’s favourite part of Crunchy Carpets. “When I lost my son last December, at 26 weeks along in my pregnancy, the out pouring of support that I received from readers was incredible. It was such a help to me during a truly horrendous and dark time” she recounts.

Reading Kerry’s posts is like chatting with a friend over a cup of coffee. An entry like More Bad Mothering gives readers her own straight-up views and lists her pet peeves in a sauce of motherhood anxieties. Clash O’ the Momma Bears is a well-written heartfelt post with an emotional trigger. And finally here is one of Kerry’s first posts, where she explains what it really means to have carpets with a crunch.

Aside from Crunchy Carpets, Kerry also controls another portal called Wet Coast Women that started as a community for female bloggers and has become enormously popular. The content on this portal is strictly non-parental. And also Kerry’s Twitter account gives her “instant access to new and interesting blogs and stories”. Blogging connects Kerry Sauriol to ‘mom friends’ all over North America. And you? Are you her next friend?

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The Conveyor Belt in Vancouver

in British Columbia, Fashion Blogger and Vancouver

The Conveyor Belt
Terri Potratz started her blog back in September 2007 to post portfolio pictures online and attract potential employers. After seeing the surprising daily traffic stats, she decided to continue and rebrand the site as her own blog. Eight months later, she’s glad she did.

The Conveyor Belt is not a personal web log. It’s fashion business management consulting in so much as its a fusion of art, fashion and beauty tips from a refreshingly down-to-earth West Coast female perspective. Terri keeps it Canadian by awarding kudos to prominent designers and keeping her nationwide audience informed with unique and intelligent insights on popular trends.

Terri PotratzWhile Terri Potratz is the founder and editor-in-chief of the site, her team of talents keeps it fresh. Carleen McLeod is the Beauty Editor, and she’s an experienced make-up artist that provides natural skin care and how to find and use organic cosmetics and uber healthy styling tips for the readers; Pariya Kaligi is a Contributing Writer with a day job as a public relations consultant; Kris Krug is a well known photographer. All together they’re the driving force behind this powerful West Coast fashion blog.

As an informative reader-driven site, The Converyor Belt runs through a wide variety of interesting subjects. This is the place to find make-up advice, and thrift store strategies, event coverage and designer/artist profiles. Terri hopes her readers “laugh, learn something new, [are] inspired, and leave with a positive experience or impression”.

Terri Potratz feeds off her readers. Like most bloggers she gets a real kick out of reading the comments. She tells me that when she writes for a print publication, she has no idea who is reading her work, or what they are thinking about her ideas… But with The Conveyor Belt, she can track readership and collect remarks and use these metrics to improve her own communicative abilities. Blogging has also opened doors. She’s meeting more people, networking, and attending more exclusive events that have relevance to her readership.

larry - clothing labelTerri’s clothing line, “larry.” uses all natural, local products for its scarves and shawls. Each item is hand-knit by Terri herself, using alpaca and sheep’s wool. And while she will mention “larry.” in her blog from time to time, she likes to keep them as separate entities. The Conveyor Belt is not a promotional blog for her entrepreneurial endeavors.

Here’s a wonderful example of Terri’s work, titled Vancouver Thrift Store Scores. This is shopping advice with a personal voice that makes readers feel like they’re listening to a close friend. And if you read The Conveyor Belt everyday, Terri Potratz will probably become a close friend.


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