I'm wild about this month's Blog That Works. I met this sparkly blogger at one of my Blog to Book workshops but had the pleasure of reviewing her blog before the event, so I could get a good feel for what she was trying to accomplish with her online platform so far. And I was not disappointed. This former agent wished for a split second she was signing writers again - really, I would have nabbed her right then and there and figured out the finer details later - Ms. Christine Rose Elle's, Dollybelle's Peep Show delivered a well organized and visually stimulating blog package in pink. With ruffles and polka dots. Not only was the delivery stimulating (my inner 7 year old felt like she was in the middle of the Barbie aisle at Target!), but the content was fun, fresh and absolutely delightful.
Here's how the daily peep show rolls out, thematically: Candyman Monday; Sweet Treat Tuesday; Well-being Wednesday; Flirty Thursday; and La Femme Friday. All with a very feminine angle but also with humor, thought, heart and keen attention to detail (Christine has an impressive background in fashion and costume design in LA and San Francisco and worked for over a decade for Betsy Johnson). She covers everything from Dita Von Teese to literature's more handsome fellas to listening to your inner Lovey Howell (yes, the classy lady from Gilligan's Island).
Bottom line: the whole package from the fun and sparkly visuals, to the organization of the posts, to Christine's unique voice and fresh perspective and modern take on feminism, to her professional background, hooked me.
And now she's launched a new ezine, Belle Femme Gazette, which cross references/publishes content from DPS along with original contributions from other writers. Way to build that platform, Christine!
Here's my interview with Christine Rose Elle, creator of Dollybelle's Peep Show (and Belle Femme Gazette):
What inspired you to create Dollybelle’s Peep Show?
CRE: "I started Dollybelle’s Peepshow when I moved to Rome Italy so that I would have a way to share with my friends and family all the wonderful experiences I thought I might have. The posts I did from Italy were all very visual and inspiration based. I don’t think my family actually read my blog that much, but it seemed to resonate with ladies like me who love culture and beauty."
How have the daily posts inspired your writing?
CRE: "For me one of the main benefits of posting daily, in addition to getting really creative with content, is that it has forced me to deal with my “perfectionism.” I consider perfectionism a terrible malady for creating because when our standards and expectations are stringent and impossibly high, we tend not to share our thoughts, ideas and creativity because it isn’t quite up to our standards yet. Only it never will be. So I learned that the health of my productivity is dependent on the notion that I don’t have to be perfect. I do my best, and then put it out there."
You write a lot about the idea of “radiance" - it's a big part of your hook. Tell us a little bit about what you mean by living radiantly. How does your blog help us to be mindful of radiant living?
CRE: "We all know radiant people when we see them, and there is something about them that is so inspiring. People, who cherish themselves so deeply, become masterful at self-care and nurturing. They know that this is the one precious life that we have, and they follow their bliss accordingly. Radiant people are not perfect, they just can see the big picture and know how to fit into it with self-confidence and self-love. This is their gift to others.
My blog is about the pursuit of this radiance. How can we get more mindful of our daily actions, cherish ourselves and this life, and hopefully inspire others to do the same.
My particular pursuit of radiance comes out of my love for style, glamour and femininity. I feel like my best self when I have a pretty dress on and cute shoes. Like so many other women, one of my icons is Audrey Hepburn. She had radiance in spades. It wasn’t just her outer beauty that people loved so much, but her sweet and generous heart."
If you had to choose a favorite day to post, which would it be?
CRE: "I live for Well-being Wednesday. Those are the posts that I think really reflect who I am. I am always on a quest for a more mindful life. These are the posts that just flow out of me. I don’t even know where half of them come from. But I know that I so deeply and sincerely want the well being for all women. And this quest begins with nurturing self, and feeling confident that this self-love will spill out and inspire others."
And just for fun, given your background (and because I love clothes), if your life could be personified as a fashion item, what would it be?
CRE: "I think my life used to be a tightly laced corset. Terribly beautiful on the outside, but constricting and suffocating.
When I began my quest for well-being, my life turned into that perfect vintage pink polka dot dress. Fitted to perfection, glamorous, comfortable, a few flaws, and the most delicious flowey, twirly skirt. Perfect for the creative adventures of a lady with much to do, but who makes time to smell the roses too."
I encourage you to stop by Dollybelle's Peep Show and have a look at this well branded blog. After reading some of the posts and feasting your eyes on the visuals, you'll feel like you've had a nice chat with your best girlfriend in her pink vintage kitchen. Enjoy!