Shay Tucker, Founder Of A Thick Girl’s Closet, Shares Her Fashion Blogging Tips

May 9, 2014  |  

Blogging has become both a career and a pastime for tons of people around the world. Only a few have the chance to truly stand out.

Shay Tucker, founder of plus-size fashion blog  A Thick Girl’s Closet, has been featured on Buzzfeed Style, Ebony, Fashion Bomb Daily, Good Morning America, Lucky, and Elle Girl. She chats with us about her personal journey to blogging, what it means  to be a “plus-size blogger,” and offers advice on how to start a blog and build a brand.

Madame Noire (MN): How did you start A Thick Girls Closet?
Shay Tucker (ST): I was a senior in college. I needed something to do with myself so I went on Tumblr and created A Thick Girl’s Closet. It all started with me re-blogging pictures of plus-size women that were fashionable. By the time graduation rolled around in May, I had 300 followers. They were egging me to do my own thing. They wanted to see what I wear. That summer I put more energy into it. I went from 300 to 1,000 to 2,000 followers. Three years later, I’m at 26,400-plus followers on Tumblr. On Blogspot, I get about 30,000 to 31,000 monthly page views. I’ve also expanded to Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

MN: What are three tips you have for individuals who want to start their own fashion blog?
ST: Find your niche. Know what you want to talk about. As a newbie, you have time to play and see what people respond to. If what you try doesn’t respond well, don’t do that anymore.

Have patience. It takes time to build a following and meet people that are in the industry (the designers, creative directors, public relations professionals, [and decision makers].)  Literally, it’s three years later and I still meet people. Give yourself time to grow.

Be genuine about what you do. If you’re in it because you want free stuff or you want to go to events, you are going to burn out quickly. If you are genuine with what you write, do, and feel, traffic will come, which means everything.  You don’t need to have this in-depth inspiring story. I was a procrastinator. That’s what inspired my blog.

MN: What are some of the challenges you face covering “plus-size fashion”?
ST: Sometimes I feel stifled in my opinions. A lot of people feel like if you aren’t “pro-plus” all the time, you’re anti-plus. Sometimes people are upset when you post a picture of  a girl that doesn’t meet their definition of plus-size. Or, if you mention shapewear they assume you hate your body. If you work out, they assume you want to be skinny; you can’t have an opinion that goes against the “body positive” movement because then you’re against the movement. Sometimes the plus-size industry can be just as exclusionary. It can get stressful and frustrating because you want to say how you feel but you aren’t allowed to on any of your platforms.

MN: What are some  personal struggles you face as a blogger?
ST:  It took me growing into my womanhood to love my body. I said to myself, “Hey, you got stretch marks and back fat and all of that. You better work it!” It took time. It’s because I blog that I was able to build that type of confidence in myself.

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