Learn How Blogging and Social Media Created a Key Influencer for Plus Size Fashion
Whether you’re going out with the girls or gearing up for yoga class, Allison Teng has your fashion, shopping and lifestyle tips ready to go. Allison runs the popular blog, Curvy Girl Chic, which she started from her true passion for fashion and need for a plus size voice in the industry. Despite having a full-time job as a Program Manager and recently becoming engaged, she still finds time for all things fashion.
ZOG Digital spoke with Teng about the role of being a key influencer within the fashion realm and why she does it all. She’s been featured several times in Seventeen.com, BuzzFeed and even partnered with brands like plus size clothing company, Fit For Me by Fruit of the Loom. We were able to catch up with Allison, learn about her world of fashion influencing, and what the new year holds for her.
ZD: How did you find your way into the world of fashion?
Teng: I feel like I've always loved fashion and shopping (there wasn't all that much to do where I grew up, so I spent a lot of time at the mall, haha), but I really got into following fashion in college and after.
When I graduated, the economy wasn't the greatest, so I was working a job that I didn't really love. In my spare time, I spent a lot of time reading blogs like Fashion Toast and Susie Bubble, but didn't really find blogs from people my size or that reflected my personal style, so I decided to start my own!
ZD: Did you always plan on blogging and if so, when did it turn towards style and fashion?
Teng: I definitely had no idea I was going to start a blog. I started my blog ages ago in 2009, when blogging was picking up steam, but hadn't really become such a ubiquitous activity. That being said, my blog was always focused on fashion and shopping since that's what I loved talking about and sharing from the get go!
ZD: What does your typical day look like?
Teng: I work a full-time job as a Program Manager in an unrelated field, so my day is completely taken with that.
I'll hop on my blog email during my lunch break to answer urgent emails, but do most of my blog work on weeknights after work. This usually includes editing photos, writing content, answering more emails, etc. I shoot on weekends, and try to keep it to one day a week, but if I have a lot of content in the works, shooting on both Saturday and Sunday can be unavoidable.
ZD: How do you separate having a full-time job, as well as being an influencer with a large following?
Teng: It definitely gets hard, and I've learned that sometimes I need to say no, for the sake of my sanity. I'm lucky that my day job is flexible enough where I can travel for brand events if necessary, but a lot of it is just time management and making sure you plan your content ahead of time.
I feel like having a full-time job takes the pressure off of my blogging, though, and allows me to keep having fun and taking chances with my content. I wouldn't have it any other way.
ZD: When did you notice your following take off? What sparked it?
Teng: It was probably several months to a year into blogging that I noticed my following jump. The plus size fashion blogging community was much smaller then, and it was a lot easier to get noticed. I was also lucky enough to be featured in some pretty big print magazines, which was so exciting, and great for reaching new readers.
ZD: What was it that made you realize you were an influencer within the shopping, lifestyle, and fashion industry for women?
Teng: I think it really clicked that people were paying attention to what I was doing when I started getting emails from teenage girls and young women saying how much they appreciated that I shared my style and how I inspired them to try something new regardless of size.
In my mind, I was just posting photo of my outfits, not trying to make a big statement about body positivity or self-confidence, but it clicked with people anyway.
ZD: Which platform(s) do you feel are the most impactful for you as an influencer and why?
Teng: I personally love Instagram for sharing outfits and snippets of daily life. While I'm not a fan of the algorithm change, I do appreciate that recent updates make it easier to engage with followers via likes and responses to comments.
Lately, I've also been loving Twitter for connecting with like-minded people and for the more "real" or funny conversations with followers.
ZD: What opportunities has this passion opened up for you?
Teng: I've gotten to work with some of my favorite brands on awesome content, including with Fit for Me by Fruit of the Loom through ZOG Digital! I've also gotten to travel a bit with brands, most recently on a weekend getaway to Vermont, and coming up I have a quick trip to San Francisco for a fun new partnership. Fashion and travel are my passions in life, so I love it when they collide.
ZD: What’s the next big goal you’re hoping to accomplish within your personal and professional life during 2017?
Teng: I'm recently engaged, so planning a wedding while working full time and also blogging (without going insane) would be awesome. Haha!
Seriously though, I would love to continue working with the amazing brands I love, and continue to improve my content. I also love all things makeup and beauty, so I'm looking to incorporate far more of that into my work.