The Inspirations: Elsie Larson of A Beautiful Mess/Red Velvet

Following on from chatting to one of my favourite bloggers last week, I thought I’d follow suit with this edition of The Inspirations and speak to another incredibly inspiring blogger. Although calling Elsie Larson mearly a ‘blogger’ is doing her a huge disservice and is an understatement of epic proportions! She is a multifaceted business woman with mad skills. A master of multi-tasking she, alongside her sister and business partner Emma, runs a hugely successful blog (which current gets over 170,000 views a day!), owns a vintage clothing boutique, an online shop (where they sell their own line of dresses!)..oh she’s also currently writing her first book! Way to make us feel lazy superwoman.

It was really interesting to rummage around in the mind of Elsie. I hope you enjoy reading our chat as well.

Hi Elsie, I’m so excited to have you in the Green Room today! Could you introduce yourself?

I’m Elsie from A Beautiful Mess. My sister, Emma, and I own a local vintage boutique and run our blog as our full time job. I also design dress lines a few times each year… never a dull moment!

I started my blog five years ago with no particular aspirations, except to share the random photos I was taking each day. If I could go back in time and give myself a little advice I’d say to keep an open mind and try anything once! Currently, I’m wrapping up work on the very first A Beautiful Mess book, due out in 2013.

Your blog is only one part of your business but its exceptionally popular. How do you feel it compliments the other areas of your business and do you have any tips or advice for people with businesses that want to use blogging and social media to enhance their brand?

Great question! I really believe that blogging has to come from it’s own creative place. Blogs that are based solely on promoting a business can be one dimensional and often lack a strong voice. My advice for business owners who want to start a blog is to explore all your options. Just because you want to promote your business doesn’t mean that’s all you can do. Try anything that interests you! For example I follow the brand Fossil’s blog and it is a fun read. They blog about so much more than just their own products and I think that’s something that I enjoy in any brand’s blog.

What do you think are the biggest mistakes business owners who blog make and how would you encourage them to remedy this?

I think that blogging about their own goods too much is the biggest mistake I see. Any business is wise to create a lifestyle resource that their target customers can enjoy, not just a feed of new products. There are so many ways to educate customers about your products without just “selling” them. For example, each time we launch a dress collection I spend a couple weeks creating “3 Ways To Wear It” features for each dress. These features work because they do sell my designs, but readers who aren’t interested in buying can enjoy them still while learning little styling tips!

What do you think makes a good blogger? Do you see any emerging trends in what makes some bloggers phenomenally well read and successful while others struggle to attract readers? What do you think separates the successes from the mediocre?

I think being original is really important. I could talk all day a