Women around the world: Ana from England

Ana from Faded Spring

Happy Wednesday! Guys I am so excited to bring you one of my favorite blogger friends this week! Everyone, this is Ana from Faded Spring!! I met Ana through a Facebook group for bloggers perhaps a year or more ago. However I never really had a one-on-one conversation with her until March when I had planned a trip to London. I always like to meet other bloggers in person, so I reached out to her to see if she wanted to meet up. Of course she did. We also met up with Mal from Mal Into the City.

We had the best time laughing about everything. Ana from Faded Spring is such a sweet and down-to-earth person. Like me, she wears lots of dresses. The thing I love most about Ana is how real she is. Over on her blog Faded Spring, she’s not afraid to talk about anything. Abuse and bullying are part of her past. Instead of hiding these things, she writes about them. Through that, others who have gone through the same things can relate and connect with her. It’s really wonderful when you find others who have experienced the same things. You suddenly don’t feel so alone.

Guys I am so excited to share this with you all. I hope you will follow Ana from Faded Spring as well.

Ana from Faded Spring

Age, where you’re from and where you live now

Hi my name is Ana De-Jesus, I am 23 and am originally from a small countryside village in Surrey. I now live in East London, after moving here last summer. In the past 5 years I have moved 8 times due to personal circumstances.

What is Faded Spring all about?

What started out as a blog about fashion, progressed into a personal diary that relayed my struggles with mental health, overcoming my abusive past and raising awareness of taboo topics like abuse, illness and foster care. My blog Faded Spring is essentially what I like to call a ‘colourful outlook’ into my personal life as well as sharing entrepreneurial tips, covering my obsession with street art and discussing fashion trends and the historical context behind them. Naturally as my blog is an extension of personal identity. I also talk about my struggles with online dating, humorous accounts of worst dates and more, with a little help from my sassy alter ego Jasmine. I am crude, un-apologetically me and tell it how it is.

Why did you start Faded Spring?

I had been following blogs since the age of 16 but it wasn’t until I was 21 after I graduated from university that I started my blog. Faded Spring became an outlet through which I could express myself and vent about particular issues like toxic friendships that had affected my mental health.

At first, like I mentioned above, my original intentions was to ‘create a fashion blog’ but it was my more personal posts that garnered more of a response and so as a result, I began to share more with my audience and I am glad that I did. Two years ago when I first started my blog, I was chronically ill-both physically and mentally- and was unable to work, so I started my blog as a means of ‘distraction’ and now it is my full time job. Blogging is honestly the best decision I have made in my life and something I have never given up on, even when I am not earning enough to pay my rent. Because the truth is I would rather be poor and happy than sad and rich. And that’s the Godamn truth.

One of the things I love about your blog is how real you are about sharing your life experiences with abuse and bullying. Has writing this blog been healing for you?

Honestly blogging helped me more than ‘pills ever did’. At one point I was on so much medication that it ended up making me feel more depressed than I was to begin with and I was not good person to be around. I was crying all the time and angry at the world and the people I loved. I felt numb but at the same time I felt intense emotions that I did not know how to deal with. I was being sick all the time and in a lot of pain. I couldn’t sleep and was barely functioning. I had lost so much weight that I did not even appear to be the same person that I once was and struggled to remain positive when my world seemed to be crumbling around me.

I was severely abused as a child by my stepmother and bullied throughout my teen years, and there were times in my life where I thought about killing myself. It sounds dramatic for me to say, but I was never able to admit to myself how serious my mental health issues were until I began writing for my blog and realized how much hurt and anger there were in my words. I saw that I was not a ‘drama queen’ as some people would call me, but someone who was still fixated with the scars from her past. It took a long time for me to heal and while I still have a lot of problems with my physical and emotional health, I find that I am now talking about it, rather than keeping everything to myself like I used to.
Ana from Faded Spring

What sorts of responses have you gotten when you write about those experiences?

The response has been absolutely incredible. I am so thankful to all my readers for believing in and supporting me. I mean its crazy, I am such a perfectionist that half of the time I am not even happy with the photos or the content that I publish, but my readers show me that I am far better than I think. I get emails, messages, dm’s and sometimes even gifts in the post. In fact my best friend was someone who has been following my blog from the start and her support has made all the struggles worthwhile.

Of course friends like yourself are just as important, you were so sweet to me both online and in person and it is overwhelming that people can be so generous with their words. I used to struggle with taking a compliment because I never thought that I was good enough but day by day I am learning to love myself a little more and it feels good. Shoutout to all my readers, you truly make my day and I can’t wait to see where our journey will take us next!

What sets Faded Spring apart from other style blogs?

You mentioned earlier that you loved how I candidly spoke about my past, but truth is I don’t call myself a ‘style’ or a fashion blogger because I am not. If anything I am more of a ‘lifestyle blogger’ as I speak about life, thus fashion becomes secondary as opposed to primary content. But if people saw me as a ‘style blogger’ I guess there would be three predominant components that set me apart from the crowd; my colourful street aesthetic, my inability to give a f**k and my content. While there are other style bloggers that speak about ‘life’ we all have unique points of view and mine would be someone who has grown up in a tough environment and come out on the other side to get where I am today.
Ana from Faded Spring

How would you describe your personal style?

That’s a tricky one as I have quite a varied sense of style, but if you ask my friends they tend to tell me I dress like a ‘princess’ half of the time, which is probably true. After all its probably not normal to go to Tesco’s in a prom dress but then again I am a little extra haha. I guess the best way to describe my personal style is that there will either be a hat or a flower crown of some sort involved in the look and lots of floral. Oh and embroidery too. Then again if you looked at my style 5 years ago, it was completely different to how I dress now so you see fashion is always evolving.

What advice do you have for people wanting to start a blog?

I would say go for it. Do you know how many times people have emailed me saying they have been thinking about starting a blog? Don’t even think about it just take the plunge, because it might just be the best decision that you have ever made. It changed my life and it might change yours too.

But I will say this, don’t start a blog ‘purely to make money’ or because you think it is going to be easy because its not. Blogging is physically demanding but I wouldn’t have it any other way, just make sure that it is the right decision for you. Most of all have, the minute blogging becomes a ‘chore’ is the moment that everything falls flat. When you are starting out its ok to test the waters, to take things slow. I only started making money earlier this year and it was a few months ago that I realized I would be able to quit my full time job. Just be you, that’s all I can say.

I know you’ve transitioned into blogging full time and have written about it. What advice do you have for bloggers looking to do the same thing and monetize more?

As I said above, monetizing your blog takes time. For some it might be a few months, for others it could be a few years. For me it was a year before I even made a penny but it was because I was not focused on monetizing my blog at first as I wanted to create authentic content. Focus on content first, then money later. While there are different ways of diversifying your income i.e. that could be through offering coaching services, make sure that your streams of income remain authentic to you. Feel free to say no to opportunities that do not suit your niche and know your worth. It angers me that some brands think it is ok to not offer payment for ‘sponsored content’ and the more of us that stand up to them and say no, the more likely brands will realize that actually yes, they do need to pay bloggers.
To monetize your content I would say do the following
  1. ensure your blog is well presented and designed. Have a clear set up and a contact and about me page. This is very attractive to brands and demonstrates to them how you ‘write’ and how strong your entrepreneurial skills are.
  2. Work on generating backlinks for your blog’s site. After all the higher your DA, the more well paid opportunities can be. For example I have a DA of 40 and although age does factor in to how high your DA is, backlinks play a huge part too. Creating guest posts, being featured on blogs with a higher DA and interacting with other sites- and by that I mean creating genuine thoughtful comments- will all help you earn more money
  3. Diversify your income; relying on blogging alone can be difficult. What other skills have you got to offer? Are you good at social media? Maybe you can create engagement and growth packages? For me because I come from a journalist background, I sometimes get freelance clients who I write for.

Where do you hope to take Faded Spring?

I want Faded Spring to be more than just a blog but a community where my readers can interact with each other and ask open and honest questions. Over the course of the next year I am also hoping to raise more awareness of mental health and child abuse at conferences as it is something that should be spoken about and I want to make a real difference. Taking action is far more effective than ‘saying you are going to do something,’ so I have already been researching and connecting with contacts to do this. I am also branching out to travel, so gradually I hope I can take Faded Spring abroad and chronicle my adventures as a tourist.
Ana from Faded Spring

What’s the best part of living in London?

Although I have already moved three times since coming to London a year ago, I do love it. My Portuguese cousin asked me whether I still preferred ‘London’ to the countryside village’ I had grown up in and I said yes. As much as I love greenery and fresh clean air, where I come from there are no opportunities and people are not open minded. There seems to be a lot of hatred and snobbery which does not reflect who I am as a person and it seems that people are more accepting here. I love how you can be friends with someone that you would never necessarily meet elsewhere and I love the pride that London shows. I think the best part about living in London is how everything is on your doorstep. There are parks, museums, restaurants and everything you could ever want all in one city. It might be expensive but there is nowhere else that I would call home.

What’s the most challenging part?

London can be alienating and lonely at times. In a big city its easy to get swallowed up in its ‘business,’ so you have to make a conscious effort to ditch the ‘obsessive work ethic’ and take time out for your friends. While London is expensive, there is plenty that you can do for free, like museums, exhibitions, galleries and walks. The main thing to know is that no matter how tough things get or how worried you are about money, never give up as you never know what tomorrow could bring!
Ana from Faded Spring

What restaurants do you recommend for anyone visiting London?

Oh well I love Indian and Thai food, so my favourite restaurants are Dishoom in Convent Garden (the chickpea curry is lush as are the mojitos), Needos (the mango lassi and chickpea curry is so good) and Eat Chaopraya Thai (The vegetarian green Thai Curry is so good as they let you customize it too).

What off the beaten path things do people have to see or do in London?

Well naturally as a street art enthusiast, that would be my first point of call. Of course everyone knows about Shoreditch and Brick Lane but there are other areas in London that have street art too; try Hackney Wick, Old Street, Hoxton, East Croydon and Peckham. If art is not really your thing then may I recommend Eltham Palace or Epping forest they are both as equally as beautiful and its hard to believe they are both in London. Great for those who are history and nature lovers like myself. Another pretty cool spot is Crystal Palace gardens, they have amazing ruins from Crystal Palace, Dinosaur gardens and so much more!

What are some of your favorite local shops or boutiques in London?

Sorry to disappoint but I actually prefer shopping online, it is so much less hassle and its easier to find what you are looking for. So if you ask what my favourite online stores are, they are the following: Public DesireEgo Official, Quiz Clothing and River Island.

 

Make sure to follow Ana and her blog!

Ana from Faded Spring

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22 Comments

  1. I have a dress similar to your navy blue floral print. That one is very pretty on you. I also have a love for street art and go out of my way to find graffiti.

  2. I love this series! It’s so great that you’re using your platform to spread the word about other strong individuals wit blogs and share their stories and thoughts 🙂 These photos of Ana are also so fierce! I love it.

  3. What a fantastic interview! I love reading Ana’s blog because she’s so authentic, well spoken and kind. She’s gone through so many traumatic things in the past, but she’s pulled herself up from all of it. Ana’s a true inspiration.

  4. This is a great interview; I enjoy Ana’s blog! I’m glad you had the opportunity to meet each other!

  5. You got some crazy photos there. Love the blue wedged heels and the floral attire really compliments the heels.

  6. That is such a lovely interview. I like the fact that yo meet bloggers in person. If you ever head to Malaysia, you can always ping me. 🙂 Cheers!!

  7. Great interview! Showing and telling others, not only that Ana survived but also how she is living today to talk about it all. It’s inspiring to see that she enjoys her life and others can see that they can do the same!

  8. How fun that you were able to hook up with a blogger that you follow. I would like to meet a few ladies! I do already follow her and enjoy seeing her dresses. I also that she keeps her posts real which I know benefits other’s reading it.

  9. I love Ana’s blog and read it often, glad she recommend Dishroom as I keep hearing about it loads and now I need to go eat there

  10. This is such an awesome interview, I love Ana’s Blogs and I love the way she dresses. So glad that you guys met.

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