Influencer talks

A Life Unstyled | Influencer Talks

On what A Life Un-Styled is about... 
A Life Un-Styled is a life and style blog that morphed into its current state from previous travel and philanthropy blogs. The name itself resulted from a frustration I felt that my life was never actually ‘styled’ or pretty enough like those neatly resented squares I saw on Instagram. I thought  reflectively and critically about my life and my possessions. I didn’t have props, I didn’t have things I used specifically to make my flatlays or photos pretty. What I had was a home with useful, aesthetically pleasing items that I used every day. A Life Un-Styled became an online continuation of an offline journey towards creating a life worth photographing instead of a life that was styled for photos. My flatlays may be styled (in that  I’ll bring a collection of items to photograph by our largest window!), but my life isn’t.


On what's the most rewarding part...
A Life Un-Styled seemed like the perfect creative balance to my academic journey. I have a  PhD with a background in Psychology and Social Research. My interest wasn’t in academia so I turned to freelance consulting and independent research work. The blog became an instrument to communicate social issues and problems in a more conversational manner to a larger audience. It was also a means of garnering support for the philanthropic projects I’m involved in.  


Some rewarding moments have included: becoming a World Vision Australia Blog Ambassador, having the opportunity to interview Waris Dirie on the blog and waking up one morning to a surprise comment from the first, First Lady of Timor Leste on a post I wrote about the country. The less obvious moments, but equally rewarding have been connecting with like-minded individuals and fostering community. I’ve had the opportunity to meet the movers, shakers and stylish makers in many different places. People like you Nic and the rest of the WAA team. Just connecting with people who have their head down and are just doing the work, like I am, is very rewarding. Now that I’m a mum A Life Un-Styled allows me to continue spending every precious moment with my son Rafa by working from home and helps maintain a steady flow of income.

On where she's taking it...
As a life and style blog I see A Life Un-Styled constantly evolving as I do and as my family does. It’s hard to say where we’ll be - I’m often unsure of what country we’ll be living in year to year but I’d like A Life Un-Styled to continue working towards being honest and authentic. I want to work with some socially conscious and ethical businesses, to the point that they are  the only type of organisation I engage with on the blog. I definitely want to make a greater impact through the blog towards my philanthropy projects, in particular my  work as a World Vision Blog Ambassador. Eventually I see a book that incorporates some of the blog with new content. More freelance writing and more events and gatherings. But ultimately, I want  A Life Un-Styled to retain its integrity, to continue being that comfortable space you settle down in with your favourite drink to chat with a friend.  


On how she measures success...
The way I measure success on the blog is similar to how my husband and I measure success in life – how happy something makes us and now much freedom it affords us. A Life Un-Styled makes me incredibly happy. It allows me to work from home, it allows me to express who I am freely and has connected me to some of the most inspiring and hardworking people in the industry. By my definition my blog is very successful! I don’t  measure success by numbers (though I realise that is often important to people wanting to work with bloggers). If I get asked for numbers I sometimes feel from the beginning that it probably isn’t a good fit for A Life Un-Styled. Don’t get me wrong – as a researcher I understand the value of numbers, but I also know the value of stories. And not everyone  tells their stories so influence can become a little harder to accurately ascertain. 

Neither do I measure success in terms of income. I never expected to make any money through my blog, it wasn’t set up that way, the fact that I do is a bonus. It’s nice but it’s not my main source of income. It comes down to freedom and happiness. So here I am sitting by the beach at a luxury resort in Fiji finishing this interview, with photos of my family taken by esteemed photographers Kama Catch Me (www.kamacatchme.com) who I met via Instagram (now good friends and Rafa’s godparents). My son is playing by my feet, my husband is close by and I’m talking to my friends all over the world on Instagram. My life isn’t perfect, I don’t have a lot of money but am I successful? On my terms I am!

Carmen Huter | Influencer Talks

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With a simple motto of, “seek, do, love”, 23 year old Carmen Huter oozes creativity. Her almost-18-month-old Instagram and  was an overwhelming step that has paid off in spades. The Austrian born traveller has fulfilled everyone else’s seemingly unachievable dreams of wanderlust, and documents every step and every flight of her journey. When you meet Carmen, you’re instantly inspired – she has a novel of stories to tell, all which shine over any others you’ll hear that week. Her eye for visual storytelling is captivating and you’ll spend hours scrolling through the beautifully fashioned deserts and mountain tops that exist on her Instagram. We stole a moment of her time while she packed to return home from Nova Scotia – have a read of what she has to say.

On what www.carmenhuter.com is about…
It is [a] travel and style blog with the aim to inspire to explore. Explore new lands, new styles, new mindsets. My work offers imagery and words one would traditionally find in print. It’s not your average blog; there are no ads or click-bait headings, just thoughts and things I felt like putting out there.

On what’s the most rewarding part…
Contrary to the belief of many, it doesn’t come in the form of a number of followers or opportunities in my inbox when I wake up every morning. Reward is much rather derived from individual feedback; emails from long-time readers and followers with a personal story inspired by one of my posts. Heart-felt engagement, genuine appreciation, and firsthand anecdotes beat the stats any day.

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On where she’s taking it…
Across the world, that’s for sure. I’m looking forward to expanding my photography portfolio, working with brands [who] myself and those who take the time to follow my journey align with, writing more, and – frankly – just keeping on going forward.

On her most proud @carmenhuter moment…
Probably the day in March 2015 [when] I got myself to make a website, download Instagram, and plunge into it. For most of my life, creativity was a foreign concept to me; one I would merely dream of, yet never dare to step into. The moment I decided it was time to shift the paradigm and started listening to myself was one [moment] I am very proud of.

 

On how she measures success…
I mainly measure success in progress, both in a creative and business matter. As a traveller, I rarely favour being stagnant. At the end of the day, the ability to feel content and to live in the now is what brings me the most happiness. I know something needs to change if I haven’t felt this way for a while.

You can find Carmen on Facebook and Instagram, and read her blog here.