“Keep Austin Stylish” blogger Joanna Wilkinson gives ORANGE a look at her current projects and favorite hangout spots in Austin.
By Helen Fernandez
Images courtesy of Joanna Wilkinson
ORANGE: When did you first realize you wanted to write about fashion?
Wilkinson: I have never actually had a specific desire to write about fashion; I have just always had a desire to write. As a little kid I imagined one day I would be writing novels. I remember I used to write short stories and staple the pages together to make little books.
O: What’s one thing you’ve learned since starting “Keep Austin Stylish”?
JW: I’ve learned so many things. The most important thing I have learned, though, is probably to be fearless. The first time I ever brought my camera out to an event, I remember being a little scared to go up to people I didn’t know and ask to take their photo. Now I have no shame and no fear to ask for anything I want. I’m also completely unafraid to speak my mind. I’ve learned that people really appreciate reading an opinion when they know it’s an honest one.
O: Do you prefer writing or taking photos?
JW: I ask myself this question sometimes, and I’m still not sure of the answer. I like both, but I think writing has probably always come more naturally to me. I think I’m a good photographer, but it’s not something I would ever feel comfortable doing completely full time.
O: What kind of advice do you have for people who want to start blogging in Austin?
JW: Not to sound like a Nike commercial or anything, but just do it! Blogging is easy. I think the thing that scares people off from it is the fear that it won’t be good enough or that no one will look at it. When I first started my blog it looked completely different than it does now, and the first few posts probably got lost in the Internet abyss and were never read by anyone.
It takes time to get into the groove of blogging and to find your voice and to find your audience. You might never become successful as a blogger (who is, really?) but you’ll definitely never even come close to being successful at it if you don’t try.
O: Tell me about Once Bitten, your online store. What inspired you to start the shop? What do you hope for it to become?
JW: My blog, as well as the jobs I have had during the last several years, have all made me realize that I love building a brand. After building my own personal brand over the last few years, I decided it was time to build a brand that wasn’t based around me as a person. I have always wanted to have my own store, but the timing just never felt right. At this point I feel completely confident in myself to build a brand, be a boss, and make some money doing something I love — which is bringing my style and vision to people who love getting dressed every day and who smile when they look in the mirror. Once Bitten will be a collection of brands of clothing and accessories that are classic and minimal with a fun playful edge. In the future I would love to work with local designers and other up and coming designers across the country to put out small batches of unique collections.
O: Favorite piece of clothing in your closet right now?
JW: It’s getting a little too cold for it now, but I have a vintage 90s Guess jean jacket that I have been wearing nonstop for a while now. Next up I think will be the big oversized tartan plaid scarf I bought for winter.
O: Favorite place for vintage finds?
JW: I love thrifting at really cheap places like Goodwill, but when I’m not in the mood to dig, Feathers is the ultimate place for vintage goodies.
O: What are you currently reading?
JW: I still haven’t finished Lena Dunham’s “Not That Kind of Girl” yet. At any given time I’m always halfway through a handful of several different books.
O: Favorite place to have coffee in Austin?
JW: I don’t drink coffee! But, regardless, I do like hanging out and getting work done at coffee shops and Austin has a ton of cool ones. My go-to spots are probably Jo’s, Cenote and Brew & Brew.
O: Where do you see yourself in five years?
JW: In five years, I think I would love to still be rockin’ it with my online store, writing movie scripts on the side for fun and taking time off here and there to travel with some really cool guy I haven’t met yet.