I’m Michelle, a 20 something Guyanese blogger living in the Tampa Bay area. I moved to the Bay area long enough ago to acquire my Masters of Architecture degree. I now work for an architectural design firm. This blog was born as a way for my family to keep track of my journey through architecture school. It has since morphed into my little space on the interwebs that has become a home to musings. I use this space to share my fashion, jewelry, interior finds as well as the artists and designers I happen upon. When I’m not designing homes or perusing the internet for inspiration, you may find me out on a paddle board or sewing. You can find tales of a few sewing projects here, reviews on the occasional book I read, and an outfit post or two. I hope you enjoy the blog as much as I enjoy finding inspiration, perusing Pinterest, and trying not to feel awkward in front of a camera.
I started learning to sew because I would love to eventually launch a line of my own. I have a multitude of ideas in my head that I would like to take from just being a concept into something I can don, except I can’t seem to sew fast enough for how quickly the ideas pop up. I think it’s necessary to understand the intricacies of how fabric works and elements of construction. The learning process has given me a greater appreciation for designers and handmade pieces. One day, I would love to teach a college studio at an art school that allows for a cross design field collaboration as I think the products of a studio that combines architecture, fashion, and interior design would be mind blowing.
I’d love to hear from you – whether it is a question, comment, suggestion, or a hello. Shoot me an email at hello(at)withlovefromguyana.com. You can find my writing samples at possibilitywhere I was a contributing writer and communications intern. From time to time I guest post, read them here, and here.
SB-C: Tell us a little about your journey from Guyana to Tampa, how and why did it happen? MF: I was born in Guyana and finished my high school education there. Once the time came for me to go to university I applied to a few schools and ended up in Tampa because a cousin I was close to went to USF as well.
SB-C: You are an architectural designer by day, how does this influence the content in your blog? MF: The direct correlation between being an architectural designer and the blog is that there are lots of interior design and decor related posts. Sometimes while I'm researching an idea for a client I end up finding something I really like and going off on a tangent and realize that I am so into the idea that I can turn it into a worthwhile read for my followers. This also applies to the fashion related posts, I will go on Pinterest looking for a specific look and then end up down a pigeon hole that I realize that my followers might appreciate a post about a topic like "how to print mix."
SB-C: Your blog is an amalgamation of lifestyle, fashion, inspiration, interviews, etc. How do you manage to deliver and maintain so much high quality content on your website? I think this is a huge challenge for bloggers who have multiple interest. MF: I started reading about blogs and listening to podcasts about people who preached about finding a niche and sticking to it which honestly seemed a little boring to me because my personal interests range widely. You will find posts about interiors, watches, shoes, outfit posts, book reviews, outfit inspiration, and designer feature interviews. I only share about a topic if I genuinely do like it or the work - I think that genuineness will always shine through in a post and will up the quality of the work I do. It definitely takes time to come up with content I want to share about or to pinpoint artists or interior design ideas that I truly think are interesting but once I do find something I can spend hours pouring over it which will then turn into a post.
SB-C: How has your Caribbean heritage influenced your work as an architectural designer? MF: The architectural design work I do right now is not heavily influenced by my Caribbean heritage due to the market I design in. One day I would love to design homes that are very open that allow heaps of light and natural ventilation and encourage outdoor living. I am in love with little gingerbread houses and old colonial wooden houses so I would love to one day design more contemporary versions of those.
SB-C: You mentioned that one day you would like to create your own line of clothing. How would you define the style of your soon-to-be clothing line? MF: Haha. I don't know how soon it will be. However, I would say that my clothing design style is heavily influenced by the Caribbean and tropics, and stuff that I would like to wear and want to be seen in. I figure that if I like it then there should be a few other people out there that would like what I've created too. When it comes to fabrics I am very fond of light, flowy, and bright materials which translate into flowy skirts and jumpsuits that are perfect for battling the tropical heat yet still being cute and stylish. I think it would probably fall into the realm of resort wear because there definitely is a sexy element (without crossing the boundaries of being too sexy) to things I create whether it's a maxi skirt with high slit, or an almost backless playsuit.
SB-C: What is it like being a Caribbean fashion/lifestyle blogger in this world of many bloggers and how do you work to stand out? MF: I think I stand out because I am from the Caribbean. There are lots of fashion/lifestyle bloggers but there still aren't many from the Caribbean. I also use my platform to showcase Caribbean designers and talent, and to a few I have become a go-to whenever they're looking specifically to wear a Caribbean designer. I have received a few compliments about being a good resource for Caribbean designers which makes me so excited to achieve what it is I have been setting out to do. I am also a great space to follow to discover up and coming Caribbean designers as well.
SB-C: Where would you like your to see your blog and yourself as a business woman, in say 5 years? MF: In five years, I would definitely love to have a wider travel portfolio up on the blog. I want to continue being a go-to resource about Caribbean designers. I would love to launch a small but really appealing clothing line as well - it will be silhouettes or designs that I will be known for. And I would definitely like to have more connections and collaborations.
SB-C: What advice do you have for women from the Caribbean who are interested in getting into this field? MF: Into the blogging field? I would try to urge people to not be intimidated. When I started blogging I don't think there were as many Caribbean bloggers around or if they were I had not connected and discovered as many. There have been a few occasions that I have wanted to quit because I've seen others being catty or downright nasty, do not be intimated by them - clearly you're doing something right if another person feels threatened but there's room for every single one of us in this industry. Play nice and follow the golden rule.