Holly Rose - @leotielovely
Holly is the mastermind behind the wonderful blog Leotie Lovely. She writes about a plethora of different topics all within the realm of ethics and sustainability, with every piece so in-depth and thought-provoking that it leaves you questioning what you believe and wanting to learn more.
I came across Holly's Instagram back when I first began my journey at the end of 2016 and I've been a huge fan ever since. Her captions tell stories that make you feel as though you are there experiencing whatever it is at that very moment - something so incredibly refreshing on a platform full of everything else.
Holly's blog is one of my all-time favourites, so I'm incredibly excited to be able to feature her as this week's Mover & Shaker. Just like her blog, this one's a goodie.
What made you start Leotie Lovely?
Many years ago I started selling vintage clothing or upcycled clothing I repurposed online. A few years after that I challenged myself to create a clutch collection that was completely eco-friendly and ethically made, just to prove to myself it could be done. Not long after that, I met and married my husband and moved to France. I couldn't speak French yet and was waiting for work papers so I started blogging. I jumped in with both feet by starting my #GoneGreen2016 series, challenging myself to blog daily for a year to uncover the bad habits I had and bad products I was using and search out sustainable solutions for each one. It was a time-consuming and at times exhausting process but I built the foundations I needed to have a decent understanding of sustainability and from there I've been trying to continue to educate myself further on that never-ending path towards a greater state of eco-wisdom and ethical awareness.
What has been the most challenging part since you began embracing this type of lifestyle?
Ego. It's hard to admit you've been doing things wrong for years and it takes effort and energy (time and money) to start making the changes needed. It's overwhelming at first but I find if you just choose one thing at a time and work your way from there it is more of a journey and you'll find yourself genuinely curious about making more changes. I think the most important thing is to remain curious and constantly question yourself on how you can grow, what changes you can make, and understand why you're making them. The more you know, the more you'll want to change for the better. It also helps to be a part of the on and offline community, it can be a frustrating process so knowing other people are working alongside you makes it feel more of a team effort than the solitary struggle it can sometimes feel like.
What or who inspires you to do what you do on a daily basis?
Other bloggers probably? There is a strong community of women I work alongside that I rely on for mentorship, support and advice. All the ladies of Ethical Writers & Creatives have helped me along my path in one way or another and they inspire me to keep going when I'm ready to give up.
Best piece of advice you have ever received?
Don't look back, you're not going that way.
Do you have a morning routine? If so, what is it you do to set yourself up for the day ahead?
Yes! Finally. I was really struggling to find balance with my workload and it was taking its toll on my mental, physical and spiritual health. So I sat in a cafe one day and wrote down all the things I'd like to improve on and then developed my morning routine from that. I actually published it recently! You can watch it on my VLOG or read about it on my BLOG.
How do you define success?
I don't know ... I was actually talking about this with my husfriend this morning. Blogging is great because of the freedom it offers but challenging because of the emotional relationship you start to develop from the stats (how many people read a post / watched a video / commented ect ...) ... you're putting so much time and effort into this passion project but the return monetarily and emotionally can sometimes be quite small, or nothing at all. So it's hard to measure success since you're always broke, always tired and always pushing yourself forward. But I feel most rewarded when someone communicates to me that I've helped inspire them in some way, so I guess success, in this instance, can be defined by the strength of the community it creates? The numbers don't really matter, the impact matters, so I don't think there's a definitive measure of success, it's the little moments that make the work seem worth it?
One book everyone should read? Why?
Green Washed: Why We Can't Buy Our Way to a Green Planet by Kendra Pierre-Louis. It is the best book I've read on sustainability thus far, she was one of the reasons I started blogging.
One documentary everyone should watch? Why?
Planet Ocean, by Yann Arthus-Bertrand it is visually one of the most beautiful and emotionally engaging documentaries I've ever seen. Sustainability or otherwise.
For those reading this who are inspired to make a change in their own world, what do you recommend they begin with? Where should they start?
I think finding a blogger you connect with is important. Entering into the world of sustainability can be overwhelming so having someone to guide you through it and being part of the community they've created will help you feel a sense of belonging. I recommend starting with the simple things, and recently myself and a few other bloggers worked with WWD to put together as many simple sustainable switches as we could think of that could be completed in less than an hour. So maybe start with this post and then at the bottom you can follow through to Kate and Nataly's suggestions and you'll be on your way!
Are there any other Movers & Shakers out there in your world that you think we should all know about?
There are so many talented and interesting people creating awesome content, but I'd say I the top 10 bloggers (off the top of my head) I most gravitate towards reading / watching would be: Eco Cult, Style Wise Blog, Hoda Katebi, Eco Boost, Ethical Unicorn, Kamea Chayne, Sustaining Life, Sustainably Chic, Simply Liv & Co, Literally Nataly ... I love every writer in Ethical Writers Coalition though, they're an inspiring group of humans.