In celebration of National Sibling Day on the 10th of April, we decided to talk to some siblings who really inspire us at Taylor Magazine. First up Amra and Elma who are not only successful bloggers but also entrepreneurs. This beautiful duo decided to give up their secure and successful jobs to commit to blogging full-time and looking at their following and growth, it was a wise decision. With over 600k followers on Instagram each, the sisters are beyond accomplished in the world of influencers.
We wanted to know more about what it’s like to work with your sister, the organisations that are close to their hearts, what a day in the life is like for a blogger and what it was like to give it all up to pursue the dream career…
“Blogging is so liberating because you don’t need to get that green light from Vogue or any other magazine, what you personally have to say is important. Your audience doesn’t connect with you based on your brand name, they connect with you based on your individuality.” – Amra and Elma
Taylor Magazine: How did you get started with the blog and how did the idea come around?
Amra and Elma: We started almost four years ago and initially we created the brand Club Fashionista. The idea came about because we were thinking about the information we were sharing amongst ourselves – homemade face masks, travel tips and what not. We had a thought then: ‘Wouldn’t this be great if we could share this with the rest of the world?’ We were sure that there would be other people that would want to read about it and hear about it.
At the time we were early newcomers to Instagram because it wasn’t really a popular platform back then. We were frustrated with Facebook too because only our friends could see things we posted and that’s how the blog came about. We really wanted our voices to be heard by other people, rather than just our friends and family. We thought that if we wrote about it a little more extensively, it would be really valuable and inspirational.
Taylor Magazine: What categories do you both like to write about the most – travel, lifestyle or fashion?
Amra and Elma: It depends – the most important thing about writing a blog post is that you provide a genuine and authentic voice. You don’t edit because you overthink your audience – you really write from the heart. Some people may disagree, but it’s important that people recognise that it’s sincere. It isn’t necessarily the topic. We could write about anything from beauty to travel, but you have to tell a story. It has to reflect your perspective and how you feel. It’s really important to be honest and not just say that the journey was awesome, but talk about some of the struggles you had for example.
Amra: For us, it was a really interesting time. I was working as an economist and Elma was working as a lawyer. It was frustrating because we didn’t see how we could grow in those positions. We realised that they were traditional industries which limited us and we didn’t like that. We felt that there was so much more to explore and see and do.
It’s also quite frustrating for young people because a lot of the decisions that were made in our previous careers were based upon superiority. We felt that you should be rewarded for your performance and it shouldn’t be based on your age. Our philosophy was well, “Let the market be the judge” in regards to what you are doing. It was a difficult decision because they were secure jobs but we both agreed that they weren’t an option for us anymore. We were lucky in the sense that we had each other and had support. It really was a case of ‘now or never’.
Taylor Magazine: We’re focused a lot on being the best version of yourself and self-love at Taylor Magazine. What would you say is the best thing about working together that helps you achieve this?
Amra and Elma: It’s so important to work with someone that compliments you, but doesn’t have the same talents as you, especially when you’re a young company. When we were just starting out, we obviously had really limited resources and so it was really important that we had people that could do different things. In terms of bringing out the best in each other, it was really important to receive support and be there for one another through ups and downs.
Encouraging and celebrating those ups and recognising when you do something well is great because then you can determine what your strengths are. Pushing each other forward is so important in terms of having a partner in your business. Working with each other is great – we were always close but this brought us closer together.
Taylor Magazine: You both have separate social media accounts but the blog together. What was the thought process behind this?
Amra and Elma: Our brand is Amra and Elma, which we want to emphasise because we obviously both have different points of view and it’s really important for people to recognise that. The dynamic that our different personalities bring on the blog, as well as through the TV interviews that we do, is much more fun. We can bounce ideas off of each other.
A lot of bloggers sometimes have their significant other do the photography or travel with them. For us, it also made sense because we were able to utilise each other to develop great images. Some of the best performing photos and interviews are when we are with each other.
Taylor Magazine: What challenges do you face working together?
Amra: When you’re working with other people, you have to be accepting of the fact that people may not always agree with your ideas. You have to constantly share these ideas and seek feedback. Elma and I have different ways that we work and actually manage different teams. One thing that we sometimes struggle with is that Elma is really analytical and I’m really creative. She is a lawyer, you know!
Taylor Magazine: What would you say a general day in your life is like?
Amra: It’s not what you might think! I get up and every morning I make myself coffee and freshly squeezed juice to get nutrition. I’ll then jump into a meeting with my operations manager – she handles a team of people that I manage and we go through an agenda. This is usually what people are working on, what is happening with our clients, what’s next for the blog, etc. Then I’ll have meetings back to back and we’ll have a schedule with the creative team to convey the ideas we want to focus on. We think about how we capture the essence of who we are – what do we want to portray? No day is the same but in a nutshell, that is what we do daily!
Taylor Magazine: Following on from that, people sometimes have the perception that blogging is an easy job. What would you say to people who think that blogging isn’t a real job?
Amra and Elma: I would say that it’s really changed. Some people still view it as a hobby and some bloggers do it as a hobby but then others have made it into a career. For us, we decided to make it a career three years ago and what that really meant for us was that we treated it as a business. It wasn’t just about beautiful images but that in itself is a huge job. Bloggers essentially replace 10 plus people in terms of production – that is insane! You have to think of everything – location, props, style. You have to utilise everything around you to get a spectacular end result.
It’s a hard job because you are responsible for the outcome – there’s no-one to ask advice from or fall back on. If something goes wrong, there’s no one to call. You are your own boss which is great, but there is a bad side to it too. You’re working around the clock to get it to look amazing. It’s a triple full-time job!
“It’s realising that together we can make a difference and that will always be the most amazing memory for us.”
Taylor Magazine: How do you guys switch off when you want some time for yourself?
Amra and Elma: What a good question! I’m not sure if influencers have a formula for switching off! I rarely switch off but I think that’s the world we live in now. I love to have short periods where I work out, play with my dogs, take a bath – something relaxing.
Taylor Magazine: You also seem to travel a lot and your pictures look stunning. Where is the coolest place you’ve been?
Amra and Elma: Different places have their own charm. We recently visited St Bart’s and adored it there. It has such amazing natural beauty as well. I really like Cinque Terre in Italy because there are colourful villages which are so beautiful. Venice is another one, of course and Lake Como is amazing too because it’s so serene, especially compared to New York! I absolutely love London. It has such a unique flavour and diverse scene.
Taylor Magazine: Would you have wanted to pursue blogging on your own, or would you have only done it with your sister?
Amra: I was actually the first one that embarked upon the journey and Elma joined me a bit later. We would have definitely embarked upon it. For me, it’s the reason I am motivated. The creative portion of the business is what makes me get up in the morning. I can tell a story through images or written word. It’s an amazing way to connect with people and have your voice be heard. Blogging is so liberating because you don’t need to get that green light from any other magazine. What you personally have to say is important. Your audience doesn’t connect with you based on your brand name, they connect with you based on your individuality.
Taylor Magazine: What is your favourite memory together as sisters?
Amra and Elma: Hmm… our childhood memories are always ones to cherish because we had so much fun together. Also, we were invited to host alongside Sir Elton John and Liz Hurley at the Breast Cancer Foundation Gala for their Instagram. That was surreal for us – this particular event was close to our hearts because our grandmother died of breast cancer. We couldn’t believe we were there. Another organisation that we help out with is Rescue Dogs Rock – we lent a voice to animal rescue, which was so special and humbling. It’s realising that together we can make a difference and that will always be the most amazing memory for us.