If you haven’t heard of the website Cindiddy yet, where have you been hiding? It took me about thirty seconds to add this site to my Bloglovin feed when I first stumbled across it, and I now check it religiously. Cindiddy Founder Cindy Ko is a self-described noble nobody who has turned blogging into a business and her natural beauty into a powerful brand. She lives in Hong Kong with her son Jared and is a perfect example of a Super Styling Hong Kong girl who works hard and plays harder! We catch up with her and find out the secret behind a snazzy snapshot, how to cure blogger’s block and her favourite beauty spots.
Fashion blogger, Instagram mogul, foodie, exercise fanatic, mum… how do you fit it all in?
My cell phone makes it easy to work wherever and whenever I can. I sleep and wake up near my phone which is how I’m always able to constantly be on Instagram and check out what everyone is doing while also sending out messages and emails and making sure I respond to everything as soon as possible. Blogging is what started it all, so it’s a priority to make sure everything’s in check.
My son Jared is an obvious priority and I have to make sure that he’s doing well and keeping up with all of his activities, so Sunday is always a designated family day where I bring him to all his classes and swimming lessons. Food and exercise go hand in hand. If I’m overloading on hot pot, drinks, and full-fledged dinners, I have to make sure I’m getting enough exercise. The great feeling after exercising is addictive though, so I can’t see how I will be stopping any time soon. You make time for the important things!
How do you keep your home fashionable and what are your favourite home-stores?
I get a lot of inspiration from the Internet (naturally) whether it’s on Tumblr, Pinterest, or even just searching on Google. I like everything to look simple and clean so I stick to a lot of white and try to add pops of colour with flowers, pillows, or other home accessories. I love collecting mugs and always look into home stores even if I’m not buying anything. My go to spots are Loveramics, Homeless, and Franc Franc.
How did the fashion blogging start?
I was inspired one day after flipping through a magazine that predicted that blogging would become a whole new player in the fashion game. I was also at home a lot because I had to take care of Jared, so it seemed like the perfect way to work from home and make the most of the time I had.
At what point did you think, “Aha! I’m really onto something here!”?
When I started getting feedback, I started to notice that the blog was becoming something more than just a platform to voice my ideas because people were actually listening and responding. It’s amazing to have social media and the blog and see where people are reading from and talk to people all over the world. It’s really rewarding and interesting to hear what they have to say.
Any words of wisdom for all the budding bloggers out there?
Stick with your own personality and stay true to your own character. It’s easy to fall into the trap of posting what’s in and trendy at the moment, but if you have your own distinct voice, people are more likely to notice and stay interested. It’s a good way to get a real and engaged audience that actually communicates with you.
What are the most difficult aspects of running your own blog?
It can be difficult to manage time. There’s often so many projects going on at once and different deadlines that if my calendar isn’t marked, disaster is bound to happen. I make sure that everything is coordinated and that my team is in the loop, while making sure that content is being produced and projects are getting finished on time. Communication is key for making everything run smoothly.
Does it ever get tedious?
Sometimes it can get a bit much because there are so many things going on and my brain is running a million miles per minute, but I realise that if you just write everything down and make sure you tackle everything one by one, it’s possible to do everything. I’m just very eager and want to do everything at once!
How hard is it to stay organised and focused?
It’s definitely hard to stay focused when there are so many projects to be done, but I constantly remind myself that if I work hard I can play harder. Along with the fact that there are always a million things going on in Hong Kong, it’s even more difficult, but I enjoy what I’m doing, so that’s why I make sure most of my time and focus is dedicated to the blog and the brand.
Any tips and tricks for trying to do everything at once?
There’s no trick! You just have to sit down and focus on emails and messages for a large part of the day. You also have to constantly stay inspired to that you can see what you’re working towards.
How did you turn blogging into a business?
I’ve always seen my blog as much more than just an online journal. It’s obviously a documentation of my personal journey but it has also put me in touch with so many fashion influencers and key players in the fashion industry. I figured that I would need something more substantial than just a blog for it to be something special and it organically turned into a brand, which has been an amazing process. I’ve also always been interested in creating different products like clothing, handbags, or just items that I would want to use day to day, and the most logical way to explore this path was to grow the Cindiddy brand..
How exactly do fashion bloggers generate revenue?
Fashion bloggers make revenue in many different ways. It really depends on what kind of blog you have and what you’re aiming to do. It can be through product collaborations or by putting together your own store or through content on the blog. Some bloggers have many other jobs besides online content though. This can include anything from taking photographs to designing for another brand.
Top tips for fantastic Instagram pics?
Composition is everything, and good lighting, of course! Editing is also a good way to make your photos Instagram ready. I have a few go to apps that I’m always using. Picframe is one of them! My followers always ask me about that one, so there you go.
Basic essentials to a perfect wardrobe?
You can’t go wrong with an awesome leather jacket, a good pair of jeans, a reliable pair of shoes, a versatile handbag, and loose t-shirts. I like casual styles, so those are probably my fail-safe items, and when the weather gets hot, I overload on shorts of all different styles and materials. It’s also always quality over quantity. I have coats and bags from many years ago but I still incorporate them into my outfits today.
Best budget boutiques in Hong Kong?
The small boutiques in Causeway Bay are sure shot for anything from accessories to shoes to tops. When I’m not looking in department stores, Causeway Bay is my go to area for shopping.
Biggest fashion faux pas?
In my opinion, a huge fashion faux pas is wearing something just because it’s trendy. It doesn’t have to be on the runway to make it a good choice for your own wardrobe. Certain pieces work for certain people, so you should definitely look at the fitting and structure when you try something on. I think I’ve worn a few things that I look back on and cringe a little bit but at some point it was something I wanted to wear so you kind of just go along with it and forget about it. Times change and feelings change, so it’s okay!
What are your personal favourite blogs that you follow and why?
I love the Man Repeller, Elin Kling, The Blonde Salad, and Fashion Toast to name a few. I find their photos really amazing and I love what they have become – their own brands. I also get wanderlust after seeing all of their travels and it helps give me ideas of other possible projects I might be able to work on.
Failsafe beauty spots for hair, nails, facials and general beauty?
I love going to Joyce Beauty to see all the things they stock from nail polish to fragrances. One of my close friends is my hair stylist, and he keeps my blonde locks as blonde as I would like them (though right now they’re more of a grey blonde). Salon Nova is a good spot for manicures (I’m all about the gels!), and you can grab a nice facial at Flawless while sipping on some of their fruity water.
What do you do to cure blogger’s block?
I travel. Going to different places and experiencing different cultures is my number one way to get inspired. I love the invigorating feeling of seeing how other people act, eat, and speak and taking some of that knowledge back home with me.
What do you do when you’re not blogging?
I hang out with my son, my family and friends and making sure everyone is smiling and laughing. I also love traveling and eating, so I make sure to do that often with the people I love.
Would you describe yourself as high maintenance?
I would describe myself as somebody who is casual and simple—I’m a shorts and converse type of girl. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy dressing up or putting on a pair of Jimmy Choos before a big event. I try to keep my life as simple as possible when it comes to wardrobe and beauty routines.
Top tips for date night dressing?
Dress in something that you actually want to wear! There are magazines that tell you what you should wear on date night or how you should style something, but if you’re not comfortable in what you’re wearing, it won’t be fun for anybody, least of all you!
Beautiful photographs are by the lovely Martice Milton, check out more of her work here!