Chatting with Helen Chik

16:14:00


I first touched bases with Sydneysider and fashion blogger Helen Chik of CH1K.com on the tool of subjugation we all know as Instagram - the invariable meeting point where the average Millennial gets acquainted with the documentation of various things that inspire awe, something that Helen's wardrobe and travels have come to imbue in me for as long as I've kept up with her blog and social media.

Something about Helen's style struck a chord; quite possibly the penchant for casual and clashing separates that meld with buoyant ease into each other - a flair for which, personally, is still a work in progress for yours truly.

Aside from being wonderfully sweet, she writes with a sort of witty charm that's painfully absent from many blogs of similar calibre, and it belies her endearing vivaciousness. My conversation with her also unearthed a few fortuitous parallels between her story and my own. Oh, the little thrills of identifying with being a 24 year old, who extricated her blog from its dormancy a couple of years after its initial conception at the realisation that there had to be more to life than a nine to five. Instagram: creating trans-geographical, trans-circumstantial connections since 2010. 

We had a chat about the joys and perils of being fashion blogger, how to build a 30k Instagram following and life beyond pixels and screens, and here's what went down.


Why did you start your fashion blog?
I actually started my blog many years ago whilst I was studying, and back then I did it for a bit of fun really but had no vision or end goal. When juggling my studies in my penultimate year became too much, I took over two years off.

I didn’t actually have any plans to restart my blog until late last year when I realized how much I missed it and that I really wanted to start my own online store and business. Before all that happens, I need to build my own personal brand.

Describe your personal style in an elevator pitch.
Unpredictable! I dress to different personas. Sometimes I’ll wake up feeling like dressing like a boho-beach gypsy but the next day I’ll dress Parisian chic. I feel no girl should be confined to a set style. Women are multi-faceted and we wear so many different faces, and our style should be no different.

What are some of the key pieces you have in your wardrobe?

My recent investment in the Chloé Susanna boots are a personal favourite and staple. My Chanel 2.55 and Céline bowler bag are repeat offenders for me too. I’m a huge accessories person - if you invest in the right accessories you’re set.

You have an enviable 30k following on Instagram. What are some tips for building your follower count?
Building my following was a slow and hard slog. I wish I could say that there was a magical formula, or that you could provide a sacrificial lamb to the social media overlords and wake up to a 20K following. But reality is that you need time and patience. 

I am always active on my account and whilst replying to all comments is incredibly important, I believe returning that interaction on other accounts is a must too! Take a genuine interest in what’s happening in everyone’s lives and most importantly, be authentic.

You met Erin Wasson recently. Tell me about that!
Oh wow she is incredible. I received a last minute invitation to the launch event and when I realized she was the muse, I knew I had to go. I was sick but managed to return myself to the world of the living to go meet her. When I approached her to proclaim my undying love for her, she was truly so humble and beautiful. I told her that I loved how down to earth and laidback she was, and she replied by saying ‘hey, I’m just a girl from Texas.’

What's the biggest challenge of being a fashion blogger?
Having to dedicate so much time in front of screens - behind a camera, behind an iPhone, behind a computer and various other tablets and electronics. No wonder I have eyesight issues.

Funny story, but I recently went to a blogger lunch and as soon as the food came out onto the table, it was like an instant Mexican wave. Every person stood up to get a birds-eye shot of the food, and then spent the next 15 minutes on Instagram.

Who are some of your favorite style bloggers, and what do you like about them?
A personal favorite would be Margaret Zhang. that girl just has so much spunk and she’s so classy at the same time. Another would be Rumi Neely, and admittedly she was the inspiration behind why I started my blog all those years back. I love how her style's so simple, yet she still looks a million bucks. I also love her awkwardness in all her photos!

What's on your travel bucket list?
I’ve been very fortunate to have travelled a lot already. My bucket list includes Croatia for Yacht week, Mexico to visit Cabo San Lucas, and Cape Town for a bit of shark cage diving and Patagonia.

I imagine a full-time job and a fashion blog takes up the bulk of your time, but what do you get up to when you're not blogging?

I love just relaxing anywhere with sunshine and a view – you’ll probably find me running along the coast – combining my love for sun and running.

Find Helen on CH1K.com and on Instagram @helenchikx. All photos are courtesy of CH1K.com.

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