The Skill Set: 6 Ways to Build a Stand-Out Blog

Adi Heyman, founder of Fabologie, shares her advice.

Adi Heyman founded her site, Fabologie, in 2010, when fashion blogs were popping up left and right. She made a name for herself by bringing her unique perspective—as a super ­stylish industry pro who happens to adhere to Orthodox Jewish traditions of dressing—and stood out in a sea of bloggers. Hear more about Adi’s story here and get her advice on standing out and staking your claim in a competitive landscape.

The Skill Set: 6 Ways to Build a Stand-Out Blog

1. Find your niche

After converting to Judaism as a teen with my family and marrying into a large Orthodox Jewish family, I had a religious lifestyle, including dressing modestly, covering my hair after marriage and observing Shabbat. At the same time, I worked in the fashion industry and I was entrenched in that culture. I realized that there wasn’t a strong, motivated voice representing the Jewish community in the style space—so I created it myself with Fabologie. Within the overwhelming, all­encompassing fashion industry, this is my little niche. I post mainstream fashion and current trends through a filter of modern modesty focused on conservative styling. People recognized that I was doing something different, and they were interested, so my presence on the sartorial scene grew.

2. Ride the wave

Around the time that I started Fabologie, skirts and modest styling were becoming more prevalent in high-­end fashion. I’d rip out pages with conservative looks from Vogue. Dolce and Gabbana showcased midi skirts, and Valentino and The Row favored maxi dresses. In this “curation generation” I became the creator of my own trend-­meets-­traditional lifestyle, giving it a respectful, relevant voice, but much of my success was also due to timing.

3. Be scrappy

I straddle two seemingly different worlds—mainstream fashion and Orthodox Judaism—and I’ve had to get creative in order to bridge the gap. When I realized fringe was going to be a huge trend, I found a way to wear it as it hit the runway while still honoring my dress code. I cut apart a vintage leather jacket to make fringe and sewed it to a vintage leather skirt—the fringe was ahead­-of-the-­trend and it brought my hemline below the knee. I was photographed wearing it with a New York City t-­shirt and Valentino rock studs at aMarc Jacobs fashion show. I am a huge proponent of being resourceful and just making things happen.

4. Know that you can’t please everyone

I take caution note to preach or force my religion on anyone. My site showed aspirational inspiration, which has indeed brought me some negative feedback. I looked to haute couture and showcased Shabbat tables with Hermès china—things that may not resonate with everyone—but, my intention is to share a mindsetand a lifestyle, not an affinity for luxury brands. I think of Gwyneth Paltrow, who has endured much criticism for the aspirational lifestyle she shares on Goop. She’s true to who she is; she’s not pretending to be anything she’s not, and I respect that.
 

5. Stay open-minded

On social media and in person, we’re curating our lifestyles, and we run the risk of boxing ourselves in. The idea of being unable to think outside this box scares the hell out of me. When you create an Instagram feed of people you want to follow, you run the risk of narrowing your scope. Open a newspaper and read some eye­opening articles instead.

6. Be ready to pivot

My site was hacked earlier this year, so I shut it down. It was sad, but it was the impetus I needed to reevaluate and refocus. I had succeeded in proving that modest fashion is indeed “fabulous”; I had achieved that goal. The hack was a Godsend and timely opportunity to re­think how I could further use my voice and my platform to inspire others with the best of my abilities. As my blog received attention from outlets like TheNew York Times and Vogue, I felt pressure to live up to the media attention I was getting and the amplification it afforded me. I was ready to take a step back and re­assess how to make the most of my opportunity while contributing value to the world around me.


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Images courtesy of Ivanka Trump
Photographer: Kenneth Grzymala