Today on the blog we have the popular alternative lifestyle blogger, TV host, and journalist La Carmina. I know she doesn’t need any introduction, but in case you have just discovered the internet… La Carmina is a Canadian blogger that literally paved her way to the top with her strengths and through her blog alone. She started as a gothic blogger who only blogged about Japanese fashion and ended up traveling to over 50 countries, having her own travel show series and working as TV host on the major tv networks.
But let’s hear everything from her!
La Carmina Gothic Blogger
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When did you first come up with the idea of blogging? How did you start?
I started blogging in 2007 when the medium was quite new. I had always enjoyed making personal websites, and sharing photos with friends through hand-coded HTML pages, so it was a natural next step. I quickly found a great community of bloggers and readers that encouraged me to keep on posting. I initially wrote only on Japanese alternative fashion, but my La Carmina blog has evolved enormously as I got more opportunities — including traveling, writing books, and hosting TV shows worldwide. Now, I share personal stories of alternative beauty, lifestyle, culture and art all around the world — from gay bars in Iceland, to Joy Division tours of Manchester, to indie designers in Singapore!
Have you always been the extroverted type or did you change over the course of your career?
I don’t really like the terms “introverted” and “extroverted” — this type of separation doesn’t ring true to my experience of myself or the people around me. I think the way people respond to the world constantly changes depending on circumstances — personalities are fluid and non-dual (one might say there is no-self, if you want to get deeper into it!). I always loved underground culture, and enjoyed going to Goth clubs and wearing alternative fashion from a young age. Ever since I began blogging, I’ve enjoyed sharing these passions with readers. I hope I can encourage people to travel and live the way they want to, without hesitations.
We love that you studied Law at Yale. How did this help you through your blogging, tv host, author and journalist career?
I got a strong foundation in writing and critical thinking, and the knowledge has helped me enormously with contracts and other business dealings. Practicing law wasn’t for me, but I’m glad I went through this field of study.
La Carmina Gothic Blogger Interview
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What’s your favorite travel destination so far?
I can’t name only one place — I’ve had diverse and meaningful experiences in probably more than 50 countries at this point. I’ll admit that there are some places I loved more, and would return to multiple times. These include Japan, Hong Kong (where I have a lot of family), and the Maldives (untouched paradise).
What’s your best advice for aspiring lifestyle bloggers?
Quality is key, as there are so many blogs these days. Aim for a clean, pro design (with fast-loading pages) and original photography taken with DSLR cameras. I include as much “meat” as possible in my posts, which means putting extra effort into writing stories that communicate perspectives, cultural information, travel tips and other “takeaways”. All this will help you stand out, and show companies that you are worth partnering with.
We love that you stayed true to your alternative look for all these years. Do you think you’ll ever wear “grown-up” clothes? (We hope you won’t 😉 Do you think your eccentric style helped you in your career?
I’ve been wearing alternative fashion and colorful hair colors since I was a teen, and can’t imagine it any other way! My wardrobe has changed over the years — it’s less frilly and Jrock-y now, with a greater emphasis on sleek silhouettes and quality materials. My underground style has been both a plus and minus, depending on how you see it. I don’t fit the “look” of big fashion brands that work with other bloggers. However, my unique niche has gotten me dream opportunities in TV and travel, which let me build a more meaningful career than merely showcasing outfits.
La Carmina Gothic Blogger Interview
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Million dollar question: how do you juggle all these things you do at the same time? Do you have any time managing suggestions?
Work hard, but don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself. I don’t blog in “real time,” so I am not forced to rush back to my hotel and battle with poor WiFi in order to put up a daily post. Instead, I fully experience the trip, and then go back home and take the time to batch-edit photos and write in-depth posts. I queue them up, and publish them every 5-7 days. To-do lists keep me on track (I have to deal with many behind-the-scenes matters like invoices, contracts, and travel logistics). Finally, take time to work out, go for walks, cuddle your cat and sleep. You’ll feel less stressed and work more efficiently when you maintain balance.
You’re an entrepreneur at heart: are you planning to launch any other project?
My filmmaking partners and I are launching a new venture very soon, which makes use of a new technology… Once we have everything ready, I can’t wait to tell you all about it! I also will be heading to three new countries on two continents, in July and August — followed by one of the biggest travel TV shoots of my career. I’ll be revealing everything on my blog, as well as new stories from Bali, Singapore, Shanghai and more… stay tuned to La Carmina blog!
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Would you like me to interview more cool bloggers? Leave a comment below with your favorite bloggers and with the questions you’d love to ask them!  

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3 Responses

  1. Sana says:

    Loved the interview Elisa! La Carmina was one of the first blogs I knew when I started blogging. So good to read their answers and I liked your questions too.
    She is such an inspiring lady!

  2. Thanks for these interview and the business advice

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