Today, I’m thrilled to introduce you to one of my favorite bloggers, Katie Urban, the creator and writer behind A Touch of Teal. I first discovered Katie’s blog about a year ago and ever since, I’ve been a loyal reader and fan. Katie’s effortless and witty writing coupled with her keen sense of style and her adventurous spirit are just a few of the reasons I tune into her site everyday. I’m so glad Katie agreed to be featured in my Spotlight series because it gave me a chance to get to know her better and figure out how in the world she’s able to balance a full time job, graduate school and A Touch of Teal! Don’t forget to follow Katie on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Bloglovin. Now, onto the interview…
1. What was the inspiration behind your blog and how did you come up with the name?
Throughout college, I was always interested in blogging about my experiences, but mostly just wrote so my mom would know what was going on and not have to ask 10,000 questions! ;]. Once I entered the “real world,” I started doing marketing for a real estate developer (my day job still!), and loved how we used graphic design, great pictures, and stellar writing to communicate our ideas. I also started reading more blogs in my free time, and really loving how much inspiration they provided me. Since my personal style is much more girly than what usually flies in the construction industry, I decided harnessing my skills into my own blog would be the perfect outlet I needed.
Picking the name for my blog was the hardest part of the whole process, since I understood how hard it might be to change the name later! I really liked alliteration, and my middle name is Teal. So, once I thought of ‘A Touch of Teal’ and my friends liked it as much as I did, I knew it had to be the name.
2. Describe your personal style in three words…
Simple, Classic, and Colorful!
3. Where are your favorite places to shop and eat in the DC area?
Shopping and eating are two of my favorite hobbies! For shopping, you can never go wrong with a day trip to M Street in Georgetown where all of my go-tos—J Crew, Loft, Banana Republic, Anthropolgie—are all in one place. On the days I don’t feel like fighting city traffic, you can find me at Tysons Corner where I am a sucker for the Nordstrom Café. I also love DC-based boutiques like Salt & Sundry and Current Boutique for more unique finds.
For eating, I’d have to say I love any place that serves tapas—Cava, Zaytinya, El Centro, Kapnos—I love that you can taste a little bit of everything and none of the dishes are something I would make for myself at home. SInce Mexican is my favorite food, I am also always down for happy hour at Fuego or late-night margs at Surfside.
4.What are three beauty products you cannot live without?
My Clarisonic, my Urban Decay eyeshadow primer, and sunscreen—always protect your best asset, ladies!
5. What trends are you loving for summer?
I never thought they would look good on my body type, but after I found the right ones, I have totally embraced the romper + jumpsuit trend! I love how put together they make you appear (with minimal effort) and how they’re a little bit on the bolder side. I also am loving the palm print trend for both fashion and home décor.
6. How do you come up with daily content for A Touch of Teal?
When I started out, I was always worried I would run out of content. A year and half later, that has never happened because inspiration can be found everywhere—whether it’s from a magazine or newspaper article, a conversation I’ve had with friends or coworkers, or a project I am working on that I think others might relate to or like to take on themselves. I always have a note on my phone with content ideas organized by category and am constantly asking my friends for post ideas they would like to see. I usually plan my posts about a week out, and then execute them over the weekend to ensure there’s enough time for everything to be my best work.
7. Take us through a typical day…
My day starts on the later side as I can sleep until 8:20 am most mornings! I get ready for work, and am usually at my desk by 9:15 thanks to a short commute. During the day, I help out a lot with property marketing campaigns, corporate branding initiatives, and any other marketing request that comes up. Even though I should bring my lunch, I almost never do, so I take a break around 1 pm to run out and get something—sweetgreen is my go-to! I usually work until 5 pm on days that I have class, and 6 pm on the days I don’t. If I have class, I usually head out for the 40-minute metro commute from my office to Georgetown’s Chinatown campus and grab dinner along the way. By the time I get home from school, it’s about 10 pm and I catch up on blog stuff or chat with my roommate about our days. On the nights I don’t have class, I usually grab drinks and dinner with a friend or head straight home and hit the gym. My bedtime is around 11:30 pm, but I always like to spend at least 10 minutes reading before hand. Then, I wake up and do it all over again!
8. How do you juggle a full time job, school and blogging?
I think the key to juggling a full time job, school, and blogging is to plan ahead! I try to make the most use of my downtime in a productive way, so that if I know I have a busy week at work coming up, most of my homework and blog tasks are done. I also try not to forget to treat myself every once and a while by doing something for me. Life is too short not to!
9. What has been the most rewarding aspect of blogging?
The most rewarding aspect of blogging is when my content resonates with someone. I love it when a friend mentions to me that they used my gift guide to find their sister the best birthday present or when readers leave really thoughtful comments for discussion. Since blogging can be such an introverted activity—usually it’s just me writing at my kitchen table—it’s nice to know that other people relate to what I am going through or like, which really encourages me to dream up even better content.
10. What advice do you have for aspiring bloggers?
The best advice I think I can give to aspiring bloggers is to no longer aspire, just start! The great thing about a blog is that you never have to be done. Your blog can always evolve over time, and you can learn from past mistakes as you’re working on future posts. Don’t get so hung up on making your blog perfect at the beginning that you never even start one. And don’t worry about putting yourself out there—it is so worth it!