We met Whitney Valverde, the spicy blonde founder of www.whitneyswonderland.com to discover why she moved from the shiny beaches of Costa Rica to the swinging London to follow her dreams and become a fashion icon. And also take a peek into her bag!
I started blogging when I moved to London 7 years ago after graduating from Fashion Design and wanted to have a creative outlet where I could share my passion for travel, fashion and style. Back then, I opened webpage where I shared my love for all these things and shortly after found out I actually had a blog! There weren’t many bloggers back then so it was my hobby for a couple of years, until I decided to try it full-time and haven’t stopped ever since!
What’s the most rewarding and the most challenging aspect of being a fashion blogger?
The most rewarding aspect for me is being able to inspire other girls from all around the world. Blogging is now global, and getting messages or emails from other girls telling me how I helped or inspired them in some positive way is priceless and very special to me. As for the business side of it, working with brands I truly love and respect is a dream come true. The challenge for me at the beginning was to be taken seriously and have my blogging career recognised as a job. Years later, with now blogging being established, brands understand the value of blogging very well, but we still have a long way to go for many to understand this is a career.
What piece of advice could you give to someone who is about to start her/his own blog?
My main advice is to have a genuine reason to do it. When I started I didn’t even have instagram for 2 years. Being ‘popular’ or having followers or being the face of a brand wasn’t even in the horizon. Now I get messages of people telling me they want to be famous. You need to provide quality content and something useful for people other than just showing a pretty face or cute picture. Be prepared to work 24/7 and have crazy ridiculous passion for what you do, because this will help you bear the hard times. If you love what you do and have great content, it will all pay off and be worth it! 😉
What’s the best compliment you got from a follower?
I think the best compliment I get is when people tell me they love my work, read my articles, and say I have helped/inspired them in so way. It’s really humbling as I started from scratch and worked really hard to get to where I am. It really does mean the world when this happens.
How would you define your style?
My style is quite eclectic but always with a bohemian side, being Costa Rican. What is most important to me is to know how to wear trends in a flattering way as I’m so petite (only 1.53 cm).
Who is your style icon?
I have many to be fair. Of course Audrey Hepburn for classic style or Olivia Palermo for modern chic are undeniable, but I adore Miroslava Duma’s bold but flattering, gorgeous style. I love the way she mixes colours and prints. She’s petite like me and so lovely, I can really identify with her.
What are your daily essentials in your bag?
Of course I always need my phone and external charger, that’s essential! But I also need my Chanel balm (saves my skin every time!), a lipstick (I love Armani ecstasy shine range for daily use as it’s so hydrating but pigmented as well), my glasses, sunglasses, wallet, and if I’ll be shooting content, my Olympus PEN camera.
And when you travel?
They’ll basically be the same but with more camera chargers, my passport, and agenda to make sure I don’t miss anything!
What would you throw in your bag if your house caught fire?
My family albums from my parents’ teenage years, their wedding, and me and my bro when we were little.
Your tip to perfectly style a colorful bag.
Make sure to either wear complementary colours (just check the colour wheel), or pick up a colour in the bag to replicate on your outfit.
What’s the aspect a bag should never lack to convince you to buy?
It should always be deceptively large. It is essential my phone, card holder, and lipstick fit regardless of how delicate it may look.
If you could only have one bag in your closet, which would it be? A mini bag, a satchel bag, a tote bag or a bucket bag?
I think it would be a great quality tote bag as they’re so versatile and will fit all my essentials.
What’s the most stupid thing you ever did in your life?
I have a bit of a fear of heights and get a bit of vertigo when I’m high on a building. I was visiting Amsterdam with the tourism board and went on top of beautiful Adam Tower where they had the highest swing in the world. I thought it would be fun and the swing would just stay where it was on the floor. Well I was wrong it went high up and started swinging really strongly. I just closed my eyes till it was over!
Do you regret it or would you do it again?
I don’t regret it but now I know I would never do it again haha!