Born and raised in Memphis, Anna Grace Newell is taking the fashion scene by storm with her unique style and fun personality. I had the pleasure to sit down and chat with her, asking her some questions that I and others from the GrrlPunch staff had.
Catt: So, what made you want to get into fashion and media and all that?
Anna Grace: Soooo…. let’s see… when I was in college, I was working for a store, and by the time I graduated, I was their director of marketing. I did their blogger outreach during my senior year of college. I was seeking out bloggers and to try to, like, study their style and send them pieces we thought they’d like. Y’know, that kind of thing. SO THEN, they started sending me their media kits and all of their credentials ‘cause I was like their point person, and I was sending them free clothes AND we’re paying them… how… sign me up! Y’know? I’m THERE. I’ve always been into fashion, but I never wanted to major in it because I didn’t want to own a store, and I wasn’t going to be a fashion designer. I just liked to literally dress people or myself or whatever. So, it was like I really didn’t know what to do with it. When I graduated, I could not find a job. It was just a really weird point. Memphis now has hit a huge growth, but at that point it was right before… So anyways I ended up working for a law firm downtown, YEAH, literally wearing a suit. I was in a cubicle, no window, didn’t know what time of day it was… It was like a casino! I didn’t know where I was or if it was raining or sunny. So, I was on the computer all day. It was all I did. That was when I really decided to start a blog. I just needed some creative outlet to get me through this terrible day—I’m being dramatic, but it was really sucky—so that was when I really started getting into blogging and researching stuff online. I just wanted to put outfits together. In the beginning, I didn’t even want to be photographed because I was like “EH” so I was putting flat lays and outfits and travel things, but then I quickly realized that people want to see it on a human… That was how it all started. A little of it working in blogger outreach, a lot of it having too much time on the computer working in a terrible job. I was like, “I need something bigger and better in this world!” Fast forward… let’s see. I started May/June 2015. I feel like I just started it, but it’s been a minute.
C: Who would you say is your fashion inspiration?
AG: It’s ever-changing. I’m not gonna lie. I’m a pretty big Gigi Hadid fan. I love her! Like everything they do I’m just like, “damn!” But there’s also a few bloggers that I follow really closely. There [are] these two twins that are called Simi and Haze. They’re twin DJs. which is, like, the coolest thing ever. Can I have a twin, and can we both be DJ’s? They’e 90’s crazy to the max with these crazy sets and funky little shades. I love them! I also love Kendall Jenner. I don’t want to, but I do. Everything [she] wear[s] is fabulous. I’ve been gravitating now towards other bloggers for inspiration rather than celebrities. My last one… I did watch the movie Pretty Woman recently—a freaking classic—and everything she wore is, like, coming up in the fall. I’ve been googling like crazy trying to recreate her outfits… I really want to be her for Halloween. So stay tuned.
Do you ever find it difficult to promote yourself? How do you make that less awkward? – Reed Winckler
AG: Okay, so, yes. I don’t want to be annoying. I’m the least aggressive person ever. I hate shamelessly promoting myself. In the beginning, I really tried to tie it into a cause. I did the ‘subscribe my blog,’ and I’d donate a dollar to St. Jude. However, now, I still do that, but it’s harder to promote my subscribe. I have a lot more going on, so I don’t really have as much time to do my weekly email like I used to. I never like to tell people I have a blog because, like, who doesn’t have a blog now? I feel like I sound lame. My latest form of promotion without being in people’s faces are these cards. I have one with my information on it and one that’s, like, outfits on Instagram with my tag. Any time I go out I have them in my pocket so when people go “Oh! I love your jacket! Where’d you get it?” I’ll just hand them my card and tell them I’ll post it on there and zip out. I have them in all of my jackets, my purse, my wallet. Some people really want the link to the jacket, y’know. They want to buy it. This way I don’t really have to explain it. I just hand them my card!
How would you say Memphis has influenced you? – Lucy Callicott
AG: Well, starting way back in high school, I did get Best Dressed. I would say I started to realize I wanted to get into putting together outfits then, but I was born and raised in Memphis. That’s where it all started, but a lot of people ask wherever I shop or whatever I do. A lot of the stuff I get from Memphis is actually from the local thrift stores. Very random, I know, but I’m a huge thrifter. I feel like Memphis has made me get creative with stuff. We don’t have all of these resources or big brands. I’ve really had to try to put myself out there more because I don’t live in LA and have all of these stores. It’s definitely challenged me to think outside the box. People always say Memphis looks so cool in all of my shots. It really does! Memphis has a lot more character. People always, like, snub Memphis, but since I’ve had a blog it has really challenged me to find some awesome spots. Memphis has obviously been a huge influence because I’m here. It’s all around me.
Do you think people in Memphis have a distinct style? – Izzy Gregan
AG: You know, I feel like Memphis is like a melting pot of all kinds of different things. It’s funny because I know it does have a distinct style, and I know I’m not it. I feel like a lot of places I go people are looking at me like, “hmmmm….” I’ll never forget one time I went down to Barbecue Fest, and I had been taking pictures. It was like a skirt set with white boots and people were like, “why is this girl wearing white boots…?” I feel like I don’t really fit the norm here, but I do think it’s pretty laid back and casual. I don’t really know how to describe Memphis style. I guess it’s whatever you want to make it. Whatever goes.
C: What’s your favorite piece that you have or something you feel like really defines your style?
AG: Probably… it’s not time for it, but… my leopard fur coat that I got my sophomore year of high school. I’ve worn that thing forever. And these past two years leopard has become really big! It’s, like, this really big, fluffy, almost trench coat. I have always worn that thing! I don’t care if it’s not cool. I’m wearing it. I’ve always been kinda funky, you know, a risk taker. I honestly try to tone it down so it’s more relatable… but that leopard fur jacket… I’ll wear it with tennis shoes, whatever, anything goes.
C: What would you say is the coolest and/or your favorite moment that’s come from your online career?
AG: Actually, I do have a cool one! In the last two weeks I went to LA for my birthday. I have three really close friends from college that are out there. On Sunday of that weekend, we went to Venice and did the whole boardwalk thing. We were taking some pictures and wanted to go shopping. We went to Abbot Kinney, and I walked into this one store called LF. It’s like a trendier Free People, I guess. Anyway, I had been following them on Instagram, and they had this hat that I really wanted. I went into LF, and as soon as I walked in, this girl picks me up and is asking me all of these questions. I felt like she was asking questions that she already kinda knew the answers to, you know? I go to check out, and she asked for my Instagram so the store could follow me. Now, remember, I don’t go telling people I have a blog. I hadn’t told her anything, but I gave her my card. She’s, like, telling me she could text me if there’s something I’d like so they could ship it to me. I leave the store, and a few minutes later she texts me to say that girls on the staff there have been following my blog for a long time, and they want me to come back. That was wild to me. I went back, and a girl hugged me as soon as I walked in. I was so flattered! They had all of these questions, and it was just so cool. Here I am across the United States, and there [are] probably way cooler people to follow, and they’ve been following me! That was really rewarding. There are times when I’m doing this and thinking, “Why am I doing this? It’s so much work!” Then you have moments like that where you realize how awesome it is. I can connect with all of these people!
C: Do you have any advice for people who want to get into fashion or blogging?
AG: Yes. I always tell people the thing you really need to think through before starting is how to create content consistently. I preach consistency. There’s so many people who start blogs and post for two weeks and realize how hard it is. There’s so many days when, like, my hair is in a bun and I don’t want to be photographed. It’s really all about constantly coming up with content. I always ask people, “Who is someone that’s going to be there to take your pictures? Who’s going to be available? How are you going to create content on a daily basis?” Start doing it and creating it and stockpiling it. When I first started, it took me an hour to shoot one outfit. I didn’t know what I was doing. Now I can bang them out in ten minutes. Find someone who is going to be there to take your photos, and figure out how to do it every single day. There [are] going to be days where you don’t want to post, but making it happen is key.
Looking for Anna Grace? Check out her blog or follow her on Instagram @annagracenewell