An inside story about blogging
IT WAS HER LOVE for design and decorating and her determination to succeed, and now it seems Natasha Simpson’s destiny to continue to expand her brands and browsing.
At 28 years of age, the brains and beauty behind the blog Love Design Barbados and its companion social media pages LoveDesignBdos, said she built her platforms just by doing online research. In its five-year cyber life, Simpson has fashioned the blog from a bleak, dull empty room to a radiant, vibrant and welcoming space, fitting of all the accolades and praise. But she unveiled that she kept her online pursuits a secret.
“When I started the blog, I didn’t tell anybody about it because I didn’t want anybody to read it – it was more like an online inspiration for me. I just started it because I liked writing and I enjoyed the content,” she revealed.
This hesitation to release her work to the public was evident through an initial post on the blog entitled Where Do I Start? In the post she asked, “As I sit here my main thought is ‘I wonder if I write this, post it and it’s a mess, can I delete it?’ Hoping the answer is a yes . . . . Here goes!”
And off it went, indeed! But instead of deleting, she added. Today, Simpson can boast that what started off as blog designed to give tips on interior decorating has now grown to include lifestyle posts. In total all of its social media pages have a following of over 30 000 and growing and the blog itself gets at least 500 – 750 views per day.
Its portfolio has grown to include restaurant reviews, hotel reviews and product reviews, and now companies ask her to review their products.
Simpson divulged that she had a privileged life. As one side of her family helps develop department store Cave Shepherd, the other side operates Armstrong Agencies. And those connections have allowed her to attend boarding school and college in Canada. But while Simpson was proud of her family’s legacy, she does not rely on its name to push her name.
“I am grateful for the opportunities I have been afforded but they have only pushed me to work harder.”
From a young age, she said she and her sister were taught the value of work – “even if it was just sticking stamps on envelopes, we worked,” she said.
Deciding on the perfect shade of peach to make that room welcoming or setting the best mood appropriate lighting for a personal shelter was an almost instinctual trait for Simpson. So her career path was not a difficult decision.
“I just loved interiors, so from young, when people asked what I wanted for Christmas, I used to ask for those interior design books. If my gran asked me if I wanted a treat from the supermarket, I’d be, like, ‘Can you bring me a magazine?’ I always used to rip out the pages and use them as inspiration.”
Within the comfort of the white walls of her office, Simpson has a massive vision board that helps to keep her on track. “Be happy with what you have while working for what you want” and “Do what you love to do!”
And that is just what the Seneca College graduate is doing. She said: “I was always passionate about it. I used to go to the doctor’s office and sit down and in my head I would be, like: ‘I would move this and I would change this’. I could always go in a space and envision what I would do differently. Sometimes, I still do it.”
And it was the success of Love Design that paved the way for Simpson to develop the social media and marketing management company Simpson Creative. With a relatively small client base, Simpson can still recall that she has done work for RMJ Agencies, Villages at Coverley, Walker’s World and the Lead Pipe & Saddis duo.
Simpson, who mainly works alone, said she also has plans to launch a new Caribbean lifestyle blog as well a charity which will benefit the Irving Wilson School.
When asked how she juggles her business, she jokingly replied: “I pray a lot.” In an interview at her home and office, she told EASY, “I have to be really disciplined.”
“Organisation is really important to me. I have, like, 500 to-do lists. If I don’t have a list, I just I wouldn’t know where to go.
“I like to be able to go through the list and say: ‘Yes’ I’ve done that’. It just helps me to be more focused and be more organised,” Simpson said.
This organised nature was noticeable as she went over the talking points that she jotted down in one of her many multicoloured notebooks and planned to discuss during the interview.
But even with her level of planning and structure, the pieces and colours of her life do not always coordinate.
“I’m struggling now with finding balance. I think sometimes I schedule too much. Sometimes I need to just enjoy the moment because I’m so busy sitting down now planning.
“I think you can get so caught up in the work that then you don’t have a life anymore.
“I find even with Instagram, I would go for a nice lunch and then spend 20 minutes styling the food to take a nice picture and by the time you’re finished the food is cold.”
Even with her own personal shortcomings, Simpson said she draws inspiration from her family and three very close friends.
“My mum, and three best friends are the strongest people that I know and they push me to want to do better.”