wendy gilmour and MR. K and Tux, the Finnish Lapphunds
This fashion blogger and her two amazing dogs are bringing ALL the style to Glasgow!
Words: Simon Glazin Pictures: Thankfifi.com
Naming your blog after a friend is a big gesture. Huge. But Wendy is right. We have her friend, Fifi, to thank for her blogging success. After reading countless interviews with Wendy, it transpires that her friend had suggested starting a blog, and that she'd definitely read it if she did. And voila! The rest, they say, is history. Every week Wendy shows off her innate sense of style, her wonderful city of Glasgow, and those two amazing dogs, Mr. K and Tux.
It's a success story that can't be replicated: From the moment her friend named the blog, to when her husband - a web designer - created a blog layout as a surprise, and even being nominated for the Marie Claire UK Fashion Blog of the Year award. "It's been a slow and steady journey with blogging though, it's not one of those overnight success stories or a career born from Instagram - I work very hard." And that's evident. Wendy's pictures are gorgeous, and considered. Her styling is on point for an everyday/luxury take on fashion, mixing your usual high street brands with high end labels, and she obviously spends time getting her name out there, judging by the 'As Seen In' section on the blog. People come to expect to see Mr. K and Tux, or just one or another, in her blog posts. They have become as important to the success of her site as her style and creative direction. And it's plain to see why - they themselves are utterly chic and absolutely gorgeous!
Scroll down to read about her second job, how the blogging world has changed and learn the one thing you should know about her!
On life with the dogs: Life with the boys is happy and full of love - that honestly sums it all up. They're energetic herding dogs so they like lots of exercise and I love that. We knew when we got our first Finnish Lapphund, MrK is almost 10 now, that there would be a lot of walking and that's part of what attracted us to the breed - they get us out the house and on adventures up Scottish hills and to beaches we would never otherwise discover. They're loving and funny and very occasionally a pain in the ass but they're just a huge part of my life, work and personal, and I wouldn't change them for the world.
On work: I trained in Fine Art at The Glasgow School of Art and truly love drawin and painting but it's tough as a career - I wanted to create from my heart but my head was always arguing and trying to think commercially. Eventually I was looking for a new creative outlet and a friend of mine suggested I start a blog (her name is Fi, hence the blog name, Thankfifi). That was in 2011 and around that same time I also gave up my art studio and starting working in PR and Marketing at bluebellgray where I work to this day, although now just two days a week as the blog becomes more demanding. So for me it's been a slow and steady journey with blogging, it's not one of those overnight success stories or a career born from Instagram - I work very hard and I love it and I'm so happy to have two jobs which I genuinely love.
"I think so many girls decide to start a blog and hope everything will fall into their lap but for most of us that's just not the case."
On a Mumsnet comment, and the changing digital industry: There was a comment on Mumsnet about me, but they were just being mean about my 'fat, bored dog'! Poor wee guy, he's just furry, not fat. Truthfully though that chat thread brought me a tonne of traffic so I can't complain one bit. I think with blogging you are choosing to put yourself out there and it's up to you how much of your life you choose to share - it would be naive to think everyone would praise tha but honestly the majority of people in the industry as well as readers are really lovely. The industry has evolved hugely over the years since I launched the blog, there's certainly a lot more competition now but equally there are a lot more paid opportunities out there which is great - when you pour 30 hours a week into something, it's great to be able to turn that into a viable career.
On style and favourite designers: think style is one of those elusive things that's so hard to pinpoint but I love to dress classic pieces with a tiny bit of fashion victim thrown in; I guess I'm inspired by other bloggers and magazines (I must be the only person in the world who isn't disappointed by the volume of adverts in print magazines these days!) and even interiors. I love Bora Aksu to the moon and back for his whimsical, feminine pieces and the colours, and Depolzo for those silhouettes, but I'm a big fan of the high street too. We are really spoilt for quality and choice on the British high street and Boden, Reiss, Jigsaw H&M all have really amazing pieces... I basically love all clothes.
Was there a career plan B?: ope. Although technically I have two careers side by side.
On her daily routine: I usually wake up at 7.30am and post an Instagram (how healthy). Then either breakfast and a workout or dog walk before getting stuck into emails and blog content. I travel to London every other month for meetings and have had the opportunity to travel a lot this past year too so a typical day is hard to describe! But I like it that way. Usually I shoot my images and content on the weekend with the husband so I have the week to edit and create and connect. If I'm home on dog duty then the day is essentially punctuated with walks, pre work, mid work and post work walks... lots of walks.
On career advice: Work hard. I think so many girls decide to start a blog and hope everything will fall into their lap but for most of us that's just not the case. Essentially you are starting your own business and you have to be prepared for everything that comes with that. Push yourself to create the best content you possibly can, be disciplined with editorial calendars because there's nobody to hold you accountable other than yourself and be nice to everyone always.
On her favourite dog tale: Until MrK was about 5 years old I used to show him professionally. He's very handsome but was never really into it, our trainer regularly used to describe him as 'standing like a banana' whilst the other dogs all stood like soldiers to attention - he really is as lazy as he looks in the photos! He did however show at Crufts 3 years in a row and came home with prizes before retiring gracefully... until Tux arrived two years ago and was like a tornado into our lives. None of us get any peace these days, the boys' personalities are polar opposites and that's what I love most about them.
On what the dogs would say if they could talk: No more photos. More food (MrK aka the greedy one). More love (Tux aka the needy one).
One thing people should know about her: When I was five I had an old shoe box with a leash, drawn on eyes and a string tai. I used to drag that thing around the house with me all day I was so desperate for a dog. My parents finally caved when I was ten.
Shop Wendy's favourite brands...