A Passion For Eyewear

Balancing Life ft. Karen Cheng
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Balancing Life ft. Karen Cheng

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Balancing Life ft. Karen Cheng

Karen Cheng’s Fashion and Life is not only a blog but a journey. A journey of experiences, advice and inspiration that has helped thousands of readers. Throughout her journey, Karen focuses on being positive, humourous, passionate, fashionable, motivated, productive, creative, and living a balanced life. Karen is not only the person behind the blog, she is a proud mum, an active woman, and a fashion and beauty lover.

We got into more detail about her life to get to know her better and to understand the fundamentals of managing to balance her life and amazing family. Keep reading if you want to know more of Karen’s Journey.

interview

Can you tell us a little bit about what you were doing before you started Karen Cheng’s Fashion and Life. What inspired you to create a blog and how has it transformed your career?

I started my blog in 1999 – before the term “blog” was used! I was working as an art director, graphic and web designer… and I was very interested in publishing on the internet. At the time, I wanted to showcase my digital work, put up my holiday photos, publish some stories, and write “bulk” letters to my friends and family who were living overseas.

So I created my own website (coding it myself with HTML!) and I updated the code and content to create an online personal diary.

Blogging has connected me with so many people around the world, and has opened the doors to so many new experiences and new opportunities over the years. At the moment my career is twofold; I’m a blogger (publishing my stories 3 times a week and collaborating with brands and campaigns) and I’m a digital creative (involved in art directing, styling, photographing, digital design and creating content for other brands).

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I absolutely love working for myself and working from home. I’m a mother to three young boys, so I’m still able to pick them up from school everyday, cook for my family every day, take them to their sports… as well as do fun stuff for myself like go to a yoga class, get a facial, and catch up with my girl friends for brunch!

What was the most challenging moment in your blogging journey so far?

Working with agents, trying to monetize traffic, never-ending need for time management, separating online and offline life, finding the time to create good quality, engaging content… all those things are tricky.

But my most challenging moment was deciding NOT to write about my husband’s cancer journey or my post-natal depression. I mentioned it briefly here and there, but I never wrote a commentary of the events from the deepest parts of my heart – I kept all that stuff offline.

At the time, I felt I was lying to my readers or I wasn’t being real to them. I had huge online and offline identity issues! Part of me thought that maybe I could help someone by writing about my personal issues. But in hindsight, I’m glad I kept that bit private. It was a big challenge.

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When you hear the phrase “style icon” who comes to mind? I know I do, and most of my friends, have our own style icons that we are always checking up on when we want to change up our look or try something new. Can you describe your own personal style and is there a person who is a fashion inspiration to you?

If I had to choose one person as my style icon, I’d have to say Olivia Palermo. She can wear any style and still look so sophisticated, elegant and polished. I also adore Miranda Kerr’s street style, Emma Watson’s poise and Grace Kelly’s elegance.

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As for my own style, I adore all kinds of fashion styles and I love to experiment with trends. But whatever I’m wearing, I always like to look polished and elegant, hence my girl crush on Olivia.

We know you are a huge fan of Celine, after featuring them on your blog in collaboration with VisionDirect. Can you tell us why you chose this brand in particular? How do you feel about eyewear in general and would you say that glasses are the finishing touch to any outfit or is there a certain time and place to wear them?

I enjoy a bit of fashion history, and Audrey Hepburn certainly made a huge impact as a fashion icon in the 60s and beyond. I love how Celine has paid homage to her (and her character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s) by naming their sunglasses after her.

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And I love how after all these years, the Audrey sunglasses with their round lenses and slighty cat-eye shape, remains to be timeless accessory and always in fashion.

Everyone has their own personal taste in eyewear – can you tell us a bit about yours? What are your go-to shapes, colours and brands? Do you usually stick to the safe choices or do you ever buy something a little crazy just to give it a try?

I went through many years and phases of buying fun, colourful and trendy shades! Do you remember gradient frameless sunglasses? I had two hehe!

But now I tend to reach for the safe sunglasses choice and invest in a more classic and versatile style. Basically I like to wear dark frames with dark lenses and nothing too overwhelming.

As you are so in-tune with the fashion world, do you have any thoughts as to what eyewear trends we can expect to see this Winter and next Spring/Summer?

I think there’s a growing shift away from the monochrome look and the minimal look. I think florals are getting bigger, metallic are getting shinier, textures are getting crazier and everything is heading towards “over the top” looks.

So I expect sunglasses to go that way too – think ornate, big, gold, flowers!

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And just a few questions for fun…

Three things in your bag you can’t live without?

Phone, credit card and lip balm.

Do you have any weird or unique interests/hobbies/talents that your fans may be surprised to discover about you?

I have lots!

  • I love gardening and I like making my own compost. And I like worms.
  • I like cycling and own two pairs of lycra tights that have bum padding.
  • I love reading old school literature. And I like watching sci-fi movies.

Which famous person would you like to have coffee/tea/a drink with?

Oh I have so many people I’d love to meet and chat to – Michelle Obama, Crown Princess Mary, Cate Blanchett, Cathy Freeman, Miles Franklin, David Attenborough, Stephen Spielberg…

However I think I’d most like to have tea with Victoria Beckham, because we’d talk kids, fashion, food and we’d be instant BFFs.

If you want to know more about Karen, don’t forget to visit her blog and Instagram.

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