Alison Dunn and Perdy (Perdita) Andrews author 365 Fashion Rehab, which is nominated in the Fashion & Style, Group Weblog, and People's Choice categories of the 2010 Canadian Weblog Awards.
We both have always had a passion for writing and thought that blogging about our experiences would be a great way to share our thoughts with each other and the rest of the world. We also thought that it upped the ante of the project by holding ourselves accountable and being accountable to those following our journey. When we launched 365 Fashion Rehab, over half the people polled said that they thought we wouldn't make it past three months! We showed them, right?
You have committed yourselves to give up shopping for clothes or shoes or other pretty things for an entire year and are more than two-thirds of the way through. Was it your ridiculously burgeoning closets that pushed you to do it?
Partially, yes! And, at this point in our lives we thought we would have more traditional assets (a home, a retirement fund, etc...), but we realized that so many of our hard earned dollars were found hanging in our closets. When we lived together in Toronto, we used to have "Shopping Saturdays" every week so we would have something new to wear that night.
We love shopping so much, but between buying duplicate items and excessive bingeing and purging, we knew it was time to put our credit cards on ice!
Surely you have not given up on buying everything altogether. How do you decide which shopping is necessary?
The rules of the project are no buying clothes, accessories, make-up, or frivolous home decor. This includes basic items like underwear and lip balm. We just have to make do with what we have and be creative. It's extreme, but, for us former shopaholics, it had to be. The rules and regulations don't include supplies and services; we can still get our hair cut, and if our toaster breaks we can buy a new one.
What have you learned about yourselves now that such a large part of your lives has been effectively removed?
We have learned that we don't need to own the latest pair of jeans in order to feel good about ourselves.
When you can't shop, blogging about it is almost as good! Most of our free time has been spent building our site and learning how to become multi-media experts, but we still allow ourselves time to catch up with each other, as old friends should.
Is this shopping diet going to continue in a less severe form when the 365 days are over, or are you going to go on fashion bender?
On May 15th (the end of the project), we hope to meet in New York to celebrate our year of not shopping, but we don't know yet what our first purchases will be. At this point, after all of our hard work and self discovery, we are hoping that we will be more conscious shoppers. Otherwise, this year of misery will have been in vain!
What are your must-reads?
If you were to impart knowledge to an aspiring blogger, what would you tell them?
It can be a lot of work, so you need to be committed. Try to give something back to your readers, whether it is advice or a laugh. As long as you know your audience, you will do great! And even though it's a cliche; have fun! It's a cliche for reason!