It takes hard work and heart work, to get closer to your dreams. Keep your dreams alive!
Content creators are akin to entrepreneurs, don’t you think? Most times they ride solo, try to identify their personal brand, study their audience, and find one that’s willing to give them their attention and build for them. That is very different from fashion for fun. To be able to engage a large cohort solely with unique content based on your interests and what excites you is an art! At the epicenter of this art of beauty, lifestyle, and fashion content is a Singapore-based blogger who was formerly a Sales Administrator in the Oil, Marine, and Gas industry. Having started her Youtube Channel in 2014, and her blog 2 years later, she has garnered over 16k followers on Instagram and over 9k subscribers on YouTube. Meet Shanthi Arumugam – the creator of theleiav.blogspot.com.
The hustle is real and exciting
“There are times when shoots or event coverages end way much later than anticipated, work conditions sometimes vary widely, and maintaining integrity amidst all is vital. The best part is networking with people in different circles aka interest groups. It is a constant learning experience understanding different cultures, valuable life experiences. It enriches me as a person and I’m greatly humbled by it”, says Shanthi.
Life is an Art, make it your Masterpiece and the time is NOW!
In a freewheeling conversation with Chennai Insider, Shanthi adds more tidbits about her life and blogging.
Chennai Insider: Give us a brief about how you started your journey as a blogger and Youtuber? Were you self-taught?
Shanthi: It was four months after welcoming my baby when I starting to feel as if my identity was lost. In an effort to return to the workforce, I decided to spruce up my fluency in the English language both written and spoken. At this point, writing and making videos were the first that appeared to me as solutions. I would film myself so that I could later get back at it and correct my spoken English and improve my body language. Resumes, unlike earlier times, require more personality now, hence blogging and vlogging! Yes, I am self-taught! It is a learning journey as I take baby steps along the way, I jot down notes, I borrowed books on Dummies for Blogging and YouTube, I still do watch tutorials, I have just signed up for a free course online to learn more about Tik Tok!
Chennai Insider: Where do you get your inspiration for the blog to keep it new and exciting? Also, why the name ‘The Leiav’?
Shanthi: I settled for the name TheLeiaV for my Blog as an extension of my little girl, it’s like my other baby and they’re about a year apart. These two hold a special place in my heart.
I am hugely inspired by women entrepreneurs turned authors, philanthropists like Gala Darling, Sophia Amoruso, Marie Forleo, Michelle Obama, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra and so many more.
Feedback from the online community also serves to be an amazing source of inspiration.
Chennai Insider: People often look at fashion bloggers and think their life is as neat and Pinterest-worthy as their content. Reality check: Life behind Insta-glam image?
Shanthi: Hardly so, perhaps 3 or 4 days out of the week may look the part. The one picture that does make it onto the gram or Blog is probably one out of 50 odd pictures clicked. True story, lol!
Chennai Insider: How important is being in a position of being an influencer like yourself? What is the impact that you’d like to have on people?
Shanthi: It holds tremendous importance to me as I strive to build long term relationships with the online community who are constantly engaged in some sort of communication with me. They place their trust in me when it comes to lifestyle, product, or service recommendation. It is important that I convey what I love and enjoy to create similar experiences for ‘my people’.
I would say, I am aiming towards improvement! It takes hard work and heart work while inching closer to what your heart desires. Not being afraid to dream big and taking the plunge makes all the difference.
Chennai Insider: Would you say your road has been challenging so far?
Shanthi: Yes, challenging for sure! Being in Singapore, it has and still is a challenge for opportunities. I have to double up my efforts being a minority where I come from. I have to keep an open eye on how I could increase my visibility in the blogosphere and influencer platform.
Chennai Insider: Some of your favorite fashion trends now?
Shanthi: Ruffled and tiered maxi skirts are hot now especially for the warmer weather, a good switch to shorts. It adds volume and a hint of skin when paired with open-toe sandals. A graphic tee tucked into a maxi ruffled skirt, I’m in! I also love the 60’s loud prints making a comeback in a variety of lengths, a fashion statement on its own, and fuss-free! Pair it with a scarf and head straight to gypsy town!
Chennai Insider: Describe your typical workday. Your schedule from morning to night?
4am – Wake up Call
5am – Wake kid up, ready for school
7am – 12pm – Head for Breakfast, grocery shopping, content planning, editing, filming equipment charging, pre-production run through, first draft, edit/render session, designing infographics for the Blog or Socials, cooking, cleaning, Showers, Ad-hoc chores
12pm – 2pm Lunch and Rest
2pm – 6pm Have tea, spend time with the kid, home-based learning
7pm – 8pm Dinner
8pm to 11pm – Prep kid for bed, edit sessions, blog post drafts, edit pictures, planned mock-ups, and the rest.
Chennai Insider: How has the isolation experience shifted your perspective on things? Have your routines changed and how are you keeping yourself occupied?
Shanthi: I could survive weeks without my favorite drink from StarBucks, I really can and have come to terms that it is the experience and ambience that I enjoy more of. I love being around people and I am embracing being around myself more now. A little tough at first, it’s getting better now.
Yes, the routines have changed. I used to think that I ‘have to’ rush to finish all the chores before a certain time (I set for myself) and now I can have my family chip in too and still get the work done (we have all the time now).
Time still flies yet I now understand I can be a better pilot.
Chennai Insider: Paired with everything you’ve learned so far and manifested professionally — What do you envision for the future?
Shanthi: I’d like to be a founder of a food donation project that enables food supply to an already known establishment that houses young children in Chennai. Someday! Continuing on enhancing new breakthroughs in curriculum delivery to children in their early formative years.
Chennai Insider: What would be your advice to someone who wants to be a successful fashion and lifestyle blogger like yourself?
Shanthi: Keep the dream alive! Clarity comes from engagement. If blogging is what you want to do, then soak up all the books you can get on this topic!
Wake an hour earlier, watch tutorials, read online articles, make a to-do list, and start ticking them off slowly. Keep an open mind to changes that may come your way and Start today! Life is an Art, make it your Masterpiece and the time is NOW!
Lastly, we’re in this together and remember to wash your Hands, Be Responsible, Stay Safe!
Know a great story or want to tell us your own? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you. For more updates follow Chennai Insider on Facebook and Instagram.