Girl Bosses of Great Britain: An Interview with Liv Purvis

One of the UK’s leading fashion and lifestyle bloggers, Liv Purvis of What Olivia Did continues to inspire new and established bloggers to create, work hard and love themselves. Having recently launched The Insecure Girls’ Club, Liv, amid wild support from her group of friends who also happen to be blogging extraordinaries, she promotes self-love and self-care by offering ‘a space for women to embrace vulnerabilities and empower themselves through wearing their insecurities on their sleeves’. We caught up with Liv to find out what life is like behind the Insta-story of one of the nation’s most-loved Girl Bosses.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I think like everyone, I had phases of going through everything from ice skater (perhaps one too many Disney films to blame) to vet (obviously inspired by my first two goldfish). I did always have a huge interest in fashion though, so I think realistically I did know I wanted to go into something of that ilk- even if it wasn’t the designer status eight year old Liv had her heart set on.

How did you get in to blogging?

It was around the time I was studying in sixth form when I first got into it. I initially started my blog as a music blog (turned photography portfolio) after interning at the NME, and it was also a really accessible way of writing and sharing the things I really liked. A girl I also used to work with in Topshop also had a blog, and I thought she was super cool too- haha!

Did you ever think it would turn into a full-time career?

Never! It wasn’t even a viable option when I started it, so I’d never have imagined it becoming my full time gig.

Will you continue to do it when you’re older?

I’d like to think so. I want to continue to grow, learn and evolve and want to make sure I’m still adding strings to my bow- so although I might not always be doing things in exactly the same way, I’d love to be doing it for as long as I can.

What’s it like being your own boss?

Amazing and challenging. It’s hard to have to wear the business hat when you only feel capable of wearing the creative one, and there are so many things I’ve had to learn on the job- but I think it teaches you more than you can imagine, and although it’s a responsibility and you have to develop some serious self control- it’s a real privilege too.

How do you stay motivated when running your own show?

Some days are definitely easier than others, but writing lists, and planning for ideas always helps. I do think if I wake up with no real plan of how the day is going to look I find it far harder to get motivated- so getting up, getting ready like you would any other job always helps get me off to the best start. I also always make sure that I take on interesting work with interesting people and brands. For example, I’m currently working with the contact lens brand ACUVUE® on a global “Go See” campaign which brings together influencers from across the globe.

Are you ever afraid of the industry changing, particularly Instagram, and the changes prohibiting you from doing your job?

I think everyone worries about the pace things change with what we do, but I think the nature of my career means I’ve always had to be willing and able to adapt. When I started, Instagram wasn’t even a platform people used for ‘influencing’, so in a sense, it’s been changing for years. The skills in my career are primarily writing and photography, so I hope that even if things changed to a point where they were unrecognisable, I could still transfer them to other mediums.

What are the key work ethics needed to succeed in your industry?

I think determination and a fresh perspective. It’s a hugely saturated and competitive industry at the moment, and I think being able to offer something new (or at least something you feel confident in) is so important to be able to keep going when it feels a little intense.

Are there any bloggers/influencers in the industry that you really look up to?

So many- I think I’d be here all day if I had to name them all!

Have you kept some of your older posts on your site, even though your style has changed?

Yup! I don’t think I could ever bring myself to get rid of them. Although they’re so different to things now, it’s so nice to see how things have changed and how I’ve grown up. I love being able to read them back like old diary entries, and that’s what I treat them as really.

Do you think there’s space in the blogosphere for more ambitious individuals like yourself?

Of course! The thing that’s so wonderful about this side of the internet is that it’s a pretty level playing field, so anyone anywhere can give it a go if they want to.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

There have been so many- I’ve met some of my best friends through doing this- and have also travelled to places I’d never imagine I’d see, which are probably two huge highlights.

What is it that you enjoy about brand partnerships?

It’s fun being able to collaborate with brands that you really admire- and be able to work to a brief , and push yourself in new ways and work with new people.

Do you find it hard to switch off from ‘online life’?

Sometimes! I’m getting a lot better at it, but I think when it’s your job it’s a lot harder to know where to draw the line. My weekends and evenings are quite precious to me though, and I’m very happy to step away from working and documenting things and value other parts of my life as much.

What do you tell your elders when they ask what you do? Do they understand it?

I tell them exactly what I do haha! They’re very much in tune with the internet which is really cool, and I feel lucky I can share my career with them.

How would you like your followers to remember you? Is there any lasting advice that you’d offer them?

Oh god, I hope this isn’t as morbid as it sounds! Haha! I haven’t ever thought about that, but I think I’d like them to remember me as just being someone that could help them to spend their spare moments preciously, have a laugh and enjoy life to the fullest (cheesy but true).

Find out more about Liv, her style, travels and life over on whatoliviadid.com

Caoilfhionn Rose

Caoilfhionn is a freelance travel writer who enjoys slow travel and avoiding landmarks in favour of diving into a destination's culture. Instagram: @CaoilfhionnRose

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