Devina Malhotra : Fashion blogger with a twist!
A self-confessed "blogger, baker and army brat", this "100% Punjabi woman" is the owner of one of the most popular fashion blogs in India, GuiltyBytes! Let's hear from her how she undertook this enterprise and journey so far:
1. Describe the "woman" Devina Malhotra.
Devina is a curvy Punjabi woman who loves to dress up and eat cake! Being an army kid I have travelled all across the country which has helped me to absorb and imbibe different cultures. I love to write, read celeb gossip, shop and take food photographs.
2. What encouraged you to start blogging? What do you enjoy the most about it?
I have been a writer for Tehelka, Hindustan Times and few other publications but I never really thought if I would own a blog someday. I loved reading international blogs and websites and then I always wondered why it is so that skinny, thin girls end up telling what a curvy/fat woman should wear and how should they style themselves when they really don’t understand that body type! Hence, formed guiltybytes. Initially I wasn't sure what was I going to write about, but then in Jan 2012 my best friend and my family gave me that much needed push and got me to express my style in a much original way. What I love most about blogging is getting feedback from my readers. Some of them have so many fashion related queries to ask while others have thanked me for letting them embrace their body the way it is.
3. GuiltyBytes is an immensely popular fashion blog. How has the journey been?
I was really surprised one day when one of the readers told me that guiltybyes ranks no.1 on google under ‘fashion bloggers in India’ category. I started this blog in Jan 2012 and it’s been a year and half now with this beautiful journey. I have tried to promote self-love via my fashion posts. I am an average Indian body type, tall at 5.7”, really curvy and I weigh 59 Kilos, and I exactly know how it feels when someone tells you that a bodycon dress is not made for you. With all my style/fashion posts I have tried to tell my readers that learn to honour your curves, the way you look and the way you want to be. I think there is a large segment of women who relate with me and maybe that’s why it’s been a success so far. Apart from fashion, I give honest reviews about beauty products, wedding ideas, from places to shop to boutique address, I have it all. I love to bale, so I have a dedicated food section wherein I and mum, we both create recipes and reviews restaurants. And then one of my favorite sections is Bollywood, wherein you will find celeb style, celeb gossip and much more.
4. What is your take on "fashion" and "style"?
Fashion to me is knowing your body right. If you think you have a wide torso and you want to wear a skin fit short dress, then go ahead and layer it up with a boyfriend’s jacket to add a silhouette in your body. Every woman, skinny, thin, fat, plus size should have lots of colours in her wardrobe and shouldn’t shy away in wearing what she wants just because someone else doesn't like it. I personally love to wear high as it pants and frills because I think it makes my body look really flattering. And lastly fashion is no more about labels, if you find an Aztec dress in a thrift shop, buy it, it doesn't matter as long as you have styled it right!
5. What are the highs and lows of blogging?
Blogging is an immensely rewarding platform that has endless highs. The best part is getting connected with a section of people who are like me. I have made so many friends through blogging and worked with some of the most amazing brands via guiltybytes. I have traveled because of it and am now earning through it, which for me is a great achievement. The only lows of blogging are that there are times when you have to struggle to get people to read what you write along with photographs. Photos is what everyone on web love browsing and sometimes they skip the text part which has an important message, but with time I have understood the image to text ratio and what works, what doesn’t, so it’s been a continuous learning for me.
6. What are your areas of interest, when it comes to blogging?
I love blogging about fashion trends and style for curvy women. Along with that I share reviews on latest beauty products, most of which I buy on my own and are not paid reviews. Then there is food section, largely dedicated to baking and creating guilt free recipes and then there is wedding section with wedding ideas, makeup tips. Last but not the least, celeb gossip and style section called as Bollywood, which has a lot people hooked on to my blog.
7. Where do you see Guilty Bytes a few years down the line?
I don’t want to convert it to an online magazine, though I have had people propose to me for the same. I want it to be one stop destination for anyone who is searching the web for latest trends/ reviews or just wants to have good entertainment online. I am already active on different social media channels and am currently working on an official YouTube channel that will have different DIY projects, featuring different designers, some of my blogger friends, real people and more. Along with that I want to do a mobile app for my blog readers so that they don’t miss a thing when they are on the go.
8. What does woman empowerment mean to you? I think everyone should be proud of who they are and not let anyone else control the way they think or the way they want to pursue their creative dreams. It’s important to do what you love and to be known for the same. In my writings I am empowering ‘self love’ which has inspired a lot of women across and helped them to lead a much happy life through guiltybytes.
9. How do you think blogging can help women entrepreneurs?
Blogging is the cheapest or I should say a free form of expressing yourself and showcasing your work in this digital world. Professionally I am a digital brand manager but it’s blogging that has helped me become more creative and has enabled me to connect with my target customers with real writing experience. If you run a small business or If you are a yoga teacher, start a blog today. It doesn’t cost anything and can help lot of people, globally. The power of blogging is endless, it will give you a much needed confidence that you need when your readers interact with you and yet the reach will not be limited to a city or to the state or to a country. Your writing can travel across and can make a difference.
10. Are you glad to be a woman? Why?
I feel blessed to be born as a woman especially because of all the fashion and makeup that I get to do ;). And yes, being an army man’s daughter I feel no less in front of a man because my father has always told me to live with an invisible tiara on my head and trust me I live been living all my fairy-tale dreams right now!