Baton Rouge style and beauty blogger January Hart Rizzo makes a name for herself by showcasing modern, southern style on her website januaryhart.com. She started her blog, named after herself, in 2014 and recently made it her full-time career. DIG caught up with Rizzo about the secret to a perfect blog post, the most prized piece in her wardrobe and her best style advice.
How did you get into the blogging world?
I’ve done quite a bit of blogging over the last five or so years, but [I] really got into my current style blog by way of Instagram. I found a great little (OK, not so little) circle of ladies who were passionate about fashion and would share their daily looks. Over the course of a year doing that, and with much encouragement from friends, I decided to begin a blog to share and hopefully help others find their own personal style.
What made you choose fashion and style as the content for your blog?
My background is in Apparel Design at LSU, so I’ve really just always had a passion and love for beautiful clothing. Even as a preteen, I loved constructing and sewing my own clothes and styling them my way.
What’s the secret to a perfect blog post?
Well, other than a well put together look, I think it’s about delivering content that is truly valuable to people. It’s tuning in and knowing what your readers would benefit most from, whether it be a great outfit or must-haves for a certain season, or showing them how to “get the look for less,” or just a head’s up on a great sale that’s happening. It’s always my goal to hopefully have readers leave my blog feeling like they got some tip or info that they can really use in some way when it comes to looking and feeling their best.
How did you make the transition from making your blog a part-time job to a full-time job?
Blogging full-time is really a fairly recent transition for me. I am a stay-at-home mother who used to spend a great deal of my days helping out at my children’s preschool. I have been able to make this more of a full-time gig now that my little ones have moved on to elementary school. Since going full-time I have really come to realize just how much work goes into blogging and the work involved to get readers to see it. It’s so much more than I expected, but it really does excite me each day to see how I can move it forward a little bit more than the day before.
How did your education at LSU influence your career?
Oh, I think my time at LSU has heavily influenced me! I still use a great deal of the information and techniques that I learned while in the Apparel Design program, and I certainly think it has helped to keep my love of fashion alive.
How would you describe your blog to someone who’s never seen it before?
The first thing that comes to mind is “colorful.” I feel my very best in vibrant, happy colors. As far as style goes, it changes a bit from season to season, but mostly I’d call my personal style classic, sometimes preppy, sometimes a little edgy, but whatever it is on any given day, it generally always has a little bit of a southern flair to it.
What is a typical day for you?
My days are a bit mixed, but I generally do a quick check through any emails/social media that are pertinent to my blog first thing in the morning so I have a handle on what I’ll have to tackle that afternoon. After sending my little ones off to school in the mornings, I head to either the gym or my personal trainer, grab a quick bite to eat and rush home to get my blog work going for the day. That could include taking some product photos, blog improvements/updates, scheduling content to social media and of course, working on that day’s blog post. By the afternoon, I’m getting dinner ready for our family (and sneaking in a blog-related social media post or two!) and getting everything ready for the following school day. Once my little ones are off to bed, I will come back to get a head start on working on the next day’s blog tasks. I tend to get my best work done late at night with a quiet house, so I’ve become a bit of a night owl over the years.
Do you plan to expand your blog with any new projects?
I have a couple of projects I’m researching and working on that I hope will come to fruition in the months ahead, but for now I’m keeping it a bit under wraps. My desire to design a small womens wear line is ALWAYS at the forefront of my mind when it comes to the future of the blog though.
What’s the most prized piece in your wardrobe?
I have always had a real love for vintage fashion, and while I rarely wear it, I have a handmade fur coat from the ‘40s (complete with a hand monogrammed label on the interior pocket) that I just can’t part with. I pull it out from time to time just to admire it.
Are there any fashion trends for summer you think will stick around?
As far as trends go, I definitely think colorful tassel details, off-the-shoulder tops/dresses and great cross body bags aren’t leaving us anytime soon!
Was there a woman in your family who inspired you when it comes to fashion?
My mom would spend hours upon hours on a Saturday at the shopping mall with me and my sister when we were growing up. I think she really enjoyed helping us put looks together….and if she didn’t love it, she certainly never let on! When I think back, those times with her were really the beginning of discovering my love for fashion.
What’s your best style advice?
Trends are fun to play with when it comes to style, but not every trend is for everybody. Pick and choose what works for your personality and body type and leave the rest behind is always my stance. Always wear what makes YOU feel most confident. And you can NEVER go wrong sticking to the classics!
Photos by Natalie S. Miller