DERRY - What began as a fun, interactive way of keeping herself on fashion's right track has pretty much turned into a full-time job for Derry native Celina Colby.
The 2011 Pinkerton Academy graduate and soon-to-be junior at Emerson College is the young fashion maven behind Trends & Tolstoy (www.trendsandtolstoy.com), a blog geared toward style-conscious, college-aged women on the go.
Colby said that based on information provided by WordPress - the blogging tool and content management system that hosts Trends & Tolstoy (subtitle: "the personal style blog of a book lover") - her site currently receives between 16,000 and 20,000 hits each day.
But the blog's beginnings were somewhat more humble, she noted.
"Originally, it was just me and my computer," she said with a laugh. "I wanted to keep up with my outfits and make sure I wasn't wearing yoga pants to class every day."
Much to Colby's delight, the blog soon caught the attention of local followers, and by the time she began her freshman year at Emerson College in Boston, she had a couple friends helping out with photos. The rest, as they say, is history.
These days, Colby devotes much of her free time to blogging. And, as a publishing major with a dual minor in art history and women's studies, she has a lot more free time now that classes are out of session for the summer. In the past nine months, she said, Trends & Tolstoy gained followers in nearly 100 countries, earning her about $900 each month in revenue through WordAds, the WordPress program that enables bloggers to monetize their sites. "Now that it's summer, I'm shooting for more of a 9-to-5 schedule," said Colby, who aspires to a career in fashion editing, though she hasn't ruled out becoming a full-time blogger after graduation.
She said the majority of her readers are college-aged females, though she also hears from women in their 30s and 40s, as well as the occasional fashion-forward male.
"I do get a lot of emails from college-aged folks who are trying to appear more professional, more polished," Colby said. "Most of us college students are so tempted to throw on a sweatshirt in the morning, but we're also trying to break that habit as we move towards our career goals."