It's Wednesday- so let's just into our next WCW feature!
Meet Zafi of Renaissance Zafi!
- How long have you had your blog?
It’s technically been two years. I launched it last year when I lived in Ohio. Although I went on a hiatus when I was looking for jobs. I decided to restart and switch platforms once I was settled in NYC this spring.
- Where do you draw your inspiration?
I draw inspiration from pretty much everywhere. First of all, I live in one of the most inspiring cities in the world- NYC. Everywhere I look is inspiring from the people to the images in the subways and on buildings. I also draw inspiration from other bloggers, the Instagram community, Pinterest, my friends, family and students.
- How did you come up with Renaissance Zafi?
I had always wanted to start a blog, and get involved in the fashion community. I also have always juggled many hats in my many interests- art, teaching, blogging, design, calligraphy, photo, fitness. My blog is mostly fashion, but as I continue the plan is to grow into a well rounded lifestyle blog of my many loves.
Also- Renaissance means rebirth. At the time when I created this blog I was making big changes in my life.. moving, new job, new friends, it was a re birth of a new point in my life.
Lastly, I absolutely love staring at some renaissance paintings... my favorite. How can you not love admiring master works of Michelangelo, Rafael, Donatello … I’m not talking about the ninja turtles.
- How did you get started?
I started by one day just taking the leap. I knew that If I wanted to start, I just needed to stop talking about it and just do it. Same thing with my re launch. If I kept letting time pass by.. I would never do it. I signed up, shot some photos and bam.
- How do you measure success?
I measure success in inspiring others and seeing what I have created, and reflecting on what I have accomplished on my own. Looking back- I got a job, I up and moved in two weeks and am living in NYC now, not knowing anyone. Now I love living in the city and have great friends, and documenting my life through this blog. I feel successful for that.
Do you have a 5 year plan? Is it necessary?
I think right now I don’t have a plan. I feel like any twenty something person has plans, but you never know what life has in store from you or what you will be doing even next week. I think its important to have goals, but having things planed with an exact itinerary is hard to keep. Plans change and everything happens for a reason.
- Is this your sole job? If not, what else do you do?
Eventually I would love for this to become more of a job but as of now, no. I am an art teacher! I have always wanted to inspire children to be creative! It’s a pretty great job. I also run my own photo business, and am an artist. I never like to be bored.
- How do you spread the word about your brand?
I have really been working hard to maintain consistency in posting on social media. Social media is today’s word of mouth. It’s a free advertising, and it’s also a great community of creative people.
- How important is social media?
I think social media is very important. Everyone today is on it, and if you want people to see your work .. you have to put it out there. I also think social media in itself is an art. Anyone can post a picture of their brunch... but you really have to think about your brand. Consistency in aesthetic, consistency posting all the time... consistency is key.
- Who do you feel like is your audience?
I feel like my audience is our generation- of fashion lovers, artists and designers. Also the dreamers, “if you can dream it you can do it” My good friend Walt said that... and it’s true.
- Who is your fashion icon?
This is a tough one: When I think of all time icons... immediately Audrey Hepburn,
I look up to many inspiring women in the fashion world: designers- Rebecca Minkoff, Rachel Antonoff, Mara Hoffman, Anna Wintour.
Lastly, the trendy, fierce celeb ladies that are always on point. – Kate Middleton, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Emma Watson, Lady Gaga.
Do you have a mentor/mentee?
I think the creative community online and artists and bloggers are my mentors. I am part of the community The Rising Tide Society and I think that has helped me this second time around as I continue to grow my brand.
- What is your greatest professional achievement?
Getting a teaching job and moving to the city.
- What does the average day in the life of Zafi look like?
During the school year, early wake up, a quick breakfast ( cereal or a smoothie), inspiring kiddos at school and making art, come home, work out, blogging or some sort of work, relax, then bed.
Now that it’s summer and no school- It still like to get up early. I don’t like to waste my day.
Early morning, still a light breakfast, workout ( I like to mix it up on the daily- pilates, trx, yoga, barre, aerial) , eat, work on something ( blogging, art, photo), sometimes a fun activity in the city, and sometimes an evening shoot for the blog, then dinner, relax then bed.
I like to keep a pretty good routine of working out, working on stuff and eating, but there’s so many fun things in the city that sometimes my adventures change on the daily!
- What would you say your personal brand is?
My personal brand I believe right now is not fully clear and is a work in progress. It is me as a creator of many things. ☺
- What is happening in pop culture right now that has your whole attention?
I think my love for theatre has returned. Theatre was my life in high school, literally was the only thing I talked about... I thought I was Idina Menzel. How could I not get back into theatre in the city of The Great White Way of Broadway. Other than moving to the city, thank you to Hamilton for bringing so much love to Broadway community. Hamilton is so addicting and just beautifully written... how can you not love it? I even went to a Hamilton Soul Cycle class... true love right there.
- Are you a member of any organizations? Trade organization? etc.
As I said before I am part of the Rising Tide Society, I am also apart of IFB – International Fashion Bloggers.
What would be your dream job?
I think my dream job is just to create every day. I think right now I’m working toward developing that brand and work of what exactly that is. It could be prints, fashion, design..
- What can’t you leave home without?
Chap stick, My sunglasses and either a cardigan or jacket. (I’m always cold) Even on the hottest days I need to be prepared for the air conditioned subways.
- What are your thoughts on fast fashion?
I think fast fashion is great. When I want to sport an outfit of a current trend, I can buy a cheap piece that will be a great addition to my outfit. Although, as I get older and grow up and look at my closet I am working on building a lasting collection. Items that will last a lifetime and are timeless in itself.
- Why do you do what you do?
I do what I do simply because I love it. It’s always been important for me to love what I do.
Photography credit: Rachel Hanon of www.rachelhanon.com