Sandi Zaljevic

  • Week Thirty!

    I started work at 16 years of age as a hairdresser, doing my apprenticeship at a cute little salon in Wagga Wagga where I lived. From there I opened my own salon, and I was approached by Wella in my mid 20s to become an educator, so I moved to the ACT, and then on to Sydney. I progressed along with them for about five years including doing some fashion work. It was exhausting – the travelling and the late nights – so I took a six month break and my partner and I decided to move to Melbourne. Luckily I had been approached by Schwarzkopf so I had a job to come to as an educator, and managing major accounts and looking after Mercedes Fashion Week which was so much fun. From there I worked with my husband, helping to launch Revlon Colour in Australia as their National Manager which meant lots of travel to Europe which was exciting and fun. Then life changed when I fell pregnant with my first daughter, Bella, and I left the hairdressing industry.

    Bella is now nearly six, and Giselle is three. When Bella was about 15 months old I worked part time in a retail store just to get out of the house for a while. We don’t really have family support here so Bella went to day care which she really loved or spent time with her Dad on weekends if I was working. I did that until I fell pregnant with Giselle, and when she was about six months old I had seen a blogger, and thought I could create a blog about children’s clothes -because I could never really find clothes for the girls that I liked. Whenever I took Bella out all my friends would tell me how cool she looked and ask where I got her clothes from, and being in Geelong there wasn’t much around. So I started Kids Fashion Blogger about three years ago. I sourced all the girl’s clothes online, and that was my aim – to show other mums where they could find great clothes for kids. I also wanted to share my style. It all started as a bit of fun really! It wasn't about the girls initially, it was about style and fashion.

    I started in March 2012 on Facebook, and then in July a friend of mine told me about Instagram. I didn’t know anything about it so he helped me set it all up, and explained about how to use the hashtags and the right words to use, and all of a sudden I had people emailing me wanting to send me clothes to dress the girls in. Instagram is the biggest advertising tool there is at the moment. It is huge! All of a sudden I started to gain all these followers, and I used to watch them and there were all these little labels out there and I realised there was a whole world that I didn’t know about. It was very cool. When I started to receive lots of emails from companies wanting to send me their threads to dress the girls in, I started to photograph the clothing I was sent, that I liked of course. And the more I put the girls in fashion labels, the more followers and likes I would get. A flat lay or an in store photo wouldn’t get nearly the same reaction. People obviously like to see clothes on people.

    So now Kids Fashion Blogger is a business. I am so lucky! Life did get very busy though. I found that every night after the girls went to sleep I would spend at least two hours responding to all my emails, and I can never say no to people so the workload kept creeping up. So much work goes in to what I do, and a lot of time and energy. I had started charging for some of my work because I realised that bloggers do charge and it’s probably one of the most popular ways for companies to advertise now. The Co Collective approached me a few months ago, and they now represent me and they handle the sales side of the business. I forward all the incoming emails to them, letting them know what I am interested in, what I love, and what may not work for us. They negotiate all the rates, and if we decide we would like to work with some of the larger companies, they approach them and hopefully work on collaborating. They are also really helping me to grow by involving me in so many experiences, like attending events, hosting events and doing photo shoots. They have a lot of great connections, and they have made a big difference to the business. 

    Kids Fashion Blogger is our future now. There are of course challenges trying to run a business and raise two young girls.  Time is the biggest challenge. I find that I am often time poor – there’s not enough hours in the day but you just make it work. Sometimes things get left behind like the housework, but we just juggle and work to well-planned calendar, prioritising things and trying to keep a healthy balance. It did get a lot easier when Bella went to school, and Giselle loves going to day care two days a week. So those two days that I have to myself are when I get a lot of things done. Life is so much busier, with so many opportunities.

    I think if you are following your heart, nothing stands in your way. If you have an idea, and it’s something that you love and that you really want to do, you’ve just got to believe in it and give it a go. It’s important not to listen to too many outside influences because in the beginning I found a lot of people came up with reasons why my idea wouldn’t work or why I wouldn’t be able to do it. I had no idea where it was going to go, but I love what it has become.

    Kids Fashion Blogger is the online destination for on trend girls’ fashion. It is a creatively curated blog complemented by social media channels that offer a beautiful, fun and sometimes quirky interpretation of current day children’s fashion, from everyday labels to aspirational luxury brands. 


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