Editor’s note: This is the second of two profiles on fashion bloggers who will be part of this weekend’s Texas Style Council conference.
It is hard not to take notice of Julie O’Boyle. The fashion blogger has long locks that would make Rapunzel envious, but O’Boyle has more to offer than her looks.
“My husband has described me as ‘Liz Lemon Lite,’ a rather charming cocktail of extrovert, introvert, awkwardness and the propensity to eat messy food in public settings,” O’Boyle said.
After graduating from Montserrat College of Art with a degree in photography, O’Boyle started working in the school’s college admissions department, but she was not satisfied.
“I started Orchid Grey as a way to be more outgoing with my clothing choices and to connect with other people who had similar interests as myself,” O’Boyle said. “At the time, I was working as a college admissions counselor at my alma mater but was dreaming of a more creative, more fashion-oriented career. My blog helped me realize that I could take the leap and pursue what I am passionate about.”
Last October, O’Boyle landed a job with online retailer ModCloth.com, and moved to Philadelphia. She’s been taking the city over with her unique style, which she describes as ’60s- and ’70s-inspired with a hint of New England prep.
O’Boyle finds most of her clothes in thrift shops. She calls thrifting an addiction of hers because she loves the idea that she can purchase new styles without breaking the bank. At the moment, O’Boyle counts high-waisted skirts, ’70s-inspired maxi dresses and men’s button-up shirts as her favorite thrifted finds.
Fellow Texas Style Council panelist Tolly Moseley is inspired by O’Boyle’s fearless look and fun personality.
“Julie from Orchid Grey has always seemed like the type of girl I’d love to hang out with in real life,” Moseley said. “Her style is quirky — almost like a boho princess got together with the school librarian and they had a clothing swap.”
O’Boyle will be talking to Texas Style Council attendees about avoiding “blogger burnout,” as well as balancing your blog with busy schedules. She certainly has had her own struggles with these issues.
“It’s a constant struggle for me to find balance between family, work and blogging,” O’Boyle said. “I have to remind myself that in the end you have to learn to let go a little. The world won’t end if you miss a post.”
But blogging is not all bad for O’Boyle. She has met many of her closest friends through Orchid Grey. And it serves as a creative outlet that connects her to people she would not otherwise be able to have access to.
Texas Style Council event organizer Indiana Adams considers O’Boyle a friend after meeting her last year on vacation.
“Julie is the real deal. I’ve been disheartened to meet bloggers who are nothing like their online writing voice, but that’s not at all the case with Orchid Grey,” Adams said. “She’s every bit as stylish, beautiful, funny, creative and smart as she is online. Plus, she has the most envied head of hair her side of the Mississippi.”
O’Boyle will be crossing the Mississippi soon to get to Texas, and she has Austin on her mind.
“I can’t wait for Texas. Austin is one of my all time favorite cities,” O’Boyle said. “My husband is traveling with me, and we’re both looking forward to seeing our New England friends. I’m also looking forward to reconnecting with blogger friends that I rarely get to see in person.”
Printed on Thursday, March 8, 2012 as: Rapunzel-haired blogger livens up fashion