by Melissa O’Shaughnessy
I have been a blogger for two years now and while I have loved it, somehow I found I got lost along the way and forgot why I started blogging in the first place.
I am keen to share my experience and points of view with you as its why Head over Killer Heels had to go back to what she really loves.
I love fashion and the art of style itself and that led me to a 2014 Fashion show in West Cork that showcased all the surrounding areas had to offer in terms of the local boutiques, the small business owners, the designers, the local jewellery makers and crafts people. I was blown away by what I experienced there. The talent there was simply unreal and I felt there and then I had to share it with those of a same like, so, I started to blog – and under the guise of Head over Killer Heels, did so furiously.
My page was growing at such a fast rate I thought that I must be doing something right but now I realise I had succumbed to ‘fast fashion’, thinking that’s what my 8,500+ followers wanted and needed to see. I ended up falling into the trap promoting the big large chain stores and promoting big brands when really neither needs me as they have their own marketing agents to do all of that.
In late 2016 I took a break from the blog as a few months prior a seed had been planted and so it began to grow into my new business idea. I began to revaluate what I was doing and what I really wanted to achieve.
I questioned deeper what I was wearing on my body and on my skin; exactly who makes it? where does it come from?, and ethically what did it take to get here?
My research – which is readily available – led me to find that the big chain stores don’t always carry the fair-trade mark nor holds a basic human rights background.
Beautiful tops made for 0.60c and sold for €60. Amazing jeans bought on the high street for €120, put together by someone who gets our equivalent of €5 a day and must reach a quota of perhaps 15 pairs in his/her average third world-like workday, in unacceptable working conditions.
I questioned myself; my principles as a mother and as a human being asking if I were was to stand in front of these workers – in some cases, children, just like my own beautiful sons – could I possibly look at those jeans the same way and would I feel they were worth it?
I also began to look at what I was putting on my body – my creams, magic under eye potions and hair products – with the same questions.
I have come to realise that these so called big name brands do not need me spouting on their behalf. They have their own marketing departments for that; departments which pump our markets with their misleading marketing ploys, tricking consumers into buying products laden with thousands of synthetic chemicals like parabens, synthetic colours and phthalates.
We half-know what goes into making our high-end creams and makeup products, but choosing not to think about it too much lest we see how it affects our health over time – a case of what you don’t know can’t hurt you – but anything we put on our skin seeps into the body and our body cannot always dispose of that so that’s why we should choose wisely, avoid all those nasty synthetic and industrial chemicals which increases our health risks.
And what about that overly expensive perfume we use?
Not many are aware of the scent loophole, which allows firms to mix whatever chemicals they like and list them under the “fragrance” banner and since fragrance is considered a trade secret, manufactures claim it’s confidential so, in essence they are not required to disclose what is in it.
You see, what we sometimes fail to realise is that we have this beautiful fruitful Island and all those talented people, craft makers, designers, small boutiques who source their clothing ethically and fairly.
We have so many amazing Irish skincare business, everything you need, every makeup product you can think of, hair products and tans right here on our doorstep. You name it. We have it and it’s all natural right here on our lovely little Island.
Understandably everybody loves a good bargain and the decision to buy does basically come down to just that, but we must balance our desire for fashion and style with the obligation to treat ourselves and our bodies with respect.
Let’s start by shopping local. Source the talent, the artists and the crafts of small business owners. Support the start-up companies in your area. Spend locally but spend wisely on those local businesses and watch you community thrive.
So what am I going to do, I am going to be your go to girl for what you need. Helping you to find what you need in your local area. HOKH will be your one stop directory/shop for the locally sourced, natural, Fairtrade, ethical clothing and beauty products. I will be working with a number of Irish owned business owners to bring to you all your Fashion/style and beauty needs.
I will update you all when the website is ready and of course I will be introducing you all to the wonderful people I will be working with.
Head Over Killer Heels