For the past few years, blogging has become increasingly popular. More people can easily create online platforms to showcase their writing, photography and videos, which can eventually turn into a full-time job.
That is what is happening to Jana Carrero, a University of Miami alumna who majored in motion pictures. Carrero took her knowledge of filming and editing into the blogging world to create a popular Miami fashion blog, OJ and Cigs.
THE MIAMI HURRICANE: When did you start your blog?
JANA CARRERO: November 2011. Right after I moved back to Miami from studying fashion styling at FIT [Fashion Institute of Technology] in New York City.
TMH: How did you get the name?
JC: The name is a funny story. I was in my apartment with my boyfriend peeling oranges and the apartment was fragrant, it smelled amazing, but then I left and when we came back it smelled like cigarettes. My neighbor was smoking in their apartment, so it traveled through the vents. As soon as I walked into my apartment I said, “It smells like orange juice and cigarettes,” and that was that. Some say it sounds like people’s morning routine. When they wake up you can read my blog and have orange juice and a cigarette.
TMH: When you started it, were you nervous or excited? What inspired you to start the blog?
JC: I was excited. I just wanted a platform to kind of store all of my creative stuff. At first it wasn’t specifically fashion. My first posts on the blog were awesome Polaroid pictures and cool things with expired film. Slowly but surely, it started evolving and streamlined into fashion. I wanted to do more editorial and showcase why I was wearing something and what I was digging at the moment.
TMH: Since you streamlined the blog to fashion, did it open any doors for you?
JC: It was very organic and came about with time. The blog created all these opportunities and collaborations with brands and other local creative people. I would start collaborating with photographers, and thanks to social media, I get the opportunity to work with bigger brands like Adidas and Sunglass Hut.
TMH: Do you think there is that blogger community in Miami?
JC: Yes, for sure. A lot of the girls that started blogging when I did, around 2011, we all know each other; it’s like a sisterhood. And now since Miami has been growing and evolving, the community has gotten bigger.
TMH: What are some of your few things to go to for clothes?
JC: One of my favorites is Cos. They just opened up a store in the Design District and it’s really awesome; it’s cool, clean pieces that you could wear all year round and mix and integrate with the rest of your wardrobe. There’s a cool shop in Miami, they have a booth at the Miami Flea, and it’s called Almost Always Vintage.
TMH: How did your major play into your blog?
JC: My major was Motion Pictures, so it helps me keep the blog with my certain point of view. What I learned at UM helped sharpen my skills through classes like film theory and editing, and that has played a key role in my aesthetic. I feel like it has helped me with also with storytelling.
TMH: How do you plan to take your blog into the next few years? Do you have other things planned?
JC: I want to dive more into video and doing fashion films. I think video is the future, so if you can incorporate more stuff and combine photos with videos for your storytelling is cool.
TMH: Would you want to take this full-time?
JC: That would be the ultimate dream, to turn my blog into full-time and work with brand partnerships. But I also like to make sure I have other things going on, too. I work at a social marketing agency, so it’s cool because it’s my “day job” that goes hand-in-hand with everything I do with my blog.
TMH: What advice would you give to aspiring bloggers?
JC: Be authentic. Have a clear point of view. I feel like you need to do it because you love it, not to compete with somebody else. Don’t pay attention to other people. Don’t start changing who you are.
This Q&A has been edited for clarity and brevity. Check out Jana’s blog at www.ojandcigs.com.