The wonderful Gemma Cartwright, creator of Big Girls Browse and editor of The Nod, will be joining us in July as one of our Sway Debaters.
We asked her to tell us a bit more about her new projects, how she got into online publishing, and what she wants to achieve.
What other websites/blogs/magazines do you write for?
How did you get into online publishing?
I studied fashion and lifestyle journalism at Uni while running a fashion blog, Catwalk Queen, in my spare time. After graduating I met the Shiny Media founders, who were looking for a fashion writer with blogging experience. Back then there weren’t many of us, so it was a real ‘right place, right time’ situation! I joined them to launch their fashion network, which included a relaunched version of Catwalk Queen, and ended up staying for five years.
What’s the best bit about what you do?
I get to spend all day messing about on the internet, and it doesn’t get much better than that! I’ve also met loads of wonderful people and been given some amazing opportunities to travel and to go to events I’d never normally have access too.
What’s the worst bit about what you do?
There are never enough hours in the day and as a result a lot of emails go unanswered.
How did you get involved with The Nod?
After five years at Shiny I was looking for a new challenge in a slightly different area, and saw an intriguing advert on Gorkana for the role of Editor of a new celebrity-based website. I love the atmosphere of web start-ups, so this really appealed. I sneaked in a last minute application, met the CEO David for two interviews, and the rest is history!
How did you get people on board? Are your writers/contributors paid?
We’re a very small team, and I was the last to come on board so I haven’t had much to do with recruiting yet. I do employ temps from time to time, and commission freelancers to help write profiles and so on. All of them are paid. We also have amazing interns, who tend to do a couple of days a week in return for free cupcakes and my undying gratitude!
Tell us a bit more about Big Girls Browse.
Big Girls Browse is a pet project of mine, and a real labour of love. I’ve always been unashamedly interested in mainstream fashion, and I did some research on the average British woman. It turns out, her measurements are almost identical to mine. It struck me that I’m pretty much the ‘everywoman’ yet I have constant trouble finding clothes that don’t gape in one place and pull in another. BGB is a blog that targets those women who have trouble getting clothes that fit and flatter. The ‘Big Girl’ tag doesn’t really indicate plus size, it was just an obvious pun on the idea of curvy / voluptuous women that I couldn’t resist! I am doing a lot of plus sized content, but I also want to provide useful information for women with big boobs, big hip-to-waist ratios, big feet, long legs, wide torsos and so on.
What else do you enjoy doing?
I’m a bit of a craft geek – I like to knit and sew and I’m also beginning to cook and bake a bit more. I love to travel (researching celebrity holiday destinations for The Nod has definitely given me the bug!) and I’m obsessed with home decorating, even though I’m ridiculously messy and have atrocious taste! Also, I love music, though the only way I really show that now is by playing way too much Guitar Hero.
What do you most want to achieve?
I’d like to prove I’m not a one-hit wonder and create another site as successful as Catwalk Queen! I’d also like to be able to go freelance again somewhere down the line, and write and edit from home. Finally, I’d like to finish the chick lit novel I’m writing and maybe one day see it on the £3.98 shelf at Asda when I go home to visit my mom.