Kat Williams is the creator behind UK-based wedding blog, Rock n Roll Bride. It’s by far one of the best wedding blogs on the planet! She’s even won an award from Cosmopolitan Magazine for ‘Best Wedding Blog’ that can back my claim. I’ve been checking out the site (and so have lots of my friends getting married) dreaming of the ultimate wedding day for well over a year now. I first came across it via two of my favourite bloggers – Gala Darling and Shauna Haider.
Kat has such an amazing knack for curating the most awe-inspiring, off-beat, personalised, beautiful weddings on her site. Even if you’re not getting married it’s a beautiful place to spend time with so many gorgeous images and positive ideas for life in general! Inspiring posts to check out: The Art of Self-Confidence; 8 Skills You Need When Running Your Own Business; Creating a Foolproof System for Just About Everything; Dealing with Stress; and Running a Business with a Full Time Job.
The bright haired lady is also a smart business woman as the editor-in-chief of her own print magazine and contributes to various publications, including Photo Professional Magazine, Vintage Life Magazine, Unique Bride and Perfect Wedding. Kat is “obsessed with her cats, photography and her permanently cotton candy-coloured bonce is always accessorized with ridiculous head wear” and believes in “sparkle, silliness and the excitement of a new day”.
Here’s our chat…
Have you always wanted to work for yourself? When did you first realise this was a real possibility for you?
KAT WILLIAMS: Hi Bianca! No actually, it wasn’t really anything I ever considered I could do before I started the blog. I didn’t start my site to be a business, I initially just started blogging because I loved to write and I loved weddings! I guess the first instance that I thought the blog could become something bigger was when I was still working full time as a TV producer and I was called into one of my manager’s offices. I thought I was in trouble or something! He told me he’d seen my site and that he thought it was an amazing idea and that I should be making more of it. Working in television he had a few media connections so he set up a few meetings for me. Although nothing really came of any of them at the time, just that belief from someone who was completely outside of the blogging/wedding world (and not related to me!), I guess, gave me a bit more confidence in the brand and my ideas.
I was blogging for about 2-3 years before I made a penny though. It was definitely a project of passion and obsession more than a career for a long time!
It’s not the easiest thing to create a cohesive, solid, instantly recognisable brand such as yours. How did you go about creating the Rock n Roll Bride brand? I know Shauna Haider (Nubby Twiglet) had a big hand in the re-branding. What are the things that are important to you in relation to the RnRB brand?
KW: Yeah, seriously, Shauna (Nubby) is one of the best things that ever happened to Rock n Roll Bride (aww!) I guess the key to an authentic and cohesive brand is just to be honest and genuine with your inspirations. My branding is VERY me so it’s actually really easy to be consistent with it – because the things I share and am inspired by are genuinely the things I love. If you try to be something you’re not or you try to emulate other people it’s just never going to work. Being yourself is much easier!
The other thing that was important to me when it came to branding was to get a graphic designer that wasn’t in the wedding industry and that hadn’t worked on a load of other wedding industry professional’s branding before me. I wanted my blog and my branding to be distinctive and to stand out from the sea of other wedding blogs that seem to pop up almost daily! There are a lot of ‘trends’ or similar styles flying around the wedding industry and if I’m honest so many wedding websites I look at either lack direction completely or they’re so similar to other people’s sites. So having a graphic designer that was completely removed from all that made it a lot easier to come up with a unique concept. I loved Shauna’s style and I knew she could take my branding in a really fresh, modern and different direction.
I know Rock n Roll Bride gets a lot of submissions from folks that want their wedding featured; in addition to amazing photography what are the things you look for that makes a submission stand out?
KW: I really just want new ideas to show my readers. I do still love the odd vintage wedding but we’ve seen the same trend and ideas over and over and over again. I don’t want to be following other blogs or magazines and what they’re featuring, I want to be showing the next big thing!
I also love DIY weddings where the couple have genuinely (there’s that word again!) put their own unique stamp on their day.
When asked about the challenges of blogging in a previous interview you commented “The industry can sometimes get a little bitchy.” What are some ways you deal with this kind of thing?
KW: You’ve just got to (try to) ignore it and to get on with your own thing. I also had a really close group of friends that I can hash things out with (in private – you HAVE to keep any of this negative stuff off your social media!) if I need to. It can be hard to ignore, especially if someone’s being directly nasty about you (or too you) but honestly it’s the only way to not go mad with it.
I also don’t actively follow anyone who I feel is a negative influence. I don’t follow them on twitter or read their websites. Why would I? I want to be surrounded by positive influences not negative ones!
You’ve won many awards for your work; which one has meant the most to you? What was its significance to you?
KW: I won the Best Wedding Blog award from Cosmopolitan Magazine last year. It was the first and only time they’ve had a wedding blog category but because my readers voted for me in their droves they added it! It really meant a lot to me that it was my readers who had made the effort to vote for me, but also that the team at Cosmo had read and liked my blog. In fact Cosmo have been a huge supporter of me and my blog since then which is pretty amazing! They’re even running a feature on me in their February issue (out in January!) in the UK edition of the magazine. I’m SO EXCITED to see it.
At Rock n Roll Bride you wear many hats and no doubt have learned lots of different skills as your business has grown; do you still have skills you’d like to develop further? What are they?
KW: The Blogcademy, which I’m running with Gala & Shauna, is going to be a huge part of my life in 2013 and beyond and I always want to improve my confidence with public speaking. I don’t think I’m a natural public speaker but I am getting better at it! Having the other girls there next to me helps a lot too. We egg each other on!
You were recently in NYC for the very first Blogcademy! What were some of your favourite moments from it?
KW: Gosh the whole thing was amazing! We had SUCH a great group of girls who attended the event so I think they were certainly a highlight. Without them it wouldn’t have been such a success I don’t think. Also, just the fact that I’m doing it with Gala & Shauna makes the whole friggin’ thing awesome. It’s really a dream come true to be working on something so exciting with your best friends. AWWW. Travelling the world and talking about blogging while wearing various forms of sparkly EARS!? What could be more fun than that?!
What are your dreams ahead for 2013?
KW: 2013 is all about The Blogcademy! We’re taking that baby around the world and I literally can’t wait! I’m going to be travelling A LOT and we’ve got some seriously exciting destinations planned!
I’ve been incredibly blessed to have this job and to live the life that I do because of it. I basically just want to keep having fun, to always keep learning and to keep progressing the blog and the brand. I can’t wait see where this magical roller-coaster takes me next!
Oh happy days!
*Photo credits: 1 + 2 + 3 – Made U Look Photography / 4 + Joanna Brown