Meg Biram moved from Kansas City to Fairfax last March, but she didn’t have a plan. Her husband had accepted a job at the Department of Homeland Security, so she left her position as a senior marketing designer at Hallmark to accompany him.
“I job-hunted, but it was very halfhearted,” she said. “Then it dawned on me that perhaps I’d already found my calling.”
Biram had created a lifestyle blog called Mimi+Meg in 2007, named after her great-grandmother and her mother, both “Mimi.” It covers fashion, art, interior design, shopping and organizing. She was a magazine junkie and considered the blog her own style periodical.
She quickly made a name for herself in Kansas City, but the blog remained a side project while she worked at Hallmark. When she moved to the Washington area and began blogging full time, her page views increased by 80 percent.
“The term ‘blogger’ still feels strange to me,” she said. “Many people aren’t ready to consider it a job, but it requires a lot of time and creative energy. It can be lucrative when it’s done well.”
Biram, 28, is the quintessential style blogger: young, stylish and tuned in to trends that hit runways and design centers. She has a degree in magazine journalism from the University of Missouri and an eye for pretty pictures that will generate Web traffic: snapshots of a weekend in New York, how-to guides for paring down your wardrobe and giveaways of home decor and chic jewelry.
She’s also fiercely entrepreneurial. Well-versed in social media, she operates a side consulting business for people looking to improve their Web presence through Facebook, Twitter and blogs. She’s also an artist, and to sell her oil paintings, she runs an online art shop, which she promotes through her blog.
While she loves being her own boss, Biram said there is a lot of unknown in the blogosphere.
“We’re making the rules up as we go along,” she said. “Some days it feels like the 21st-century dream job, other days I’ll crave more direction. For now, I’m just running with it.”
Biram talked to us about the tricks to creating a successful lifestyle blog and her experience in the D.C. area so far. Here is an edited excerpt.
On moving to Washington: It’s not that Washington is without style bloggers, there just aren’t many of them. I like the fact that you can be a big fish in a small pond here. Unlike New York, the circles of creative types and artists [here] are small, which makes opportunities more within reach. Washington has a magic energy that makes me feel comfortable but also excited to begin this chapter of my life. In 2012, I’m going to get to know D.C., and D.C. is going to get to know me.
Favorite local blog: When I moved here, I instantly connected with Lara Ramos, who runs the Glossarie. She followed my blog back when I was in Kansas City, and we’ve since become really good friends.
Playing tour guide: My favorite thing about hosting out-of-town guests is bringing them to authentic restaurants, and Fairfax has a bunch. One of my favorites is a place called Courtside Thai. There’s also a great frozen custard place called Nielsen’s. And I swear every Indian restaurant we’ve been to here has been out of this world.
Shopping: I’m not a major thrifter, but I was blown away by Pretty People Vintage in Alexandria; it’s amazing. I also love WINK boutique in Georgetown. I could probably outfit my entire closet from there. I also love poking around the Hour Shop on King Street in Alexandria. It’s a whole boutique dedicated to outfitting a magnificent bar, with everything from funky cocktail napkins to vintage high balls. It’s a gold mine for gifts!
Trend watch: In fashion, I’m loving neon, tribal prints and color blocking for spring. For interiors, I’m really into brass accessories. Kelly Wearstler’s brass leg table sculptures are so timeless and unexpected. They’re a great way to add an element of surprise to a space. And on the walls, I’m loving dark, bold colors like deep grays, matte blacks and navy.
What’s next: I’m speaking at the Altitude Design Summit in Salt Lake City, a huge conference for lifestyle bloggers. I’m hosting a panel on up-and-coming blogs and can’t wait to talk about Art Hound, a site dedicated to showcasing and buying art. I’m obsessed with the presentation on her site because it looks like a gallery. It focuses on what’s important.
New Year’s resolution: In 2011, I made a list of 10 regular features to help set my blog on a schedule. In 2012, I want to expand on them. There’s a show on Bravo called “Work of Art” that I’m obsessed with. It’s a lot like “Project Runway,” only the contestants are judged on their art. So I’m going to host a monthly art competition on my blog called Gallery M, with sponsors and judges, the whole bit. And the beauty of it? No casting sessions. Because it’s on a blog, anyone can participate.
Top three de-cluttering tips: (1) Set aside an afternoon for big spaces like an office or closet and make three piles: keep, donate and sell. (2) Only buy things you really love. I believe that when we open our closets, we reach for the same few signature pieces. The things we don’t like just sit on the hangers taking up space. (3) Constantly edit. If you find something that you haven’t worn six months after a massive clean-out, toss it!
Advice to new bloggers: Ask yourself if it’s something you truly have time for. Then write a plan. Think about the subjects you want to cover, brainstorm ideas and compose an editorial calendar for when you plan to post. Find the purpose and point of view of your blog beforehand.
Living Well is a series introducing Washingtonians who live stylishly.