Story by Christina Amano Dolan
Photos By Trysten Evans
Stephanie is definitely not your average lifestyle blogger. SheSawStyle is a bit of everything. Her fashion and lifestyle blog is flourishing with multifarious RVA street styles, posts of body positivity through fashion expression, beauty advice of loving one’s own skin while rocking a few beauty essentials, gift ideas for the struggling holiday gift-buyers, and – most importantly – sharing her momentous life’s journey, inspiring the young and the struggling to keep moving forward in beautiful ways.
Stephanie strolls along the streets of Richmond, finding its charm in simple ways through its many addictive coffee shops, incredible abundance of boba tea and macarons, and quaint clothing stores to inspire her latest street style. She finds the joys in her simple yet extravagant life, and hopes that by exploring SheSawStyle, her many followers will find life’s effortless beauties just the same.
Born and raised in Richmond, and never living outside of the city longer than 6 months, Stephanie still finds new and exciting ways to fall in love with her life in such a charming city. “I think it’s hard to narrow down what I love most about my home,” she admits.
“I think the diversity is incredible, and the fact that there is so much art and life in Richmond makes my heart happy.” Evolving into her young adulthood, Stephanie learns to appreciate the city the way she never could when she was much younger. She loves showing off its endless adventures and stunning locations through SheSawStyle, more-than-measuring up to the glamorous New York City and its many fashion bloggers.
She even adores Virginia Commonwealth University, despite being accepted into the arts program for fashion merchandising but never attending (due to life’s many curve-balls). She wishes she had attended VCU, but can’t speak more highly of it, watching how much it has helped her friends accomplish in their lives. “I think no matter where I end up long term in life, RVA will always be my home. There’s nowhere else like it!”
Just like the unique and diverse city of Richmond, Stephanie has created a blog unlike most, considering herself different than your everyday fashion blogger. “I never want to look at my blog and regret how I’ve turned into a clone of anyone else.” But what exactly makes her blog so different?
For one, Stephanie never restricts herself to just one style. SheSawStyle is a blog of just about every style, whether it’s boho, girly, vintage, edgy – you name it! It is through her unpredictable and dynamic style that attracts the pool of diversity throughout the Richmond area. “You’ll never walk into my closet and just see one color palette or one particular fashion… it’s more fun that way!” In the summer days it’s delicate and flowy fabrics of a beachy bohemian, and in the winter days it’s trendy street style with bits of glam. To everyone’s convenience, she makes it simple to keep up with her ever changing style with LikeToKnow.It – offering quick links to each and every piece of her latest lookbook!
So what new style is she rocking this season? She’s been popping into H&M all season for incredibly affordable, cute, and comfy winter sweaters! She also loves to shop Versona, Chicwish, Charming Charlie, and Adore Me. More specifically, she’s been grabbing a bit of inspiration from @cheraleelyle on Instagram, a content creator in New York City who bundles up in the cold months with basic patterns, simple layers, and always a killer pop of red.
You’ll catch Stephanie channeling her “inner big city babe” in a similar daring, elegant, and simple red jumpsuit or a tweed trench coat, leaning a bit away from your average wintery, dark shades and glittered outfits of the holiday season. “It’s been fun to see whether I can create looks that would be acceptable in other cities outside of my own!” And of course, she definitely can – any style can be rocked in Richmond!
Another way her blog isn’t exactly like the rest? She loves to share her coffee craving and love of exploration of trendy cafes with her followers. She feeds her coffee addiction through the countless cafés throughout Richmond, especially in the chilly months – yet another reason to adore the city! She even has an active hashtag on Instagram, #StephWhiskedIt, to catch her indulging in Whisk’s coffee. She also strongly recommends checking out Lamplighter, Sefton Coffee Co., Lift, Stir Crazy, Sugar & Twine, and playing with cats while sipping lattes at Central Puurk. Take notes coffee-lovers of Richmond – especially during those draining finals weeks!
Another wonderfully unique aspect of SheSawStyle is Stephanie’s saving grace of gift guides, as many find it impossible to shop for that special someone. She knows this tremendous struggle, especially during the holiday season, and shared with me her essential beauty stocking-stuffers for the holidays! “I would immediately recommend Tarte Shape Tape concealer, Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara, Fenty Beauty Killawatt Freestyle highlighter, Too Faced Hangover Rx 3-in-1 primer/setting spray, and practically any ColourPop lip or eye product.”
And don’t worry – she promises the prices aren’t outrageous. She’ll be coming up with a new gift guide for the season, so if you’re really tearing your hair out, check out SheSawStyle for more advice! After all, Stephanie loves to make everything convenient and fun for her followers.
The most inspiring and distinctive feature of SheSawStyle, however, is Stephanie’s enveloping goal for others – especially women – to realize their self worth, as in many cases, it is a trying task and a lifelong journey. She shares her incredible story of the battles she has fought throughout her young life, struggling to find the optimism and vigor for life she now proudly expresses.
She has struggled with depression, anxiety, an eating disorder, emotional and sexual abuse, body dysmorphia, and is now currently battling a severe digestive disease. “Life hasn’t always been the kindest to me, and I still have to fight on a daily basis to acknowledge my immense worth.” Stephanie knows she is not alone in many of her uphill and straining endeavors, and that during her darkest times, on the verge of giving up, she had to pull herself back and hopes to encourage the same in her followers.
She shared with me her advice for conquering life’s many bumps in the road that far-too-many young girls face. “It’s cliche, exhausting to hear, and sometimes impossible to believe – but it does get better.” No matter how frequently thrown around, it is a phrase that is unfortunately overlooked, as it is a revelation Stephanie came upon as life slowly but surely evolved to become much more promising and worthwhile. “Don’t give up on yourself. You might think there’s nothing worth being around for, but what you might not realize is that you have thrilling, wonderful experiences that are just around the corner.” Life may not ever be perfect, but it is worth the imperfections as it promises adventure, excitement, and glamour even in expression through fashion, a love of coffee exploration, or venturing through a funny little city like Richmond.
And, of course, her final advice is one each and everyone must accept proudly: “You are the only you. That means that you are imperfectly perfect, whether that’s because you have stretch marks, your nose is extra long, you’re small-chested, you need glasses, or your shape is different than your friends. I could sit here and nit-pick at all my little ‘flaws’ but in the end, they’re what make me me, and that’s beautiful.”
“You are never alone, and there is always someone to talk to, even if that means going to what may feel like an extreme – like calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) or the NEDA (National Eating Disorders Association) Helpline (1-800-931-2237) to receive help.” And, of course, Stephanie welcomes anyone who seeks help or simply a friend through her email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
SheSawStyle has helped Stephanie to keep persevering and not simply moving forward but savoring the view along the way, finding the joy in life’s unexpected twists and turns rather than dreading them. She sees her life as a poem: “I have loved writing poems since I was quite young, and sometimes they would be romantic and whimsical, and other times dark and mournful. I feel as though life is exactly the same… I love the chaos and beauty of it all.”
Everyday is inspiration for both her and her followers, as with every post of her personal journey, she is embraced by dozens of generous DMs, text messages, emails, and comments of others who, too, find it hard not to feel alone. “We become like a team, each encouraging each other to keep pushing through.” Through SheSawStyle, a community of both fashion-lovers and lost souls thrive, leaning on each other in a beautiful and inventive way. Follow SheSawStyle to watch as she finds ways to adore both life and herself through her evolving fashion, beauty, and inspirational lifestyle tips – as Stephanie truly is not your average lifestyle blogger.
Story by Christina Amano Dolan