Story by Christina Amano Dolan
Photos by Michael Atilla
“I don’t limit myself to talking about one thing. If I want it to be my space, it has to be mine: multidimensional because I am not one type of person. That is my life.”
Looking for a lifestyle blog that has a bit of everything? From tips about skincare routine in the bitter winter air, coping with a stressful and hectic schedule, detoxing remedies, style lookbooks, recipes for crave-worthy but guiltless desserts, and travel guides to places as close as New York or as distant as Bosnia?
It may seem as if such a blog couldn’t be possible – I mean, how can you possibly fit so much of a life into a single link? How can you possibly fit so many answers for everyday, struggling girls about style, beauty, and wellness into a simple and easy-to-navigate blog? Well, Zumreta from Bloom with Zum proves it is more than possible.
Zumreta is a blogger that offers a bit of everything. She doesn’t simply limit herself to talking about fashion and what styles she has been recently sporting around town – she simply talks about whatever she wants to talk about, and what she thinks people will find worth reading. But in order to understand her incredibly diverse and charming blog, it is important to understand her incredibly diverse and charming life. How can so many personalities fit into a single blog? Well, for starters, Zumreta’s background isn’t so simple.
She was born a refugee and raised in Bosnia, immigrating to the U.S. when she was only three years old. Her family moved directly from their distant homeland to the West End of Richmond, immersed into an entirely different culture. Zumreta, despite being miles from her drastically different homeland, considers Richmond her other home, as she hasn’t left the city since moving 18 years ago.
“I’m definitely getting an itch these days to go and try to live in another place,” she laughed in an interview with me. “But I love Richmond.”
Growing up only 15 minutes from campus, of course she was bound to end up at VCU, right? “Well, when I was younger, my mind was always ‘NYU!’” she admitted. “It was probably something from TV that gave me the idea… But now, I can spend just a week in New York and be completely satisfied and ready to go home.” Like most Virginia residents, it’s practical to simply stay within the state boundaries. Her first choice, without a doubt, was her neighbor, VCU. “I love Richmond because it still is the city – but calm and less-hectic!”
Her major, too, is something you wouldn’t expect. “I majored in psychology with a minor in religious studies,” she explained. As she always keeps busy, she worked at St. Mary’s Hospital throughout college, offering her countless opportunities right out of graduation. She works in analytics now and is even leaning towards programming and coding! And let’s not forget her studying for her masters. Seems like she has a pretty hectic life, right? So how could she possibly keep her blog so up-to-date and jam-packed with an array of posts?
“I work from home so it offers some really nice flexibility… I can just work on the blog whenever I want without a boss looking over my shoulder.” But still – work, work, work it seems like. It may seem challenging to be able to take on so many chores, but Zumreta eagerly accepts her workload in stride. “I enjoy my blog… It’s kind of like my outlet and not just another job… it’s something I do just because I enjoy it.” From taking a glance at her blog, you would never guess she had such a demanding job in analytics, as it flourishes with intriguing, polished, and incredibly creative posts. “My job is very much numbers and graphs… my blog is something for me to be more creative and talk about things I like.”
It may seem as if her blog has been evolving for years, as Bloom with Zum’s webpage is perfectly assembled, skillfully designed, filled with an assortment of posts, and incredibly easy to navigate. But her website sprouted into the blogger world only 8 months ago!
Her idea to create a blog wasn’t anything new. She’s always felt inspired to share her life with a broader community, growing up as – what she calls – “a child of the internet.” “The idea of documenting your life was an idea that came about when we were young…from Tumblr to even MySpace back in the day.” Remember MySpace? Seems ancient, right? Even the most primitive form of sharing your identity with the world through the web dates back to when we were only toddlers or preteens. “We are all children of the internet.”
To Zumreta, creating a blog was simply another way of documenting her life – nothing too drastically new. Instead of shifting to a more narrow side of herself to reveal to the blogger community, she looks at her blog as if it is – to put it in a simpler way – another MySpace! “It’s a creative community. My blog isn’t ‘Oh, look at my style,’ but more of a ‘Let me just share my life with you guys.’”
Bloom with Zum isn’t your average fashion blog – it is Zumreta’s life. “Even if it’s something fashion related, it’s because I really need to let you guys know about it.” Her inspiration for her latest blog post is spontaneous in a way. If she wakes up with dry, cakey skin, she will craft a post dedicated to remedying it, with some life-saving moisturizer she discovered. If she is dying to find a new winter tea that makes her feel great, of course she will share it with the community. “I want to share things I learn and things I spend time researching…I’m always the friend that is like ‘guys, you need to try this’ whether it’s new eyeliner, new tea that makes me feel better, or anything else, really.” I mean, doesn’t everyone needs that kind of friend?
Zum has so much to share with the world, whether it is fashion inspiration, skin care routines, wellness tips for living a healthy lifestyle, or resolution advice. Her fashion, of course, closely mirrors her blog: it is a little bit of everything.
“I’m not someone that has a set style… I’ve always loved the idea of doing whatever I feel like that day.” Scrolling through her lookbooks, you’ll find a daring red velvet dress, a girly pink pleated skirt, a midnight leather outfit, or maybe just a casual outfit of jeans and a tee. She offers an assortment of styles that may suit anyone, and unlike your typical fashion blogger, her flawless, bold, and inspiring outfit ensembles are never quite planned. “I don’t like to complicate things too much… when I’m getting ready I don’t take too long.” She simply wakes up, rolls out of bed, and opens her closet. But what is her secret to marrying items in her closet into an eye-catching outfit in just minutes? Well, she has two:
“I always like to say: I’m neutral with a pop of gold… sometimes I’ll be in all black, sometimes in all nude, but there will always be a pop of something in my outfit.” There is nothing wrong with going simple – sometimes simplicity is key! But by easily adding a ruby red blazer, a bulky gold necklace, or even a daring lipstick, you can become a fashionista within minutes! (Especially on those extra lazy days).
Her second, broader rule encompasses her sense of fashion. “I always think of the third item… you got your shoes, your outfit, but what’s that third thing? A blazer? Earrings?” There is always something else to add to your outfit – never overlook it. Sometimes even a pair of earrings or a trendy shades can elevate a look and turn heads!
And that third item is key in these awkward months of limbo between seasons. Is it winter? Well, it must be, if it’s 25 degrees one morning. But how do we dress for that random, unexpected day of a 70-degree Sun? We can’t ignore how it is not quite winter anymore yet not quite spring yet – so how do we dress for these crazy months?
“All you can do to prepare for this weather is layer. Light jackets are key … still wear boots if you’re going to wear something short, tights…” Don’t be afraid to rock a mini skirt or a sundress, as long as you layer, layer, layer. We’ve all been dying for spring weather, so why not try slowly transitioning?
“I think the best part about spring is having color come back into the world.” No more gloomy skies and dark tones. With the blooming season of vivacious and vibrant colors, the streets of Richmond will be filled with chromatic colors and excitement – that is, when the Sun finally decides to comes out. “Maybe appropriate more colors into your style to make that slow transition back into spring.” Check out a few of her style lookbooks to see how she’s been adding drops of color back into her wardrobe!
Bloom with Zum is truly a blog of everything and anything. “I look at blogging as me creating my space on the internet… If I want it to be my space, it has to be mine: multidimensional because I am not one type of person. That is my life.” From taking a look at her life – from moving from Bosnia to Richmond, finding her home in the city, attending VCU, working in analytics, and striving for her masters – it’s no wonder her blog isn’t so one-noted when her life is far from simple.
But with Bloom with Zum, she finds joy in exploring her creative side, making it her own, and sharing with the world any thought she feels should be heard. With a multidimensional life, Bloom with Zum is truly a multidimensional blog.. Looking for that friend to give you a little tip on the latest thing to try? Well, Zum’s got you covered!