Fashion blogger Debbie Ruiz embraces the grind

Photography by Reagan Allen

I do not live in a big enough city. I am still in school. I cannot afford fancy equipment. I don’t have time. These are all excuses many people, including myself, use when considering why we are not following our dreams right now.

Fashion blogger and recent college graduate, Debbie Ruiz decided otherwise. She chose not to let fear stop her from going after her goals.

“If you really love doing it, you’re going to get out of your shell. You’re going to do it,” Ruiz says.

This is something I personally struggle with, and something I have seen others deal with as well. It is easy to get caught up in what other people are doing, and start comparing yourself. Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Born in Canada and raised in Indianapolis, Ruiz is currently enduring an internship at the Indianapolis Finish Line Headquarters in the photo studio. She previously worked for a modeling agency, but has since chosen to take on blogging. To date, she has earned nearly 7,000 followers on Instagram.

Although she did not always have her mind made up, she knew she wanted to be in the fashion industry by the end of her senior year of high school. In this industry, there are no steps to follow that lead directly to a successful career. Frustrating, I know. Upon graduating high school, Ruiz went to Ivy Tech while she created a plan of the direction she wanted to pursue. Once Purdue University’s Fashion Design program caught her eye, she enrolled. As the program was quite difficult, she explains her favorite part was watching her work come to life.

“Making it as creative as you want and having the freedom to do what you want,” she says, “they taught us design, the business and the consumer.” Ruiz appreciates that she was able to experience multiple sides of fashion.

Transitioning from modeling to blogging made sense for Ruiz. “I already knew the industry,” she says, “the background knowledge really helped.” Both share similarities in terms of increasing your following in order to attract business and partnerships.

It’s easy to get comfortable where you are, not knowing how to move upward. Don’t be afraid to take that leap of faith. For me, that was the hardest part.

During Fall 2017, Ruiz completely revamped her blog. Here is a run-down of how a typical blog post works for her:

1. Companies send products
2. Schedule and shoot with the products
3. Edit and upload the photos
4. Write blog post.

Ruiz enjoys the freedom and creativity involved in showcasing the brand through the writing process most. However, it can be difficult managing a full-time internship along with blogging. “Sometimes I like to post during my break because the peak hour is noon for Instagram,” she explains, “It’s been kind of hard because I’m exhausted, but I’m really trying to work with it.”

Ruiz enjoys the freedom and creativity involved in showcasing the brand through the writing process most. However, it can be difficult managing a full-time internship along with blogging.

It’s common to hear about big time bloggers in larger cities, but Ruiz says being in Indianapolis has been a positive experience. She says it’s helpful there are so many other girls here starting to blog. Networking and connecting with other women doing the same thing makes it very doable. “You can find a lot of spots to shoot at without a crowd of people because it’s not busy [in Indy].”

A little shy and introverted, Ruiz admits it is not always easy for her to connect with people. But her love of fashion pushes her to get over the nerves. Her knowledge of the subject gives her the confidence to put herself out there. “You see other blogger’s locations and slide into their DMs,” she explains, “I like reaching out to bloggers to become friends and learn more. You learn more about blogging, how to edit pictures, different locations.” It may be tough in the beginning but with practice and the help of the internet, it pays off in the long run.

It is important to know, you have to start somewhere. Once you have acknowledged what is holding you back, push yourself to overcome it. I would say I am in that process now. It definitely is not easy, but it will be worth it.

What’s her style? Ruiz says she switches it up all the time. “One day I can be super chic wearing cute sandals and a dress. Another day I can be more tomboy chic, wearing baggy jeans, sneakers, an oversized jacket.” It just depends. “That’s why I love fashion and clothes so much because I can completely change my style one day to the next.”

Ruiz is not quite sure what is next for her. After discovering she could combine her love for fashion with her love of writing she wants to work for a fashion magazine. Though, she has always been interested in fashion buying as well. Being that Ruiz has very similar passions and dreams as me, I plan to follow her journey toward success. Follow Ruiz with me through the links below:

Website: www.vidademoda.com
Instagram: @debthecuban

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