After we fell for blogs Lella Victoria, Just Like Sushi, Personal Uniform (and more!), we couldn't help but notice their uniting factor - all are part of the blogging collective, Creators of Desire (COFD). After searching through all of the blogs on the site and seeing their high quality images and captivating posts, we had to learn more about how they were all joined together and who was behind this inspiring & diverse group of bloggers. In comes Anouk Bos (seen top right), a stylish blonde bombshell worthy of a fashion blog herself! Meet the creator behind the Creators and learn where she saw her niche, how she got her start, who she decides to feature and more.
StyledOn: What inspired you to start COFD?
Anouk Bos: I was a marketing manager for several fashion brands for a long period of time in Holland. Back then it was 2007-2008 and the rise of fashion bloggers started. In Scandinavia, fashion blogging was already very big. My boyfriend - who is a professional football player - lived in Sweden, Finland, and Copenhagen so I became friends with a lot of fashion bloggers and was really inspired by the Swedish blog networks. I worked with fashion bloggers a lot in my function as marketing manager and from one thing came another: I really believed there was a market for a premium fashion blog network that emphasized on uniting talented, influential and emerging fashion bloggers from mainly Holland, UK and Germany. So by the time it was 2010 I quit my job, moved to England (to live with my boyfriend who is now playing Premier League for Saints CF) and started a business of my own.
SO: Are you a blogger yourself, or do you just enjoy being on the other side and reading them?
AB: I'm not a blogger myself and not without reason of course. I did have a fashion blog in 2008, but I was too busy with my career. I wanted to put all my energy into my dream: to start a business of my own in the fashion industry. I do have journalism aspirations though and love to write, yet I always want to do things differently so who knows what I'll be up to...
SO: How do you decide which bloggers you'd like to feature?
AB: Our network is based on plurism: all bloggers have to have a unique style and tone of voice. We emphasize different styles. What's the point of having a network of talented bloggers if everybody has the same look? On COFD you can find: Scandinavian minimalism, rock and roll vogue, bohemian cool, high end quirky, edgy chic, tomboyish fierce and feminine dash all in one. For every taste, a different blogger. All styles work together really great as well. It's mix and match. We love to spread the message that fashion is not based on one style: readers can be inspired and find something in every style they like. Just spending a few minutes in the presence of our elite bloggers can inspire anyone to throw on the most fashionable outfit, channeling the most impeccable style. Our bloggers' anything-but-jaded interest in fashion will leave you excited and longing to create an exciting and fresh presence of your own. whethere it's the way 'our' tight group of bespoke bloggers dress, the places they visit or the food they eat, COFD are on top of the trends and happy to take you along the journey.
SO: Does COFD do anything in the off-line world to inspire and gather creativity of any sort?
AB: We are only one year old so we are very busy with the branding aspect of the website and its bloggers. It's only a matter of a few months until we will integrate other initiatives which include offline activities as well. I can't say anything yet, but it sure is going to be good. As 'Creators of Desire' we see it as our mission to bring an ode to creators worldwide. Let creativity rule.
SO: What are the benefits of being in a blogging collective as opposed to blogging on your own?
AB: Being in a network you have a guaranteed monthly income, whereas if you are an individual blogger, income may vary from time to time. Furthermore, you can profit from cross traffic which means your blog will grow due to the large amount of visitors that blog networks tend to have. Being in a network means you can benefit from the large network, marketing efforts, and knowledge of its founders. Last but not least, uniting forces means you can create more opportunities than when you are individual since a network is more attractive to advertisers. We make deals with big travel agencies, for instance, to get our bloggers to fashion weeks all over Europe. Don't forget that nowadays blogging has become kind of a commodity, meaning it's hard for new bloggers to be found. Being in a network means you can profit from a wider platform and reach.
SO: Can different people apply to join the collective, or do you seek them out on your own?
AB: Everyone can apply, yet selection criteria is very strict, and we do only have a few spaces. We don't want to become a network with over 20 bloggers. We want to stay unique. Think about it: If you buy an ice cream and you have to choose between 30 different flavors it's often hard to choose so you will pick the most obvious - let's say strawberry. If the choice is narrowed down to only 8 flavors than it's likely you'll pick something you really fancy. Choosing has become easier. This works the same with the blog network, I strongly believe you can offer readers more quality if you have a unique selection of blogs as opposed to having 30 blogs with similar styles.
SO: When did you first get interested in reading blogs?
AB: Right at the beginning at 2007. When the first fashion blogs started to rise. I was a big fan of Elin Kling and Linn Gustavson (the last one quit blogging in 2009).
SO: Where do you look for inspiration outside your collective of bloggers?
AB: Because I live so close to London I often go to the city center and just wander around the streets; see what people are wearing, see how they behave, but also visiting events, fashion weeks, paying attention to brands and their communication tools and advertising campaigns. I always say, if you don't stay connected to the world its unlikely you will succeed in the online business.
SO: How do you envision COFD growing or expanding in the future?
AB: We have big plans with COFD. I do want to emphasize once more we rather focus on bringing talented emerging bloggers rather than the obvious A-list pack of bloggers. I think the first option is more interesting. See us as the ground setter of tomorrow's A-list bloggers. There is so much more to win in this market, but you have to think out of the box. I can't tell you where we stand over five years, then I would reveal our strategy. You always have to be careful in this business. But we're working on it. Keep a close eye...
Will you get caught up with the Creators of Desire?