An Interview with Retail Manager and Blogger Audrey Rhodes
There's a Maya Angelou quote about creativity that I love, "You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have." If you want to see this principle in action, scroll through the Instagram feed of today's bitch. Every time Audrey posts an outfit pic I wonder when she will run out of clothes and/or ideas. Spoiler alert: she won't.
My favorite thing about Audrey is that a lot of my friends know her, but don't know I'm friends with her, so they'll tell me about her and say we should be friends and I'm like, lol, we are. Okay, I lied, that isn't my favorite thing. My favorite thing about Audrey is that on any given day she has paired a designer $1,100 top with $6 Goodwill pants. She is a master of mixing high and low fashion and that is MY JAM. Meet today's bitch, Audrey Rhodes!
What do you do and what is the name of your blog?
I work at a really amazing store here in Nashville called UAL (United Apparel Liquidators), as a Manager and Strategic Sales Director by day and I style funky fashion on my blog, Affectionately Audrey, by night.
When did you first learn about fashion bloggers? How did you know it was what you wanted to do?
I was first exposed to bloggers through social media, no surprise there. I decided to start a blog while I still lived in my small hometown in Georgia, but felt stuck in a box and unable to truly explore what I wanted my style to be. You know, Southern tradition and all. It wasn’t until I moved to Nashville that my blog and style really flourished. To be honest, I’m still not sure blogging is what I want to do, but I do know I love helping people have the confidence to wear what they love and blogging helps me do that!
What is the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?
One of my officer friends who had been married a long time once told me that relationships are not 50-50 but 51-49 and if you are constantly the one trying to give the 51% then how can your relationship ever fail. Ever since then I have tried to implement that piece of advice in all my relationships and it has worked. It has also made me a much more selfless person, which was much needed, ha ha!
Can you name the biggest lesson you’ve learned or that helped improve the way you work?
To absolutely not care what people think about you. To not care when they stare at you because you are different or the hurtful things they might say. People will always put down what they do not understand or people they perceive as different. Inspired people often make uninspired people feel insecure, resulting in defense mechanisms like harsh words or mean looks. I chose a long time ago to not let those people dictate how I feel about myself or how I dressed.
What would you do with 2 more hours a day?
Thrift/explore new places or read and spend time with my pup, Parker.
What is your greatest success, or something you’re most proud of related to what you do?
One of my great successes is becoming a Police Officer in my home state of Georgia. Most people don’t know this about me, but I was the only girl to graduate from my 11-week mandate class (Officer training) with the highest academic grade. I am very proud of that accomplishment. The thing I am most proud of now is how far I pushed myself while here in Nashville and how far my style and life has progressed through choosing to unabashedly be myself despite what anyone thinks or says.
How do you decompress at the end of the work day?
I love music, so that always helps me relax along with about 30 minutes to be by myself with that music. That being said, I am a venter. Talking about the stressful points of my day always helps me relax and remove that stress from my mind. My boyfriend and best friend help with that often, bless their souls.
What’s a fear that keeps you up at night?
I truly don’t have a lot of fears. I am a pretty upfront, logical person so I generally work through any fears that come up and decide whether they are worth my time or not. But the fear I find myself fighting the most is being unsuccessful or uninspiring.
What is one thing everyone gets wrong about what you do?
That I have been stylish my whole life and came out of the womb mixing prints. I know it is easy to look at my funky style and instantly have that perception of me, but it is very wrong. It took me a decent amount of time to be “good” at what I do and I learn something new everyday. I don’t always feel confident or great about what I’m wearing, but I just choose to push past those doubts and hit the ground running anyway. Side note for those who doubt me, I used to look like a boy and got mistaken for one many times. So yeah... the whole style thing took some time!
What does self care look like in your life?
Taking the time to do the things I love and be with the people I love, which honestly doesn’t always happen. I always feel like I have a million things to do, so sometimes I just have to make myself ignore all those things and do what I know will rejuvenate and re-inspire me.
What helps when you’re stuck? Do you have a motto or quote that inspires/motivates you?
I try and seek inspiration from the things and people around me. I look through magazines or social media fashion or just run through my closet and get inspired by a piece in the back I had forgotten about. I also just try to remember that being uninspired is a natural part of the creative process, not an incurable disease. Once I accept that, I feel free to work through it until I feel inspiration flowing freely again.
Are there any women who helped pave the way for your success?
My mom and my “second mom” (the mother of my best friend growing up) along with all three of my sisters and two of my best friends, Lyndsay and Lily! I also had amazing grandmothers who never ceased to show me love and support. I am truly blessed by the women in my life!
Lastly, and most important, what is your favorite TV show and what is your favorite snack?
Yikes, that’s tough. All time favorite TV shows would have to be Seinfeld, X-Files, or Twilight Zone (I realize that’s three, oops). Snack would be coffee and a brownie or chocolate chip cookie.
All photos courtesy of Audrey Rhodes