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Today’s ‘Five Minutes With…’ is with the super fierce Ana De-Jesus! And it’s a very inspiring interview today. To anyone who has been bullied, felt isolated or has been let down before then this is one for you. Ana De-Jesus is a fashion and lifestyle blogger, who like many bloggers out there, works hours and hours on end to bring her readers the best content and advice possible;

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your blog…

Hi, my name is Ana De-Jesus and I am a fashion and lifestyle blogger with a passion for advocating social issues surrounding the fashion industry and wider society. I work three jobs one of which is a freelance journalist and have a desire to explore and raise awareness of under-the radar brands, social issues and highlighting the oppression of social minorities.  I am not your average fashion blogger and coming from an abusive background has allowed me to share some of my more personal stories with my readers and it felt good. I was abandoned by my mum at the age of two and a half because she was too young to handle the responsibility of looking after a child and was raised solely by my dad until I was six. At the age of six until I was 10 I was physically and emotionally abused by my stepmother and went into care by the age of 10. Then since the age of 12 I have been bullied on and off both online and in reality for being different and unconventional and never fit into any social groups. Becoming a blogger was a way for me to finally let go of the past and remain positive about my future, with the love and support of my readers. Before I started blogging  I was very private and very few people knew about my past because I didn’t want to be pitied or made fun of, yet my readers unlocked a part of me that had been frozen for so long and it felt good to share. But enough of the negatives my blog Faded Spring helps others feel secure in their own skin and have the freedom to express themselves in a way that might not be considered the norm by society.

Whats your favourite part of blogging?

My fans, my readers are the best part of being a blogger because it validates that I am doing something right and cannot be judged for being true to myself. I love to engage and chat to my readers as well as meeting up with them in person because I feel it is important to show that you are a nice and genuine person. Sometimes online people could construe you to be completely different to what you actually are in person. Of course, attending blogger events is great again but I believe it is communication and curating relationships that make blogging the best job in the world.

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Why did you decide to start blogging?

I have been ill for a few years now and in my third year of university it got worst. I couldn’t sleep, eat without being sick and was often in so much pain that it was very difficult to get out the house. But I always preserved and having grown up on a diet of iconic blogs like Song of Style and Lace & Locks I vowed to start a blog after I graduated from university which is exactly what I did. I have been blogging for nearly seven months now and it has been a life changing experience. I have got to work with some big brands including House of Fraser and Chi Chi London and have been featured on brands like Missy Empire, Lily Lulu and done countless interviews. It has been a dream come true. Most of all I have built up a loyal fan base and am so grateful for everyone’s love and support. Thank you everyone. As a freelance journalist before I started blogging I wanted to show an alternative, raw and honest approach to fashion and show the negatives and positives in a frank but thought provoking manner. I have written about issues including the perception of body image in the fashion industry, is fashion inclusive of disability and many more.

Whats been your greatest experience whilst blogging?

I don’t think I am able to pinpoint one particular experience as they have all been incredible but if I had to choose I guess I would say meeting one of my best friends Anna Maria (On The Edge) who is the sweetest, kindest most loveable blogger you can meet and the funny Christy from Xtine Loves and I am truly grateful for their friendship. Their friendship has been a blessing and I am so excited to see what happens next. In fact Anna wants me to come to her home country Cyprus in a few months because she said I need a rest and a digital detox. I have always wanted to visit Greece so it will be an exciting experience.

Do you have another job besides blogging?

Yes! I work three jobs including blogging which I consider to be full time, being a freelance journalist and a nanny/tutor to primary and secondary school children and it can be challenge to juggle time and manage all three jobs but I do my best.

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Do you have other commitments? If so, how do you find the time to manage both?

I guess my other commitments are my other jobs and ensuring that I balance time effectively. I sleep very little so I will often be blogging late into the night and contacting PR’s. I am also starting an SEO & Coding course as I want to be able to create my own back links and increase my traffic organically just through key words.

What are your hopes and dreams for your blog?

In five years I want to be able to publicly advocate for social minorities and campaign to make the lives of others better. I want to start creating my own blog events and travel the world meeting some of my fans along the way. I am not asking for fame but I do want prestige so that I can help those in need. I want my blog to become a safe haven for those who have been through some dark times and sprinkle some positivity into their lives. I have always been career minded from a young age and I am hoping that my blog will showcase journalistic prowess and work alongside my freelance journalism. I want to expand on my clientele and work for some magazines and sites that I admire. I am also thinking about turning my blog into an online magazine although I may open that up as a separate venture which would be split into fashion, social issues and debates which is central to my ethos as a brand and blogger. I would love to launch my own clothing range and although I can’t draw to save my life I have ideas that would work very well and open up a new sense of style to a mass audience. 

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Who inspires you and why?

So many people inspire me but the biggest influence in my life has to be my beautiful brave aunty. Not only has she battled cancer and survived but she is also one of the strongest people I know and will never let you know that she is in pain. She has sacrificed everything for the ones she loves and is someone who I see as a true role model. I grew up without a constant mother influence and my aunty was everything I needed and more. She has taught me to stop focusing on the past and look at how bright our futures can be because life is too short to remain stuck in the past.

What does an average day involve for you?

I have about 3- 4 hours’ sleep and then get up and promote my blog, finish blog threads and check my emails and respond. I then make sure the children are ready before taking them to school. I come back and write up future blog posts, check for new blogging opportunities and manage social media and social media groups. I brainstorm a few weeks’ worth of outfits for photoshoots and plan locations. During this time I will usually need to attend a meeting, a press conference or a blog event and hurry back in time for the kids. I will pick them up and take them home and do all their homework with them. The dad will then come back and I will either write some articles for my freelance clients or/and work on editing photos, completing blog threads and meeting up with friends. I will also sneak in a bit of television watching (usually at 12am or 1 am and sleep at 2/3 until I am awake again at six. If I can’t sleep I will write more articles and work on building my social media. My work ethic is intense and I am what you call a workaholic, I am always juggling five things at once but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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One piece of advice youd give to your younger self?

To not be afraid of being me. For so long I tried to be someone I was not because I had been hurt so badly in the past and it held me back. I was bullied and abused as a child and became so traumatized that I could barely recognize the person I once was. Taking on another identity helped me feel confident, an alter ego if you will but the effects were temporary. Pretending to be someone who I was not was physically draining and left me exhausted and depressed so I sought to change my perception of self drastically. My point being never be afraid to be yourself, not everyone is going to like you but be proud of who you are. There will be people who seek to undermine you, ignore them, hold your head up high and live each day like it’s your last.

Favourite place on earth and why?

My favourite place is one I have not even visited yet, to be able to visit Egypt and get lost in the maze of pyramids would be a dream come true. I have always wanted to go to Egypt as I am a huge history nerd and specialize in Ancient Egyptian, Medieval & Tudor History. Being able to visit the museums and cruise down the River Nile would make my life complete.

Your most favourite TV Program/Film?

Can we just combine my favourite programme with a guilty pleasure haha?! Just kidding I am a huge fan of comedies so I love Inbetweeners & Bad Education ect but at the moment my favourite program is Ru Paul’s Drag Queen Race I am obsessed with the queens and they are fierce as f***k. If you have not watched the show then I urge you to watch it; it is like a cross between America’s Next Top Model and Britain’s Got Talent and everyone and I mean everyone is super talented.

Favourite place to shop for fashion and beauty?

I would have to say Miss Selfridges because the aesthetic of the brand directly correlates with my own personal style. From floral cords to on trend suede dresses I own them all and it is all thanks to Miss Selfridge. Plus the quality of the material is great and you really get more for your money at half the price. I love many other brands too but Miss Selfridge is always going to be one of my favourites.

If you could ban anything in the world what would it be?  

It would have to be bullying, speaking from personal experience I have been bullied from a young age both in person and online and it is damaging to your self-esteem. Because of the abuse I faced I have high levels of anxiety, depression and have body dysmorphia and it begs me to question what kind of world do we live in if we have to resort to damaging others confidence to feel better about ourselves? It is not on and I wish we could live in a world where there was parity between both sexes and where double standards did not exist.

Thank you so much Ana De-Jesus for taking part in the ‘Five Minutes with…’ series! You truly are an incredible person. Don’t ever forget that!

You can find more on Ana De-Jesus through her social media too;

Website; http://www.fadedspring.co.uk/

Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/FadedSpring?fref=ts

Twitter; https://twitter.com/Faded_Spring

Instagram; https://instagram.com/faded_spring/

BlogLovin(If a blogger); https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/fadedspring-14279499

Check back next Monday for another ‘Five Minutes With…’.

And if Ana De-Jesus’ Interview has inspired you or helped you at all in anyway then let me know!

Sincerely, Sophie x