There’s a lil adage that has floated around through the years: never meet your idols. Maybe a celebrity or (for want of a less vomit-inducing word) an influencer, we all have that one person who we’d love to grab a selfie and have a quick chinwag with. But the reason why the famous saying stands, is that we’re all terrified that the reality of meeting our icons won’t be all that. For a start, there’s the excruciating reality that you will probably hugely embarrass yourself. And no one wants to do that in front of their fave. Next, there’s the worry that this icon held so highly in your esteem won’t exactly be the person you’ve always thought they were. Maybe they won’t have time to speak to lil ol’ you- maybe the moment you’ve been waiting for won’t live up to your imagined reality of it. Real, heavy dilemmas, I know.
For lil ol’ me, my definite ‘idol’ is Megan Ellaby. Fashion icon, blogger and YouTuber, Megan has worked her socks off, from uni student come intern at mega designers such as House of Holland, to stylist at Asos and now as full-time blogger. And she’s my icon for a number of reasons. Firstly, because she’s the first person I go to for style inspo (honestly, check out her Insta, it’s the only sartorial help you’ll ever need). Secondly, she brings so much positivity, happiness and warmth to her corner of the internet, whether that be through her weekly vlogs and fashion videos on YouTube, or through her blog posts. And thirdly, because she’s living proof that bladdy hard work does bladdy pay off.
Now, for those blogger doubters out there, and I’ve met a fair few: blogging takes a lot more hard work than you realise. No, it’s not ‘going shopping for a living’, and it’s not ‘an online diary where you spout a load of rubbish no one wants to read about’, it’s a serious, full-time job. Life’s hard enough trying to juggle uni and this wee blog, never mind the pressure that full-time bloggers have to deal with. As a full-time blogger, I can imagine you never switch off. Your life is about you, online, therefore it’s not a normal 9-5- it’s a bladdy 24/7. The industry is so saturated these days, which is an incredibly good thing as it allows people to express their true selves on such a diverse space as the internet, but this means the blogging industry is a ridiculously competitive one. Gone are the days of sitting down on an afternoon to write whatever comes to mind at the moment, and gone are the times where setting up your own tripod in your back garden can be classed as a blog photoshoot; to be on top of your game in the blogging industry means that you’ve got to constantly be striving for the best. And I might just receive a few rolled eyes and gasps at this statement, but I believe professional blogging is arguably more difficult than your average job.
So when I ended up winning a competition to go and meet Megan Ellaby and her musician and entrepreneur boyfriend George Craig (who I also admire greatly) at the River Island Style Studio in Liverpool, I couldn’t bladdy believe it (I never win anything, srsly) and I was bladdy well and truly terrified. Going back a few years, I used to listen to George’s band, One Night Only, on the reg. As for Megan, she is the person who got me into high fashion- before reading her blog and watching her YouTube, I’d never truly understood designer fashion. Ever since I was a lil bub, I’ve been obsessed with clothes; I’ve always loved styling my own looks together and it’s an outlet for expressing myself. But I can now thank Megan for my lusting over £700 Gucci bags that I’m wholly tempted to dip into my overdraft for. She uses her platform to inspire her audience to wear whatever the heck they want to wear; to express every cool n wacky side of them. And the best thing about her? She doesn’t, as is sometimes the way with blogging, gloss over the crappy bits of life. If she’s having a bad day in her vlog, we’ll know about it. Heck, after the horrific Manchester terror attack earlier this year, she organised a charity clothing sale, which raised over £5,000 for the We <3 Manchester Fund. She’s down to earth, v normal and doesn’t make out life is always fine n dandy. And that’s admirable.
So this last Thursday evening, a v nervous Maddie rocked up to Liverpool’s River Island Style Studio, along with a few other equally nervous competition winners. Arriving to a faaancy prosecco reception (which was 110% needed to calm those nerves), I watched presenter Venetia Falconer chat to the power couple that is Megan Ellaby and George Craig, all about party dressing. The Q&A went out live on Facebook, and you can watch this here. Also, pls ignore my face on the left hand side of the screen at the beginning of the livestream. Ew.
After we went out live, we were left with free time to peruse the empty River Island store (being in a store after official closing time is incred- shopping without the crowds is the DREAM) and we got to chat to Megan and George *eek*. They were both incredibly lovely, she chatted to me like a pal, I gave her a letter (because I am the cringiest person to potentially grace the planet) and this happened:
I left the store on an absolute high. And this is why I believe you should always meet your idols, if you’re given the opportunity. I travelled back to Brum the next day with, honestly, a new lease of life. I feel more motivated than ever to work on my blog (hence the lil reworking of me site, which I’m going to work on even more when I get a lil break at Christmas) and to keep getting all the internships I can get to work towards a career. I’m also incred happy bc this happened afterwards:
Thank you to River Island for the amazing opportunity and to Megan and George for being wonderful people. I am this happy about it: