#Interview: I like to think of my age as an advantage: Dollie Solanki, The Bombay Brunette

Social Samosa
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Dollie Solanki

In conversation with Social Samosa, Dollie Solanki of The Bombay Brunette shares what goes in the making of a fashion mom blogger.

Flushed cheeks or bright lips? Dollie Solanki has helped you with various makeup tutorials with her blog The Bombay Brunette, now she is here to speak about how her obsession with her mom's nail polishes and lipsticks led her to creating a vibrant blog.

She tries to make her blog as helpful as possible. For instance, detailed posts about acids in skincare or everything about sunscreens. Read on to know more about her content creation process, USP, a sneak peek in a day in her life.

Looking back, where did it all begin?

I’ve always been obsessed with all things beauty ever since I was a child - I would play with my mom’s lipsticks and nail polishes, I was that girl in college who knew about all the latest beauty launches, who other girls would go to for product recommendations and skincare queries. Even then, I would write mini-essays and reviews of products in my mind - “True to the name Moti, the soap is like a giant pink pearl. It smells of roses and glides onto the skin…” Mind you this was in the 80s and 90s, before the advent of the internet! My friends would love to hear such descriptions, spoken in an accent as though it was a TV ad.

After motherhood, when my son was hospitalised at the age of 1.4 years, I decided to be a SAHM and devote my time to him. The second one came along and it was in 2012 that I had this urge to do something. A friend called me to ask me about treatments at a spa and recommendations for skincare products and that’s when I decided to start a blog and to share my views with a wider audience. When my friends read my blogs, and later, saw my videos, they said that this what just an extension of what I had been doing all my life.

What's in the name?

My blog was initially called IndianShringar because Shringar actually means to beautify, not just yourself but even your life. However, I realized that not too many people understood it’s exact meaning. Also, the name felt restrictive considering my scope of work had enlarged to include fashion, travel, tech, and parenting. So, in 2017, to celebrate 5 years of the blogging journey, I gave it a makeover and a rebranding - The Bombay Brunette. I’m a true blue Bombayite, having lived all my life in SoBo, and I am a brunette so this name seemed like a good one to encompass everything in The Bombay Brunette’s life.

What is your USP in this cluttered space? How does your content give you an edge?

Passion, knowledge, and age - I think these are my USPs. As I mentioned, beauty has been a passion and I love reading up on things like ingredients in skincare, etc. I try to make my blog as helpful as I possibly can - for ex. detailed posts on acids in skincare or everything about sunscreens - that a lot of others do not write about. I also ensure that I genuinely try out products for a good period of time before I review them. In terms of travel posts, I plan my entire trip from scratch - everything from booking apartments to the itinerary, is done by me.

I also like to think of my age as an advantage - most influencers in the beauty segment are in their 20s. They do not face challenges that aging skin poses, be it skincare or makeup. For an audience who also faces such issues, they can relate to me better.

Please take us through your content creation process. How do you stay relevant and relatable?

As a mother and a woman in her late 30s (now 40), the content has always been catered to the needs of women in that age group. Also, the blog and my social media is a showcase of my life so if I am travelling, the content will reflect that, change of seasons will show different skincare and the like so it is always relevant and relatable.

How do you make moolah with your efforts?

Brand collaborations do come by but those are few and far between.

How do you maintain editorial objectivity with the influx of brand briefs?

While I try to stick to brand guidelines, I ensure that the content is as genuine and true to “me” as I can make it.

One instance/experience that made it all worthwhile

Girls in my son’s school telling me that they watch my Youtube videos and think that I’m such a “cool mom”. Makes me feel glad that my content is relevant even for the teens as well as for their mothers. Also, when followers write to me and tell me that something that I have recommended has worked for them and that they trust me, that is truly priceless.

Also Read:Interview: I wish to connect each viewer through my content: Yashita Rai, Content Creator

Weirdest brand brief/request ever

A brand wanted 20 Instagram stories and 7 Insta posts in exchange for a pass to a music fest! Needless to say, I turned down this absurd request.

If not blogging, you would be?

Running a chain of retail stores. Or teaching French.

A day in your life….

Starts at 6 AM. Get the kids ready and send them off to school and then I usually go for a walk or sometimes, to the gym. My days are unplanned - each day is totally different. It would involve clicking pictures / shooting a video/editing it / writing a blog or else it could be a day filled with social and domestic duties.

Message/tips for upcoming bloggers

Do it if you are passionate about it, because that shows. Don’t do it for the “freebies”.

Your Favorite Influencer

Ankita of Corallista.

The Future you foresee for your Personal Brand

I am a take it as it comes kind of girl so I never plan. That said, I do have several dreams and ideas in my head about things I’d like to do going forward. Only time will tell…

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