Over a cup of coffee, I scroll through my Instagram feed and suddenly stop at Mrssaripalli’s recent picture. She is in her HnM top and some trendy bottom, well matched with accessories and footwear. There is a flood of hashtags, endless ‘likes’ and incessant comments till another picture comes in. Neha Bisaria, as the real world knows her, is a multifaceted woman. She is a Chicago based IT professional, a dotting wife, a fashionista, a Starbucks lover, a fitness freak and a passionate fashion blogger. A true Indian from the core, Neha is a go-getter, bold and ‘hungry for success’ girl who wishes to go higher in life. She believes in blending Indian with that of western. Zara, Forever 21, Mango and similar more brands are part of her fashion kitty. She is a wise buyer and discerned in experimenting with fashion.
Know more about her and how she went an extra mile to pursue fashion.
Were you a fashion lover since young age? When did you realize your calling?
Yes, I have always been a fashion enthusiast. I always liked to be updated in terms of new style and trends. In fact, I preferred being tidy and well-dressed while going somewhere. Right from teenage days, I would keep a track on dressing up and make sure that I was upbeat in my persona and quirky. I remember, I wore knotted tops, falling neck styles and palazzo pants with short Kurtis and flower patch work based denims when they were in. I would always keep a track on the fashion trends and ideas and further implement them. I think that attests my passion for fashion.
That definitely does. But you have a demanding 9 to 6 job in a typical IT environment, that’s contradictory to you, isn’t it?
(Chuckles) No, it isn’t. One should always pursue education, work, and pay bills. That is how you learn about the real world. I believe in being self-dependent and confident and my work as an IT professional helps me do that. So, I do not regret being part of this mundane job. I quite enjoy this. Coming to fashion, I know how to manage and execute it. I read, research and keep my eyes open in terms of fashion trends so following it comes naturally. So, I am able to balance my passion and work together way better than wheel balance. It is all about time management and investment. I keep a track on where I am spending excessive time. And yes, my family is always there to support me.
What do you love the most – clothing, accessorizing or make up?
I am more inclined towards clothing and accessorizing. However, after savoring some major success in social media, I am giving make-up a serious thought. These days, I am devoting a lot of time on research for make-up like brands, tips, easy ways of make-up etc. I have started writing on them off late as well. People are loving that part of me too and this makes me feel I am doing good.
Talking about writing, you blog on almost everything in fashion, and that is the best way of informing people. How did blogging happen to you?
I did some homework to get a free blog on WordPress after seeing a fashion blog of one of my friends. I was amazed to see a fashion blog and was stunned with the idea and technology. With few successful blogs on WordPress, I confidently invested in a full-fledged blog, bought my own domain and started a fashion blog named www.mrssaripalli.com. I am now a happy blogger and I love my job. When I started, I exerted to understand what is unique in fashion that I can manifest, what is my forte and what I am most comfortable at. I took baby steps and mixed matched clothes, clicked them and started writing about them. I didn’t expect anything; I just went with the flow of writing. Initially, writing seemed like one daunting task but now, it’s a cake walk for me. Once I write, I share them on all social media channels and take efforts in networking with like-minded people.
Coming to social media, you have massive following especially on Instagram. 7210 followers and counting…woah! Did that come easy? Tell us something about it.
Instagram is one of the major contributors for the following I have now. With zillions of users of this fantastic application, it is a great platform for bloggers like me. One can showcase their designs and looks and can connect with fellow bloggers, groups, events and sponsors through Instagram. # (hastags) have made it easier to find the correct audience. At the starting point, it wasn’t easy. I learnt what kind of pictures I should put, and the kind of hashtags that will draw more people. I invested in understanding what exclusive fashion trends will attract people and what steps I can take to be a trendsetter.
On Instagram, it’s raining fashion enthusiasts, how do you manage the competition?
You are right; the competition is huge where there are thousands of fashion bloggers and the count is growing continuously. What is keeping me distinctive is the style I carry. Every person has a different opinion about fashion and hence, it varies with the culture, place, and style. My view and style is keeping me unique. My USP is the fusion of Indian and western look. Every time, I post something, I make sure I am not repeating the concept and there is something unique to offer to the people. For instance, putting my post on Bohemian look and merging the same with some Indian jewelry. You will see that in my blog.
Share some success stories and achievements as a fashion enthusiast?
To me, success is getting appreciated and recognized. The greatest feeling is to hear from random people that they read my blog and like it. It gives me goosebumps when they even mention their favorite looks from my blog. As a fashion blogger, it is an achievement to get featured in different look books and pages. I have managed to place myself in different and popular Instagram accounts of clothing and accessories (of e-commerce stores). I am yet to be the best and I am trying for the same.
Tell us about brand endorsements that you have done?
I like writing reviews on the products I use and the places I visit. The latest one I have done is for ‘Irresistible Me Hair extensions’. I was approached by the team and asked to do a blogpost for hair extensions. I created my own look and shot for the same. In the similar order, I have done for some more brands. You may find them on my blog.
How do you manage family, work, and life in the US?
Managing everything together is a bit chaotic here. From creating a look with right makeup and accessories to shooting and posting it on the blog with a story about the look. It is a time-consuming task but is fascinating to do. I take out few hours on the weekend and sometime daily to create the look and document it before actual shooting. It doesn’t affect my work and vice versa. Certainly, it gets hectic for me. Family comes with support and it is the same with me.
I have got my biggest support in Mr. Husband. Being my photographer and editor of my stories, he even becomes a critic sometimes. He helps me picking the perfect look for the post and sometimes he approves some bizarre look as well (giggles).
What would you like to say about Indian fashion? Share some stories on Indian fashion.
Indian Fashion is rich and as vast an ocean. Like our cultures, Indian fashion has different styles, aura, and value. It depicts culture from each part of the country and that makes it beautiful, distinctive and fresh. I feel Indian fashion is about being beautiful and colorful. I am still exploring Indian fashion since it is deep. From Indian Sarees to Lehengas to Ghagras to dresses and then accessories and shoes. Oh My God! I can’t even talk about it all at once but it is incredible to be Indian and I am lucky to get influenced by it.
Our country has an amazing fashion sense and I am a typical Indian when it comes to Fashion. I love mixing up colors and being flashy almost all the time. Like India’s culture, Indian Fashion has colors, styles, and swag. The whole world is obsessed by Indian fashion! Haven’t you seen the song “lean on” and other songs and movies? Indian fashion especially, from weddings are world famous.
What kind of fashion do you specialize in?
I love fusion. I am an Indian living in a Western country and hence my fashion sense demonstrates the blend of both the cultures. I love wearing western dresses as much I love wearing Indian suits and Sarees. The mix of both styles and cultures is what I specialize in. If you look at my blog, you will see me wearing something western with an Indian touch. Indian accessories are my obsession and to style them with a western touch is what I love. For instance, wearing Bindi with a jacket and skirt.
What suggestions would you give to people who love dressing up and sometimes, not able to afford latest trends.
I would firstly appreciate those people because I feel people who love dressing up, they love themselves and feel happy about their own essence. They love to dress up for themselves before anyone else. My suggestion would be to feel positive and comfortable about what you are wearing. I feel the style rotates, so recreate different looks with the existing clothes instead of shopping every time. Being myself a shopaholic I am not saying ‘Don’t shop’ but play with the stuff you have instead of shopping and building unnecessary pile up. This in one way will help you spend less on shopping. Always experiment and try to understand how different can you style from one attire.
What kind of initiatives have you done to bring innovation to fashion?
I create different looks from same clothes. Boho look is my USP and I like to blend styles and create unique looks. Living in Chicago, the style is more contemporary but I don’t wear that style all the time. I excel in my fashion forte and I feel happy when I get noticed.
What pitfalls do you see the most among people who like dressing up?
In today’s world of fashion and bloggers, the competition level is too high. Some people don’t understand their interest and start playing with dresses just for the sake of monetary interest. They might be good with other things, for instance, DIY, makeup, cooking but not fashion. Like I am not that good in makeup and so, I don’t post stuff related to make-up and show that I am an expert because I am not. I suggest them to understand their interest first and then go for what they are good at.
What is your goal with the efforts you are making in fashion and your long term plan?
To be honest I would like to be recognized as a fashion blogger and I am putting my efforts consistently. It takes time and I am on it. The best part is that I am continuously learning things as a blogger, and as a person. My long term plan is to keep living the dream of a fashion blogger and savor fame too. I definitely look forward to a day when I will be able to give consultancy to people and assist them look at their best. Imagine, me styling up Ryan Gosling someday (chuckles).
How do you think the fashion market will grow in coming 5 years?
Fashion market is dynamic and it will continue to change from time to time. Nobody knows where it is headed in coming 5 years but I’m sure it will be awesome. You may see the old style coming back in next 5 years like all those bell bottoms, palazzos and those off shoulders. This circle of fashion will continue to take place and it will make people innovate just the way I do.
What suggestions would you give to people who are not able to fulfill their passion?
I knew, I always wanted to do something like this in my life and I am living it. A suggestion to people who want to live their dream is to START TODAY because you don’t want to regret it tomorrow for not pursuing your passion. Know your calling today! Step forward and start it right away and you will feel satisfied.
That was Neha for you, another common girl who has gone way ahead to achieve what she wants. What are you planning to do?
To check her blog – http://www.mrssaripalli.com/
For endorsements or any collaboration, you can reach her at – firstname.lastname@example.org