Q & A with brilliant blogger India Sehmi
One of my favourite parts of the Votary story is how we have grown our brand with the help of brilliant bloggers and influencers. Their support has meant so much to us.
I love finding bloggers who share our values, and reaching out to find ways of working together. I was thrilled to find India’s blog, the India Edit and her insta. Her taste and take on fashion, skincare, homeware, travel and life style is engaging, stylish and smart. If you don’t already follow her, I think you’ll love her. I’m delighted that India is now a #Votarist. Here is her Q & A – it’s packed with great advice.
Team Votary are huge fans of your blog and insta account. Can you tell us a little bit about how you started and how it gained momentum?
That’s so kind and so lovely to hear! I’ve actually blogged on and off since I was at university about seven years ago. I’ve always had a love of fashion, travel, food, taking pictures and sharing advice so a blog felt like a natural outlet for that.
In terms of momentum, I feel like it’s grown slowly and organically over the years with some faster periods. There are lots of things you should supposedly do to speed up growth, but I’m quite happy ignoring all of that and growing in my own time, posting on my own terms. I just wish I had more time to blog – I have so many ideas for things I want to share, it’s just tricky getting round to it. Each post takes about 4-8 hours so it’s a big job in itself.
What’s the best thing about your social media life?
It means the world when someone lets me know they’ve found or bought something they love through my recommendation. I also get very excited when a brand I admire gets in touch – like Votary!
What are your predictions for how social media will change in the next few years?
I think we’ll see new social media platforms continue to pop up – history tells us there’s a new big one every couple of years. In terms of influencers I think there will be increased transparency and authenticity, but I think we may also see a move back to a place where people are more private and share less. On the marketing side, brands will increasingly look to track the performance of marketing initiatives and likely invest more heavily in the influencer space.
Which is the wardrobe essential you would recommend investing in?
For me it’s a belt – not only can they change an outfit, but they can be hugely transformative for clothes you already have in your wardrobe. Those jeans that never really stayed up? Now they do. That slip dress you only wear in summer? Pop a polo underneath and cinch with your belt. That jeans and jumper outfit? Pull it all together with a belt. Your floral floaty dress? Accentuate your waist with a belt. You get the gist.
I have this Gucci one that I can’t live without. This Autumn I have loved popping it on top of blazers – wear a long dress, a blazer, belt on top and some chunky boots for a feminine outfit with some edge.
What’s your go-to, pulled together look for the weekend?
My weekday/weekend looks are quite similar as my work is fairly casual. I feel pulled together, and most importantly myself, in some high waisted straight leg jeans or trousers (Levi Ribcage jeans are my fave!), a blazer, heeled sock boots or chunky boots, a belt, gold jewellery + a nice top (you can switch this up depending on the occasion!).
Top grooming hack?
I couldn’t live without my Babyliss Big Hair blow dry brush – it makes me look like I’ve had a fresh blow dry everyday and feels much more natural than straightened hair.
How do you try and live your healthiest possible life? What are your top well-being tips?
To me, living your healthiest life is about nourishing yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. I think it’s about implementing small daily habits which all add up to make you feel great. There’s no point in doing things that are supposedly healthy unless they work for you, and making small incremental changes is easier than taking a big leap. For me it includes eating well, moving regularly, practicing meditation and being intentional with how I spend my time and who with.
I try to eat a wholefoods, predominantly plant based diet low in sugar, dairy and gluten. When I’m travelling this goes out the window a little, but I try my best. I focus on abundance rather than restriction with plenty of vegetables and good fats so I feel satiated. I never count calories and try to eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full.
I move my body daily with 15-30 minutes of pilates. It’s not a huge amount, but it makes the world of difference and when I’m consistent I can really notice my strength and tone. I used to do a lot of HIIT training and one day it just clicked that that was not what worked for my body and I’ve exclusively done pilates for the last 18 months.
A couple of months ago I did a Vedic meditation course so I practice mediation at least once a day for 20 minutes. The benefits are cumulative and the biggest change I’ve noticed so far has been much improved sleep and almost no jet-lag on a recent US trip. Paired with my Votary pillow spray I’ve slept better than I have in months.
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In terms of time – I heard a great piece of advice recently about making plans, which I feel is so true – if you wouldn’t want to do it this evening then don’t agree to it. I try to recognise what makes me happy and do more of that, as happiness is really the key to a fulfilled, healthy life.
Why is natural, vegan skincare important to you?
In all aspects of my life it’s become important for me to reduce the number of nasties going into my body so skincare is a high priority on that list. To me, clean skincare is part of a holistic well-being approach and what you’re putting in your body is just as important as what you’re putting on it. There are so many incredible plant-based ingredients available, I love products that really put them front and centre. Skincare should feel luxurious and nourishing and Votary is just that whilst championing pure, natural ingredients.
What’s your favourite part of your Votary skincare routine?
I really enjoy the ritual around the Clarifying Cleansing Oil. It feels so good to melt away your makeup at the end of the day and give your skin a good massage. I love using a hot flannel, holding it over my face and inhaling the essential oils before wiping everything off.
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Which Votary product wouldn’t you be without?
I think it’s got to be the Super Seed Facial Oil – it feels like you’re injecting goodness into your skin. I love using it before bed and in the morning as a skin primer before putting on makeup. My Grandmother has always used a facial oil and she has the most incredible skin for an 80-something year old so I’m hoping mine looks the same. I’ve actually used it on the ends of my hair as a hair-mask pre-shower and it worked wonders.
The Blemish Rescue Oil is such an innovative product – rather than drying out I love how it soothes and treats instead.
The quick fire questions.
Fave new app?
Unfold – amazing for Instagram stories or creative photo collages
Best kind of Saturday night?
Margaritas, great food and dancing with friends or my boyfriend (and not too late a night..!)
Item from childhood you feel most nostalgic about?
Probably my favourite cuddly toy lamb – so cliche!
Gym, run or yoga?
Top insta follow?
Best skincare advice your mum ever gave you?
Always take your makeup off
Favourite High Street shop?
& Other Stories
Best box set?
Last book you read?
Behind Her Eyes – Sarah Pinborough
What do you wish you could have told your thirteen year old self?
When you first start your blog, don’t stop!
Thanks India for such a brilliant share, and we look forward to seeing where your blog takes you.
Love, Arabella x