As an addition to my Blogger’s Rundown spree, I’ve had the opportunity to interview fellow Baltimore Blogger Briana Ragler, founder of RebelliousRebel, this past Friday. It was a wondrous meeting. We discussed what inspires her to write, where she got her edgy blog name, her secret to RebelliousRebel’s success, and other cool questions that gives more insight into her fashion and lifestyle blog. I enjoyed the time spent indulging in getting to know more about her blog, and I’m eager to work with her in the near on a project that’ll change Baltimore city, for sure. Briana is definitely someone who’ll provide an impact for this city with her generous attitude for picking up people’s spirits. It is my pleasure to introduce to all my Doc’s Castle Media readers the Q & A of RebelliousRebel.
Doc: What inspired you to start RebelliousRebel?
Briana: Well, three years ago I had lost my father in my first semester in college. I didn’t take time off to deal with the grief. I just sucked it up and came back to school right afterwards. I spent the year doing a whole bunch of dumb stuff, and just doing everything while seeping deeper into depression. At the end of 2011, I finally got myself together. I decided to start a blog just to share my story and to help other people who were going through what I went through, as far as dealing with depression. It has now gone from talking about my issues to becoming something more like a creative safe haven for other people.
Doc: Aww, that’s cool. I didn’t even know that. Wow! So where did you get your name from? Is that how you came up with it?
Briana: In a way (laughs)…I grew up in the church so everything that I was doing was not considered “holy,” as church folk would say, and I usually Rebel a lot against myself and things that I feel like are trying to keep me trapped. So I looked in the dictionary and saw the word rebellious and said, “Okay, I need something else to go with this.” So I was like, “Okay, RebelliousRebel!” I’m rebellious and I’m a Rebel. When I started it back then, it was about me and how I rebel against certain things. But now, it’s kind of turned into a thing where I’m not conforming to needs that I believe aren’t conducive to my well-being or to other’s well-being.
Doc: Okay, so how long have you been blogging? Like four years?
Briana: I’ve been blogging since 2010. I had another blog. I stopped blogging with that when I went to Hood College. So I’ve been blogging for about four to six years, on and off. I decided to stick with this one.
Doc: Well, it seems like it’s doing good.
Briana: Yes, it’s getting there. It’s not quite where I want it to be. (Laughs)
Doc: (laughs) How do you want RebelliousRebel to be remembered? What do you want people to know you blog as?
Briana: I ask myself that question all the time, even when I feel like getting rid of it. Sometimes I go through stages where I don’t feel like blogging. Someone said to me recently that my blog is a creative safe haven for individuals who create or need to find some type of inspiration. At this particular moment, I don’t know what I want it to be remembered as. There are so many things that go through my head sometimes. But I think when it’s all said and done, like if I decided to end the blog, I want it to be remembered as a place where someone who went through some hard issues decided to create a blog to express herself, and what she went through has, in return, blessed others. I don’t know. I go through this question every day (laughs).
Briana: Remember it as a creative safe haven for EVERYONE. If they feel like they can’t always put themselves out there, it’s there. I don’t know. We’ll probably come back later, in the future, with another story about this (laughs).
Doc: (laughs) Alright! So you’ve answered my question for what’s your initial motivation to keep blogging then.
Briana: Right now, it’s really about the art. Now, I’m getting to understand the concept of trying to keep my life personal. I try to keep certain things private because you know the Internet. Anyone can read anything. I was going to stop blogging in December. Take a nice long, permanent 6 month break. But what’s keeping me blogging is the people who come to my blog who are interested in the arts. They come to my blog and read it, or a person who has an issue with their body. Like someone said to me yesterday, “Oh my God! You’ve just inspired me to keep loving myself because you post pictures of strong women on your blog.” I’m like, “Okay, let me keep blogging because it’s inspiring people to be better and it’s a place where artist come to get inspiration when they’re not producing anything.” I keep RebelliousRebel up to keep those people inspired.
Doc: OH! Wow! That’s beautiful! So you’re just being an impact for people?
Briana: Yeah, I’m learning to be less selfish. I use to be selfish with my gifts and my talents. I didn’t share because I been through a lot of rejection as a kid. But now that people have blessed me so much, I feel like it’s my purpose and duty to give back in any way I can. It may not be with money. It may not be with donations. But it’s just with my words. If I give out kind words, I will in return be blessed and that person will be blessed. I just want to inspire people to be better because we’re all in this world trying to become better people.
Doc: I feel the same way. I want to be better and set an example for others. That’s why I write. Next question, have you thought about guest blogging for other blogs?
Briana: Hmm, I’ve done a guest blog post for my study abroad program, which is Kappa International. I don’t have a problem with doing it. I like writing for other bloggers because they give topics and that gives me time to research and experience something different from what I write about. I’m always inquisitive. I’m always wondering and wanting to know how come and what for to things. I’ve had people ask me to do a guest blog post. But I don’t want to commit to doing anything because I have too many factors going on right now, like school and trying to prepare for life when I graduate from college. But I’ve thought about it, and I would do it in the near future. I’d even have people guest blog for RebelliousRebel because I run out of ideas (laughs).
Doc: (laughs) That’s why I have them. I run out of ideas, too. But have you thought of any particular blogs that you would guest blog for?
Briana: I would really, really, really love to guest blog post for ProFresh Style and Bleed for Fashion just because I can relate to their blogs more. I mean, there are some other blogs. But I’m talking about blogs that have a greater impact that I would love to guest blog post for. Those are the only two that I manage to continue reading. I’ve read those five years ago. Its years later and I still follow them. I would guest post for them if they’d decided to. Those are the only two I’d blog for because a lot of blogs are mostly about fashion and there aren’t enough life blogs. Profresh Style and Bleed for Fashion are kind of like life and fashion blogs in one. It’s another I follow, Fashion Worked. I’d blog for them too. But yeah, I’m just hoping for a chance (laughs).
Doc: (laughs) So I recently saw a video on RebelliousRebel for your outfit of the day. I wanted to know, do you plan on continuing to bring us funky videos like your last one?
Briana: Uhh…Before that one, the last outfit of the day video was over the summer. When I shot this one, it was with the same videographer. It was just on the whim. It was because I just felt like it that day. I’m going to see. But I don’t want my blog to be solely about fashion.
Doc: What else do you want your blog to be about other than fashion and lifestyle?
Briana: I want it to be whatever. I really blog whatever that comes to my mind. There is no set theme for my blog. One day you could read a post on love. Another day you could read a post on what I think about on issues happening in Russia. It’s a melting pot of everything. Since I have people who follow me on Instagram who ask can I do some fashion post, I try to honor their requests. You probably will see more outfit of the day videos. But because of the funds, you won’t see as many. Secondly, weather is playing a factor in those videos, too. It’s too cold to shoot outside. I’m trying to wait until March. After the 21st of March, you’ll probably see mad (meaning more) videos. So hopefully, but I’m living that broke college student life right now (laughs).
Doc: (laughs) It was real funky. I liked that. Do you mind sharing the secrets to your success?
Briana: Can I be honest?
Briana: I don’t feel like I’m successful yet. I don’t feel like I’ve reached my potential. I was always one of those kids where people asked me, what do you want to do in life? I’d always say I don’t know. It’s kind of still like that because I’m not entirely sure what it is that I really, really want to do. I’m just going with the flow. I guess people look at it like “Oh, she’s successful because she stuck it out through college. She didn’t dropout.” But the key to my success is keeping my connection with God because I trust him with everything in my life. I really don’t know how I got to this point. I don’t always make the best decisions. When it comes to certain things, I don’t always trust my instincts. I trust in God, and he leads me in the right direction. In the field I’m going into, there are a lot of snakes. There are a lot of people who’ll take credit for things that they didn’t do. In ten years, you can interview me again and I’ll probably have a better key. (Laughs)
Doc: I’m pretty sure you’ll still say God.
Briana: I probably will! (Laughs) But I’m a free spirit when it comes to just doing things. With college, I didn’t want to go to college. I wanted to work. But I come from a church family, and they were like no. That’s your ticket out. Even with blogging, I don’t know anything about how to have a successful blog. I just do what I do. I don’t think there are keys to being a success. I think being a success comes in different ways, like finishing college is one and overcoming depression is another. It’s all in what you believe in. If there were keys to success, I’d probably be a lot further than where I am.
Doc: Are you open to collaborations?
Briana: Yes, I’m always open to collabs. I don’t believe in the word team. I don’t believe in groups but I’m open to collaborations. I love sitting down with people and we’re all shooting out ideas. It doesn’t matter who you are. If you’re welder and want to collaborate, it’s whatever. I’m always down. I just did a collab with For Rent Shoes in Baltimore, the how to style. It was a big deal for me because it was my first real business thing I could put on my resume. Yeah, I’m always down to do it but not with everyone. I don’t want to put my name on everything because everyone is not who they claim to be. But if someone wants to, they can just shoot me an email and we’ll talk.
If you’d like to read more from Briana, check out her blog at rebelliousrebell.blogspot.com.
To read the last Blogger’s Rundown, read Doc’s Q & A with Vivid Visions.