Meet Megan Rogers-Reilley, a rising senior at Loyola University Chicago and the blogger behind Bowtiful Life! Megan has proved her "silly side project" is way more than that with her ambitious personality. She's worked with major brands & is ready to enter the "real world" after graduation! Read more to get inspired and learn from her what it takes to stay true to yourself!
WHAT ARE YOU UP TO RIGHT NOW?
I’m a fashion and lifestyle blogger, sharing a wide variety of content including style posts, monthly playlists, travel and event recaps, shopping guides, insight on college life and more! In August I’ll be starting my final year of college at Loyola and taking the last few classes for my communications major and studio art minor. The ”real world” is right around the corner!
WHAT'S YOUR DAILY ROUTINE TYPICALLY LOOK LIKE ON A WEEKDAY?
During the school year it’s pretty regulated. I wake up, eat breakfast, go to class, have lunch with friends, work at my part time job, eat dinner, do homework, blog, and then collapse into bed to do it all over again the next day. On some days I’ll also have meetings for my blog or for my sorority, Chi Omega!
In the summer, things are a bit different. I don’t have as much of a regulated schedule, but it’s nice because I tend to get a lot more blogging done during the summer months and I check more off of my to-do list each day. I’m a BIG believer in to-do lists! I also spend lots of time with friends who are home from out-of-state schools.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BLOG, BOWTIFUL LIFE. WHAT INITIALLY INSPIRED YOU TO START IT? WAS THERE A CERTAIN EVENT/MOMENT YOU KNEW YOU WANTED TO DO IT?
I started blogging over four years ago during my junior year of high school. I was already a big blog reader and I decided that I wanted to have my own medium where I could share my voice, opinions and personal style. I saw other people blogging and doing just that and I thought, “Hey, I could totally do this!” I was also at a stage in my life where I was transitioning out of dancing all the time after taking classes since the age of three and I wanted something else to do during my free time. It was a big (& at times difficult) change, but one that I’m grateful for to this day!
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
The baseline of my style would definitely fall into the preppy category because I love classic silhouettes and colors like navy and white. However, I also really enjoy bright and vibrant colors and some edgier pieces. I wear what makes me feel comfortable & confident while letting my personality shine through. I find that I’m much more confident when I’m wearing clothes that I feel good in and I believe that confidence is a huge factor when presenting the truest version of yourself to others.
YOU CURRENTLY LIVE IN CHICAGO. HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR FREE TIME?
At this point in my life the majority of my free time is made up of blogging, hanging out downtown, spending time with friends, & watching some of my favorite shows Netflix. I’m a big planner, so I also spend a decent amount of time planning out my day and what I want to do in the future. Planning ahead keeps me centered and focused on both what I need and want to do as well as making sure that I make time for everything that needs to get done.
WHAT OBSTACLES HAVE YOU FACED IN YOUR CAREER? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
As a blogger, one of the biggest obstacles I’ve dealt with is time management. It’s hard to juggle being a full time student, having a part time job, being a blogger and maintaining somewhat of a social life all at once. Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done that I want to get done and I have to prioritize accordingly. In these situations, sometimes working on a blog post has to wait until the next day, but that’s just life!
I think that comparison is also an obstacle that almost every blogger deals with. I’ve certainly had days where I can’t help but scroll through Instagram and compare my content or my following numbers to another influencer’s account and feel a bit envious. We live in a time where social media is saturated with bloggers and digital influencers and everyone want to stand out and be “known” for something. I find that the best way to squash any green eyed monster feelings that come about is to put time and thought into creating original content that you can stand behind and be proud of. Individuality and originality is key in a digital age if you want to organically grow your own following and make a name for yourself while still staying true to yourself and your personal brand.
HOW DO YOU REPRESENT THE TRAIT AMBITIOUS?
I’m the type of person where if you tell me that I can’t do something I become even more determined to accomplish whatever it is. Some may say that starting Bowtiful Life back in 2012 was ambitious. At that point in time, the blogosphere wasn’t anywhere near what it is today and people would brush off what I was doing as a small, silly side project that wouldn’t last long. Being a blogger wasn’t a significant thing at the time. Now, I’ve been blogging for over four years and I’ve definitely proven that Bowtiful Life wasn’t just a random side project for me. It’s grown so much! In 2016, bloggers are now considered as respected influencers and viable sources for inspiration, information, advice and more. I didn’t know it then, but by starting my blog when I did I was setting myself up to have the platform that I have now. My dedication to what I do and the time and effort I’ve put in has allowed me to work with some awesome companies such as Topshop, H&M, Teen Vogue, Kendra Scott, Pottery Barn and more! My ambition propels me forward to take on new opportunities and try new things both in my career and in my personal life.
HOW DOES YOUR AMBITIOUS PERSONALITY RUB OFF ON OTHERS?
I’ve been told by friends that my determination and drive has inspired them to do things that they wouldn’t have necessarily believed they could do before. I’m a big believer in supporting others so I’ll encourage anyone to do something that they really have their heart set on. If you really want something, you just have to go all in and truly believe you can do it. That’s half the battle in itself!
WHO IS YOUR BIGGEST ROLE MODEL AND WHY?
In my personal life, I’d say that my parents are major role models for me. They support me in all that I do and encourage me to pursue anything that I want, while keeping good head on my shoulders.
In my blogging career, I really look up to Caitlin from Southern Curls and Pearls and Julia from Gal Meets Glam. They’ve both turned their blogs into financially viable careers while remaining true to their personal brands and voices. They’re bloggers that I look to for style inspiration & I’d love to raid their closets!
ASIDE FROM BEING AMBITIOUS, WHAT ARE THREE OTHER PERSONALITY TRAITS THAT DESCRIBE YOURSELF AND HOW SO?
- I’d definitely consider myself creative. I’m a very visual person and I’ve loved all forms of art from a very young age. Dance and painting are mediums that I’m especially fond of and they’re outlets I’ll rely on when I need a little bit of a break!
- I’d also consider myself passionate. I put my heart and soul into whatever I do. If I say I’m going to do something I’m doing it and doing it well.
- Friendly is another trait that I would associate with myself. I was that kid at freshman orientation who would start a conversation and introduce myself to as many people as I could. I love meeting new people and I can strike up a conversation with almost anyone.
WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES AND DREAMS? WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS FROM NOW?
My greatest hope for my future is that I end up doing something that I really love and that doesn’t feel like work. (“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”) Five years from now I want to be living in a big city like Chicago or NYC and working in the fashion industry in some social aspect. I think it would be really fun to manage and curate the social media accounts for a major brand or publication.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR BIGGEST PIECE OF ADVICE FOR AN AMBITIOUS GIRL LIKE YOURSELF?
Never let someone tell you that you can’t do something or that you aren’t good enough. You can do anything that you put your mind to!