Walking out of Monster Sushi just a day after super-storm Sandy swept through Summit, two sisters walked through downtown looking calm and fashionable.
But having to deal with no power for several days meant more to them than having to forgo television and hot showers. For these sisters their blog City and Burbs had to take a short hiatus as well.
The blog is a look at all things fashionable and often-times affordable. With casual looks for work and going out, the sisters have been gaining a following for posting photos of themselves in their latest fashion finds.
Here, we chat with the Summit half of "City and Burbs":
Who are you and where in Summit do you live?
My name is Catalina Kowal and I'm a sales engineer for a networking company. My husband and I moved to Summit in June 2010 and we live just south of the hospital.
What's your favorite place to be in Summit and why?
My husband and I both love Downtown Summit, Springfield Avenue. During the summer we can usually be found walking around downtown or eating at one of the many fantastic restaurants.
How did Sandy affect you, your family and how long were you without lights?
We were very fortunate during Sandy. We only lost power for five days and had some minor damage in the backyard from a fallen tree. My parents in Scotch Plains were out for longer, so they stayed with us for a few extra days.
Describe your blog for us. How do you find the time for career and fashion blogging.
City and Burbs is a joint effort between my sister and me. We're both professionals in the networking field, but she lives in Hoboken (the city) and I live in Summit (the burbs) - hence the name.
It's mostly a fashion blog, although sometimes we feature some lifestyle pieces, and our target audience is women in the workplace. We document our daily outfits in order to give women a little fashion inspiration for the office.
It's time consuming, but a creative outlet I'm glad to have, and so I make time for it. Luckily my sister and I split the duties so it's a bit more manageable.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into blogging, maybe even start a fashion blog?
Write about something you love. Genuine enthusiasm for a topic translates well in the blogging world.
I would say the first step is to narrow the focus of your blog -- we started off as a generic lifestyle blog, but as time went on we decided that focusing our content helped us stay more relevant to our audience.
The second step is to leverage the existing blogging community -- Diana and I both have a list of 'go-to' blogs that we read regularly. We interact with those bloggers and leverage one another to increase our readership by guest-posting, or hosting giveaways.
There are other ways to leverage a blogging community that we have yet to implement, but we're definitely on the way.
Finally, I'd suggest getting very familiar with all the different forms of social media that are out there.
You don't have to use all of them, but being familiar with all the platforms will help you decide which ones would benefit you - Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, Facebook, etc. They all have their advantages and can help you reach your target audience.
We're coming up on the 1 year anniversary of City and Burbs and we're proud to say we have over 200 followers on facebook. We don't have sponsors yet, but hope that will come as our readership grows.