October 17, 2017


-Barbi -
My Instagram posts began in April 2016 at the prompting from one of my best friends.  I was just a few months from turning 50.  She had read an article about a local fashion blogger- a millennial – and she convinced me to begin posting fashion for women in mid-life.  I have always enjoyed writing so the blog was just a natural progression.

Barb has always had a love for beauty, fashion and small business.  She has a great passion for people and has always incorporated in Sales and Marketing career.  

Over the years, she has enjoyed a broad range of experience in the fashion industry – in 1999 she began a successful wholesale/retail company designing and manufacturing costume/accessory line for children and briefly owned a furniture/clothing boutique in 2011.

As her 50th Birthday approached in 2016, a close friend suggested she create an Instagram fashion account – reluctantly she decided to give it a try and created @SouthernBlondeChic .    Barb immediately realized this was definitely for her – great clothes, makeup and hair, and an amazing online community of new friends – she was hooked!!

She began a blog in January of 2017 - SouthernBlondeChic.com - as well as media on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.  

Above all else, Barb hopes to touch women on a deeper level, reminding us all that true beauty begins within.  She believes we all have a gift to contribute and longs to encourage others to follow her tagline ~ “Live Each Day With Attention To Intention As You Pour Your Passion To Find Joy In The Journey!”    

Barb’s greatest blessings will always be her two wonderful children (both in college), Meggie (22) and Landon (20)  The most kind-hearted adults she knows and she  considers herself beyond blessed to be their Mom.

I am typically a very optimistic, up-beat, happy person.   I feel I’ve always been “young at heart”, so the idea that I am actually “older” honestly never hit me until other people on Instagram began discussing ageism.

As far as fashion, I have always just worn what I like.  My style is all over the board – I love it all – from the most feminine dresses to distressed jeans.  I read some posts that will explain “how to wear XYZ over the age of 50” and I truly don’t get it!  I believe one of the best things about mid-life is the confidence that comes.  I know who I am.  I know what I like.  I know what NOT to wear as well as where my style strengths are.  I don’t dress to “look younger”.  My style reflects who I am . . . someone who loves people and enjoys life – I believe the best look we can achieve at any age is just to embrace who we are and what we like.

I was actually very surprised as I entered the Influencer world  -  everyone was so very kind.  I never dreamed so many women, from so many different walks of life, would be so supportive.  It has been amazing.  

I think as far as brands are concerned, there is certainly more difficulty for a woman of a certain age.   I believe women in mid-life are certainly often overlooked, however I also believe that they age, many women believe their best days are behind them.  How can we sell our anti-ageism outlook to brands (or anyone) if we don’t honestly believe it ourselves?!!  

I personally believe the best is yet to come!!

For me, I think one of the biggest hurdles has been on the technical side. I had the passwords to my children’s social media accounts so I could keep tabs on their content but I was not active on social media at all before I began @southernblondechic .  So just to maneuver my content was a struggle at first.  I have grown quite a bit but still have a very basic blog.  As my account followings grow, I learn more and more but have less and less time to focus on that aspect of life.

I joined the Fierce 50 Campaign because I truly believe women of mid-life have SO much to offer!  And now, Bridging The Gap, is just another avenue where we can blur the lines on demographics that just don’t hold true.  

I do believe you and I have so much in common – I believe most all women (every age) have much more in common than they understand.  We all have pressures of some sort or another.  We constantly juggle our personal lives, balancing priorities.  We are all affected with personal disappointment, relationship issues, etc.  
As far as Instagram/blogging, we are no different, whether 10 or 100,000 Followers.  We are simply women trying to give our best on our platforms – getting pictures, doing a quick-change act in the back of our cars and getting the content out on time.  

I have always loved shopping.  Whether for me or someone else – it never mattered.  I just enjoy the design, textures, and palettes.   Without a doubt my shopping go-to has been Dillard’s, Zara, Chicos and Target.  I also often shop local boutiques.    As far as beauty products, I usually end up at the Estee Lauder or Lancome counters at Dillard’s or I hit Sephora for a change of scenery usually buying Nars, BH Cosmetics, Anastasia  and Tarte among others. I always end up at Target for Rimmel lip and eye liner – so good for so little!

I have been blessed beyond belief through this journey.  Some of my closest friends now are bloggers I’ve met at meet-ups.  I never, ever dreamed I could meet women on Instagram who I would so quickly connect with on such a deep level.  
I think it goes back to my basic belief that we are ALL the same – old or young.  Simply women longing to be loved and supported as we walk this journey of life.  Our stories are all so different but our paths the same –  made up of sunshine and flowers on some days, bumpy rides and rainfall on others.  

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