Last week, The VSR met with fellow bloggers, Rafael (Mr. Renaissance) and Kelly (A Side Of Sweet) for coffee and questions. The reason was to get involved with local bloggers and ask them technical and creative questions about their processes in the hopes that we could learn more and be inspired to further our own personal projects.


Rafael started his personal style blog to document aspects of his life and spread positivity through fashion, culture, education, and more. He officially started blogging a year ago, yet had been brainstorming the idea for awhile before everything fell into place. Finding the perfect name was particularly important to him because he wanted something that expressed not only who he was but also who he wanted to become. A rebirth if you will. Hence, “Mr. Renaissance” was the natural choice.


Kelly began her journal eight years ago to keep her family and friends updated on her travels through Spain. Since then, A Side Of Sweet has become a way of documenting her adventures in life, focusing on food, fashion, travel and DIY projects. She does everything from spotlighting her outfits for the day and creating her own food recipes to sharing crafting ideas and travel destinations.


Rafael and Kelly have very similar ideas of what they want out of their projects, using them as creative outlets and a means to promote positivity, yet they also enjoy the business and technical aspects of running blogs, as well.

Rafael grew up in what he described as a “business oriented” household, so managing the nuts and bolts of the blog has come naturally to him. What is challenging for him is meshing the business aspects with the creative ones to create harmony. Kelly also enjoys the technical aspects of blogging and says one of her favorite parts is editing photos and working the backend. Rafael agreed, saying that he loves editing because he feels the way the photos look and are expressed show the reader how he was feeling at the time they were taken.

For Kelly, the biggest challenge of running a blog is creating and publishing seasonal content. An example would be creating a Thanksgiving recipe by Thanksgiving. “I create my own recipes, as you know, and they have to be done a certain way. The recipes are original so I actually make them. Then I take pictures of them in natural lighting, and those photos need to be edited. Next, the article has to be written and only when everything is put together does it get published. I love it, but it’s a long process, and finding the time can be challenging.” Because of her busy schedule, making posts in advance is sometimes necessary. Some of these challenges have been alleviated with the help of her husband, Pat, who takes shots of the outfits and assists with the blog, while Kelly photographs and manages all that remains. Wow! Truly, a labor of love!



Rafael didn’t think he had any particular challenge of note. He did say he can get caught up in whether people are reading his posts or not. “You put all this work into new content, and you’re wondering why you aren’t always getting super awesome feedback. You just have to take a step back and remind yourself why you’re doing it. For me, it’s excellence over success, and the Universe gives us what we need when we are ready. So everything will fall into place. I just have to remember that.” We asked him if anyone helps him with the blog. He just smiled and said “a magician never tells his secrets!”

When asked what the most difficult technical aspect of creating a blogging was, they both laughed and exclaimed “choosing the fonts!”

As for the future of A Side Of Sweet, Kelly wants the blog to grow organically with her life and continue to promote creativity. Rafael is planning to eventually include videos in Mr. Renaissance, turning it into a three dimensional space where readers will get a better understanding of the blog’s personality. In any case, The VSR fully supports their endeavors and knows that no matter what, they will always have Style! – E.