Written By : Samantha Cee
Fashion Gxd Magazine Present's to you our "Up NEXT" Section . Our Features included Rising Businesses , Brands , and people who are acquiring Fame and international Recognition for pursing their purposes Our Next " Next UP" feature is from a phenomenal blogger out of Georgia , Maui Bigelow. Maui is the curator of PHAT Girl Fresh, a lifestyle blog that caters to women and offers a feminist approach to life. The mission of PHAT Girl Fresh is to be a voice for women while encouraging them to find and use their own voices. She enjoys advocating for women and girls, staying informed on social, fashion and beauty trends and sharing her gifts. Maui is taking the internet by storm being seen in vast online publications . Maui Is climbing her ladder to success and she is just getting started . Check out Our Exclusive interview with Georgia's queen of curves below
Fashion Gxd Magazine : Where are you from?
Maui Bigelow:I am from a very small town in South Georgia called Iron City but I currently reside in Albany, Georgia.
Fashion Gxd Magazine :How did you get started as a blogger ?What inspired your blog "PhatGirlfresh
Maui Bigelow: I have always been a nerd girl who loved to read and write. I started blogging as an outlet similar to writing in my diary. I thought that I could be an asset to women by sharing my truth and my random thoughts.
The name PHAT Girl Fresh actually was initially a phrase on one of the t-shirts from my online boutique. However, over time I begin to see how catchy it was and understand what the letters stood for in relation to me and women. P (passionate), H (happy). A (appreciative), T (true); all characteristics that every woman should embody. So, I did some rebranding and here I am!
Fashion Gxd Magazine : Recently you've completely broke the internet withyour post , how are you handling your fame ?
What inspired your post?
Maui Bigelow: Yes, I had a post that went viral a couple of weeks ago. I wouldn't say that I am famous but I will say that the attention was greatly appreciated. It is always great to be recognized for your work by your peers. As a woman who was once a girl with big dreams being recognized by all of the different publications was a dream come true. It never got old, I was just as excited each time another outlet shared it or asked to interview me. Honestly, I felt like I had lived one of my greatest moments because as a girl, I dreamed of being in Seventeen Magazine, so...!! The crazy thing was, that weekend I was in Miami for a funeral and it put things in prospective for me when I walked into Walgreens and the cashier said, "are you the crop top blogger from the internet." I was floored but I was happy that the message was getting out and affecting the thought process of so many women.
The post was inspired by an incident in which another plus size woman took it upon herself to adjust my clothing based on her belief that, "We (plus size women) couldn't show our stomachs." i wanted to not only share my story but I also wanted to encourage women. It is important that plus size women know that they can be stylish and on trend despite what others think. It is about knowing you body and knowing yourself more than it is the clothes.
Fashion Gxd Magazine : What is your favorite part of blogging and what is the most challenging part about being a blogger?
Maui Bigelow: My favorite part about blogging is the ability to connect with so many amazing women. I enjoy meeting women from all walks of life and sharing them with other women. I think that it is so vital that we learn to appreciate our differences and celebrate them. Most of all i think that no matter what, there is much to be learned from one another. I also enjoy the fact that I am able to be me and have other women relate to that.
The most challenging thing about being a blogger is that everyone has an opinion and many times they want to shove it down your throat. I know that this is what I signed up for but it is still aggravating. I am also not of fan of the hate that comes with the messages I try to spread. For instance, I got a lot of negative and hateful comments with the popularity of the crop top post. While it didn't bother me because I have tough skin, I couldn't help but think that many women were effected by it. While the post empowered them and gave them hope, I am sure that the negativity did the opposite.
Fashion Gxd Magazine : What are your professional do's and dont's?
Maui Bigelow: My professional do's are to:
Always stay true to myself.
Always maintain a positive attitude.
Always stay connected to my target audience.
Always find a way to meet any challenge.
Always find something to appreciate.
Professional Don't's are:
Never take business too personal.
Never allow negativity to affect me.
Never accept no.
Never lose sight of who I am and what I bring to the table.
Never dumb myself down.
NEVER LOOK BACK!
Fashion Gxd Magazine : What advice would you give someone who wants to break into the blogging industry ?
Maui Bigelow: My advise to someone who wants to break into the blogging industry is to find your target audience. Without knowing your target audience, you will find that you are all over the place and that isn't cool or productive.
Fashion Gxd Magazine : What are some style tips you would give to curvy woman ?
Maui Bigelow:. My style tips for curvy girls are:
Get to know your body, that is the key to finding out how to properly execute any style.
Wear the proper undergarments; the proper undergarments can take your look to a entirely different level.
Make sure you know the your proper bra size, there is nothing worse than sagging boobs.
Don't be afraid to show a little skin, just because you have a little extra cushion doesn't mean you have to hide it.
Add some color to your wardrobe, there is no reason to restrict yourself because of your size.
Buy clothes that fit; clothes that are too small cut your body up and make you look distorted and clothes that are too big make you look bigger.
Fashion Gxd Magazine : What are your favorite places to shop at?
Maui Bigelow: Honestly, I shop everywhere from goodwill and other consignment shops to places like Society+, Ashley Stewart and Lane Bryant. i also love shopping indie designers as well.
Fashion Gxd Magazine :Where do you see yourself in 5 years ?
Maui Bigelow: In 5 years, I plan to be a published author who is a major resource for women all over the world. I want the PHAT Girl Fresh brand to be one that is recognized and respected by women from all walks of life. As an educator, I hope that in 5 years I am able to create camps and classes for women and girls that will empower them in different areas of their life.