Blogging! Let’s talk the 5 W’s: Who, what, where, when, & why!

For starters, I am Shannon Silver, a Texan {what up Houston} living in San Francisco, California. I spent my 20s in the food & beverage world – I didn’t know if I wanted to be a somm or a chef but I went the somm route. However, that said, I’ve always been drawn to computers, technology & the internet. I love sharing stories & connecting with people all around the world. In fact, I probably have more online friends than I do in person! Throughout the years, I’ve been asked for recipes, lifestyle tips, wellness advice, wine advice, etc so the idea to create a blog finally came to me in 2013. I recently moved to California from Dallas & spent a lot of time alone in my new apartment in wine country to try and start new. I was soul searching after a dark point feeling unfulfilled & defeated with life, my career & career path, my love life… you name it. I needed a change. For the first time, I found immense joy, excitement, & pleasure in the possibility of a blog! So in early 2014 I purchased the domain & started writing future posts in a journal. I launched the blog in full in 2015. At the end of the day, I started essellesse as a source of inspiration for the everyday: from recipes to wine to lifestyle to music to fashion. You name it!

What is the meaning behind the name “essellesse”?

essellesse {pronouncned SLS} is my initials spelled out! I added the e to the end to make it a palindrome. Before that, you might have known the blog as “Champagne at Shannon’s” which was a nod to both Breakfast at Tiffany’s and my Sommelier studies and certification.

Who takes all of your photos?

My phenomenal boyfriend, Erik, takes all my photos! If I am alone, I use a tripod situation, a bluetooth remote &/or a selfie stick. I also shoot my own photos – more on that here.

Every now and then, I do work with local photographers & if I do, I will always leave their info in my posts. If you ever want to shoot together, e-mail me!

What do you shoot on & how do you edit your photos?

For all blog photos, I use a DSLR & we recently added a mirrorless to the collection that I personally prefer {Erik prefers the DSLR}. You can find the technical information to both here. For my Instagram 99% of the time, I use my iPhone 7+, the only exception being if I am promoting a blog post. I will say that camera phones have improved a LOT. If you aren’t ready to splurge on a DSLR, I recommend you splurge on the iPhone 7+ for the portrait feature. I personally think you can get by with that alone as long as you have natural, bright lighting. I use Photoshop & Lightroom for all blog images.

I touched on my edits here & here, but my style has changed a bit & I’ll make an updated post very soon. I swear by the following apps for my phone: VSCO, Snapseed, Priime, Facetune, & Instagram. I then use a variety of aesthetic apps, like Glitché, Afterlight & a few others.  My biggest tip is to do your final edits in Instagram all the same to create a uniform feel, no matter what filter you use elsewhere. My favourite VSCO filters are V3, V6, & V8!

Who designs your graphics & who did your site?

I created all my graphics, including my logo, & I use Adobe Photoshop.

When I first launched in 2015, I worked with a designer named Brittney for my first beta logo who was amazing- her post & contact info is here. Another great designer is Danny Ferry – feel free to e-mail him & let him know I sent you, his contact info is here. He also happens to be my best friend’s boyfriend!

As far as my site design, I used a template I bought from themeforest & customized it myself.

I want to start a blog! How do I do it?

Before you start a blog, really dig down on the most important question – WHY? I wrote a post on it here. If it’s to solely to make a quick buck, then save yourself a lot of time, stress, money, effort, & sanity and find another venture.

Once you figure out the why, then get to writing! I recommend writing posts & start shooting photos like crazy. You will want to hone in on, both, your voice and aesthetic so this helps a lot. Also, completion before perfection – my obsession with keeping things perfect really slowed me down which is a big regret of mine – I wish I started sooner. Perfection you can constantly tweak!

Now, my biggest advice, is BE YOURSELF. Let your personality & what makes you tick shine in your writing. The more you write, the stronger your online voice gets. The best complement I get on my blog is that it’s so me. I’ve had people very close to me tell me that reading my posts is like talking to me, which is something I really take to heart.

Don’t get up in the comparison game, don’t worry about numbers (people buy them, people are in groups, people are in pods, it’s a fucked up game that’s not worth stressing over) as so many of it is fake so focus on your content with blinders on & water the grass you have! Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.

Check out my blogging resources here. Read more on starting a blog  here & here & here.

Where do you find inspiration & what inspires you?

 I love to indulge a bit on a strain that encourages creativity & scroll instagram. Any photo that stands out to me, I save it like a mini pinterest. Whenever I am uninspired, I scroll through my saved photos. If you were to scroll through it, you’d see they all flow together so it helps me really hone in on a certain style I am so drawn to. Neon Talk {website || insta}  is one of my go to’s.

I am very inspired by 8 & 16 bit, outer space, video & computer games {Sonic CD, Grand Theft Auto San Andreas & esp VICE CITY to be specific}, neon lights & signs, San Junipero from Black Mirror, electronic music, vapour / synth wave, Cinnamon Chasers, Giorgio Moroder, the synthesizer, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, & 80’s/90’s malls, & 80s interiors in general.

I will admit, I’m always on my phone but it’s because I see it as a source of so much inspiration & motivation. Technology has evolved so much in the past 30+ years that it is a privledge we are so incredibly lucky to have. I mean, we have access to information & knowledge literally at our fingertips!! That blows my mind on the daily & that alone keeps me inspired and makes it hard for me to get off my phone. The internet connects all of us as human beings across the globe.

Seeing technology, computers, and the internet transform & evolve is something that keeps me inspired on the daily & excited for the future.

Where do you buy your cannabis & is it even legal?

Yes. I have a medical marijuana recommendation & recreational cannabis use is legal here in California. I buy all my medicine from Eaze – if you are in San Francisco, I cannot reccomend it enough!

As far as dispensaries, The Apothecarium in San Francisco is my favourite. If you need an mmj recc, I love using EazeMD – it is all done online & takes less than 15 minutes.

Is blogging your full time job?

It is! I did work full time and blogged full time for 3 years prior. More on how to balance it all here.

Can I use your photos or recipes on my blog too?

Of course, all I ask is to link back to it’s original content! You may tweet, facebook share, pin… you name it… just please link your sources {aka Champagne at Shannon’s} & give me credit. Don’t be shady.

Can we collab?

I love to collaborate with brands & bloggers that are a perfect fit for Champagne at Shannon’s. This includes everything from the mission, to values, to content, to aesthetics.

If you feel like your company, blog, or brand is a good fit, e-mail me at for more information.

I noticed in an old post you linked to a certain source but I recently wrote a very comprehensive post on the subject – can you link to my post instead?

I get these inquiries all the time so I figured I’d address them here. To keep the integrity of the original post and my original sources, I do not update the links unless they are a paid sponsor or a paid placement. If a paid sponsorship/ad placement is what you are looking for, let me know & we can discuss potential partnerships.

Where can I see more??

Follow @shannonsilver on instagram – I’m the most active there! Come say hi 🙂



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