interviewing Katey Yurko of the Violet Fog

#WCW Katey Yurko of the Violet Fog interview on essellesse san francisco & austin based lifestyle blogger

Happy Wednesday!

Today I am soooo excited because I have one of my close friends & fellow blogger live on essellesse!

Katey Yurko of Violet Fog & I met like any millenial does these days: on instagram.

& we instantly clicked. We became fast friends and her blog is one I keep up with on the daily, remember?

What I like about Katey is that she keeps it real, is a major girl’s girl, & her blog is a perfect balance of beautiful writing & regimented research. When she reccomends something, you KNOW it will work. In fact, she’s the reason why I am on the rosehip oil train {I use it in my nightly routine}

This interview has been a long time coming but it was well worth the wait. Today, she’s lending invaluable insight on blogging, her story, advice to other bloggers, instagram, being an introvert and so much more.

In fact, one thing we bonded over was being introverted bloggers. She’s an INFP & I’m INTJ! She is from the Bay Area & so we had some blogging & wine dates. Currently, she’s living in Austin, Texas! Kind of fun because it’s kind of parallel to me {from Texas to California}!

Katey is an absolute gem and I’m stoked to have her on here.

Hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did! Soooooooo much valuable information here… which is very on brand for Violet Fog, if I do say so myself 😉

Meet Katey Yurko of Violet Fog!

#WCW Katey Yurko of the Violet Fog interview on essellesse san francisco & austin based lifestyle blogger
lazy luxury

Introduce Yourself & tell me about your blogging journey!

My name is Katey Yurko – I am both a writer and avid researcher! The main topics on my blog, Violet Fog, are: love, holistic healing, mental health, and biohacking. An odd pairing but it all coincides together! Here’s how & why:

Holistic Healing: I’m a firm believer in trying to help our bodies naturally before we intervene with medicine or fad diets. I believe there is a time and place for western medicine but learning about the human body and how food, herbs and lifestyle impact our bodies is key to true health in the long run. I write about all the deep research I do and while it’s educational, I keep it FUN. Learn something and maybe laugh along the way!

Mental health: I’ve dealt with depression for over half of my life and find that not many people write about this in a candidly conversational way. They keep it light or clinical, which I understand. It’s a tough topic to write about but I was searching for depth. Not many really write about the painful details and because of this, many of us feel so alone. I want to destigmatize this topic. I want people to know there is someone who can relate and cares about them. I also think holistic healing plays into this!

Biohacking: I am obsessed with performing and living life at an optimal level and healing myself whenever need be. There are many tips and tricks that are weird… but make sense! And work! I like to educate… but again, keep it FUN.

Love: This  is where the true writer in me comes out. I write very Carrie a la Sex and The City style… without the sex because my Mom would kill me lol. I believe I don’t have to pigeon hole myself and only write about one thing so love is often thrown into the mix of health!

What are your short term & long term goals

Short term: Read more non-fiction. I read health books ALL THE TIME. I am such an addict for truth and information and always nose deep in something written by my favorite doctors, scientists, etc. This is great for my work but I am also a creative writer and find that the more non-fiction I read, the more my imagination and memory dances when I write about love and relationships. A lot of writers I look up to do a lot of reading. So I need to read more “fun” stuff and not just research!

Long term: Finish writing my own book by mid 2020. It will be a book of short stories that you can read in any order!

Biggest beauty secret? You know the best stuff!

Medical grade retinoids!! They are 20X more powerful than over the counter retinol! I mention it many times on my blog and Instagram. Frankly, I don’t know why anyone pays good money for over the counter retinol when medical grade retinoids REALLY give you big results. Plus, it’s not even expensive compared to most of the creams out there.

Another secret is rosehip seed oil but it has to be a SPECIFIC kind of rosehip seed though – not 99% of the BS we see on shelves today. The research shows not all are equal! Rosa Canina is the best and shouldn’t be diluted with too many other ingredients. Rosehip is non-clogging, anti-aging, lightens brown spots, insanely hydrating… it’s a game changer, really.

Let’s talk style! You have such a cool, laidback vibe. How would you describe your personal style?

Super comfy, colorful, thoughtful but quirky at times. I like a good juxtapose- like something that is both tomboy or girly, or rocker and also bohemian. I’d say over 85% of my clothes are thrifted! I wish I had some favorite shops to tell you about, but it’s really just the local thrift stores of wherever I am. Fashionable town, non-fashionable town…. doesn’t matter. I always find gems. I think why I have such “good luck” is that I’m willing to do the work and dig! I go in with nothing in mind, just looking for something that jumps out at me!

Who / what inspires you and where do you find inspiration?

Fashion wise: my Mom is the 1960s and 1970s! Women’s style those days was so awesome. I love the screen print tees that are tight on the body (like baby-doll style) tucked into some good, worn-in jeans. And I love a flower in the hair. I’m rarely inspired by woman in magazines, put together by stylists. I love every-day street wear so women all around are constantly inspiring my style and they don’t even know it!

#WCW Katey Yurko of the Violet Fog interview on essellesse san francisco & austin based lifestyle blogger

What are some of the challenges in blogging & instagram and how do you handle them?

Where do I start? Lol.

Not getting health insurance handled by…. Simply getting my own expensive ass health insurance. Damn do I miss a 9-5 job for that reason!

When I work long hours on a piece of content and it doesn’t do as well as I hoped handled by… growing thicker skin and just knowing that’s the name of the game sometimes! Some content will perform well and other content may flop. On Instagram, it is SUCH a wide range for me. I can get thousands of “likes” on one thing and sometimes less than 100 on others! I hate those vanity metrics but I suppose it is a way to gather data. I definitely care more about website traffic than Instagram though.

People thinking I don’t do “real work” handled by… letting them think that because, oh well! *I* know I work my ass off! I have to if I want to continue making an income! {I aso supplement with free-lance writing and social media consulting.}

Staying organized handled by… Still working on it. My calendar is a mess. I’m a hard worker but just not a naturally organized person. My space is always clean but my work is always chaotic.

Brands who just want me to be a puppet for them handled by… basically me telling them to kick rocks if I can’t be 100% honest. And sometimes blasting them for poor practices on social media lol. I believe brands AND BLOGGERS need to be held accountable.

ALL IN ALL I love what I do. I can deal with the lows!

How would you describe your instagram aesthetic & walk me through your creative process

I used to stick to a theme, now I don’t. Most of my IG feed is focused on education or deep personal captions so my focus is more on what I write and less on my photos- although I know photography is important! I try to make mundane things (like vegetables lol)  FUN and pop! My favorite apps are VSCO and Huji. I have a creative eye but I’m not super technical with edits!

While we are on the topic of Instagram, what’s your advice to other bloggers who want to grow their account?

It’s so freaking hard. You need to GRIND. You need to engage a lot daily and hopefully you enjoy that aspect (I do.) You can’t follow formulas because they rarely work and if you’re not providing value or poor entertainment– good luck. It’ll be hard for you. You MUST be an EXCELLENT content creator- not just someone who takes pretty photos. Creators used to get by with just pretty photos on Instagram- newer accounts need more than that now to stand out.

And try to grow the authentic way! I think loop giveaways cheapen things. I think only portraying the positive things in life is super easy {and I don’t say that in a good way}… show some grit! Being vulnerable ADDS to people’s lives. It’s better for their minds and you should care about the people consuming your content. Their wellbeing. Are they leaving your page feeling good or feeling less than? You need to be concerned with this if you want to be a creator.  Don’t ONLY portray an enviable life especially when you know that’s just the highlight reel!

We bonded over being introvert bloggers! Any advice for instagram or blogging as an introvert?

It’s kind of perfect! You get to be behind a screen all day! Lol. My advice is to limit the amount of events you go to otherwise you’ll get burned out. I can do one a week, max. If I do two a week, it’s because the week prior I went to zero!

#WCW Katey Yurko of the Violet Fog interview on essellesse san francisco & austin based lifestyle blogger

How do you see social media & blogs evolving and how do you plan to evolve with it?

I think blogs hold a TON of value. I always say my site is the mothership and the goal of my Instagram is to get people over to my blog. That’s where I can really serve them some unique and helpful content. I think the future is: you can get by with just a strong Instagram, but having a blog sets you apart! Depends on how much time you can put into it. Some people really can make it with just an Instagram. I’m not one of them!

Looking back, if you could do anything different in building your brand, what would it be?

Been braver with more of the content I share today earlier on. Vulnerability is so important! I wish I would have peeled back the curtains even sooner right from the get go. Some readers might say I was vulnerable from the start but looking at what I published then and now, it’s only gotten deeper. And it has served me well with connecting on an even more meaningful level with the Violet Fog readers. My most recent posts about depression and addiction/body image were big ones as of late. I was shaking upon hitting publish! But I’m so happy I did. I’m here to help other women and I know those posts did more for them (or the ones who needed to read them) than a post on self tanner tips, or how to style XYZ ever will. Although those have their place.

For new bloggers, what is your biggest tip?

Give it 6 months. If after 6 months you feel drained and frustrated, then this industry is not for you. Because even with success there will come a lot of frustration and you need to be able to handle it. But if after 6 months you feel inspired, on fire, and like you are doing something GOOD when it comes to contributing to your little corner of the internet, then keep going!

#WCW Katey Yurko of the Violet Fog interview on essellesse san francisco & austin based lifestyle blogger

Who are some of your favourite bloggers to follow?

YOU! {@shannonsilver}: I learn about wine and cooking from you. I get “cool vibes” which always inspire me and your commitment to vintage is so dope! Your honesty is refreshing and I follow your lifestyle because it’s different and you’re not braggy! You give great tips too! I love an account with good bite sized tips.

@LilSipper: She’s a researcher like me when it comes to food and gut health! I love to support other people in the holistic healing space. Plus her personality is so silly and sweet. just a powerhouse of a creator. I love that she has such a distinct niche and doesn’t box herself in. She can talk about fashion and women issues in equal seriousness and do it back to back no problem.

@doctor.g_: a holistic doctor that I learn from on a daily basis. I agree with most of the things he talks about and I appreciate his dedication to helping people by sharing his knowledge.

Best piece of advice you have ever been given?

In regards to blogging- it’s about the people reading. Not about you. Before I write a piece it’s never about “what do I want to say?” “what do I need to get off my chest?” “how will this make ME look?”… while perhaps I consider those things, it’s a second thought. The first thoughts are always: “What content will help the readers?” “Does this have actionable advice or did I just present awareness to a problem with no solution?” “Is this something they want to read? Was it requested?” “Am I providing insight that is less known or is this just regurgitated bullshit and an actual time waster?” LOL.

Always about them and not me!

advice for others who are looking to follow their dreams but not sure how

You actually do know how. Chances are, you KNOW what it takes so get started!! One small step at a time! Either you’re going to do it or you’re not. Don’t half ass it!

What’s next for the Violet Fog?

More video content, IGTVs, and hopefully a book in 2020

#WCW Katey Yurko of the Violet Fog interview on essellesse san francisco & austin based lifestyle blogger

Best restaurant in both San Francisco & Austin and what do I HAVE to order?

SF: I sure do miss Souvla. Vegetarian option wrap! SO GOOD. And their olive oil yogurt! I will say “f*ck it” to my dairy allergy for that treat. It soothes my soul.

Austin: Tyson’s Tacos! Get the “yoda.” It has sriracha mayo, avocado, potatoes, black beans. Can’t go wrong with the yoda!

I gotta ask! California or Texas & why {you won’t offend me!}

Shannon!!!! I can’t. Both!!! Honestly both. <3

San Francisco: I love being able to step outside and have plenty of places to walk right in to. I miss the buzzing energy of the city. I miss the views. I miss the architecture. I miss friends and the Violet Fog readership in the Bay Area. I miss being close to home!

Austin: I love how clean it is. How there is such a focus on wellness and health in the city. I love the quirkiness of it here and the friendliness of the people. Also the food truck scene and all the live music!

They both have my heart!

And you know I have to 😉 favourite song??

I have so many but my very first favorite song in life (which will forever be a favorite) is Fly Like An Eagle by Seal. I know, I know… cheesy but damn do I love it. 

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about essellesse

essellesse is a lazy luxury lifestyle platform by Shannon Silver focusing on everything that’s important to living your best life – great food, wine, travel, vintage style, fitness and skincare. essellesse evokes a style of lazy luxury that’s fun, intimate, and easy breezy.