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Josiane Stratis and her twin sister Carolane founded their fashion blog Ton Petit Look (TPL) five years ago, and the site's frankness and sarcastic tone were an immediate hit with readers. Three years later, the Stratis sisters branched out by creating TPL Moms, a blog about motherhood. Today, their blog receives more than 300,000 visits a month, a remarkable achievement for these two unconventional young women who are now facing a brand new challenge: kids. We spoke to Josiane.
How did you get the idea for Ton Petit Look?
Back then there weren't really any blogs that criticized fashion. Most bloggers were writing things like "I love this product! Look at what I'm wearing!" whereas we were more sarcastic. We realized that people were interested when we wrote about body diversity or more personal stuff.
How can you make a living from a blog?
Well, it took us three years before we were able to make a living from it. I was working three jobs at the beginning! Now the site belongs to an advertising company, so we get a salary that varies depending on the contracts we have, but for a freelancer it's quite reassuring to have a guaranteed minimum income.
We also make a little money from advertising on our pages, and my sister and I teach classes in blogging. It also has to be said that being a blogger gives you the chance to test a lot of products, so a lot of things that we would otherwise have bought, like tea, moisturizer or olive oil, are given to us for free. That saves money!
What is the advantage of working with your twin sister?
We're straight with each other! We also complement each other really well. When we try to explain it to people, we say "If we were just one person, we would be really amazing!" We're not that special on our own, but together we're great!
How do you balance work and family life?
I have a two-and-a-half-year-old, and I must confess that organization is not my forte! I often feel like a caricature at the daycare centre: I forget about special activities, my son eats his breakfast in the car, and so on. I have a good sense of humour, so I don't take it all too seriously. But being a blogger does have some advantages when you're a mom. My son is very sociable because I've been bringing him everywhere with me since he was born. If he's sick, it's easy for me to stay home and work when it's convenient. And since he came along, I can write two times faster than before! It's a lifestyle that I really enjoy.
What's next for you and your sister?
We're in the early stages of a new project. It will be a completely new adventure, not necessarily connected with TPL. I studied fashion marketing, and Carolane studied design and then apparel production management. We have certain skills that we would like to develop. We might turn to crowdfunding, but nothing is definite yet. Watch this space...