This week’s featured influencer is Montreal fashion blogger, Elif Filyos Tezer.
Elif has had her fair share of careers. She went from being a lawyer, to working in PR, and is now making her living as a full-time blogger and style influencer on Instagram. Find out how moving from Turkey to Canada changed her life and allowed her to live out her passions!
Where are you from?
I’m originally from Turkey, but currently living in Montreal, Canada.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Turkey as the only child to a happy little family. I was a blessed child that got a lot of love and confidence to be whatever I wanted to be. I have open minded, supporting parents, which helped me.
What were you like as a kid?
I was an extremely extroverted but seriously aggressive and ambitious kid, I think this was mainly because I was the only child with just one cousin so I was always spoiled. As I reached my teen years I became more shy, more considerate, less selfish and now I think I’m this conscious, calm person with small organizational OCDs – I’m glad I’m not as annoying as I was before, but I miss the feisty little girl sometimes.
What were you doing before you started blogging full-time?
I studied law and worked as a lawyer for a year before going to Italy to do a Masters in Fashion Management. I never really wanted to be in law but luckily I found my way out. Before moving to Montreal and focusing on my blog I worked as a store manager and then as a PR representative specializing in fashion in Istanbul. I took photography lessons when I was in high school and started taking photos way before so my blog and Instagram just gave me the opportunity to combine all my passions and make a living out of it.
How did you get started?
I started my blog the same month I moved to Milan to study fashion as an official outlet to share all my musings and inspirations. It became my “career” when I moved to Montreal to be with my husband and couldn’t find any other job because I didn’t speak French. Thank god I couldn’t because otherwise I never may have ended up doing the best job I could think of.
What are your creative goals?
I aim to create visuals and stories, trying to outdo myself even if I’m taking a photo of the exact same subject. I try to set myself challenges and overcome them, also to never shy away from projects that are out of my comfort zone. I freak out a lot at first but the feeling of achievement after you deliver a different kind of – or bigger scaled – project is unparalleled.
What are your dreams?
To be creatively active all my life no matter where life takes me, to be able to (keep on being) my own boss, to be less shy as time passes by, to travel around the world, and live a happy life regardless of where I’m living or what I’m doing.
What inspires you to create?
Frankly, I don’t have any talents other than having an eye for style and maybe photography. I was always insanely jealous, not the rich or successful people but the talented people. Creating something stimulating or aesthetically pleasing is a gift and anyone who can do it should do it.
In 10 years, what will you be doing?
I have absolutely no idea what I’ll be doing in 10 years and I don’t think anyone should know the answer to this question. 10 years ago, I was a law student in Ankara, Turkey and didn’t start dating my now husband; living with him in Canada and being a blogger (which wasn’t even a thing back then) and an Instagrammer (no such thing in 2006, we hadn’t even started using Facebook yet) wasn’t even a dream. I just want to be happy.
What is your creative process?
I like to plan a lot, so whatever I’m going to do or post the next day (or sometimes next couple of days) is already set in advance. My typical day usually starts really early at a coffee shop – to wake up, start working and take photos. Then I go to the gym to work out in the afternoon, go back home, have lunch, then keep on working at home. When there’s no more sunshine to take photos, I start working on next day’s blog post.
What are your favourite tools? Where do you do your best work?
My iPhone 6, VSCOCAM, Snapseed and Instagram itself. I work best at coffee shops in the morning or at my home after midnight.
What is your ideal partner or collaborator?
First of all, I only work with kind people. After a horrible PR disaster I had to deal with couple of months ago, I’ve decided that, before anything else, the person that gets in touch with me has to be nice and professional.
I like brands that are upfront and clear about what they want, respectful of the process, and respectful of my personality and workflow. I know some bloggers and some brands see social media and blogging as a hobby or building friendships, but for me it’s a strict business that requires extreme professionalism. Like any other work relationship, of course, it may end up with a friendship, but most important thing is work ethic. If all those criteria are met, the collaborations work smoothly no matter the brand or project.
What are some of your favourite places in the world?
Montreal is my favourite place in the world, and will probably always be. It’s freakishly, unbearably cold in the winter and sometimes I can’t understand a word of French; but I’ve never felt more at home, more comfortable, more safe or happier at another place. I love New York City, as I’m a total city girl by heart. I love Paris, because it’s just so ridiculously beautiful. I love Istanbul, just not living in it.
What are some of your favourite things?
Shoes, no explanation needed. Jewellery and tailored, good quality pants. Beautiful stuff for my home. In terms of intangible things, I love waiting for my husband to come home in the evening so we can spend time together, I love barbecuing at the park in the summertime, I love hopping on planes to travel, I love talking to my mom every single day no matter what.
Check out one of our favourite Montreal fashion blogger, Elif’s feed here.
Beza is #paid’s Community Lead