AN INTERVIEW WITH ELLA GREGORY
Ella Gregory started her blog @cocosteaparty when she was just 16, blazing the trail for bloggers to come. We talk to her about friendships, trashy TV and her podcast ‘Let’s Discuss’…
Ella in the Mambo Tunic, Antigua
You started Coco’s Tea party in 2006, eleven years ago! What was it like spearheading the blogger movement?
Well, I don’t know if I was really spearheading it, at least not intentionally. It was such a different environment back then. There was no Instagram for a start, and brands weren’t really paying any attention to bloggers, so you were pretty much left to your own devices. It definitely felt more creative and there was a bigger sense of community back then.
With eleven years of experience, you must have mastered the balance on your blog. How do you get the perfect mix of style, travel and lifestyle pieces?
I’m ridiculously organised as a person, and always plan my content about a month in advance. This allows me to make sure there’s always a healthy mix of style and lifestyle pieces on the blog. My editorial calendar is my secret weapon. And I think it helps that I studied Fashion Journalism at university – I’m used to looking at things with an editor’s eye.
What does a typical working day look like for you?
I usually get up at 7am, make a healthy breakfast and then head straight to my desk. Early mornings are spent catching up on emails, posting to Instagram and engaging with my community on social media. Then I usually settle down to work properly at about 9am. My days are quite varied, but more often than not I can be found either writing content, editing the Let’s Discuss podcast, shooting content or editing images. It’s always non-stop until about 6pm, when I turn my laptop off.
Ella in the Bardot Dress in Navy, Antigua
Running a blog can be all encompassing. How do you spend your down days?
I live in West London, and love to get outside and go for a walk in Richmond Park. I’m also a sucker for any kind of trashy TV, so will happily binge The Real Housewives of New York City for an entire afternoon. I find it really relaxing – despite the fact it’s essentially non-stop catfights!
It’s clear to everyone that you have a great relationship with Monica of @MonicaBeatrice. How did you two start working together, and how much does it help to have someone to travel and work with?
Monica and I met about 5 or 6 years ago, and we quickly became friends. Over the years we’d worked together shooting blog content, and had collaborated a few times on posts, but it wasn’t until ‘Let’s Discuss’ that we had a proper working relationship. We both love podcasts, and really liked the idea of trying something new. So we decided to team up and create the Let’s Discuss podcast. We also get to travel together often, which is great because there’s never that guilt about needing to shoot an Instagram image or spend an hour replying to emails. We both love what we do and find it hard to switch off, so our “working holidays” benefit us both.
The Let’s Discuss podcast that you do together covers love, life, work and wellbeing. How do you decide what you’re going to talk about and was it easy finding your stride with it?
The conversations we have on the show are really no different from the conversations we have in private as friends. At the beginning of each season we sit down and brainstorm topics we’d like to cover in the show. We pick topics that are relevant to what we’re going through in our lives at that time, and which also have a universal feel. Last season we did an episode about going through a quarter-life crisis and the response was amazing. So many of our listeners had struggled with the same thing.
Other female double act podcasters include 2 Dope Queens, Another Round, Call Your Girlfriend and The High Low. Why do you think this particular trend is emerging now?
I think it has a lot to do with the friendships between the hosts. You can always feel that they have a genuine connection and chemistry, and that always brings a sense of fun and humour to podcasts. I love The High Low, and always feel like Dolly and Pandora are two of my BFFs when I listen. It’s like you’re a part of their conversation. And I think that’s one of the main reasons Let’s Discuss has been so popular too.
Your podcast has been such a great idea, how else do you see yourself and your blog’s creative output growing?
At the moment Let’s Discuss is such a big focus for both Monica and I, and it’s been taking up a lot of our time and headspace. But I’m currently also working on a light re-design, and have a few other ideas bubbling in the background.
Favourite place to travel?
Favourite place to wear Pampelone?
Favourite Pampelone piece?
The Mambo tunic
Describe your style in 3 words
British, bohemian, colourful
Morning, noon or night?
Sunrise or Sunset?
Dark chocolate with sea salt
5 Holiday Essentials?
A good book, SPF, basket bag, sun hat and oversized sunglasses
American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
#1 Bucket List destination?