Mixing it up
She’s a lawyer, a blogger, a photographer and a fashionista, but Jiawa Liu credits her success with simply having a go.
The 28-year-old public servant decided to dive into the world of blogging about two years ago after moving to Canberra for work.
“I think a lot of people will say the same thing, but you feel a bit isolated when you first come to Canberra because you don’t know anyone so you want to start something to make connections,” she says.
“Some people take night classes or do charity work ... what I did was blogging.”
Inspired by her idol, US fashion blogger Rumi Neely, Liu set up closetvoyage.com – a website dedicated to fashion, beauty and fun.
Since then the bubbly socialite’s blog has clocked up more than 2000 members, with the site receiving about 30,000 hits a month.
“It sounds great as a number but in the scale of things ... I’m small fry,” she says with a laugh.
“I have a loose plan and that is to become Rumi Neely. She has 200,000 followers – but that’s the level I’m aiming at.”
For Liu, closet voyage has become a creative outlet, which enables her to explore many of her passions including make-up, styling and photography.
While it sounds like a lot to take on, the young entrepreneur believes in the philosophy of “learn by doing”.
“People think, ‘I’m not going to do something because I need to learn how to do it first’,” she says.
“I never took any photography classes and I don’t go to blogger seminars, I didn’t go out and read pro-blogger for a month before I started. I found out about all this stuff afterwards.”
Liu likes to incorporate a mixture of affordable and high-end pieces on her blog, most of which she finds online.
“I do wear both expensive and chain store stuff,” she said.
“I find shopping online so much better because every piece is highlighted and you’re not going through hundreds of pieces. You can look at what you want.”
When it comes to fashion Liu loves lots of colour and mismatched prints combined with hot trends.
While some have referred to her style as eccentric, she prefers to sum it up as eclectic.
“People have called me eccentric – I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing but I guess I agree. I don’t think they mean eccentric like Mr Burns style, but more out of the ordinary,” she laughs.
“[My style is] always changing depending on what I like at the time.”
When it comes to autumn, the young trendsetter forecasts that fashion will be focused on outerwear.
“Don’t rely on this and then sue me later, but I think for autumn going into winter the outerwear is going to be capes,” she says.
“Or even if it’s not capes, wearing coats as a cape without putting your arms in – I think that’s going to be the biggest thing, that’s my tip.
And when it comes to colour, she says anything goes.
“I don’t even think there’s going to be a rule for autumn, I think colours of all shades and tones are going to be great for everything,” she says.