You shall receive

You’re all crazy and threw me sixty completely different questions – and I answered all of them!

A couple of photos of my famed Reformation jumpsuit that Geneva snapped for me while we hung out on the rooftop of the Hotel Empire in New York – HEY CHUCK BASS!

But more to the point – at the end of last week, I asked you all to throw your best and burning questions at me (probably more for your entertainment than mine, but that’s what I’m here for!), and the result was sixty completely different want-to-knows! You crazy people. So much love.

I’ve done my best with every single one, and if you have any questions about my answers (INCEPTION), feel free to ask them in the comment section below and I’ll reply to them there. So in chronological order, here goes:

I’d love to know how you first got into fashion and blogging and how you became popular/joined FELLT?

I started Shine By Three absolutely by chance. I’d saved far too many inspiration images on the computer to the point where I’d filled Dad’s hard-disk and he demanded they all be deleted – as Tumblr wasn’t as big a platform back then, I ended up uploading them all to a blogspot. One day I shot a mirror photo of what I was wearing, and the rest is history. The FELLT boys contacted us all about 6 months before FELLT launch and we all felt that it would be great step forward for the online facet of Australian fashion industry. I’m so happy to be a part of something that encourages your voices to share their point of view on a range of topics with whoever’s interested – that’s the most effective kind of communication in a tech-sphere like this right? Consumer to consumer.

When you first started blogging, how did you get people to read your blog? Did you just use social media to get to where you are now?

I was actually one of the late adopters with social media. For a while I wanted people to be coming to read my blog for my content, not because I told them to (also I didn’t have a smart phone at the time, so Twitter wasn’t at the forefront of my mind, and I only got Instagram a few months ago when I managed to borrow my Dad’s iPad without him noticing… he still hasn’t muahaha).

Do you have any tips to get rid of dark circles under eyes? You have flawless skin!

I use INDAH Extra Virgin Coconut Oil as moisturiser morning and night after cleansing, and a little extra under the eyes before you go to bed during a long week works absolute wonders. I also use it as makeup remover, hand cream, and hair treatment when my ends get a bit dry. It also makes bruises and cuts heal faster by protecting them. I have a separate jar that I have in my food – it does wonders for your nails, hair and skin as well. Every morning, I have a tablespoon in my tea, or use it to cook eggs, or have it in a breakfast shake, or morning cereal. It fills you up and stops you from eating more than you need to (not in an unhealthy way – just so you don’t demolish all those nachos at once just because they’re there). I’ve also used Dr Bronner’s one, which works just as well, but isn’t as raw as INDAH‘s (the rawer the better).

Before you became successful in the blogging world, did you go to fashion events? If so, how did you get invited?

Before (and even when) my blog started growing, I was finishing up high school, so not as much no. I did go to the odd one or two during my HSC, but really I was just focused on getting into Uni!

Hi Margaret! Have you become a more confident person through blogging? If so, how?

I think business-savvy is a better way to look at it than confidence. Through the various brands and interacting with a wide network of professionals (PRs, media, photographers, stylists, models, financial superpowers, you name it) in Sydney, New York, and wherever there’s internet, I’ve been able to build a stronger brand, really understand my readers and what you guys love reading and seeing, and communicating that to people who ask. Being able to do a 30-second pitch of what you’re about, why it’s important and what you can do for whoever you’re talking to is a sure sign of being confident in your own work: it all goes hand in hand.

You just know I’m going to ask how you do that twisty thing with your hair! Could you please do a video on how you do your hair?

In short, I use whatever part my hair falls into when I get out of bed, and braid from the front towards the back on the larger section. Twist the otherwise towards the bottom of your neck then just pull it all into a bun. But I’ll definitely do a little .gif tutorial or something in the next couple of weeks!

Hi Margaret! Do you have any tips on how to get a blog up and running, and how best to get it known? How did you go from doing this as a hobby to someone who gets to attend major shows during fashion week? I’ve just started one looking at architecture and fashion…

That’s a fantastic combination! I have to say that a lot of my style inspiration does come from beautiful buildings and structures from cities I’ve traveled to, rather than the people in them. Maybe it’s an era-based inspiration. Make sure every piece of content you float out to the universe is strong and very much your brand, and makes sense to your reader. It’s worthwhile to invest some significant time in making sure you’re really happy with the design of your site and that it reflects your personality (this will evolve over time obviously, so keep it up to date!). Keep interacting with you readers on different social media channels and keep an eye out for new channels that seem to pop up every couple of days, because it can prove viral quality. It’s a bit of work, but it’s worth it.

Hey Margaret. Just wondering – how do you make bright, bold lipstick last longer, and not go outside your lips? And do you just frequently reapply after you eat and drink?

I only really have experience with MAC’s Matte collection lipsticks, which I have to say are pretty amazing for durability. Just apply one coat, blot with tissue, and repeat twice. Even with the brightest (Lady Danger) doesn’t really come off with food and drink (obviously don’t stick your fingers in it, and always carry some makeup wipes and the lipstick with you just incase someone comes and smooshes their hand in your face).

Hi Margaret, I bought this top from Staple a couple of months ago but I have no idea how to wear it! Do you have any suggestions (other than black)?

I actually think this top would look so much better with white, grey or beige than black! Try white skinny jeans, palazzo pants, cropped trousers, and maxi skirts (this is my favourite). Also play with textures like leathers and tweeds. Jacket wise, I’d go with outerwear that generally goes with anything – namely your favourite khaki coat or leather jacket.

Hey – it always seems that everyone is connected in the fashion/blog industry. How do you create connections and expand the blog?

I think it’s a common misconception that the only way to make it in fashion is to ask your father’s best friend for a job (or something to that effect). A lot of my amazing collaborations have come out of cold calling – either me contacting a brand I love or a brand contacting me because they feel that my style and readership fits well with their aesthetic. Obviously it’s important to be personable and network when you’re out in the big bad world, but don’t underestimate the power of marketing your personal skill sets and putting yourself out there.

And if you could move anywhere, where would you move to? In terms of furthering your career and blog. Where do you see yourself heading?

My plan is the move to New York after I finish studying here in Sydney – I find the city so inspiring every time I go and it really promotes a positive and motivating work culture that I thrive on. I’d love to continue building my blog, but I’m certainly interested in intellectual property law (thus the Law degree) in the fashion industry, and always apply business theory to my work and operations too.

Who is your style icon? and who are your favourite models?

I don’t really have one icon I look to – I prefer looking at editorials, buildings, and vibes of cities to trigger some creativity and wardrobe shake-up. My favourite models at the moment are Xiao Wen (how is that doll face even possible), Karlie Kloss (she’s so sweet and bubbly), Arizona Muse (such a radiant smile) and Eniko Mihalik (she’s the real deal). Basically I like models with friendly faces that are beautiful without crazy amounts of makeup.

What is your daily routine from when you wake up to when you go to bed?

I answered that once on Tumblr right HERE – to the hour – and is, on average, pretty accurate, plus stopping by FELLT office once a week and constantly craving soy chai lattes.

How do you get invited to New York Fashion Week?
Designers I know personally or have worked with before will send invites directly. Other invites come through Mercedes Benz’ media delegate accreditation system. When I went in February, Sydney Uni funded my flights because they saw value in one of their students representing them overseas, and this past September it was a part of a collaboration with Nokia.

Just wanted to begin with what an inspiration you are to me! I’m currently a HSC student, wanting to do Comm/Law, but I’m so interested in fashion as well – it’s so amazing how you manage to balance the two. I was wondering what size your bonds scoop neck tee was (from your previous post!) – I’m planning to buy it online and I liked the fit! Kudos for being such a friendly/down-to-earth blogger willing to answer all of our Qs!
Really glad that you’re enjoying the blog! I checked the label of my tee and it says Small, but I can’t remember if I bought the men’s or women’s scoop neck tee! So often (particularly with shirts and tees), I go to the men’s section because they’re just straight-cut, whereas women’s tops tend to be cut for those more significantly endowed (and clearly, I’m flat as a board). Commerce/Law is a great degree – maybe see you at Sydney Uni next year! Best of luck with your exams.

What are two “must have” pieces of clothing that every girl needs in her wardrobe? :)

A pair of well made, black heeled boots (I just bought the Acne Pistol Boots from My Wardrobe – free shipping right now! Yay) and a really beautiful watch that you can keep forever (mine are Michael Kors rose gold chronograph and a DIESEL brass faced one).

I look up to how you handle university and your blog so well as well as being able to travel and do all the cool blogger things! I was wondering what your diet and fitness routine would be especially being so packed? How do you stay so fit?
I try to run every first day and swim every second day (obviously that doesn’t always happen, but even if I get 5 days a week, I’m happy). I also do a fair bit of ballet and contemporary dance which burns a lot more than you’d expect, so if you have the time to work a few open classes into your routine, I’d definitely recommend it. I’m moderately gluten intolerant (normally I’m fine, but sometimes being rundown and tired really aggravates it and I end up feeling really sick and bloated), so I try to steer clear of heavier breads and pastas – brown rice is usually fine. I have at least four different types of fruit and five to six different types of vegetables a day (not in huge quantities – salads generally work well for variety and wider nutritional value). I’ll give myself one treat a day – most of the time this is a soy chai latte (as I said – best drink in the entire world). Moral of the story is moderation!

I love how your photos are so ‘white and bright’. How do you achieve this?

When I shoot by myself, I do so in late afternoon or really early morning when the sun is low and I can position myself in front of it – with the right aperture and ISO (variable depending on the shadows and colours of walls around you etc), you’ll get a really beautiful soft white light.

Hi M! I was just wondering how old you are? Also I’m starting Uni in March and I’m having a bit of trouble deciding between UNSW, USYD and UTS and I thought I would ask for your opinion. As I’ll be a lot older than the other students (born 91) and investing a lot of money (coming from Denmark), I want to make sure to choose the school that prepares me the best for a successful career within accounting/finance (either as a accountant or investment banker) and I want the Uni atmosphere to be as professional as possible. I’ve gotten accepted for the B Comm at all three schools and won’t have the funds to make it a combined Comm/Law degree. What are your thoughts about the different schools and the possibilities they give?

I’m 19 at the moment (born 1993). I’m really excited for you that you’re coming to Sydney! You’re going to have the best time. You’ll actually find that there are a lot of transfer students, mature age students, and people who’ve just taken a gap year or a few years off before heading to Uni, so you shouldn’t have any trouble age wise. In terms of career opportunities, I know that the University of Sydney Business School offers great industry placement programs that you can get course credit for in your third year. The FMAA is also an awesome way to network with like-minded finance students and meet a lot of prospective employers and industry professionals who will tell you about their areas of work. A lot of my friends are a part of their work-study programs there (working at firms three days a week, studying two days), which they really enjoy and sets them up really well for careers and transfers after graduation. I don’t know much about UTS, but as far as I’m concerned, firms don’t discriminate on which Uni you graduated from. As long as you actively seek internships and work placements, you’ll do really well – I know that it’s very easily accessible to B Comm students at Sydney Uni, but all three are great institutions. Best of luck!

Hi Margaret – While browsing through your photos I realised you go to many fashion shows, events, etc. How did you step into this industry while studying law on the side? I have a blog and was wondering what it takes to get so many followers and be a part of the fashion bloggers group?

As I said in an earlier answer, Shine By Three was already established during high school before I started my Commerce/Law degree. And just as it appears with any industry, the existing ‘bloggers’ group is an illusion. Fashion is one of the more flexible and accepting areas where talent and hard work will be recognised eventually, so you just need to keep producing compelling and exciting, original content for those brands and publications aligned with you to notice the benefits.

Hi Margaret, I’m new to your blog and what I like is the wonderful prints and colors in your clothes like the surf photos or the pants on last post. Also that we are getting to ask you questions. I wanted to ask how are you able to afford the various clothing and what happens to them after you have created a post about them? How many articles of clothing do you actually keep in your closet at a time and could you post photos of how you organise your closet space?

Really great to hear that you’re liking the blog so far! I have a pretty good system of buying new things and selling pieces that I’m sick of, or never ended up wearing (we all have those), or just isn’t my style anymore. I have a little online store HERE (‘Shop By Three‘) where I’ve been uploading a lot of pieces that need a new home. I also have a great swap and sell going on with friends, and soon I’ll be doing a market stall somewhere in Sydney to get rid of the 80% of my wardrobe that I don’t wear often enough to keep! I’m so lucky that lot of pieces I wear are often courtesy of brands and PR agents who I have collaborated and I return once I’ve shot it. I love sharing beautiful pieces that are coming up for you guys, and seeing what you all think! Once I’ve cleared out the pieces I don’t want, I’ll definitely do a little wardrobe tour post… until then, you really don’t want to see my mess of a room/house.

Hi Margaret! You have been an inspiration and I think you have a really unique style! I am wondering how do you track all the new collections etc.? And also how do you get your hands on these wonderful clothes :)

Being present at fashion weeks forces you to be in the know about pretty much everything that goes down runway (particularly given that the clothes are the icebreaker for any conversation you have during the week). When I’m not there, I stay up to date with New York Magazine’s show photos – the quality since three seasons ago has just been incredible! MILK‘s backstage coverage is always beautiful too.

Just wondering how/why you chose the name Shine By Three. Also, do people recognise you on the street/at uni? And do you really not wear makeup in your photos? You’re so stunning!

Shine By Three is just a less dorky permutation of Shine³ – at the 2am conception of the blog a few years ago, ‘Shine’ seemed like a nice little syllable. I do get a lot of readers saying hello – sometimes in the most random locations! I always love talking to you all and getting to know the kinds of posts you like, what you’d like to see more of and any burning questions (the motivation behind this post), because I’d like to think that reading the blog is a positive regular experience for you. And yes, I don’t wear any makeup (unless I’ve said I am – generally happy lipstick!). I just wear coconut oil at night, and sunscreen during the day.

Hey Margaret, first I must say that I envy your time management! I feel like I am in a slightly similar situation to you in that I am 19, studying arts/law full-time, work in online fashion journalism and also in retail. Where do you see yourself in the future? I imagine that you would like to somehow couple together business and fashion into a career as I would, so what career options do you think are available?

Love overloading! Kudos to you. Career-wise, I certainly don’t want to end up sitting behind a desk in a ego-battle corporate environment – soul-sucking. The only area in Law I’m interested in is intellectual property for media and fashion, so that could be a path. Otherwise, I’d love to just build businesses around my blog because everything I write about and content I create for Shine By Three is what I’m passionate about – and that’s the dream right? Finding what you love and figuring out how to get paid for it.

Lovely photo! and very interesting to hear how you balance things, I always find that hard! I wanted to ask you, what is your opinion on what people say about nowadays some fashion being too inaccessible to average people? Do you think some fashion for example, at a show, is exaggerated and becoming like that?

I think that’s exactly where bloggers come in. I definitely agree that a lot of fashion houses and designers choose to showcase their collection in crazier and more stylised ways that are more appealing to the industry, and then rely on the media and their buyers to take the looks apart and make them accessible to the consumer. Bloggers play a huge part in this – styling something off the runway or a lookbook in their own way makes a reader think about how they ould work it into their own wardrobe, without having to be 6 feet tall or look a certain way. So sure – Marc Jacobs’ Louis Vuitton show may have seemed absolutely other-wordly, but with the hair and the makeup, it was all a part of the performance. When you pick out one of those checked pieces would look unreal underneath a massive biker jacket and leather culottes.

I’m also from an Asian family and my parents prioritize study first over everything else. They believe that if you have spare time to do other stuff you should study. So how did your parents find out and become so supportive of your life outside of study?

My parents still don’t really understand what I do – but I feel like that’s more of a generational thing with technology than a cultural issue. Parents just want the best for you, and when it comes to getting into Uni, I’d say it’s justified. Balance is important though, even if it’s as simple as fitting in an hour of exercise a day (or just going for a walk) – record your notes and put them on your iPod and show them you’re making an effort. You’ll be surprised how much respect they have when you prove that you can strike an equilibrium between doing the things you love and being responsible for your future. Maturity is something that freaks a lot of parents out (not just Asian parents), and they’ll do anything to keep you as their baby (and I totally understand that) – just keep a level head and have clear goals written down, and you’ll be fine. The first time my parents realised my blog was something was when “Hey – by the way I’m going to New York for a month in February for Fashion Week”. Be ambitious and they’ll always respect the results.

What do you wear to Uni? Do you go really casual and compromise your style or do you wear the same things you do in your outfit posts?

I toyed with the idea of substituting flats and more Uni-friend clothing into my personal style, but if your hipster on the Law Lawns can have blue hair, why can’t I wear the best wide leg pants in the world? I dress for myself and nobody else, and if people don’t like it, it’s not really my problem. Sure, I’m now the weird kid on campus who rocks up in heels from an event or meeting on a regular basis, but as long as you’re confident and comfortable, you can get away with anything.

Hi Margaret, what do you think is the best way for a young designer to start out making their own clothes?
Do a lot of research. In this economic and creative climate, you really need to understand your consumer right down to what their morning coffee is. So often, the only reason beautiful brands fail is because there is a disconnect between something as basic as their target market and their pricepoint. If the people you’re designing for can’t buy your stuff, what are you even doing? Branding and an overall aesthetic – everything from your pieces, to the way you go about promotion, to what your website looks like, to how your social media voice resonates – needs to be tailored and thought through. That’s how cult followings start.

Why did you decide to major in Law instead of studying something for the fashion industry? Is the fashion industry not something you want to do in the long run?

I get asked this questions a lot when I meet new people in the industry – I always say that if I were doing fashion all of the time, I’d probably go insane. As I said in the original question post, I like that Commerce/Law is so different from my work in fashion that I’m never bored and always excited about learning something new. That’s the way it should be. A Commerce/Law degree is a great theoretical background to have to know how to protect yourself, negotiate, and build businesses (what I’m learning is already applicable to my real world work now). Certainly, I have a better idea of where I’m headed now, and fashion is definitely in the equation. Never fear.

How did you develop your style of writing because I absolutely adore it and love the easy-going, concise and yet detailed-ness of it?

I’m so glad you enjoy and read what I write! I think the easy-going part is just me speaking, the conciseness is my Law degree speaking, and the detailed-ness is my Mum’s OCD speaking through my DNA…

I don’t really have a question for you. But would very much like to be friends with you. :)

I’d like to be friends with you too.

Hi Margaret! Sorry this is a bit of a personal question, but like you, I’m quite flat-chested, and I was wondering what kinds of bras you usually wear and where you buy them from… or whether you wear a bra at all!
Sister I hear you! I absolutely hate underwire (who even invented that and what was wrong with them) and padding (ditto). The only bras I wear a pretty softcup or triangle ones like THESE and THESE. So pretty!

Did you tell friends about your blog when you first started it? If not, how did you gradually let people know about it?

I didn’t really, just because nobody knew what the hell I was talking about. “Why do you care about Jean Paul Gaultier’s F/W 2008 collection?” – as Shine By Three grew, they started finding out about it when their friends recommended it to them and there was an awkward moment of ‘oh wait I know her’. Organic growth isn’t just for carrots.

Hi Margaret! Firstly, you have a stellar blog, I absolutely love reading your posts – keep up the amazing work! I have two questions, after the HSC did you go on any sort of schoolies trip / how did you spend your summer break between high school and uni? Also have you had any jobs besides blogging, and if so what kinds of experiences did you get out of them?

Really awesome to hear you’re enjoying the blog. A few of my friends and I had intended to go for a little beach gallivant down the coast, but we were way too disorganised and didn’t have the time, so I spent my post-HSC summer interning with my Stylestalker babes instead.

What organizer do you use for emails/timetables/schedules e.g. outlook etc?

I use iCal on my computer, but write it all down in my Lumia every night for the next day with alarms so I don’t forget anything. My emails are a collaborative effort between my phone and my Mail client on my laptop, and I memorise my Uni timetable each semester because carrying around bits of paper is really annoying.

I would like to know what your thoughts on thrifting are :) and what advice you have for angsty teenagers who feel like they’re going to be “forever alone” thanks :)

I used to go out of my way to go hunting in Vinnies and at markets for vintage pieces a lot more often, but I just found myself buying things that I said I’d alter, and the pile of to-do’s just grew to a mammoth size, so I’ve stopped (just because I don’t have time). The last time I thrifted was in February in New York – my friend Yasmin helped me coerce the store into giving me Ralph Lauren pants for $10. Such a good day… I think it’s great though – particularly if you’re able to find pieces that have come back into fashion, or cut up things to suit your personal style, then mix it in with nicer things you bought in stores. As for angsty teenagers, don’t waste time being angsty. Go out an meet new people and have fun! Nobody is ever going to be forever alone – people come along at different points in your life. Be happy! Otherwise you get premature grey hairs and wrinkles and the slippery slope into plastic surgery begins (only half serious).

Hey Margaret – most of the questions I had have already been asked down this page so I’ll be waiting for your answers (: Thanks for taking the time to do this (again, in constant awe of your time management) :3

Are you sick of my answers yet? Keep reading!

Just one more question – how many hours of sleep to you get on average a night? And, if you do procrastinate outside your blog, what do you like to do?

I wish I could say eight, but I think the reality is that I get about six or seven hours of sleep a night on average. In New York I was getting four because I was working way too hard and that city actually never sleeps. It’s always a New Year’s resolution of mine, but the discipline deteriorates as the year wears on and my inbox becomes further incomprehensible… To procrastinate, I make food, Instagram it, and then give it to my family to eat. Don’t they love me…

I love your blog so much! Your skin always look gorgeous and fresh and I was wondering what your skin care/makeup routine was? Some of your favorite products?
As above, I only use Coconut Oil and sunscreen. I switch cleansers every time I run out of a bottle because your skin gets used to it and it stops being effective.

Hello! I recently ordered these pants and have been wearing them with a black tank top and a black Loeffler Randall Motor Jacket, but I want to wear something other than black with the pants… any suggestions?
Sick pants! They would look amazing with a grey jersey tee and a sharp blazer, or a heavy khaki shirt. Even all white on your top half would work really well!

Hey love, just wondering whether you have any tips on starting up your own online store? Keep doing what you’re doing :)
Online stores are notoriously difficult to pull off – the key to a successful launch is to involve and invest in online influencers from the start. It depends if you’re involving brands or selling your own sourced pieces from overseas, but make sure the overall aesthetic is strong and that a particular type of person can 100% relate to it.

Hi! You post photos of what you eat and they’re all so healthy!! :S do you ever go out with friends and eat junk food like ribs and steaks or even fast food cause at this age (i’m 19 too) me and my friends only go eat to eat meaty/unhealthy food

I think it’s more of a personal preference than a conscious choice – I just don’t really like fast food and eating greasy things or large quantities of meat makes me feel really sick for the rest of the day! Chinese food doesn’t involve large portions of meat either (normally all chopped up in a stirfry which is what I like), and my boyfriend is a vegetarian, so we eat at places that will cater to that. I do love a bit of chocolate once in a while, though. Sweet treats are definitely better in my books. But MAXLIFE! Eat whatever you like – all due respect.

This may be personal but I am so intrigued by you – Do you work on top of blogging and uni? How do you earn cash?

I used to work casually in retail (which was horrible in my experience), and work part-time for the University of Sydney Business School, but since I have been doing a lot more blog-related work and freelancing a little, I don’t need to work part-time anymore (and don’t really have the time) to support my transport to and from Uni and some food.

What is some general advice you have for those starting uni next year/soon?

Don’t get too stressed out! I was so serious about my first year and you’ll actually find that you do worse if you place to much emphasis on everything. Uni is about studying smart and utilising the resources presented to you. Don’t fall behind, but don’t cry if you get below 90 on a 5% assessment is all I’m saying. In fact, if you’re used to getting 90s at school, there is no chance in hell it’ll happen at Uni, just because of the style of work and the way they mark. Make sure you take the time to make new friends outside of your comfort school group and really interact with your tutors – because most of the time, they know everything.

Who’s your favourite blogger from Adelaide?

YOU, you dork!

Hellloooo :) I’d like to ask, how did you become such a well-known and successful blogger in only your first year out of school? I am currently starting year 12, and I hardly have time to blog at all due to everything being so busy! Were you blogging and thus gaining momentum throughout your time at high school or did you only start this year? Thanks for your time & well done on all your achievements! I would be stoked if I was living your life in two years time!

Yes I was blogging all the way through my HSC year – it was my stress relief!

Could you please do a room tour some time :)

Be careful what you wish for – I’m not sure you want to see the state of my room right now! But soon, yes.

How did you personally make good first impressions/friends in your first year of uni?
Don’t feel like you need to change how you are to make good first impressions – just be yourself and you’ll naturally find the people who complement your personality and who you get along with… as is what generally happens in any new environment!

Just curious, how tall are you and how much do you weight? How do you stay so fit?

Right now, I think I’m around the 49kg mark and 5’4.5″. As mentioned above, I run, swim and dance. So much more fun than bootcamp.

Do you have any budgeting tips for uni students? How do you manage spending money on clothes? any spending and shopping tips you could give us? :)

Don’t drink coffee or alcohol! Really it’s up to you, but I don’t drink either and I have so much more disposable income than my friends who do. Think about it – average of two coffees a day is $6 – $42 a week, over $2000 a year. The equivalent of five cocktails every two weekends is around the same. Do you know how much stuff you can buy with $4000? Another thing I would say is to buy investment pieces. It might be hard to part with the money upfront, but I’ll tell you now: one pair of good boots will last you a hell of a lot longer than three pairs of bad boots. I’ve made that mistake and have now invested in some life-long pieces. trust me it’ll save you money in the long run.

Places you recommend visiting in America, hotels to stay at etc :)? Whats the weather like in America at the end of the year also, thank you! :-)

I have only been to New York, Los Angeles and Detroit. And I definitely recommend going to New York and Los Angeles (nothing against Detroit – just not for me). I’ve stayed in apartments both time I’ve been in New York, and I’ve stayed at the Thompson and the Beverly Garland in Los Angeles – both of which are gorgeous with really amazing service. It depends where you are in America at the end of the year – New York is brutally cold, and LA is quite similar to Sydney winters (even a little milder).

What is your nationality and were you born here?

My parents are both from mainland China, but I was born here in Sydney.

Do you wash your hair everyday ? What’s your hair routine care ?
I wash my hair every two or three days – it’s unhealthy for your hair to be shampooed everyday (don’t underestimate the power of natural oils that keep your hair shiny and alive). I do still rinse it after exercise daily though.

Hello! Do you get paid to advertise on your site?
Every advertisement in the world is paid for! I make a conscious effort to only work with brands that I would personally wear or love, though.

Do you have anything against people wearing real fur? Faux fur is hard to maintain, isn’t warm and isn’t high quality compared to real fur so I don’t see why people are so uptight about people wearing fur.

Hey! Someone asked a similar question over at my Tumblr, so HERE‘s my response.

THE END! I could compile all my answers into a Shine By Three handbook and sell it in return for chai lattes.

Would you all like me to do these Q&A’s more often? Perhaps more focused to different topics every few weeks? Let me know/any questions you have in the comment section below.


Margaret Zhang 章凝 is an Australian-born-Chinese director, photographer, consultant and writer based between New York and Shanghai. Since establishing her website in 2009, Margaret has gone on to work with global brands including CHANEL, UNIQLO, Swarovski, YEEZY, Bulgari, Gucci, MATCHES, Under Armour, and Louis Vuitton in a wide range of capacities both in front of and behind the camera, while completing her Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws at The University of Sydney. Margaret’s directing, photography, and styling has been employed by the likes of VOGUE, L’Officiel, Harper’s BAZAAR, NYLON, Marie Claire, GRAZIA and ELLE internationally. She has been listed in Forbes Asia’s 30Under30 and TimeOut’s 40Under40, and her work has been recognized as shaping the international fashion industry by the Business of Fashion BoF500 Index for the past four consecutive years. She went on to be the first Asian face to cover ELLE Australia. In 2016, she co-founded BACKGROUND, a global consultancy for which she specialises in Western-to-Chinese and Chinese-to-Western cultural bridging for a range of luxury, lifestyle, and brand initiatives. In 2017, she exhibited a series of 39 unseen photographic works as a solo show in Sydney, and premiered her first short film – a 15-minute exploration of her visceral relationship with classical music on both performance and abstract planes – to critical acclaim.

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