Our team met Chloe Dumont on a summer day in Montreal. She was startlingly gorgeous in person, which I honestly feel no photo or video of her can ever truly capture. Her eyes are luminous and fringed with an impossible volume of lashes, like one of those Maybelline mascara commercials come to life. We met in a cute Parisian-style cafe in Old Montreal, and when we arrived, she was sitting at a table near the wall, with perfect posture and composure. She spoke bravely about her life and choices, the difficulties she had overcome, and with modest pride about her success as a fashion and lifestyle blogger. Then she very gamely allowed us to pose her in various alleyways and storefronts in the iconic gray stone of Old Port. We apologize that this story is half a year late, but we think you'll enjoy getting to know Chloe.
Q. How did you get started blogging?
I'm from Quebec City. I studied fashion in high school and then communications and journalism in university. About four years ago, I was looking at a lot of blogs in the US and Europe and I decided to start a blog about fashion and what I love. I talk about the new trends with insight from my past in fashion. I was working visual presentation in shops [at the time]. After 2 weeks of blogging, there was an event in Quebec City, the Festival Quebec Mode. I got an invitation. It all started from there. People saw me there. I was getting invitations to go places. The companies here in Montreal invited me everywhere, because I had followers from Quebec.
I’ve lived in Montreal for 3 years. I moved because of my blog. I was always here, so I decided instead of paying for gas, and going back and forth, I'd just come here and see what happened.
Q. How would you describe your personal sense of style?
I don’t think I really have a personal style. It depends on how I feel. It’s more how you make the style your own. I look at all the bloggers and I see inspiration everywhere. I like to mix stuff, to have a little bo-chic and also have a moto-jacket.
I’m an extremely passionate and creative person in life. I’m always happy. We have only one life, so this is how we do it! Two years ago, I decided to quit everything. I went to Costa Rica and California to surf. If I want to do something, I just do it. I will not wait for it to come to me.
I started surfing 5 years ago in Maine, just starting it for fun, and it developed into a huge passion. I’m really sad that we can’t surf in Montreal, because it’s a sport that I love. I’ve always loved to be in the water since I was a little girl. When I went to Costa Rica, I was surfing 8 hours a day, surfing with the sun, surfing when the sun goes down. It was a world separate from all concerns of glamour - where you just appreciate the moment.
In Montreal, I've been able to express my style more fully. In quebec city, if I wanted to wear certain boots, I would have to wait 3 years until the trend went there. It’s really tiny and I know people looked at me strangely. I was parading myself around, wearing this or that kind of trend, while people in Quebec City are more white t-shirt and blue jeans. Not that they aren't stylish, but they don’t go for trends. When I moved here to Montreal, I saw people wearing tutus in the streets, so I knew can definitely wear whatever I want here. No one is going to judge me. I think I can be more myself here, and even more so when I travel to big cities like Toronto and New York.
Q. Where do you see your blog in 5 years?
I did a tv show last year! It really brings out another kind of passion in me. I would like in 5 years to have my own tv show. I do giveaways on my Instagram where people comment on my photos and win passes. I bring them along to interesting events and spend the evening with them. I try to distinguish myself as a Montreal blogger by having really strong relationships with my followers. I want to get to know the people who are following me.
Q. How do you manage your time?
It doesn’t really come naturally, but now thank God, I have a manager who is helping me with that. Just the fact that she responds to my emails and does my schedule. I’m really glad I found her, because at the end of 2015, it was chaos, really crazy, all of the contracts and projects coming. I’m really organized in life, but I think for this, being self-employed - I’ve never done that before. And no one in my family has experience either, so it’s more difficult for me to know how to manage myself. It's running a company. I have also my boyfriend* (*then boyfriend, current fiancee! congrats, Chloe!) who is helping me with budgeting and all of those things. So I have people around me who can help me.
Q. What are your fav aspects of the blogging lifestyle?
What I love the most is having my own schedule. I’m a deeply creative and passionate person and blogging is a job that allows me to be creative. That’s really what I love, to create content, not just for myself but for the companies. When I receive a mascara, I know every other blogger in Montreal has also received it, so my objective is to create something different. I always ask myself why people will like my picture versus another one.
Q. What's challenging about being a blogger?
Just the fact that people tend to only see the glamorous part of it. On my snapchat, the point is to show the authenticity of my life. I'm not just showing people the times when I’m at an event all night, but also when at 3 am, I’m in my pajamas and on my computer writing. It’s not a jet-set life - it’s a job. People don’t always know I have to pay my photographer and apartment, and I have bills like everyone else. It’s not as easy as it seems. Everyone can start a blog, but not everybody will survive and do it forever, because it’s a job. Sometimes when I tell people I’m a blogger, they think, oh, you’re drinking champagne and going to events, but that's not how I pay my bills!
One of the most challenging times of my life recently was when I was working full time at night, from 9pm to 9am. I was also doing my blog during the day. I didn’t sleep. I did this for about a year, and then during Christmas time, I was really, really sick. I had to make a decision. On the one hand, I could quit my blog, and on the other hand, I could quit my job. I had a lot of contractors during christmas time, so I said why not? Since I made the choice to blog full time, it’s just grown really quickly.
Q. What are you fav trends right now?
If you want to be out of the crowd, don’t follow all of the trends. All the trends we see - the chokers, the ripped jeans, the Adidas. If you want to be creative, find a way to be unique. I've seen people wearing bandannas around their wrists or around the ankles. It’s how you make it your own.
Q. What do you think the Montreal style is?
It depends on where you are. If you go in the Mile End, the style is more hipster. If you come here to Old Montreal, it’s more minimalist and neutral colors. It’s funny to see the different styles. In my hood, it’s more trash (Ontario St near Ste. Catherine). They are building it to be more plateau. It’s getting less trash than it was. Sometimes, it’s funny! If you go out during the night, you can see funny things, a lot of people getting drunk. I was with my boyfriend last night and we saw someone crawling.
Q. What advice would you give a new blogger?
- Do it for passion. I know a lot of people do it for invitations and products, but I think these are people who end up quitting. I think passion is the most important reason. If someone asked me how many hours I put into my blog, I wouldn't know how to answer, because I don’t count the time.
- Be creative. If you want to be a blogger, you have to always distinguish yourself from others. I have a lot of followers that follow other bloggers. They want to see something different. The trick is to appropriate something and make it your own.
- Don't view blogging as a competition. When I moved here to Montreal, I was thinking that people saw it as a competition. Sometimes when I told them I'm in the fashion industry, people would think that it’s really bitchy. It’s not really the Devil Wears Prada! No, we are together, we share ideas. If you do it as a competition and compare yourself with others, it’s not going to work!
Q. Random fun question: tell us the story of your tattoo! What does it mean to you?
I decided to do my tattoo on a trip for surfing. I had the idea to do a tattoo of all the places I went, but I decided that would be too messy. If my blog can give me the chance to travel the world, I will be the happiest person ever.
denim button down - H&M
belt - Top Shop
skirt - Forever 21
sandals - Windsor Store
earrings - Isabella Jewelry