Find Your Downtime: An interview with fashion blogger Leonie Barlow

Chris Gill July 09, 2020
An interview with fashion blogger Leonie Barlow

Have you checked out Boody Lounge yet? This month, we’re continuing the celebration of launching our first sustainable downtime wear range by profiling talented women from all walks of life, focusing on how they find their downtime.

Previously, we caught up with lifestyle bloggers and Instagrammers, Alex Cuthill and Bernice Averion. Today, we’re learning more about New Zealand fashion and lifestyle blogger Leonie Barlow. We discuss everything from her website The Style Insider to how she juggles her busy career with motherhood.

And, of course, we find out which are Leonie's favourite pieces from Boody Lounge and why. Dream-worthy!

Leonie Barlow

Tell us a bit about The Style Insider.

I started The Style Insider eight years ago when I left magazines. I knew that online was the way of the future but at that time I didn’t really know how I was going to make a living out of it and I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing but I jumped in anyway.

What initially inspired you to create The Style Insider and how has it grown since you got started?

I’d always been passionate about social media and fell in love with Facebook the first time I discovered it. I’d been working as a print journalist for over 20-years and all of a sudden social media presented an exciting new way to communicate. At first, my blog was my entire focus, but over the years I’ve moved with the times and focused on other social media channels.

For the past two years, I’ve devoted most of my time to YouTube which is a platform I really love. I create fashion, beauty and lifestyle videos and reached a milestone recently when I reached 100K subscribers, which was really exciting for me.

The Style Insider

Your background is editing some of New Zealand's top-selling women's magazines. Tell us about what that world was like and why you decided to leave it behind.

Yes, I absolutely loved working in magazine and was very sad to leave but I wanted to spend some more time with my two boys and working crazy hours made it very hard to strike a reasonable work/life balance. So something had to give and I decided to try and do something that gave me more time to enjoy my boys and that is how The Style Insider was born.

As you’ve mentioned, when you're not blogging you're a mum to two boys. Tell us a bit about them and how you juggle motherhood with your busy life.

My boys are my world and as any mum knows, the juggle is real. There are never enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do and I’m sure most mums can relate. The one thing that has really helped me to find a little balance is to make time to exercise. I find it’s the best way for me to de-stress and feel good about myself.

I have a personal trainer (who keeps me in check) and I have two dogs that need walking every day – so being active is a big part of my life and it helps to keep me sane.

We're thrilled that you're part of our Boody Lounge launch. What are your thoughts on the capsule collection?

Boody Lounge

The Boody Lounge collection is absolutely gorgeous. I loved the pieces when I first spied the lookbook but when they arrived, I fell in love with them even more. You can tell that each piece has been incredibly well cut and designed to stand the test of time. I love the minimal designs and I especially love that the pieces are as kind to the planet as they are to me.

What are your top picks from the range?

Leonie's Top Picks

The Downtime Lounge Pants are my absolute favourite piece in the collection. They are super flattering and are good enough to wear out but are also comfy enough to snuggle up at home on the couch. I absolutely love them. The Goodnight Nightdress is a real winner for me too because I often wear t-shirts to bed so this nightdress gives you the comfort of a tee but the cover of a nightie and it’s perfect to wear all year round.

Of course, I can’t not mention the beautiful Cosy Knit Wrap that just gives you a little extra warmth when you need it and adds a little extra edge to each outfit.

How do you #FindYourDowntime in our busy modern world?

Comfortable Loungewear

I always strip off my work clothes as soon as I get home and change into my comfy gear and that starts the process for me to shift out of work mode and into relaxation mode. This is why owning quality, comfortable loungewear is really important to me – it’s the best way for me to get in the zone to find my downtime.

How important is it to you to live an eco-friendly life?

Leonie Barlow

It’s really important to me but I must admit I’m not perfect. However, I will always strive to be better and I believe that if we all try and make small changes each day then collectively we can make a very big difference.

What are your plans for the near future?

I don’t have anything specific planned for the future but I’m committed to always trying new things and never missing an opportunity to experience something new. I recently did a skydive and that has inspired me to tick a few more things off my bucket list. Because, at 52, I’m very aware that we are all here for a good time – not a long time.

Follow Leonie on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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