Olyasha Novozhylova is the founder and creator of Not Basic Blonde, a fashion, and lifestyle blog dedicated to inspiring young women to create an extraordinary style. The Russian model led an impressive 10-year career in fashion and runway in Atlanta and overseas, as well as enjoying several acting roles. Now a leading influencer, Olyasha shares her beauty, wellness, and fashion tips with an audience of over half a million.
Q: What were you doing before you became a blogger and Instagrammer, and what inspired you to pursue social media as a career?
Olyasha: I had a successful career in IT/Project Management. I used to lead projects for very well known companies. I’ve done modeling since I was 17, but not a full time. Finally, almost 4 years ago I transitioned to social media and blogging. I was always a fashionista, since I was a child. I loved fashion so much that I wanted to share my passion for fashion with others. I remember every day people used to ask me, where’s my outfit from, everyone that walked by used to ask me about my style. And they still do!
Q: How have your blog and Instagram feed evolved over time? Any specific turning points?
Olyasha: Over the past few years, I’ve changed my photographers, learned new skills, and I’ve defined my brand closely. Turning points were, as I worked on myself, and improved myself, my style and Instagram changed. I also took some online courses to gain more knowledge.
Q: Outside of fashion and blogging, what creative mediums would you like to explore next?
Olyasha: Definitely developing my own products, I can’t disclose what kind of products yet. I’ve started my own podcast named, NotBasicBlonde podcast, which is available on iTunes and other platforms. I have other projects I’m working on as well, but they are in process at the moment.
Q: How do you decide which brands to partner with, and how do you ensure that your following is receptive to the sponsored content?
Olyasha: My following is responsive to everything I offer, because they trust me and know that I will not suggest something that I personally don’t like or don’t use. I decide with which brand I will partner based on the quality of the brand, their style and their audience.
Q: What’ is the most overrated part of social media to you?
Olyasha: The unnecessary Instagram updates that actually do more harm than good! They are of no help to us. But I’ve learned that my talents and my skills are not measured by Instagram numbers or updates.
Q: What advice would you give to those interested in building a following online?
Olyasha: Have a lot of patience, because it doesn’t happen overnight. You have to be very disciplined, have very clear goals and be dedicated, because it requires a lot of time and effort. You should have a very well defined work/life balance, otherwise it can suck you in that you will be doing it 24/7 with no breaks. Don’t give up, because it’s not always going to work in your favor, believe in yourself. AND… very very important, do not compare yourself to others, know your own worth.
Q: What are the 3 things that anyone starting in your industry needs to know?
Olyasha: You need to show your personality as much as possible, that’s how you attract and keep your followers. Build a brand and stick to it, the same style, colors, logo, and etc. Planning is everything, stay organized, plan your time and divide the work accordingly.
Q: What would you do differently if you were starting in your industry now?
Olyasha: I wish I would have started earlier. I was putting away my dreams for too long. My advice to others is, if you have something in mind go for it, if you don’t have resources to go for it, write down a plan and all the steps that can make you closer to your dream, so when you get all the resources, you will be ready to achieve it.
Q: Which people or books have had the most influence on your growth and why?
Olyasha: I can’t just name one person or one name, I educate myself every day and I read and study different resources.
Q: What would you say is the #1 key to success in your business or business in general?
Olyasha: Being yourself, being confident, believe in yourself.
Q: Who exactly is NotBasicBlonde and what does she want her impact to be?
Olyasha: I’m the NotBasicBlonde that is behind the brand, it means I like everything but basic. I like to stand out. NotBasicBlonde also because, it’s not just a pretty face or pretty brand, there is someone with a business degree and lots of experiences in different fields with many talents. NotBasic because, everyone has talents that make you not basic, and these talents we can use to put an amazing impact on the world and make a difference.
You can learn more about Olya on Instagram: @notbasicblonde_
You can also view her blog: https://notbasicblonde.com/