Mel Kobayashi is the Canadian author of style blog Bag and a Beret. Her brazen and comedic approach to her closet, and life, has attracted a dedicated online following inspired by her exploits and earned her a place on the world’s top-style-bloggers-over-40 lists, as well as coverage in major fashion magazines and websites.
Mel has a BA in communications from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. She also did time in art school. But her real education didn’t kick in until she became an age-raged, middle-aged tween filming on-the-fly videos in dodgy alleys and trying not to squeak during auditions. More than anything, following her heart, coupled with risk-taking and grand surrenders to personal chaos, have fueled her mid-life social media success.
As a blogger, several years ago Mel launched fashion spoof e-zine VOGOFF, mainly for women over 40 who were tired of style rules and lack of representation in mainstream media. She also started the Traveling Yellow Skirt Freak Show project, which chronicles her skirt’s adventures with women around the world in a celebration of diversity of life and style. So many women have worn and adorned the skirt that it now resembles a quilt.
Recently Mel has begun motivational speaking with an emphasis on unlearning rules as an attainable path to a more joyful, creative, and colorful life. She also has plans to take VOGOFF to the next level, not only for fellow stylists who push the envelope, but also for armchair fashionistas too.
“Be a rock star!” is her rallying cry – even if it’s just in your rec room.
Mel currently resides in Vancouver.
Mel Kobayashi Show Notes
What did you do before you became a maturepreneur?
When you say self-employed, do you think it is sort of an entrepreneurial thing, or is it truly what you think of as self employment?
Did you go to school for what you did in Japan?
What made you go overseas?
Now that you are a maturepreneur, what do you do?
Let’s talk about bag and a beret, why the name?
Once you figured out the bag didn’t work, what gave you the courage to take off the bag and start having your face being shown?
How long have you been showing your face? Are you your own photographer?
What kind of camera do you have?
When you decide to go out and do a shoot, how long does it take you to do the entire shoot, from the time you actually get there and the time you wrap up?
I know you have a few different websites, are they all live right now, are you contributing to each website?
When you do public speaking, how do you find these events, or do they find you?
You said you were close to getting a few minors, was one in theater or some type of performing arts? Once you started bag and a beret, what was the most successful idea that you implemented for it?
What was your least successful idea and how did you change tactics?
What’s the most important advice that you’ve ever gotten from somebody?
Is there any advice that you can give people just starting out in their own journey?
You said it was scarier if there is money involved?