Blogger Inspiration|Randi of Milk & Twee

1) Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
Hey everyone! Well my name is Randi, and I’m a 21 year old gal from New York and currently living in North Dakota (but moving soon). I run a fashion blog called Milk & Twee that started as a creative outlet for me while I worked on financing my college education! I’ve admired the online fashion community for as long as I can remember, and made design booklets of outfits since I was in second grade. I think self expression is extremely important. After going to school/working and getting a first-hand look I’ve become conflicted with the Photography & Fashion industries. There’s a lot of prejudice, a lot of privilege, and I just don’t agree with the way some things are. It’s driven by profit and fame, and not true artistic renovation. I’ve had moralistic/personality conflicts with a lot of those I’ve met who seem to be untouched by what’s going on in the world politically. I’m in the process of figuring out what is worth sacrificing to achieve my dreams, and the routes I have to take to get there.  
2) Have you always had a passion for the 60’s aesthetic?
I was always a big, big history nerd as a kid. Especially when I was younger learning about the civil rights movement and black history at a young age shaped my perspective. I grew up listening to a lot of Motown and as a teenager 60s rock and folk music. When I was about 16 I took a summer course for 2 years at Vassar learning about the history and literature of the counterculture movement and it spoke to me. So much change and revolution in all aspects of society was going on and it was just an exciting time to be alive. My last year in high school a lot of sad things happened in my personal life, and I found listening to the music of that time comforting. As for the clothing, I think the first timer period I was infatuated with was the late Victorian Era. I really admired the Japanese fashion Lolita as well and incorporated many concepts into my daily outfits in high school. It kind of blossomed into the 50s/60s only just recently but has always been vintage-inspired. My style inspiration is always changing!

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3) What 3 words come to mind when thinking of your personal style?
Cinematic, feminine, and cute!

4) What other artistic endeavors do you pursue?

I photograph, have done short films and documentaries, wrote short stories, write prose and creative essays, play a lot of music and sing! I was also a portrait painter but haven’t been at the canvas in some time. I plan on taking up sewing again if time/money allots for it! Music was actually what I first wanted to go to school for. I wanted to be a concert pianist.
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5) How do you deal with negativity being a young socially aware black woman?
You spend a lot of time being angry, stressed out, and crying. I started discussing these topics with people a little earlier on when it was still kind of “taboo” because of the whole Civil Rights Documentaries at age 6 thing. I’m grateful that more people on social media are openly addressing these issues but it’s kind of been a cultural boom and many companies/sharesites/users are trying to capitalize on it because it’s become a “trend”. That, in combination with the influx OF these topics all the time is just…draining. I honestly believe some it comes out of a generation that feels emotionally disconnected mixed in with the angst and rebellion of teenage years. Social media is predominantly used by the demographic so, there you go.It sounds counterproductive but I deal with it by just turning it off and taking a break. Not pretending it doesn’t exist, but going to that safe space. Like the one you had as a kid. Where things were innocent and simple and not so full of insurmountable hatred. I’ve also learned I can’t change everybody, yelling at people who refuse to understand just creates noise, and the things we’re trying to deal with can only be eradicated with patience, kindness, and lots of time. It can’t change overnight. So I need to just try to be happy with what I can today.
6) What are your favourite places to shop at?
I shop mostly online these days. I like Modcloth, Shop Ruche, Unique Vintage, Pin Up Girl Clothing. I get wholesale stuff on Aliexpress and ebay. I love etsy! I browse a lot of other sites as well for individual things, they’re usually smaller and boutique-style.
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7) What do you recommend to those wanting to pursue a hobby or/and job in blogging?

You need to be good at time management. I’m not, so take it from me. Hobby or career, unless you come from money you’re probably going to start off managing a job and/or school at the same time. It is exhausting. You also can’t compare yourself to others. When I was younger, looking at successful people gave me inspiration but nowdays it just reminds you of where I’m not at. Don’t look at those people, find sources that encourage you to keep going! If you don’t enjoy blogging, you’re going to probably fail at it so set your own rules and perimeters. I have a rule that is I don’t post content that isn’t align to myself. If it is rushed, sloppy, and put out there just to be put out there…it’s not going up. Even if that means a month hiatus. That’s one of my rules! I’ve done some extensive posts on my blog about this topic so check out my advice page for more! Above all, if you want to do it just start and don’t give up!
8) What cities do you recommend as fashion hot spots?
As somebody who went from living in a smallish city, to Manhattan, to pretty much the middle of nowhere it’s easy to say large cities. Large cities have more job opportunities, and therefor have money to put into themselves (places to go, things to do, tourism and such). Large cities attract younger people. Young people who are able to stay in these cities usually are affluent. Fashion is a hobby for the affluent (9/10 times)! Pretty much any major city or capital in the world that has a decent youth population is probably a fashion hot spot. It’s an age group constantly in a state of identity crisis, and appearance is an easy/flexible way to communicate “hey, this is who I am!” for better or worse.
 9) We’re all human and surely you have had your fair share of challenges. How do you overcome most of your obstacles?
One particular obstacle in my life has stopped me from a lot of things that otherwise wouldn’t have been affected. That causes a lot of resentment. However I fully believe everything in life can be solved with empathy. That exact knowledge that you mentioned “we’re all human”. We all experience suffering. I try to remember we were all little babies once and relatively the same. At the heart of it we all have the same basic needs and desires. Only when we get older do we think we need a reason for being. A purpose. And if we can’t find it, or fail at it, we don’t know how to keep operating. I think we manifest our own purpose and it’s not some singular thing outside of ourselves waiting to be snatched. When I get caught up in myself, feeling like a victim of circumstances, I try to get out of my head and see myself standing on the edge of the Earth and remember all the people that ever were, are, and will be. You feel so small and all of your issues are too. Life obstacles are growing pains most of the time, random happenstance some of the time. Take the time for yourself to reflect and learn from them.
10) What do you want the readers to take away from your blog?
I want my blog to be viewed as relatable, and not some unachievable fantasy lifestyle curated for aesthetics because I think that just eventually hurts people. There’s so SO much of that anyways because of social media and fame. A conventionally pretty girl, in pretty pictures, doing pretty things and it’s all surface level. That’s well and good but how much does anyone get from that anymore? That’s 90% of the internet. You have so many people on here who feel lonely or weird when in truth that pretty girl is probably a lot like them when the camera is off. I want my blog viewed like this because it’s something I MYSELF longed to see more of in the personal fashion blogging community. It’s become so absent because everything is permanently documented and easily shared, and the etiquette of social media has evolved to it being only proper if you highlight the good and don’t discuss anything personal. Don’t admit flaw or failure. I want my readers to be able to say “Hey, she’s normal. If she can do this, I can do this too!”

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