Audrey Leighton aka Frassy Audrey aka the mega babe behind Be Frassy, is like a sultry mix of Sofia Loren and Marilyn Monroe. She’s just super hot, there I said it! And beneath the initial surface appeal, she’s truly a fascinating human, one that I instantly was drawn to as soon as I discovered her. She writes poetry, stays “on brand” at all times, and shows all of her personality – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
In fact, I remember one time she said on Instastories that she’s unhappy on most days. Like what blogger says that?! I love it! Bloggers aren’t all rays of sunshine and Audrey is one of the few who admits it – thank you, babe! Alright enough of me blabbing… let’s get into it!
Q: Audrey! I’m so happy to have you here and feel like we’re best friends already but for those who don’t know can you explain your background a little bit – who you are, how Frassy came about, and how the hell you ended up living in Europe?!
We are friends already! So, I’m an American currently living in Barcelona but also working in Paris. I’m a blogger but also and mostly these days, a photographer for brands. Frassy started back when I was at University in England. I was studying English Literature in a sleepy little town, felt creatively stifled and thus started a blog on a bored whim. I was so painfully broke back then so my posts mostly consisted of outfits I scored at Salvation Army. As for life in Europe, my Dad moved my family over to Dublin, Ireland when I was just 8 years old. I’ve stuck around ever since, living in England, France and now Spain ever since. Honestly, I feel more European than American. I’ve spent most of my life here and I have no plan to leave!
Q: One of the things I love about you is your vulnerability. You share things many influencers don’t which is what drew me to you in the first place. Do you feel your transparency has had a more positive or negative impact on your career? Can you explain how?
I think it goes both ways. Candid thought and real emotion still are quite uncommon in the sphere of everything ‘influencer’, and thus opening up means I am also opening myself up to hate, criticism, and judgment. I have received all three in waves over the course of my blogging career. But as we progress as an industry, I truly believe our audiences are becoming smarter, savvier and thus bored of the ‘picture perfect’ lives we all portray online. Ultimately while I have experienced the drawbacks of being honest, nothing compares to the hundreds of positive responses I’ve received. I consider my readers friends and I think the intimacy and connection I’ve fostered with them is not only still rare but also the proudest outcome born from Frassy so far. I love that they come to me for advice. I love that what I write they too feel themselves. I love the very tangible connection I share with them despite a screen separating us. That to me is really everything!
Q: Speaking of transparency, you haven’t been shy about speaking out against the Instagram algorithm (thank you!) can you share a little bit about the social media roller coaster and how you stay sane?
I simply just stopped caring. It might sound arrogant but I know my content to be of good quality. Brands continue to hire me. My faithful readers are always around, and they’ve been with me for almost 10 years. Despite not having the largest following or being ‘most popular’, I like to believe that readers and brands will appreciate what I photograph, what I write and how I hope to inspire. Creativity is what drew me to this profession and I won’t let the boring, tedious numerical side of everything digital deter from my main goal, which is to express myself truthfully at all times.
Q: Your aesthetic is unmatched. Truly, it’s one of the most unique I’ve ever seen (check her out @frassyaudrey), how exactly do you edit your photos and how do you stay so consistent?
Wow, that’s so kind! I’ve been a photographer for many years, it’s one of those skills I suppose I just developed after what felt like a perpetual frustration for a very very long time. I edit all my photos in Photoshop, and I work with a rough template, which tones down certain colors and enhances others. I always rely heavily on de-saturating the tones typical to an unedited photograph. I don’t like bright colors nor do I ever use my iPhone for photography on my blog or Instagram. I am a fairly moody person and what I’m drawn to fluctuates incessantly, I hope my photography captures that. – It certainly does!
Q: What have you found personally, to be the best way to grow your audience, whether it be on Instagram or otherwise? Is there some underrated tactic we’re missing?
To be genuine here, I have no idea. It is something I struggle with A LOT. Recently, I’ve been very disciplined in interacting with my followers and that has worked really well.
But as for tactics, I am clueless. I’ve actually lost Instagram followers over the course of the last few months, but then again, like I said before, I just stopped caring and concentrated on the creativity. That might be unwise advice but it’s all I can truly offer.
Q: The topic on every blogger’s mind is brand collabs. In your experience what has been the most effective way of landing those collabs/what unconventional advice can you give to bloggers looking to get #sponsored?
I’d say if you are starting out and you are really a genuine lover of a brand, reach out to them and offer a service for free, be it an Instagram post or whatever you like. This always worked really well for me in the past. Also, so often we as bloggers can act very entitled, remember that behind every PR email is a person, a real-life person. Connecting with them on a level outside of the work realm is always a good idea. I guess that’s called networking but even that feels somewhat hollow to me. So many of the brands I’ve worked with for years? The women hiring me, after all, this time are ladies I consider friends.
Q: Of course, I have to ask… what would you tell your younger blogger self?
DOWNLOAD INSTAGRAM. I was so so late to the Instagram game. I refused to participate. I wish I had started out on the app, long long ago!
Q: And finally, what’s the future of Frassy? Can we expect a product line, book, etc. to happen at some point?
I am in the midst of writing a book, yes! I hope to self-publish it soon. Further down the line, I am working towards launching a small digital production company. I haven’t told anyone that yet and won’t elaborate but it will essentially be an extension of all I am already doing freelance.
YAS Audrey! I personally can’t wait for all that’s in store for her, she’s truly one of a kind and I’m so grateful to have gotten her on NAB.
What bloggers do you guys want to see interviewed on NAB? Tell me in the comments below and I’ll try my best to make it happen!
P.s. My latest obsessions are inspired by Miss Audrey herself.