Bear Family is all about…well, family. We love to take new friends under our wing and help them reach the dizzying heights above.
We first met Laura Semple when she stayed on our living room couch whilst shooting and reviewing Sydney Fashion Week a few weeks ago. Laura runs the music, fashion and art blog SEMPLESIZE, one of the few quality blogs of it’s type on the net today. Laura is one of the hardest working 21 year olds on the planet right now, managing a stack of contributors, interviews, editors and website niggles all whilst working 40 hours a week to bring home the daddy bacon.
Laura was a little ray of sunshine in an otherwise miserably wet fashion week, and we decided to sit down with her over a cup of Tetley’s and find out more about what makes her tick.
BF: Can you give us a brief run down on who you are, what you do and how Semplesize came about?
LS: For sure…
Who am I?… well I’m a 21 (nearly 22) year old Queenslander living in Melbourne. I was born and raised on a farm and fell in love with music before I can even remember. I think I was demanding my parents to let me have piano lessons at the age of 4.
What do I do? I’m a barista, waitress, photographer, video editor and Editor-In-Chief of SEMPLESIZE. To put it simply… During the day and sometimes the night I spend my time at a fairly boring hospitality job. It pays the bills every now and then but it’s not where I see the rest of my life. During the rest of the hours I don’t spend sleeping (generally I don’t sleep very much at all. ‘Ain’t nobody got time for that’) you can find ‘blogging’ away at my baby, pop-culture blog SEMPLESIZE. It’s really my one true love. It incorporates everything I’m passionate about and love in the one spot. I have a great team of editors as well as some of the most amazing contributors anyone could ever have. I’m really lucky for all the success we’ve had so far and we get to do some pretty amazing things. Like hang out with muso, attend fashion events, make funny little video clips and interviews and just have a pretty damn good time. Oh and I also just opened a recording studio called Bed Rec Studio (www.bedrecstudio.com) it’s where we do a lot of our interviews and has some pretty exciting stuff coming out of it so make sure you check that out.
Now to the final part of your three part question. How did SEMPLESIZE come about? I started it on December 29 2013.. I’d just graduated uni and had a lot of spare time on my hands. I’ve always been passionate about writing and spent the semester studying internet marketing and really loved the idea of starting my own blog. At first I was only really interested in writing a fashion blog.. something which is fast becoming a saturated market. I decided to call the site SEMPLESIZE as it was a nickname a friend gave me because I’m a stick and well models are a sample sizese so it just kind of worked. It didn’t take me very long before I realised I’m not that great when it comes to fashion. Well I think I know what looks good clothes wise… but I’m not very good when it comes to designers. I quickly ran out of things to say. So I decided to start reviewing some of my favourite music and artists at the time. Soon I started shooting gigs and gained an internship with a legend my mentor who started training me as a booker. I then started booking some gigs and meeting more bands and that definitely helped the site to take off. One thing lead to another which lead to another and it just started all happening. Before I knew it I had an amazing Fashion Editor, Sarah Dimauro (who can be found to dress me time-time and keep the site super stylish) and Music Editor Rei Barker along with a team of over 30 contributors… photographers and reviewers Australia wide and we now have a solid video team to make sick clips which is always fun. I don’t want to jinx it but it feels like a dream.
BF: Mercedes Benz Fashion week has just finished up here in sunny old Sydney, what were your highlights of the week?
LS: It would have to be attending all the runway shows and the street fashion. This is my second MBFWA so it still feels pretty new to me. Oh I think one of the best things was the Sunglasses Hut Library. You could go in and loan a pair of sunnies for the day or the week and then return them at the end of the event. Kind of like loaning books except you look good with them. I got to wear some Giorgio and Emporio Armani as well as these sick velvet grey reflective ray-ban’s they were pretty dope!
BF: How much would you LOVE to own a sand-kini?
LS: Haha like the one the Bondi Bather’s had on the runway during fashion week? Well I can tell you this. It looked sick but I don’t think it’d be that comfortable. But hey… all in the name of fashion right?
BF: Your ‘Getting to Know’ section is where you get the opportunity to speak to some of Australia’s best and brightest about their innermost personal secrets. Tell us all about your;
FIRST (interview) – LS: Hmmm well my real first interview was when I got my first Job I was 14.. I don’t really remember that. But my first interview since I started SEMPLESIZE was for this high school program where the students were asked to start a blog and they had to interview someone in a particular industry. Frankie (my mentor) and I got picked. It was kind of scary.. I’d never been interviewed and especially by someone i high school. I had to watch my colourful language which can be hard sometimes, especially when you’re passionate. I’ve seen the footage of the interview and it turned out well. I don’t think I’ll ever get use to being interviewed… it’s kind of weird it’s like a job interview but it’s all about what you do and you sometimes have to be careful what you say because your parents and family generally read everything that happens. So I try not to say anything that’ll disappoint them.
STARSTRUCK MOMENT (Fav.interview) – I’m pretty bad at getting star struck… it happens on a daily basis. Like when a band likes my insta pic or tweet. Crystal Fighters liked one of my Instagram posts… I nearly died. My favourite interview would’ve probably been with Falco from Future of The Left. Not because of who he is or the band he’s from, but because he was so real. We had a really nice long chat for about 45min and I mean I don’t even talk to some of my friends on the phone for that long. He gave me some good life advice and that’s what I really like. When bands are real. Another star struck moment I had was when I found out that The Naked and Famous was going to do an interview with me. Unfortunately our schedules kept conflicting so my Fashion Editor got to do it instead.
BF: Tell us more about your bedroom (aka BedRec studios)
LS: Well my bedroom is dark, cold and all things nice… oh and it’s fitted out as a full working and operating recording studio. My friend Vito who plays in two Melbourne bands, 8 Bit Love and Shababa and I decided that it’d be a waste not to do anything with the space so we partnered up and launched Bed Rec Studio.
My bed is actually in the control room. I was thinking about it the other day…. I have four computer screens in my bedroom that’s not really normal =/. I fitted out the garage into a chill zone. It also doubles as an interview room where my team and I ask fashionistas (fashionable people) and bands the tricky questions. It’s a really see it to believe it kind of thing. It’s a little shocking when bands that have been recording for years come into the studio for an interview and then walk into the band room (bedroom) and see it and their draws drop. It always makes me laugh. We through a party in there and there was free booze thanks to Sailor Jerry and we had Babaganouj (Brisbane band) and 8 Bit Love (Melbourne band) come in and play some tunes it was LOOOSE! There’ll be a video of it all very soon.
BF: Favourite ‘Dre Lyric?
LS: Oh God… it is bad that I don’t know any?? I’m actually pretty anti-Dre I think it’s mainly because he’s headphones are SO expensive and they’re nothing that flash. I can tell you my favourite quote instead? It’s a Mozart quote, “The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between” think about that for a minute…
BF: What is your number one piece of advice for any bloggers/fashionistas/ photographers/ wunderkind like yourself who are just getting started?
LS: Don’t try copy anyone else. Don’t compare yourself to any other blog or similar site… it’ll make you bitter. Do it because you love it and don’t forget why you love it. If it starts feeling like work STOP revaluate what you’re doing and take it back to what it was. For bloggers I’d say.. be careful. Blogging is growing so fast. Everyone is a blogger these days. Only do it if you really love it. Don’t do it for money because there’s a very high chance you’ll never make any. Don’t do it to become famous… if you think about how many blogs are out there in the world to how many famous bloggers there are… there aren’t that many. Never lie when it comes to what you write and don’t try and please everyone… Oh and be prepared to never sleep again!!! For fashionistas… maybe you should speak to my fashion editor (laughs). Nah but in all seriousness. Wear the way you feel. I generally dress to the music I’m listening to at the time. Don’t try and follow the trends if it’s not you. You’ll end up looking like an idiot. My worst fashion blunders have been when I’ve tried to dress to fit in with the ‘scene’. It never works and I always cringe at the photos. For photographers my advice would be…. find a photographer in your area you love and follow them to shoots. Learn from them and gain experience. Do as much unpaid work as you can to create a kick ass portfolio and then learn what the value of your work is and start charging it. Remember your friends are your friends but you need to make a living and this is your career. Photography is a hella hard job and you should be paid for it. Whether it’s an exchange of services or real money.
BF: What’s next for Semplesize? What does 2014 hold for you?
LS: Hmmm that’s hard as plans are changing all the time. I can’t reveal everything but I can tell you this… we do have a new youtube channel which will be released hopefully next week YEY!!! And we may be working very closely with some festivals in the Melbourne area as well as planning our own SEMPLESIZE tour. It’s going to be a fun year!
BF: Last but not least, please include a self-portrait of yourself (preferably acting out your favourite scene from ‘Finding Nemo’.