Marche Robinson of The Robinson Style, at her desk.
After years of being friends on Instagram, Marche Robinson of The Robinson Style and I met atop Aspen Mountain (Ajax, if you know). Our time together was brief, but it confirmed what I could tell via my phone screen: she’s got it. Marche is a breathtaking beauty, whose style is unmatched. She’s also got brains to back it up. A full time lawyer, Marche started her blog in 2011 as a creative outlet (before the days of collaborations and turning this into a career), and has stuck with it, quite fruitfully.
These days you can find her on TikTok (she’s hilarious and the only reason I may finally join), taking a stand and truly standing out. Hands down a favorite follow, I was honored to have the chance to catch up with Marche to get her thoughts on everything from her epic (!) engagement shoot to the Black Lives Matter movement.
1. Have you had any memorable mentors? If so, how did you meet? What advice have they shared that’s stuck with you?
I have had two memorable mentors. My first mentor was my dad. I feel like he taught me so much. I know that’s what dads are supposed to do but he taught me so much about hard work and I use so much of his advice to navigate my career. One thing my dad always told me was that I should never rely on one stream of income. His advice is one of the main reasons why I stuck with my blog for so long. There are times I wanted to quit but I kept going and glad I did. I think it allows me to take risks in both my day job and with my blog. I also had another mentor, an attorney. He was actually an ex boyfriend’s mentor and I poached him. He has given me a lot of advice and his recommendation helped me nab my dream legal job a few years ago. His best advice was actually salary negotiation advice. There wasn’t one particular thing that he said but he just helped me navigate the process. I am forever thankful because it gave me more confidence.
2. You’re a full time lawyer and also a successful blogger. How did you get your start and how do you balance both careers?
Originally I wanted to be a child psychologist. I love kids and I remember watching “Harriet the Spy” and there’s a scene where Harriet’s parents send her to a therapist and I was like I don’t know what that is but I want to do that! I started researching and immediately settled on that career. I majored in Psychology in college and then during my sophomore year, I took a Constitutional Law class. The professor was an attorney and completely crazy in the best way. He used the Socratic Method to teach the course and treated it like a law school class. All my classmates were aspiring attorneys and I was just sitting there thinking I got in over my head. After our first class I was hooked. I loved how challenging the course was. I even learned to love how difficult the professor was. By the end of the semester, I decided I was going to law school and started studying for the LSAT! After I graduated law school, I moved to Charlotte to work on document review projects. Document review is pretty monotonous and grueling. I know everyone says this but I started my blog as a creative outlet. It was 2011 so blogs were fairly new. People started blogs to share their outfits, decor, images, etc. There was no talk of sponsorships, collaborations or affiliate income. I really enjoyed blogging and slowly began to build an audience and share images of myself and my life. I have been blogging ever since!
3. Let’s talk about the Black Lives Matters movement and the centuries overdue, momentous shift in the conversation that happened last month. First, how are you doing? Are you comfortable sharing a few ways in which white allies can continue elevating Black voices (whether in the workplace or on social)?
Honestly it has been overwhelming and exhausting. I feel that there has definitely been a shift and I’ve been able to share more of my thoughts and experiences as a Black woman without fear of alienating someone. I realized that although I do mention race here or there, I really kept my blogging and social media focused on fashion, beauty, etc. I am happy that along with other Black influencers, I feel more comfortable sharing more about Black Lives Matter and our stories. A few days after the Amy Cooper incident in New York, I was inspired to share a story of a former supervisor. I detailed how awful she was to me. She would make racist remarks (such as bragging about running a plantation, for example) and would make several microaggressions toward me. My time if the job was very traumatic for me. It spilled over when I took on other positions because I always feared I would have a supervisor like her. I received a message from a former coworker from this former company. She told me that she had reached out to HR about the incident but was turned away. I shared this with my followers because I wanted them to see that as an ally, if you see a Black person being wronged, you have to speak up. I had tried to defend myself against certain incidents and reach out for help at this company but as a Black woman my issues were ignored. If I had more people speak up for me like this former coworker (who is White) I think more would have been done to protect me. I also think education is key. We are lucky enough to have so many resources at our disposal right now and I think to be a great ally you have to be open to learning and evolving.
4. Your engagement pictures are epic. Tell us about the trip! Any pointers for Covid brides looking to do something similar yet special locally?
Thank you! My husband and I love to travel. When we got engaged we toyed around with the idea of a destination wedding. My husband has a huge family so we quickly decided to have our wedding locally. I had the idea to do a destination engagement shoot instead of a wedding. Our wedding photographer is actually an old friend of mine so we invited him and his wife to come with us to Paris and we stayed in the most gorgeous apartment and spent the trip shooting and eating. I love the images but it was so cold that three out of the four of us got very sick. I came down with a severe sinus infection the same day we arrived. It was brutal! There are so many great local shoot locations. For me, I wanted our photos to tell a story. I think no matter where you are, you can tell a story through fashion and props. I’ve seen so many creative shoots that people have done at home and I would tell brides to pull any inspiration they can. I created a secret board on Pinterest and saved all my Paris inspiration photos for months before our trip. I researched all the different locations and planned our outfits based on the location. So I say decide the story you want to tell and plan, plan, plan!
5. Favorite Tiktok video you’ve done? Tips for starters?
I just recently did one with my husband. We recorded our own video and I edited it and added music and sound effects. I’m proud of that one because we didn’t use a sound. My biggest tip is to just start and post whatever you want! I think so many people harp on having a niche. I share fashion and beauty on my Instagram and while I do share some of that on Tiktok, I like to share dance challenges, funny videos and voiceovers. I use my Tiktok to show a part of my personality my Instagram followers don’t get to see. I constantly google how to do certain transitions or edits and there is usually always a youtube video showing you how to do something. Lastly, utilize hashtags and popular sounds. Tiktok also shows you what’s trending so I always try to do one or two challenges or hashtags that are trending per week to grow my following. I have been consistently using it for about 2.5 months and I’ve grown to nearly 6000 followers which I think is pretty good!
6. Who or what inspires you?
Definitely my dad as I mentioned earlier. In terms of fashion, the women in my family inspire me so much. My mom is so stylish. I remember tagging along with her to shop at vintage stores. She has a great eye and everything looks good on her.
7. Won’t be caught without my… phone!
My world revolves around my phone. It’s so bad!
8. Last thing you do before bed?
I take sleep and beauty vitamins by Olly Nutrition.
9. Heels or flats?