It took six Cedarville students just one weekend last November to launch a style blog that’s now attracted readers from several states.
Cedarville students Beth Julca and Jennifer Langton had the idea to highlight people with interesting style around campus in some sort of online media. Langton, a junior, said she and Julca, who graduated in December, shared their idea with four other students. And when the weekend was over, the group of six had created and published “The Village.”
The blog’s name came from the students’ common association with Cedarville. However, the group hoped the blog would attract attention from more than Cedarville students, so they didn’t want the name to be exclusive, Langton said.
“One of our slogans is, ‘It takes a village to raise a style,’” she said.
And although “The Village” is a style blog, it is not just for those interested in fashion.
“Style isn’t only what you wear,” Langton said.
She said “The Village” has recently added an inspiration section, which features writings about things such as travel, music and art. She also said the staff hopes to feature more posts about books, photography, theater and film.
“A lot of different things go into creating a personal style, not only your clothes,” Langton said. “It could mean how you decorate your home or even the way that you write. All of those things are a part of who you are, and that’s your style. (“The Village” is) about a lot more than clothes, but clothes definitely are a really fun part of it.”
In addition to the inspiration section, the blog includes The Daily Look, Style Spotlight, Village Picks, and men’s and women’s sections.
David Widder-Varhegyi, editor for the Style Spotlight and the men’s page, said he writes about everything from eating to the benefits of cold showers. Articles on the men’s page include those such as “Enter: The Beanie,” which outlines the appropriate times to wear a beanie, and “How An Ogre Gave Me Style Advice,” which describes how to layer well.
Widder-Varhegyi said though he doesn’t know much about fashion or style, he has several guest writers who cover those topics for the blog.
Bethany Gustin, the women’s editor, said her goal is to find as many guest writers as she can because she is more interested in fashion than writing. Gustin said social media allows her to network with people and find guest writers. She said she finds other women who are very involved in fashion or post interesting pictures of things such as nature, architecture or their kids. After she develops what she calls a “social media relationship,” she asks them to be a guest writer for “The Village.”
“The people that I’m talking to are just extremely talented,” Gustin said. “If I am verbalizing that, I have never talked to anyone who really said they weren’t willing to write. They’re always like very flattered at the compliment I give them.”
Gustin said “The Village” does a large amount of networking through Instagram and Twitter to connect with people they can’t meet in person.
“We just want a good article for our followers,” she said.
Articles on the women’s page include topics such as “What to Wear in February When You Want to Burn All Your Sweaters,” which recommends what to wear in the last few months of winter, and “How to Stop Fighting Your Journal,” which gives tips on how to become a better journaler.
Gustin also creates the weekly Village Picks, a collage of different outfit arrangements for both men and women.
“It’s definitely geared toward more of a styling niche, which is definitely something I’m interested in,” she said.
The weekly Style Spotlight features people with a style not limited to their clothes, Langton said. She said one Cedarville student featured in the Spotlight makes many of his own clothes because he couldn’t find clothes matching how he wanted to express himself.
“That’s kind of what we’re about is using your clothes as your art,” Langton said, “and as a way to express yourself and say things that you can’t necessarily in other ways.”
The Daily Look features people “The Village” staff thinks have unique style. Originally, those on The Daily Look were only from Cedarville, but, as the staff spreads to new locations, The Daily Look features a greater variety.
The Daily Look editor, Avi Glibicky, isn’t a Cedarville student. In fact, the staff has never met Glibicky in person; they connected with her through Instagram. Since Glibicky is a student at New York University, she provides pictures of people’s style beyond Cedarville.
“That’s been cool just because it’s a lot of people we don’t even know,” Langton said. “So it inspires us, which is a cool thing to have your work inspire you back.”
Langton said the staff will soon expand “The Village” into an international operation as Julca will be moving to England where her fiancé lives.
“She’ll be working from there, and we’ll be working from here,” Langton said.
The nine-person staff hails from New York University, Ohio State University, Wright State and Cedarville University.
“I think people might be surprised by how much we don’t even know each other that well,” Langton said. “We’re all very different and that’s good.”
Langton, Widder-Varhegyi and Gustin said the blog is worth the great amount of time it takes because it is something they are passionate about.
“This blog can be as little or as big as we make it, depending on how much work we put into it,” Gustin said.
The staff’s long term goals for “The Village” include making it a profitable business, with services such as physically styling a person.
“We would love it to be something that we can all work at and have the creative outlet, but also be something that benefits us back,” Langton said. “But for right now, (we’re) gathering a following, and it’s nice to have something that is involving style and we can all be a part of.”
Check out “The Village” online at thevillagestyle.com or follow them on Twitter (@thevillagestyle) and Instagram (thevillagestyle).
Anna Dembowski is a sophomore journalism major and an arts & entertainment writer for Cedars. She likes nearly anything that is the color purple and enjoys spelling the word “agathokakological.”