Today, Feb 19th, marks the launch of the first annual Fierce 50 Campaign, bringing together female bloggers over the age of 50 in a celebration of midlife on the 50th day of the year!
I am so honored to be a part of this The Fierce 50 campaign. Both because the women that I am meeting are fabulous, and because a group of primarily fashion bloggers accepted me into their fold. I love fashion, but I am a writer not a fashion blogger. Honestly, I have no idea how these women put together outfits and photograph them so well without breaking a sweat! I have been honored to work with this woman–she is writing about me and I about her—Meet Debbie Stinedurf of Northwestern Pennsylvania and her blog fashionfairydust.com
Debbie is a vivacious redhead who is a teacher of special needs middle school kids. Right there my hat comes off to her. Teaching middle school is a challenge and to take special needs kids and make them feel safe and valuable is a calling that challenges even the most gifted people. She thrives on it. Along with being mom of two kids of whom she is very proud she is also a wife of 28 years. Love long marriages!
Debbie grew up, as she put it, “on the wrong side of the tracks.”
She knew from an early age that she wanted to be a special ed teacher. Her brother, who was disabled, passed away when she was five and both him and the loss of him imprinted deeply on her soul. Her mother passed away when Debbie was 17 but this did not dissuade her from following her dream. She encouraged herself and found the energy and intelligence to challenge the expectations of those around her including her high school college counselor. Debbie worked hard to put herself through college and become a teacher.
All of this would be enough to have a fulfilled life, a job she loves, a family she loves, but deep inside was a burning desire to do more. And so her blog fashionfairydust.com was born with a hope of being an inspiration to others to enjoy fashion no matter what their age.
Debbie began blogging in May of 2013 and when visiting her blog you are struck by how vibrant she is. Her fiery red hair along with her fashion choices make you stop and take notice. I sat down to read a number of her posts and found myself enamored with her style. Her blog is colorful and fun, but there is more to it than that. Fashion is always a part of her posts, but she also is a gifted writer who speaks from her heart about things that are important to her. Somehow weaves those thoughts into an outfit without a moment’s hesitation. She wears more color than I do but right now I am inspired to throw more into my wardrobe simply because of reading her blog! I have to also say she has a wardrobe of over the knee boots that is killer!
Debbie began fashionfairydust.com as a fashion outlet. She throws fashion rules based on age to the wind because, “What fun is that?” There is a small dress code at her school—no ripped jeans, no aggressive logos but that is not really what led her to create fashionfairydust.com. She blogs to express her whole self and manages to do so at a price point that is available to many people. She makes her outfits look top drawer fashionable but finds her pieces combing sales and lesser known website stores. I personally love this. I stopped taking fashion magazines by subscription after they kept featuring 500 dollar shoes like that was a normal price for a shoe and available to all.
She writes from her heart, and isn’t afraid of her beliefs. Striving to keep it all positive and productive, Debbie said on one blog last December,
“… ugliness and hatred will not be permitted. Not on my blog, not in my life, not in my world.”
Speaking to Debbie on the phone last week was a blast and we got along like we had been friends for years. The wonderful thing about The Fierce 50 Campaign is that we are all getting to meet women we might never have met otherwise. I will say I wish we could have met in person. She is petite and I am a giant so our photos would have been a blast to take! Me in a hole or her on a box!
To read Debbie’s Blog visit FashionFairyDust.com She will be posting a blog about me today as well!
I find that one thing women bloggers over 50 have in common is a positive outlook. Perhaps it is that we have lived long enough to know that nothing lasts forever both the good things and the bad. This makes us appreciate what we have, what we have worked for and also keeps us from sweating the small stuff. Age brings wisdom and the knowledge that you can survive anything for 5 minutes, five months or even five years because it will change. We also, like Debbie, find the good and positive in our daily lives. Maybe that is the gift of blogging that through our writing and our photos we can find the good in any moment. Just give us enough words and a great fitting pair of jeans.
Thank you to the vibrant and encouraging Hannah Storm for her support, for joining us, and for sharing her journey on the newly launched Thrive Global. Hannah, we applaud you and the incredible work you have done lighting a path for women to succeed in so many creative endeavors after the magical 50!
This is the link to the article on Hannah Storm– a powerful story about how being herself led to her success. click here: Hannah Storm
Debbie and I would like to thank the sponsors of The Fierce 50:
Onzie @onzie www.onzie.com
Madison Reed @madisonreedllb www.madison-reed.com
HSI Professional @hsiprofessional www.hsiprofessional.com
Awe Inspired @aweinspired_ www.aweinspired.com