Q&A: Woman Behind the Blog

Style tips from Coco+Kelley's Cassandra LaValle

coco and kelley!

In 2007, pint-size style enthusiast Cassandra LaValle ditched her career in PR and shelter magazines to launch an unpaid passion project. Today, things are more than paying off — her tip-packed decor blog Coco+Kelley is a Google reader go-to for editors and style lovers alike, and she frequently collaborates with big-meets-small brands like West Elm.

Seattle, Washington

Occupation: Founder and creative director of Coco+Kelley

Your blog reveals a rededication to pulling off print on print this year. Any other resolutions?
I have a big list of resolutions that I put together on New Year’s Day. I got pretty ambitious this year. If I had to sum it up, I’d say they are all about putting more energy and effort into relationships and expanding Coco+Kelley into new arenas this year. The plan of attack? Don’t get lazy.

If you had to be reincarnated as a piece of furniture, what would it be?
A striking Venini chandelier — it makes a bold statement in a classy way and completes a room. Maybe something like this one with a soft pink touch to it.

Now that the holidays are over, what’s the next snazzy occasion on your calendar?
I’m working on putting together a cozy midwinter dinner party for friends that will also be a feature on the blog. The evening will be inspired by this dress that I found in a vintage store a few months ago. It’s going to be a little winter, a little Valentine’s Day, and a little Mexican — look for it in early February.

What post did you run that got the most responses?
Why do you think it did?
Whenever a post is more on a personal level, it gets a much greater response — whether it’s my Gut Check moments or Outfitting posts featuring myself. Also, anything that pushes the boundaries of design a bit, especially if it’s slightly controversial. I love those ones!

Any style icons?
I keep a Pinterest board for my current style icons: Miroslava Duma (she’s petite like me, so I like to see what she can pull off); Rachel Bilson for her perfect everyday casual wear; and Viviana Volpicella (she does print and color pants better than anyone).

What are you working on next?

What I’m most excited about right now is helping my dad launch his new restaurant, Tinello! I come from a marketing and branding background, so I’m looking forward to helping him on that end, as well as working with architects to finish off the interior design. It’s so awesome to be able to contribute to a family project. And of course, I’ll be throwing plenty of parties in the coming year!

Please complete this sentence: I’d never spend more than $10 on _________.
A latte. Which is to say that I love my coffee so much that I’d be willing to spend $10 dollars on it. My current favorite brand out of Seattle is Storyville.

What advice would you give to aspiring bloggers looking to make a name for themselves?
I think the important part is to really be true to yourself and remember what it is that excites you. I’m guilty of overthinking posts, trying to appease every reader, and spending too much time comparing myself to others. The key to blogging is that you’re supposed to be doing what you love — so do that!

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Photo: Belathée Photography / Courtesy of Coco+Kelley