When I began setting up this blog, I started googling and searching for lifestyle, outdoors, travel, and surf blogs. I was amazed by the number of links that came up – lining up all these blogs to read, and spent hours reading inspiring posts and interviews written by these utterly inspiring women. Each blog lead me to click through to more – and I soon discovered that there was one thing in common with all these blogs – they were all utterly inspiring and run by women who had decided to go out and do what they wanted to do. Do what I wanted to do. They were living lives that I wanted to. So, I thought, in the spirit of doing things, what better than ask them for interviews and feature them here.
First up, is the wonderful Olivia O’Connor, from DontTellSummer.
DontTellSummer began life as a lifestyle blog, before growing into a site that helps young people achieve their dreams and ambitions. DontTellSummer was set up by Olivia O’Connor, an American who has settled in Australia, chasing dreams, freedom, and surf. From the site:
DontTellSummer hats are Hats with a Purpose™, to inspire you to do what you would love to do now, rather than waiting for some point in the future. Every time you put on the hat, it’s a declaration to live an authentic, rad life. Whether that’s saying yes to going for a surf that day, or to a dream that’s been sitting in your heart, they are here as a reminder to do what you love, what completely excites you.
1. Your blog was one of the first that I discovered as I went about setting up mine. I instantly knew that this was how I wanted my blog to be – full of inspirational posts and pictures that inspired people to be who they wanted to be. How did you go about creating that feel?
Wow that’s so cool! I love hearing that! I think the best way to go about creating that feel was to be true to myself and the things that inspire me. DTS started in Orange County where we were surrounded by the surf culture. That’s a big part of DTS and something that continually inspires the look and feel of the brand. When something inspires you and you post about it because you are genuinely stoked by it, others will feel that too.
2. How do you maintain your positive outlook?
Being positive is all about how you choose to think and be in different moments and situations. The more you train your mind to jump to the positive, the easier it becomes and the more that is your go to.
3. DontTellSummer is all about following your dreams and doing what you love. What are your top tips to someone wanting to follow their dreams?
If you think something isn’t possible, find someone who is out there doing something similar, even if it’s in a completely different field. That was monumental for me in going for my dreams, seeing that it was possible for someone else my age to do what they love. Also tell the people around you about your dreams. By opening up and sharing your dreams with other people, you never know what incredible opportunities could come up.
4. What’s your favourite inspirational saying or the best advice ever given to you?
What’s meant to be will be. My great grandmother always said that to my mom and I grew up hearing it from her, and it really allows you to feel at ease with certain situations whether it’s going for something and hoping that the person or business on the other end is on board, or taking a risk. There’s something about knowing that if something is meant for you it will be that makes putting yourself out there a little bit easier.
5. What surprised you the most about starting DontTellSummer – whether something that went well or was more difficult than anticipated?
I think what surprised me the most was just the time that it takes to really get going. As you grow, so does your brand and to just be patient while you’re creating something that you love. Also that it’s largely up to you to make your dreams a reality.
6. I decided to call this blog series “Fearless” because I wanted to feature women who had followed their dreams, were doing what they loved, and inspiring other people to do the same. What does “fearless” mean to you?
Doing what you love can definitely come with fear, but being fearless means that despite those feelings, you’re going to do what you love anyway.
7. I’m a huge reader and always interested in what other people like to read – do you have a favourite book or author?
I love reading books that my friends have written because there’s something about hearing the words from someone your age that’s relatable and inspiring. Karla Layton came out with a really rad Ebook called “Ease” and I also love Meg O’Sullivan’s writing, she created Naked and most recently, Wildly Wealthy.
8. Finally, something to be thankful for?
My friends and family. I’m so thankful for the people who are supporting me in doing what I love, making sure that we have fun along the way.
Thank you so much Olivia for taking the time to answer these questions – I really appreciate it. Find out more about Olivia and DontTellSummer here.