So, why should you add yet another site to your ever growing blogroll? What if we could suggest a blog that offers up everything we fab brown girls love-a tasty mix of fashion trends, beauty news and entertainment? Well, it’s all at Brown Girl Gumbo– a site dedicated to keeping us in the know. We talked to head brown girl, Karla Borders Pope, who puts her passion for journalism and magazines to good use on one of our newly bookmarked sites.
Q : Tell us a little bit about yourself…
I’m a married 28-year-old young woman living in Brooklyn, NY who loves all things beauty, fashion and style! I’m originally from Chicago, but came to NYC a little over 5 years ago to pursue my dreams of being a magazine writer. I’ve known that I wanted to work in the magazine and publishing industry since I was a kid. It’s just always been my passion. I can remember anxiously awaiting the arrival of my Highlights issues and my mom’s Essence and Ebony magazines. I would even write compilations of short stories at a very young age. Now, I currently work at Parade Magazine.
Q : When and Why did you start “Brown Girl Gumbo”?’
I started Brown Girl Gumbo in September 2007. I decided to create my own blog after reading so many others and realized that I could do it too. I loved reading the beauty, fashion and entertainment blogs and thought that it would be a good idea to come up with a blog that had all three of those elements that I enjoyed reading and writing about.
Q : Why did you name your blog “Brown Girl Gumbo”?
I named my blog, “Brown Girl Gumbo,” because I didn’t want to focus on just one topic like many other blogs; I wanted it to be a mixture of all the things that I love — beauty, fashion and entertainment. Gumbo is a mixture of good things, so to me it just worked. The tagline, “Stirring Up Everything that Chic Brown Girls Love,” soon followed.
Q : How do you decide what and who to cover on your blog?
Well, I decide what to cover by balancing a mix of beauty, fashion and entertainment. There’s really no method to what I cover as long as it pertains to issues that I feel my audience would enjoy reading. I also do a bit of health and lifestyle posts from time to time too.
Q : You have had some awesome interviews on your site! So far, who was your favorite interview and why?
Thank you! So far I think my favorite person to interview has been Hill Harper. I admire what he’s doing for our youth. He’s an amazing actor and uses his celebrity to help uplift our oftentimes neglected communities. He was an absolute pleasure to talk to.
Q : We know you love to write, do you do any freelancing and have you been published in any glossies yet?
I have a few freelancing gigs lined up. I must admit, I haven’t really pursued freelancing in the past as much as I should have until recently. In the past, I have been published in the now defunct Honey magazine, several Chicago newspapers and most recently PARADE.com. Hopefully, in the upcoming months you’ll see my byline more often!
Q : When you’re not writing for “Brown Girl Gumbo”, what are some other sites that you visit?
I love reading a variety of blogs, including Tea & Such, The Pretty Circle, Kwana Writes, Inverted Reflection, Rantings of a Rebella, 12th Planet, Kanye West’s blog…the list really goes on and on! In addition to blogs, I regularly visit news sites. I’ve always been obsessed with what’s going on in the world so — CNN, Chicago Sun-Times.com, NYPost.com, NYTimes.com and the Washingtonpost.com are all sites that I visit daily too.
Q : What’s next for you and “Brown Girl Gumbo”?
I’m going to pursue freelance writing more aggressively and hopefully expand Brown Girl Gumbo into a full-fledged online magazine.
Q : Why should someone add “Brown Girl Gumbo” to his or her daily blog reading list?
A person should add BGG to his or her daily blog reading list because you never know what you’re going to get. One day you may get a celebrity interview, another day it may be about the hottest fashions or the latest beauty product. It’s always a fun and quick read that is always going to be something that women can relate to. As for guys, they should check it out because they can learn about what women enjoy and my blog can also serve as a site for them to find great gift ideas for the women in their lives.
Q : In five words describe “Brown Girl Gumbo”?
Informative, Entertaining, Fun, Honest, Pretty