Shotguns and Seashells

by Chandler Macwilliam

Part southern sass and part beachy breeziness, Shotguns and Seashells is a record of the varying style of Chandler Macwilliam. At home in her Florida beach town, she throws on sundresses in bright, cheerful colors. Going to school in Alabama has introduced her to more layered looks. See both sides of Chandler and learn more about her blogging journey through her Blogspotter interview.

  1. How long have you been blogging and what made you start?

    I started my blog “Shotguns & Seashells” a year ago, but not until this January is when I really began to progress with it. I’ve wanted to blog for a long time, but I didn’t know how to approach it. I kind of just ended up going for it and had a big push from a teacher who encouraged and intimidated me to do it all at the same time. Fashion is one of my passions along with being an equestrian; I first chased my dream of being an equestrian, so now it was time to chase my dream of being a fashion blogger. I have had a lot of great support so far, which has helped me grow and mature as a fashion blogger.

  2. How did you come up with the name for your blog?

    I knew that I wanted to incorporate the two places I call home, Florida, where I grew up and Alabama, where I go to college. Florida was my inspiration for seashells, while Alabama has been my inspiration for shotguns. In my free time I enjoy going to the beach and embracing the gorgeous Florida weather, but I also enjoying hunting and embracing nature here in Alabama! I grew up in a hunting family, so to me shooting guns and hunting is normal - it was a win/win situation. I felt like Shotguns & Seashells was the perfect combination for representing and describing my country-beach girl style.

  3. You post mainly personal style. How would you describe yours?

    Honestly, my style is very distinctive; I have always enjoyed staying up with the trends and I am not afraid to try new things that are out of my comfort zone. I’m always the one who wants to be the first to try the new the trends that are out. If I had to describe my style I’d say it’s a very country-beach girl style. I have also always been the girl to walk around town with jeans and cowboy boots on because that is also who I am. I grew up showing horses competitively, riding daily and being gone almost every other weekend at a horse show. Cowboy boots and jeans have always been a staple in my closet if I wasn’t in my private school uniform, until college came around. Not being able to express my style much growing up made me appreciate it even more now that I can.

  4. Has going to school in the south changed your style at all?

    Going to the south has really changed my style, especially when it gets cold. In Florida, during the winter, I can still get away with white jeans or running around in a bikini and a sundress. In the south I have invested in lot of sweaters, coats and dark colors; however, I always try to sneak in some brightness to remind me of Florida. Also, being in the south there is a different style. Sure it seems similar, but I still didn’t want to dress like my everyday beach town. I always wanted to try something knew, but still always wanted to be who I am. Living in Alabama has enhanced my style and made me try new trends; it has opened me up to a whole new world. My style has definitely matured since moving to Alabama and going to college, it’s been a good change for me.

  5. Where are some of your favorite places to shop and why?

    Let’s get real now - I love to shop anywhere and everywhere. To be honest, I don’t have any specific favorites, I love going to new places and seeing the local boutiques and supporting their businesses. I was raised to support local businesses, but don’t get me wrong, I am also a department store gal because they offer just about everything. Growing up in a small town, I shopped at Sassy Boutique because it was always up to date on all trends and carried my favorite designers! My other local favorite is Lazy Daisy, a Lilly Pulitzer store, in Vero Beach. Now in Tuscaloosa I do a lot of online shopping just to get a little box on my doorstep, but I also love their local boutiques too.

  6. Who are your favorite designers and why do they inspire you?

    Susana Monaco will ALWAYS be one of my favorite designers; she has classic pieces to dress up or down that seem to fit just right. You also don’t see her in many Alabama boutiques, so it’s fun to have items that others don’t have! Lilly Pulitzer is a huge style icon to me; her timeless prints remind me of old Florida and they are so colorful - I absolutely love her! Another favorite is Kate Spade; all of her whimsical and bright accessories, shoes and purses just make me smile. Recent favorites would include Alice & Trixie, Clover Canyon, and always JCrew.

  7. "Just go out there and do it. Promote yourself like crazy. Sometimes you can get caught up in the fashion blogger fantasy, but remember who you are and where you came from."— Chandler Macwilliam
  8. What is your main source of style inspiration?

    I mostly owe much of my style to my mom and what I saw her wearing as I grew up, as well as what she wears today. She’s a huge fashionista, just like I am, and we love to share style advice. I’m also obsessed with Rachel Parcell’s of the blog Pink Peonies. She is an inspiration to me; I aspire to be like her! I’m also a huge Pinterest person too, I love to look around and get style inspiration from there.

  9. How do you decide which outfits are worthy of posting?

    When I pick my outfits I try to do something that not only I like, but also my followers will like. I love giving out fashion advice to people and I try to pick something people will follow along with. I also like to choose outfits that I feel confident in, especially when they’re coming from my closet. Picking out outfits that are by season, trending and must haves are something I really focus on. I always try to do a monthly trend and a must have. I want to keep my followers up to date and wanting to come back to look at more.

  10. About how long does an average blog post take?

    A typical post could take me anywhere from 20 minutes to 4 days. I easily get sidetracked and I am always just over analyzing everything to the very last detail

  11. Do you take your own pictures, or do you have help?

    I have a sorority sister and good friend, who is an interior design major and aspiring amateur photographer, she loves to take my pictures and I love having the help. Charlotte Fleishel captures all of the photos of me that you see on my blog.

  12. How has blogging gone for you so far? Do you feel it was a worthwhile endeavor?

    It has been a huge learning experience for me, but I have gotten a lot of feedback from friends and family, which has made me feel confident about my blog. When I first started out I thought I was going to excel quickly, high hopes and wishful thinking, but I quickly realized it’s a bigger time commitment and it takes a lot to run a blog. I know it’s been worthwhile for me and I can only imagine what Shotguns & Seashells is going to be like later down the road.

  13. What is the coolest thing that’s happened since you’ve started?

    Having people contact me about wanting to collaborate or feature an item on my blog has been really exciting and a big step for me. Also, having great friends along the way that teach me blogging techniques, help take great pictures, and design cute logos – this has made my life so much easier and allowed me to keep all of my attention on the fashion. Trina Turk liked one of my photos on Instagram, so that was a big deal. Also, Carley of Bourbon & Boweties reposted a photograph I had of my wrist filled with her bangles on Instagram. The thing that was so special to me was that my horse was in the photograph and she posted it for millions to see, which was huge to me - that horse is my life!

  14. What has starting and maintaining a blog taught you?

    That time management is EXTREMELY important and something I need to work on more. Maintaining a blog is not easy, but I try my hardest to do it. There are things I’m constantly trying to improve on and it makes my life hectic. If my life wasn’t hectic I’d be bored out of my mind. I juggle my blog, I’m an active member of Zeta Tau Alpha and their t-shirt chair, schoolwork, and my friends and family. It’s not easy, but I’m determined and I’m taking it one step at time, it’s who I am. I live a hectic life and that’s because I chose to.

  15. What main message do you want readers to take away from Shotguns and Seashells?

    It’s that you can do whatever you want. I am young, just 21 years old, and starting out my life. Blogging is something that I’ve always wanted to do and I did it. It doesn’t matter what you do or what your style is either, because one day I’m Shotguns or one day I’m Seashells, or some days I’m both. Not everyone is put together on a daily basis and you shouldn’t have to be. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for advice, I do it all the time and I want people to know to stay true to themselves. I don’t blog about something I’m not - nobody should!

  16. Any advice for aspiring bloggers?

    Just go out there and do it. Promote yourself like crazy. Sometimes you can get caught up in the fashion blogger fantasy, but remember who you are and where you came from. Even though I’m the Shotguns & Seashells fashion blogger, I will always be the small beach town girl who will NEVER grow out of horses, EVER. Get out there and let people know who you are and tell them about you so you can be someone else’s inspiration.