Style Blogger

Hayley Francis Wants to Keep It Real (and Funny)

The trend and design manager talks first-time blogging fears, wearing out her go-to items, and her love for Chipotle.

By Agazit Afeworki February 5, 2016

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Image by Maddie Lismore.

If you can imagine a leather-clad Edie Sedgwick with a Chipotle burrito bowl in hand you’re somewhere near the essence of Seattleite style blogger Hayley Francis. She’s a whole lot of personality with a dose of relatability (we love that in a blogger, right?), all laid out on her blog Neon Doves. For her,  keeping it real is inherent to her blog’s success, which translates into self-deprecating and comical backstories for all her posts.

Where were you born and raised and where are you currently living?

I grew up in Seattle and went to college in Boulder, Colorado where I learned to become adult-y, sort of. Now I'm going on seven years in Seattle and still loving it. After any trip–even if just a weekend getaway–I still look forward to stepping outside of Sea-Tac airport to inhale that crisp Seattle air. It just never gets old.

How would you describe your personal style?

I like to think of myself as a modern day Edie Sedgwick mixed with a woodstock-fur-wearing-free-bird with an edgy swag to her swing. But that's just what I like to think is reality. Though when you really get down to the nitty gritty, I pretty much wear the same 10 to 15 pieces of clothing and mix and match them in ways that brings out a different feel to each outfit. I literally wear my go-to pieces until they fall apart completely. I think that's why I'm willing to spend more on staple pieces because I wear them until they're dead. At least that's what I tell myself at checkout.

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Image via Neon Doves.

What do you like to do outside of blogging?

Traveling is always on my mind. This last year I went to Thailand and Sayulita, Mexico. Next up on the bucket list is Croatia, Italy, and Germany. I also love to snowboard, go out with friends, try new restaurants. My latest obsession is the torta sandwich at Nacho Borracho on Capitol Hill. 

What was your initial goal when you started to blog?

Ensuring that I figure out a way to pursue my passion for fashion. At the time I was considering the start of my blog, I was working at the same company I am now. I loved it and still do, but it wasn't in the fashion industry. I decided that I was at a crossing point in my life and I either had to leave the job I enjoyed and pursue a career in fashion, or I had to find a way to express myself and my love for fashion in my own way and on my own time. I went with the latter, and thus Neon Doves was born.

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Image via Neon Doves.

What are the challenges of being a style blogger from Seattle?

I really wanted people to hear me through my writing, and I'm not always entirely appropriate. But it's important to me to stay true to myself and be real. Being real is also being extremely vulnerable, which is uncomfortable and scary. Posting photos of yourself is probably the hardest part though, especially at first. It feels shallow. But I try to just embrace it and remember the sole purpose of why I blog is to express my love for fashion and make sure I spend my life doing things I love.

What local designer or store has caught your attention?

Pipe and Row is my go-to store in Seattle, without a doubt. The owner is a good friend of mine, which works out pretty sweet since we have similar style and she buys everything for the store. She's super talented.

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Image via Neon Doves.

One blog or Instagram you've been obsessing over?

I'm going to say Manrepeller because she's hilarious, inappropriate at times, and someone I look up to in the way she delivers herself. She keeps it real. Just like millions of other people, I absolutely love Australian gem @mimielashiry for her innocent, fun, random and genuine vibe. The girl's like an 18- year-old model but she maintains a humbling weirdness that I love. Get it girl.

What's your go-to wardrobe item?

Hands down my black leather jacket by Veda. It has holes all throughout the inside of it because I wear it a lot. Too much, actually. If someone asked me what I miss most in the summer I would say my leather jacket. I love her like I love Chipotle.

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Image via Neon Doves.

What pearl of wisdom can you offer other style bloggers?

Embrace what makes you unique from others because there are millions of bloggers out there, so try to tap into what makes you different. Hone in on that and just do you boo.

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