“Blogging is the comfort bubble I needed after losing my brother”

After starting my blog in 2013, I wasn’t expecting the impact it has had on my life, writes Bethany Dean of Polished Couture.

In May 2010, my world fell apart. I had to grow up without my brother at only 14-years-old. Becoming an only child was something I was never expecting, especially at such a young age.

Paul passed away in his sleep, aged 17 and we never found out why.

LOVE: Bethany Dean with her brother Paul who died in his sleep aged 17.

LOVE: Bethany Dean with her brother Paul who died in his sleep aged 17.

I buried my head in my work, I felt like I needed to make my brother proud as he never got the chance to. My parents have always pushed me to do well and I felt university was the place I needed to be.

I’ve always been creative growing up, drawing and spending my young adolescent years on Photoshop and creating websites.

Studying Media Studies at Teesside University allowed me to do what I enjoyed as well as gain so many new skills.

I’d never even thought of blogging until an assignment came along in my first year of university. We all had to create an online person and that’s how my blogging adventure started.

In November 2013, Polished Couture was made. My little slice of the internet that was my little freedom where I could write what I loved and what interested me. I posted weekly on all things beauty and fashion.

COLLABORATION: Bethany Dean works with several brands including Psyche designer fashion store in Middlesbrough.

COLLABORATION: Bethany Dean works with several brands including Psyche designer fashion store in Middlesbrough.

My creative flair allowed me to receive two firsts in my assignments. Unaware of how successful my blog had become, I won PR campaign of the year at the Teesside University Journalism awards 2015. I was the first Media Studies student to receive a journalism award.

Blogging is one of only a handful of things that makes me happy. I guess you could say my blog is my slice of happiness on the web. When I’m typing away or taking blog photos, I go in my little bubble, everything around me is forgotten and for that split moment, I feel okay and normal.

Bethany Dean

Losing someone can affect people in different ways, for me it’s empowered me to do well and this has given me opportunities I would never have thought of. We all deal with depression in separate ways, and like everyone I still have my good and bad days. My coping mechanism is definitely my blog and the blogging community I have got involved in online.

Blogging has allowed me to communicate with lots of people online; whether their readers of my blog or bloggers I follow we are one big community and we all support each other. Last year, I went to my first blogging event and now I’m close to lots of North-East bloggers.

Over two years into my blogging journey I’ve worked with dozens of brands such as Harvey Nichols, Clarks, Boohoo, Cocoa Brown and Cosmopolitan.

I also currently work alongside Psyche, Middlesbrough, as their brand ambassador and for Topshop, Middlesbrough, as their jewellery blogger.

OPPORTUNITIES: Bethany Dean visited Edinburgh Napier University to promote its facilities with other bloggers and vloggers.

OPPORTUNITIES: Bethany Dean visited Edinburgh Napier University to promote its facilities with other bloggers and vloggers.

I’ve always been interested in the latest trends in beauty and fashion – what works well and what doesn’t. I love experimenting with clothes and wearing things out of my comfort zone. Since blogging, I’ve enjoyed gaining makeup skills especially what works well on certain skin types and what works for me. You learn so much in the beauty and fashion industry as a blogger so to our readers we can be like little experts.

imACHIEVEMENT: Bethany Dean won PR campaign of the year at the Teesside University Journalism awards 2015. She was the first Media Studies student to receive a journalism award.

ACHIEVEMENT: Bethany Dean won PR campaign of the year at the Teesside University Journalism awards 2015. She was the first Media Studies student to receive a journalism award.

I’ve even experienced my first blogging trip last year with some North-East bloggers. We were invited up to Edinburgh to experience Napier University and to sightsee.

It’s made me realise how important blogging is now to when I started it nearly three years ago.

Bloggers are everywhere now and some have become so famous that they have their own makeup range. I’d loved to be like that one day.

As I leave Teesside University in the next couple of months, I would love to take my blog further and to hopefully make it even more successful.

Blogging has helped me gain social media skills, photography and to communicate with brands on a daily basis. All this experience will allow me to hopefully develop a career in PR or marketing.

CONTACT:

Blog – http://polishedcouture.wordpress.com
twitter – twitter.com/bethanyldean
instagram – instagram.com/bethdeanxo
facebook – facebook.com/polishedcouture

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