This week we had the pleasure of hearing from Jonathan Valdez, creator of the popular celebrity and fashion blog Orange Juice and Biscuits. He filled us in on his busy schedule as a full-time blogger andÂ US Weekly contributor, and how his fashion-forward grandmother ignited his passion for all things style. Keep reading to learn more about his road from Texas radio host to New York fashion blogger, and his theory that the right fashion attracts the right people.
Q: Tell us a little bit about how you went from growing up in Texas to living in New York and contributing to US Weekly!
A:Â I love that I was born and raised in Texas, but I always knew that I was meant to live in the big city. I have always been obsessed with pop culture and fashion, although my pop culture obsession started first. I remember watching Entertainment Tonight when I was about eight years old and loving all of the Hollywood news, and in college I had an award-winning, nationally recognized morning radio talk show where I talked about entertainment news. This all fed my pop culture obsession and after college I knew I had to be in New York City. I moved to New York in January of 2010 and I made lots of amazing contacts via Twitter, which is how I landed my spot as a Top Cop for Us Weeklyâ™s fashion police!
Q: Where did your love for fashion come from?
A:Â Now that I am older I have realized that my love for fashion comes from my grandparents. My grandma used to sew all of my mom and auntâ™s clothing when they were growing up and she also made gorgeous quilts.Â She still has amazing style at 93, and when I visit her she takes me through all of the new outfits that she made for herself. She can also out-thrift any hipster any day. Personally, my first major outfit was in junior high for a Valentineâ™s Day dance. Before that I would dress in jeans and a fun t-shirt. I walked into the dance in some brown boots, khakiâ™s and a nice crisp white button down and the reaction I got from all of my classmates was shock, in a good way (it was the 90s so it was really fly for then!). From then on I was hooked on fashion because I realized how the right outfit could change your mood. When you look good you feel good and when you feel good you put out these amazing vibes that attracts great people and good things to you.
Q: Orange Juice and Biscuits started off as a talk radio show that you hosted and produced at Texas State University. How did it go from a radio show to the blog it is now? And where did the name come from?
A:Â Orange Juice and Biscuits was originally âœOrange Juice and Biscuits Morning Talk Worth Waking For.â It was literally the most fun I could ever have.Â The name came from my original co-host and show co-creator Adrienne Brown.Â We both agreed that we did not want some boring name like âœJonathan & Adrienne in the Morningâ so she decided it would be cute to call it Orange Juice and Biscuits and the name stuck. When the show ended I kept getting messages and emails from people asking me when I was going to start blogging, because they wanted to know my opinion on things that celebrities were doing. Â So finally I made OJ&B into a blog–and my listeners found me and followed me.Â I am blessed and, honestly, surprised that so many people want to know my opinion on the latest hot mess celeb or what is hot for this season.Â My readers and I have an amazing rapport with each other.
Q: What is it like to serve as a âœTop Copâ for US Weekly?
A:Â Being a Top Cop for Us Weekly is so much fun! I get so excited when my comments get published because you never know what jokes you submit will make the cut. When I get more than one comment it is always fun. The goal is never to be cruel or mean which is why I love it, because that is the idea of my blog as well. It is also cool to think of my fave celebs flipping through it at the hair salon, or a group of friends discussing the comments on the couch like I do with my friends. To be in a magazine that I have always loved reading is such an honor.
Q: Youâ™ve been tweeted at by CNN Entertainment and other notable influencers in the space. Can you tell us a little about how social media has helped your blogging career, and your advice for other bloggers who use social media?
A:Â I personally feel like I would not have achieved as much as I have without social media. It allows other people to see what you are doing and to reach out to work with you in various ways. You can establish readers as well as potential business partners. My advice to other bloggers is to develop relationships on social media, but to also take those relationships offline. There is nothing like face-to-face communication. I would also say to be genuine to yourself and your band and don’t act fake or snobby. I love tweeting with my âœGuys and Galsâ as I call them. Some of them have even written to tell me that my correspondence has helped them get through some tough times or made their days brighter. You never know whose lives you can transform by simply being nice!
Q: What are some of the best opportunities you’ve had as a fashion blogger? Favorite interviews youâ™ve done?
A:Â The best opportunities that I have had is just being invited to cover all of these amazing events and fashion shows and meeting new people. My blog has taken me on an incredible and unique experience that I might not have had in the relatively short time I have been in the city. It is a dream come true–especially when I get a chance to meet some of my fashion icons and favorite celebs. I have had countless âœOh my gosh, am I really here?â moments. My favorite interview that I have done as a fashion blogger would have to be when I interviewed [former Vogue Paris editor in chief] Carine Roitfeld for her documentary Mademoiselle C. It was such an honor and personal accomplishment for me that I was invited to speak with her. To be in the presence of such an iconic and brilliant mind in the fashion industry really blew me away. She is one of the sweetest people that I have ever met and I am still inspired from that interview today!
Q: What are some of the most challenging aspects?
A:Â The thing that my blogger friends and I talk about is running around the city to various events all week. Sometimes you have multiple events in one night and you really have to prioritize which ones you really want to–and should–cover. You have to know what makes sense for your brand and your website. A lot of people think that it is all just air kisses and champagne, but for me it is about getting the story. Did you meet the publicists?Â Did you tweet, Instagram, Facebook, with all of the correct handles and hashtags? Did you get that shot of the celebrity so your readers know who was there and why?Â Then there is the time it takes to write about all of the events that you attended.Â I like to write actual stories and not just a picture and a few sentences, so for me, it takes a bit to craft my posts.Â
Q: What is something most people don’t know about you?
A:Â I can sing and that I minored in psychology and theatre.
Q: What are your PR pet peeves?
A:Â Unnecessarily rude or sassy publicists. There are many publicists who are amazing at what they do, and then there are some that do not realize their actions affect if I write about and/or support their client. You never know who knows whom, and I think everyone should be treated with respect.
Q: Any tips for PR professionals who want to get in contact with you?
A:Â I get a ton of emails each day and sometimes things can go to spam or I just accidentally overlook something. Because of this I would say follow up is key!