Name: Krystle Ng-A-Mann
Astrological Sign: Libra (although, my Ascendant is Scorpio J)
Tell us a bit about your career (before blogging full time) and how long were you doing what you did?
I was practicing corporate law before leaving to pursue my passion. I was called to the Ontario bar in 2008 and began my legal practice in Corporate Tax at a Bay St. firm. After about 2.5 years, I moved into general Corporate/Commercial at a mid-sized firm, where I practiced for another 5 years. In July of 2016, I returned to Bay St. to work at another large Toronto firm. I practiced there for 11 months before deciding to quit (which was the best decision I’ve made thus far).
Tell us about DineandFash
I run the lifestyle blog, Dine & Fash. I am my own brand, so my blog and Instagram account are about me and what I like. To sum it up, there is a heavy emphasis on food (easy recipes, where to eat, pretty places) and fashion (style posts, styling tips). I also love to travel and have plans to do a lot more travel blogging over the next year!
When did you start blogging and why did you start?
I officially started with insta-blogging back in November of 2015. I then launched my website, www.dineandfash.com, in February of 2016. I’ve always loved food, fashion, travel, photography, and writing. So, blogging is really a combination of my skills and things I’m passionate about. It’s an outlet for me to be creative and share my thoughts with people.
What and where did you study?
I got my B.A. in Psychology at York University (2004) and my J.D. at Osgoode Hall Law School (2007)
Did your role as a blogger/influencer help you be more effective at your career? Did it hinder you in any way?
To be honest, a bit of both. Since I began building my blog and online presence after I was already practicing law, having the two things on my plate initially helped me to be more efficient with my time and learn to prioritize. There is a certain amount of busy which is good/productive (I like to call it my “optimal level”, haha!), but when it goes beyond that, you risk getting burned out.
When my blog and Instagram account started getting a lot of traction and more opportunities came my way, my legal career became a hindrance. They really are two separate worlds, and I unfortunately couldn’t combine them in any way. While many of my peers and colleagues in the corporate world were supportive, many didn’t really ‘get it’. Eventually, it became impossible for me to do both. I don’t like to give anything other than 100%, and I would have been sacrificing my performance at my day job or with respect to my blog if I tried to continue juggling. So, I chose my passion and I haven’t looked back since!
What advice would you give to someone interested in blogging as a side hustle?
You should definitely explore it, but make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. Are you passionate about what you want to blog about, or is it something you want to do because it seems glamourous? Blogging is a lot of hard work, so you really have to be prepared for that. There aren’t any shortcuts. Also be prepared to have to make other sacrifices (like spending time with friends or having free time) because if you’re working a 9 to 5 and also trying to build a blog/Instagram account, you will have little time for anything else.
My ultimate conclusion is that if blogging is something you’re truly passionate about and you’re successful at, there will come a time when you have to make a decision. I don’t believe it’s truly sustainable over the long-term to have 2 equally successful careers at the same time.
I have a lot of respect and admiration for people working a 9 to 5 and having a side hustle!
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Lead with passion and put your happiness first!
Thanks so much Krystle!
Collage designed by Quinnie Mason