Nelia Belkova is a financial analyst by day, Toronto-based fashion and lifestyle blogger by night, and a true cat lady around the clock. Apart from penning Styleblog.ca, Nelia is a Yorkdale Shopping Centre Style Council member, and has appeared in Yorkdale’s spring 2010 ad campaign. She has worked with many notable brands, including H&M, Joe Fresh, ALDO, Moon Apparel, Shu Uemura, and Gap, among others. Additionally, Nelia is a Canon Blogtography ambassador and is part of Ben Barry Agency’s diverse roster of models. In her spare time, she loves to travel, cuddle with her cat Pepper, and discover delicious new patisseries in her new neighbourhood.

Photo Credit: Aleyah Solomon, FAJO Magazine

Photo Credit: Aleyah Solomon, FAJO Magazine

Website: Styleblog.ca
Twitter: @styleblogca

Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?

Growing up in Kyrgyzstan, being in the media or in the fashion industry wasn’t something I could even dream about. Most (if not all) of my classmates ended up studying finance, as did I (that was just one of the very few professions that were “acceptable”). After a couple of years of bean counting, I really needed a creative outlet, and Style Blog was born.

Where would you like to be five years from now?

In five years, I hope to have a few regular Style Blog contributors. Hope that a pet project of mine finally takes off. I hope to travel to many places that I’ve yet to discover. And most of all…I hope that I am as happy as I am today.

Any advice for people getting started in your industry?

Work hard, be genuine, and don’t be afraid to take chances.

What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own? 

I have a special fondness for Lainey Gossip, Jezebel and Dlisted. And read The Globe and Mail and The Cut daily.

Best interview you’ve ever had?

I loved meeting shoe designer Charlotte Olympia! She was lovely, and friendly, and very down-to-earth. She didn’t seem to be in a hurry even though a lot of people were clamouring for her attention.

Worst?

Won’t name names, but this person wouldn’t answer the simplest of questions, suspecting ulterior motives at every turn, which eventually rendered the entire interview pretty useless.

Best advice you’ve ever been given?

If you are on time, you are 5 minutes late.

What rule(s) do you live your life by?

Don’t regret the things you do, just the ones you don’t. Also…YOLO!

What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?

Keep your pitches short and sweet, but include a link to high-quality images and additional info, to make it easier to turn the pitch into a story.

Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.

I’ve had so many awesome experiences with PR pros, but my favourite are the interactions that don’t feel like work. Building genuine relationships is the best part of the job.

I hate?

Onions, spiders, and Crocs.

I love?

My family, sugar, travel, cats and whimsical crap.

Reading?

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Best place on earth?

The Amalfi Coast.

Dinner guest?

Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder.

Hero?

My mom.

Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?

I’m addicted to Instagram and Candy Crush. I also love Fancy.

Pool or ocean?

Ocean.

Voicemail or email?

Email. Always email.