She had been running at 70 miles an hour for weeks. Flitting from event to event, girl trips, and blogging and sharing on Instagram all along the way. Today I caught her running to the bank to set matters in order prior to her upcoming trip to the Cayman Islands. But while in her Uber, Nika Diwa, or Diwadoll as we know her, slowed down just enough to share her story with me.
One look at the Diwadoll Instagram account and you’re instantly drawn to the magazine worthy pictures and beauty of Nika. If you took a moment however, to read her captions and her blog you’d really see her passion for empowering women. Though she considers herself a fashion blogger Nika never talks about fashion in her captions. Instead she uses her platform to remind us as women that we are enough. Yes the drama, color or flair of great clothes and shoes give us a boost and make us feel good but these should only be accessories. The real star of an outfit should be the woman holding up and giving form to the cloth. We need to feel as glamorous, as beautiful and as confident in our own skin. Nika’s message resonates with me as I truly believe that we are all “fearfully and wonderfully made.” I remember a few years ago driving a bucket that you heard before you saw. But I refused to buy a new car until my bucket kicked the bucket. Yet I stepped out of that car everyday as if it were a Maserati. A car, a designer dress or an expensive shoe pales in comparison to this beautiful creature, God created — “me” and “you”.
I can’t even say I interviewed Nika because in truth it was akin to a conversation with a close friend. Here’s what she shared:
What was the moment that you decided to do fashion blogging? Did anything in particular happen?
My background is in buying, and merchandising. I lived in New York City for almost 10 years in the corporate fashion world, and really, really loved it. However, it really burned me out in many ways. I was working sometimes seven days a week, and long hours. Not only that. Working in fashion industry, I realized that there is this really impossible standard, whether it be intentionally, or unintentionally, that we impose on women. It started to affect my decision making. I made decisions that I didn’t necessarily believe in. Decisions that really contradicted how I felt about women and how they should always be empowered, and love themselves no matter what.
For example, I worked for a luxury fashion company, and there was a really big need for plus size merchandise. But it wouldn’t be approved for us to explore that niche because it wasn’t “on brand.” I had a fashion blog on the side that was honestly more like a diary that I would come home to, and kind of vent out all my frustration, and it got to this point where I just realized that I was losing the connection, and contact, and the reason why I did this in the first place, which is to empower women through fashion.
So I quit. I took all the things that I had, and said I’m going to make this work. I am going to dedicate my career to empowering women through my stories, and my experience. That was my ‘aha’ moment. Just kind of hitting that wall where I wanted to do more, and connect with women at a more intimate level.
I know that you’re a fashion influencer. However, what kind of influence do you want to have on women, and the world? What’s your vision?
My vision is to empower women through fashion. I believe that fashion is a conversation that a woman has with the world. No matter how beautiful textiles are or brands and all the outward appearance factors, that’s not the point. This is why you will rarely see me actually talk about fashion in my blog posts, or even my Instagram or social media posts, because I trust that the photographs will tell that story for me. Fashion is not exactly like you have to be wearing the latest trends necessarily, or anything like that, or with outward appearance. It’s more what’s inside that counts. That’s why I really open up a lot about my life, and a lot about issues I believe that women are encountering today so we can speak life into those places, and really encourage one another, and uplift one another. I think fashion, and really beauty is just a byproduct of the woman behind the clothing.
This takes us right into my next question. You’re very open, and transparent on social media. You put your heart in your blogs. Why are you so transparent?
I think what inspires me to do that, is that I wish someone would have done that for me. The different stages of life that I’ve been in as a career woman, as a new business owner, as a blogger, and now the newest season, which is as a newlywed. I remember being so discouraged, because I would look at everyone, and think, “Gosh. They’re so perfect. I feel so inadequate.” And then when I entered the season myself, and I started talking to other women who have this perfect facade, but then started opening up about their struggles. I said, “Someone has to talk about this, because it’s so unfair to depict an unattainable image, and standard for women.” So it really started from a place of like, “gosh as a newlywed, as a career woman, in this day and age I wish that I had someone who would just come out with it. Because we’re all struggling.” My favorite is when a woman reaches out to me. Whether it’s by email, or direct messaging, or sometimes we even hop on a phone call like this, and that’s the reason I do what I do. So that we can talk, and women will say to me, “Hey. I know you don’t know me, but that resonates with me. Is this weird? Can we talk more about this?” And I give them my phone number, and I’m like, “Girl, let’s talk.” They don’t realize that I get so much peace, and encouragement from them just as much as they get from me. I think it’s just that I’m the first person to stand up, and say, “I need help. This is tough.”
What is it about dressing up that excites you so much?
I grew up in a really conservative town in Texas before I moved to New York. I was actually bullied a lot in high school, because I would wear really quirky clothes. I liken it to an artist. I’m very creative, but instead of a paint brush, it’s clothes for me. It’s that same kind of outlet, and so that’s why I love to dress in colors, and sometimes my favorite method of dressing is called dissonance which means when two things come together that don’t necessarily match in general form. Like a really, really outrageous dress that is just so feminine, and almost fancy with a pair of white sneakers. Right? Like it’s opposing, it doesn’t match, but it almost clashes, but if you wear it with confidence you can work whatever. You can just make it happen. Make it work.
That’s what I like. I like being a little quirky, a little weird. A lot of the times I’ll dress depending on my personality. If I’m feeling really bright, then I’ll wear something that’s bright, but again, it is like a conversation. You can look at someone, and you can’t tell anything of course by how they dress, but you can say little things like, “Oh. Wow. I see that she is more conservative. She’s very elegant, and that her style is very elegant, and this girl, oh wow. She’s very colorful. I bet she has a very colorful personality.” That’s why I like it, because it speaks for me when I dress.
You’re always so glamorous in your pictures. Is that an everyday thing?
Is it every day? Absolutely not. No way. There’s no way that it could be every day. It is honestly whenever I feel like it. Whenever I go out more often than not I do dress up like that. I remember people who first met me, would ask, “how do you keep this up?” For me it’s not a chore, it’s not a job. It makes me feel like I’ve expressed myself. If I’m at the gym, or I’m grocery shopping, my go to is sweats. I’m always in gym clothes. So it’s one extreme, or the other. I’m either in gym clothes, or I’m fully dressed. I have to put this disclaimer out there though. There should never be a standard of, “oh gosh I should dress up all the time, because that’s what the magazines say, or what it looks like in Sex and the City with Carrie Bradshaw. No. You have to stay true to what you feel, and what makes you feel like your most beautiful, confident version of yourself. Not what my blog tells you.” You can’t dress for other people. I think the big thing is, if you’re going to be glamorous, don’t be glamorous for other people. Be glamorous because it’s a reflection of how incredible you are and you want to just love on yourself in that way.
What tips can you share with our readers for staying glamorous.
- Get really cute flats. The sneaker game is my favorite
I love sneakers. The sneaker game is my favorite. I have so many. I love fashion sneakers. They’re my favorite, because I lived in New York so I’m always walking. If you love high heels then that’s a different story, but let’s get real. Sometimes they hurt. I think why not find a fabulous pair of flats. Why can’t flats be fabulous too?
- Have one to five go to pieces in your wardrobe that can go with anything
I believe you should have one to five go to pieces in your wardrobe that can go with anything, that are very versatile. For me, in the summer season, it is long maxi dresses, because they are so easy. I literally get up, throw on a maxi dress, and then I’m good to go. It’s breezy, and it’s very functional.
- Have a really good pair of sun glasses that matches everything
Have a really good pair of sun glasses that matches everything. Honestly, there are days when I’m like, absolutely no. I’m not putting on a drop of makeup today. I don’t feel like it. I’ll just put on my sunglasses, and pretend I’m a celebrity, and just wear that. Yeah. Sunglasses for sure.
- Get on the braid trend and look like a princess in minutes
I’m really into braids right now. If you look on my Instagram, I’m starting to get really into it. I think braids are so amazing because I’m not able to style my hair every single day — curling it takes a really long time. I have a lot of hair so it just takes a lot of upkeep. I love braids, especially in the summer, because they’re so beautiful. If you go on YouTube, there are so many incredible tutorials, and it’s so easy, and you look like a million bucks. You look like a royal princess even though you just fixed your hair really quickly. People are like, “Girl. You look amazing.” They don’t know that I did my hair in literally two minutes. I just braided it quickly, and it just looks very windswept, and romantic.
- Choose outfits in advance so that you’re intentional about what you wear.
The last thing is to chose your outfits in advance. If you have an event to go to, or even if you’re just working, or if you’re meeting with friends don’t wait to pick out what you’re wearing. I choose my outfits in advance, because often if you’re in a rush you just pull something that you don’t really want to wear, but you do it, because you’re out of time. If this is something that stresses you out, unless you’re really good at choosing what to wear on the fly. But I like to choose in advance so that I’m intentional about what I want to wear.
What is the one beauty of fashion product you can’t live without?
Tea Tree Oil! For sure. It is the only thing I use on my face. That’s it. That is my skin care regiment.
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