A TÊTE–À–TÊTE WITH BEST FRIENDS BRIANNA ELLIS & MELISSA MARCHI
Meet Brianna Ellis (Bri) and Melissa Marchi (Mel), the sweet duo behind @outfitcrushofficial and best friends since high school. It was such a pleasure to speak with the girls… they are bubbly, smart, and sweet. Their personalities are infectious and they share “an amorous love for the fashion industry,” a declaration on their website. It’s no surprise that their number of Instagram followers has rapidly increased since their January 2016 launch. Enjoy getting to know the girls right here and follow them on Instagram to be a part of their wonderful journey into the world of fashion and entrepreneurship.
BRI & MEL at a Glance
Home: Columbus, Ohio
Profession: Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Outfit Crush (Bri & Mel), Social Media Coordinator at Vellabox (Bri) and Sales Associate at Anthropologie (Mel)
Zodiac Signs: Gemini (Bri) & Capricorn (Mel)
Bri: “Today you are you that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is youer than you.” -Dr. Seuss
Mel: “Have the courage to be exactly who you are without apology.” - Iyanla Vanzant.
One of the most important things we both believe in is being yourself. These quotes are so relevant to our lives because we believe it is so important for people to understand that it is okay to be yourself, embrace it and not live to please people.
RV: How do you describe your overall style? Are your styles similar or different?
BRI&MEL: We would describe our overall style in three words: playful, edgy, and chic. However, running a fashion blog together is so fun because we each have different things we love to wear. Mel tends to gravitate towards more bold pieces with feminine touches, while Bri reaches for flowy pieces with bohemian accents.
RV: What inspired you girls to start Outfit Crush?
BRI&MEL: After becoming best friends in high school, we discovered a mutual love for fashion. We have always had a passion for sharing clothes and styling each other. The idea of sharing our styles with the world came slowly as we started instagraming #ootds on our own personal accounts. It was shortly after completing our first semester of college, both with different degrees in fashion, that we decided to start a duo fashion and lifestyle blog. So far it has been exciting learning how to build a relationship with the online fashion community.
RV: You girls are naturals because your personalities really shine through your posts.
RV: In just a few months you’ve done very well on Instagram. What is it about you girls that you think is garnering followers?
BRI&MEL: We think that we have been doing so well on Instagram because of our commitment to posting nearly everyday and our dedication to interacting with our followers. Our main goal is to build relationships with our followers and give them enough content to truly be inspired by our style!
RV: What do you love most about working on Outfit Crush?
BRI&MEL: Working on Outfit Crush comes with an endless amount of benefits such as virtually meeting many different kinds of people from all over the world, learning more about current trends, and getting to know our own personal style even better. All of those things are great but working with our best friend is what we love most. We get to spend our time doing what we love with the person we love the most!
RV: Tell us something we don't know about Columbus, Ohio. What’s the style like there?
BRI&MEL: Ohio is totally known for our corn, yes, we get that. However, did you know that Columbus, Ohio is now ranked #3 with the most resident fashion designers, just trailing behind LA & NYC? This makes our location prime for our career goals. It is also why we are so proud to be a fashion and lifestyle blog based in such an upcoming city. There are so many different styles that can be found in Columbus. Trends are really important to residents here, which you will notice immediately if you ever come to visit. The funny thing about fashion here is that you have to learn to be adaptable. The weather in this city is literally all over the place. So even if it’s supposed to be 80 degrees in the morning, you should probably still pack a jacket for the evening when it rains and drops 40 degrees.
RV: Honestly, Columbus has never been on my traveling wish list, but now, after speaking with you girls, I want to visit!
RV: When not going to class, studying, and blogging what do you do to have fun and unwind?
BRI&MEL: If we aren’t in school or blogging, you can find us training for a half marathon together, shopping, traveling, adventuring in the city, or spending time with friends and family.
RV: What’s your fashion/beauty indulgence?
BRI: For me it would definitely have to be a cute pair of shoes. I can never say no to another pair of cute heels, booties, or flats when they are calling my name! My latest shoe indulgences were heels by Michael Kors and booties by Vince Camuto.
MEL: I am also addicted to buying shoes. However, I also am a huge makeup lover! My favorite brands right now are Urban Decay and Tarte because they are not tested on animals and have beautiful products.
RV: Who are your favorite designers?
BRI: When I am in the mood to splurge, my favorites would have to be Kate Spade, Michael Kors, and Vince Camuto because I am in love with adorable shoes and purses and the ones I fall in love with always seem to have one of their names on it!
MEL: Some of my favorite high fashion designers are Balmain, Vera Wang, and Burberry. I like designers who push boundaries in their garments, but also make sure that they are still wearable. All three of these designers have amazing attention to detail and I think that is what makes them so successful in each collection they release.
RV: Where would you like to study abroad?
BRI: I have always wanted to go to Barcelona, Spain. Spain is so beautiful and from what I have seen the country has such an interesting sense of fashion. It’s also a major bonus that I took Spanish for four years in high school!
MEL: I am determined to study abroad in Italy. My family’s roots are in Italy, so it would be such an incredible experience to see where my great grandparents are from and to experience such a colorful culture. I’m also convinced that they have the best food, but I may be biased. My major is Fashion Design with a double minor in Business and Italian, so I would be a fool not to go.
RV: Both amazing choices. I studied abroad in Beijing my junior year and it was one of the best experiences. I can't wait to see your posts from there... that will be fun!
RV: What inspires you?
BRI: I am usually inspired by eye catching pictures because I am such a visual person. Style shots allow me to elaborate on how I can go from vibing off an outfit to bringing it into my own wardrobe while still keeping my own personal style.
MEL: I always find inspiration when I am least expecting it. Many times I will find something I am drawn to in nature, or by other artists. Anything that sparks an emotion in me will get my thought process going and I will start brainstorming ideas.
RV: Are you girls into your zodiac signs? If yes, how so?
BRI: I am definitely not as passionate about zodiac signs as Mel is, but I love learning more about them from her! She explained to me how zodiac signs influence someone's personality and now I can definitely see how I am a true gemini. Lately I have been finding myself reading about the gemini sign and how it may affect my personality.
MEL: I am actually pretty interested in zodiac signs. I believe that it says a lot about your personality. I am not a believer in the daily horoscope thing, but I have looked into peoples personality traits in relation to where the sun and moon were during your birth and zodiac signs truly have a direct significance to how you act as a person.
RV: Would you say that your zodiac signs are a good overall reflection of your personalities?
BRI&MEL: Bri was born on May 21st, so that makes her natural Gemini and Mel was born on January 5th, so that makes her a Capricorn. We believe that we are both a good representation of what a typical Gemini and Capricorn acts like. Geminis tend to have many sides to them which can be negative at times but it also makes them adaptable to all different types of situations. They are talkative, social, and not afraid to speak their mind. Capricorns are very motivated, and set high goals for themselves. They are very calm and realistic when presented with situations. While they are diligent workers, they can also get too involved with work and overload themselves with things to do.
RV: I am a natural Leo.
RV: Working with friends is fun, but it could also create some issues. Why do you think that you both work so well together?
BRI&MEL: You know, it is inevitable to have disagreements with your best friend. We think the key elements that make us so successful together are 1) our different creative ideas that we bring to the table. Bri is very business savvy, while Mel is a lot more artistic. 2) we are always working to bring each other up, and never down. 3) we remember to have fun with whatever we do! Although we are professional, we still remember the core reason for why we started Outfit Crush - to share our passion & have fun!
RV: That's wonderful and a true testament to your friendship.
RV: What’s on your playlist right now?
BRI&MEL: Our playlists are always changing, especially as the seasons change and new songs are released. We both are currently listening to Ellie Goulding a ton because we are seeing her in concert on May 10th to celebrate Bri’s birthday. However, Mel’s favorite artist is Amy Winehouse and Bri’s is Lana Del Ray.
RV: Hollywood crushes?
BRI: I am definitely crushing on Josh Duhamel, Ashton Kutcher, and of course Leonardo DiCaprio.
MEL: I’ve always had a crush on James Franco, but I also really like Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal.
RV: What’s on your Fashion Wish List right now?
BRI&MEL: We are looking for anything for the summer season! Bri is always wishing for for a new wardrobe each year to match what’s new and Mel is currently obsessing over scorts for the upcoming Summer season. They’re adorable and also super comfortable. But we are both shoe-a-holics, so adding new shoes to our collections never stops. White converses are #1 on Bri’s wish list and strappy sandals with fringe is #1 on Mel’s.
RV: What is your idea of perfect happiness?
BRI: My idea of perfect happiness is spent in the warm weather. I love spending the summer in Columbus with my family and friends, but Arizona and California are my favorite places to visit. I have been traveling to each my whole life and would love to move out west some day.
MEL: My idea of perfect happiness is experienced when I’m at home with my entire family during Christmas time. It sounds cliche, but there isn’t anything better in the world than spending time with family that you haven't seen in a while and just enjoying the holidays with tons of Italian food!
RV: If you could have dinner w/ any 3 people in the world who would they be?
BRI&MEL: This is definitely one of those questions that takes some thought! It’s almost like that genie in a bottle question, where you have to sparingly decide three wishes for yourself. We both love to have fun and be entertained so we would enjoy having dinner with the Kardashian family. If we had to pick one out of the group, it would be Kylie Jenner because she is only one year younger than us, so we’d probably have the best conversation!
BRI: I would also love to have dinner with Sophia Bush and Blake Lively. Sophia Bush is my inspiration after re-watching her star in the show One Tree Hill multiple times. Her confidence and devotion to life issues makes me love her even more. I’d love to talk more with her about her campaign on body size. Blake Lively is also one of my favorites after re-watching her star in the show Gossip Girl. I would love to chat with her about how her style is always perfect.
RV: I'm a big fan of Blake Lively as well. She dresses to perfection.
MEL: I would also love to chat and have dinner with Jaclyn Hill, because she is my favorite beauty blogger / youtuber ever! And finally, I would definitely have dinner with Miley Cyrus. I am a huge fan of hers and I think it would be so cool to talk to her about how her life has changed and how she started the Happy Hippie Foundation. I’ve always been a fan of hers.
Fun Facts About Us -
- Mel is an animal lover / activist and has been vegetarian for over 9 years.
- Bri is secretly a desert girl and loves to go hiking in the mountains
- Mel’s favorite color is grey and her favorite kind of food is Italian
- Bri’s favorite color is pink and her favorite kind of food is Chinese or Mexican
- We took an unforgettable trip together to explore England and France a few summer’s ago.
RV: Thank you so much for such a great conversation. You girls are the sweetest and I can't wait to see what's next for you both.
FOR MORE ON BRI & MEL, FOLLOW THEM!
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