Registered Nurse in Ottawa builds beauty blog brand, shines light on the art of healthcare

In the summer of 2014, Ottawa resident Romy was midway through achieving her Registered Nursing degree, but she was really feeling the pressure. Romy was completing a compressed version of the program and was in school for 24 months. She was craving something else to focus on; something that would help other parts of her brain and personality get some exercise. So, YMOR Beauty, a beauty and lifestyle blog, was born.

Read more about Romy’s journey of multi-tasking and life fulfillment below:

  1. When did you try your first beauty-blog project?

I signed up to receive a complimentary nail polish box from Julep and I anxiously waited for it to arrive so I could take cellphone pictures (with my BlackBerry, no less) and write down my thoughts—which felt amazing. The post is still there if you dig deep enough on ymorbeauty.com!

Easy day to night makeup look. Photo courtesy of: YMOR Beauty.
Easy day to night makeup look. Photo courtesy of: YMOR Beauty.
  1. What was your first job? How has this job helped you become who you are today?

My first job was in a long-term care facility helping residents during mealtimes. Not glamorous, but it may have been a precursor to my love for health and medicine.

  1. Did you always think you would start your own web-brand? 

No way! I used to spend hours watching YouTube videos and reading blogs, but I never thought I would have the guts or skills to display myself on the Internet.

  1. I love that all your Instagram photos share a similar colour-scheme and style. How did you come up with this strategy? Why is consistency so important when developing a brand? 

Thank you! My Instagram is my cover letter to the world, so when you stumble on YMOR Beauty, I want you to know right away what I have to offer. Maybe with time and growth, people will be interested in seeing pictures of my cats, but for now, it will remain brand-focused.

Consistency is key. If a potential reader visits my blog and notices I haven’t posted in months, they aren’t coming back. This also goes for Instagram, YouTube, etc.

"My cat (and dog) work hard behind the scenes,: Romy. Photo courtesy of: YMOR Beauty.
“My cat (and dog) work hard behind the scenes,” Romy. Photo courtesy of: YMOR Beauty.
  1. YMOR Beauty reviews a lot of products, while also providing tips for brand growth. What’s one of the most challenging parts of this job?

The most challenging part of blogging is resisting the temptation to quit in the face of a saturated, and at times, monopolized market. How do you make your voice stand out? The blogosphere is saturated and it is the same voices (or faces) that continuously pop up across the board. There’s nothing wrong with that, because everyone works hard to shine, but it can definitely wear you down if you take it too seriously.

  1. What has been the most rewarding aspect?

As an introvert, the most rewarding aspect is seeing myself be social and engage. Another, is that companies think YMOR Beauty is worthy of a package of new launches. I don’t consider myself a beauty authority of any kind, but it feels pretty good.

  1. On top of all this, how many hours a week do you spend nursing? 

I’m a full-time RN, so I clock in 37.5 hours a week, minus any overtime.

  1. What’s the best part about the nursing industry?

The general population may not realize this, but the best part of nursing is the independence. We work collaboratively with other practitioners, but I have full control of my practice—and to me—that is priceless.

  1. I love that you are a medical professional who publicly displays your interest for fashion and beauty. This really brings out the “person” patients tend to forget exists under scrubs! How do you balance both gigs? 

Yes! Medicine can be seen as cold and sterile, but there’s art in science just as much as there’s science in art. I balance both gigs by never mixing them together. However, I have brushed against moments where both my worlds almost collided… I try to avoid that at all costs!

"Two products that I reviewed and raved about weeks ago popped up in FASHION Canada’s August issue. It's cool to think that I noticed their potential," Romy says. Photo courtesy of: YMOR Beauty.
“Two products that I reviewed and raved about weeks ago popped up in FASHION Canada’s August issue. It’s cool to think that I noticed their potential,” Romy says. Photo courtesy of: YMOR Beauty.
  1. What’s one social media skill you think all brands should ensure their staff are trained on?

Maintaining brand accessibility. In other words, staff should be ready to respond or reach out, or simply start conversations with the brand’s followers. Why else do people love bloggers? Ninety-nine per cent of the time, you will get a genuine response from your favourite blogger, and people cherish that.

  1. What’s your favourite social media platform to use and why? 

Instagram has quickly become my favourite platform. It’s a great place for me to display creativity without much talking (in contrast to a blog post). I also love exploring other Instagram pages for inspiration!

  1. Everyone has good days and bad at work – how do you deal with the stress of a bad day?

It depends on the situation, but I tend to alternate between exercise, spooning my cat or hanging out at a coffee shop. Spooning my cat is always a winner.

  1. What continues to motivate you to find success? 

I have a solid career outside of blogging, so my motivation for success comes and goes. Whenever I’m ready to call it quits, I’ll get an exciting collaboration request or a package in the mail, or someone will leave an inspiring comment to keep me going.

Photo courtesy of: YMOR Beauty.
Photo courtesy of: YMOR Beauty.
  1. Where do you see yourself in five years? Why? 

Oh, that’s a tough one! I have a goal board that I keep to myself, but hopefully in five years I’m still kicking around taking pictures, writing and helping people because it is what I enjoy.

  1. Anything else to add? 

Hmm… I will tell you a secret! Not many notice, but YMOR is simply my name backwards!

We hope you enjoyed reading this q&a as much as we loved putting it together! As A Quarter Young is a volunteer-run blog, and all contributors are sharing pieces when they’re not at their other jobs, we love Romy’s story. She puts 100 per cent of her time in nursing, but also finds another 100 per cent to put towards another passion – her beauty and lifestyle blog.

Congrats on all your success so far, Romy!

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