Ting Ma is a woman who is thriving and living her best life. You can sum her up in a quote written by Charles B. Handy – “The moment will arrive when you are comfortable with who you are, and what you are – bald or old or fat or poor, successful or struggling – when you don’t feel the need to apologize for anything or to deny anything. To be comfortable in your own skin is the beginning of strength.”
When you put the journey of life into that context, it makes you wonder what someone’s journey is to become a blogger — especially one who is in their late 40s, thriving and growing a following in a platform that is dominated by millennials and Generation Zers. Recently we sat down with Ting to discuss her personal style, her journey, and her inspirations.
HFL: Who Is Ting Ma?
@TingMyStyle: Ting Ma is a devoted mother and wife, your neighbor next door, who juggles between her work and family, who loves all things beautiful, who is driven and kind, and a complete foodie.
HFL: What is the concept behind your blog Ting My Style?
@TingMyStyle: It is a platform for me to share the things I find beautiful in life. Including fashion and lifestyle, interior design, but even more than that I want it to inspire other people. To help people become who they are.
HFL: Have you ever had someone reach out and say that they were inspired by the clothes you wore or a blog article you wrote?
@TingMyStyle: Yes I have, all the time. People will send me direct messages saying that they were inspired by what I wore and it’s really humbling for me when people reach out and say that.
HFL: How did living in China the first 20+ years of your life impact your sense of style?
@TingMyStyle: I always love to dress up even when I was a little girl. It is so fascinating how style changes and evolves with different cultures and countries. I was born in the ’70s, the period that China had very limited resources in many areas. I remember I used my mother’s sewing machine and made myself a flower pattern skirt when I was 12. Coming to the States in my late 20s to pursue my Master’s degree, just further enhanced the fashion genes inside me. I love to travel, and all my voyages have played a key role in the evolution of my current style. I always gravitated toward a classic laid-back look with an edgy flair, a mix of the high street with designer pieces such as H&M sister brand “& Other Stories.” Their pieces are nicely made. It’s one of my favorite brands.
HFL: Do you feel that the photos you take really do help inspire people because it shows them they can achieve past their beginnings?
@TingMyStyle: Yes I do, because for me I like to mix high and low which is why I love & Other Stories as their collections are all created from ateliers in Paris, Stockholm and Los Angeles. They share pieces that any woman can wear multiple times, and it’s good quality but at an affordable price.
HFL: What are some of the differences you see in Chinese Fashion and U.S. Fashion?
@TingMyStyle: As the fastest growing economy in the past 30 years, China has become a very different place from where I grew up. Chinese people certainly now have a much higher living standard and with that comes a high desire with a higher level of lifestyle. After many years of chasing high priced luxury brands and designer pieces, they have come to the phase of making their own marks regarding fashion and style. There are many excellent fashion and trend makers in China nowadays who have successfully transformed from pure western styled fashion to be more and more West-meets-East, which have become more and more main stage in China.
HFL: It seems as if Asian cultures are more likely to spend their income on high-end fashion brands compared to shopping the fast-fashion brands like Fashion Nova here in the U.S.
@TingMyStyle: It’s honestly because they have the money. As I stated earlier, their economy is really strong. Here there is much more uncertainty with the economy, and because of that, Americans are more reserved with their money in a fashion sense.
HFL: Being a woman in her 40s do you feel the urge to have to keep up with the trends you see being shown by the younger fashion bloggers?
@TingMyStyle: Not at all. In fact, 70% of my followers are Millennials. I feel very fortunate that they like my style and enjoy the outfits I put together. We are all our own flowers blooming beautifully, and we shouldn’t feel the pressure of competing with others.
HFL: Where did your personal style come from?
@TingMyStyle: I think it’s just something in my blood, I don’t know, haha! If I see something on the street and I like it, I can easily incorporate it into my style.
HFL: What is your most memorable moment as a fashion blogger?
@TingMyStyle: Last August, one of my looks was featured on the “liketoknow.it” app, which has 3M followers. I remembered I styled myself in a $30 H&M Gingham dress and a Gucci purse.
HFL: You highlight a lot of beauty products within your IG feed. Does your affinity for beauty brands go hand in hand with your personal style or does it vary depending on the season?
@TingMyStyle: I think the beauty brands always look for influencers that can resonate with their brands. They see the authenticity in my feed and have loved to work with me.
HFL: Who are three of your fashion inspirations?
@TingMyStyle: J Crew former creative director Jenna Lyons, I’m in awe of her style.
Liu Wen, a Chinese model she often wears no makeup and I love her for that.
Kelly Wearstler, Interior Designer
Rapid Fire Questions
HFL: 70s or 80s?
HFL: Polka Dots or Stripes?
@TingMyStyle: Polka Dots
HFL: Hot or Cold?
HFL: Favorite Fragrance of all time?
@TingMyStyle Diptyque Sens
HFL: Prince or Michael Jackson?
@TingMyStyle: Michael Jackson
HFL: Finish this sentence. Style is…
@TingMyStyle: To be comfortable with who you are