1. Hi Kieran, can you introduce yourself and tell us how you got started with By The Level?
Hey, my names Kieran Sills, I am 22 years old and I currently live and study in Brighton. Lily and I started the blog back in August of 2013, coming to the end of summer and into our final year at Uni. The site was originally created as a street style photography blog. We planned to go around the streets of Brighton and snap people wearing clothing that we liked, but things changed pretty quick. We took a few photos of our friends and after a couple shoots, Brighton based Peggs and Son got in touch with us and asked if we could shoot a few pieces they had in from Norse Projects latest collection. I guess this made us realise what we could do with the site and it changed our aim from that point onwards. We are both huge fans of skate and street wear, so the blog allowed us to write about and work with brands that we loved. We enjoy doing it and I guess once we started covering different brands and stores, it kind of snowballed and more opportunities were presented to us.
2. Is it hard to balance putting in time with the site alongside the usual work/uni obligations?
Yeah it can be. Although I feel like with Uni work, you do find yourself with quite a bit of free time, unlike being in a 9-5 job. We just try and use the free time we have sensibly, but of course being in our final year, with part time jobs and other commitments it does get hard to balance it all. With a blog it can be very time consuming and making sure you put time into it can be the hardest thing, you just have to make sure you stick with it. The major thing I feel like we miss out on is attending events. Most store openings or collection launches happen in London and getting up to London around Uni and Work can be hard and does mean opportunities missed for us, but this will all change after Uni.
3. Where do you want to take By The Level? Would you like to make it your full-time job?
We would love to move forward with the site and turn it into something that could support us full time; this is definitely what we are working towards. There are other things we would like to venture into and maybe use the site as a platform to do this, but right now we want to focus on creating new content and expanding our brand list that we work with. There are a lot of exciting things happening on the site in the next few weeks and hopefully this will help us take it to the next level.
4. What other sites and/or publications inspire what you do?
There are a few, The Daily Street as a UK site are a huge inspiration to us and from what we know about the guys who run the site, it seems as though they come from a similar background in terms of starting up and have come so far since then. Following a lot of photographers through Instagram provides us with a lot of inspiration for different shoots and then there is Hypebeast and Highsnobiety, which cover pretty much any new releases and every look book on the planet, which we can definitely take something from.
5. Any particular individuals or brands that you’d love to work with for your site?
We are always looking to work with new brands and stores, whether small or larger brands. There are companies that we work with now that we would like to do more with and explore ways in which we could create some original content together. Both Lily and I are huge fans of the New York lifestyle and the brands that come out of the city. I am a huge fan of Only NY and to have them on the blog would be great. But there are so many brands, stores and individuals that we have and will continue to reach out to until we have them on the site.