A Chat With…Jill Munro

Travel, food, family, home, clothing, bundle them all together and you have a succinct marketing category: “lifestyle.” The manner in which we live is now a booming industry and the enduring subject of adoration for millions on Instagram and other digital platforms. With the overwhelming amount of stylized images out there, it is easy to become dulled to the charade. One scroll through your feed reaps countless photos of  beautifully poured lattes, perfectly arranged kitchen tables and skies with just the right faded filters.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a beautifully poured latte just as much as the next girl, and in a world of images it only makes sense that we want to share the beauty we find while tidying up the messier corners. But despite the benefits, sometimes it feels fake, like there is no weight behind the images we are inundated with, that they could easily flake off the screen.

That’s why I find it comforting when I come across someone in this realm who feels more tangible, more relatable, more grounded. Someone who shares her moments in an undeniably tasteful and designed way, but who also uses a clear and honest voice to simply put her thoughts and experiences out there. Someone who doesn’t just show you what they are seeing/eating/buying/experiencing, but who takes you along for the ride and isn’t afraid to share the stories of those not-so-perfect moments too.

This person is Jill Munro, the brains behind Lune Travels Blog and Lune Vintage. As a long-time follower of Jill’s, I was honored when she agreed to answer some of my questions, and today I’m very excited to share her responses with you.

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The Lune Travels Blog’s tag line is “A Canadian Take on Family Adventure.” Throw in a vintage business on the side, which she now sells through Instagram and Etsy, and a charming camper named Eggie and you have the main components of what set the Lune world apart.

Jill takes us behind the screen, talking about her journey with blogging, how travel fever came later for her and why site stats aren’t as important as you may think.

Read on and enjoy!

All photos from luneblog.com

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Where did you grow up, and how did you end up in Winnipeg?

I’m born and raised a Winnipegger. Among big Canadian cities, it isn’t the darling. Living here all my life I defiantly see the pros of Winnipeg life though. Great cost of living, pretty prairie location and a very creative group of people who are making waves all over the world. It’s a nice place to raise a family too. Although it’s very cold in the winter, we can afford to travel and own a home. There’s something very comforting about that. The second hand scene here is plentiful too, so as a vintage dealer I have a lot of options when it comes to hunting for stock.

Image+7How did you first become interested in collecting Vintage clothing?

I was a teen right in the midst of the 90’s grunge era. Then, the 70’s was having it’s first revival. I shopped for oversized mens flannel, vintage band t’s and mohair sweaters at second hand stores. Although my school crowd was more into Boys to Men, I thrived on Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and Smashing Pumpkins. I loved being a bit of a weirdo. It was a great time to been a teenager. Since then, I’ve always loved and romanticized the 70’s. I can’t help it.

Did you always have that “travel bug” people talk about?

Not at all. I was fortunate as a kid to take road trips with my family and I have fond memories of those times, but I never really considered traveling as a passion until I had children. Something flipped a switch in me. For example, I had been to Banff, Canada several times growing up. It’s about a two day drive from Winnipeg. The first time I really SAW how beautiful the rockies are was when I went with my husband and two kids a few years ago. During that trip I teared up several times. How could I have been so blind to it’s majesty? It’s interesting how different stages in life can open your eyes like that. I hope I have a lot more “ah ha” moments like that to come.

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How did Eggie, your charming camper, come into the picture and how has he changed the way you travel?

I made a chunk of cash on an online course I did with a friend and decided that I needed to invest it back into my vintage business. The idea was a mobile vintages shop which wasn’t being done in our city yet, and was still a pretty new idea. Bolers have a unique look that I had admired for a long time. When the chance to own one came up, I handed over the cash and never looked back. It was a great idea. I spent 3 years attending festivals in it, selling vintage clothing from the 60’s and 70’s. Now, we love to use it for it’s original purpose, camping! It’s encouraged us to explore our province and take travel at a slower pace. Buying that Boler (we call it “Eggie”) was the start of a big change for me.

Do you feel pressure to gain followers and readers? I read that you lost a lot of followers when you switched to Squarespace. Did you have plans for how to grow those numbers back again or was that not important to you?

The pressure to grow Lune’s reader statistics was high for several years – I’m sure many can relate. Luckily at one point I began to realize that the opportunities that were opening up to us through blogging were growing at a faster rate than our audience was rebuilding. It turns out that the numbers aren’t as important as you might think. Quality content that is relatable and unique is king. Continuously publishing my best photos and stories has made Lune more enjoyable and profitable than it ever was when our page views were at an all time high. These days I go over our site analytics about once a month and don’t let it rule how I post or how I value the experience of blogging.why+start+a+blog+in+2015

How did you first find readers or how did they find you with your original blog?

I started blogging in 2007 when the industry was so young it was fairly easy to get noticed if you were putting out content of reasonable quality. Our vintage mobile shop in our trailer Eggie really got us noticed. Mobile shops in trailers were really a brand new trend at the time. After that we were featured on a few bigger blogs and earned carryover readers. I attribute it to being at the right place at the right time. It’s worthwhile to look for opportunities to offer fresh ideas and share innovative experiences with your readers. You’ll never get noticed following the leader!

What do you know now that you didn’t know then?

I have come to realize that what they say about content is true, and that it’s worth your time to explore what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is. Impressive statistics are nice, but when your posts are showing up at the top of search topics, you’re building value into your posts. In our case, we value opportunities to travel and recently have been building relationships with companies that are making it easier to do it more often. We were even invited to New York City last spring based on a travel post I wrote about a crazy summer trip just months earlier! In all of these examples, no one asked or really cared about our sites statistics. All that mattered was that I had proven over the years that our blog had a great foundation, and that I was consistently capable of delivering quality content. I would suggest that any blogger who is looking at their website as a long term project should focus on building great content above all else.

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Do you have any routines or rituals that ground you?

In our daily lives I have a lot of routines, not all of which include wine! Haha. We don’t spend a lot of time hanging around indoors and prefer to get out there, even if it’s just for the day. Weekend camping getaways are the best for clearing your mind. I also enjoy playing the guitar and reading. Hobbies are so important in making sure you don’t get burnt out on blogging. It has to be fun – at least that’s how I feel about it. If you think about it too much 24/7 you’ll drive yourself nuts!
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If you’d like to get acquainted with the Lune Blog (and I recommend you do) here are some of my favorite Lune blog posts to get you started:
 

Your voice has a place. It is more important than you may realize.”

-Jill Munro

See more “A Day With” Interviews & Profiles here.

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