By COLLEEN PATTERSON

Based in the Windy City, Hashtags and Handbags is fashion, travel, and lifestyle blog with an active Instagram following created by “two besties.” Maria and Stacy cover everything from their favorite recent purchases to beauty obsessions to local Chicago coffee and brunch gems.

This week, for #MusesCrushMonday they shared where they find their daily inspiration and how they manage to continually connect with new followers.

How long have you been a creator? Tell us how you got your start?

We both followed our passion to create in college where we studied Fashion Design. Maria founded Hashtags and Handbags a little over a year ago, and in September, Stacy joined forces to turn it into a duo blog!

Where do you find inspiration?

We’re continually inspired by the blogger community. We have made some really great friends and are inspired by their content, drive, and passion, daily!

Tell us the most challenging aspect about continually creating. How do you manage?

Trying to come up with new content for our readers and finding time to shoot our looks is a challenge.

How do you promote yourself?

We try to create an organic following by connecting with our followers as often as we can and making sure that connection is genuine.

What are your favorite types of projects to work on?

We’re a sucker for a company with philanthropic goals!

What’s next for you?

We would eventually like to do something bigger with brands that give back and ultimately coordinate charitable events that tie in with the fashion industry!

For a closer look at our amazing Muses community members of small businesses and influencers, check out the following features:

Colleen Patterson is the content marketing manager for Muses, the only digital growth app focused on building long­-term relationships. She’d love you to get involved.