Courtesy of Molly & Sally Miller
Real Beauty: Do you both blog full-time?
Molly Miller: No, we both work full-time. I'm a merchandise coordinator at a high-end department store.
Sally Miller: And I'm a teacher at a small private school here in Dallas.
MM: The blog really came about as a hobby. I was an interior design major, so I had a lot of experience from school which definitely helped a lot. I created the entire site and do all the maintenance, like the header and adding advertisers. We used Square Space as a blog platform, which is really intuitive. They have 24/7 user support, so any time I didn't know how to do something when we were starting, I'd email them and they'd respond right away. You definitely encounter stuff you're unsure about.
RB: What's the blog world like in Dallas?
SM: It's big, which is something I don't think we realized until we started and began connecting with other people. It's been fun to meet them, and some turned out to be friends of friends.
RB: When did the site officially launch?
MM: In November 2010. I've found that having a blog almost makes it feel like time goes by faster, because you need to get a post up everyday, and before you know it, a whole month has gone by.
RB: How did the name come about?
SM: We went back and forth a lot, and we'd send emails to each other with long lists of names. At first we liked A Piece of Cake, but we didn't know if it was realistic since life isn't a piece of cake, and you certainly don't have cake every day. And then we both kind of said, well, toast is something you can have every day, it's relatable, and comfort food. We definitely love our liveswe live amazing, charmed lives, but we didn't want it to come off like, "Oh, life's a piece of cake for us!". We still love the name to this day, and we both pretty much eat toast every day, ironically.
RB: How many hours a day do you spend working on it?
MM: I'd say we both spend at least an hour a day writing posts. I probably spend two extra hours responding to emails, communicating with other bloggers, and doing social media stuff.
SM: As a teacher, I don't have computer access during the day, so I can't do quite as much. Molly takes my iPad to work since she can do some things from there.
RB: Is it ever tricky feeling like you're doing blog stuff at your desk job?
MM: Well, I never really feel like I technically am. It's usually just responding to quick emails. My job is definitely my main focus, and I make sure the blog doesn't interfere with that. I don't think either of us want to be full-time bloggers we enjoy it, but we love our 9-to-5 jobs, and they're the most important things.
RB: Do you keep a regimented schedule?
SM: None whatsoever. We both try to post at least once a day but things come up. Sometimes I work late, or I'll nanny for a family after-school and get home late. We usually don't post on the weekends.
MM: I also a keep a detailed editorial calendar since a lot of the posting and planning involves communication between a lot of people. We both have notebooks where we write down ideas and that helps a lot with curating the content and keeping track of what we might want to post about. Other than that, it's pretty organic. We just let it be what it is.
RB: What's it like working with your sister?
MM: We both feel so lucky, and it's really nice to have someone to lean on that you trust and love. A lot of other bloggers have told us how lucky we are, and we sometimes forget how incredible it is that we get to live together and do this. It's made the whole journey a lot less scary and much more rewarding. We're not perfect and we do bicker, but it's definitely made us even closer.
RB: What have been the hardest parts so far?
MM: In the beginning, I think it was really easy to get down on yourself and compare yourself to other amazing bloggers. Like, comparing the content or the look or how many readers you have. That early feeling of competition was really scary. Sometimes it feels like everyone has a blog, and I was worried about establishing ourselves and becoming a recognizable brand. After the first couple of months, we got more comfortable. We stopped comparing ourselves with other bloggers and were just happy with what we had going on. We're constantly trying to make sure that we stay true to ourselves and have that authenticity. We want it to feel natural and intuitive to the reader.
RB: You both spoke about the blogging community: How is that affected by some natural competition?
MM: Bloggers are building their own brands, but in the end, no one's out there only for their own benefit. It's nice to be able to connect with people who do the same thing you do and get the whole blogger thing since so many people don't. I think you're usually more competitive with yourself than other people. We both have our own goals and want the site to grow. We're not saying someone else is doing it better, just asking how we can improve. I'm guessing that's how it is for a lot of other bloggers.
RB: And what have some of the most rewarding parts been?
MM: For both of us, I think it's been connecting with readers and bloggers. It's an incredible world, and the people you get to meet are amazing. I feel like we've made some best friends through the whole experience!
SM: A couple of weeks ago we were just waiting outside Crate and Barrel, and this girl came up to us and asked if we were the girls behind A Piece of Toast. It was so funny. She was so sweet and told us about a store she thought we'd like and noticed that I was carrying a bag I'd mentioned on the site.
MM: That was definitely a moment. Oh, and learning we had international readers!
SM: Yeah! We have readers from Barcelona
MM: And one from Argentina and some from London. It's been so cool to get emails from them, or to hear that they like the blog.
RB: Is it ever weird feeling like strangers know you?
MM: In the beginning we were very shy and bashful about it, but as we've connected with more people, it feels a lot more natural. When that girl came up to us, we were so excited!
SM: We were just glad we were wearing makeup.