A Conversation With Writer Caelan Hughes

Caelan Hughes – Honolulu blogger, fashion girl, sweet angel-devil – is one of the many Hughes Sisters Of Chinatown, or who we in the biz like to refer to as the Virgin Suicides. Not because they might be virgins – we don’t know about any of that – it’s just that it’s like they live a life that is written and directed by Sofia Coppola (they grew up on a strawberry farm on Maui, for crying out loud).

Anyway, Caelan recently announced on her popular fashion blog DAILY SASS (formerly known as SASSSQUATCH) that she will no longer write about fashion. We gasped. We wanted to know more. We love changes. She moved to New York (we also love to hear about why people move to NY), so we sent her some questions. Turns out, Caelan had some evolutionary experiences and explains to us why she feels the need to change the focus of her blog and, possibly, come to terms with the growing pains called Life.

First of all, what is SasssSSSsssquatch? And was that enough s’s

I’d been called “sassy” my entire life, many times as a young child. It was a bad thing, but as I grew older I began to reclaim the word. Then on one fateful day my sister Hayley said “God, you are so sassy, you Sasssquatch,” and I knew that that was what I wanted to be known as on the Interwebs. I updated my blog last year to “DAILYSASS” because who doesn’t need a daily dose of sass! My blog used to actually have daily content, but now that my life is completely different I use the term “daily” more loosely.

It started as a fashion blog, right? but now you’ve made a stunning announcement that changes everything. What happened? Why the change?

I’ve always had fashion posts and “other” posts. Whether they were me ranting about finals week, or my “14 Days of Valentines Day” posts about love, I always knew that I loved writing just as much as fashion. However, with my move to New York and moving away from my mom, who triples as my therapist, mother and photographer, I began to grow tired of fashion-content posts. I now have rent to pay and I only had two suitcases to bring to NY, so I had to consolidate my wardrobe drastically. The last component to my departure as a fashion blogger is that I just don’t care as much about fashion. I hate to be this person but I find New York can be a very superficial place, and buying clothes and taking photos and basically bragging on the Internet about what I have really doesn’t intrigue me anymore. I want my blog to be a platform to relate to other people going through what I am, or as a platform for readers to gain insight into my reality – and buying clothes and taking pictures under the assumption that my life is champagne-wishes and caviar-dreams really isn’t my reality anymore.

Why did you leave Honolulu for New York?

I left for an internship with BUST magazine, but after that ended in September, I stayed to pursue the dream of being a writer here. I lived in Honolulu for the majority of my life and while it is abundant in poke bowls and aloha spirit, I wanted to move to a city where there was more opportunity to do what I love, which is write.

your posts deal with sex, humor, the clumsiness inherent in dating another person. Are you somehow a mixture of the “Virgin Suicide” girls and “Sex And The City” ladies?

I think the Virgin Suicides meets the Sex and the City Ladies meets Liz Lemon is probably the most accurate description.

How has it been so far for you creatively?

It’s been great, still no dreamy staff job working for a magazine yet, and I unfortunately had to resort to working retail again for the time being (which blows beyond belief). However, this New Years will be the first year that, when I look back at everything I’ve done this year, I won’t be completely disappointed in myself. While I may not be doing exactly what I planned, restarting my blog has definitely put me in the write-direction (see what I did there) and I know I’ll get to the dream soon. In the paraphrased words of Biggie Smalls (who was a Brooklyn Native, btw) the best part of your life is working your way to the top, because once you get there the only place to go is down (RIP Christopher Wallace).

Has the trip given you some perspective, and is that why you’ve broadened the scope of your website?

I’m going to be honest, I lived a very cushy life in Honolulu. I lived at home, there was always a sister to talk to and food to eat and I honestly didn’t appreciate just how great living rent-free was. Moving to New York is probably the first REAL struggle I’ve had. Figuring out the subway routes, trying not to get mugged on the daily and knowing how to not spend all your money on beautiful clothing has turned me into a real person. I pay rent, I avoid creepy cat callers, I had to move to-and-from Manhattan to Bay Ridge one suitcase at a time on the subway because I was too broke to afford a cab, not to mention the insane Tinder dates I’ve been on while here. But this struggle has been the best thing, not only for me as a person, but for me as a writer. I keep just thinking, “This will be a great story for the blog,” and that’s all that matters.

It’s really easy to pretend you are someone you aren’t on a blog or social media. It’s really easy to let everyone back home assume I’m living the Carrie Bradshaw-dry martini-wet dream. But that just isn’t the case, and I have the opportunity to be very honest with my readers and give them proper insight to my life. I really hope that this self reflection and storytelling will be really funny and hopefully useful to people, and if no one else reads it, at least my mom and sisters will know I’m not dead.

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