Charleston, South Carolina, has long been one of our favorite places. The cobblestone streets and bustling harbor remind us of our favorite haunts in coastal New England, and while you know you're certainly in the south, there's an undeniable old-school salty charm in the air. Charleston also has beautiful weather, amazing food, top-notch sailing and fishing, and is one of our favorite places to visit when the temperatures start dropping up north.
"If you've never been to Charleston, then you have to go to a few of the tourist locations," our friend and travel blogger Victoria Ford told us as we enjoyed some breakfast. "Sure, they're touristy locations, but they're good. You have to go to Rainbow Row, go check out the Battery, obviously stop off in front of The Pineapple and take a selfie. You also have to go to the Post House Inn. It's in Mount Pleasant, but it's really incredible and the food is good." And, if you can, go to Callie's Hot Little Biscuits. (Trust us. Their breakfast is amazing.)
Originally from Philadelphia, Victoria came down to the Carolinas for college and fell in love with the area. "The weather keeps me coming back," she said.
Today, she is, among other things, the author and creator behind the PrepFord Wife blog. The name of the blog was the brainchild of her husband, Marcus.
"We've got this running joke about how I am not really a typical ‘wife.' From the outside, if you don't know us, our life looks very cookie-cutter prep, but it's anything but. My husband does 95% of our cooking and the cleaning, and I do probably 90% of the building and construction," she said with a laugh. "So PrepFord wife is a bit of an ode for that, a spin on the traditional notion of the prototypical Stepford Wife."
If you look over Victoria's blog, peruse her social media channels, or have the pleasure of speaking with her, you might think that showcasing her life is something that comes easy to her. And you'd be forgiven for being wrong. "I tend to be an introvert, and so the very idea of putting my life online for people is still a concept that freaks me out," she told us as we made our way along Charleston harbor. "I think as long as I don't look at the number of followers on the account, I'm okay most days. But I love to write, I love the idea of connecting. Even if I'm an introvert, one-on-one is always the way that I love to live. And so I just pretend like PrepFord Wife is a lot of different little one-on-ones. And after this all started, we realized that there wasn't anyone quite like me in the preppy space. It's rare to see a black preppy woman in that space who travels and does the things that we do and lives the way that we live our lives."
"If I had known it was going to blow up, I might not have done it," Victoria told us. "I had no idea that it would be a thing that other people would enjoy. But hey, hindsight is 20/20. We started with photography as an accident. We realized that from the first five years or so that we were together there were two photos of us. So I thought ‘Okay, we will take photos for ourselves.' And my husband does nothing in halves. So slowly but surely the photos got good enough that other people actually cared."
For Victoria, the real joy in all of this has come from the people she's gotten to interact with.
"Surprisingly, the people have always been the easy part. People make it so much fun. I know there are folks who think, ‘The internet is a terrible place and people are terrible,' but I don't find that. It's always an incredible honor that people care at all. We have attracted some of the most wonderful people. But, full transparency, we definitely didn't think the blog would amass this many folks who want to hang out with us online."
So, how does this modern PrepFord Wife define her classic style? "We always say our style is classic, with a wink," she told us. "It's classic, but there's always something a little fun about it. It's not exactly like your mom's preppy style. I am a really lazy dresser. It's actually my least favorite part of the blog. So I like it to be easy, and preppy style gives me that—that one perfect white button-down that fits, that one perfect pair of jeans. I want to have the right thing, not a ton of things. (That doesn't mean a statement piece can't be the right thing)."
But more important than anything, for Victoria the true siren song of classic style is it's undeniable simplicity.
"Classic style gives me a lot of options, without any of them being a burden. I think of how moms have to wake up and get dressed—you've got a serious job, a busy schedule, a lot to juggle. You don't have time to be fussing over clothing. I love that about classic style—it gives me this no muss, no fuss lifestyle. So I can live the life that I actually want to lead."
Check out all that Victoria is up to—from her latest DIY projects to the last picture-perfect escape, at prepfordwife.com.