SHIFTER BOSS – DOMINIQUE BAKER, FASHION AND BEAUTY INFLUENCER

Dominique Baker is the quirky Ottawa based influencer who turned her love for fashion, beauty and travel into Style Domination, a lifestyle blog for like-minded people across the world! Founded in 2015, Dominique has partnered with major companies in cosmetics and retail, namely Holt Renfrew, Tiffany & Co., Nordstrom, Sephora, L’Oréal, YSL Beauty, Givenchy Beauty and Giorgio Armani Beauty.

This year marks 7 years of her blog going strong, so we were thrilled to have a heart-to-heart with the beloved businesswoman and community leader, talking style, humble beginnings, self-care and what the future holds for Dominique!

Shifter: Alright, Dom!… can we call you Dom? 

Dominique Baker: Most definitely.

Shifter: We want to know all about who Dominique Baker is, and what your personal style say about you?

Dominique: I am a full-time content creator. I love photography and writing has been a great creative outlet for me. Being an extroverted introvert, I love to meet new people and have fun, but also definitely need my “me time”. I felt this is reflected in my personal style which is very classic with a trendy twist. While I do love colour, I mainly stick to neutrals as they are classic, elevated and chic. Always flattering.

Shifter: What inspired you to start Style Domination? You had an idea, tell us how you were able to bring it to fruition and what was the public’s response to it?

Dominique: I have always had a major love of fashion and beauty. My husband actually suggested I start a blog, since my friends and I were always attending fun events in Ottawa. Documenting the events and my own love of fashion and beauty really resonated with the Ottawa community. My blog posts covering the grand openings of Nordstrom Ottawa and Tiffany & Co. at Rideau Centre went viral. To say I was “thrilled” and slightly scared of the success is an understatement.

Shifter: Let’s talk about growth. You are originally from Ottawa and your blog, that started out local, has grown to amass a wide following on a global scale! What was that journey like for you and when did you realize that you had made your break?

Dominique: I realized I had “made it” when I started getting recognized while out and about. I was recognized at Trafalgar Square in London, Jamaica, New York City, and a YouTube subscriber recognized me at a restaurant in Montreal and bought me a drink. I was like “WHAT IS HAPPENING!!???”

This journey has been incredible. There is definitely a downside (online trolls are awful, for instance) but I wouldn’t trade this for the world. I am so grateful to have finally found my passion.

Shifter: They say blogging is a dying field, what is your take on that? And as a successful blogger, what would you say is the best advice you could offer someone launching one of their own right now? 

Dominique: My blog readership has only gone up with each passing year. This is due to the fact that I’m careful to serve my community first. I always take the time to review my analytics to see what resonates with my readers and give them what they are asking for. In addition, my blog is totally mine. If Instagram, YouTube and Tiktok were to disappear tomorrow, I can fall back on my website which I’ve built from the ground up.

The best advice I could give is “Just get started”. Don’t worry about buying fancy camera equipment and a brand new wardrobe of the latest trendy clothing. Just get started.

Shifter: Beauty and style – what are your thoughts on the beauty industry today and, to you, how do these two elements work together to create magic?

Dominique: I’m really excited at the leaps and bounds made in the clean beauty industry. Before, many clean beauty brands didn’t have shade ranges for people of colour, or the quality just wasn’t up to par. Now, there are so many clean beauty offerings that are stellar. So thrilled about this! So many people are very conscious about what they put on their bodies and where their clothing is sourced. It’s really impressive to see that people care about their own well-being and that of the planet. I’m really impressed for instance on how much better faux fur and vegan leather is now than in the past.

Shifter: Name 5 self care products you cannot live without?

Dominique:

        1. Retinol.
        2. Calm Within the Storm – The Pathway to Everyday Resiliency. This book has helped me through some tough times and I refer to it regularly.
        3. My weighted blanket. So cozy.
        4. Vivier CE Peptides Serum
        5. Bubblebath

Shifter: What is your go-to makeup brand?

Dominique: I have several. I love Bobbi Brown, Lancôme, Fenty Beauty, Charlotte Tilbury, MAC Cosmetics…among many others. Not only are these brands such high quality, they have always included shade ranges suitable for EVERYONE.

Shifter: Any beauty or style trends we should look out for for 2022?

Dominique: I don’t follow trends too closely.

Shifter: Fair enough, Dom! What is next for Style Domination? 

Dominique: World domination. Kidding. In 2022, I am focusing more on myself, taking more time to cultivate a better work/life balance and continue travelling the world.