I get so many questions about how I started my blog, tips, etc. on the daily, that I thought I would elaborate a bit on life before blogging. If you look through my Blogging Tips category, you will find a good amount of posts on getting started, the logistics, and specific areas of running a blog. However, I think it is important to know where I came from; aka, what I was up to before deciding to blog for a living.
Some of you may have already read / heard the full story, but I’ll keep it short & sweet. I graduated from FIDM with a Bachelor’s in Business Management, and an Associates degree in Visual Communications. While in school, I worked at a private country club as the Buyer for the apparel in the pro shop. It wasn’t ideal (I wanted to be in “fashion”), but it was a steady job, and I learned a lot. Rewind for one sec, in high school I always worked in retail (M Frederick boutiques, to be exact), so I was familiar with the landscape of the retail / wholesale space.
At the time (college), I was set on being a Buyer. I loved the process of visiting the showrooms, picking out the clothes (with someone else’s money LOL), and then getting to merchandise (display) the clothing. It was creative (enough), and paying my bills. I later transitioned into Wholesale, which is on the opposite side of a Buyer’s job. I was now selling designer clothing to stores (department stores, online retailers, boutiques, etc.). It was a serious hustle. In Wholesale you’re always traveling, and not the glamorous kind. You drive a lot, lug heavy rolling racks down the cracked sidewalks, show the collection, break down, and do it all over again. I got burned out pretty quick.
After working for various designers and showrooms–the pay is shit, the commute into Downtown Los Angeles is a joke, and people were MEAN–I knew it wouldn’t be my life forever. It was during this time that I started my blog. It was obviously a side project, just something I did for fun on the side. As it happens, I was laid off from my last Wholesale job when a designer went under and that is when I had to make a decision. Either go back into that misery, or figure something else out. I went with the latter.
I began creative consulting since I had the knowledge and experience, and obviously I needed to make money. Working freelance (from home) opened up my schedule to blog a bit more, but it was still totally just a hobby. It was hard to maintain, as I was following all these inspirational bloggers (Damsel In Dior, Song of Style, Fashion Toast) who were always wearing beautiful designer clothing. I couldn’t afford it and so finding a way to make my Forever 21 clothing look enticing on the blog had to be my thing. I also relied on my boyfriend (now husband) to take all my pictures, which at the time was extremely frustrating. My expectations for him were unrealistically high (he was a law student, not a photographer), and so we would fight while taking pictures. Not good for our relationship.
Eventually, when my blog started gaining momentum–brands were reaching out, I was getting paid, my following was growing steadily–I could afford to at least hire a photographer to relieve Paul of the duty. It was /is a slow but steady process to get where I am today. I’m pretty sure I will say this for as long as I’m blogging: I still have a loooooong way to go. However, I can now look back at the early days of my blogging career and truly say that I hustled my ass off to get to this point.