STYLISH SOPHISTICATE: Talk about your career path in detail. Did you face any obstacles?
Starting something on your own is never easy, whether it’s a blog, or a business. Every step of the way you will encounter unforeseen issues that will make you question yourself and why you started trying to do the thing you are now doing in the first place. I think the biggest obstacle for me in a broad sense, has been self-doubt. But the longer I keep trying, the more confident I become.
Being an entrepreneur is definitely a giant learning experience, but you become stronger and more knowledgeable with every day that you choose to not give up. You absolutely have to be able to view any mistakes you make along the way as lessons instead of failures.
STYLISH SOPHISTICATE: Did you always know what you wanted to do in life? What did you want to be when you were little?
When I was little I wanted to be an author. I loved books, and I loved to write. It was one of the first things, and still one of the few things in life that has always felt natural to me. But I was also always interested in fashion. In college I took a lot of art history and costume design classes even though I graduated with a degree in Radio TV Film (where I focused my attention on screenwriting.) There was a time that I thought maybe I would become a costume designer for films. But what’s funny about that, is that styling is something I have always been asked to do, but only very recently have really become comfortable doing. But truthfully, I still don’t know what I want to do in life.
I don’t look at anything I ever do as necessarily a final path. I’m constantly on a journey and am always changing up what I want to do.
Rather than thinking “this is what I’m going to do with my life,” I instead like to set random little goals to accomplish, and this list is forever growing and changing. For example, one day I’d like to write and record a song just for kicks. If I was a Real Housewife I would definitely be one of those annoying ones who uses their newfound fame to record a single and I would shamelessly perform it on Watch What Happens Live.
STYLISH SOPHISTICATE: What inspired you to create your blog Keep Austin Stylish? And what led you to create your boutique Once Bitten?
I had a strong desire for a creative outlet. I literally started my blog when I was sick with swine flu and didn’t have a TV in my room. I had started reading a few fashion blogs when I was working retail, and I thought it would be fun to start one that focused on Austin. I wanted it to have a journalistic feel, but still be personable and down to earth.
Throughout my blogging career people would ask me what I wanted the end goal of my blog to be. It was something that I honestly had never thought about when I started blogging. I wasn’t even sure anyone besides my mom would read my blog. But one of the jobs I ended up getting after a couple years of blogging, was working for someone who now is a really good friend of mine who started his own watch company. Helping him out gave me the itch and also the confidence to start my own company. He made the intimidating monster of being an entrepreneur look much less scary.
STYLISH SOPHISTICATE: Do you have any advice for someone interested in starting a fashion blog?
Yes, I think the most important thing is to just start. Start today. If you wait for the perfect time to launch it, it will never happen. A blog is something that can constantly grow and evolve and get better with time. You will eventually find your voice and your aesthetic, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it being perfect in the beginning.
STYLISH SOPHISTICATE: What is a typical 9-to-5 work day like for you?
Every day is a little bit different, which I like! I work from home so I have some leniency when it comes to a work schedule, although I’m trying to be better about scheduling my time so that I make time for specific tasks. After I walk my dog and get ready for the day, I usually start my day out with responding to emails (so boring but necessary.) Some days I work by myself and other days I have an employee helping me out. A lot of time is now spent going through new shipments and counting inventory and putting new product info onto the website. Some days are dedicated to creating content for social media. A little time each day is also spent shipping out orders because I fulfill orders myself from my studio.
One time a friend of mine who lives in New York and used to work for a big name clothing brand was over at my place while I was working and she commented on the fact that every different task I was doing, at her job, was done by an entirely different department. I thought that was pretty interesting and kind of cool. I really am doing a little bit of everything that even a bigger company would be doing on a daily basis, I’m just doing it on a smaller scale.
STYLISH SOPHISTICATE: How does your career affect your fashion choices?
My style has definitely become more minimalist and more monotone over the last several years. Specifically, when I started traveling more to go on buying trips for the store, I realized it was much easier to pack and put together outfits when everything is of a neutral color palette. I’ve also always loved black and white and classic patterns like stripes and polka dots, so that’s really nothing new.
I like to dress in a way that’s classic and stylish, but not too serious, and slightly artistic.
STYLISH SOPHISTICATE: What do you do to de-stress? How do you balance work and play?
I live right around the corner from a yoga studio, so that’s definitely one of my de-stressing activities. I’ve also surprisingly gotten into spin classes recently, which I never would have thought I’d enjoy. Besides that, I really like to spend time with my dog Boo and my family, go out with friends, try new happy hours, and sing karaoke.
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