interviews

Behind The Blog Scene // Alisha Johns of LISH Creative

I'm excited to be back this week spotlighting one of my fav ladies on social media - Alisha Johns of LISH Creative! I've never been shy about sharing my love of Instagram and I've been lucky through this journey of running Blog Society to get to meet some pretty talented #girlbosses both online and off.

Alisha is one of those ladies.

She is a whip smart marketer and creates one of the most vibrant and colourful feeds out there. I just had to sit down with her to find out what really happens behind the scenes of her biz and how she's using social media to kick MAJOR goals. Enjoy... x Jac

Tell us a little bit about Lish Creative and your background?
LISH Creative is a social media agency for fashion, lifestyle & hospitality brands. My clients appreciate design, want to be inspired, and know the value of creative content for their businesses. After I graduated from Virginia Tech, I held various social media and creative roles at advertising agencies in Pittsburgh and always freelanced on the side. I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur, but I also knew that it was important to gain industry experience first. But when I started to get burnt out, and had to turn down great freelance projects because of my day-job, that’s when I knew it was time to take the leap.

What is your creative business manifesto?
Beautiful & smart content can change the face of your brand. It provides the ultimate first impression. It attracts & retains a community.

Without social media, and a platform like Instagram to create content to share with the world, I personally would not be where I am today. That’s why I am so passionate about helping others to achieve the same.

What fellow #girlboss inspires you at the moment?
I’m so inspired by Kelly Mindell of Studio DIY. She’s been able to work with some incredible big brands (like Starbucks and Coca-Cola…!) yet she always stays true to her brand and offers a unique spin. Her dedication to incredible original content is an ideal that I am always striving for in my business.

We adore your colourful instagram feed - what role does social media play in your business?
I started to get serious about Instagram after college, as a way to differentiate myself when applying to creative jobs in the advertising industry. Employers kept wanting to push me into Account Management roles and I was trying to find ways to break out of that box. Not only did my imagery catch the attention of my former employers, but it also helped me to discover my love for styling and creating visual content. As my community continued to grow, my work began getting picked up by media outlets and brands started asking me to style their products. That’s when it really hit me that there’s a business here. I’m not trying to be dramatic, but Instagram literally changed the course of my career - it has opened so many doors. And now, It is my primary source for new clients and networking.

My biggest biz moment/milestone was....
I secured my first retainer client while I was still working full-time. That was really a turning point for me and led to me submitting my two weeks notice! It’s crazy how one client can give you so much confidence.

My dream collaboration would be?
This is a tough one! There are so many colorful brands out there that I adore, but I would love to style a campaign for Jcrew.

Best piece of advice to all the budding entrepreneurs out there…
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! Developing an online and social presence is essential for networking and for building your credibility. Start creating amazing content to share with the world and tell people about, everyone!

Behind the scenes of running Lish Creative looks like…
Props, props everywhere! I’ve become quite the collector of little odds and ends for styled shoots and they’ve made their way all over my studio space.There’s also a daily dose of avocado toast for lunch and netflix watching after 7pm.

My tip for handling fear, envy or comparison is…
When you’re feeling afraid, remind yourself of all of your wins and the incredible things that you’ve had to accomplish to make it to where you are right now at this very second. For me, fear comes with overwhelm and with looking too far ahead into the future.I have to take a step back, reflect, and focus on the present day.

This year I've been most excited about...
My new freedom from the 9-5 and the ability to travel more! That was huge motivator for me in deciding to take the leap. I’ll be able to spend more time in Los Angeles, in particular, and that’s something I’m really looking forward to!

Top Image: Tracy Mele

Bloguettes x Blog Society Interview

I first met Lorena Garcia & Sakura Considine, the founders of Bloguettes, online via Instagram (the power of social media right?) and then again, in person at Alt Summit in January 2015. I was immediately taken by their energy and passion - which absolutely radiates from each of them. They are true #girlbosses in every sense of the word, teaming up in a dream collaboration, to form one of the fastest growing blogging resources and source of blogging events around.

I'm dying to head to the US to attend one of their upcoming events but in the meantime the next best thing was being able to chat to both ladies and bring some of their insight and advice straight to my tribe. Keep these ladies on your radar - they are going BIG places!

Tell us a little bit about your backgrounds and where the idea for Bloguettes came from?
L: I grew up in Mexico, but went to grad school in Arizona. At that time, I was convinced I was going to move back to Mexico and become an investment banker. But to my own surprise, I decided to stay in Arizona. The investment banking industry isn’t very big here, so I decided to become an entrepreneur. I started fashion and news site with two friends that soon became the Refinery29 of Mexico. During this time, I fell in love with the Internet and its possibilities. Bloguettes was born out of Sakura and I’s desire to help people brand their company online. We wanted to create a company that was fun, creative, and a great place to connect with people—and that’s exactly what we did!

S: I found my passion in graphic design, photography, and the Internet at the age of twelve. In middle school, I taught myself basic HTML to design & build custom MySpace pages for my friends. I completely fell in love with the blogging & marketing world and later attended Arizona State University majoring in Business Marketing & Japanese. I co-founded The Sorority Secrets with two other friends and after I met Lorena, we founded Bloguettes in 2013. We’ve been growing like crazy ever since!

What is the top struggle you see most bloggers experiencing? 
The struggle that we see most bloggers experiencing is being able to keep up. A lot of people think a blog is the easiest thing in the world and don't realize how much work it takes. They quit or don't do it consistently, which definitely decreases their chances of success.

What fellow #girlboss inspires you at the moment?
L: I really love Tory Burch. Her business and her story are amazing and inspirational! Also, Sakura my business partner inspires me every day!

S: Lorena does! I think she does such an amazing job juggling everything she does and she is always positive and optimistic. She’s expecting her first child right now and she’s doing such an amazing job throughout her pregnancy while keeping up her girlboss-ness and not losing a bit of momentum. I’m really proud of her!

Our biggest biz moment/milestone was....
When we started hiring people and when we finished our very first workshop! Also, moving to our new office was a game-changer!

Behind the scenes of running Bloguettes looks like...
L: Much more hectic than what you see on our Instagram haha! As a small business, we have to do a little bit of everything. As we grow, we encounter new things every day that we have never done before and we have to figure them out!

S: Tons of meetings! We have five different departments (creative, marketing, events, editorial, and video) and each one of our departments work really closely with one another so we are in meetings all day, every day working on upcoming projects & events!

The social media and blogging worlds are changing...what does the future of blogging look like to you girls?
Blogging is only going to continue to grow. Social influencers are going to keep getting bigger and stronger as they will be of importance to brands. As with any other industry, it will continue to evolve and whoever is able to create the most original, creative, beautiful work is always going to stand out. We also think video will start to play a huge part in the industry!

Your tip for handling fear, envy or comparison is...
L: We ALL experience fear. If not, we would not be human so I think my biggest advice is to be brave and think. I think fear is positive because it keeps you motivated to do bigger and better things. For envy, wasting your time envying other people will just distract you from bettering yourself. Always be happy for the success of other people and only be concerned with what you do, not what others do. 

S: It’s so easy to get caught up and compare yourself to others, but don’t. Use it as motivation & research!

You host cool workshops all over the US, can you tell us a little about them?
Our workshops are not just meant to teach our attendees everything about branding their business and maximizing their potential online. We also strive to motivate and inspire our students in order to give them the confidence they need to keep doing whatever they are working on. Whether it’s a blog or a small business, the workshop is designed to help!

Wishlist travel destination...
The Maldives, Bora Bora, Australia, and Paris—just to name a few!

Top 3 blogs we HAVE to read daily are...
1.      Bloguettes…duh! It gives amazing & helpful tips for entrepreneurs like us!
2.      Barefoot Blonde – We love her style and how much she lets her readers in. Seeing her mix everyday motherhood & style on her blog is so fun!
3.      Margo & Me –She has such a distinct feminine style and does a great job of showcasing her personality through her blog. We had her as a guest at our LA workshop last year!

Our business motto is... 
To empower the entrepreneurial age!

Best piece of advice to give to a new biz check would be...
Be passionate about what you do. If you love what you do, you’ll do everything and anything to keep going because your business is more than just a project—it’s your dream!

This year we're most excited about...
The launch of our new website! We’ve been working on it for over a year and we are thrilled to see it up and running. This website will really help us achieve many things that has been on our to-do list for 2016! We’re also super excited for our second InstaCamp event on May 21st in Palm Springs!

Ready to learn how to market your biz like a boss? Our Digital Bravery Ecourse is open for enrolment now!

Fashion is a business

It's no secret that we love fearless women in this community. Women not afraid to try new things, break down barriers, embrace their failures and of course celebrate their successes.

Today is just that - a chance to meet a women paving her own path and shaking up the fashion world on her own terms. We sat down with Alicia Sanchez for a quick chat about how she found her way...

What was your professional journey before Fashion is A Business? 

I have been always a Fashion Designer but I worked in Corporate America in Marketing and Project Management as senior leadership for years before making the leap.

Tell us about what you do and who your target market is? 

At FDBA we help Fashion Designers and Fashion Professionals build a brand and not just another clothing line. I am a Fashion Branding Coach. I help cultivate the businesses mentality while helping with sourcing, manufacturers, buyers and ultimately building a business that reaps profits through residual income and wider retail markets.

What gave you the confidence to dive in and get it going?

I was a Designer in the same shoes as most designers. I designed and couldn't sell consistently, I had one income stream and it didn't click for me to use the methods on my business but once I connected the dots I knew I had to help others.

What has been some of the greatest challenges you’ve faced as a woman in business? 

I don't see challenges as a woman, honestly I think there are challenges in any industry with experience or respect but as a woman it doesn't define anything differently that could set me back. I don't say 'I am woman and this is why I had this challenge' I say 'I am an entrepreneur'. 

Best lesson you've learned? 

Know when to say NO and move on to Plan B.

What advice would you give to others afraid to start? 

I would say invest in having someone help and guide you because as creatives we think big and beautiful but we lack business and even when we have business experience we tend to not be able to execute for ourselves because it's hard to juggle. Make coaching a part of your startup so you work smart not hard because fashion is a business bottom line. If you're designing and not thinking about building a cash flow for big goals then it’s just a hobby. Ask yourself: at the rate I am going can I retire early?

Who inspires you? Top mentor?

Wow, I have so many but in the industry I love Kimora Lee Simmons and would LOVE to work with er. I think she's brilliant and savvy, and I admire many professionals who make passion a priority. I have had many mentors and many have helped me seek my way but Kellie Kuecha and Walter Foster have really been a huge influence towards my success.

Alicia Sanchez is all fashion. She is the designer of Favala Designs, Owner of La Sewing Cafe and Fashion Branding Coach at the Fashion Designer Business Academy. Favala Designs has been featured in various international fashion weeks and trained with elite professionals that worked with brands such as Oscar De La Renta , Carolina Herrera and leading fashion forecasted companies in NYC in addition to consulting fashion trends . She is also the Author of: “Climbing The Fence: A Journey of Traveling Words”

Jaime Tollas of Less On The Floor // Behind The Blog Scene

I'm always fascinated when bloggers tell me they write not one, but two (or more!) blogs. How they find the time I have no idea but nevertheless I'm impressed and such is the case with Jaime Tollas, the chief content creator behind new lifestyle site for mothers in the so-called 4th Trimester, postmodyrn: After is the New Now and the blog, Less On The Floor, her honest account of balancing work and motherhood.

Like many of our readers, Jaime's blog was blog was born in her kitchen during a confusing, wonderful stretch of months when she found herself suddenly and self-righteously unemployed -- which is to say, the full-time mother of a ten-month-old. I love her humble account of her self proclaimed "entirely ordinary quest to be a mother, even a good mother" - which I'd argue is pretty damn extraordinary don't you? Glad to have her here on the blog today...

Describe your blog in 3 words…
Honest, memoirist, tongue-in-cheek 
What is your blogging manifesto?
Tell a true story and tell it well. And learn how to use social media (I'm still figuring that one out).
Top 3 blogging essentials?
1. Time!
2. A hallmark. Mine is the writing: it's my craft.  Some bloggers I love for their photographs, others for their personal style, others for their practical how-tos...Know what you are good at and make that the focus.
3. A story.  What is your blog about?  Whether you blog every day or once a month, feel free to get creative, but always stay on point.  That's how you build your personal brand.
My biggest blogging moment/milestone was....
The first post I wrote that went viral.  I could tell I had touched a nerve with working moms, and by sharing my own story I had tapped into a huge cultural issue.
Best piece of advice I've been given?
Write for yourself, not for an audience.  Create something beautiful that you feel proud of.  That's what makes it authentic.
I'm dreaming about traveling to...
London, again.  We used to live there, when we were young and wild, and I would love to re-discover it with our children.
Best piece of advice to a newbie blogger?
Just. Blog.  Do it.  Keep at it.  
If I wasn't blogging I'd be...
Staring at a computer trying to start my book.  Blogging is so much less intimidating, so I actually WRITE!
Behind the scenes of my blog looks like...
A high-rise apartment, a dining room table covered in 4,000 Legos, yoga pants, and a glass of water.  Or it looks like the inside of my car, where I spend an inordinate amount of time driving the kids about and thinking of what to write.
This year I'm most excited about...
Taking my blog to the next level!  It's been four years and I've never felt so inspired.  Also, launching my new website postmodyrn, which takes the energy and thought I've put into the pressures on moms today, and turns that passion into a resource instead of a rant.   

Yana Puaca Of NoMad Luxuries // Behind The Blog Scene

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nomad-luxury

It never ceases to amaze me the learning lessons that can be found when you reach out and connect with strangers. A lot of the interviews I've been lucky enough to conduct this year are the result of my trip overseas to Alt Summit, where I connected with strangers that soon became friends, with contacts online that shared similar passions and whom at the end of the day share a love of blogging that knows no global boundaries.

That's why I'm so glad to have Yana from NoMad Luxuries on the blog today. Despite blogging from an entirely different continent, she and I share a love for flea markets, travel and chocolate with sea salt - it's the small things in life that matter right?  Beyond that she has worked with some of the top lifestyle sites in the US, but began her blog just like you and I - as a creative outlet. Enjoy her refreshing advice and don't forget to bookmark her blog when you're feeling in need of a wanderlust fix....

Describe your blog in 3 words…
Global, luxurious and sophisticated
What is your blogging manifesto?
NoMad Luxuries is a lifestyle blog for the woman who wants to create and live a beautiful and inspired life. Started in 2010, NoMad Luxuries has evolved into much more: a place where women can focus on the details that bring a global flavor to life. Beautifully-inspired interiors, trendy fashion and worldly-dishes add a stamp to your virtual passport. A source of inspiration for creating a well-styled life. 
Top 3 blogging essentials?
My Canon, my laptop and good tunes. Chocolate doesn’t hurt either. 
My biggest blogging moment/milestone was....
When you’re first starting out, everything seems to be a big deal since it’s a first. Up to this a point it’s been such an amazing experience collaborating with Home Depot, The Everygirl and joining as a contributor to the Style Me Pretty network. I’m looking forward to a lot more firsts!
Best piece of advice I've been given?
Be persistent. Eventually the universe will get the message and work with you to make things happen. Also, sometimes the wrong train will get you to the right station. So, don’t be afraid to take risks!
I'm dreaming about traveling to...
India. We’re hoping to make it happen this year- I’m so intrigued by the exotic and vibrant culture. 
Best piece of advice to a newbie blogger?
Find your own voice and style. There are so many amazing blogs out there that it’s so easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing. You need to find a way to tune out the other voices and find your own niche. Once you do, readers and brands will notice.
If I wasn't blogging I'd be...
Curating and buying for my own boutique. Oh wait…
Behind the scenes of my blog looks like...
While there’s no typical day in the life of blogging, most days involve emails, brainstorming and planning, writing, shooting with my amazing photographer, Jennifer Coffey, and tons of food. I’m always eating. 
This year I'm most excited about...
Opening up my first storefront of vintage furniture and homewares. This has been a dream of mine for quite some time and I’m so excited to finally be able to share it with the world.

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Photography by Jennifer Coffey Photo; bottom photo by NoMad Luxuries