I was recently approached by College Lifestyles Magazine to do an interview about my journey from Auburn University graduate to LA fashion blogger. To read my entire interview be sure to click here. Below is a snippet of my exclusive interview with the popular college mag.
CL: How did you get started with fashion blogging?
AJ: I first got the idea to start a blog while I was interning at BCBG Max Azria headquarters in LA. I had just graduated from Auburn University, and was thousands of miles away from my family, walking wide-eyed through this incredibly surreal opportunity. I felt like I was living in a movie and instantly started toying with the idea of documenting it through a blog. When the internship ended I landed a major visual merchandising job with a New York based company and the idea of starting a blog fell to the back burner. At 21 I found myself in charge of 7 brands throughout 26 Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s in Southern California. As hectic and demanding as the job was, I would find myself spending my free time thinking about what I really wanted out of life. I had these fabulous dreams that I knew I could reach, but I just didn’t know how. The blog was always in the back of my mind, but I knew there was no way I could put the time into it that it would need with such a crazy schedule. Then a week before Christmas, the company unexpectedly let the entire visual department go. Returning home wasn’t an option, so instead of feeling sorry for myself, I decided to create a brand that would someday allow me to fulfill all my goals. Fash Boulevard was the first step and I’ve been a full-time blogger ever since. Everyday I get to partner with new brands and meet influential people that I never could have dreamed of collaborating with. Just last month, while visiting NY to tour the LC by Lauren Conrad design center, I walked past the company that let me go a year earlier. It was definitely surreal to see how much has happened since. It made the "dream" job I thought it used to be look so small in comparison.
CL: What would you say is a staple article of clothing for the summer season?
AJ: Denim shorts. Their extreme versatility always makes them a summer must. Throw them over your swimsuit when you’re beach bound or pair them with a silk blouse and a strappy sandal for a dinner date. A fabulous pair of denim shorts can be styled an endless number of ways, no matter where your summer travels may take you.
CL: For girls who are interested in blogging, what should they do to get started?
AJ: When I started my blog, I had never been on a fashion blog before, which is probably a good thing since there are an intimidating number of bloggers out there. It’s so important to find your niche and do what you love. If you’re blogging about things that you’re passionate about, people will embrace your content and want more from you. It’s also important not to get intimidated by bigger blogs. It takes a long time to build a following but with persistence and hard work it will pay off. I’d suggest planning out an entire month of posts before starting your blog. This will help you get a grasp on what your blog will be and help gain a better understanding of the amount of work you’ll need to put into it.
CL: You’ve recently started writing weekly posts for Lauren Conrad’s website! Could you tell us a little about that experience?
AJ: I’ve always believed that everything happens for a reason. We dream the dreams we have for a reason and seven years ago, while I watched Laguna Beach in my small little town, my dream was to someday work with Lauren Conrad. I’ve followed her journey from college student to multi-branded designer, and having her be such a major part of my own personal journey is truly unfathomable. I‘m having an absolute blast working with her and sharing my favorite style tips with girls around the world. It’s opened so many doors for me and I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity.
CL: What do you see yourself doing in ten years?
AJ: In ten years I’d like to be writing style guide books, while running my own accessory line, which will include original jewelry, shoes, and handbag designs. I've always had big dreams and I believe with hard work and a lot of heart, you can fulfill them all.