Anna James
Style Editor for LaurenConrad.com, Contributing Style Columnist for Vanity Fair. Blogger, merchandiser, brand consultant, wife, Christ follower, and extreme animal lover.  

Fash Boulevard collides celebrity fashion with everyday style in a Vogue meets Us Weekly fashion. Brought to you from the eyes of a former small town girl and aspiring author. Fash Boulevard dives deeper than just the glossy pictures. 

Since the launch of Fash Boulevard in 2012, I have been blessed with some of the sweetest and most loyal followers a girl could ask for. It's because of all of you that so many fabulous doors have opened for me.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Below are a few answers to my most asked questions. 

Who have you collaborated with? 

I've had the incredible honor of collaborating with Lauren Conrad, Kohls, Paper Crown, H&M, Glamour, Bloomingdales, Vanity Fair, Teen Vogue, Ted Baker, Vogue, Bella Dahl, LuLu's, Mod Cloth, College Lifestyles Magazine, Giuseppe Zanotti, DSW, BCBG, Alexis Bittar, OPI, ShoeMint, JewelMint, Fibi and Clo New York, Melissa Joy Manning, Caroline Cree, Frock Candy, Shoe Dazzle, 31 Bits, and more.

Life before Fash Boulevard?
Oh lordy, where to start. Picture the embarrassing, un-glamorous, awkward flashback scene in every romantic comedy and you'll have a somewhat accurate visual. Growing up in a small southern town on the East Coast, I often found myself feeling restricted. I had a slew of dreams that I thought were too big to ever bother pursuing. Like so many girls, I was bullied terribly in high school for my weight and bad skin. Lunch hour was the worst time of the day. Thank goodness for bathroom stalls. The teasing escalated so bad, that halfway through my junior year I had to began home schooling. It was during that time that I decided I was going to take my life into my own hands and chase every dream I ever wanted. 

When college rolled around, Justin (my then high school sweetheart, now hubby) moved to LA to become a screenwriter, so in order to survive the long distance I was determined to stay as busy as possible. This included losing 70 pounds, nailing my school work, and becoming the graphic design head of a small philanthropic group that designed handbags for World Hunger. The experience was truly life changing and helped me to realize how important it is to find ways to give back through your passion. Discovering a positive way to thrive behind the scenes in the fashion world became my number one goal. So, I decided to turn what seemed like an impossible dream into the adventure of a lifetime. 

Every year BCBG Max Azria headquarters picks two interns from thousands of applicants across the country. It's the opportunity of a lifetime and the scout was coming to Auburn my senior year. After a slew of unfortunate incidents that would have normally been enough to cause me to slug away with my head down low, I found myself chasing down the scout as she was hurrying to catch a flight. I don’t know if it was the nerves or the possibility that this actually might work, but somehow the impromptu meeting went well and two months later I found myself driving across the country to start my dream internship in LA with Max Azria himself. 
After a summer filled with excitement, the real journey began. I landed a job as a visual merchandiser for a multi-branded company where I oversaw 26 Bloomingdale's and Macy's in Southern California. As someone who has always suffered from social anxiety and pesky shyness, the role of boss, over a throng of workers twenty years old than me, was incredibly challenging. After a year of insanity, the job came crashing down unexpectedly when the company decided to let all of their out-of-state girls go just days before Christmas. I suddenly found myself jobless and thousands of miles away from my friends and family. That scene in Clueless, where Cher wanders through Beverly Hills to Celine Dion's "All By Myself," was quickly becoming my reality -- except way less glamorous. Think Ventura Boulevard, with homeless people, and sweatpants. 
Not ready to give up my dream, I decided to launch Fash Boulevard as a way to document my journey from unemployed dreamer to aspiring author. I've always seen Fash Boulevard as a platform to share my story, while illustrating seasonal trends and providing affordable pieces to help replicate popular celebrity ensembles. My goal is to help my readers find their unique style and achieve a wardrobe that will give them the confidence to chase their dreams, no matter how big they are. 

 The biggest message I hope to give girls is that no town is too small for big dreams. Seven years ago I would gaze at the TV watching The Hills imagining what it would be like to live a life I never thought was possible. Now, seven years later, I'm lucky enough to work with Lauren every week. My hope is that girls will look at Fash Boulevard as proof and inspiration that anything is possible, as long as you're willing to put in the work and keep faith and God on your side. 

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? 

I'm super silly and self-deprecating and my dream is to be an SNL cast member -- all though I'd never have the guts to actually commit to it. I was the president of my Chorus class in high school and the Vice President of Best Buddies. I spend my nights dancing and browsing doggy adoption sites, and I'm happiest when planning a future project. I had perfect attendance throughout college and graduated at the top of my class. I only went to two parties throughout college (regrets!), because I was the loser always at the library or home watching TV shows and movies at the same time as my long distance boyfriend, now husband. I'm obsessed with the ladies of "The Real" and Wendy Williams. My favorite TV show is Super Soul Sunday on Own and almost anything on TLC.  

What is the hardest part about blogging?

One of the hardest things about blogging that I think a lot of ladies face, is the perception of blogging. It's a lot more than just iced coffees and strolls on the beach. For a lot of us, it's a real job. I work 12 hours a day, six days a week. This is a business. I have a management team in New York and a small team in LA. When I'm not brainstorming with brands and PR teams, I'm shooting an outfit, editing an article, providing notes on a new fashion-app, or consulting with companies on how they can improve their brands. 

Answering emails is also never fun. I receive an average of 200 emails a day from girls all around the world. I can't help but stress about each one until I’m able to write them back. I know all to well what it’s like to pour your heart into an email and never hear back from a person, so I always try to make sure I write everyone back, even if it’s a month or two later. 

kTo check out all my wedding post, be sure to click here.

Who takes your pictures?

My incredibly supportive husband, Justin. He's the only person I know with dreams bigger than mine and somehow he still finds time to do whatever I ask of him. I’m a very lucky girl! To give you an idea of how creative and amazing he is, just read how he proposed to me here.

What inspires you?

I thrive best in creative chaos, so working a job where the creative landscape is constantly evolving is a major necessity for me. Working in the digital realm is a dream come true for creative minds in search of an outlet. I always try to bring a portfolio of innovative ideas and fun narratives to every company and brand I work with. There's always a unique way to approach an idea and thankfully, out-of-the-box ideas are celebrated and encouraged in the fashion and digital world. 

What's your favorite thing about blogging?

I love discovering smaller brands with a purpose. If it wasn't for the relationships and knowledge that I've learned from working closely with up-and-coming dreamers, I don't know if I'd still be blogging today. I've never been comfortable in front of a camera. My passion has always been behind the scenes. Blogging is so much bigger than fashion to me. Nowadays, there's a bigger meaning to buying a bag or promoting a company. I love working with companies like The Little Market, Sseko Designs, and The Shine Project, who travel the world providing jobs and education to talented artisans who handcraft these amazing pieces. It's all about finding that bigger purpose. That's ultimately what drives me.

Work hard and they will notice.

xo, Anna