Where it all began
Oddly enough, I can pinpoint the exact moment when my love for fashion really began to take shape. I was in eighth grade and my parents had just returned from a trip to Europe. My mom brought me back a gift from a store called Office in London. The gift was a pair of leopard flats. The first time I saw them I had no idea when or how I would ever wear them. I was still wearing basketball clothes 24/7 at this point in my life.
Slowly, as the months and years passed, my non-basketball style evolved, and I began pairing these flats with everything! I found that flats, and in particular, leopard flats, were a chic, versatile option for any outfit. They became the foundation for how I would define my style even to this day – chic, classic, feminine. Unfortunately, I wore these flats thin, but I’ve held on to them to this day.
My passion grows
As my love for fashion grew, my go-to resources became Teen Vogue, and then, as blogs started creeping on to the radar, one blog in particular, Cupcakes and Cashmere. During the summer, I stayed up until 3:00 am Eastern Time to read Emily’s newest post as I realized this was the scheduled time they were released each day! My other style icons became Audrey Hepburn and Coco Chanel for to me, they embodied the chic, classic look that I strove to emulate. Being drawn to the classics, it’s no surprise that one of my favorite stores became J. Crew. The day I turned 18 I went to my local J. Crew to apply for a sales associate position and worked here for 2 years during my winter and summer breaks from college.
Interning at Harper’s Bazaar
As my obsession with fashion grew so did my love for fashion magazines. I made it a goal to one day work for a fashion magazine and as soon as I started college, I began looking into how I could make this a reality. Through my research, I found that Hearst Corporation, home to Harper’s Bazaar, had a college internship opportunity that they offered in the fall, spring, and summer. During my freshman year I applied for the summer internship. To my surprise, I got a phone interview, however, never moved further in the process than this. This did not stop me, however, from applying every year thereafter.
Summer before my senior year, I decided to apply for the fall internship opportunity. I was ahead in my credits and could take the fall semester off and still graduate on time. While on a beach trip, two weeks before senior year began, I interviewed for and was offered the internship. I moved to NYC for the semester and worked at Harper’s Bazaar as a marketing and advertising intern. Harper’s Bazaar was an unbelievable experience and I learned a lot about fashion and about advertising, however, I quickly realized two things: (1) I could not and did not want to live and work in NYC, and (2) I loved fashion but did not want to get caught up in trying to make a career of it — if I was going to do something with fashion, I wanted to do something on my own.
Being inspired by #GirlBoss
In the fall of 2014, I read the book #GirlBoss. For those of you who are not familiar with the book, it’s about how Sophia Amoruso started the highly successful online retailer, Nasty Gal. Sophia speaks candidly about how she grew her $100 million dollar plus online fashion retailer out of a vintage shop on eBay. In it she encourages all of her readers and fans to pursue their dreams and be their own #GirlBoss. One quote in her book really pushed me to start thinking about pursuing my dream of blogging: “The energy you’ll expend focusing on someone else’s life is better spent working on your own. Just be your own idol.” After reading this quote I thought about how many hours I had spent pouring over other girl’s fashion blogs, wishing I had my own, and Sophia was right — I spent so much time and energy looking up to all these other girls when instead I could be spending that time pursuing my own dream. Don’t get me wrong, I still love reading all my favorite fashion blogs and the women behind these blogs are so inspiring. However, I decided to spend more of my energy becoming my own idol, and thus, Midtown Magnolia was born.
Starting Midtown Magnolia
While I had wanted to start a blog for a while, my perfectionism and fears got in the way. As I said, I had been following a lot of well-developed fashion blogs, and I knew mine was not going to measure up. I wanted mine to be perfect from the start – a well designed website, great images, the best shoot locations, etc. Getting over this perfectionist mindset was a challenge for me. I had to remind myself that all the blogs I loved had started from nothing just as I was going to have to. Of course, the other thing holding me back was fear. I knew if I was going to start a fashion blog I would really have to put myself out there – I mean I would be modeling and posting pictures of myself in order to create my content. What if I looked ridiculous? Or if no one read my blog? What if…What if… But then I thought what if it makes me happy? What if I do inspire just one person whether in regards to fashion or in pursuing something they really enjoy? What if I never try? And these ‘what if’s’ outweighed the negative thoughts in my head. Every.single.day I thought about starting a blog, and I believe if you think about something that much, if you’re that passionate about something, you shouldn’t hold it back, you should share it. So, here I am sharing it on my fashion blog, Midtown Magnolia!