Liz Schneider of Sequins & Stripes is a rising star in the world of fashion blogging. In the last couple of months alone, she starred in a campaign for The Loft centered around her hometown (Chicago!), flew to California to be part of a photo shoot with Nordstrom Rack, and hosted Madewell’s anniversary party.
Though she’s become well-known as a blogger, Liz originally set out to be (and still is), a personal stylist, and saw blogging as a way to find potential clients. But, when she began to attract thousands of readers to S&S, she started treating her blog as a business, too, and now splits her time between both her ventures.
Here, we talk to Liz about the day-to-day life of a fashion blogger, how she built her brand, her upcoming wedding and more.
YOU’RE THE ULTIMATE EXAMPLE OF TURNING A BLOG INTO A CAREER. WAS THAT YOUR INTENTION WHEN YOU STARTED S&S?
When I started S&S I had no idea that blogging could be a business, I just wanted a place to document my personal style, favorite fashion trends, and a source of inspiration that felt separate from my typical day to day.
IN THE BEGINNING, WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART ABOUT GETTING YOUR BLOG OFF THE GROUND? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME IT?
I was lucky because Sequins & Stripes wasn’t my first adventure in blogging, it was actually my third! But I wasn’t focused on necessarily “getting it off the ground,” I just did it for me. Now two and a half years later I sincerely believe that these ideals are what make blogs successful, you always have to remember day one.
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THE BLOG MIGHT HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO TURN INTO A VIABLE BUSINESS?
Once brands started reaching out to me and wanting to partner with Sequins & Stripes – that was when I started looking at S&S as a brand, rather than just a blog.
WHY DO YOU THINK PEOPLE RESPOND SO WELL TO S&S?
I think my style is for the most part very approachable and real. I am not trying to be anyone other than myself and I hope that my blog reflects that I am just a 27 year old, small business owner, trying to navigate my way through life one day at a time. Not everyday is perfect, but my blog showcases happy moments that hopefully make someone else’s day happy, too.
WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO QUIT YOUR DAY JOB AND FOCUS ON YOUR BLOG FULL-TIME?
I have actually never technically been blogging full-time. When I left my job in the corporate world, I was doing personal styling for women in the Chicago area on the side. However, over the past few years I have been focusing on more brand collaborations with my blog which has slowly made me transition to fewer clients and more projects for Sequins & Stripes!
WHAT’S A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A FULL-TIME BLOGGER LIKE?
I wake up early, grab a cup of coffee, check emails and share my daily blog post across my social media channels. From there I typically head to the gym, come home to shower and head to my office between 9 and 10am. I am typically at my desk for 6 hours working on accounting, editing photos, working on my editorial calendar, preparing posts for the week, responding to more emails, etc. and I head home in the late afternoon to continue my work from the couch, followed by dinner and a couple of lazy hours with my fiance and my dog. Not all days are the same – sometimes I have a client in the suburbs, or a meeting with a brand downtown, or a lunch meeting, or right now a meeting for my wedding – so on days when I’m out of the office I make sure they are pretty packed with meetings so I can secure a few quiet days at my desk.
WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF THE BIGGEST “PINCH-ME” MOMENTS DURING YOUR TIME BLOGGING?
I would say any press is good press so getting noticed by a brand or publication that I respect is always exciting! Teaming with brands that I have admired for years, or getting to travel for work – honestly just realizing that a career I once thought was a distant dream is my reality. It’s a constant pinch me moment!
YOUR OUTFIT POSTS MAKE IT SEEMS LIKE YOU HAVE AN INFINITE WELL OF STYLE INSPIRATION. WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?
Really? Thank you! Honestly, it just comes from what makes me feel comfortable and confident in that moment. Style should be fun and I don’t ever want to leave the house feeling bored with the way I look!
WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED NOT AS A BLOGGER, BUT AS A BUSINESS OWNER? Organization. I always thought I was organized but owning your own business really makes you open your eyes to the constant clutter.
SPEAKING OF INSPIRATION, YOU POST TO S&S ALMOST EVERY DAY. HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT?
I have a little note on my phone filled with post ideas that randomly pop into my head. I am constantly inspired by something I see on Pinterest, or on the streets of Chicago, or a new season or by a new item at my favorite store. I try to do two outfit posts a week, I have an ongoing “Best of the Web” series documenting my favorite items of the week, and the rest of just random! I like to keep my readers on their toes.
YOU SHARE A GOOD DEAL OF YOUR LIFE ON YOUR BLOG: IS IT EVER TOUGH TO DECIDE WHAT TO SHARE AND WHAT TO KEEP TO YOURSELF?
Not really. I think I keep majority of the important stuff to myself. Obviously my life is not always happy, but I like to keep Sequins & Stripes as much of a bright spot as possible.
YOU’RE ENGAGED! CONGRATS. HOW IS THE PLANNING GOING?
It’s great! We are less than six months away which is CRAZY. I am keeping all of the details secret until after the wedding so you’ll have to wait and see!
WHAT’S YOU KEY TO JUGGLING YOUR WORK AND YOUR PERSONAL LIFE?
I am constantly struggling with this but I think putting the phone down and getting outside for some fresh air, seeing the world with my own eyes instead of looking at it through my camera, and just being in the moment is what helps me the most. Life is too short to be in a hurry to live it!
WHAT’S THE BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
Trust your instincts. Don’t be afraid to say no. Be true to yourself.