Forget the iPhone, or livestreams — these last few seasons, it’s the blogger that has shaken up the fashion industry more than anything else. Accessibility is ousting exclusivity as fashion becomes more democratic with each tweet, comment, and post. Being a blogger has never been more unpredictable or exciting than it is now.
Case in point? Our newest employee, Erin Hagström (you may know her as Calivintage).
I first met Erin in August, at a coffee shop in the Mission. The ModCloth Blog was looking for new blog writers, and she popped up on our list of candidates. Like all online-to-RL encounters, our meeting started off friendly but awkward. We ordered coffee. Talked about the weather. Then, we started talking blogs, and whomph. Suddenly, we were immersed in discussions about the rise of the fashion blog, company-blogger relations, and our shared backgrounds — hers, my own, and ModCloth’s — of having entered the fashion industry as “outsiders.”
I was impressed by her enthusiasm and ideas, she was excited to explore a new direction in her blogging career, and we were both jittery just thinking about our shared vision for what a fashion company blog could be. We were each other’s perfect fit.
So, say hello to Erin, as she starts her first day on the blog! You’ll see her writing about her latest outfit obsessions, wielding her ex-pastry chef skills in our cooking section, and chatting with all of you in the comments!
And for those of you with more questions about how Erin got to ModCloth, just keep on reading. We sat down with Erin to ask her just how she went from just another site in the blogosphere, to, well, this!
We started at the beginning…
Since this all started with Calivintage, let’s talk about that. When and why did you start blogging?
December of 2008! I was a part-time business student, part-time teacher, and part-time vintage seller. I started Calivintage as a way to catalog things I was interested in. I started sharing my outfit pictures with other girls on social networking sites as a way to remember looks I’d styled and to get feedback, and had a lot of fun doing it. After a few months, I decided I would take the plunge and start posting the outfits on my blog.
What propelled you to take the leap into full-time blogging?
That summer, my modest traffic begin to flourish. Inspired and motivated by my readers and blog friends, I began to accept sponsorships at the end of Calivintage’s first year. It was an uphill battle, but within a few months my blog became my main source of income and I was able to blog full-time.
When did ModCloth come into the picture?
During New York Fashion Week in February, I met Susan and some of the other lovely ladies behind ModCloth. Soon after, I got an e-mail from ModCloth saying they were interested in sponsoring my blog. Over the next several months, I cultivated a strong relationship with ModCloth and became increasingly interested in the goings-on of the company. I visited daily to “heart” my favorite items, vote on Be the Buyer items, and read the blog.
Over the summer, I was invited to a ModCloth party where I discovered that they had opened a new office right here in San Francisco! That same night, I jokingly told my boyfriend that I wanted to work for ModCloth. We both laughed, and I didn’t really think about it again until I got a call from ModCloth, asking me if I was interested in contributing to the blog. We had a lot of talks, and, well, here I am!
You’ve said that this is your dream job.
Turning my hobby into a full-time job has been a dream come true. That a regular girl with an obsession for vintage and style could carve out a place for herself in the fashion industry and actually influence positive change is just amazing. I’m really excited about the impact that “outsiders” are having on the democratization of fashion and I’m happy to be a part of that process.
How has your daily life changed, now that you’re blogging full time for two blogs?
To be honest, it hasn’t changed a lot. I still spend more hours than I should perched in front of the computer, poring over hundreds of blogs, street style sites, and lookbooks. And even though my workload has probably tripled, I now have an exciting new outlet for all that creative energy I have when it comes to fashion, styling, photography, design, and everything else that I love so much.
What advice would you give other bloggers hoping to go full-time, either independently, or with a larger organization?
Oh boy, this is where all the cheesy clichés come in! I honestly think that first and foremost, you should have a serious passion for what you’re creating because blogging will become your life. Then, of course, you’ll need to be prepared to work — a lot. Be consistent, be professional, and value your work!
Welcome to ModCloth, Erin! If you have any questions for Erin, or just want to say hi, just drop her a comment and she’ll reply to you directly!