When North California native Alicia Lund began her fashion blogging adventure as Cheetah is the New Black six years ago, she could have never imagined the career path it would take her down and the doors that would open as a result. Like many successful style bloggers in her field, Alicia has used her online platform as a launching pad to explore other opportunities in the fashion world. From freelancing for ELLE to landing a coveted job as the online fashion editor in New York City, she’s now back in her Cali hometown, attempting to balance blogging with the opening of her very own boutique, Syllabus. (Disclosure: She worked for our editorial director while at ELLE so we’re just a little biased.) We caught up with Alicia to find out how she manages to juggle it all and what her new role as a blogger turned fashion buyer is really like.
theFashionSpot: How did you make the transition from fashion blogger to fashion buyer?
Alicia Lund: When I moved back to NorCal from New York, I serendipitously connected with an entrepreneur and menswear store owner in my hometown that sweet-talked me into partnering with him on a sister store. I’ve been blogging since 2009, which is hard for even me to believe, but for the most part I’ve always balanced the blog with a full-time nine-to-five job. While in New York I wrote for ELLE, so transitioning from blogging to ELLE.com to buying for a store has sort of felt like I’ve come full circle. It’s all editing, just for a different customer. I never would or could have done it on my own, though!
tFS: Was there a big learning curve or any obstacles you struggled to overcome at first?
AL: Yes, a HUGE learning curve. I was definitely naive when I jumped in. We had an idea of who we thought would be shopping at Syllabus and who was asking for us to create this store, but it of course isn’t exactly what you think. My buys definitely haven’t been perfect. The first buy, I definitely bought for my New York friends and forgot how casual Northern California is. We also really need to get our e-commerce up and running!
tFS: What’s the best part of your job and why (feel free to brag!)?
AL: I love the girls that work for me. We have the best team, and I’ve been really lucky so far! We have a lot of fun, and every day is basically a chance to play dress up. I also really enjoy going to the LA and New York market and seeing the collections in person. This is something I knew I would miss the most when I moved from New York and feel so lucky to have found a new role that gives me the opportunity to travel, discover new brands and to be inspired daily. I still genuinely enjoy creating new content for Cheetah is the New Black as well. I’ve gone through phases with the blog, but enjoy having a place to share my world.
tFS: What’s the biggest misconception people have about your job?
AL: That it’s easy! Yes, being a buyer is fun, but it’s definitely not easy.
tFS: Describe a typical day in your work life.
AL: Every day is different, which is the best part. Routine bores me. I’m not in the store each day, but on the days I am, I check in with my girls, re-merchandise, follow up on any personal orders that have been placed and check in with my reps. I’ll usually have a personal styling client or meeting in the afternoon, and we’ll usually have a team or partner meeting in the evening. I’ll round out the day answering emails and working on Cheetah.
tFS: Who are some of your favorite up-and-coming fashion designers to watch out for and why?
tFS: If you could give aspiring bloggers or buyers one piece of career advice, what would it be?
AL: Edit, edit, edit. And I need to take my own advice!