You worked for Gen Art and Michigan Avenue Magazine before moving to L.A. for a few years. What made you leave Chicago?
I knew that I had to leave Chicago because at the time there was nothing left for me. It was November of 2008 when everything crashed so I couldn’t start a new business. Financially it didn’t make sense. I was hired by a company called Billion Dollar Babes in L.A. to launch it from offline designer events to online events. It was a struggle but it was fun and it was creative. I had my first social media awakening there. Social media is a lot like event production which is what I used to do. You have to come up with really exciting elements of a program that keep people engaged and wanting to talk about it and wanting to come to an event. You have to be unique and that’s what I was always challenged to do.
Coming from the world of fashion and marketing how did you make the transition to blogging?
Right before I left Chicago I had a major emergency surgery where they found out I have endometriosis. I got to L.A. and it was like the flood gates were already open. I worked for 10 months and then I had to go on disability. I’ve been a workaholic since the day I started working so it was really hard for me. I ended up not working for three years which sounds so weird now because it’s hard to believe it had been that long. I had three more surgeries in L.A. and I kept having to recover so I started blogging because I was bored. My first blog was about being sick. I’m someone who doesn’t have a filter, I wasn’t born with one so it was kind of disgusting. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t!
Is there meaning behind the name of your blog “Idols and Egos”?
It’s from my experience working in an industry that is full of egos and idols. People who you look up to, people striving to be something or people who are a pain in the ass. I was writing about my perspective of fashion and pop culture in a funny way so that just made sense. And then it also sounded really cool.
Did you go into blogging with the mindset of turning it into a business?
I definitely think of everything as a business but I wasn’t in a state to make anything a business at that time so to me it was just an outlet. It was a way to start learning something else. This was when social media was hitting and then when I started tweeting people just started following me.
What is the key to growing a twitter following?
You have to be yourself or I wouldn’t do it. I found myself starting to edit myself a little bit and I’m like, “Wait, what am I doing?” I never used to think before I hit send and that’s my personality, I just don’t really edit myself. When I started to compartmentalize it I was boring as hell. Everybody can talk to somebody who’s editing themselves. You are either gonna do it and be yourself or you’re not.
You are now healthy, living back in Chicago and recently founded the Chicago Blogger Network.
The best thing that ever happened to me was getting sick because it put everything in my life into perspective. It shows you who is really there for you when you’re sick and made me think about what would I do if I never had the chance to have a kid. It just made me check myself and it put my ego in check. I stopped being self-important. I had never even knew I was though, that is why I’m saying it was such a gift to get sick because now it’s about my husband and me and that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
You were a guest judge on “Project Runway” for four seasons. Do you have a favorite Chicago fashion designer?
I love Lara Miller. She was one of the fresh faces for the first fashion show I ever did. She’s probably one of the most successful Chicago designers. She is really creative. She knits and everything she makes can be worn in a thousand different ways. I just like it because it’s artistic.
If you could have a drink with anyone, who would it be?
I saw that you asked everybody that. I’ve been trying to think about it but I also always thought about that on my own. The first thing that comes to my mind is my husband because we both work really hard. He’s in creative advertising and lately he’s working way more hours than he ever has. So now I’m kind of getting a taste of my own medicine and it blows!
Photography by Natalie Probst
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