Location: Boston, MA
Career: Photo Stylist, Joss & Main
Molly: Hi Laura, I'm a huge fan of your fashion blog. I'm dying to know more about the woman behind LoSoFancy. Tell me about yourself.
Laura: I’m a first generation Cambodian-American born and raised in Rhode Island. My parents came to America in 1981 with nothing but the clothes on their backs. I spent my undergrad years at U Maryland College Park because I wanted to experience something outside of the tiny state of Rhode Island. Currently, I live in Boston and work at Joss & Main as a photo stylist.
M: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
L: Funny enough, I wanted to be a dentist. I never knew how many people dislike going to the dentist! I’m one of the few that loves it.
M: What did you study in college?
L: I majored in Kinesiology and had plans to apply to nursing school after graduating. Both my Mom and sister are Registered Nurses, and they're two of the best nurses I know.
M: So if you majored in Kinesiology, how did you end up on the path you are now?
L: Well 6 months after graduation I moved in with my brother in Boston while applying to nursing schools in the area. I remember it was Halloween night and my applications were due at midnight on November 1st. I submitted my first application and as soon as I did it hit me that nursing wasn’t right for me. I immediately said to my brother, “I don’t want to go to nursing school”. My parents always wanted my brother to be a doctor, but he set his own path of success as a software engineer and business owner. He asked me, “What are you passionate about?” and I thought back to college when I would procrastinate from studying for exams or final papers by browsing through fashion blogs and online magazines. It’s like that quote “The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life”. I was nervous about the idea of starting from scratch; I thought I wouldn’t be respected for changing my mind after 4 years of studying to do something completely different, but my brother said, “People will respect you for your courage to take a risk.”
M: So that’s when you had the idea to start your blog, LoSo Fancy?
L: I started it to have a digital portfolio for my resume. I wanted a way to make a name for myself and get my foot in the door in the fashion industry. I love that fashion is constantly evolving. It never gets boring and no matter your profession, you always have an eye on what’s new in fashion. My blog has helped me make so many great connections and friendships, it actually led me to my current job at Joss & Main!
M: How did that happen, what has your career path been like?
L: After I decided I didn’t want to go to nursing school, I got a job at J.Crew working as a personal stylist. It was my first step towards my goals. I launched my blog about a year after changing career paths and a month after the launch, I entered a blogging contest for Simon Malls Style Setter. I was one of the 3 finalists along with bloggers Jean of Extra Petite, and Kaitlin Madden of Lux & Concord. I ended up meeting Kaitlin from Lux & Concord at a blogger network event a few days before the contest was over. We talked a lot about our interests in the industry, our passions, our blogs, and our goals. A few weeks later she emailed me to let me know that she received an opportunity at Joss & Main, but unfortunately she couldn’t fit it into her busy schedule so she referred me for the position thinking I’d be a good fit. I interviewed and accepted the offer a few days later. I couldn’t thank her enough, but I started by sending a box of chocolate covered strawberries to her house.
M: Describe your day job.
L: I am a photo stylist for Joss & Main, a flash sales home décor website. I style the photo shoots for the website. It's a very deadline driven job, but I love the fast paced aspect of it. I get to be on my feet all day, which I don't mind because it gets my creative juices flowing. It’s great because I get to style things to look beautiful, learn a lot about photography, and I get to be creative. But ultimately, fashion is my calling.
M: When did you start getting interested in fashion?
L: My whole life I went to private school, so I was always wearing a uniform. I feel like I never got to channel my inner stylist. After college when I started working at J. Crew I started understanding my style and how clothes should actually fit, that’s when I really began to appreciate fashion. It’s where I started to see my potential in terms of being a stylist.
M: Biggest fashion regret?
L: I regret wearing very tight, short dresses in college because in no way is that classic or timeless. Since then, I’ve learned to dress more for myself than for others.
M: If money were no object, what would be your next ‘must have’ purchase?
L: I’ve been coveting these beautiful Ted Baker pastel floral heels in their recent collection. I’m obsessed with them. Beautiful quality handbags are also one of the only fashionable things I would really justify splurging money for, my most wanted piece is a Celine trapeze handbag. I’d love a pair of Valentino Rock Stud Pumps in blush pink, of course. The list can go on. Oh! I also want a Cartier Love bangle.
M: What’s your advice for bloggers just starting out?
L: Figure out what it is that you want your brand to be, but stay true to yourself and your style. Is it something you will stand by in 5 years? Make sure it is cohesive. Have valuable things to say. Network. Ask questions. Be thankful and follow other bloggers back. Reciprocate the support, that’s what it’s all about, women supporting other women. Doing this contributes to every woman’s success. Most importantly, have fun. Your blog is your creative space; it’s an extension of yourself.
Want to see more of Laura? Visit her blog at LoSoFancy.com