How I Got My Job: New York-based fashion and lifestyle blogger Erika Fox
In a running series on Independent.ie Style, we speak to Irish women who inspire us and find out how they got the job they're in today, what trials and tribulations they faced on their career path and what advice they have to give to working women in today's world.
Next in our series, we speak to Kerry native Erika Fox, the face behind fashion and lifestyle website Retro Flame. Now living in New York, Erika has over 100k followers across her social media accounts and has worked international brands including Michael Kors, Jo Malone and Google Maps.
Did you always want to work in fashion and social media?
I've always had a huge interest in both fashion and social media. I'm very business-minded and love everything to do with social media, so being able to run my own fashion amd lifestyle brand online is a dream come true. I've always wanted to work for myself so being able to go full-time with Retro Flame here in New York last March was one of my proudest moments to date.
Growing up, what did you want to be?
Growing up, I actually wanted to be a teacher. It was only as I got older I came to love the idea of working in the Fashion Industry. I loved fashion and dressing up and my favourite subject at school was business so I knew I wanted to figure out a way to do a mix of the two.
How did you find yourself on this career path?
It was when I was in college studying Commerce that I decided to take a year out after first year to do a one-year Fashion Business course. It was in this course that I learned about blogs and it put the idea in my head to start my own. I ended up going back to finish Commerce after my year out but continued to build Retro Flame on the side.
I spent my summers interning in NYC and moved back here full time in 2014. I worked as a social media manager full-time for a big fashion brand for the first year and was finally able to secure a visa last March to work on Retro Flame full-time. It's been quite the journey but everything has worked out in the end and I couldn't be happier now! I always say: "Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do." I live by that!
Did you face any challenges along your way to this career?
I definitely faced some challenges. I guess when I started five years ago, blogging wasn't a hugely popular thing in Ireland so I am sure people thought I was a bit crazy and didn't understand it fully, but it was a challenge that has taught me so much and I'm so glad I started when I did.
Are you a believer in having a five year plan?
To be honest, no. I really think you never know what's around the corner (especially here in NYC) so I think yes, you have to be focused but you also have to take things as they come. That's half the fun of it!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in fashion/social media?
I would advise them to get as much experience as possible. It was the internships that I did along the way that shaped me and still to this day I practice things I learned from them. Also social media is constantly changing so you have to open to that and always be a step ahead.
What women inspire you?
My mom has always been my biggest inspiration - she's the hardest working person I know. I'm also always inspired by my friends! You truly do need to surround yourself with positive and inspiring people and I'm really lucky to have that.
What’s a typical day like?
Being honest, it's definitely not as glamorous as you might think. I usually start off with admin and spend the rest of the day creating content or at meetings. There is always something to be doing so you can never really switch off, but I wouldn't change it for the world!
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Being able to start working on Retro Flame full-time here in the US.
What skills/traits do you think are necessary for your job?
I think you need to be very self-motivated, hard-working and organized. When you work for yourself, especially in an unpredictable industry like blogging, you need to constantly be looking forward to your next move and always thinking about how you can do more.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I would still love to be in New York and perhaps have a few more brands under my belt.
Follow Erika on Instagram @retroflame and visit retro-flame.com.
Independent Style Instagram: @independentstyle
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