{ #WCW } Skylar Allen talks Blogging, Social Media, & how she made it her career!

Y’all, I am straight stoked for this interview.

Seriously, it is JAM PACKED with so much good information for any blogger of any skill.

So Skylar Allen runs the blog Styled by Skylar – you have to check her out. She has a crystal clear aesthetic (SO IMPORTANT, REMEMBER), a minimalistic style that she stays true to, & honestly, just a rad chick all around.

We actually met on Instagram, and immediately, I was hooked. I loved her personality, her voice (again SO IMPORTANT), her aesthetic (think cool blue tones) & her love for San Francisco.

From there, I became a regular reader of her blog then we became Facebook friends — ooh getting official, I know. Well, Facebook friends soon turned into real life friends.

A couple of weeks ago, we met for coffee, and sitting with her was like sitting with someone I knew for years. We exchanged blogging stories, social media + blog advice, and our goals.

Hopefully this isn’t an insult to her, but I found we are both very similar. We also have a clear mindset on what we want (& we want something similar, yet different), we see the bigger picture, and know what bricks we have to build now to get there piece by piece.

One of the absolute coolest parts of Skylar’s journey is that her blog is what got her her job in social media in San Francisco (from Philadelphia). She was the only out of state candidate because of her rocking blog.

I think there was a weird time when people were scared of their online presence vs business presence. These days, it’s becoming more & more merged. I’ve said it before & I will say it again, but in certain fields these days, I think the resume is on the way out & accomplishments are in — maybe I’ll do an in-depth post on this. I’m not sure if I ever mentioned it here but my blog also helped me with my FTJ, as well. It showed I was capable online, had passions outside of my FTJ, and the insatiable desire to learn / improve.

I left our coffee date – which lasted for hours btw – completely invigorated and 2017 is the year of the business plan. Anyways, enough about me, let’s meet Skylar and share all of her secrets!!!

 Hi Skylar!! So happy to have you here – Introduce yourself: 

Hi babes! I’m Skylar and I’m a full-time social media coordinator at stasher & modern-twist studio and part-time life & style blogger based in San Francisco. I’m originally from Philadelphia, am the third of eight kids and I have a B.A. in Communication from Rutgers University.

Tell me about your blog, Styled by Skylar!

I had thought about starting a blog for awhile but didn’t take the plunge until I began looking for a more creative job. I needed a way to show prospective employers that I knew what I was talking about when it came to fashion and lifestyle branding, and how to publish different kinds of content on a variety of digital platforms. So I created Styled By Skylar to provide a much-needed creative outlet while creating a sort-of digital portfolio for writing, styling, social media management, recipe creation and so much more.

Okay, let’s talk your FTJ because this is super interesting… tell me about your social media role at Stasher & how that came to be:

I manage all of the social and digital content for stasher + modern-twist studio, Bay Area-based eco-friendly home & lifestyle brands. At both companies, we make silicone products for at-home and on-the-go and are working to help consumers rethink the plastic in their lives.

Stasher is the first, and only, air-tight, self-sealing, entirely plastic-free storage bag in the world. It’s microwave, freezer, and dishwasher safe and is can be used 3,000+ times so it saves you money while saving the planet. It’s a total game-changer! Modern-twist studio designs sustainable and reusable, hand silk-screened tabletop & baby & kids products, such as placemats, kids coloring mats, and bucket-bibs.

In my role, I create all of content for various digital platforms like Instagram, Facebook and our blog, handle community relations, secure press pieces, and manage our influencer relations. Every day is different, provides me with new challenges and ways to get creative and I absolutely love it.

Before I moved to San Francisco, I was working in the office of communications at the University of Virginia. I wasn’t feeling fulfilled in that position and knew it wasn’t the right place for me. I wasn’t happy, wasn’t proud of the work I was doing and it was wreaking havoc on my mental and physical health. So after sticking it out for a year, I quit and moved back to my parents house.

While home for the summer, I took some time off to just regroup, relax, figure out exactly what I wanted my next move to be, and of course, apply to jobs. I found the position at stasher on Indeed and within two weeks of applying, had a phone interview, flew out to SF to interview and meet with the team, and accepted the job!

Two weeks after that I moved across the country and the rest is history. stasher’s founder and CEO – and now my boss – said that my application stood out from the rest (and that I was the only out-of-state candidate they were considering) because she could see through my blog and Instagram that I had the skill, style, and aesthetic that they were looking for.

So… in a way, you could say I have my blog to thank for helping me land my dream job.

Tell me about balancing a full time job / company and managing a blog full time. I know the struggle. What are your tips?

I’m still figuring it out!

Social media is a 24/7 job so sometimes it feels like I’m always ‘working’ but I do my best to leave work at work. From 9-5, Monday through Friday, I’m focused on my full-time gig. Outside of that time is when I can focus on my blog and creating content, having photoshoots, etc. Luckily, I love what I do so even though I’m ‘working’ in my free time, it never truly feels that way.

My biggest tip would be to find a schedule that’s attainable and that works for you. For me, that means waking up extra early to get a workout in before I go to the office so that at the end of the day I can edit photos, write blog posts, and attend events if necessary, without having to give anything up.

What are your short-term and long-term goals?

My ultimate goal is to own my own brand, though I’m not entirely sure what that may be. Chances are it will either be a lifestyle brand or a creative agency, or some awesome hybrid of the two.

In the short-term, I have goals like not hitting the snooze button 10 times each morning, or stop spending so much on Uber!

Favourite books?

I don’t know they I have just one favorite, because there are a lot of books that I love for different reasons, or I’ve just forgotten ones that I’ve read. If I had to pick one that really stands out, it’s “If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You” by Kelly Cutrone. This book is was really catapulted my desire to work in public relations and helped lead me on my career path.

Some recent favorites I’ve read are The Knockoff (everyone working in digital media should read this), Eligible and I’m currently reading Sweetbitter.

Biggest Beauty & Style Secret? Spill!

Dry shampoo! I was my hair only about once a week thanks to the life-saver that is dry shampoo. I have really curly, frizzy hair, that unless I fully straighten, is pretty unmanageable. So dry shampoo helps cut down on both styling time and the amount of heat my hair is exposed to, while keeping my hair looking fresh day after day. I’ve tried several brands, but this one by TRESemmé is by far the best.

Always check the men’s section! Some of my favorite clothes are actually for men, like t-shirts, sweaters and bomber jackets. I like the laid-back fit and the minimal, simple styles of men’s clothing, and I always find great deals! {<<< love this}

You’ve done an awesome job in creating what I call an “instaesthetic” – can you walk me through your thought process as you curate your visual brand?

The key is to do just that — curate. And consistent editing.

I use the same filter on every photo, and make sure that there’s a balance between colors, backgrounds, photo style, and the amount of whitespace a photo has. And I also know that certain colors work best for my feed, whereas others don’t work at all.

It may be a bit obsessive, but it helps me stand out from the rest. I’d also be lying if I said it hasn’t influenced my purchasing habits but I think that it’s actually helped me further develop and nail done my person style, which I love! {<<< absolutely love this, btw}

Speaking of Instagram, what are your favourite photo-editting apps?

I use VSCO to add a filter to all of my photos and to help plan out my grid.

I’m also a huge fan of Snapseed. It’s like a simpler version of photoshop built for your phone. It’s perfect for patching up spots, editing select parts of a photo, and so much more. My favorite thing to use it for is to blur backgrounds to do things like make a circular marble table fill a rectangular frame. Just download it and you’ll see.

Who or what inspires you or where do you find inspiration?

I’m a very curious person so I’m constantly inspired by different people, cultures, places, careers, etc. and that motivates me in my everyday life and work. And a lot of the times that inspiration comes from simple things like scrolling through Instagram, browsing retail stores, or watching TV.

I recently re-watched all of Gossip Girl – no shame! – and pulled so much inspiration from the outfits alone (totally trying to bring back headbands)! {<<< a girl after my own heart!}

What are some of the challenges in blogging and how you handle them?

The biggest challenge for me, besides feeling like there’s never enough time, is comparing myself to others. There’s always going to be someone with more followers, who got invited to an event that you didn’t, who scored an awesome sponsorship, etc. SO when that self-doubt strikes I do my best to do a reality check and remind myself how much I’ve accomplished since launching my blog.

Looking back, if you could do anything differently in building your brand, what would it be?

Starting sooner! {<<< #same}

For anyone wanting to get into blogging, what is your biggest tip?

Do your research. There are a lot of technical things involved in blogging and a lot of things that are just better to know beforehand or it can be too complicated to fix.

Have a plan, know your niche, figure out what kinds of content you want to publish, and learn as much as you can about the platforms you’re publishing on. Lucky for us, the internet is full of blogging & social media resources.

Currently, what is your favourite social media outlet & why? Any social media advice?

Call it basic, but my favorite social media outlet is Instagram.

From a brand perspective, it holds the most power in terms of converting your audience into actual customers, while also providing you with all of the tools you need to create a relationship and interact with your consumers, showcase your product line, and ultimately, build a digital brand.

At stasher, Instagram is our biggest driver of social traffic, second overall behind google search. Personally, Instagram is the perfect all-in-one app.

I’ve spent time building up a presence on other social platforms in hopes of increasing traffic to my blog but nothing works as well as Instagram. Plus, Instagram has taken the best parts of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr,  and Pinterest and put it all in one place. So if I had to pick just one Instagram wins by a mile.

+++ Advice: Whether your social media accounts are tied to a blog or business, or are just personal accounts, what you’re posting directly reflects your personal brand. There’s no longer a clear distinction between having a personal Instagram, and an Instagram for your blog, because at the end of the day, it’s all you and your brand, whatever that may be.

What is next for Styled by Skylar?

The blog turns 1 in just a few months and this first year has really just been one giant learning experience. I wish I could say I have crazy plans for year two but there’s been so much going on in my life that I’m just starting to fully grasp everything, and fully embrace being a “blogger.” I’m just really happy to continue doing what I love!

Who are some of your favourite bloggers / instagrammers to follow?

Some of my all-time faves are:

– Danielle Bernstein of We Wore What ( blog || insta )
– Jeannette Ogden of Shut The Kale Up ( blog || insta )
– Dana Shultz of Minimalist Baker ( blog || insta )
– Monique of Ambitious Kitchen ( blog || insta )
– Blaire Eadie of Atlantic Pacific ( blog || insta )
– Mary Seng of Happily Grey ( blog || insta )
– Michelle Conley Cherry ( insta )

How do you see social media and blogs evolving and how do you plan to evolve with it?

Honestly, if I think about this question too long, I start to have an anxiety attack.

The truth is, I wouldn’t have a job without social media (though thankfully I have an arsenal of PR and marketing skills to help me land on my feet if need be) and yes, it could all be gone tomorrow. But there are key components to it all that will always be important no matter what, like authenticity, trust, great visuals and personality.

You might really love Periscope or Meerkat, but those are ghosts of platforms past. There will always be a new platform or algorithm, but I always maintain my personal brand and stay true to who I am. I used to love Snapchat, but Instagram Stories gives me so much more, and things that I never knew I needed.

With each new addition to the social media game, I do my research, learn what’s new and how best to use it, and if it works for my end-goals, great!

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

“Take a deep breath, say a prayer or two, and remember that everything happens for a reason.” Given to me by my incredible mother, pretty much on a regular basis, but it’s so true and to me speaks volumes.

Finally, advice for others who are looking to follow their dreams, but not sure how?

No one’s going to believe in you more than yourself. So just start, learn, surround yourself with a good support system, do your research, and work like hell to do whatever it is you want to do.

Okay, you know I have to – Favourite song? 🙂

This is such a hard question because it changes every week, and depending on the mood, but I have a playlist of all of my current favorites!

Follow Skylar:
Blog || Instagram || Facebook

  • Comments ( 21 )

  • tayloraube

    She definitely is a rad chick! I love interview sessions like this because I get to know a new person’s outlooks and get some AWESOMe advice. Thanks so much for sharing Skylar’s story!
    http://stopdropandvogue.com

    • RIGHT?! She seriously has it down. I am so glad you love them, these are my favourite series! I need to bring YOU on very soon and share your secrets 😉 lmk if you’re down! x

  • Kellie

    Great interview!!! 💕💕💕

  • Amber Marie Werner

    I loved her tips! What an awesome interview. I need to download VSCO. I’ve heard so many great things about it.
    Xoxo Amber

  • Jessica

    She is totally killing it! It totally understand how hard it is to balance a full time job with blogging. It can be TOUGH!
    xo Jessica
    http://www.whatsfordinneresq.com

    • RIGHT?! It is tough but def worth it!! Do you have any tips to balancing it?? xx

  • Vanessa Moore

    This interview is so inspiring! Needed this!

    Vanessa | http://www.vanessarenae.com

  • Loved reading this! So many great tips and an overall good read. Thanks for sharing!

    Liz
    http://Www.lizzieinlace.com

    • RIGHT?! I can’t wait to start applying them. Let me know if you have any social media advice, I need all the help I can get 😉 x

      • Of course! A lot of people have asked about my Instagram so I’m planning on putting together a post soon 🙂 Happy New Year!

        • Awesome! Link me the post for sure, I already can’t wait to read! xx

  • Awesome interview I wish I was better at keeping my IG feed the same feel and color but it’s so hard for me I’m a bit of an all over kinda girl so I guess that shows in my feed haha! I loved this story social media is everythang!

    • Thanks C! I LOVE your instagram! I def get the vibes you’re going for and your voice on it is as strong as you (which is pretty damn strong!) – I feel you, IG can be a challenge, but the copy edits feature on VSCO saves my ass every time! 😉

  • debbie_savage

    What a great post! So much juicy information! Thank you so much – incredible interview.
    xo Debbie | http://www.tothineownstylebetrue.com

  • Amanda Maxwell

    Such an amazing post! Totally inspirational. I loved reading this!

  • This is an awesome interview, Shannon. Skylar really sounds like an awesome and ambitious woman!

    • Thanks babe! She seriously has a lot figured out – I need to take notes from here! Happy 2017 x

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