Hi ladies, it’s Anna here from Fash Boulevard with another edition of my interview series, Ladies Who Laptop. Today’s spotlight was a pioneer in the realm of lifestyle websites and has evolved her uber-successful site, Glitter Guide, from a prominent digital space into a full-fledged lifestyle brand. Today, she opens up about how she stays motivated while working from home, how being laid off from her finance job was a blessing in disguise, and why adaptability is everything. Let’s dive in…
Let’s go back to the very beginning. What were you doing before you decided to start Glitter Guide?
Before Glitter Guide, I was juggling working as a financial services industry recruiter while creating content for my old personal blog, Sterling Style. I did that for about 3 years when I came up with the idea for Glitter Guide. I knew pretty early on that I wanted to make blogging my full-time gig, but I wasn’t sure my personal blog was going to be my dream. I wanted a site that felt like a magazine that was fun, easy content you could read daily. Something uplifting and colorful and meant to be really inspiring for the readers. That’s how I came up with Glitter Guide. When I was laid off from my recruiting job, I knew it was my chance to launch it! I’ve never looked back.
What inspired you to start Glitter Guide?
It stemmed from me wanting to do more for my readers. I wanted to create an online destination that would be an escape for them. Everything is meant to be helpful, inspiring, and fun at Glitter Guide. Plus, I have always been such an advocate for women and all the amazing things we’re doing in the world and I wanted to highlight them!
What has been the most rewarding experience since launching Glitter Guide?
The relationships I’ve built through doing this have been life changing. I am so thankful for how many amazing people I get to meet and work with.
What sets Glitter Guide apart from other lifestyle websites?
We were one of the first of its kind. Now that there are so many sites out there that do similar things, I think it’s more about the feel we give to our readers. Our content is light, happy and colorful. We focus on things that make us really motivated and excited and that translates to our readers. I also think we work really hard at forming meaningful relationships with people we work with and within the industry. We really want to support other women. We all can succeed together.
What all does the Glitter Guide brand include today?
Right now our two main focuses are on awesome editorial content and making fabulous products. Like our Elodie Rug and Pillow at Lulu and Georgia (with more home products coming out soon!) and our photo editing “flashes of delight” filter pack available through A Color Story.
Can you share with us a few of your favorite Glitter Guide posts and why?
Our very first home tour was with my friend and stylist Beth Jones. It’s special to me because home tours have become a big hit for us, and Beth has such unique, incredible style. I’m so happy she was our first! You can view it here.
One of our recent home tours was from my trip to Paris with Morgane Sézalory of Sézane. I’ve been a massive fan for so long and to get to visit her in Paris and have an intimate lunch with her was incredible. Plus, her home is amazing. It was an experience of a lifetime. View that home tour here.
Another oldie that I love is a feature we did with Holly Jacobs in 2012. She’s a cancer survivor and so inspiring. She also wrote a post for us about how to be a friend to someone who has cancer, and I think that is such an important lesson. View those posts here and here.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned since becoming an entrepreneur?
Ah! So many lessons. I am constantly learning new things. I think that’s the biggest thing. Be adaptable and evolve. You can’t get too stuck in your ways. Also, you must have perseverance.
What’s something people would be surprised to learn about you?
That I’m a mixture of silly and shy. I can be very introverted at times, but when you get to know me I’m goofy and way more open. Also, you may be surprised to know that I played water polo and didn’t wear a dress in high school until senior year. I’m sort of a tomboy!
Let’s talk digital persona: What advice do you have for ladies about keeping things “real.”
That’s what it’s all about these days, isn’t it? It’s about human connection. That’s what we all strive for, so it translates into social media. People want to connect and relate to you while also being inspired. It can be tricky to navigate. I’m a fairly private person, so I just have to decide what things I feel comfortable sharing and do my best. If you’re afraid to share more about yourself, I recommend trying in baby steps. You will get more and more comfortable. People love hearing about your life and what really is going on. Not just a highlight reel.
We’re all about healthy living here at LC.com. What does a typical healthy day of eating consist of for you?
I love healthy eating. My husband and I have always had love for fitness and nutrition, so we try to be mindful of those things best we can. On a good healthy day my diet usually looks like this:
Breakfast: Coffee with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, scrambled eggs with avocado and spinach.
Snack: A green smoothie.
Lunch: Salmon with brown rice and broccoli.
Snack: A piece of fruit, some almonds and a La Croix.
Dinner: Roasted chicken with a leafy green salad and homemade sweet potato fries.
Dessert: A small piece of dark chocolate.
Lots of water all day!
As a successful business owner and mommy of two, how do you find a healthy and productive balance?
That’s one of the biggest struggles I have. I’m still trying to work on that. I think setting boundaries is really important. I try to stop working as much as I can around 4pm every day. That’s when the kids get home and it’s time to focus on them. I also stay home with them on Fridays, so we can get more quality time. However, it’s still all a work in progress. You have to be gentle with yourself. Being an entrepreneur and raising two small kids is no joke!
What is a typical day in the life of Taylor Sterling?
My days are not as exciting as some may think. On a typical day I wake up at 6am, get everyone ready, and take the kids to school and care. I’m usually in my office around 9am and the majority of my day is working on editorial, emails, planning, taking calls and meetings (from my desk), and helping with social media. I wrap things up around 4pm when the kids get home and then it’s a whirlwind of playing, making dinner, dishes, bath time for the kids, and getting them asleep by 8pm. Then my husband and I usually do a few chores and work and I’m asleep by 10pm.
The digital space has changed drastically since the launch of Glitter Guide. Can you tell us about those transitions and how you keep up?
Oh my, has it ever! I feel like an old lady in this space. I started playing around on Polyvore back in early 2009 and I can’t believe how far things have come since then. I think it’s important to be evolved and find ways to stay relevant. Not only while things change in the space, but while you change too. When I started, I wasn’t married and didn’t have children. I’m about to turn 36 and it’s crazy to see how much I’ve changed. Instagram and Pinterest didn’t even exist till a few years ago, and now they are crucial in this industry. I remember we used to do everything on Twitter and now we barely use it. We can’t be majorly active on ALL social media. It’s important to try to grow and invest time in the ones that mean the most to you. If that changes year-to-year that’s fine too. Adaptability is everything.
Do you have any secrets for staying motivated when working from home?
Working from home comes pretty easy to me. I’m introverted and love the solitude. I do miss having more interactions and I try to plan more in-person meetings when I can and also do Google Hangouts with my team. I think it’s key to create schedules, batch you work and have a routine that you stick to. I don’t watch any TV when working and a lot of the times I forget to even listen to music. Busy work will do that to you. However, having a clean and inspiring workspace is key. That, and if I ever get really tired or feel unmotivated, it means I need to get outside and get moving!
We’re all about creating a digital footprint here at LaurenConrad.com. How has social media helped you grow your brand? Do you have any social media tips?
I totally agree with that. You need to put a lot of time and care into your brand and how you’re representing yourself online. Like I mentioned before, it’s not all about perfect photos and highlight reels, but having a mix of inspiring content and real content. That way people can relate while also feeling like they have something to strive towards. When it comes to social media, I think finding a niche is great and sticking to colors, imagery and things that feel very much like YOU is helpful for creating your brand vibe. Even if you are the brand!
For all of the young entrepreneurs out there wanting to follow in your footsteps, what advice would you give them?
I’m going to steal from Nike, but they have it right: JUST DO IT. Be brave and put yourself out there. Do what makes you happy and what you’re passionate about it. You won’t regret trying to acquire your dream, but you will regret not trying!
Words to live by?
One of my favorite quotes when I feel like my creativity is being stifled is, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Remember to not fall into a comparison trap. Focus on YOU.
Who would you like to see me interview for my next Ladies Who Laptop?
Let me know in the comments!