BRENNA LYDEN, BLOGGER & CEO
FIELD: MEDIA (CHIC STREET STYLE) RETAIL (THIRD AND LOOM)
A. | How do you define yourself?
Tenacious and entrepreneurial. I don’t let anyone or anything get in the way of my dreams. I don’t let age or anything be a factor. I like to think that I am fearless, though I'm certainly not, as well as accountable and responsible. Everything has to be done perfectly before it goes out.
A. | What is your work routine? What does your job entail?
We run four businesses out of our apartment. I wake up at 7:30am, I have probably about 500 emails per day everywhere from Third & Loom to Macy’s and other random PR agents. I chug two or three cups of coffee every morning while I sort through emails. I like to work out at least once a day—it's my sanity time. Then I come back and we sit down and talk about what our day is going to look like and what we need to get accomplished; we are balancing everyday orders, stylish clients, any interviews and appointments and blog deadlines. It is non-stop 7:30am until 9:30pm when my boyfriend literally shuts my laptop and says, "ok you've done enough."
A. | How did you become interested in the fashion industry?
The biggest thing is standing up for what you believe in. I grew up thinking I was going to be a Nordstrom buyer. I beat out 10,000 people who applied for this internship. Then I was one out of forty and then one out seventeen who got called back. I was the first one to-date to ever walk away from that opportunity. People thought I was crazy. They were like “What are you doing?!” I look back on the day I was asked to either choose Nordstrom or choose my blog even though I clarified many times that I would not have to, I was in the bathroom crying like I can’t do this anymore and my boyfriend came up to me and said “listen, you can’t tell me that if you had an extra 55 hours of your week that you wouldn’t be able to double your income through blogging.” I said, "you are completely right!" and I walked into the HR office and said “I am done and you are paying me out until this date because of this conflict” and they said ok... I never looked back.
A. | What are you most proud of in your career?
We are most proud of being completely financially independent through our own successes, neither of our parents helped us. When we moved here we had completely emptied out our bank accounts to come here. We took a screenshot of our balance of $36.36 in our account and I will never forget that number. It was that do or die kind of mentality that really feeds us and now six months later, I am a CEO of this multimillion dollar company, the blog is setting record after record getting featured in all of these different places, really a dream come true. I think that the success is having it on our terms and still being super hungry for what's next.
A. | What is fashion? How does fashion play a role in your life?
A lot of people think of fashion as consumerism. I am totally against that. My style and personal aesthetic has always been this high-low mix and that is what has made my blog popular in the midst of people dressing head to toe Gucci or all Forever21. When I started my blog about four years ago, I was that relatable and aspirational person that could combine these. Fashion is being who you want to be and feeling that confidently through what you’re wearing.
A. | Where do you feel at home?
Oddly, in Seattle. We have strong ties to Europe and we have been everywhere but as long as we have each other, we can feel at home anywhere. We have been offered through work to move other places like New York but have actively put our foot down to stay in Seattle because we love it here the most.
A. | How does oppression and privilege influence people’s success in your industry?
Money is money. You either have it or you don’t. You make it work.
A. | How do you define success?
Success for us is the question do we have the ability to go to Europe or somewhere else tomorrow and not have everything come crashing down around us? Success is when you can pick up and go wherever you want.
Success is not defined by age, or money or any other number. I won't sit here and say that I am successful until I turn this company int a billion dollar company and until I am paying off my mother's loan with my blog. Being truly successful is doing for others what you would do for yourself.
FIELD | MEDIA (CHIC STREET STYLE) RETAIL (THIRD AND LOOM)
ORIGIN | MINNEAPOLIS