Before you founded Glitter Guide, you had a successful blog, Sterling Style. What inspired you to make the leap to a lifestyle website?
Sterling Style was amazing for me at the time, it was how I got into this whole online industry. However, even after a year into it I knew I wanted to create something bigger. I can be a little shy, and having the focus be on me all the time made me uncomfortable. I looked up to sites like Who What Wear, Daily Candy (RIP!) and Splendora, and I wanted to create a site that was more of a lifestyle go-to. Something fun, colorful and inspiring. Glitter Guide is meant to be that fun release for you each day.
Did you have a mentor to help guide you through starting your own business? How did you approach your new venture?
When I started Glitter Guide I really didn’t have anyone that I could turn to! It was still such a new world and there weren’t a lot of sites like it at that time. I am friends with Crystal Palecek who started Rue Magazine around the same time. Sometimes we would chat about things, but she was launching a digital magazine which was pretty different. A few years into it, Joy Cho from Oh Joy! would take phone calls with me to offer advice, which was so helpful as a new mom. I remember I would Google things like, “How did —— get started?” so I could read interviews with CEOs or founders of various online brands just to see what I needed to do. I didn’t have a ton of luck. I think in many ways it was good that I went into it blindly. I just did it one step at a time and I had faith I could do it even though I was pretty clueless. What I did know was that I was going to need to lean on the network I had created with Sterling Style and I was going to need to find sponsors pretty quickly. Luckily, I was able to get a few brands excited by the idea of what I was building early on. I even offered some free deals to build on those relationships. Nowadays, it may be harder since the industry is so saturated, but I am sure it could still be done! It’s all about networking and serving people!
You live in San Francisco and Caitlin Kruse, Director of Content and Partnerships is in Annapolis, MD. What do you think is the biggest difference between your everyday lives as mamas?
I think that our lives are actually pretty similar. It’s been great to work with Caitlin since the very beginning. She is proof that networking can lead to big things. When I announced I was launching Glitter Guide via Twitter long before we actually went live, she messaged me asking if I would need any help. I took her up on the offer and the rest is history! It’s also great that we both are new moms and are raising littles while juggling this hectic lifestyle. We get one another and know how it is. I think the biggest difference is she gets the change of seasons and I get the heat and sunshine all year long. Both have pluses and minuses.
I never want to be bored or too comfortable.
You created the infamous #flashesofdelight Instagram hashtag of which there are over 7.2 million posts! How did you come up with that and why do you think it’s so popular?
“Flashes of Delight” is our tagline which was cutely coined by my father. When launching the site, I wanted a fun tagline and was looking at “glitter” in the dictionary and the phrase that stood out was “flashes of light” and I was thinking of how we could use that, but have it reflect the site more. Since we’re all about those simple delights that make you light up inside he immediately thought of “flashes of delight.” It was also one of the first hashtags to come out when the hashtag trend came about on Instagram. I think the idea of it resonates with people, and it’s pretty all-encompassing so it’s easy for people to share things.
Who are you most inspired by right now and where do you look to when you need a creative boost?
I am constantly inspired by so many women I come across online. I tend to get even more inspired when those women are also mothers. I like to look to Sara Shabacon of Boheme Goods, Jesse Randall of Loeffler Randall, Morgane Sezalory of Sezane, Hayley Pannekoecke of Kip & Co. and Stella McCartney.
What do you find to be the most challenging thing happening for you career wise right now?
Oh man, quite a few things. I’ve been having a lot of feelings about what’s next for me. Of course, I am still eager to grow Glitter Guide and see where that path takes me, but I’m a restless person and I’m always thinking of how I am going to evolve. I never want to be bored or too comfortable. I am launching my own site. Just a personal site to share things I love and projects and products I’m working on. Sometimes after a few years your business can turn into something else and while that is fine, some of my interests may not be the best match for that brand so I feel like I need an outlet for those things. In that there is the challenge of what path am I on? How can I do all of this and be a good mother? Since having two I’ve found my time is so valuable and usually spread thin. I’ve also found it harder and harder to have a remote team. I wish we could be together more. However, then my schedule would be totally different and possibly harder on my family. So I’m struggling with knowing what’s next and where to devote time.
Do you find working from home to be productive? What is the biggest pro and con about working from home for you?
I work from home on most days. I work Monday-Thursday and on Friday I watch the kids. Some days I take meetings or go to events in San Francisco, but mostly I work at home. Since I love what I do so much, I find it pretty easy to just focus and get busy. I don’t get too distracted. I find that I work well alone. That being said, I do miss working alongside people. I feel like our team would benefit from that in person interaction and inspiration you get from being together. Doing shoots would be a lot easier, too. I have to force myself to get out more. I try to do coffee meetings, playdates, go for a walk or to the gym when I can. Every time I do I find it helps my productivity and sanity!
Do you have any big plans for Glitter Guide in 2018?
Yes! I am very excited about more product development with some amazing brands. I’m eager to develop Glitter Guide as more of a brand known for design, style and fun! Not just editorial offerings.
What was the most surprisingly thing about becoming a mother and how did it change your perspective on work/life balance?
To be honest, I wasn’t ever the kind of girl who envisioned getting married or having kids. I wasn’t against it, it just wasn’t something I dreamed about. I’ve always been focused on career goals. After marrying my husband and having our children, I’ve been surprised by how much I love it. I really value and love being a mother. I’ve incorporated it into my brand because it’s such a huge part of my life and it inspires me. I also realize how precious life is. I want to be kick-ass at my career but not sacrifice my time with my family. That is a hard balance. My family will always come first.
What do you think is more challenging: being a good mother or a good boss? Why?
Oh that seems impossible to answer! Both are probably the two hardest jobs you can have and I am trying to juggle being both! No wonder I’m always exhausted.
Glitter Guide focuses on shining a positive light. What are some ways that you stay positive in your personal life? Do you set daily intentions? Have a personal mantra?
I don’t really have any set method. I think being self-aware is really important. If I have a day where I feel off and negative I try to allow that in for a tiny bit and look at why that may be happening. Often it stems from being overwhelmed or too tired. Taking a break to have wine with my hubby and friends, taking the kids to the park, or going for a jog help give me clarity and I try to make sure I don’t let negative thinking take hold of me. Life is too short to be negative and grumpy!
I want to be kick-ass at my career but not sacrifice my time with my family. That is a hard balance.
What brands are you currently obsessed with? For clothing? For beauty? For home? For baby?
What are your tips and/or advice for managing the “juggle” that working mothers feel?
I think the biggest thing is to allow yourself grace. You can’t do it all and that’s ok! You will have good days and bad days. We all do and we’re all doing this crazy juggle together. Lean on your mama tribe!
All photos courtesy of @taylorsterling
"People say, “When you have children, everything changes.” But maybe things are awakened that were already there." - Meryl Streep
“All those cliches, those things you hear about having a baby and motherhood - all of them are true. And all of them are the most beautiful things you will ever experience.” - Penelope Cruz
“The balancing act of motherhood and a career, and being a wife, is something that I don’t think I’ll ever perfect, but I love the challenge of it.” - Kerri Walsh Jennings