Adria and Travis are the masterminds behind the savvy Seattle blog Emerald Closet. eStyle Chat recently sat down with the pair of fashionistas to find out what they love about blogging and where they hope to see Emerald Closet go in the future.
1. What gave you the idea to create Emerald Closet?
Adria: I’ve been obsessed with fashion since I was a little girl. If you look through my notebooks over the years, you’ll see endless sketches of clothing design ideas. Growing up I always worked in retail, and when college came around I got heavily involved with fashion. I was accepted into a selective fashion photography program in London and had the opportunity to work with models and learn under professional photographer Jeff Licata. Through this program, I met my now-friend Michelle who told me about her dream to start a fashion magazine. Pretty soon I found myself being the Photo and Art Director at the new magazine and becoming the go-to person for photo styling. This was when my love of fashion and journalism blossomed.
However, it wasn’t until my job as an online marketer that I discovered the Internet and blogging. I knew instantly I wanted to create a fashion blog, as I always followed Scott on The Sartorialist but never really understood he was a blogger. As soon as that realization hit, and I saw that Seattle was seriously lacking in the street style scene, The Emerald Closet was born. I hadn’t seen any blogs that offer personal styling services, both online and in person, so that idea quickly became a core differentiator for the blog I wanted to start. My brother-in-law, Travis, was one of the most stylish people I knew, was great at web development, and could offer a unique male perspective, something that is less common in the blogging world. Bringing him on board was a no-brainer.
2. How would you describe your personal style?
Travis: Classic, tailored, urban prep. I’m a big fan of layering and am more often than not found in collared shirts, ties, and a sweater or blazer. My style is a mix of Banana Republic and a lumberjack, as I’m a big fan of tartan and work boots. For me quality and timelessness are the most important consideration when shopping, and that’s reflected in my wardrobe.
Adria: Classic, minimalist, and a bit disheveled. I stick to mostly earth tones and am normally found in a variation of “my uniform”: a versatile, high-waisted and cropped dress pant, a slouchy tissue tee, chunky necklace, and a blazer. Switch it up with gladiators, booties, pumps, or sneakers, and you have a different look every time. Oh, and I love J.Crew. It’s where most of my wardrobe comes from and it always surprises everyone because I don’t always style it in the typical J.Crew “disheveled urban prep” style.
3. What do you think is the hardest part about being a style/fashion blogger?
Adria: Definitely the time commitment. Since most bloggers can’t just quit their day job, they need to make time around an already busy schedule to consistently blog. And honestly, the writing part is the easiest. The hardest is promoting the content, building relationships, and attracting new loyal readers. I’ve always been the type who wanted to do it right, so I probably create more work for myself, but to me it is totally worth it. And if it is really something you love, the time flies and you can really get lost in your work. Just today a friend told me how she met another friend’s boyfriend who is really into fashion, and when she mentioned me he replied, “Oh yea, I already follow The Emerald Closet.” It was the most fabulous thing to hear. Knowing that the blog has reader who I don’t know makes all the sweat, time, and tears I put into our blog worth it.
4. What do you hope the future holds for your blog and where would you like to see it go in 5 years?
We’re hoping to really delve into our personal shopping and styling services and start promoting it more aggressively. We’re also hoping to create a portfolio of clients, which we think will add more value to prospective customers. We even plan to create our very own e-zine, because I desperately miss that print and layout aspect of journalism.
5. What’s your clothing budget and/or how much are you willing to spend on one item?
Adria: We tend to shop without looking at prices, looking at the tags as the ultimate deciding factor. I love clothes, so putting something down for price is never my first instinct. That being said, I generally shop at pretty reasonable stores, such as J.Crew, Madewell, Club Monaco, and so forth. I’m not much of a label whore, so dropping $1000 for a t-shirt is not an option. I compare the price to the craftsmanship and think, “can I buy an identical piece elsewhere for less?” If the answer is yes, which is often the case for basics, I move on. However, I am happy to spend hundreds of dollars on items like bags and shoes, because they experience the most wear and tear so the investment is worth it.
6. What item is at the very top of your wish list?
Travis: I’m a pretty big guy, at 6’4″. I wear a size 15 shoe, so shoes are always at the top of my wishlist. Right now I’m looking for the perfect pair of wing tips in my size, preferably in a warm caramel tone.
Adria: I stand behind the fact that I’m not much of a label whore. However, there are a few designers that I sincerely respect and would really love to own. The top of that list is a classic quilted Chanel chain purse. It will never, ever go out of style and is a true investment piece. I’d also really love to own a Carine Gilson chemise. She is hands down the most talented lingerie designer I have come across. I’d also like the opportunity to shop an entire Chloe collection without having to worry about price, even if it is just once in my life as some sort of prize.