“No make-up needed.”
To answer a question I’m not asked nearly enough, my favorite part about being a blogger (or an “influencer” if you will), is finding, joining and being a part of the micro-communities that exist within the blogging world. While networking with other bloggers at events IRL is a blast, there’s something really special about rallying around a cause or brand and working with other creative people to refine skills or empower each other. Companies are quickly realizing that when you create a place where consumers feel that they “belong”, an instant sense of community and loyalty is created and enhances the user experience. One brand that totally gets it: LIVELY.
For over a year now I’ve been a proud ambassador of this brand. You’ve likely seen their dainty bralettes, perfectly chic underthings and Insta-worthy swimwear. But what you may not know is that they are a living, breathing brand in that they have acknowledged the power of user-generated content and how it brings to life the brand in all of its forms, IRL and on-line. LIVELY inspires women to live their life “passionately, purposefully and confidently” with their designs but also with their brand culture and have now launched a podcast meant for every single kind of boss babe there is.
What I learned: In their inaugural episode, LIVELY founder Michelle Codeiro Grant interviews co-founder, Creative Director and namesake of the Rebecca Minkoff brand. I’ll have you know, I have been a Rebecca Minkoff fan since, well as long as I have had any kind of sartorial awareness (see also: Jenna Elfman in her asymmetrical “I heart NY” sleeve tee on Jay Leno in 2001. Yes I was 12.). To listen to her stories about going after her dreams, proving her resilience and resourcefulness and defining her own version of “having it all” reminded me that the road to success is not smooth and sprinkled with rose petals. In an era where we are constantly measuring our success/ happiness/ etc. on the highlight reel that everyone shares on social media, it’s easy to believe that in one instance, or “overnight”, people have all of their hopes and dreams fall into their laps and then “make it” and that once you do, it’s smooth sailing. But even a boss babe is susceptible to bad days, needing to borrow money and living with complete strangers in order to find success and it’s important that these stories be shared and celebrated since they are the building blocks of any success story.
LIVELY Spotlight & the lightening round: At one point on the show, Michelle and Rebecca gave thanks for the women around them who are doing amazing things. Since I’m all about best practices, I decided to give this a try and would like to give a shout-out to two particularly #girlboss-y friends:
Olivia, creator of Style By Liv: To no one’s surprise (because we spend at least 50% of our out-of-office hours together), my “blogging bestie” gal pal Olivia has been my sounding board for all things #girlboss since 2016. We even celebrated the launch of this podcast together from the comfort of my new home because we strongly believe in celebrating all the achievements, even if they aren’t ours. (Looking at/ cheers to you, @alialquiza!)
Maggie, voice behind Maggie Katherine: One of the wildest things about living in the blogosphere is the camaraderie that forms between you and complete strangers. Whether its because they like your recent blog post or just also happen to be a cat mom, there’s no party like a content creator party that exists solely in Instagram DMs and graduates to texting and also supportive greeting cards.
They also played a quick-fire round (which I’m a sucker for) and so, I’m sharing the questions Michelle asked of Rebecca (but to hear her answers, you’ll have to tune in for yourself):
Texting or talking: Texting. I know, it’s so bad. But there are some emojis that just do a better job of telling my story than I can. I have two work on this…
Describe yourself in a hashtag: #flashesofdelight
Favorite 90’s jam: “What A Girl Wants”, Christina Aguilera.
Did you have an AIM screen name? What was it?: TrixiePixy17
Most embarrassing thing in your closet: I recently bought llama slippers from a hospital gift shop. No regrets.
Ambassador spotlight: Every week, the LIVELY Podcast will be featuring one ambassador who will be sending in voice memos about their personal and professional experiences. If I was ever featured, this is basically what I would say: “I’m Vanessa Gatlin. I’m a content creator and blogger originally from Framingham, Massachusetts (a suburb 40 minutes west of Boston), now based in Reading (a suburb 25 minutes north of Boston) and I joined the LIVELY community in January of 2018. If my life was a TV show, it would definitely be a sitcom and it’s title would be “The City Girl’s Guide”. My biggest YOLO moment yet was participating in my first styled shoot in October of last year to push the limits on my creative mediums. I’m not a professional model and I had never done one before but I had always wanted to so I figured, “why not?” To be perfectly honest, I’m not always the “social butterfly” I portray myself to be on social media and I actually get burned out pretty quick but I like to keep busy with things that bring me joy and sometimes that requires trying new things or trying old things over again to see if my feeling about them has changed. Now, even as a 29-year-old, I’m still figuring out what I want to be what I grow up and how to get there but I can tell I’m getting closer and that is really exciting. I know that success is not this linear design, predetermined by what you majored in at undergrad and it doesn’t need to be a regular 9-to-5. To me, the dream will be doing something., or some things, I love while bringing in enough of an income to support myself. You can find me on social media @vanessainboston.”
You can tune in to the LIVELY podcast for yourself on iTunes or Spotify!