We love some of the diverse backgrounds of our featured fashion and beauty writers, and Raijean Stroud of Swa-Rai is no exception! Read about how she went from a finance career to fashion blogging, and the advice she would like PR pros to hear.
Q: When and how did you get your start in the fashion/beauty media industry?
A: I started my site over three years ago as a way to express my love of life, fashion and beauty. Swa-Rai came about after I was laid off from my job in finance, I had a lot of free time. I figured “now” was the time, [and so] Swa-Rai was born! I first worked on building quality content for the site and then worked on networking. After a while, I was featured in several publications and was attending some of the best events from Chicago to New York. I’ve had a few cameos in television shows and even did a segment on NBC!
Q: What do you think makes Swa-Rai unique? And where did the name come from?
A: Swa-Rai is the phonetic spelling of soirée. It’s about enjoying life through fashion, beauty and lifestyle experiences. I think Swa-Rai is unique because people can identify with me. My readers often feel like they are a part of my life – by reading my blog they feel like they are living vicariously through me. We offer something for everyone! Whether you are looking for the latest trends in fashion and beauty, to the best places to eat, Swa-Rai has you covered. We like to keep our readers informed in all areas of their lives. We explore additional subjects such a travel, dining, movies, product reviews and even technology. We aim to be our readers’ one-stop shop.
Q: What is your favorite part of your career?
A: My favorite part is working with new and exciting people and brands! I’ve been very fortunate to be able to travel and cover a lot of events for the blog. One week, I can be found in New York covering New York Fashion Week and the next week I’m in Las Vegas covering CES. I love meeting people and I love to talk; Swa-Rai has allowed me to do both!
Q: What is the most challenging part or your career?
A: People think what I do is easy! They don’t see all the work or long hours I put into my brand. I’m always working. Any given day I can be found editing pictures, writing stories, hosting events, traveling or promoting Swa-Rai on social media. It’s all apart of the job! It’s not always high heels and cocktails.
Q: Any tips for PR professionals who want to get in contact with you?
A: I’m really easy to talk to. They can e-mail me about anything at email@example.com.
Q: What are you PR pet peeves, or what is the strangest pitch you’ve received?
A: My pet peeves are when PR companies e-mail me to work with me but have never been to my site. Take the time to get to know me and see what I’m all about. My other pet peeve is when PR companies expect bloggers to work for free. It’s not fair to ask us to use our influence to make money for your brand but not want to compensate us.
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