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Weekly Feature for Fashion & Beauty Fanatics: Q&A with Karla Borders Pope

Gina Joseph, social media community manager, also contributed to this post.

Credit: Amna Siddiqui Photography

CisionNavigator’s Fashion & Beauty Buzz e-newsletter goes out today and we paired up with Karla Borders Pope of the newly redesigned blog Brown Girl Gumbo. She talked to us about her storied career, her piece in this month’s People StyleWatch and the fact that her best friend just happens to be designer Atelier Azza.

Q: How did you get into the beauty and fashion media industry?
I started as an intern at the now defunct Honey magazine back in 2003. After that, I worked at People and then Parade magazines. I always knew since a very young age that I wanted to work in media. When I was in elementary school, I was obsessed with Entertainment Tonight. Mary Hart seemed so glamorous!

I’d also pore over all of my mom’s magazines. I truly think that my love for magazines started when I used to receive Highlights for Children. While it obviously wasn’t focused on beauty and fashion, it was the catalyst to my passion for magazines. Once in high school, I worked on the school’s newspaper and studied all of the beauty, style, and entertainment magazines. Eventually, I studied journalism in college and the rest is history.

Q: What is your most memorable assignment?
My most memorable assignment for my blog was probably interviewing Sanaa Lathan before Tracy Reese’s presentation at NYFW in 2008. I totally ambushed her, but I needed to get her beauty scoop. It was memorable because I hate ambushing people, but I had to get the story! Outside of my blog, writing the back page of  Everything Old Is New Again in this month’s People StyleWatch is pretty memorable. It’s one of my favorite pages/sections of any magazine so that was really fun to write.

Q: What keeps you blogging?
The true love of writing. Also, I feel so committed to my readers. Actually, even if I didn’t have a single reader I’d still do it because writing about beauty/style/celebrities is what I’ve always wanted to do since childhood.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?
I’m a mom to a toddler so I don’t really know what spare time is! But when I do have a few free moments, I can get lost on party-planning blogs and sites.

Q: What is your favorite beauty item to splurge on?
Since I don’t get much sleep, I will shell out big bucks on a good moisturizer/night cream/serum. I live for those product promises of keeping my skin forever young.

Q: What is your favorite place to shop?
I love the thrill of bargain-hunting. That said, Nordstrom Rack and TJ Maxx are faves.  I enjoy the chaos of sorting through racks upon racks of disorganized clothes! Beacon’s Closet in Park Slope is another gem. You can find amazing vintage finds. Plus, it’s less than a block away from my apartment, which is always good! Also, one of my BFFs is a designer (Atelier Azza) so shopping in her closet is always fun.

Q: What is the wackiest/funniest pitch you’ve received?
I once received a pitch for a doggie pooper scooper. Clearly, that publicist had never read my blog! I’ve never covered any pet products, etc.

Q: Any tips for PR professionals who want to get in contact with you?
I prefer to be reached via email ONLY. Phone pitches catch me so off-guard! Plus, I’m usually doing a million other things, so receiving a pitch via email is always the best route to go with me.

Our free weekly Fashion & Beauty Buzz newsletter features industry-related job postings, staff updates, Q&As with the fashion and beauty community, upcoming industry events and more, and is geared toward industry journalists and bloggers.

If you want to sign up or be featured in it, email gina.goodman (at) cision.com. Don’t forget to also follow @CisionNavigator and @Cision on Twitter! 

About Lisa Denten

Lisa Denten is the Social Media Manager of Cision U.S., where she leads social strategy, coordinates the blog editorial calendar and manages public relations campaigns. She regularly hosts Cision webinars, was chosen as a #FollowFriday guest on industry blog Spin Sucks, and has spoken on panels for Inbound Marketing Summit and Publicity Club of Chicago. She worked in the newspaper industry before joining Cision in 2008. Connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter at @lisaml15.

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