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Weekly Feature for Fashion & Beauty Fanatics: Q&A with Sarah Conley of Style IT

Sarah Conley

Photo courtesy of Sarah Conley

Sarah Conley was living in the college town of Fayetteville, Arkansas when she realized she was the go-to style resource for makeup and fashion for her friends. She has since transitioned that know-how into a career as a social media consultant to fashion and beauty brands, and launched her popular fashion and beauty blog, Style IT. Here she details her love of technology and social platforms, and her mission to make style all about feeling good.

Q: You began your blog, Style IT in October 2006. How has the fashion and beauty blogging world evolved since then?
A: Back then it was so much easier to find your own way and make mistakes. These days there’s so much pressure to be perfect, to put forth this glossy exterior. It’s hard to stay motivated and put in the work it takes to be a player in the space these days if you don’t truly have a passion for what you do.

Q:When did you realize you had a, well, passion for fashion [and beauty]?
A: When I was growing up in Arkansas, my grandmother taught me how to sew by hand and my mom has always been a beauty girl. By the time I got to college, I was the the one that my friends and classmates went to for style advice. It all evolved very naturally.

Q: What do you think makes your blog unique?
A: I have always written from a very earnest place. I try not to get caught up in what’s hot or new, but genuinely strikes a chord with me.

Q: In what ways do you utilize social media to promote yourself and your blog?
A: I’ve made some of my very best friends, deepened relationships, and became introduced to new brands through my social channels. It’s important to make it as easy as possible for your readers to connect with you on their terms, so in my opinion, there’s nothing more important. I’ve been on Twitter since 2007 and it is still my favorite platform. The community that I have built there is so special to me and a great resource.

Q: Do you blog full-time?
A: I’m also a social media consultant to fashion and beauty brands, which allows me to set my own schedule and focus on Style IT more than I would be able to if I worked a traditional full time job. The flexibility has been crucial to the site’s success. My work on Style IT has also directly lead to every job I’ve ever had in the space, so it all comes full circle.

Q: Is there a fall fashion trend we should know about?
A: 
I don’t believe in trends. I believe in being the best version of yourself that you can be. That being said, I think that trends are a great way to introduce new ideas and styles into our aesthetic. You don’t always have to adopt them, but it’s nice to be pushed out of your style comfort zone.

Q: What’s the best part of being a blogger in the fashion/beauty industry?
A: I have been given so many opportunities to learn new things, see new places, and meet new people because of Style IT. Every day is brand new, like inbox roulette. You never know what is going to arrive, and it’s so exciting.

Q: What about the most challenging?
A: There’s never enough time. I receive about 300 emails a day, and I wish that I could consider and respond to each one. I wish that I could say that I spend the majority of my time working on the site itself, but most of it is spent on the administrative tasks, like emails, invoicing, and marketing.

Q: What are you PR pet peeves, and/or most interesting pitch you’ve received?
A: I’ve worked on both sides of table, and I realize how busy we are all these days, but relationships matter. They’re really important, and I find it difficult to believe that a real relationship can be formed when editors are just a name in a mailing list. Taking the time to send someone an individual email, with their name, is the most simple and important step to building a relationship.

Q: Any tips for PR professionals who want to get in contact with you?
A: These days everything feels so artificial and automated, so it is really important to be genuine. The connections you make will follow you throughout your career and help you in ways that you cannot imagine. And care about what you do – it shows.

Find Sarah on TwitterFacebookPinterest, Google+Instagram, YouTube and at her site, Styleitonline.com. Contact her at sarah@styleitonline.com.

For more beauty and fashion insight, check out our list of Top 10 Glamour Journalists on Twitter.

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About Gina Joseph

Gina Joseph is a features writer for Cision Blog, and is also the digital engagement manager for Cision’s marketing department. She’s a book nerd, Detroit sports enthusiast, lover of cats, lifelong Phil Collins fan, and budding snowboarder. Find her on Twitter @gmg912.

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