This week I caught up with Leonie Barlow of The Style Insider to chat about her latest adventures. I first had the pleasure of meeting Leonie over lunch at a beauty event when she was working as the editor of The Australian Women's Weekly. I instantly knew she was a gem! With a warm heart and quick wit this brilliant woman has recently launched The Style Insider, a daily dose of fashion and beauty inspiration.
Five words to describe The Style Insider?
Flirty, fabulous, flash, fashiony, fun
You have launched The Style Insider with a wealth of experience in print media - what would be your advice for someone starting out in their career in that field?
As sad as it sounds I really do think the old saying still applies: "It's not what you know it's who you know". It's aways hard to get that first break and you do have to do whatever it takes to stand out from the crowd. You have to make like a little terrier and get out there as much as you can and meet people in the industry. Push your way into events and press conferences even if it goes against the grain for you.
I door-knocked the editor of a major national newspaper to get my first break into print journalism. I found out where he lived and bowled up to his front door. He gave me a job because I had the audacity to door-knock him.
To get my first job in magazines I bowled up to the ACP offices (after the applications had closed off for a job at Woman's Day) and did a sit-in at reception waiting for the editor to "come back from a meeting". The receptionist was trying to get rid of me but I wasn't going anywhere. Then as a stroke of luck someone I knew walked past reception and saw me, put in a good word to the editor (who was sitting at her desk and not out at a meeting) and I got the job.
So in my experience I'd say you need to meet lots of people and be bold and brave and go after what you want.
That is amazing advice! It is so refreshing to chat to someone with real drive!
What is one of your dreams for The Style Insider?
My dream is that people will love the site and it will put a smile on their faces. If I happen to make a few bucks along the way then that will be the icing on the cake. But I'm not holding my breath on that one.
Let me know when you figure out the golden rule to monetisation! We really do this because we love it...
An insight on the transition from print to digital?
Well it's still early days for me and I feel very much like a new kid on the blogosphere block but I love the immediacy of digital. I'm still getting used to a more relaxed and less formulaic style of writing and I know I've got SO much to learn. At 45 I'm out to prove to the world that you can still teach an old dog new tricks.
Tell me a few words about YOUR style?
I love fashion but my own style is fairly classic and paired back. I always feel best when I'm wearing black but I LOVE seeing other people rocking out in colour. If I'm feeling really adventurous I'll throw a bit of grey marle or white into the mix. I'm addicted to accessories and interesting jewelry.