It’s probably not a surprise to anyone that we’ve got a soft spot in our hearts for blog + business besties – you know how much we love seeing creative women #findyourflock. We love that Erica and Kelsey’s blog was born – and has flourished – because of the strength of their offline friendship.
Welcome to Flock & Gabble, ladies! Tell us a little bit about yourselves, and then tell us how you’d describe Sequins Are A Girl’s Best Friend to someone who’s never heard of it before.
Erica: I’m 27 years old, and I was born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Right after I graduated from Grand Valley State University, I moved to Chicago for a job offer that I thought would be temporary. But then I met the sweetest guy, fell in love, and all my plans changed. Six years later, I’m now engaged and planning my dream wedding (coming in June) and currently managing an Event Venue for Steelcase. I spend my nights on Pinterest contemplating flower arrangements and designing invitations, and my weekends with Kelsey writing blog posts and styling shoots for Sequins Are A Girl’s Best Friend. I love everything about my crazy, busy life and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Kelsey: I’m 26 years old, I grew up in Michigan and went to the University of Michigan, where I met my now husband! We have been married for almost 2 years and we just bought a house in Wicker Park! I love chocolate, shopping, and baking. Sequins Are A Girl’s Best Friend is a Chicago-based fashion blog featuring two best friends – two minds, two ideas, and two outfits behind every post!
Time for the meet cute! Tell us the story of how you met. What were your first impressions of each other?
Erica: Kelsey and I actually met briefly back in college in Michigan. I was roommates with her childhood best friend, so Kelsey would come stay with us from time to time. It wasn’t until I moved to Chicago years later and started working at the Palmer House Hotel that I realized that same smiley girl was my new colleague. We both joke about how fate brought us back together, but it’s true! We were destined to be best friends.
Kelsey: The very first time I met Erica was in college. She was roommates with one of my best friends from high school and I was visiting them at their apartment. My first impression of Erica was that she was super sweet, pretty, and small, like me!
We had no idea what we were about to sign up for, other than the fact that whatever happened, we were in it together.
Where did the idea for Sequins Are A Girl’s Best Friend come from?
Erica: The idea for Sequins came about one afternoon at work when Kelsey and I were taking our usual Starbucks coffee break. We usually discussed work drama or our upcoming weekend plans, but this time was different. We were both craving a change and knew we wanted to do something that allowed us to be creative, because let’s face it, the hotel industry doesn’t always evoke individuality. We landed on this grandiose idea to start an online journal of all of our outfits to inspire women to dress trendy without breaking the bank. We had no idea what we were about to sign up for, other than the fact that whatever happened, we were in it together.
Kelsey: Sequins Are A Girl’s Best Friend started off as a creative outlet to document our daily fashion inspiration, shopping tips, runway looks for less, and more.
As a team, how do you complement each other?
Erica: Kelsey is my balance in life. I can be too serious at times and easily get overwhelmed, but Kelsey always knows just what to say to make me relax and focus on what’s important. We both have big hearts, big dreams, and a big sweet tooth. We bond over shoes, sprinkles, and all things sparkly. At times we disagree, but we always get over it in five minutes and laugh about it later. I cannot imagine what my life would be like without her.
Kelsey: Erica and I are the perfect team and I believe we balance each other out. We are both hard working, and I can always count on her! We both have our own “tasks” for blogging – she handles certain items and I handle certain items, which makes everything easier and more fun.
What’s Kelsey’s best quality – the thing you admire most about her?
Erica: She never lets anyone get in the way of her dreams. When she is unhappy about something, she does something about it. When she deserves a promotion, she asks for it. When she wants something, she finds a way to get it for herself. She is the epitome of a strong, independent woman and the hardest working person I know. Even though she may not realize it, she is the reason I am who I am today. Because of her, I’ve learned how to stand up for myself, believe in myself, and push myself to be better. I will forever admire her work ethic and drive in life.
What’s Erica’s best quality – the thing you admire most about her?
Kelsey: Erica’s best quality is her ability to see the good in everything! She is the most positive person that I know and can always make me smile. She is caring and always goes out of her way to do nice things for me and everyone in her life.
Tell us about a time that you almost gave up on Sequins Are A Girl’s Best Friend – your absolute lowest moment. What would you say to someone who’s living their absolute lowest moment right now?
Erica: I think the first few months of launching Sequins were by far the most challenging. There were so many moments when I stopped to ask myself, “What the heck are we doing? Where is this going? What is the point of this? Is anyone even reading this? Does anyone even care?” If it weren’t for Kelsey, Sequins would have been shut down a long time ago, but because we’re in it together, I couldn’t let her down. She held up her end of the deal, so I had to hold up mine. We held each other accountable for all of those moments when we just didn’t feel like it. I think the biggest lesson I learned from that moment is whatever plans you have for the first few months of any new job or big project, whatever you think it’ll be like or what you’ll be able to do, forget them all. Your experiences will all be different and they will dictate how those first few months will go. No matter how prepared you think you are, nothing anyone says, or does, will prepare you for the emotional rollercoaster of starting something new. You have to rely on your intuition and your support system to keep you going and do not ever stop to look back. Trust me.
Kelsey: When Erica and I were working together full-time and also about 5 months into our blog, I was in the middle of planning my wedding. It was the most stressful time of my life, and I really found it difficult to prioritize blogging and shooting and all of the other work that came with having a blog. Since we had just begun, there were still a lot of important decisions to make, and I felt it would have been easier to just stop blogging. Luckily, Erica was there to pick up the slack and make the hard decisions for our brand. Now, she is in the middle of planning her wedding, and I am doing my best to make sure I am doing the same for her! So, I would tell someone to not give up, and look to those around you to see how they can help in your time of need. Don’t be afraid to take their help, because they will need it too at some point.
Rely on your intuition and your support system to keep you going, and do not ever stop to look back.
Now, tell us the most awesome, champagne-popping-est story of your journey so far.
Erica: In my eyes, our biggest win was our One Year Anniversary. At first, we were scared to death and had no idea what we were doing. Fast forward 365 days to the day we look back and wonder how we managed to do it. It was a year that pulled at our heartstrings and tested our patience, but no matter what happened, we always had each other. We spent countless hours playing dress up every weekend, snapping pictures of each other, laughing at ourselves, and consistently posting our content 5 days a week for 52 weeks straight. Somewhere between the outfit changes, cupcake breaks, and awkward stares from strangers on the street, we found our voice and turned our doubts into dreams. We believed in each other and we believed in our brand. We stayed true to ourselves and never once let the pressure of others influence who we were and what we stood for. We conquered more than we set out to accomplish and we surpassed all of our expectations.
Kelsey: Our one year anniversary of blogging! We had worked so hard, accomplished so much, and grown so much – and our blog was a reflection of that! Looking back on everything it was all worth it, and I was so proud of us! We celebrated with a sequined photo shoot and some sweets 🙂
If Erica were a fictional character from a movie, TV show, or book, who would she be and why?
Kelsey: I think Erica would be Serena Van Der Woodsen – she is beautiful, has amazing style, and has a huge heart!
If you could steal one thing from Kelsey’s home or closet, what would it be?
Erica: Her closet room! She has an entire room that she transformed into a magical, golden closet and I love everything about it! I think it’s every girl’s dream come true.
What are your biggest, wildest dreams for Sequins Are A Girl’s Best Friend?
Kelsey: My biggest, wildest dreams for Sequins Are A Girl’s Best Friend would be that it becomes our full time job. We work so hard and put so much of ourselves into it – and as the saying goes, “find something you love to do, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”
Name three women who you think are totally killing it online.
Jillian Harris She has mastered the art of balancing a successful career with her personal life, and always manages to look amazing no matter what she’s doing.
Catt Sadler She’s so confident, transparent, and inspiring on camera and off.
Rachel Zoe …because well, it’s Rachel Zoe, and she’s just so maj.
Julia Engel, Gal Meets Glam Her content is always beautiful. She travels all over the world, and her style is classic and chic. She says she doesn’t wear trends, just what she likes, and I like that!
Jaclyn Hill Her makeup tutorials are amazing, easy to replicate, and always flawless! She seems so sweet and her Champagne Pop by Becca Cosmetics and is amazing!
Cara Delevigne she is a model, actress, and always herself. She is beautiful, but also not afraid to be weird, which is refreshing and relatable.