Popular blogger shares her knowledge at NUI Galway event.
NUI Galway’s BizSoc bestowed an honorary lifetime membership upon highly successful fashion blogger and entrepreneur Erika Fox on Monday 28 September.
The NUI Galway Commerce graduate is the face behind the renowned fashion blog Retro Flame and since graduating from NUI Galway four years ago she has worked alongside Oliva Palermo and Whitney Port during New York Fashion Week and now holds a position as social media manager at Vince Camuto.
Erika, standing in the St Anthony’s theatre of the Cairnes building, had invaluable knowledge to share of the fashion industry and business world and those in attendance were certainly given food for thought.
Erika’s success story did not just begin the moment she graduated university. It was the result of hard graft put in throughout her years in college. Erika spoke about her summers on the J1 visa where she landed herself fashion internships whilst working in a bar for income.
It was clear that Erika’s initiative and willingness to ‘chance her arm’ have both attributed to her career. New York Fashion week with Olivia Palermo was Erika’s first job on the Graduate Visa and came about from an email she sent to a writer for Olivia, with whom she had networked one summer, looking for a start.
As luck would have it a photographer was needed to follow Olivia for the week and capture her outfits and Erika fitted the bill for the role.
Erika explained how Americans love people who have experience and not just a degree. She felt that her blog and the year she spent in Galway Technical Institute studying fashion set her out from the crowd. And securing the post with Olivia, which she loved but which was also hard work, also in turn stood to her.
She said; “A big brand job mightn’t be enjoyable but it will be worth it.”
However she also added how her time in NUI Galway was paramount to her success.
“College stood to me so much,” she said.
The talk given by Erika was very insightful. At such a young age, she had a lot of wisdom to share on how to impress employers and how to network successfully.
“I am obsessed with Uber!” she said. She told a story of how she had helped her friend get an interview with a successful business man as he was sharing a lift with her.
For budding bloggers, Erika had plenty of advice. An audience member wondered about how to maintain a following online. Erika explained that two things were key: consistency and quality.
“A blog,” she said, “it’s your personal brand… you have to invest into things to get something out of it.”
Answering about how she manages to get everything done (followers of her will know how busy she always is) she explained how she felt that the busier she is the more productive she is. She said how it is “totally possible” to balance everything.
Despite all the success and her exciting life in the Big Apple, Erika was noticeably down to earth and bubbly. Afterwards, I spoke with her briefly and asked her about how campus life helped her with her fashion pursuits. She said how doing Sin’s Style Spot was an opportunity for her to do something fashion-orientated on campus.
I think it goes to show that opportunity is everywhere you look – and Erika Fox is a prime example of how grabbing opportunity is the key to success.
Check out her blog retro-flame.com and follow her on Instagram @retroflame and Snapchat @retroflame1 (“Don’t ask me who @retroflame is!” she laughed).
By Sorcha O’Connor