Taylor Sterling of Glitter Guide and Sterling Style
Whether it was her keen eye for accessorizing or her million dollar smile, Taylor Sterling's fashion and lifestyle blog Sterling Style quickly grew to become one of the most popular among its kind. After just two years and hundreds of personal style posts, the blonde California native was able to segue from fashion blogger to founder and creative director of the inspirational site girls across the world have bookmarked on their browsers, Glitter Guide. With daily lifestyle features ranging from fashion product round-ups to beauty tips to interviews with their Glitter Girls, the robust site promises its readers "flashes of delight," "glitz and glam," and "a healthy dose of sparkle." In other words, it offers pages upon pages of virtual eye candy and acts as an instant mood-lifter.
Glitter Guide hasn't even been live for a year (it launched last June), and its social media—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr—has followers in the tens of thousands. Impressive for any start-up, but even more so considering Taylor single-handedly runs the show. Lucky for us, the beloved blogstress invites Everygirls into her office and home for a behind-the-scenes peek at her sartorial collection. She also explains what her hectic work schedule is like and how she transitioned from retail store manager to founder of the site we've all grown to know and love, Glitter Guide.
Full name: Taylor Sterling
Current title/company: Founder & Creative Director of Glitter Guide
Educational background: Communication Studies Major at Cal Poly SLO
Tell us about your current job and daily responsibilities:
Everything Glitter Guide. My day consists of so many different jobs: editing, project management, social media, styling, etc. Running your own business means every day is different. However, typically I spend the mornings publishing our new material and answering emails. Throughout the entire day I'm running the social media for Glitter Guide and Sterling Style, so that keeps me very busy. I think social media is so important, so I make sure to be engaged as much as possible. I'm also communicating with the interns and editors throughout the day. We're constantly working on posts and brainstorming new ideas. Some days I'm on location for a shoot or I'm in meetings in the city. It's exciting to know that every day is different. However, I can always expect to be working on Glitter Guide-related things throughout the entire day and into the evenings.
What was your first job out of college and how long did you hold that position?
I worked as a manager for Abercrombie & Fitch. My plan was to work there for the summer and then find something else. It ended up being over two years.
When did you start your fashion blog Sterling Style?
Around March 2009
What was your occupation prior to starting Glitter Guide?
I worked various jobs after Abercrombie & Fitch. I worked in marketing for a physical therapist, and then I was the director of recruiting for a financial services company for over three years.
What inspired you to create Glitter Guide? What gave you the courage to go for it?
I was enjoying Sterling Style and realized that I wanted to quit my job and start blogging full time. However, I never felt like Sterling Style could support me full time. I also felt like Sterling Style had an expiration date. I don’t think I will snap photos of my daily life when I’m in my 40s. So, I started brainstorming about what I could do for the rest of my life. I realized what I love to do is share inspiring things and scour the world for beauty. That was the beginning of my path to creating Glitter Guide.
Still, I was afraid to quit my job. I agonized over it for months. Then I got laid off. I was shocked and scared until I realized that this was my opportunity to go for my dream!
What is the hardest part about working for yourself?
There are many hard parts about working for yourself. I have to work all the time. People always say, “make a schedule," but it’s never that simple. Also, there are times when I don’t know how to do something, and I have no one to turn to but myself. Luckily, there’s Twitter.
What surprises and/or challenges have you encountered along the way?
I was surprised at how much support I got right off the bat. My readers from Sterling Style really are the reason Glitter Guide had a successful launch.
My biggest challenge has been organization. I’m not a systems person, and I tend to work in a very unorganized way that would probably drive most people insane.
How have you learned how to navigate the business side of Glitter Guide? (i.e. legal, financial, web development, etc.)
This is a work in progress. It’s something I have very little experience in. I do set aside time to work on it, and I’m finally hiring people to help. My old boss used to tell me that he hired people who were smarter and more talented than him. I’ve taken his advice.
How did you overcome the financial hurdles of starting your own business?
Luckily, I have a strong support system. I always had a little backup for things I needed for Glitter Guide. I also had to ask for money from my family. They are my everything. I think of them as my board of directors.
What is the most important thing you have learned about building your brand and your business?
The most important thing is to stay true to yourself and your brand. It’s so easy to feel defeated by competitors and feel like you need to be more like them. Instead stay authentic and follow your heart. Good things always come from that.
What advice would you give budding entrepreneurs?
Have a strong support system. Take breaks to refresh your mind and get inspired. Take risks.
What has been your most rewarding experience since starting Glitter Guide?
I feel so blessed for all the amazing connections I’ve made through Glitter Guide and Sterling Style. Without them Glitter Guide would be nothing.
We admire the emphasis you place on living a healthy lifestyle with frequent mentions of work-outs, and we love that you eat gluten-free. What are some of your favorite gluten-free recipes?
Well, I must admit I’m not eating gluten-free right now. I try to stay healthy by monitoring how much I eat of things. I don’t restrict my diet too much. I just watch what I eat and workout. When I am eating gluten-free, I love eating Paleo Chocolate Chip cookies (recipe on Mark’s Daily Apple). So good!
Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials! Any tips for girls in the process of planning a wedding?
Thanks! Yes, don’t let the pressure get to you. I have before and then realized that none of it matters. It’s your day. Do whatever you want!
What advice would you give your 23-year-old self?
To stop being so hard on myself. When you're in your early twenties, you feel all this pressure to be accomplished. What you don’t realize is that every job and experience helps you figure out what you really want to do.
Where do you do most of your shopping? Can you share some of your favorite budget-friendly shops and brands (online and local) with us?
I usually shop online. I love Zara and H&M for great trendy clothes that are affordable. I love Anthropologie for home goods. I wish I did more local and vintage shopping.
Any other advice you’d like to share with Everygirls out there?
I often think about the fact that I’m not a writer, model, stylist, photographer, or graphic designer, and yet I wear all these hats from time to time in my career. Don’t let what you think you can’t do affect what you can do.