NYGal got the special opportunity to interview Flo Pereira, founder of Penny Lane Blog. We were immediately drawn to her blog because of its chic style that fits so well in our New York City lifestyles. Read on to discover how Flo made her blog her career and what inspires her to this day.
What was the inspiration for your blog?
I started my blog in May 2010 as an outlet for all the things that inspired me: fashion, accessories, music, travel, quotes and more.
I am a lawyer, and right after graduating I started my blog. My job was as a lawyer was structured and serious, so the blog let me be more creative. I tried to channel what I couldn’t in my 9 to 5.
Then I thought, so why not? And, I started sharing my own outfits, as well. My photos back then were really nothing like the ones I post today, but we all have to start somewhere, right?
Why did you decide to go on an untraditional path with your career?
It’s actually weird, cause as I said, I actually tried one of the most traditional careers ever, as a lawyer. But, the truth is I’ve always had a thing for fashion and writing, so starting my blog was a way of doing that while working in another field.
With time, my blog grew more and more and as a consequence, it took up more time. Two years ago I finally decided to quit my 9 to 5 job and become a full-time content creator. So, I wouldn’t say I actually chose to go down a less traditional path. It sort of just happened. Other creators, much like myself all started our blogs or youtube channels without actually knowing we were starting a career. We were doing it just because we were having fun, passing time, or doing it as a hobby while working or studying in a completely different field.
What was your biggest struggle with starting your blog?
I think my biggest struggle was actually overcoming the fear I had of my blog becoming something public, which looking back sounds quite funny. But, the truth is that at that time, my blog was my own personal space, almost like a diary. It took time for me to actually tell people about it.
As with most things in life, I think that we hold ourselves back more than anything. Our fears, our personal beliefs, what we think is right or wrong usually prevents us from moving forward. Once we understand that it is all in our heads and that we need to take that big jump into the unknown, things usually work out for the best.
Who were your biggest supporters?
I think that my boyfriend and my ex-boyfriend from when I first started the blog were probably my biggest supporters by taking pictures of my looks and encouraging me to take on campaigns. And, in the end, helping and supporting me when taking the leap to become a full-time content creator.
At the same time, I had an amazing support from fellow bloggers, back during that time, but also nowadays.
Being in such a different and emerging field and career path was a struggle and we were all doing something but at the same time not actually knowing what we were doing. Talking to people in the same situation was actually very comforting.
Did you have many resources when starting your blog?
None! Or maybe just one: a laptop I had bought with my savings. But, nothing fancy or special.
I had no contacts in the fashion or beauty industry, magazines or whatsoever. I don’t come from a wealthy family. I truly built everything I have now from scratch.
Unfortunately, I think that since nowadays blogging/YouTube/Instagram have become actual careers it is more and more difficult to enter the scene and the resources you need to have are more expensive and specific. For example, making YouTube videos without a nice camera, lights and a microphone is practically a no-no nowadays.
What advice would you give to NYGals trying to do what you’re doing?
I think the two biggest pieces of advice I’d give would be: Work your ass off every single day and put yourself out there and network every chance you get.
NYC really is a city of opportunities, so if you really work towards your goals, always reach out to people you feel would want to work with you or are in your same position as you. Tell people what you’re working on every chance you get. The universe will come back to you with job offers, campaigns, and work friends as well.
Truth is that, as the song says, “There’s nothing you can’t do in New York”.
A quick example of this is, about two years ago, I was attending my first NYFW. I was at one of the shows and saw that one of my favorite youtubers was there, as well. After the show, I approached her to say “hi” and tell her how much I loved her content. She happened to be there invited by a huge makeup brand and the PR person for that brand was also there. She gave me her card and after that I became a part of their PR list!
It was something that happened just because I decided to network, to talk to people, and be open about me and my work.
What do you want people to know about you?
I’d probably like people to know that I am a hard-working girl, who is just hustling like everyone else.
I do feel privileged because I get so many amazing gifts every day from brands I love, but I definitely believe that you get what you give; and, I am always giving back to ones less fortunate than myself.
I think that most people think us, “influencers”, are very narsicistic, self-absorbed people; and, at least for me, that’s just not the case. Our jobs are very lonely most of the time. Yes, we do get amazing opportunities but, again, most of us worked really hard for everything we have accomplished.
Is this a 24/7 job for you?
Although I like and try to take some weekends off, the truth is I’m always working.
Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but I am a workaholic and I’m always online either answering emails, posting on my social media platforms, replying to comments, or even just thinking of ideas for upcoming stories.
I think that’s probably the best and worst thing about this job at the same time. You can literally work from anywhere and at any given time (late nights, early mornings, you pick) but you are literally working all of the time.
Does your blog feel like work or is it more enjoyable?
Right now, and for the past two years, my blog is my job, so, on one hand, I try to treat it like such and be responsible. It’s a business, and I need to be professional. Apart from that, there are always tasks that I like less than others, such as preparing reports, or doing taxes or organizing my computer files. Like any job, there are things you enjoy more than others. But, in the end, I am truly thankful to be able to say that I am really working on something that I love.