This month’s interview is with Leslie of Splendid Rags and I know you guys are going to absolutely LOVE her!! She travels the world and shares her colorful destinations on Instagram so everyone can come along with her. Plus, she shares my love for every color of the rainbow and might even put my rainbow wardrobe to shame.
I had so much fun chatting with her about all of the places she’s taken our clutches (multiple cities, countries, and continents!), how she decided to make the leap from full-time day job to freelance, and most importantly- all about how she dressed in high school! Hint: her style has changed A LOT. Before I give too much else away, let’s dive in!
Okay, lets talk essentials! What are your must-have items that you always keep in your purse?
My phone, for obvious reasons, duh. Chapstick- I have a habit of not leaving the house without chapstick. It’s weird because I find myself never really needing it… but there’s something right in the world when i know I have it on me, haha. A MILLION bobby pins! Am I the only one that finds a collection of bobby pins at the bottom of EVERY purse I own? Tampons- better safe than sorry. Plus you just may help a fellow gal pal who might be in need. Mints- gotta keep it fresh. A travel comb (my first job right out of college was working at a hair salon and it was there I developed a habit of carrying a comb with me) and usually a random necklace of some sort. I like to bring an occasional backup accessory, you know, “just in case”. Lastly, my prescription glasses. Fun fact… I am nearsighted in one eye and farsighted in the other.
You have THE most fun, colorful wardrobe!! Do you worry about matching your purse to your outfit or do you wear the same one every day?
I used to carry the same purse everyday, or at least carry one for months at a time, but the past few years I started to switch it up everyday. Probably because my purse collection started growing (which I’m totally okay with)!! Sometimes I like to match and sometimes I don’t. I like to think of my purse as a pop of color or of print + texture, even when I’m not wearing anything that matches it. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of monochromatic and color-blocking with my wardrobe. My purse is the accessory I use to play around with to give my look an extra punch of fun!
You’re always traveling to so many fun places! When you’re out and about, how do you use your clutch?
In so many different ways! Each one of Studio DIY’s clutches fits SO PERFECTLY with my personality and into my crazy colorful wardrobe. I find myself carrying them in everyday life and not just for going out. Also, I’ve been using these clutches a lot when I travel. It’s the perfect size for me to carry my travel essentials and have it next to me when I’m on a plane. I think every Studio DIY clutch has been to a different country! Last month I was in Banff, Canada and this clutch was perfect for my trip!! Heading to Paris and Vietnam this month and you better BELIEVE it’ll be by my side!
I can’t wait to see how you rock it on your trips! Speaking of style- how would you describe yours and do you think it has had an influence on your work?
I was influenced by music early on so I wore a lot of band t-shirts, beat up converse and occasionally creepers (if you’re old enough to know what those are), and of course- a hardcore, studded belt. However, for proms and formals I always dressed really feminine! I liked to look different, but in a good way, if that makes sense. My style has definitely evolved since then, but one thing that has always stayed the same is remaining far away from ordinary and basic and always dressing in what makes me feel good. That being said, my style has ABSOLUTELY affected my work. In fact, style WAS my work for quite sometime! I was a professional stylist on behalf of J.Crew for 7 years, which I sort of fell into it naturally. I was able to use my art background (I have an degree in fine art), my passion for fashion, and my love for people. It was the perfect job for me. I went to work everyday to play dress up and socialize with my clients. Even though I am not working as a professional stylist anymore it is still very much an important element of what I do now, whether it’s styling a set, outfits, or props.
I can totally relate to the Jenna Lyons obsession! What do you do now that you’re not working as a stylist anymore?
I’m currently focused on developing creative content. I work with various brands and venues to create fun visuals that represents their product, place, brand, etc. Every work day looks different from the next, which I absolutely LOOOOVE! Being tied down to a routine just doesn’t work for me- I thrive on change. It’s not easy being your own boss though. Sometimes I’m composed and confident and sometimes I’m just trying to keep my head above water! Yikes! However I do have to say, being able to work creatively everyday is so rewarding for me- whether it’s working from home or working from different parts of the world.
How did you know it was the right time to make that transition? Do you have any advice for other people looking to go from full time to freelance?
There simply came a point where I couldn’t juggle my day job and what I was doing with Instagram. I was getting more social media inquiries and travel opportunities, while my day job was getting harder and harder to maintain with the same passion I once had for it. Being a freelance creative entrepreneur (I’m still figuring out what that means!) is the scariest thing, but I’ve never been happier! When it comes down to it, I know it may sound cheesy, but you have to listen to your heart and know where your passion lies. Ask yourself questions like- What makes me happy? What am I good at? Then ask yourself, how can I make that a reality? Then, PURSUE IT!!!!! It doesn’t happen overnight, but if you keep asking yourself hard questions and continue to be intentional with your passions you’ll find yourself moving forward. Moving “forward” is better than staying still, am I right? It’s scary as hell, the road isn’t easy, but it is incredibly challenging, but in the happiest way!
One of the perks of being freelance is that you get to travel all the time! What is your favorite place you’ve been to so far?
Ahhhh… There’s so many places it’s hard to narrow down! If i had to choose one I think it would be Vietnam. Don’t get me wrong, I LOOOVE Europe and the Caribbean, but traveling to Vietnam two years ago literally changed me. A country filled with both city and paradise, poor and wealthy, dingy and vibrancy. There’s something wonderful about Vietnam that captivated me- so much so, I’m traveling there again this month! Gosh, but if I had to say another country that’s high on my list… Iceland. There are no words to describe that glorious country. It is simply breathtaking!!
Saving the best for last- what is your dream trip??
For a long time my dream trip was always India. I had the opportunity to experience India earlier this year. It wasn’t exactly the “dream trip” I expected (for several different reasons) BUT, I’m so thankful I finally traveled there and have absolutely NO REGRETS! Which leaves me to wonder, what should my next “dream” trip be? I would say I have my eyes and heart set for Africa. So if any of you have spent significant time in Africa I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts and recommendations!
Photos by Splendid Rags
Thank you SO much to Leslie for sharing and for giving me the travel bug! I can’t wait to see where she’s off to next! You can follow along with all of her travels ’round the world here on Instagram and be sure to stay tuned later today because she’s going to be giving away one of our SOLD OUT cloud clutches + keychains! It’s the only way you can get your hands on one so go, go, go!
And if you want to make sure to secure your spot for May’s soon-to-be revealed clutch, be sure to sign up for the waitlist here!
p.s. Since I’m positive you guys are going to ask about Leslie’s rainbow skirt… don’t worry, I already asked her too! And cried allll the tears when she said it was vintage! Wahhhhh!