Introduce yourself to the Something Social LA community via your top three favorite Instagram accounts (any cute puppies and Instagram-friendly food accounts are welcome)!
@NikkiDeroest has the best product recommendations and skincare tips, @SaltandWind for travel inspo, and @Jooleeloren for hilarious and too-true illustrations (look her up!).
Your website and brand, Angel Food Style, is introduced as a personal lookbook of style upon its inception in 2013, but has since transitioned into a fashion and beauty destination with a partnership list that puts most to shame. Tell us about the start of Angel Food Style – what was your original intent with launch and what has changed the most throughout your business journey?
My original intent isn’t too far from where I am now, but it started on a MUCH smaller scale! I was a junior in college and wanted to dive into the fashion world, providing style inspiration to my friends and peers. I started taking photos of my outfits and wrote up articles on favorite runway shows at New York Fashion Week. I just wrote about whatever I liked – I didn’t care about criticism or whoever thought it was weird or self-promotional. I surprised myself with how fearless I was putting myself out there and blocking out initial noise. Now, I’m so glad I went for it.
These days the blog and all my social accounts are a real business like any other, and it’s become so much more organized and structured. I’ve learned so much about how to run a company, how to communicate with brands and pitch project ideas. Also, in the beginning I was putting out content by trial and error. Now, I have great feedback from my audience and their requests drive a lot of my content creation.
When you run an online brand, your voice is very important. We’ve seen a lot of discussion about the importance of staying true to your voice when taking on new clients/projects/sponsored content. Tell us about the Angel Food Style brand and how you maintain that across all social platforms, your website, and your work.
First and foremost, I write everything myself. It’d be impossible to run and grow a business alone, and I’m grateful to the women who contribute, pitch and manage me, and help with editorial creation. But, I make sure that all the content that goes out to my readers is written or edited by me. That personal connection with readers is important to create a level of trust. (Blogging aside, I’d recommend that teams who work together representing one client or one voice make sure to be on the same page about what the message and “who your girl” is to keep that trust with readers and consumers).
When I work with brands, I make sure to have full control over captions and tone of voice. It’s a tricky balance, because of course the brand has talking points they want to come across to make the partnership worth it on their end. Ultimately, I don’t want to feel like an #ad or a spokesperson – the goal is to sound like your girlfriend, recommending a product she’s used for years. My tone of voice is always friendly, sincere and approachable, but still put together and refined, and I think that’s how I am as a person too.
What advice can you give our readers who are looking to establish their own professional voice via social media?
The best thing you can do is “stay in your own lane” and use your own natural voice. Don’t compare yourself or your aesthetic and tone to others. We all do it, but where does it get us? I always remind myself to create and execute my own vision, not someone else’s. Of course it’s natural to take inspiration from other creators (I do that too!) but it’s not sustainable to try to mimic someone else’s voice and style.
If you’re having trouble finding your natural voice – forget about the impact of “social media” and just channel how you’d talk to a friend. Have a five minute conversation with someone and then ask them what your most impressionable qualities were – did you leave them noticing your innate sense of humor and comedic timing? A light sarcasm? A gentle sincerity or girl-next-door, down to earth tone? Whatever it is, run with that and be yourself.
What would be a dream collaboration for you?
Cliché, but Chanel. Or Chloe, Stella McCartney… the list goes on.
If we looked on your phone, what apps would we see?
ClassPass, where I book most of my workouts; Poshmark; where I resell clothes, and of course a bevy of photo editing tools like Snapseed, Facetune and VSCO. Oh, and 2048, which is an addicting number game I’ll play on flights and can never seem to beat!
What are some of your favorite spots to do work in Los Angeles?
Such a great question, because I can be terribly unproductive at home. I like a little white noise and change of scenery. I’ll work from Zinque since their locations have comfy seating, great coffee and a relaxed ambiance. Or if I have meetings throughout the day, I’ll post up at Soho House.
What can we look forward to seeing in 2018 with Angel Food Style?
This year I’m focusing a bit more on beauty content. While fashion will always be my first love and where Angel Food Style began, I’ve really noticed a piqued interested in beauty content over the last year from readers so I’m intent on delivering that. There’s such an engaged community around beauty, from tutorials to seasonally inspired looks and product reviews. I can understand why – beauty is a unifying force. No matter your culture or background all women love to talk about beauty rituals; it goes back to the beginning of time! There’s no sizing or right or wrong way to do something, and anyone can recreate a makeup look or hairstyle so the beauty genre feels more welcoming in a way. I’m hoping to take it one step further and not just focus on traditionally outward beauty; but also inward – feeling good in your skin through healthy eating, living and connections with others . We’ll see where it takes me!
You can also expect to see more travel content, as I love putting together city guides and taking readers around the world with me. Also – the launch of a YouTube channel, finally!
Leave us off on a positive #SomethingSocial note – if you could Instagram anything from anywhere, what would it be?
In front of the Sydney Opera House, or at Paris Fashion Week… I’m manifesting where I want to be this year!
Follow along with Sophie Elkus on her WEBSITE, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST, AND BLOGLOVIN.