How do you find your subjects?
Lily: We scout at certain events where we think we will find interesting people. But it’s also been this amazing tree that’s branching out because every person, from the very first person we shot, will refer five people, and then that group refers five more people.
Elisa: Now people are coming to us.
I watched the Style Like U video featuring popular bloggers Judy and Jane Aldridge which was shot at their home in Texas. Do you plan on doing more traveling?
Elisa: We’ve done London, a lot of San Francisco and a lot of Los Angeles. We’ve been
piggy backing on my husband’s business trips, but now that we’re monetizing we want
to go everywhere.
Lily: We want to do every city and suburbs and college campuses.
What do you think is the biggest challenge now?
Elisa: The biggest challenge now I’d say is the business side of things. We have a lot of opportunities and we’re extremely thankful for them, but we’ve been able to keep the message very pure. The biggest challenge we are about to have is keeping our integrity when we’re in bed with other people. We’re also about to relaunch in December with much more features and more editorials. It’s all going to be on the front page. So Style Like U is not just going to be closets. That’s a big challenge; to get known for content and editorial features, not just the closets. We’re doing lots of visual things. All sorts of things from very complex articles to very simple photos, but everything relates back to the subculture that we’ve uncovered. But things have been very good. We’ve suddenly gotten to a place where we have an amazing team of people and a lot of our biggest challenges are working out.
Your shooting style is very raw and organic. Do you plan on keeping that
aesthetic as you begin to make more money?
Lily: Of course we’re always working to keep the camera more steady or something like that, but what makes our subjects feel so comfortable and willing to open up about vulnerable things is because it’s just one of us sitting there with them. It’s like a conversation. If we were to go with a huge team, I don’t think you would get the same response out of our subjects.
Tell me more about the relaunch in December?
Elisa: We’re getting rid of the word blog because we are an online magazine at least and an experience at most. But we’re moving it all to the front so you are not just seeing the closets. It will be 10 features a day and one or two editorials a month. We want to equate it all.
Other than your mother-daughter partnership, what or who do you think has
helped you the most?
Elisa: Hard work.
Lily: Openness from the people we shoot.
How did you get money to start the site?
Elisa: We did it out of our own pockets.
What advice would you give to people who are trying to make a presence online
or start a site?
Elisa: We had the guts to do something that’s very very different. We haven’t held back. Don’t be afraid to be truthful and be out of the structure. We are on the verge of I believe a renaissance, and we are at the end of an average, very sad and greedy period. We are at a new beginning. That’s what makes it so hard. But i think it’s a time to step out. Don’t be afraid to step out of the structure, because the structures is changing. And I would encourage people to reach inside themselves and do what you feel, because chances are it is what other people would like to hear.
Lily: Just be genuine and truthful. You can tell when the person isn’t being true to themselves.
How are you going to make money?
Elisa: We have a book coming out in April that will feature 250 closets. We also have some advertising partnerships and sponsorships coming up.
Lily: We plan to do other creative projects with brands and more sponsorships.
Elisa: We are becoming a creative agency, so we are producing shoots for brands ourselves. We’re doing the casting, shooting and styling.
What do you envision for Style Like U in the next five years?
Lily: We want to visit more worldwide cities and expand our presence to countries all
over the world, but also explore small towns in the US and give a platform to previously
under-represented style muses in our own country. We want to bring this platform to the
true tastemakers of style and expression.