Marisa Lynch Q&A

Marisa Lynch is a fashion blogger, consultant, and founder of the blog New Dress A Day.  A graduate of the University of Southern California, she is a frequent guest on E! and has appeared on Anderson Cooper and The Early Show and been featured in the NY Times, Time Magazine, and Bust, among other publications.  You can usually find her sifting through vintage jewelry at the flea market, scrolling through Twitter while waiting on line at Starbucks (say hi @newdressaday), behind a sewing machine with Justin Timberlake pumping from the speakers, or falling asleep on top of her laptop while blogging into the wee hours with Late Night with Jimmy Fallon keeping her company.  She lives in Los Angeles.
1. Tell us something most people do not know about you:
I can whistle like it’s my job but can’t make a good cup of coffee to save my life.  Anyone want to barter?
2. Everyone starts somewhere… What was your first (paying) job?
Camp counselor.  I still have the fabulous worn in/super thin/white with green trim T-shirt with STAFF screened on the back that was our uniform.  Not sure if this counts, but when I was 10 I went door-to-door with a girlfriend of mine selling jewelry we made with rhinestones, fishing line and glue guns.  We presented all our wares on cookie sheets with luggage straps around our necks that made us look like cigarette girls.  We definitely sold pieces, however it was a “one night only” instance.
3. Is there an app that you cannot live without? What's so great about it?
Fabric Stash is awesome! It basically keeps tally of the fabric you have in your collection after inputting the amounts along with photos.  I have more fabric than I can keep straight, so this is perfect for when I’m out sourcing materials for a project – I don’t always remember that I have remnants of leopard print and hot pink Eiffel Towers just waiting to be used.
4. Who would play you in a movie about your life?
Hmm, since my blog came about after seeing Julie and Julia, let’s go with Amy Adams :)
5. Is there a saying/ quote/ or mantra you live by?
I love what Steve Jobs said in his Stanford commencement speech in ’05 – “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”  I think it so perfectly defines finding what really makes you happy and just going for it.
6. You went from blogger to published author... Can you describe how that happened for aspiring authors?
I still pinch myself because it’s completely surreal/insane/Crazytown USA that I have a book out and am published. For me, it worked out that my blog had garnered enough attention to get people interested on the publishing side of things.  It wasn’t as much me knocking on doors, it was the other way around, which is not your typical route.  I ended up signing with a book agent, putting together a proposal, and then sending it out to publishing houses.
  7. At what point did you realize the blog you had started had turned into a full time job and career?
I think the realization point came for me when I was featured on Yahoo’s home page.  It went from tiptoeing, to skipping an entire staircase in a day.  From that moment it turned into something bigger than I could have ever imagined.
8. You create and work from home. What advice do you have for people thinking of making that leap from working a traditional 9-5, to freelancing or running a business from home?
I think a bit of helpful advice is to try and separate your work and home space within your house or apartment.  I work out of my apartment and really had to differentiate my work area from my non-work area.  I have a swivel door and nook area where my desk, sewing/craft supplies, fabric, and dresses are.  When I finish a project or finally decide to end my day, I shut the door to keep everything behind it separate from the rest of my apartment.  I definitely have certain things scattered around and I do find pins everywhere, however having a bit of separation helps me from not going too nutty.
9. Did you take formal sewing or fashion design classes or are you a natural-born seamstress?
I began sewing in 7th grade - Home Ec class is where I really learned how to use a sewing machine. My favorite crafty memory is the prom purse I made with some fabric and ribbon I scored at Fabric Bonanza (now that is a blast from the past-shocked that I even remembered the name of that place!). I hated all the typical prom options and found a DIY page in Sassy Magazine on how to make little purses. It was amazing - I just came across it again and patted myself on the back.10. Is there any part of being your own boss that you think is the total pits?
Office lunches just aren’t the same anymore when your office is just you :)