Creator, curator, and fashion-obsessed since elementary school, Andrea Corson is the friendly face behind LA Label Junkie! Label Junkie is set against the ever-exciting backdrop of Los Angeles and is a juxtaposition of all her passions — fashion, photography, beauty, and a chance to innovate and be creative. Never one to follow the status quo, Andrea’s style is a melding of her travels around the world, her mood, with a hint of her time growing up in the Midwest. When Andrea isn’t dedicating time to Label Junkie, you’ll find her behind the scenes as a producer on hit television shows for CBS, BBC America, & HBO! It’s clear that her schedule is constantly jam packed, which is why we knew she’d have A LOT to say about how to balance your work life & your blog life!
Why did you decide to start a blog?
It may surprise you, but I wasn’t much of a blog reader up until about a year and a half ago. One day, I stumbled upon Happily Grey. Not only did her style resonate with me, but her images were both captivating and inspiring. Television producing can be surprisingly lacking on the creative front and finding her blog sparked creativity inside me that I hadn’t felt in a long time. Once blogging was on my mind, I could think of nothing else.
After finding Happily Grey, another event took place shortly thereafter. I regularly attend industry events and panels with producers/directors/actors to keep myself fresh on the producing front. I happened to attend an event with women in comedy hosted by The Academy (you know, the big dogs behind The Oscars). Amongst so many of my favorite comedic geniuses was Mindy Kaling. She talked about her mother, who, whenever Mindy would doubt herself as a child, used to utter the phrase “Why not you?”. It was simple, to the point, yet so profound.
Now what it was that day that made Mindy’s insightful words resonate so deeply, I’ll never know. I didn’t expect Mindy’s mantra to become mine as well, but whenever doubt reared its sneaky little head, “Why not me?” immediately popped into my head. Whatever it was, the now seemingly immortal words have stuck with me. And affected many thoughts/scenarios that have since transpired. It was the final push I needed to get my blog in motion.
How did you come up with your blog name?
I always prefer a pen and paper when I’m brainstorming, so I sat down and began racking my brain for blog names. It took a few days to find what I felt was a natural fit. ‘La’ was interchangeable with ‘L.A.’ depending on which I settled. ‘Label’ was a given, but I wanted to finish it off with a word that was less refined. I had always been a collector and I liked the juxtaposition that ‘junkie’ threw into the mix. So La Label Junkie was born.
What was the hardest thing you came across when setting up your blog?
Initially, I scooped up a free WordPress site and did as much as I could anytime I had a few spare minutes. I’m not a programmer and anything on the tech front has never been my strong suit. BUT I am a huge nerd who will google the crap out of something until I figure it out. I had sketched out the blog layout I had in mind…but it was a massive undertaking. Being a perfectionist, I agonized when certain aspects of the site weren’t going as planned. I reserved my original complex layout for a later date and knew deep down it was better to get the blog up than to have it be perfect. Once I streamlined, La Label Junkie was up in a few days.
How do you balance your work and blog life?
Balancing the blog with my work life is a topic near and dear to my heart. It’s a constant juggling act, and anyone who tells you it’s easy…well I’m calling them out right here and now. It’s TOUGH, but doable if you’re determined. On days when I do struggle, I remind myself that “everyone wants the glory, but no one wants to put in the work.” It’s usually enough to shoot me out of bed.
What are 5 things you would tell someone struggling to balance their work & blog life?
The keys to the kingdom for me seem to lie in these five simple rules I’ve created for myself.
- Have an editorial calendar…and stick to it
The blog, Instagram, even Facebook…I have an editorial calendar for everything. On the days when good ideas are hard to come by, you’ll be thanking yourself. It holds me accountable and takes the guesswork out where I can. Staying organized and having a good plan in place is the only way I’m able to juggle so many moving parts.
- Think 3 steps ahead (and have backup plans A-F)
A large part of this is likely the producer in me, but there is always a contingency plan followed by a backup plan. What will I do if it rains during my shoot? What if the pants I need for said outfit don’t arrive in time to shoot by that day? What if I have to work late tonight and ‘x’ post needs to be up tomorrow? There is a plan for it all.
- Know when you’re naturally most energized
I’ve found that my best writing time is in the morning. If I have to be in the office at 10, that typically means getting up at 5AM to accomplish what I need to before my day becomes all about producing. I know I’m a complete waste of space after lunch, so I reserve those hours for activities that require less brain power, like Pinterest or location scouts. I gave up caffeine last year, so working within my natural parameters is especially important to get the most out of my day.
- Have a support system in place
The support of friends and family is crucial, particularly those in your household. I have a home office, so it’s easy to be interrupted if I don’t set boundaries when I’m working. Having my significant other on board has been crucial in more ways than I can count. But that’s not enough. Befriend other bloggers. Did you admire their latest post? Shoot them an email. Or share some Instagram love. It’s not difficult to cultivate meaningful relationships if you’re genuine. There are aspects of blogging that only other bloggers understand. Make sure you have a few friends with whom you can hash out these matters.
- Put yourself in the right mindset
Realize you’re going to have to make more than a few sacrifices to keep your blog up and running (and growing!). It takes a lot of work. For so many endeavors, the biggest piece of the puzzle often seems to be the courage to see it through. Acknowledge the small victories and the progress you’re making. I, of all people, am particularly impatient, so acknowledging how far I’ve come is a big part of the process. That’s not to say you shouldn’t set big goals and make steps towards them. But take time to celebrate the milestones along the way.
Living in LA has led me to dream bigger than I ever have, and the blog became a big part of that. Being a part of the blogger community has been a life-altering experience. I have loved—more than I’ll ever be able to express—getting this blog off the ground. It’s an adventure every day and I’m excited to see where it leads!