Jana Meister has a mug in her office that reads: “Don’t quit your dream job.” In September, she quit her day job to pursue her dream job as a full-time fashion blogger at JanaStyleBlog.com.
Not every blogger succeeds, but Jana has found multiple related avenues that have helped her establish herself as a brand, including personal styling and closet consultation. She’s also regularly called upon as a style expert on local TV.
“Building my business is all I think about,” she says. “I’m starting from scratch. It’s definitely not easy. I work at it every single day.”
Blogging as a business has evolved. “There’s been a shift in acceptance. Companies are budgeting marketing dollars for bloggers because they understand the voice of a blogger. It’s me telling readers how clothes fit in real life.”
Jana says she builds trust with readers by modeling styles herself. “This was not a plan, it’s just how it happened,” Jana adds. Usually her mom, sister or fiancé take her photos on the streets of downtown Lee’s Summit. She uses her mom’s office there to make quick changes.
Jana describes her style as classic with an edge. She plays with trends but generally sticks with her favorite color palette of pink, black, white and gray. “My look is authentic,” Jana says. “The things I post are relevant and fit my personality.”
Fashion companies send Jana items to keep sometimes or offer loaners with store credit. “I’ve built good relationships with boutiques and stores for borrowing items,” Jana says. “Especially for shoots, I want the most current pieces so people can pick them up if they like them.”
Beauty brands also send products in hopes of a mention. “Those I only post about if I think they’re really amazing,” Jana says.
It’s not unusual for Jana to put in a 60-hour workweek. She’s currently serving as fashion editor for KC Fashion Week, which runs through Saturday, so she’s busy getting the word out about runway shows and events. In August, she’ll be getting married, and you can bet she’ll be blogging and tweeting about nuptial-related trends up to the big day.
“I just take it one day, one project at a time,” she says. “I wake up excited every day and think, ‘What’s on my calendar today?’ I love that spontaneity. I don’t have to sit in a cubicle working for someone else and pretend to be happy, because I am happy.”
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