Pursuing a Career in Blogging, Beauty or Tech


Considering a career in blogging, beauty or tech? Take some advice from our industry experts! This month, I talked to makeup artist Ashley Gomila, blogger/stylist Carrie Waller, and web designer/developer Stephanie Birditt— and asked them to share their best career advice for up-and-comers just like YOU! Read on as they discuss the importance of staying confident, being creative, and taking risks to get ahead of the curve!



Ashley Gomila: Celebrity Makeup Artist

Ashley is a professional makeup artist and the founder of Astonish Magazine. Ashley works with a wide range of talent from actresses Ashley Greene and Julie Delpy to music artists Iggy Azalea, Enrique Iglesias, Snoop, T.I.,  Lionel Richie and Muse, to name a few. Her editorial work has been featured in Vogue Italia, ASOS, Zink!, Lovecat, Galore & Bullett.

What was the worst job interview you've ever had? How did it go, and what did you learn from it?

Wildly enough, I've never been interviewed for a job, but I have had to do 1 or 2 tests gigs with a couple clients before getting hired. When you're working with celebrities there's definitely moments where anxiety can kick in— but you have to remember that they are just normal people! The first time working with a musician is probably the hardest because they have full control over how they prefer to look. But ultimately, I enjoy the challenge of working with a new client. Skin is a living, breathing canvas and no one face is alike!

How do you set yourself up for success in this field?

I take pride in being a germaphobe and keeping my workspace neat.  My clients really appreciate that. Personality really sets me apart as well. I'm very caring and I know to do deal with pressure and stress pretty well. It's extremely rare that I don't form a very close relationship with my clients right away especially since I'm always in their face. 

What's the most creative thing you've done to create new opportunities for yourself?

Starting my own fashion and beauty print magazine (Astonish Magazine) has absolutely been the most creative thing I've done. I've been fortunate to meet many new talented photographers, stylists, hairstylists and graphic designers because of it! The current issue of Astonish features Azealia Banks on the cover. It was a great experience getting the opportunity for myself and my team to work with her! 

When you see up and coming youngsters entering the beauty industry, what personality type (or characteristics) do you think are critical to ensure long-term success?

You literally have to enslave yourself to the industry, that's the only way to learn and adapt! There are no shortcuts to success in this field. Grow a thick skin but keep your heart and soul pure. As an artist, you probably won't become a true professional until you learn how to work well with and communicate properly with others. 



Carrie Waller: Stylist, Photographer, Blogger

Carrie is the writer, stylist and photographer behind the lifestyle blog, Dream Green DIY and also is the features editor for Glitter Guide. Her work has been featured by Domino, Better Homes and Gardens, Design*Sponge and Apartment Therapy, among others.   (photo cred: Chelsea Laine Francis)

What's the most creative thing you've done to create a new opportunity for yourself and get ahead in your career?

I always like to take things one step beyond what I think the competition would. For example, when approached by magazine editors to submit DIY content for consideration, I'll draft up an entire graphic spread, complete with copy, captions, photos, text overlays and even page numbers to mimic the specific magazine's style. This cuts the editor a break since it shows her the technical visual aspects of a potential collaboration in addition to the creative concept.

When you see up and coming youngsters entering the bloggersphere, what personality type (or characteristics) do you think are critical to ensure long-term success?

Passion, first and foremost, is essential to making it as a blogger. In the beginning, you'll be hustling day and night (literally!) to make it work, and the only way to handle the long hours—and lack of a social life—is with a deeply rooted passion for making it happen. I've seen so many people start a blog or creative venture only to underestimate the time commitment. I like to tell it like it is: blogging takes a monumental amount of time and energy, but it is so worth it to be able to do what you love full-time.

For those who are inexperienced, but want to start a blog -- what might they do to get ahead of the competition?

The first thing to overcome is even caring about the competition. Sure, it's important to know what others are doing and where the trends are headed so that you stay relevant, but keeping a sharp eye on the competition will ultimately drag you down thanks to that tricky comparison game. Spend 90% of your time looking inward and brainstorming your own path and direction. The most successful bloggers I know have made it to the top because they chart their own course!



Stephanie Birditt: Web Designer, Developer

Stephanie is an Associate Art Director at Fandango, but also provides freelance design and development services outside of her 9-5.  Stephanie has worked on rebranding campaigns for sites such as LaurenConrad.com, BetterEats.com, Makeup.com and Daily Glow.

What was the most memorable job interview you’ve had, and what did you learned from it?

My last interview with Fandango was definitely the most memorable. Five different people interviewed me (from different disciplines, with varying roles in the company) and almost none of them had the same question. I was even asked what type of animal I would want to be! Even if you are super nervous and want a job more than anything in the world—I suggest to take three deep breaths and ask yourself: “what would Beyonce do?” It might sound silly—but it works for me!

What's the most creative thing you've done to create a new opportunity for yourself and get ahead in your career?

Being in a creative field sets the bar pretty high for creativity. When I first graduated from college I had a very intricate book that I mailed out to ad agencies—which told my story and brand through visuals. It’s always a nice touch to put something personal on your resume or website— and show some personality! No one wants to work with a robot, no matter how talented you are.

When you see up and coming youngsters entering the tech industry, what personality type (or characteristics) are critical for long-term success?

Anyone can learn a trade or skill—but you can't learn to be a self-starter. You have to be self-motivated to continually learn, read, and hone in on your craft. I also think it’s important to be a well-rounded and sincere person. We are all in this together and stepping on others to get ahead will get you nowhere. Offer to help a colleague, ask them about their passions and dreams. You just may learn something and at the very least—you will develop real relationship with a colleague that you can count on.

For those who are inexperienced, but want to break into this industry-- what might they do to get ahead?

There are so many great online skills courses; squishier, treehouse, Lynda. I always suggest being a voracious reader and learner. If you don’t have clients, fake it! Pick a company or brand that interests you and pick it apart. Attempt your own redesign, rebrand, and explain your thought process. Put your work up and update it frequently. Behance and Dribble are amazing design communities to get feedback and get your name out there! And don't be afraid to reach out to someone for an informational interview, just be professional and courteous with their time.


These ladies have had to dedicate serious time, passion and energy to get to where they are today—but they’re doing what they love--and so can YOU! xo,

Ryan Ryan is a freelance writer & brand strategist based in Santa Monica, CA. She is the cofounder of SOLO, a website dedicated to helping women find their strongest, most authentic selves. She is a regular contributor  to Career Contessa, The Western Wild, Elana Lyn and Simply Stylist. Her writing has also been featured on Refinery29, Levo League and WeWork.