FashBoulevard founder. LaurenConrad.com style editor. FabFitFun and VanityFair.com contributing style columnist.
Given Anna James’ impressive resume, you’d never guess that blogging wasn’t her original career path. Blogging was more like a do-or-die, shape up or ship out, last-ditch effort to stay in the fashion game.
After scoring a coveted BCBG internship, Anna left behind her conventional hometown and moved to the sunny and liberating West Coast. Upon graduation from Auburn University, Anna began working as a multi-brand, visual merchandiser. Anna’s career—the result of tenacious and focused hard work—was deservedly blossoming. She was living her dream.
But, like the economy, Anna’s bubble burst. The company unexpectedly laid off Anna’s entire department—and just days before Christmas to boot.
While most would be discouraged and regretfully pack up their bags with a shrug, Anna says, “Well, at least I tried…” She picked herself up by her bootstraps—or, in her case, more likely high-heeled Mary Jane straps—and became her own boss. The resilient Anna launched her personal and celebrity style blog FashBoulevard, never to be vulnerable to unemployment again.
Any aspiring or newbie blogger can learn a great lesson from Anna’s experience: hard work, a genuine perspective and confidence in yourself will yield results. And FashBoulevard is a direct testament.
We asked Anna to share how she spices up those blah style days and the key style tip she picked up from her boss, fashion mogul Lauren Conrad.
When did you start your blog?
I started my blog in 2012. After college, I landed the job of a lifetime in California. Everything was going perfectly until the company decided to lay off the entire visual merchandising department due to budget cuts a week before Christmas, letting everyone go unexpectedly. I was suddenly unemployed and thousands of miles away from my friends and family. Not ready to give up or move home, I decided it was time to be in charge of my own career; so I decided to create a blog as a way to pave my own path through the fashion industry.
What’s the story behind your blog’s name?
I designed a line in college called Glam Boulevard and something about it always stuck. When the time came to create a fashion blog, Fash just felt right. It wasn't a word anyone was using. At the time, when you typed it into Google, it came back with zero results. It's amazing how quickly it caught on.
What influences your style?
Traveling. Because of my husband’s jobs, we are never in a city for more than a few months; so I'm always inspired by the people around me and how different cultures adapt to trends.
Who are your style icons?
Blake Lively, Lauren Conrad, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. They always look classic, effortlessly chic and on point. Lauren has taught me to appreciate the power of a neutral piece and how to successfully combine high and low price points in a single outfit.
Your best tips and tricks for accentuating features you like?
High-waisted skirts are a girls’ best friend, accentuating the tiniest part of your waist while masking any stomach insecurities. I'm also a sucker for cozy, oversized tops.
What are your top five styling and grooming tips?
1. Lots of color.
2. There's no such thing as too much moisturizer.
3. Heels over flats.
4. Always wear at least one statement ring.
5. Every closet needs a chambray top.
Fast & Furious Fashion Quiz
Bikini or one-piece?
Neutral or red lip?
Hose or bare legs in winter?
Body-con or boyfriend?
Skinnies or flares?
Wine or cocktail?
Night out or in?
Sweet or savory indulgence food?
Why did you choose this Vince Camuto Ronan Cross Body?
I've been searching for a black cross body bag that can easily transition from day to night forever. I see a lot of red, gold, and black moments in my future. I think the gold accents are a fun addition that add just enough glam.