As founder of our go-to site for all things entertaining, Camille Styles has built a booming blog around her passion for bringing creativity, inspiration and stress-free style to readers around the world. Today, Camille opens up the doors to her chic Austin office and gives Rue an inside glimpse into the place where she and her team get inspired to create the content we love. Also sharing her secrets to business success, lessons learned along the way, and tips on managing a team, this is a Q&A you won’t want to miss!
Thanks for having us, Camille! First things first, when you were designing your office, what was the design goal for the space?
When we first moved in, I had the office all to myself (here’s what it used to look like!). Due to our growing team and a desire to create a more collaborative environment, I decided to reengineer the space to accommodate four work stations for myself, assistant editor Chanel, art director Jenn and three interns who rotate in and out of the same station. We considered a few different configurations, but moving the desks into a quadrant in the middle of the room seemed to be the one that kept the light, airy and open feel of the office that I love so much.
Speaking of creating a collaborative environment, can you share your tips on managing a team?
Your team is your most important asset – put relationships first, always show respect and realize that other people’s communication styles are different from your own. I only hire people who I trust and have 100% confidence in their abilities, and as a result I don’t micromanage and allow them to have a lot of creative and personal freedom on every project.
You recently had your first child (congratulations!). What advice would you give young women trying to juggle a career and motherhood?
It can be tricky for sure, but when in doubt, I’ve learned to always put family first and the rest will fall into place. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and realize that no one is perfect and allowing guilt to creep doesn’t accomplish anything.
And yet, you make it look so effortless! Your office is an extension to your home. Do you try to keep both spaces separate?
When I had my baby Phoebe 9 months ago, I was initially concerned about maintaining a professional and inspiring work environment with a newborn in the house! But it’s ended up working beautifully. The office is on one side of the house while our living spaces and bedrooms are on the other, so I can have privacy when I need it. But to be totally honest, my employees are like family, and I love that Phoebe is able to see them on a daily basis and get a glimpse at this other side of her mom’s life that I’m so passionate about. Plus, it’s really convenient that when she goes down for her nap, I can squeeze in a quick meeting with the team!
That brings us to our next question! Can you walk us through a typical day juggling mom, wife, and businesswoman duties?
My husband, baby and I all wake up around 6:45am. Make coffee, feed Phoebe her breakfast, put on makeup and blow dry my hair right away — otherwise, it may never happen! I throw on workout clothes and head to a TRX/Pilates or Kor180 class, or we all go for a walk around the neighborhood. I make a pot of steel cut oats topped with berries and almonds, throw on my outfit, get Phoebe dressed, then drop her off at her grandmother’s house so I have four hours of uninterrupted time to get work done. It’s amazing how I can now squeeze an entire workday into that amount of time! Back at the office, my team is already hard at work, and the next four hours are usually a whirlwind of answering emails, sending off proposals, styling mini photo shoots, helping Chanel with DIY’s, blogging (I try to finish posts at least a couple days in advance), and meeting with the team about upcoming projects and blog posts. Sometimes I have lunch meetings, but otherwise I throw together a salad with whatever veggies and grains are in my fridge, and work right through lunch. When 2pm rolls around (so quickly!) I pickup Phoebe and our afternoon is spent playing, swimming in the pool and running errands together. If afternoon photo shoots are happening, I’ll stop by for a bit with Phoebe strapped to the front of me in her baby carrier. She loves it - I think I might have a little stylist on my hands!
What a day! And where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully I’ll have written more books (my first one will be published in Fall 2014!) and the blog will be even more inspiring and reach more people around the world. But honestly, who knows? I would never have guessed five years ago that I’d be getting to do what I do now.
Can you share your top 5 pieces of career advice you’ve learned along the way?
1. Plan ahead, but be flexible and allow those plans to change. You never know what opportunities may present themselves!
2. Surround yourself with positive people who believe that anything is possible.
3. Respond to all emails.
4. Take risks.
5. Every day, strive to be the very best version of yourself.
And last but not least. You’ve built such a successful site. What do you attribute your success to?
My team and I always challenge ourselves to be creative, avoid falling into ruts and allow the content that we create to be ever-evolving. Honestly I think that when you’re doing what you love, you achieve a flow that allows you to work incredibly hard, because it doesn’t really feel like “work.” As a blogger, you’ve got to start from a place of passion. I often tell bloggers just starting out to prepare themselves for a day when they’ll feel like throwing in the towel and giving it up; only their passion and strong vision will help them keep going and get past the hump.
Perfectly putting! Thanks for sharing your your office, thoughts, and passion with us today, Camille!