Get To Know A #Girlboss // Stacey O'Keeffe
There are always people you will come across in your life that will always spark your inspiration from their own fire. Stacey O'Keeffe, Publisher and Director of Fashion Weekly Magazine is one of those people for me. So what better way to kick off the #GirlBoss interview series, then with this Entrepreneurial lady herself!
Making the rookie move that true fashionista's do, Stacey and I headed to James Street on Origin night, completely oblivious (Origin..sorry what?) to talk shop, chat about how she got started on her own, and some of the expansions and new ventures that we can expect to see from Fashion Weekly.
Stacey studied fashion design, business and hair hairdressing, starting her own bridal and couture design label based here in Brisbane. Interning herself at Fashion Weekly, she jumped at the chance to make it her own when the name came up for sale. Throwing herself in head first, Stacey turned a part time project into a full time job, following her passion and making fashion work for her, rather than working for fashion.
"You really have to get out there, be everywhere, get to know everyone and make everyone know you. Everyone you meet, whether they are in your industry or not, has the ability to offer advice, perspective, connections or opportunities. Never discount meeting someone who's in real estate just because you're in fashion; you just never know what can come from that relationship "
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced getting Fashion Weekly off the ground?
"Any employer will probably agree that finding key employees tends to be a massive business challenge. But when you do find amazing people, you want to look after them and continue working and growing together."
Every second person has their own blog or is creating content online. How do you keep Fashion Weekly different from other platforms?
"Fashion Weekly is a unique platform because our website and magazine both reach and target different audiences. Our magazine has a sophisticated tone that speaks to the fashion and beauty lover who embraces style as a lifestyle. Whereas our website content is little more light-hearted with a fun and cheeky tone that is easy to read. We're also the only media brand in Brisbane that is purely fashion focused with a touch of luxe and glamour. We also have an edge with our digital aspect."
Part of the challenges with running any online content is knowing that you aren't always going to be creating the content that you want, and sometimes you have to cater to your reader. Sunday - Tuesday, The Fashion Weekly reader wants motivation, business and money talk. By Wednesday, with the weekend on the horizon, they are looking for relationship advice, light hearted reading and outfit inspiration. Knowing what your readers want and when is crucial to building long lasting a loyal readership base, and this is based on statistics, marketing and analysing engagement.
Part of the key to Fashion Weeklies success is the trust that Stacey and her carefully selected team and contributors have formed with their readers.
"Find your voice and your position and stick with it. You have to cut through the saturation online with trust, honesty, and being true to who you are and your voice. Stay truthful, if it doesn't work for you then say so! When you build your relationship with your readers, they will know to come to you as a source of knowledge."
With all the beauty reviews you do, you must come across some amazing products. What beauty product do you never leave the house without?
"I can't and won't leave the house without my favourite mascara by 'Too Faced, Better Than Sex.' It seriously gives my lashes life! I love it so much."
When it comes to shopping, where do you like to invest, and where do you like to save?
"I live in all black.. (PREACH sister!!!).. so I love to dress up my outfits with my accessories and make up. A belted A-line dress can give you an hourglass figure with little effort, and bold necklaces and cocktail rings with some lipstick can make a world of difference. I'm a sucker for shoes as well!" - Again, Preach!
Who is your style muse?
"Rachel Zoe, she is amazing!" Her style, her business mentality, author, owner of an empire, and a mother! What's not to love.
What is your favourite guilty pleasure?
"A glass of red wine, a delicious cheese platter and chats with my best friends. You can't go past relaxing and unwinding after a busy, fashion-filled week."
What is your advice to startups in the online realm here in Brisbane?
"Be in Brisbane as it blossoms, because when it does, you will already be established." Brisbane is on the up and up, and to stay here where you can build connections and be a part of a movement of an industry that is more open to young creatives than Sydney and Melbourne, you are more likely to get somewhere.
"You also need to know the technical stuff. What does Google need from you? Learn about SEO, geo tagging, coding etc, because that can be what lets your platform down."
Stacey is a perfect example of a woman doing it for herself. She has a work ethic that I strongly admire, and we could all take a page out of not only her business book, but her style book.
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