Grilled: Malin Richardson, CEO/founder, A Fashionista's Guide

The fashion blogger on why variety is the spice of life and why PRs need to do their homework

Malin Richardson: "I don’t have any fears regarding my career; when I do something I go all in for it"
Malin Richardson: "I don’t have any fears regarding my career; when I do something I go all in for it"

Describe your feelings as you come into work...
I love it as my office is the world and I never know in what part of the world I will be one week from now. My job is never the same and I control my time.

Why do you do this job?
It’s my passion. I love being able to ins­pire people around the world through my blog (afashionistasguide.com). The feeling of having my own community of readers of like-minded people is my driving force.

As a child I wanted to be...
An archaeologist. I loved to dig in our garden in the hopes of finding something old and beautiful.

What is the best and worst time to pitch to you?
It’s never a bad time. I am very open to new ideas.

What makes a great story for you?
When I feel the PR agency has taken time to analyse what brand and storyline would suit my blog. I work closely with PR agencies to come up with ideas and concepts and it really gets me going when I feel they have put their passion in to it.

What is your view of PR professionals?
I love to work closely with PRs – together we can create great things.

Do you have a favourite PR person? Why?
I don’t have a favourite person but I do have favourite agencies. I love working with PR agencies that represent lifestyle brands that match the niche of my blog, which is fashion, travel and food. I can give them input on what companies or brands would suit them and vice versa.

How do you think PRs could work better with bloggers?
Really do your homework and research what kind of blogger would fit with the brand with which you are working. Understand that bloggers are not cheap marketing: that might have been the case four years ago when bloggers hadn’t really understood how powerful they are, but now the climate is totally different so a marketing budget is more than necessary.

What one thing gets in the way of you doing your job?
Probably food: I love food and it’s such a huge passion of mine. I love to take time to go and have a delicious lunch meeting but I am very disciplined so I can handle both. I love mixing business with pleasure.

Is there any subject that you find so boring or offensive that you just won’t give it oxygen?
There isn’t one I can think of. Perhaps mathematics, it makes me a bit sleepy.

What gives you the biggest job satisfaction?
When I have sealed the deal of a new project with a designer or company and I have done everything from the first pitch to the creation of the concept. I have been invited to report from New York Fashion Week since the age of 21, which has been a great honour. I have also worked closely with brands like Ralph Lauren and Omega and I had the honour of meeting Ralph Lauren during fashion week in September 2014. I was awarded ‘Chicest Fashionista 2014’ in the CHIC Awards last autumn.

The greatest pressure on me is…
To always deliver bigger and better. But I see it in a positive light. I always want to improve what I am doing – I never want to settle.

What is your management style: shouter, weeper or supportive friend?
I am very firm in what I want and my vision for my business but at the same time I am also very helpful and give a lot of advice to make the process easier and faster. I am a perfectionist so it’s all or nothing in my world.

Which outlet do you most admire for its news coverage and why?
I love Refinery29 and WhoWhatWear – you always find something interesting there.

What’s in your lunch box?
I don’t do lunch boxes, I do a la carte.

What is your greatest career fear?
Probably the fear of dying and knowing that I didn’t pursue my dreams. I don’t have any fears regarding my career; when I do something I go all in for it. If it doesn’t work out it’s not the end of the world; I will do something else that I will fill with my passion.

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