Photo: From www.thecollegeprepster.com
I remember hearing about The College Prepster a few years ago, so I have always known that it was a very popular style/lifestyle blog. That being said, since my days as a college student are long gone, I don’t spend too much time on college related sites. But when a friend recently told me about Carly – the founder of TCP and a rockin’ blogger/entrepreneur – I was intrigued…and started reading. Before I knew it, I was having one of those Internet binges. You know what I’m talking about, when you go from page to page of a new website, and then you look at the clock and realize an hour (or two) have gone by in what seemed like a minute. I loved Carly’s writing, her sense of style, her decorating tips, her adorable dog, and her personal stories about life. And I’m not in college…. I’m 29!
I found lots of goodies within her blog that were appealing and relevant for those of us who are…ahem…a few (ok, more than a few) years out of school. In addition to being inspired as a reader, I was impressed from a business standpoint. The College Prepster is a multi-platform brand that extends beyond blog content, but into retail, brand partnerships and more.
A few weeks ago I had the chance to meet Carly for coffee, and while many know her as “The College Prepster”, I was looking forward to getting to know Carly, the girl behind the brand. Our coffee meeting felt like getting to know a new friend and I loved that! She may be partnering with big name companies and have over 26,000 twitter followers, but at the end of the day, she’s a super cool girl just like us, navigating life in her twenties.
Below are some questions we sent Carly so you all could get to know her better. Enjoy!
You started your Blog, The College Prepster, in 2008 a few years before the blogging phenomenon took off. For those who aren’t familiar with your story, what inspired you to start the blog in the first place?
I started my blog when studying for final exams during my first semester at Georgetown. I had a rough start at school and kind of lost myself a bit in the process. I needed a creative outlet and a friend suggested that I start a blog. The rest is history!
In addition to all of the style/lifestyle posts you create as The College Prepster, you share several personal stories about your life as Carly. What inspires you to be so open with your readers about your highs and lows, not only a growing blogger, but as a normal 20-something girl navigating her life in NYC?
I write my blog with the intention of writing what I wish I could have read when I was younger. So many topics are supposedly taboo, but it turns out that a LOT of people go through difficult things. Knowing you’re not alone can help someone get through whatever it is they are struggling with. I also think it’s important to start a dialogue and conversation around more difficult things that young women face and go through.
Many of our readers on Quarterlette.com are moving to new cities all around the country (and abroad!). Tell us about your move to NYC after college. What was the experience like for you moving to a new city….exciting, difficult, overwhelming, inspiring? All of the above?
I was so excited to move that I was running on pure adrenaline. I didn’t have any time to stress out about the move because I was checking things off a huge massive list. Finding an apartment, signing all the paperwork, buying furniture, packing my things, etc. The hard part was when I was all moved in… and alone! Thankfully I started working really soon because it was really lonely being in an apartment by myself in a new city in a neighborhood where I didn’t know anyone!
You worked at a startup for a year after college even though your blogging career had already taken off. Do you think it’s a good idea for women who are interested in pursuing blogging as a career to gain experience working for other companies first?
I would recommend not pursuing blogging as a career, but instead focus on how a blogging experience can help your career. For me, blogging absolutely helped me get my job, both through the networking opportunities I had and my knowledge of creating digital content.
We know that you’re an avid reader (and already loved your recommendation of Zen and the Art of Happiness)! Can you give us a few other great recommendations?
Yes! Here are some of my all time favorite books that I recommend to everyone.
How would you describe your personal style? Without using the word preppy, what do you go for when selecting your looks not only for the blog, but for your day-to-day life?
Casual, chic. It’s my new personal style motto!
You grew The College Prepster from a simple idea in 2008 to a multi-faceted brand consumed by thousands of women. It takes a great deal of knowledge, confidence, hard work and drive to achieve something like that. What do you think enabled you to get to where you are?
Listening to the right people and tuning out the wrong people… which is not as easy as it seems. I have great mentors who give amazing guidance, but even my dad didn’t really get my “vision” for College Prepster. I also made a huge time commitment to building it, without expecting anything in return. The first few years were pretty much uneventful. Nothing exciting, nothing “cool,” no pats-on-the-back. I did it because I loved it, and continue to do it because I love it!
The blogging world – as with many other professional worlds, especially in New York City – can get extremely competitive. How do you block out all of the noise and stay focused on yourself, without feeling a sense of competitiveness?
I surround myself with good people. I have an amazing support system and friends that are completely uninvolved in the blogging world. That helps a lot.
What is your most memorable moment since launching The College Prepster?
Being featured in Teen Vogue as part of their Instalist!
Any words or phrases that you live by?
Live your dreams
Carly’s Dog, Teddy…..Cute dog award!