“As for fashion, I am very proud of our country as it has become a go-to place for luxury brands to seek out production”
“I believe that both men and women should be able to compete at an equal level in all aspects of life”
“Peru will always be home to me. It is the reason I am the way I am, and also why I am passionate about the beach”
Thanks so much Karen for accepting the interview and to be an example for young to embrace something that they love and feel passionate about and not giving up along the way. Thanks to your experiences a lot of them will go on to take the first step.
1.-Welcome, Karen. Please tell us your passion for fashion. What obstacles did you find along the way? And,what satisfaction has the fashion world given you?
Thank you for having me William. Fashion has always been something I have been passionate about, ever since I was a little girl. Both my mom and grandmothers are fashionistas so they brought that upon me from a very young age. Although fashion is something that is close to my heart, I did not know I wanted to make it my career until about 3 years ago when I started working as a sales associate at my local Nordstrom. Working there inspired me and made me realize that a career in fashion would be perfect for me, so I changed my major from Business Administration to Fashion Merchandising and I couldn’t be happier! Originally, I thought I wanted to stay with Nordstrom and move up to become a buyer, but I soon realized that this would mean that I would have to relocate permanently to Seattle which I did not want to do. Instead I decided to focus on school and start Little Black Shell as a means of exploring my more creative side and recoding my everyday style to share with the world.
2.- Karen, not only are you a lover of fashion but you’re also very passionate about the beach and getting to know enchanting places. Which sites have created an impact on you and which would you recommend us to visit?
The beach is a huge source of inspiration for me which is why incorporating that with my other love, fashion, was a must for Little Black Shell. I grew up by the beach, and have always wanted to stay close to it. Currently I am living in Huntington Beach, CA which is amazing since the beach is basically my backyard. Huntington Beach is definitely one of my favorite places, as is Newport Beach and Laguna Beach, which are both neighboring towns. Laguna Beach is amazing because it has a big art community and also a cool beach with a lighthouse that I recently discovered.
3.-You are Peruvian from birth. What memories do you have of Peru, of Asian beaches and your childhood? What do you think of the evolution of the demanding world of fashion in our country?
Peru will always be home to me. It is the reason I am the way I am, and also why I am passionate about the beach. I lived in Lima until I was 10 years old, and we also had a summer beach house in Asia. The memories I have from those summers spent in that beach house are the ones I am most fond of, as we were completely care-free there. As for fashion, I am very proud of our country as it has become a go-to place for luxury brands to seek out production. Our pima cotton is one of the best in the world, so it is without surprise that so many reputable brands would want it for their clothing lines. Also, I am happy that Peru is expanding in the consumer side of fashion as well, and that they recently started Lima Fashion Week!
4.- Karen, more than new clothes fashion is about dressing well and comfortably. Would you say this is true?
This is very true! My style is all about what makes you feel good. I think comfort is a must, and just overall wearing things that make you feel confident.
5.- What projects do you have in the medium and long term once you finish your courses in fashion marketing?
I am on pace to graduate with my bachelors in Apparel Merchandising and next Spring, and what my future holds is still a little unclear. Like I said before, I wanted to get into buying with Nordstrom, or another company, and that is still something I would be interested in pursuing, but at the same time, I am so passionate about my blog! Ideally, I would love to take Little Black Shell from a part-time to a full-time position.
6.- You’ve decided to spread your passion for fashion through a blog: littleblackshell.com Do you enjoy writing? We see really good comments on your blog.What experience have you gained blogging?
Honestly, before I started Little Black Shell, I absolutely hated writing. I was always good at it, but did not enjoy it at all. However, ever since I started doing the blog, writing has become one of my favorite activities, and I look forward to writing new blog posts everyday! Blogging has definitely changed my perspective on this aspect, and has made me realize that writing isn’t tedious at all if you’re writing about something that you are passionate about.
7.- How important are social networks for a fashion blogger?
Social media is so important in order to stay current and attract new followers. Instagram in particular is the one I use the most, because it allows me to share pictures of my daily life with my readers and it complements the blog really well. I don’t think my blog would be where it is today if it wasn’t for social media!
8.- How would you compare our country at an educational, social and economic level compared to the U.S.A ?
Peru is still a developing country, so it is definitely not at the level the United States is, yet. However, Peru’s economy has been growing and has become stronger and more stable in recent years, making it a major player in South America. Still, even with the recent recession, the economy in the United States is a lot more stable, but I am hopeful that Peru will only get better as time passes. On education, the United States definitely has a better public education system than Peru, but when it comes to private school, Peru is the same or better! I believe Peru’s private schools surpass those in the United States in areas such as world history and languages, as most schools there require you to study one or more languages from a young age, and aim at making you well-rounded with what goes on around the world.
9.- Worldwide, women have acquired a greater role even though there are societies where they are still abused. What is your opinion of the role of women in the future in these societies?
I am a feminist so I believe that both men and women should be able to compete at an equal level in all aspects of life. We have made some improvements on the rights of women in recent years, however, there are still great inequalities even in developed nations such as the United States. In general, I believe the abuse of women needs to stop, and that people in these societies need to realize that it is the 21st century, not the stone age.
10.- Karen, what is your motivation and what do you feel grateful for every day?
I am grateful to have such an amazing husband, family, and friends, who support me with anything I decide to do and that believe in me.
11.- What would you say to young people wishing to engage in the exciting world of fashion and who have not yet done so? What would you say to their parents?
I would say go for it! Fashion is one of the biggest industries at the moment and there are so many fields within the industry that need to be filled. When thinking of fashion, most people have this idea in their head that it means you are going to be a fashion designer, but that is only one of the hundreds of positions you could be a part of. Personally, I cannot design something to save my life, which is why I am more interested in the business and marketing side of fashion. It allows me to use both the creative and analytical parts of myself, which is amazing since not many industries allow you to do that!
12.- Finally, Karen, warm greetings from our country to yours.
Thank you so much!
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