In honor of Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power's upcoming book, The Career Code: Must-Know Rules for a Strategic, Stylish, and Self-Made Career ($17), we're kicking off an interview series featuring 17 questions (in honor of the book's 17 chapters) about the work lives of the most inspirational female leaders in the fashion industry. So far, we've tapped Sally Singer, Emily & Meritt, Rachel Zoe, and more. Up next? Tina Craig.
Not many women (or men) can pivot their passion for designer bags into a full-fledged career, but such is the case with Tina Craig, fashion blogger and co-founder of Snob Global Media. Back in 2005, Craig and her now–business partner Kelly Cook recognized a gap in the editorial industry for designer bag coverage, and thus was born Bag Snob. In addition to keeping us all up to date on the purses we should be lusting after (there are quite a few), she's also kept busy with a regular online column for Harper’s Bazaar and serving as a contributing editor for Vogue Taiwan, and she's done it all from her home base in Texas, where she lives with her husband and son.
Keep reading for career advice from a woman who turned her passion into her career.
"I shop for a living, and I help women (and men!) make informed decisions when they shop via my reviews. As the co-creator of my own line, Snob Essentials, I also have the pleasure of designing several bag collections a year, as well as working on a number of ongoing designer collaborations. There's a lot more to come!"
"It involves a lot of research and Skype meetings. My partner lives in L.A., and we've designed entire collections via Skype."
"A navy Donna Karan jacket with white collar and a short pleated white skirt. It's an outfit that's actually quite chic, even today! But it was way too big for me. I would tell my 22-year-old self to invest in a good tailor; fit is all-important."
"Warren Buffet. [He's] the most successful investor in the world, as well as a noted philanthropist, [and] I would love to pick his brain and get some sound advice. Great advice is priceless."
"Business of Fashion, my industry bible. I check it daily to keep apprised of the fashion industry and what's really happening behind the high-gloss façade."
"Other than regretting not pursuing a singing career, I really don't have any regrets, as I see every choice I make, good or bad, as an important life experience. And hey, there is always karaoke where I channel Lady Gaga for my friends."
"I look for people who are self-motivated, opinionated, curious, outspoken, and committed."
"My highest heels. Added height makes a petite girl feel particularly powerful. Plus, they improve your posture, ensuring you stand up straight with confidence."
"Demanding but fair, compassionate, and encouraging."
"If I'm feeling [like] I need to get out of my head and meditate on something, I’ll work out or read a book. A little space from yourself every now and then can be extremely helpful."
"In person is ideal, but if you're remotely located, a thoughtful email explaining your position is the way to go."
"At home, I make an arugula salad with a poached egg, chopped beets, and avocado. If I'm out, I'll usually go to True Food Kitchen; I love the seasonal salads with grilled fish. In the winter, they have one with dried mulberries—I never knew how much I loved mulberries until I tried it! Or King Taco —anytime, anywhere. I am and will forever be an L.A. girl at heart."
"Trying to fit in, a conditioned impulse so many of us have that should stay relegated to middle school. If you want to get ahead, make a conscious (and intelligent) effort to stand out, not blend in. Fading into the crowd won't get you anywhere. What about your peers? Worrying what others think about them. Speculating about what people might think of you is a waste of useful energy. As for both employees and peers, treat everyone the same way. Whether they bring you coffee or sign your paycheck, they deserve to be spoken to with the same degree of respect."
"Betches, because their account is unapologetic and hysterically funny! ArtsxDesign for its dreamlike imagery; Moonlightice, a visual diary of Japanese landscapes; China_Chow—if you want to learn about art, follow my dear friend; and Hayden_Williams, a superbly talented fashion illustrator. A friend surprised me with a sketch of me by Hayden, and it instantly became one of my favorite things."
"I start most days with a workout. It clears my mind, getting me motivated and stronger for the entire day ahead."
"Remain authentic to yourself. Oscar de la Renta once told me, 'It's okay if you don't like me today. You might love me tomorrow. What's important is I am staying true to myself and my work.'"
"A fine jewelry collaboration with a French luxury brand called Novel Heritage! It will be 100% handmade in traditional family-run Parisian workshops, which is a dream come true for me. It's also awe-inspiring to see the craftsman at work—and it's encouraging to be reminded it's not a lost art."
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If you had a chance to sit down and talk to someone about their career, who would it be? Let us know in the comments below!