Luisa, you are the editor of Minnirella.
Please explain your job description as this is not a regular 9-5! What does a magazine editor and a fashion designer do?
I am the founder of Minnirella, which is a women’s fashion brand and we also have a quarterly magazine under the same name. As the editor-in-chief of our magazine and online content, my role involves approving content proposals from our feature editors, as well as holding meetings with potential clients and advertisers. I love my job because I get to speak to so many interesting people on a regular basis – whether it’s a brand we’re working with or an influential person we’re interviewing for a magazine feature.
Working on the Minnirella fashion brand is equally as fun but looks a little different. We’ve just signed off our very first full collection for Autumn/Winter 21. I’m responsible for coming up with new designs and deciding upon the materials we use in our collections. Once our designs are finalised and have created our dress patterns, we put together a tech pack and send it off to the factories we work with. They will then go ahead and make up the garments, ready for us to sell.
How did you get into running your own magazine and what has inspired you?
I’ve worked either as a blogger or magazine editor since 2010 and have written about many different topics over the years. In 2015, I set up Minnirella (originally known back then as “Online Personal Stylist”) and ran it as my full-time business on my own up until 2020. While some businesses really struggled during 2020, others were busier and flourishing more than ever. Admittedly, it came as a surprise to me how much my business grew during 2020 but at the same time, I felt exhausted by the summer. So, I decided that it was time to hire a team but I wasn’t sure how I’d do that as a blogger. My blog up until that point had always been quite personal and it didn’t feel right to hire writers to run my personal blog, which is why I turned back to my publishing roots and transformed the blog into a magazine with a team, each of whom have their own roles.
My goal was to create a magazine for women who want to consume all aspects of life in an aesthetically pleasing way. I’m pleased to say that it has paid off and the feedback I’ve received has been amazing! I still get to voice my own message and opinions in the editor’s letter of each issue and we now have a team of fantastic writers who each bring their own sparkle to every issue and article we publish!
Please tell me about your average day.
Although we have an office, I usually work from home. I wake up between 6am -7am to enjoy those quiet moments first thing in the morning, while savouring a cup of coffee. I then check my emails, take a shower, do my hair and makeup and then for breakfast I usually have tofu scramble while watching something positive and inspiring on Youtube. Minnie, my 7-year old Chihuahua, (and the inspiration behind my brand name) wakes up around 9-10am, which is when we go for our morning walk.
From mid-morning until the early afternoon, I focus on the main tasks I have to complete for the day. This might be meetings, interviews, or working on designs for our clothing line. I take a break around 2pm for lunch and then continue working until around 7pm. After lunch, I check through my emails and make plans for the next if needed. I like to leave my admin work until the afternoon so that I can use my mornings for any tasks that require creativity, productivity and imagination!
You always look radiant. What is your secret?
Coffee and a good concealer haha! Thank you! It has taken me a long time to achieve a more sensible work/life balance but I feel like I have that under control now. I still work hard and often work long hours but I always make sure that I get a good night’s sleep and that I start and end my working day on the same day, rather than working into the next morning like I often used to do. I’m also a huge advocate for the “wake up, dress up” attitude. For me personally, I am so much more productive when I’ve made the effort to do my hair and makeup in the morning. Whenever I skip my getting ready routine and tell myself: “it doesn’t matter what I look like, nobody is going to see me” that little thought can then turn into: “It doesn’t matter what I do today, nobody is going to see me!” We all have our little tricks to get us up and motivated in the mornings and I guess this is mine.
You are a hyphenate – congratulations on your launch of the Minnirella fashion brand. Tell me more!
Thank you! Minnirella is a luxury, zero waste fashion brand, offering timeless items, inspired by the best pieces from every style era. It has always been my dream to start my own fashion brand but the timing never felt right or I’d get stuck at certain obstacles and push the idea to one side. The years went by, 15 in fact, and I still couldn’t stop thinking about having my own clothing line, so I finally took the plunge and went ahead. It has been difficult but there have been many amazing moments during the journey so far. I started to get really serious about launching my clothing brand last autumn (October/November 2020) but the impact of the pandemic and then the Brexit custom issues imposed huge challenges for new businesses that were just getting started. I put the idea off “for a month from now” but then the months rolled on and I hadn’t done anything until this summer when I realised that if I didn’t do something, another year would have passed without taking action. This was quite a frightening realisation, so I got my head down, made a plan and launched my first official clothing collection at the beginning of November 2021.
I have designed all of the items myself – from the colour, texture, materials used, the way they hang, the length, the style, and so on. My vision was to combine modern day ethics with classic styles and luxury tailoring. I’m really pleased to say that we’ve achieved precisely that. All of our garments are ethically made in Europe by expert tailors and seamstresses, as well as in European factories.
Can you offer a career advice for anyone thinking of following your steps?
My biggest piece of advice would be to just go for it! It’s not new advice and I’m sure you’ve heard it a thousand times before but honestly, the biggest challenge is actually getting started! Another top tip is to put in the hours and discipline. Somebody once told me that if you put in the same 8/9 working hours into building your own business, you’re guaranteed to succeed. Consistency is key!
Thank you for your time and sharing your tips on productivity!