Emily Johnston, 34, runs fashion and lifestyle blog Fashion Foie Gras. She lives in west London
“I keep such irregular hours that my boyfriend, who works in finance, can’t handle it, so I’ve recently moved into my own place. We’re still together, but now I live two doors down – it means that, if I need to, I can stay up until 3am responding to PRs and covering news as it happens in LA and New York. I blog about my personal style, as well as fashion news and restaurant and travel reviews. It’s my full-time career, and I work alone so, to stay relevant, I need to be active across a few different time zones. I end up writing a lot, and sleeping little but it doesn’t feel like a chore.
I get up at 7am and check my emails, Twitter and Instagram. Depending on whether any news has broken overnight, I’ll go for an hour-long run. Last time I skipped it was when Oscar de la Renta died – he was such a visionary figure in the fashion world that I wanted to pay tribute to him straight away. When I get back, I shower and dress as if I’m going to an office, in a good pair of jeans, a nice Zara or Ralph Lauren sweater and Lulu Guinness heels. I work from my living room – my desk is in front of the window so I can keep an eye out for deliveries from PR firms – but it’s important to get into a professional headspace. I make a coffee and am at my desk by 8.30am.
I check emails and schedule my tweets about that day’s blog posts. Seventy-five per cent of what I tweet is spontaneous, but if I know that a post is going up, I’ll prepare the social media for it in advance. Then, I’ll have a breakfast meeting at Electric House in Portobello Road.
Keeping up-to-date with fashion and beauty brands is crucial – I want my blog to be fun, but also informative and I earn a lot of my income from commercial work, styling and writing for brands. A lot of them advertise on the blog, too. I’m no millionaire but I do make enough money to live comfortably. Like most people who run their own business, I work 16 hours a day so I feel like the amount that I pay myself represents how much I put into it.
I take the bus or an Uber taxi between meetings. Sometimes it feels as if the back of a taxi is my second office, but in a job like this you have to be good at getting work done wherever you are. That’s doubly true for me, as I spend two weeks out of every month travelling for the blog – be that to fashion week in New York or on a review trip to Europe or even the Caribbean.
For lunch I’ll meet with a fellow blogger and check out a new restaurant or café. When I first started Fashion Foie Gras in 2009, it was exclusively fashion news, but it quickly developed into a lifestyle site, covering travel, food and fitness. My wardrobe is a 50:50 split between designer and high street, although I do love a bargain. I’m obsessed with Pandora Dress Agency in Knightsbridge. It’s a fashion consignment store and it’s insane, there are racks and racks of cut-price designer clothes. It’s a fashion lover’s dream
I update the blog daily, which is easier now than when I first started: I was working full-time in PR for an auction house, then going home and writing about fashion for five hours. I didn’t have a fashion background but living in London and seeing the different styles and vibes in each area inspired me to blog about them. After two-and-a-half years, I could no longer survive on three hours sleep and gallons of coffee. By that time, I was getting approached by different brands about advertising so I took the plunge, quit my job and made this a career. I get about 150,000 hits a month, although a video montage of my puppy’s first weeks got a million hits on YouTube.
Afternoons are spent working on the blog. I’ll write a few posts, perhaps a restaurant review or a piece about an emerging fashion trend. Once a month I’ll model, style and shoot new outfits with a photographer. I’ll work until 7pm, then go out to review a restaurant: I’m a burger obsessive so I feel like I’ve tried every burger place in town. Back home, I’ll have one final check of emails, then try and get to sleep by 1am.”
Plan B: Estate agent
I’d love to be a real estate agent, selling beach-front property in South Carolina. That’s where my parents live now, on a tiny island off the coast, so it would be close to home and I’d get to look at beautiful property and chat to people all day. Ideal!