When Anaisa expressed interest in learning more about freelancing I immediately wanted to connect her with my sister, wardrobe stylist and most recently, founder of online digital publication, Love Child. Cristina was my inspiration to jump feet first in the freelance world - the girl makes it look easy! Anaisa sat down with Cristina to ask her about career, work-life balance and so much more. Check-out what the two talked about below.
As I'm heading into my last few months of college I can’t help but be inundated with thoughts and hopes for my career. Growing up in Austin and working at Sara Hussey PR, I’m lucky to be surrounded with inspiring entrepreneurs, but I’m constantly left thinking - How did they get there? How did they make the jump to becoming a freelancer and what challenges do they struggle with? That’s one of the reasons I was so excited to sit down with Cristina Facundo Bocanegra of Love Child, a popular mommy lifestyle blog.
1. I’m interested in how professionals make the move to becoming a freelancer. What was your journey to becoming a freelance wardrobe stylist and now, founder of a website?
While living in NYC and teaching full-time I was in desperate need of a creative outlet. I stopped by FIT on any way home from work, on a whim. I enrolled in one class to fulfill that creative void, which turned into another class and another. Eventually I was enrolled full-time taking classes during the summer and at night. When I graduated with a degree in fashion styling, I decided if I was going to give this a real chance, I would move home to Austin where I had a built-in support system of friends and family.
I emailed anyone I could get a hold of that I thought could put me in the right direction. Producers, editors, you name it. I interned, assisted, and after a while, felt comfortable taking jobs by myself. It was a process but I knew taking it slow, learning the industry, and learning from others was the right path for me. You're always hustling though!
Starting Love Child was also done on a whim! I'm a big supporter of following your gut. If it feels right, go for it!
2. You’re a mom, a stylist, and manage a website. That must keep you really busy! How do you find a work-life balance when it seems like everything is intersectional?
You get really good at prioritizing but truly there are no secrets. It's a different story for every mama. If I'm on a styling job, I create a schedule for prepping, shopping, shooting, etc and stick to it. It might mean long days away from my son, but I know at the end of the job, I will be able to spend time and be present with him, so it's worth the sacrifice. If I have a deadline for Love Child, I will dedicate a few hours at a coffee shop to focus on that. I try and squeeze in some personal wellness time wherever I can. Luckily, I have a partner who understands that and we go for family runs or long walks most days of the week.
3. What was your inspiration behind Love Child?
I started Love Child while pregnant with my son Bowie. I was unable to find information that was relevant to my pre-motherhood lifestyle, so I decided to create a place. I was engaged to my now-husband when we found out we were pregnant and so while thinking of names, I lovingly referred to my bump as our "love child" and it stuck!
4. You partner with all types of unique brands, how do you decide who you want to collaborate with?
For me, it's simple. I collaborate with brands I relate to and brands I know my readers will relate to and find interesting. I love introducing my readers to new ideas or brands and if they help make our busy lives a little easier, that's a bonus!
5. You're fairly new to the media world what was it like when you received your first pitch? What do you look for in a PR pitch?
I was so excited! I immediately forwarded it to my sister with !!!!! in the subject line. Similar to brand collaborations, I look for authenticity and relate-ability. Is this something new that my readers haven't seen? Is there an underlying story that my readers will find interesting and inspirational? It all goes back to, is this worth it? As a mom, my free time is so limited that I want to publish compelling stories or ideas that will stay with my readers for a while.
6. What is the best way for a brand or company to approach you? What type of partnerships are you most looking for?
There's no wrong way to approach us! We have met some amazing brands on instagram, through networking meet-ups, or email. As we continue to evolve, so do our readers. For example, we had a woman reach out about how to set up a montessori playroom-- we would love to partner with a brand who could help us with that. Another reader reached out asking about non-traditional diaper bags and so we researched and found Ana York who is an Austin-based maker, creating beautiful diaper bags with a modern feel.
7. What is one thing you wish people knew about managing a website?
There will be never be a shortage of content, just a shortage of me! I have contributors but I handle the day-to-day posting, writing, picture formatting, etc. It's a lot! But one of the best things I ever did was to have my web developer on retainer for any last minute bugs or troubleshooting. I can text her and within minutes, the bug is fixed.
8 What's the best part about your job?
Hands down, all of the amazing people I've met through the site.
9. Are there any blogs you frequently look to for inspiration for your own website?
So many! I love Camille Styles, Cup of Jo, How Yo Glow...so many!
10. Love Child just celebrated it's 1 year anniversary - what is the greatest lesson you've learned so far?
For me, it's always been about following my gut. Within an hour of thinking about a website, I had a name and purchased a domain. I am not one to sit on an idea. If it feels right, I tend to go big!
11. How do you see your website growing in year two?
This is so exciting to think about! More partnerships, travel posts, and definitely more mama and baby events. Those are my favorite.
About The Author
Hey there! My name is Anaïsa, I was born and raised in Austin but have been adventuring around Denton, Texas for the past four years. I'm currently a student at the University of North Texas where I'm studying Public Relations and French. My hobbies include traveling, photography, and going to music festivals (how can I not be an Austinite, right?). One day I hope to combine all of that into a career. Learn more about my experience here.