FORGET the fashion frustration you’ve always felt when you read a magazine and wish you could purchase the item(s) you see on the page. Kate Davidson Hudson and Stefania Allen have answered your shopaholic smoke signals with Editorialist — the first e-commerce meets editorial website. Yes, that means that when you see something you like, you can click and buy. It’s like the candy land at Willy Wonka’s factory where everything is edible — for fashion fanatics. Half of Editorialist’s dynamic duo, Stefania, spoke with Lady Clever about how the pair came up with their brilliant concept, dishing what it takes to make it in the cutthroat worlds of high fashion and e-commerce, and of course sharing her style advice.
What inspired you to start Editorialist?
We met as fashion assistants at Harper’s Bazaar many, many years ago. Over a decade later we were both working at a large fashion magazine in NYC and realized that we were consuming our fashion media more and more frequently online. We would turn to our favorite fashion sites daily for the best and newest in the world of fashion. At the same time we realized that we were shopping almost exclusively online. Editorialist was born out of the idea of marrying the two ideas into a more efficient model so one could essentially shop the pages of their favorite luxury fashion magazine. It was our answer to immediate gratification for everything you see and love in the fashion press. We also wanted to create a destination where one could find all of the amazing pieces we saw go down the runway and in the designer showrooms, but none of the traditional retailers would pick up for their stores. Editorialist is also our answer for providing exclusive access to those direction and one-of-a-kind pieces that are chosen by the fashion editors who spend years cultivating their eye to find the best pieces in the market.
How do you balance your creative duties with the business side of your company? Does one side tend to overtake the other? Does one of you focus on one part while the other focuses on the other?
While the company is still growing, it’s important we both have a hand in every aspect of the day-to-day operations. We each have our preferred focus (Kate on the editorial and me on the e-commerce side), but it’s our shared and different interests that keep Editorialist robust on every front and aids in making sure we’re delivering a rich experience from both the retail and editorial ends.
What has been the biggest challenge starting and running Editorialist?
We knew starting our own business would be a challenge going into it; the biggest struggle for us is trying to juggle it all. We have to wear several very different hats from CEO to CFO to Creative Director. There are never enough hours in a day but we have an incredible team at Editorialist who inspire and collaborate with us daily. And, we are so inspired by our readers’ excitement over the products and the content. They become a hugely-motivating factor.
What are your current goals for your company?
After only a year and a half in business, we feel so lucky with where the company is currently at and where we’re headed. Our second print issue hits newsstands this month and we’ve had our strongest retail month to date.
What is the best piece of advice you received as women starting their own business?
“If it were easy, everyone would do it.”
What is one piece of advice you would give to women starting their own business?
As cliché as it is, take every win as it comes and stop to enjoy it. When you’re a woman juggling a career and a family, you’re so busy that you often forget to stop to enjoy the special moments.
Have you found it difficult to balance your personal and professional lives?
It’s all about juggling and prioritizing. You’ll often find us back on e-mail late at night once the kiddos are asleep.
How would you describe your personal style?
Classic with a modern twist.
What is your style philosophy?
Always start with your accessories first.
What is one item you each think every woman needs to have in her closet?
It’s impossible to pick just one, but we all need the perfect pump.
What was that again? We were busy buying everything on the site.