How I Did It: Rachel Schwartzmann Turned a Tumblr Into a Business

The Style Line, helmed by founder Rachel Schwartzmann, a New Yorker with an eye for style and an ear for storytelling, is all about bringing authenticity back to the web. Think of the site as the perfectly tailored dress every woman should have in her closet. There is an elegance to the content, curating a gallery of the most "passionate and creative people in the world." She also runs  CONNECT(ED)ITORIAL™, a consulting business that helps brands strengthen their editorial arm. 

How did she do it: a pep talk from dad, hard work (always, hard work), and making sure she catches up on her zss.

I got my start: My start was a little out of the ordinary. I started The Style Line on tumblr as a high school senior! I was obviously working on it in a very different capacity than I am now, but hey everyone has to start somewhere right?

How did you make the jump from tumblr to site? Since it’s very first inception tumblr was so supportive of our early mission and content. I grew up in New York so I had access to the industry very early on and was fortunate to reach out to them and luckily I was able to maintain a very significant relationship. They helped spotlight the tumblr page which allowed for rapid growth - enough that I think I felt there was a core audience there that would want to grow with us as we entered a more “official” phase in 2013.

Decision that changed everything: The catalyst for taking on The Style Line full-time came right before entering my junior year at FIT. Up until that point I had been doing the usual: schoolwork, interning and working on The Style Line has a side-hustle. I knew that I wanted to see The Style Line through to its full potential and at that point it was just a matter of when. So with the encouragement of my dad, I decided to forgo the program and form a company. In August 2013 I relaunched the site, formed our LLC and haven’t looked back.

Scariest moment of my career: I won’t share any specific anecdotes, but the scariest moments have come when loss has occurred. Loss of control, loss of motivation, etc. But what I’ve learned is that even when faced with loss you quickly learn to turn these moments into opportunities and in turn, you have that much more to gain.

Most euphoric moment of my career: In retrospect it’s all really just starting! But anytime I have the opportunity to work with or feature people I admire or those I think our readers would really identify with. But if I had to choose a  few highlights would include: our sustainable design collaboration with Melissa Joy Manning (in partnership with CFDA), being a finalist for the Shorty Award’s Best in Fashion category and recently, launching our consultancy business  CONNECT(ED)ITORIAL™.

That nagging voice in my head tells me: Get out of your comfort zone, but don't lose sight of your values. One of the biggest compliments we receive about The Style Line is our continued efforts to maintain an authentic sense of community, one that I think so important in a rapidly evolving landscape.

"Get out of your comfort zone, but don't lose sight of your values."

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Every morning: Coffee.

The last time I took a break: Last year I came up with a resolution inspired by my work to travel every month of 2015 to a different city in the U.S. Naturally I didn’t really feel like working when this was happening and it allowed for me to take a step back, a deep breath, and regain some clarity. 

The last time I felt overwhelmed: I slept for 13 hours. That’s my big coping mechanism - letting my mind and my body rest.

The most rewarding part of The Style Line: I feel so fortunate that we’ve been able to cultivate so many great friendships, partnerships and stories. It’s been even more amazing to see how many connections our collaborators have made with one another through a shared interest in our values and mission. 

My go-to zen spot: I’m not sure I have one! I really enjoy having a hot chocolate at Cafe Orlin. I don’t live anywhere near St. Marks Place or ever have a distinct reason to go that far but there’s something about the cafe that makes me feel at ease.

What impact does style have on your life? A huge one! It’s essentially at the core of my work (we love exploring how it relates to other industries/conversations) and I consider it to be my primary form of self-expression.

How do you make sure The Style Line stands out? I make sure there is a balance in our content. Our stories are pretty lengthy so we work to have each story serve as an experience (by including dynamic visuals that illustratively help bring these stories to life!). Speaking more to this: our premise is showing how personal style can play a role in some of the world’s bigger conversations but getting people interested in the other side of that (the harder conversations) is a tall order. So I’m constantly making sure that what we publish is relevant, responsible but still totally rad… so far I think we’re on the right track!

Be sure to check out Rachel at Create Cultivate Dallas at the end of this month! Where she'll be speaking on finding a fresh approach in a crowded market.