Aimee Song was blogging before most of us had even heard of the word.
Now an ultra-elite influencer (with more than 5 million followers on Instagram), Aimee has helped define what it means to make a living as a full-time content creator. As the founder of Song of Style, her namesake blog, she’s not only stayed on top of a rapidly-changing industry...she’s shaped it altogether.
An ambassador to brands like Chloé, Dior, and Revolve, Aimee also has a jewelry line, a clothing line, and a popular YouTube channel. Her debut book, Capture Your Style, scored a spot on The New York Times best seller list. The most impressive part? Aimee’s showing no signs of slowing down, and we’re excited to see how she continues to change the game in 2019.
You started your blog in 2008, before the age of Instagram and influencers. How have you seen the business side of blogging change most over the past decade?
For me personally, blogging has changed from my hobby and creative outlet to a full scale business. As an early adopter of blogging, the biggest thing that’s changed for me is that the platform has changed. Less people visit the blogs with the popularity of Instagram so my focus shifted and the newest bloggers are no longer really bloggers but influencers that are mainly active on Instagram. Also the biggest shift I see is that fashion bloggers/influencers who would only cover topics related to fashion are being vocal about other aspects such as politics, bringing more diversity within the industry or touching on subjects that are more of the lifestyle space. Shedding light on people of diverse backgrounds and giving a platform to underrepresented individuals is incredibly important to me, and I’m so happy that blogging has been the vehicle that’s allowed that to happen.
You’ve grown your business from a blog to a media and product empire. What advice would you give to other content creators on scaling their business?
My path from blogging to media to product has taught me so much, but the most important thing I’ve learned is how quickly the industry is changing. Now more than ever, I think it’s important for content creators to think about what is not yet being done, and to try to think about content creation in new and interesting ways. Media is evolving so much, so there are so many opportunities to be at the forefront of that new space.
Where does your passion/drive come from?
My passion comes from a pure love of aesthetics, fabric, textures, and design but most importantly the love of sharing. I could’ve done all of this quietly but I have a passion for sharing with others. Growing up with a sister, I’ve always shared clothes, share ideas, etc. Now, I’m just doing that on a much bigger scale.
You have a team that works for you—what’s the hardest part of managing employees working for a company that started as your personal vision?
For me personally, my business is so deeply tied to my life, so I’m not someone who works a regular 9-5 schedule. Plus, I travel more than 300 days out of the year, so I can be in many different time zones even in just one week. Needless to say, my life and my work schedule can be a bit all over the place! The hardest part of managing my team is learning how to manage my work schedule effectively so I can be respectful of the fact that my team works on a 9-5 schedule in Los Angeles, Monday-Friday. Song of Style has grown so much, and it no longer only includes me. There are many voices and visions contributing to what used to be my singular vision, and every day I’m learning how to be mindful of that fact.
If you weren’t working in this industry, what career path would you choose?
If I weren’t a blogger, I would definitely continue my career as an interior architect. I love thinking about spaces that people live in or visit, and thinking about how all of that can create an emotional spatial experience.
What are the common challenges you've seen among female business owners and entrepreneurs?
The biggest challenge I’ve seen among female owners and entrepreneurs is being taken seriously in fashion and beauty. I think that, for a long time, fashion and beauty seemed like frivolous industries. Also, speaking up and giving out tasks. I used to tiptoe around asking someone to do something that I’m paying them to do. Now, I just tell them (in a nice way, of course.)
What’s your dream partnership and why?
My dream partnership was working with Louis Vuitton because I had admired the creative director Nicolas Ghesquiere since his Balenciaga days. I could’ve never dreamt of working with such a classic fashion house. Now, that I’ve achieved that my dream partnership would be working with a retailer in launching my own line.
When you hit a bump or hurdle in your career, how do you find new roads + switch gears to find success?
Pivoting has been such an important part of my process in my career. I think it’s really important to have a strong vision for what you want in your life, but it’s even more important to be open to what the world has in store for you. I always knew I wanted to do something in fashion or design, but when I was growing up, blogging didn’t even exist as a career. Following my passion, giving my all to everything I do, and being open to have my path change have lead me to where I am today. Also, I realize that there isn’t one way to success and sometimes success comes in many different shapes and forms. Even if you think you’re failing and having bad days, knowing that that’s the way to manifesting your dreams, keeps me motivated.
Following my passion, giving my all to everything I do, and being open to have my path change have lead me to where I am today.
Whose career really inspires you?
There are so many people who really inspire me! Oprah obviously, Imran Ahmed from BOF for creating such an important platform, Natacha Ramsay-Levi from Chloe (She used to be Nicolas Ghesquiere’s right hand woman), my manager Vanessa Flaherty, and I just recently listened to an interview of the Dropbox founder Drew Houston which I found so inspiring.
What are you most excited for in 2019?
I’ve been really focusing on self-care and being more mindful in doing whatever it is I’m doing. I’m also venturing into new products which I’m so excited about!
Photography by Annie McElwain Photography
Photoshoot skincare provided by Dermalogica