Chriselle Lim On Her J.O.A. Collab & The Next Big Thing in Online Fashion Content
Campaign Photos: J.O.A.
It may seem like Instagram influencers are a dime a dozen these days, but how many social media superstars have turned their brand into a bona fide business? Since debuting on YouTube eight years ago, Chriselle Lim is the force behind The Chriselle Factor and and CINC Studios — and now, she's adding designer to her stylish resume. The Fashion Mamas LA member has teamed with LA-based label J.O.A. (which stands for "just one answer") for her first-ever design collaboration, which is shoppable on Nordstrom as of right this minute.
Priced from $59 to $124, the 23-piece collection was inspired by the romance of Rome and fits right in with Lim's own bold and feminine approach to dressing. Expect pieces like versatile wide-leg jumpsuits, spring-ready dresses with statement sleeves, breezy mustard-hued pants, tops ad shorts with ruffled accents, and much more.
Here, we chat with Lim to learn about how she veered from her "traditional fashion editor" path at Genlux to gain over 3 million followers, how she defines work/life balance, what she thinks fashion content will be headed in the future, and much more. Read on below, scroll through the gallery to see some of the pieces from the collection, and shop the full line over at Nordstrom here.
How did you connect with J.O.A., and what intrigued you about working with them?
I’ve been shopping J.O.A. pieces for years now mainly because of the wide variety of styles that they offer, their great price point, and quality. When they approached me about creating a collection together, the answer was obvious since I was already a fan of their line. I already knew that it would be a right fit, but once I met their team and went to their office downtown, it just validated that this was it. The team understood me, my style and my vision since they’ve been following me for years now. There was a mutual excitement and passion between us both.
Since the collection is inspired by Rome, what are some of your most fondest memories of the city?
I always find style inspiration from my travels. I’ve been to Rome for a number of projects and have always loved the muted neutral colors of the city, so that was my number one inspiration for the collection...and my love for the movie, Roman Holiday!
In a nutshell, can you tell us more about your career journey from working at Genlux to where you are today?
I started off as a stylist, and then went on to become an editor at Genlux. I was on the traditional fashion editor path until I met Michelle Phan eight years ago, who introduced me to the digital world. At that point, you were either on YouTube or you had a blog. I noticed that there really wasn’t anyone doing fashion on YouTube, so I uploaded my first video and the response was insane — I had 500,000 views overnight! I saw a need and want for this kind of curated, elevated content, so I ran with it. From there I started The Chriselle Factor, which became a success due to a combination of hard work, right timing and the unique content we were posting.
As an entrepreneur, what's been a few of the most important lessons you've learned during your incredible career journey?
It’s never about you, it’s about your team. You have to build a solid core team to do extraordinary work and to continue to grow year after year. Find people that are better than you and that are experts in their field. The only way I’ve been able to continue to grow my personal career along with my new production business, CINC Studios is because of the amazing and talented people I have working with me day in and day out.
What were some of the earliest steps/business decisions that you credit to your success today?
I invested the money I earned all back into the business and took very little money out of the business. I also hired people that were better than me in their field such as a video editor, producer, and more.
Business-wise, how have you seen the world of digital influencers evolve since you began?
When I first started, bloggers and vloggers were really focused on creating produced content very specific to a certain topic, like tutorials and hauls, because people really wanted to learn about those things. The shift now is that there are a lot more influencers, and people are more interested in real life content. People still follow me for styling tips and tutorials, but more now than ever before, they follow to peek into my life on a daily basis. There has been an interesting shift with seeing real, raw organic content. It was a difficult shift for me, because it took me a while to transition into talking to my followers the way that I talk to my friends, but now it’s a lot easier because it’s my real life.
How did becoming a mother change your approach to your business?
I had to create a much better strategy and business plan than “hoping” that things will work out. Having Chloe really forced me to prioritize things which allowed me to make smarter business decisions. Soon after having Chloe, we hired a director of business development who now is our in house manager/agent/ business developer. She handles all things on the business side and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
How would you describe your work/life balance?
So many of us focus on goal setting and finding work/life balance, but there comes a point where you have to let it go and enjoy the ride. There will always be seasons where your work life is going to be heavier, and vice versa — you can have it all, but not all at the same time. You have to be realistic and know that there are going to be seasons for everything.
To add to that, self care is essential to me and is one of the ways I bring sanity and peace back into my crazy, chaotic, creative life! I feel the most balanced when I take care of my mind, soul, and body, so I set the intention to do things that make me feel great physically, like exercising, daily meditation, getting a facial once a month and a massage once a week. I probably spend a good 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night just prepping my skin. In Korean culture, there are anti-aging products, of course, but it’s not like here in the States. There, skin care is a lifestyle from the day you are born. I love to use the Dior Capture Youth Age-Delay Advanced Crème at nighttime for obvious reasons — age delay, and I can’t live without SK-II Ultimate Revival Eye Cream. I’ve been using it since it came out.
I’m also a huge proponent for spending quality time over quantity, and it’s hard to truly connect with people when you are tied to your phone, so we have a no phone policy after 6pm at the house. I might sneak in a little insta story with my daughter Chloe here and there, but I try to keep it off and away. I also physically turn off and go on a digital detox from time to time. I think it’s so important to disconnect from the world so you can truly connect with yourself.
You started a YouTube channel at a time when not many people were creating elevated fashion content for a non-teen audience. How do you stay ahead of the game, and what do you think the next big "trend" or platform will be in the digital content space?
You have to continuously evolve. For me, it’s always been about staying ahead of the curve and taking risks with things that no one else is doing. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t, but the more chances you take the more likely you are to strike gold with one of them! I wish I had the answer to what the “next big trend” will be but I don’t. All I see is that people are all heavily moving into the video content space and they are loving this realness to connect with content creators. Augmented reality and 360 videos have been a big hit in the gaming and entertainment industry and I can’t help but think that it will eventually be a big thing in our industry as well!