This past fall I attended a Duke&Winston trunk show and had a great time. Besides really liking the brand, attending the event with a great friend, and having good eats and drinks by Philly’s own Pub&Kitchen, I got to meet whom I would definitely consider a fashion blog guru, Jared Michael Lowe of lowefactor.
If you’ve been to anything fashion related I am sure you too have met Jared. And when you meet him you can’t help but like him. He’s witty, personable, and super knowledgeable not only about local trends, but trends nationally and internationally.
Before I sipped the last of my sweet n’ fruity cocktail that evening I was sure to snag a card from Mr. Lowe, and check out his site.
And you guys already know that I am good for doing my homework before extending an invitation for an interview. I visited the site several times and continued to like what I was reading. The articles were current and relative. They read as if I was still at the trunk show talking with Mr. Lowe.
I sent an email and within a few days Mr. Lowe was giving me the low down on lowefactor, an online community dedicated to “providing an intricate look into the fashion industry’s most creative and respected photographers, stylists, writers, designers, artists and creative minds.” This is what I phound out.
Phreedum: Tell me about lowefactor. What is it in a nutshell and how long have you been at it?
JML: Well I started the blog in January 2010 as a style blog with a fashion focus. The idea was to create a high meets low online fashion culture. So I was writing about your Stella McCartney pieces and your chic indie pieces as well. It started to get some traction and then I also began to incorporate some fashion news. That was really well received. However, recently I have gone back to its original intent, helping readers cultivate a chic cool lifestyle.
Phreedum: Who are you in 5 words?
JML: Oh my god!
JML: Okay let me see.
A few seconds pass.
JML: This is hard.
A few more seconds pass.
JML: Okay I got it. I am a perfectionist, eclectic, driven, liberated, and confident.
Phreedum: See that wasn’t that hard. Okay, so tell me what has been your greatest success with lowefactor?
JML: I don’t know if I would say it’s my greatest success, because I think when you work towards something you kind of get gems along the way that make you feel like “wow this is a big moment.” So one of my gems so far was being invited to the Monique Lhuillier show during fashion week and lowefactor had only been up and running for two months at this point. But I think I have been blessed with so many gem moments along the way, but this one is definitely a highlight.
Phreedum: What has been the greatest lesson you have learned so far?
JML: Everyday I learn a lesson from lowefactor which is good. I connect with other bloggers, communicate with major brands, write pieces that ask the question “why?” or challenge pre-given solutions. I learn about other people, their writing styles, and myself. If you’re not learning everyday you’re not fulfilled.
Phreedum: What’s the best piece of advice you have received as an entrepreneur?
JML: Two things. One was spoken, one was more of an action. Both were from my grandfather. My grandfather , who’s 90, told me “Know your worth.” I hold that in high esteem. He’s lived a lot of years and seen a lot of things. I like to think he knows a little something about navigating life. The second is he bought me a 2 year subscription to Entrepreneurship magazine. He noticed what I am doing with lowefactor and appreciates that my name and the family’s name is behind it. That really validated me and it’s just great to have the support.
Now, as a blogger, the best advice I have received has been to ask “Why?” My writing is purposeful. It’s meant to expose and to highlight (in a good way.) There is lots of white noise and fluff. When you ask why, you silence the noise and cut through the fluff.
Phreedum: Family support is always a blessing for sure. In addition to having support, what do you believe is your greatest resource?
JML: Connecting with others, whatever the trade. I believe you can learn something from anyone. Everyone has a story to tell and you will be surprised how you can connect and learn from people.
Phreedum: What’s one thing you think people under estimate about being an entrepreneur?
JML: You have to be a hard ass. I think people who want to get into business for themselves have to realize you have to be a hard ass to sustain your business. You will get “no” for a variety of things and frequently. You have to have a thick skin and know your worth. Most people don’t want to hear “no,” they like to hear “yes” a lot. But you can’t wait for the “yes” and be defeated by the “no.” You have to reject the “no” and pursue the “yes.”
Phreedum: Who inspires you?
JML: Everyone. My Grandfather, my dad, everyone. My grandfather was a computer engineer back in the day and my dad is an architect. Growing up I was fortunate to have two really strong male identities and that pushes me to do more and do better. But then there is everyone else. When I connect with people and I hear their story and learn things about them I am inspired.
Phreedum: How does lowefactor change the lives of others?
JML: I would hope that when someone comes to lowefactor they believe they can live the life they want to live. For example, there’s “a style you can factor”, which is about how to live for your personal lifestyle, incorporating your space, finances, and personality. I hope when you leave lowefactor you find out something you didn’t know and feel capable of exploring and trying something you may not have if you didn’t visit us.
Phreedum: lowefactor gives a lot of great information about a lot of different things related to the cool chic lifestyle. How in the world do you maintain a sense of balance and motivation?
JML: There is no balance. I think if you are an entrepreneur within digital there is no balance. The internet never sleeps. You can maintain a balance though, and I do that by going to bed at 11pm. I have to turn off. I wake up at 6am and I do a morning run, then I get into my day. Also, there are times when I step away from my computer and just put my energy elsewhere.
Phreedum: What makes Philly a great place to be an entrepreneur?
JML: I think more than anything the rich culture that is here. I have had the privilege of growing up in Philly with that rich culture and exposure to so many differ walks of life. Philly is also are pretty decent place to find and market to your niche.
Phreedum: What can we expect from the lowefactor in 2012?
JML: A myriad of things. You can expect lowefactor to keep the voice that it has, to really show what style is (beyond the clothes) and taking the concept and understanding of style to another level, and staying on top of trends.
Phreedum: Sounds like it should be a good year for you then. So, final question- if lowefactor were a sport, what sport would it be?
JML: Soccer, because we bend it like Beckham. Oh, that’s so corny.
Phreedum: I love corny.
JML: On a less corny note, soccer is all about reaching a goal, but it’s a collective effort. Everyone gets down and dirty. While lowefactor is my brainchild, I do have a team and we all work really hard to make our goal.
For more information about Jared Michael Lowe or living the cool chic life visit www.lowefactor.com