Women On Top
#SoYouWantMyJob: Shereen Sikka — Founder, Love And Other Bugs
Many professions look fun, glamorous, and almost easy from the outside, mostly because we have NO idea about what goes on behind the scenes. A universal truth is that to be successful in any job, in any field, takes a ton of hard work that a lot of people don’t see.
To bust some myths, we introduce our new series So You Want My Job? — where we get young, successful, influential women to tell us what it actually takes to do what they do. I think we all stand a chance to learn a thing or two from them!
Blogging is a term that has surfaced in the last couple of years and has now become a coveted career choice. It’s one that’s mesmerising and has almost every other millenial wanting to break into it.
A decade ago, who could imagine that by creating a space and talking about what you love the most could be a viable career option, right? With the rise of social media, blogging has become a lucrative and highly accessible profession that breaks away from the norm.
Turning her hobby into a legit influencing platform, Shereen Sikka, founder of Love And Other Bugs, simply put what she loved out there, and the rest is history.
Taking a breather from the long hours styling had to offer, Shereen started her own blog as a way to talk about things she enjoyed. Little did she know that her personal blog would create a space that would eventually influence millions.
While on the outside, the world of fashion blogging may look glamorous, she believes that behind every photo or selfie, there’s a whole lot of grunt work that is required and a story each blogger wants to tell.
Breaking the myths about fashion blogging, Shereen Sikka talks to Hauterfly about the ins and outs of blogging, what it really takes to be in the industry, and how blogging is a platform that has the power to influence.
Tell us about yourself and what you do.
I am the founder and creative director of Love And Other Bugs. It was founded about 4 years ago, and I actually didn’t start it off with the idea to monetise, or make a career out of it…it was just a personal blog.
I saw it as a space for me to speak about things that I did in fashion, street style that I enjoyed spotting, articles that I wanted to repost — and then it transitioned into so many other things!
What does a typical day in your life look like?
There are so many types of days in my life, considering I am in this influencing space right now. Every day is different and every single day offers something new. I feel like I’m constantly experiencing new things.
So to give you a gist, if it’s a shoot day, I try to plan the shoot super early in the morning – if it’s an outdoor, I usually wake up at 5:30 or 6am, start shooting by 7am, so I am done by around 9:30-10am, before all the traffic and crowd comes in.
After which, I spend some time at work, either at our house or a co-working space. My team and I plan the rest of the week. Post that, the evening is usually followed up by an event that needs to be attended.
I try to get done by 7:30 or 8pm, because I enjoy spending time with my dog and husband.
And If it’s not a shoot day, I am either travelling or brainstorming with the team!
What did you do to become a fashion blogger?
I didn’t want to become a blogger or anything, to be honest, I just started a website, I didn’t call myself a blogger at that time. I was a stylist – I had worked with Sonam and Rhea Kapoor, and also on some Dharma films.
Honestly, once I got married, I couldn’t keep up with the hours that styling required. And that’s when I decided to do something that was my own. I didn’t know what it would lead to, but that’s where I started.
What’s the most fun part of what you do?
Right now, it’s the travelling that I love the most. I am obsessed with it, and I love the fact that I get to go all over India and the world.
The last property I visited was Pushkar and I got a chance to spend 3 days in the most beautiful resort — the experience was amazing.
If you’d ask me a year ago, I’d say all these fancy things that come in the mail was probably the best part. But now, it’s got to be the travel!
And the hardest?
The hardest part would be the fact that we’re putting ourselves out there so much. Which is a good thing, but sometimes it’s a bit difficult, as you’re serving yourself for people to judge you – either in a good or bad way.
People have opinions, but not everyone always has the best things to say. They are constantly judging you.
What is the job market like for your profession?
It’s great! I am really happy about the fact that people are understanding what this space is. Brands are open to the idea of digital influencers. It’s really nice that we have a following to reach out to – people who are not looking to follow a celeb, or a model. They’re following real girls.
I am a real girl — I am not super skinny or 5ft 10in – and it’s great that I am getting to influence people who just want to follow real girls.
Blogging was always a thing, but now it’s become more prevalent thanks to social media!
What’s the biggest misconception people have about what you do?
There are so many. People think it’s super easy – I mean, it is fun for sure, but I’ve had people calling me up and telling me, “I really want to start a blog. It only makes sense for me because I am sitting at home all day, so I can take pictures”.
And I tell them that there’s no sitting at home – in fact, you’re hardly ever home. As a blogger, you’re everywhere except at home!
The fact is that they think it’s all about taking selfies and pictures, they don’t realise the story behind it. Whether it’s a brand collaboration or organic content, when we post a picture, there’s a story or message in it. It’s a form of self-expression and they’re not JUST photos.
People think it’s so glamorous; in fact, just today I got 3 calls telling me this. But it’s anything but glamorous! Even interns and assistants who come to us think that it’s something else.
What’s the single-most important quality you need to possess to do your job?
You need to block out the noise. Being a little thick skinned is one skill you will actually require – just remember to do what you love!
Initially for me, it was difficult blocking out the questions that were in my head — “what would people say”, “how am I looking”. But eventually you realise that this space means creating content for people to enjoy, so go ahead and do it.
Also, being unique is a necessity — make sure you are creating your own space and providing your own voice.
Career advice to a confused 20-something on how to choose a job/profession that’s right for them?
Don’t start with the idea of making money or getting brands on board. First decide who you want to talk to, who you want your audience to be, who you want to reach out to.
Figure out what you want to talk about and be consistent in creating organic content.
The branded stuff and monetary collaborations will come. Trust me, brands will find you, but it shouldn’t be your initial thought when you start off.
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