In October 2014, after nine months of flying back and forth between New York City to San Francisco for a long-distance relationship, I packed up my Upper East Side apartment and moved in with my boyfriend in SF to give our relationship a real shot.
The truth was, relationship or not, I was ready for a change. After spending almost a decade working as a journalist in New York, for publications including Women’s Wear Daily and Glamour.com, I was a little burnt out. The freelance life was calling my name.
I envisioned days spent at my new neighborhood coffee spot in Pacific Heights, Jane, drinking iced Americanos while filing stories. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before I realized going freelance wasn’t my bag, either. I missed interacting with colleagues, talking about story ideas and being part of a team. A few months into freelancing, I had kind of a light bulb moment: I knew journalism was always going to be there but I wasn’t in NYC anymore. I was in San Francisco, a stones-throw from some of the most amazing tech companies in the world. I wanted to push myself outside my comfort zone and see if I could make it at a startup.
After talking to a bunch of cool startups, there was only one I really wanted to work for: Polyvore. Jess Lee, our former CEO, was such a bad-ass and I wanted to be a part of her vision to democratize fashion. After years spent at fashion pubs, which were all about fashion editors telling you what to wear, I loved the idea that Polyvore was a community and data-driven fashion site that welcomed all points of view, from all over the world.
At first, the whole move from fashion journalism to fash-tech was pretty humbling. I didn’t know the first thing about coding. Polyore is a tech company, not a content company or media brand. At Condé Nast, the editor-in-chiefs were the rock stars; here, it’s the engineers. For me, not having had much experience inside an engineering culture, learning the tech side of a fashion website was eye-opening. Creating content for a startup is a 180-degree change from my old life of reporting and writing.
After almost three years at Polyvore, there is still so much to learn and I’m constantly pushed to come up with new and innovative ways to create content and delight our community. I love being a part of company that constantly tries new things and doesn’t mind failing and moving on to the next thing.
When I moved to SF, I knew I was leaning into love for honestly the first time in my life (on that note, I’m now married with a newborn) but I had no idea I would be leaning into this new career path that would be so invigorating. I love my job and I’m also writing again, not for a publication, but my own screenplay. I don’t know what’s next, and in the past, that would have freaked me out, but my time in tech has kind of taught me to embrace that.