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Conversations with the Inspiring Caroline Juen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Caroline Juen.

Caroline, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started my blog, Love & Loathing Los Angeles, 5 years ago this September and have had the absolute most incredible journey. I started Love & Loathing LA intending for it to eventually become a book – something I am still hoping to do – but the blog was supposed to be the main tool I could utilize to help me organize my thoughts and all the while be a more personalized, hyper localized, and inclusive resource for people looking for things to do in Los Angeles. The idea behind Love & Loathing LA stemmed from my belief that LA is hugely misunderstood yet understandably overwhelming to most. But if I could be that super in-the-know friend everyone could use to navigate this city, I wanted to fill the void and the be that resource! I focus on everything from “food, fashion to fun” in LA, and absolutely love exploring this city non-stop and sharing each experience along the way.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has absolutely had its highs and lows. I think the period of time that stands out most to me was about year 2 in working on this blog – a point at which I was incredibly invested. I’d come to the understanding that making a living on a blog was definitely going to take time, but this was a Christmas I couldn’t afford to buy a single present for anyone in my family and it felt terrible. It was a culmination of a lot of feelings; self-doubt, worry for the future, being broke, but I really had to ask myself whether or not this path was sustainable. I was so beyond happy and fulfilled in life, but being broke wasn’t a good look. Right after that Christmas, I vowed to start looking for jobs after the second week in January, and literally that week, I was miraculously approached for a paid partnership. It felt like a message from the universe, and so, I listened. I tightened up my bootstraps, got more determined, and started seeking out more and more partnerships. These days I think many of us struggle with a lot of the same issues, especially freelancers. If it’s not, “when is that next job coming” it’s “am I good enough”, and so on and so forth, I still struggle with the comparison game, and it’s something I work on every single day. But these days, I have definitely found ways to occupy my time with more positive and productive thoughts. I listen to and speak with inspiring people, I “scroll” a little less, I spend a bit more time creating the content I want to create, and I don’t sweat the small stuff – *as much. There will always be struggles, and frankly, I welcome them, if the struggle ain’t real, the growth ain’t either.

What should we know about Love & Loathing Los Angeles? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
As mentioned, I have a blog based around the LA lifestyle, and I have subsequent social media profiles to support that. My strongest social platform is Instagram because I absolutely love visual content and creating photos, but the blog and the Instagram definitely go hand-in-hand. I went to art school so being able to shoot photos and write about a topic I am so passionate about is so beyond gratifying. I love telling my LA story on both platforms in both mediums. You get the gist with the photo but should you choose to dive deeper, meet me on the blog to share some words. In building this brand I am most proud of the community I have been able to carve out within the LA community. I am proud of the quality of my content, and I am proud to hear other people describe Love & Loathing LA as a place of inclusivity, happiness, inspiration, and adventure. I honestly couldn’t ask for more than that.

What do you feel are the biggest barriers today to female leadership, in your industry or generally?
What I think is unique about my industry, in particular, is that women don’t have the same type of barriers as they might in other more traditional industries. The world of blogging, media, PR, is typically predominately female-driven, and entrepreneurially driven at that. I think most of the barriers in this industry, at least the ones I face, come from within, not so much from the outside. In this world, it feels like most people are willing to lend a hand to watch you succeed because there’s a part in all of us that know exactly where the other person is coming from, and we believe that we all come up together (in most instances at least). Personally, my only barriers in this space come from questioning self-worth, capability, intellect, etc and no one puts that on me but myself.

Before blogging, I came from a corporate male-driven industry and experienced first had all of the barriers women had to face within that space – everything from pay inequality to the lack of females in leadership roles in general. While the same barriers certainly still applied in terms of self-worth etc., there are a lot of barriers that felt somewhat out of my control as well.

I feel like things are beginning to finally move in the right direction, the conversation is getting larger, it’s being taken more seriously, but the change has to happen with women believing their worth and refusing to settle for anything less. Find those people and those companies who share your morals, who value your expertise and perspective, stick with them and pay it forward with your support.

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Love & Loathing LA

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