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Meet Kali Passiglia of In Spades

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kali Passiglia.

Kali, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Back in 2007, a friend sent me a blog called Closet Therapy. I didn’t really know what a blog was at the time, but I was instantly hooked by this cool new way of sharing personal style. From there I started to discover other bloggers – Rumi Neely, Emily Schuman – and was fascinated by the real world conversations they were having about fashion. As a lifelong fashion lover, I knew I had to throw my hat in the ring and started In Spades in 2013. In retrospect, I wish I would have started back in 2007 when I first discovered blogs!

When I started, blogs were definitely popular, but we didn’t have classes, networks and the resources we do today. I spent many years pursuing acting and one of the ways you grew as an actor was through networks like Backstage and learning from peers in class. I searched for the same outlet in the blogging world and found IFB. They had a forum for bloggers to trade info and tips and that really helped me gain a footing in the beginning.

Another big help for me when getting started was attending New York Fashion Week. It had always been one of my bucket list items, and at the time, very few bloggers were attending. As I newbie, I had zero connections or any clue how to make it happen, but it was super important to me so I got scrappy. My first season I attended 10 shows and it has grown from there. That experience was the start of my relationship building with PR firms and designers and helped me gain a strong footing. I often joke with my husband that even though I’m a west coast blogger, I have better connections in NYC!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Every great journey has bumps in the road. But that’s how you grow! One of the biggest challenges we have as influencers is knowing where to place your focus. I’ve had many instances of feeling like I’m doing everything and nothing, simultaneously. I’ve learned to focus my energy on things I can control – my own website and the content I create, rather than things outside of my control – like the Instagram algorithm or keeping up with the Joneses.

One of the most important lessons I learned early on is to listen to your audience and always provide value.

I had been attending NYFW for years but never showed myself in the midst of the action – my coverage was strictly about the runway and reviews of the clothes. This was great from a networking perspective because it strengthened my relationships with PR firms and designers, but at the end of the day, my audience wasn’t very interested in this journalistic view of fashion.

Then one season I decided to post an OOTD of me during fashion week, as was de rigueur among bloggers who attended. I was absolutely blown away by the response. Not only did people love it, but several readers told me they had no idea I had ever been to fashion week!

It seems so obvious now, but not including my readers in the behind the scenes aspect of my experience was alienating. They were more interested in seeing NYFW through my eyes than a runway review. Pay attention to your stats. Your readers will tell you what they like and don’t like. And don’t try to be something you’re not. As much as I fancy myself as a WWD journalist – I’m not. Maybe someday!

We’d love to hear more about your business.
From the beginning of In Spades, my goal has always been to create editorial-type content. I enjoy brainstorming photoshoot locations and putting together outfits that include elevated, unique pieces in addition to everyday staples. My mantra is to share a high fashion eye for everyday things.

An average day for me is waking up early to check email. I pitch brands collaboration ideas, attend industry events and of course, style and execute photo shoots. Most of my time is spent behind a computer thinking up ideas for how I want to share my personal style and tips to my readers.

What were you like growing up?
I was a strange kid – hah! Growing up, I was very influenced by pop culture. Back to the Future is one of my favorite movies and as a kid, I thought I’d grow up to be an automotive engineer. That’s how badly I wanted a flying Delorean – hah! That imaginative spirit hasn’t left me. I’m still a dreamer and love telling stories, most notably through fashion.

Fashion was something I experimented with very early on. I wore everything from Ocean Pacific surfer gear, to head-to-toe Espirit and Guess, Cross Colors and Grateful Dead t-shirts and corduroy. That’s one of my favorite things about personal style – you can be anyone you want to be in the right outfit.

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Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

2 Comments

  1. Deb Leckband

    May 22, 2018 at 20:57

    Loved this!

  2. Dawn Lucy

    May 23, 2018 at 00:31

    Kali’s style is AMAZING … so creative & inspiring!!

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