Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisa Valerie Morgan.
Lisa Valerie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was working as an actress when I started my blog 5 years ago. There was suddenly a new emphasis placed on having a social media following when casting roles. Casting directors began to ask at auditions how many Twitter and Instagram followers you had. A friend I knew, had a blog and she would just talk about it non-stop and I thought, “why not give it a try?” I hated talking about myself on social media, but I LOVED discussing all things fashion! While out shopping, retail salespeople would often ask me if I was a stylist and also when I’d show up to set or the theatre (as an actress), I’d sometimes have people ask if I was wardrobe or talent. I didn’t know anything about starting a blog or how to run an online business, so looking back on it, I was pretty naive. Five years ago, there weren’t any online classes and blogging conferences to attend, so you just had to figure it out as you went along. I wasn’t serious about blogging at the time though, just acting. So, it definitely took me a few years to get focused and start to grow my following. A big shift happened for me when I realized I was starting to get more opportunities as a blogger than an actress.
A few years ago, I was able to incorporate my love of acting, writing and blogging with a new project. I wrote a series about fashion bloggers and LA creatives trying to work their way up the social media food chain in Los Angeles (think Legally Blonde meets Entourage). It’s a scripted comedy called, “The Exhilarating and Fashionable Life of Emmy Rose Knightley”. We produced the pilot and are working on getting the rest of the series produced. The series stars Emmy Winner Carolyn Hennesy (General Hospital, True Blood) as well as a few real life influencers playing themselves. My director and co-producer is Rebecca Hu, who won Project Greenlight’s 2016 writing competition and a 2017 Los Angeles Emmy Award and my pilot script was a finalist in the Screenplay Access contest. I’m so excited for people to see this show, because it has a strong anti-bullying message which is a topic near and dear to my heart, especially with so much cyber-bullying now happening in the blogosphere.
Has it been a smooth road?
Los Angeles is definitely the most competitive market in both the blogging and acting worlds, so pretty much every day feels like a struggle! There is just so much rejection in both of these industries and there have been so many times I have thought about quitting. The biggest struggle I am having right now is in getting the rest of my series produced. I keep having conversations with managers and producers who say “we love your work, but we normally work with people who already have at least a million followers!”
Ultimately, I consider myself a storyteller and what has kept me motivated is sharing my love of fashion, healthy living and positivity through both my blog and series. I consider my acting, writing and fashion the best ways to express myself, so it’s kind of like breathing for me. I guess you could say I’m a little dramatic. 🙂 Whenever I’m feeling down in the dumps about all the rejection I’m getting, I remind myself how fortunate I am to live in a free country where I’m allowed to wear and say whatever I please and that there are so many people who dream of walking a mile in my 5-inch heels. It really puts things in perspective for me.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
My blog is called, Pretty Little Shoppers (www.prettylittleshoppers.com) and it’s a fashion and lifestyle blog where aspirational meets attainable. I cover fashion, beauty, wellness, travel and organic, nutrient dense foods and gluten-free recipes. Most recently I’ve gotten more into entertaining by throwing a few events with some of my blogger friends, including a Movie Night, a Gluten and Dairy Free High Tea Party and a Galentine’s Day Party. I just love connecting people and sharing all things food and fashion!
The thing I’m most excited about right now is getting more into video content… I have a few new projects I’m working on, as well as getting the rest of my series produced. You can see a sneak peek here: www.thefashlifeseries.com
I also occasionally freelance as a stylist most recently styling actress Sydney Park (The Walking Dead) for the cover of Bronze magazine.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Los Angeles is a great place to be because you are just surrounded by creative types and there are so many ways to connect. Want to find a photographer? Put an ad on Craig’s list. Want to meet another actor or blogger? Throw a rock. Only kidding about throwing rocks, but there are just so many of us here, so that’s the downside. LA also provides unlimited gorgeous backdrops (and weather) for blogging and video opportunities. You’ll never get snowed in here.
The plus side is that there’s a conference, event, screening, etc. happening every day of the week. That being said we’ve also developed these cottage industries of coaching services, teachers, etc. charging insane amounts of money to help creative types “make it” in the industry. Some of these people are the real deal and have a lot to offer, but there are also plenty of folks who are just taking advantage of the flood of people trying to enter the industry and looking for advice.
If you live in a smaller city, the advantage you have as a blogger is that you can take advantage of being a bigger fish in a smaller pond. Reach out to local businesses to partner with or pitch yourself as an expert in your local area and start growing your audience right in your own neighborhood. That’s the beauty of the digital age. You can really start from anyplace because everything is online now.
- Website: https://www.prettylittleshoppers.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lisavmorgan/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PrettyLittleShoppersBlog/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/prettylshopper
- Other: http://www.thefashlifeseries.com/
Mo Summers, Amina Touray