Chasing the Dream: From Ralph Lauren to mom trendsetter
Nicole Feliciano left a career with Ralph Lauren to become a freelance writer. Then she launched her blog, MomTrends. Since then, her brand has grown into much more.
Find out how she created her styling brand online and expanded into real life events.
Nicole Feliciano was a fashion executive for Polo Ralph Lauren who gave up her glam work life to freelance when she became a mom. Now a mother of two, Feliciano spun her mom fashion blog, MomTrends, into a destination website for moms who care about style, fashion and living a good life.
How did she do it? "It’s mostly persistence. I was having dinner with a friend last night and she asked me the same question. And my answer was I am just so persistent. I am always looking for the yes in everything I do," says Feliciano, who admits that she never feels like anything is completely over. She's always looking to improve.
From blog to brand
The MomTrends site has expanded a lot over the years. While Feliciano initially created all the content herself, she now contributes to the site but leaves day-to-day management to her managing editor. A stable of freelance writers creates the daily content for the popular mom style site.
"At one point this month, I had four MomTrends contributors on assignment across the country," says Feliciano. "I love being able to share these opportunities with the MomTrends contributors."
Meanwhile, Feliciano has spun the success into event hosting as well. She's been putting on about one brand event per month where she connects power moms with mom-centric brands, but expects that MomTrends will end up creating about 20-25 events in 2012.
For Feliciano, networking has been essential to her growth. She attends events, talks to people and also sends email notes when something noteworthy happens. "Going to events, going to conferences — there is definitely value in that. I meet somebody at almost every panel I go to," says Feliciano. Being outgoing definitely helps Feliciano too.
She says that she pretty much always takes a first meeting with a potential client — though not always the second. "For me, living in New York, it’s been such a wonderful opportunity to meet with people in person and share with them the MomTrends mission," says Feliciano.
The next step
In the fall, Feliciano will co-host her first conference — a concept she developed with other powerhouse moms Vera Sweeney of Lady and the Blog and Audrey McClelland of Mom Generations. The Fashion Forward Conference is the first fashion conference just for moms. It's being held September 19 in New York.
"I think there has been such a gap for the moms who are in fashion," says Feliciano. "This conference is about feeling good every day in what you wear. We want style to be a part of everything you do. And if you are a mom blogger and want to write about style we are trying to tell them how to integrate the content."
Advice for mom bloggers
Feliciano has gotten where she is through hard work and dedication. "You have to be relentless. You have to create your own things. Our first two or three or four or five events, if they broke even I would be shocked. Now [we're] making money," says Feliciano.
As for balance? Feliciano says that it's just not possible to have it all. You do have to make sacrifices to be successful. "You are not going to be able to have it all — perfect hours, eight hours sleep, etc. You are going to have to make some sacrifices and some compromises along the way," says Feliciano.