Today we’d like to introduce you to Amy Friel.
Amy, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started blogging during my senior year of college, the idea came to me after interning for Rent The Runway. I was student teaching at the time, and struggled with dressing the part. There were no resources about how to dress as an educator, so I decided to take matters into my own hands and started my first blog, The Tall Teacher. After graduating with my degree and license in Art Education, all I could think about was how much I loved fashion. So, I applied and interned at a local studio in Boston, managed social media for a vintage shop and most recently, interned for the brand DRESSHIRT in New York. While working I had the opportunity to style, model and produce original content for these companies. Through my experiences, I realized that my true love was in fashion.
After New York, I came back to Boston and launched Model and Maker. Unlike The Tall Teacher, Model and Maker pays homage to my background in art and work as both a model and stylist in front of and behind the camera. Through my blog and network in Boston, I have worked with different innovators, influencers and brands. I spend my free time working on my blog, in addition being commissioned to style shoots and sometimes model in them, too. I absolutely love what I do and am so appreciative that everything is starting to take off. This year I have styled model portfolios, created an editorial and co-taught a photography/styling class at Newton North. This month, I will be teaching a class at Tufts with my colleague Alexi Reibman.
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?
My journey is ongoing, but it’s been a great experience so far. It has been a long road getting to this point, but I have learned a lot and grown along the way. I’ll share my most important advice below:
Be patient, because quality takes time. As a blogger and fashion influencer, finding a niche that was the right fit took a lot of time. I started blogging as The Tall Teacher and realized that my passion was in creative fashion work. I think once I realized that, made that change and pursued it fully was when the ball started rolling. I have been working on my brand for four years and it is only now starting to take off. So, if you love what you do, keep at it because you will get your big break.
Every opportunity you pass up, you’re missing out on. By this, I mean if you say no to a fashion event, you are mission out on meeting other bloggers, designers and even a job opportunity. So, say yes to everything because you never know what opportunity or connection you’ll make. I have met and worked with so many people because of this. For example, if I didn’t say yes to attending a designer’s photo shoot, I would have never met my working partner Alexi.
Learn every day. Learn from the people that you surround yourself with, work with, and are friends with. They have invaluable advice, especially if it is in what they do for work. I always ask my blogger friends or friends in PR for blogging/pitching advice and it has helped me immensely.
Work and play can go hand in hand. Some of the people I work with are my best friends. We work well together because our work is who we are and our true passion. The reason Alexi and I are so successful is that we understand each other personally and professionally, in addition to the fact that we take extreme pride in our work. If we didn’t have a matched, strong work ethic, we wouldn’t be as productive.
Please tell us about Model and Maker.
As a blogger, I am known for streetwear-inspired looks. I would describe my style as J.Crew meets off duty-elevated, yet edgy. I think that my style translates into my work, especially when styling my clients. There is a strong tailored element to the way that I style, and it translates in how my clients wear the pieces too. As a blogger and stylist, my purpose is to encourage others to push the envelope and try something new. I am known for the artistic quality of my content and putting an editorial twist on the shoots that I plan. I choose to work with other like-minded creatives who share my vision. The photographers that I work with specialize in either editorial or fine art photography, so I like to showcase that when I shoot with them.
What sets me apart from others in my field, is that I provide multiple services that play off of one another. Having experience modeling has helped my brand as a blogger and stylist because I have experience being in front of the camera. I know what poses photograph well and how to wear certain pieces. As a model, I have been in my client’s shoes, so I understand what challenges they face when in front of the camera. I love being able to coach them through a shoot, give them direction and watch their inner confidence shine after they get comfortable.
I am most proud of the fact that my work helps others. As a stylist, it’s extremely rewarding watching a client light up after wearing an outfit that I styled. Knowing that, I put that smile on their face, is an indescribable joy. As a model, it’s acting as a vehicle for a photographer to share their voice in a meaningful way. As a blogger, it’s knowing that my advice truly matters and helps others. Having a positive impact on the others is truly rewarding for me.
Who have you been inspired by?
A huge inspiration to me is my friend and entrepreneur Alexa Curtis. She started her blog at 12 and now, at 20 has been featured on Forbes, Ted Talk, local TV stations from CT to LA and is flown all over to present. What inspires me most is her drive and honesty. She won’t stop until she gets what she wants and makes her dream a reality. No matter how well known she is or who she works with, she always keeps it real and says it how it is. She paved her path and made her way to where she is today because she is such a strong woman and I can’t tell you how much I respect that.
Aside from my working colleagues, the women in my family are my biggest inspiration. Growing up in a strong matriarchal family, my Grandmother and Great Aunt were the pillars. They not only lived together but raised my whole family (my mom, uncles, cousins and myself). They were strong, selfless and weren’t afraid to let their thoughts be known. They knew what they stood for and took immense pride in that. They loved unconditionally, and always made time for family. I am so thankful that who I am is shaped by these strong women. Because of them, I speak my mind openly, advocate for myself and feel secure in the woman that I am today.
- Website: www.modelandmaker.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amy_friel/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/modelanddmaker/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/search?q=modelandmaker
- Other: https://www.pinterest.com/thetallteacher/
Atima Kanchanawat, Sam Swan, Alexi Reibman