For Shini Park, her blog ‘Park and Cube’ started simply as a hobby in 2008.
Fast forward to the present, this popular site has seen her collaborate with the likes of Kenzo and Chanel.
“I was always dabbling with the internet, building little websites since I was 16 years old. I wanted to share DIY tutorials, like how to make your own Alexander Wang bag.”
“After a few years, it evolved into photography journalism, and we somehow went into creating stories for brands.”
“I didn’t really tell anyone about the blog until maybe 2010 or 2011. Even then I only did it part time. I always had freelance jobs. I’m a web designer and photographer, so I used to do that on the side.”
As her business grew alongside the boom of the digital age, Park has managed to take it all in stride. It all seems effortless – as tends to be the case with lifestyle influencers on social media – but there’s definitely a lot of work behind it.
“We pride ourselves in a really quick turnover. Sometimes the process is organic, but other times there are very direct briefs.”
“Calvin Klein, for example – they know their influencers and their industry. They’ll come to you with a list of deliverables. Usually we deliver in four days: from concept to shooting, sourcing props or locations, retouching, editing, coding and copywriting.”
“Sometimes it’s initiated by the brand, but other times we have our own initiatives, and we’ll invite those brands in. There are a few clients who we’ve kept up relationships with over the years. The fashion industry was pretty quick to understand that there were a lot of monetary opportunities with influencers.”
The money isn’t why Park does this job, though. In fact, she says it’s probably the most poisonous thing you could have as an agenda.
“Money shouldn’t ever be the reason you do something.”
“You should be able to merge your interests. Have your priorities, and know how to integrate it into your lifestyle without it being overbearing.”
“My personal ambition is in challenging myself to find new ways of storytelling through web design. Blogs and websites are very linear, and they don’t really evoke any emotion or interaction. I’d like to find a way to get people to really interact with the content.”
Park also doesn’t believe in putting all of her stakes into one platform. Just like fashion, trends can die out as quickly as they appear.
“I am noticing a slight change in the air. I’ve seen a couple of magazines have started to shut down. And then there are some big heritage brands that are just starting to get into the digital world.”
“But I do get steady work. There’s something new all the time.”
That said, Park firmly believes the future is digital – so she probably won’t be swapping social media for sewing any time soon.
“I have no knack for designing physical stuff,” she jokes.
“And if anything, we’re going to get closer to the internet over the next ten years.”