There are those type of websites that you always report to after a long day. Just like a cocktail, you sip through the pages, slowly digesting the words, and getting intoxicated by the content. While you might not get a hangover over all the beautiful imagery and illustrations, you will feel buzzed enough to make you thirst for more. While there is nothing wrong with getting drunk off someone else’s work, there is nothing more satisfying than creating something from scratch with your own hands. It takes hours of dedication and ambition — there will always be more failures than successes. But at the end of the day, you have to remember that you are surviving and any challenge is a good challenge. This is where today’s Boss Babe comes in.
Rachel Schwartzmann is the epitome of what it means to be a true Boss Babe. She is the CEO and Founder of The Style Line: a site that brings storytelling with style back to the web. She prides herself on producing authentic content, where her website is basically like a great collection at Fashion Week: it’s everlasting. The essence of a community is all encompassing on the site (you can sense the human-centric vibes throughout each post.) And you would never believe that this young entrepreneur just revamped the site two years ago. And we thought going to yoga this morning was a win.
We traveled to Astoria, Queens, where we met up with the lovely Rachel at her home for a quick chat about The Style Line and her favorite go-to places in the city. And, we might have had a cocktail at a great place down the street, too. It was imperative for the shoot…we promise.
So get drunk in love with Rachel Schwartzmann, the many hat wearer for The Style Line.
Raised in NYC (Astoria, Queens!)
What accessory easily makes any outfit?
Dainty baubles or stack rings!
Favorite New York coffee shop?
That’s tough…Cafe Orlin? It’s basically my favorite everything!
What designer would you wear for the rest of your life?
Clothes: rag & bone
Accessories: Loeffler Randall
Jewelry: Melissa Joy Manning
Next place you want to travel?
Fashion trend you can’t stand?
I’m honestly drawing a blank here. I only pay attention to a certain extent.
Penne pasta with pesto sauce, chocolate cake and a glass of white. (OH, LIKE YOU WOULDN’T!)
You created The Style Line in 2011, did you ever expect it to become what it is today? How did you envision it back then and what do you look forward to in the future?
I first started The Style Line on tumblr as a senior in high school. While my intention wasn’t set on having this become my livelihood, I always had a feeling about it. The initial themes have remained the same: style and storytelling – and now I realize that the one thing I cared about the most in terms of our editorial goals, were to keep things human. Oftentimes, aspects of our lives like fashion and creativity are written off as frivolous or self-indulgent, and sure they definitely can be, but just like anything else, I would like to believe our stories offer an attainable approach to how we pursue our passions and that we can achieve our dreams without compromising our values.
I truly believe that cultivating a community that values elements like personal style can have a place in some of the world’s bigger conversations. After many iterations of The Style Line, I think we’ve hit a stride in bridging the gap between what’s relevant and responsible – This is what I want to build on the most as we continue to grow.
The Style Line is a lifestyle website that focuses on storytelling and style. What are some of your favorite stories to tell on The Style Line?
Speaking more to the previous question, I love discovering stories of people who find themselves at the intersection of different ideas, industries and experiences. It’s always fascinating to see how drawing upon all of these unique perspectives creates compelling products. But generally, I enjoy all of the stories we publish – everyone has their own special way of sharing their experiences. At this point, I believe my role is to curate and simply maintain a platform where they have a safe place to talk about their lives (and style!). Our interviewees do the rest.
What are three things we can always find in your bag?
Phone, tic-tacs and Fresh Beauty tinted lip balm.
Are there any brands you would love to collaborate with on future projects?
Absolutely. I know I should probably list them here, but in effort to maintain an element of surprise, I’ll just say this: Stay tuned!
As an young entrepreneur, you have already accomplished so much career wise. What are some personal goals you are hoping to achieve?
Thank you! My personal and professional identity work in tandem, and from my experiences through The Style Line, I’ve definitely been on the fast-track in terms of personal growth. But as of now my personal goals are mainly to establish work/life balance, try more public speaking, remain physically active and travel!
You originally started on Tumblr, how do you feel that platform has evolved and developed your craft to what it is today?
I owe so much to tumblr, they were the first to really give me and The Style Line a chance to grow. We host nearly 500k followers on this platform alone and it’s been interesting to see this part of our audience develop in tandem with The Style Line as a brand. The platform itself has evolved tremendously but fortunately still aims to cultivate a community of like-minded people no matter their interests. To this day, they still involve The Style Line in many of their seasonal programs (we’re working with them now for NYFW!) and brand partnerships. I think it really instilled a sense of creativity and gave me a place to try new things.
Not only is The Style Line about movement and exploration, but you are trying to achieve your own #TSLResolutions by traveling at least once a month. What communities are you looking to explore?
My monthly travels around the U.S. were more of a personal goal. Like I said in the previous questions, I think frequently seeing something new or different will inspire every aspect of my life. The Style Line is fueled by movement and discovery (it’s name was even inspired by MTA transit!) so this alone really pushed me to go and see what’s out there…We forget how much beauty and history there is in our own backyard…Eight cities down four to go!
Can you tell us a hidden gem in Astoria, Queens?
Astoria really fosters its creative community. I’ve had run-ins with people pursuing fashion to acting and everything in between. Here’s what I recommend:
– Socrates Sculpture Park
Fill in the blank: I put on ____ when I want to feel extra confident.
If you could feature anyone on your site, dead or alive, who would it be?
Emma Watson. Do I really need to explain why?!
You do such a beautiful job connecting your readers with such powerful people. How do you stay inspired to continue to share stories that people will love to read?
Thank you so much! Whenever I find myself having moments of doubt or uncertainty, I go through the gallery of people, places and products we’ve featured and I basically snap out of it. I am so incredibly thankful for everyone who chooses to share a little piece of themselves with us and our community – It doesn’t really get more inspiring than that. I think staying true to that gut feeling about what our reader would want to discover is something I find that works. Maybe this is the theme of this interview but again, beyond just dynamic content (which I will say I am CRAZY about maintaining as all of our content is original and produced by The Style Line and for The Style Line), it goes back to creating a really human and thoughtful experience. Style, culture and the more popular dialogues are our gateway to discovering some truly amazing people and starting some of the harder conversations. I’d like to think we’re easing our readers into this.
It seems this is a go-to question on your site, so why not ask! What is one question you wish people asked you more often?
Hah! You’re the first to throw this back at me. I wish they asked why I asked the questions that I ask (say that five times fast). I so appreciate the kind feedback on our questions (Read: “Your questions were so hard!” or “I really had to think!”). So I’m wondering why people may not be considering this approach to interviewing? At the end of the day I don’t want to contribute any more clutter to a content-heavy space, so I take time to make sure our interviewees aren’t going to either.
How do you want to continue to foster style, community and creativity?
By continuing to ask questions about it, try new things and open ourselves and readers up to new experiences.
Who are some Boss Babes you look up to and why?
Emma Watson is redefining what it means to be an influencer. Emily Weiss is cultivating a FANTASTIC empire and changing the media game. Lauren Bush Lauren is implementing creativity as a solution for one of the world’s biggest issues.
The Style Line’s September #TSLResolutions is about “Back to Basics”. What are some of your own ways that you are planning on following this mantra?
I’m not sure how many people know this but I try very hard to only shop the brands we’ve worked with and featured and shop locally/made in NYC. With that said, I have down-sized quite a bit (I’m down to a rack of clothing for all four seasons to be exact) so I am being presented with the challenge of creatively styling myself daily. I will say, it is empowering to know that most of what I own are items I’ll wear for years to come.
If you add to plan your perfect meal from day to night in NYC, what places would those be?
Breakfast: Cafe Orlin
Lunch: 12 Chairs Cafe
Coffee/snack: The Elk
Dinner: The Park
Words of advice for future Boss Babes:
Keep it in perspective (and keep it real), worry about what others think to an extent and have heart… so much so, that you can’t imagine spending your days working on, thinking about or loving anything else.
Photography by Vanessa Granda