What do you get when you put holistic health, nautical style, and bright colors in a blender and whip them all together? Julia Dzafic. She’s the founder of Lemon Stripes, a lifestyle blog that beautifully brings together two very important things for us: food and fashion. She also runs a killer online fashion boutique, the Lemon Stripes Store. Her site is happy, bright, whimsical, and just downright charming with gorgeous pictures that’ll make you want to pile on the baubles.
But don’t call this gorgeous gal a blogger…she’s way more than that. With an extensive nutritional background that will put all of us meer gluttonous mortals to shame, Julia will show you the way to a healthier diet and fabulous style.
We caught up with Julia to chat about health eating, girl crushes and blogging growing pains. Meet this week’s fashionable foodie:
Director of Online Marketing at Nourish Snacks (a new healthy snack brand launching soon!)
Upper East Side, Manhattan
Give us your brief career background:
I started my career in ad sales at Conde Nast (the worst!) and then moved into a career in holistic health, which is my true passion. I worked in sales and marketing at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition for 4 years and then quit my full time job in January 2013 to start my own business, the Lemon Stripes Store. My shop is an online boutique that I run in conjunction with my blog.
What inspired you to launch Lemon Stripes?
I started the blog as a creative space to share my recipes and outfit ideas with family and friends 4 years ago. I didn’t even realize that fashion and lifestyle blogging was a “thing.” I didn’t actually think that anyone would read it. The first year was mostly just my mom reading it and telling me that my terrible photos looked great. That was fun!
What has been one of your favorite parts about being a fashion blogger?
I love the incredible once in a lifetime experiences that I’ve been exposed to. I spent a full day at Aerin Lauder’s house in the Hamptons this summer, eating lunch with her next to the pool and doing Pilates on her back porch. That was pretty unreal! I also met Jenna Lyons at a J.Crew preview last fashion week. She is my idol so that was amazing. Also the free clothes are pretty rad.
What has been one of the biggest challenges in growing a lifestyle blog and what advice would you give other bloggers that could aid in their success?
None of it is easy. When you first start out, it’s really hard to gain a following. There are so many blogs out there, why would someone come to yours? The answer is authenticity, tons of original content, and really beautiful photography. Plus just push the shit out of it on social, with your friends, and everywhere you go. A friend of mine with a successful business once told me to just get my name in front of as many people as possible. Just make that happen, and I’ll be golden. I’ve taken that advice and it’s really helped!
As far as advice, just don’t give up. It’s easy to just quit and stop blogging or take a break. People will continue to come to your site if they know you’re updating regularly. I post 4-5 times/week every week no matter what.
What are some upcoming projects you have going on that we should look out for?
I’m trying to grow my shop by adding a ton of great new inventory. I also want to collaborate with some brands to make custom pieces just for Lemon Stripes. Stay tuned!
You’re all about healthy eating but have so much going on! What’s your secret to eating healthy without compromising too much time or money?
It’s really hard. I try to cook at least 3x/week so that means that I have to make recipes that are really easy and fast. I work all day and then work on my shop all night so I only have a small window when making meals. Luckily I live in New York so there is a ton of healthy take out and pre-made options at Whole Foods and other health food markets. It’s all a balance though, I definitely do not eat well 100% of the time. Sometimes mama needs a burger!
What’s your go-to dish to cook at home?
Your favorite smoothie recipe is…?
I have so many favorites but my greena colada is one of my best smoothie recipes for sure. I can even get all of my green smoothie hater friends on board with this one.
When you want to indulge, what are your 3 die-hard favorite restaurants in NYC?
Spice Market in the Meatpacking is one of my all time favorites. My husband and I went on one of our first dates there and it will forever be our number one date night spot. The crab dumplings, chicken samosas, and ginger margaritas are my jam. A new up-and coming favorite for brunch and dinner is Lafayette in Noho. They have a wonderful French menu with interesting options and comforting flavors. The ambiance is so cozy and wonderful, too. Whenever my dad comes to town, we go to David Burke Townhouse on the Upper East Side which is such a serious indulgence but so incredibly whimsical and flavorful. My favorites there are the pretzel crab cake and the angry lobster. The cheesecake lollipop tree doesn’t suck either.
You’re a huge fan of J.Crew. Do you have any secret shops that represent a similar aesthetic that you want to tell us about?
Honestly, I do most of my shopping online. Lately I’ve been redecorating so I’m doing a lot of shopping for home decor. I discovered the best ever antique shop in the East Village called Upper Rust with such a thoughtful collection of farm country-chic pieces. I love shopping at Otte for clothes and accessories even though the prices are a bit over the top. They have so many classic pieces. It’s a great store for a splurge!
We all have style or business girl crushes. Who are yours and why?
Jenna Lyons is my style AND business girl crush. She’s not afraid to take risks in both areas and has changed the way we all buy everyday clothes in such a dramatic way. She is also always so poised and graceful. I’d love to be her BFF. Still working on that…
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
With kids in the ‘burbs. Seriously! I’m almost 30 and ready to start popping ’em out soon. I really just want to be living in a gorgeous house with a super successful business alongside a super successful career with two beautiful children. NBD.
And finally… name your absolute must-try dish in NYC.
An H&H salt bagel with lox, tomatoes, and capers. You really can’t get good bagels out of the city. It’s not a myth!