Alexa Curtis has been blogging since she was 12-years old. She’s now her own boss and runs 2 successful companies – a lifestyle blog and a non-profit. Alexa’s not-so-great childhood inspired her to find her passion and luckily everything else fell into place. Here, this 19-year old entrepreneur shares her top tips for success in the blogging world.
Finding Her Passion
According to Forbes, Alexa Curtis didn’t exactly have a great childhood. “When I was 7, my father was wrongfully convicted of a heinous crime and put in a maximum-security prison. He got out when I was twelve and I spent years of my childhood watching him almost die as a diabetic in prison,” she says.
But Curtis found a way to vent her feelings by a few different forms of self-expression. She says, “Around that time, I started writing and expressing myself through fashion. It helped me cope.” Curtis became so hugely passionate about writing and blogging, naming Tavi Gevinson’s Style Rookie as a huge inspiration.
Curtis was born is a small town – Mansfield, Connecticut, but she wanted to escape. On a visit to her sister’s in Staten Island, they would think up the idea that would change Alexa’s life. She says, “As we were throwing ideas around, she casually said, oh, well you could start a blog.”
And at 12, she did. A Life In The Fashion Line was born. Curtis says, “I had no interest in anything else besides following my passion.” To begin with, she didn’t have the money for clothes so she would post lots of street style and celebrity images instead.
Slowly, Curtis turned her fashion blog into a lifestyle site for teens. She used tactics like cold-emailing brands like British Airways, T-Mobile and Lands’ End. But it paid off and she started getting sponsored, and her partnership with the airline is on-going as she snags free flights to this day.
A Social Media Career at 14
It was in her freshman year when she stumbled upon Linked-In. She listed herself as a social media manager, “I began getting messages from people asking my rates. I just winged it at first, until I built up a reputable client list.” Alongside blogging, she was building up her other skills and began interning for different companies.
Something that sets Curtis’ blog apart from others is her work with mental health. Last year, after she spoke at a conference on social media and mental health she decided to start a non-profit called Media Impact and Navigation for Teens – that’s M.I.N.T for short.
Back in Middle School, Curtis had been a target for bullies and felt like she didn’t have any support. So, she created M.I.N.T to help empower teens that are facing struggles in their lives. The non-profit involves her visiting schools and talking about topics like cutting, sexting, mental health and social media. “We’re giving kids a reason to talk about difficult issues, and not feel ashamed,” she explains.
Curtis’ Top Business Tips
Curtis is now her own boss and runs two business. She says, “I feel I’m finally making my mark. Even though I’ve been working nonstop since I was 12, this passion and drive just gets stronger every day.” Here, she offers up her top tips for other young entrepreneurs who wish to start a blog or brand.
Pitch yourself to brands – she says, “When I first started, I’d have to find brands to pitch all of the time.” Simply find a company’s PR email and introduce yourself and your aim. While it’s hard to work with big brands like ASOS, you can scroll through retail sites. Use Revolve and Anthropologie and pick smaller scale brands.
But don’t get ahead of yourself too soon, Curtis says, “If you’re just starting out, there’s no real need for a brand to pay you. Take the free food and clothing they will offer instead. When you have a bigger following, you can ask for compensation.”
Know your niche – “If a brand is trying to hit a Gen Z or millennial audience, I’m the gal who can get you in front of those eyes.” She explains that this is the type of thing she will tell brands. Knowing she has a younger audience, Curtis can use this to her advantage. If you are thinking of starting your own blog, use Alexa’s tips for success.
Like this story? Share it with your friends!