YOU ASKED, I ANSWERED
First thing first – welcome to MsYoLee.com! More than just a personal platform to give readers a wider glimpse into the transformation and evolution to my digital lifestyle, I started this site as a means to provide light-hearted commentaries on all things related to fashion, beauty, culture and lifestyle. Think of it as your destination and guide of all conventional sorts, a place for conversation, as my team and I give our take on the many perils and triumphs in life.
To kick things off, I asked you to leave me questions on my Instagram and have answered most of them below. If you have any further questions, or any suggestions at all on what you would like to see on the site, leave it in the comments section. I love a good feedback!
What is MsYoLee?
Yo is my last name and Lee is my married name, and that is who I am today so the name just made personal sense to me on so many levels. But you can call me Yvette. Many assume that YoLee is my first name – it isn’t. I can understand the confusion, though.
Can you discuss more about what you do professionally?
Aside from blogging, I work in the corporate world, a 9 to 5er by day. My focus is on Executive Leadership Development, Succession Planning and Transitions, Personal Branding, Integrated Talent Systems, and People and Talent Strategies which all fall into the scope of Talent Management within Human Resources. I have been fortunate enough to travel the world by working for global Companies in different industries like; mining, telecommunications, consulting and now beauty. I keep my work and blogging strictly separate to keep the professionalism respectively in its relevant field, and I think that is how I have been able to balance both harmoniously.
How the heck do you juggle your life?!
I can’t take all the credit, I have a small team of talented, amazing, super cool and creative people who help the back bone of msyolee.com! When I become the subject of the lens; my amazing Husband will sometimes shoot me using the framework I set up for him when my assistant photographers are not around (hello Daphne & Kel), technical gurus and other creative specimens (sup Tom, Jessie, Paula and Casey), and wearer of many hats like our marketing intern, Tara who keeps me in check when I want to run screaming to the hills!
Yoga and Running has become an integral part of my life. And trust me, I am no health-junkie by any means. This is “me” time where I can either organize my thoughts or not think at all! But I do believe having that dedicated alone time (to do whatever it is that you need to do) is very important for your own sanity.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Monday through Friday from 9 to 5 I am usually running from back to back meetings and catching up on emails all while in heels trying not to look like a chicken with its head cut-off! And in the evenings I may try to attend an event some brand is hosting or happy hour with my colleagues or date night with my Husband or shooting last minute for a campaign (weather and/or sunlight permitting). And on weekends, I really try to keep the time opened for my Husband and catching up with friends. If not, you will find a crazy girl walking back and forth on the streets of New York trying to get the perfect shot for an upcoming campaign. And when I am on vacation, you won’t hear a peep out of me. Don’t let #FOMO prevent you from having fun!
What advice would you give to those who have no idea what they want to do?
Don’t underestimate the stuff that comes easy to you because it doesn’t mean that it’s easy for other people, and believe that your favorite hobby could become a job. We live in a crazy time where brick and mortar is not the only means of opening up a business and that we have digitally been given the foundational cinder blocks to architect our lives. Think about what gets you out of bed in the morning and those moments when you don’t want to go to sleep at night because reality is that much better. And then ask yourself what’s keeping you up.
Have you ever considered pursuing blogging fulltime?
I have considered it but I love my Professional career in Talent Management too. And the balance of the two keeps me grounded and real.
To be relevant like the rest of the Bloggers how do you refrain from buying all the latest and greatest luxury goods every season; how do you refrain from conforming?
Relevance only matters in your own mind. Much like, when you worry how others will perceive you, when reality is no one cares, because we are all selfish creatures by nature, so we are usually consumed with our own thoughts that we don’t have time to care about what we think of others. I know I have my own voice, color and style. And I am a realist at heart, I know what is and isn’t of value to me, and that I can’t buy everything that is out there on trend. And reality is consumers have gotten that much smarter about spending money. I prefer quality over quantity, so I would rather save the money and get one luxury piece than buying a number of cheap items. And I come from a family of immigrants who know a thing or two about hard work and the value of money, so I do think twice before making any purchase.
We all know the perks of being a blogger, but what are some of the challenges you face as well? And how do you overcome them?
People easily assume that bloggers get all these amazing perks without realizing that there is actual work beyond what the eye sees, and often underestimate a simple process as point-and-snap because you figure ‘how hard can it be?’ And of course this varies by blogger; if I speak for myself then I can say that I am very happy with where my blog is today and extremely thankful for the wonderful opportunities that have presented itself. I would say the most challenging aspect is in deciding and choosing the next brand or campaign to collaborate with because not everything is the right fit or about the compensation. I really believe and will continue to maintain the integrity of the partnerships that I select to work with. The biggest challenge is always producing quality posts to keep you (the readers) engaged and interested.
What do you feel is most rewarding about blogging?
Definitely the freedom to express creatively is the biggest reward. Think about it. Even when you work for an ad company or a part of a marketing team, you never get to expand your creativity to the extent that bloggers get to do.
What made you want to first get into blogging? How did you get it started? What can someone expect as you get into it?
I got into blogging in 2009, I had an opinion, which I believed was being severely underserved in fashion and a way of delivering it candidly with a sense of humor that I hoped would resonate with like minded individuals. It was never actually about fashion, this is just the language we use to connect with each other because sometimes words and literal conversation isn’t the same. And as it started getting traction, I felt like I was onto something and found it to be a whole new adventure in itself. 3 name changes and countless site designs and concepts later, I have finally stuck with what makes sense and is most meaningful to me. Expect to find yourself questioning yourself a lot, every decision and direction you make. Just remember, no question is a stupid question.
You seem well versed in traveling, where are you originally from, where were some of the favorite places to visit, where have you lived and where are you now?
I am Korean and originally from Montreal, Canada and moved to Toronto after school where I met my Husband, started my career, and my life basically. I have also lived in Paris, Singapore and now currently residing in Manhattan, New York. My favorite destination by far has been the Maldives, I felt like I was in no man’s land. There are just no words or image that can clearly express that moment in pure bliss.
What is your best advice when wanting to collaborate with brands, and how do you know what to charge?
This is no different than the business world. Treat people respectfully and professionally and be mindful of meeting times. When there is time and money involved, people get sensitive and at the end of the day, it’s nothing personal. If you want brands and companies to treat you and your blog like a business, you have to take it seriously too. I think any real life work experiences really help because that helps put things into perspective.
What advice would you give aspiring bloggers?
Check your ego at the door and I mean that in both spectrum; whether it’s inflated or deflated. Don’t make it about you, because you won’t be able to succeed if you do. It’s helpful to have a sort of altruistic purpose and in my opinion, it is mandatory that you are building something or doing something for the greater good of someone or something beyond just your personal appeasement. And ask yourself how you define and measure success and make a note of it, because everyone has a different definition and a way of measuring it. My level of success may or may not be the same level as you define it. And when you hit that targeted goal make sure to celebrate it. Otherwise it only takes a second to start comparing and feeling like no accomplishment (great or small) is ever good enough.
Favourite skincare brands?
Glossier, La Mer and Cle de Peau are my favourite products of the moment, I used to be Chanel Beauty loyal but since working for a beauty company, skincare and beauty has sparked my interest and has me exploring this foreign avenue.
Will you ever have a closet reveal?
Hahahaha, nope. It’s not as interesting as you would think.
If you were pasta, what pasta would you be?
I would either be spaghetti or penne, classics can do no wrong. But this is not a fair question because I love pasta, period.
Do you follow k-pop/k-drama/k-entertainment? if yes who’s your bias?
I like watching the occasional Korean dramas, as for bias, BigBang, Zion-T. But I love every type of music and pretty well versed in all genres and eras.
If you had one billboard anywhere and can put anything on it what would you put on it and where?
Times Square and it would be a message to be kind to one another. With all the recent hate crimes, shootings, bombings, etc., we can all use a healthy dose of kindness. And can I just say, what is going on around the World?!?!?
What is the latest of social media buzz of the moment?
Pokemon Go – what a phenomenon this has generated!
If Trump was a president of the USA, what would you do?
I won’t mix my political views into this.
What is an experience you have learned a serious lesson from?
You cannot take health for granted. Taking care of your mental, physical and emotional health comes first in life. And no one is able to control or take responsibility of it other than you. And if you are not healthy enough to enjoy the money you make from all your hard work and efforts, then it all becomes a moot point.
Who is your favorite designer and why?
Phoebe Philo is sheer brilliance, how she has transformed simplicity to give it her signature is beyond me.
Where are some of your favorite stores to shop?
I love Kirna Zabête for their exquisitely curated selection of labels. You can tell a lot about the Buyer(s) and the Company and how much they understand the market, and if they are a pioneer or just do what everyone else is doing. And they really set the benchmark for “getting it” and taking risks, as true pioneers of fashion buying and providing what’s hot off the runway to consumers. Just like Rare Market, a South Korean based Concept Shop, whom are equally paving the way in Asia.
Do you have a motto that you go by?
It’s not really a motto per se, but what I would like to say to those who care enough to pursue their dreams, who is courageous enough to act on it, who is generous enough to say, “here, I did this,”… just know that… there will be ten people who chide, “I could have done it better.” A hundred people who question, “Who are you to do this?” A thousand people more to say, “I was just about to do that,” And ten thousand others who don’t give a flying fuck. And all of this is okay, because the person we need in life, the one we cherish, the one we would miss, is that first person – the one who cared enough.
Well there you have it, just another weirdo with quirks.
Oh! And if you ever have any suggestions on future topics that you would like to see me cover, drop me a note at the comment below!