Some know her as Emily Byrski, some know her as Empire Style of Mind; either way, she's a NYC livin' Fashionista who is killing the game. Emily lives a colorful, stylish, exciting life. Whether she's globetrotting, blogging, or maybe both, it's safe to say Emily is always living her best possible life. I mean come on, try looking at her pictures and not thinking, "goals".
We want to get to know you! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am currently working as a freelancer in various capacities. I’m mainly a freelance photographer and I shoot projects as needed, from fashion photos for different brands, to blogger photos, to travel content, and more. I also maintain a blog and do a lot of creation for that site, from the Instagram, to the blog posts, to managing collaborations and sponsorships, to sharing posts across social channels. I also write freelance, mainly for a site called LikeABossGirls.com about travel and career advice. I also have an Etsy print shop called PrintSomethingPretty where I sell prints of my photography and I sell photos to stock sites like Adobe Stock. Oh, and I travel all the time, most recently to Paris and then home to Florida. And somehow on top of that I maintain some semblance of a social life. So yeah, I wear a lot of hats.
WHAT ARE YOUR FOUR TRAITS AND WHY?
CREATIVE: Ever since I was little I’ve loved art and creating new things. I am a very visual person, I love color and pattern, and I love good design. I’m now working in some very creative fields and most, if not all, of what I do is content creation of some sort. I also think that I’m creative in the way I approach problems and see the world—I try to keep an open mind and look at things from different perspectives.
AMBITIOUS: I have a bit of a perfectionist personality (type-A as can be) and as much as I try to enjoy my accomplishments, I’m always looking forward to the next thing I can do. I always want to do more, achieve more, and be more. I have a lot of ideas floating around in my head at any given time and whenever I actually choose one to focus on, I tend to make it happen no matter what.
ADVENTUROUS: I am always looking for the next adventure, the next big thing, the next fun experience. I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie and my bucket list is never-ending. I’m a very take charge person and if I want to do something, even if no one else wants to, I’ll probably do it anyways. From jumping off a cliff in Zimbabwe, spontaneously booking a solo trip to Paris a week ahead of time, learning to surf, and even just trying weird new cuisine, I’ve always been excited to try crazy new things.
INTELLIGENT: I was that nerdy bookworm stereotype growing up. I could read confidently by the time I was two years old and by the time I was 10 owned thousands of books, preferring to stay at home and read rather than be outside with other kids. I was always top of my class, got straight A’s, scored highly on tests, and still had time to sass the teachers and join a ton of extracurriculars. I’m really good at trivia (I love Jeopardy) because I’m just full of a ton of generally useless information. Except for math, I hate math. But even that I managed to get all A’s in…
YOU CHOSE AMBITIOUS AS ONE OF YOUR TRAITS, WHAT ARE SOME THINGS YOU’RE AMBITIOUS ABOUT?
As I mentioned, I’m always looking for ways to improve everything I do. I want my photography to be published in important publications like Town & Country or AFAR or Conde Nast Traveler. I would love for my blog to grow a larger audience and reach a point where I can post content consistently every single day, possibly bringing other writers and creators onto the site. I eventually want to start my own business and I know I want it to be along the lines of a sustainable media company. I want to be the best that I can possibly be in my chosen fields.
WHAT ARE SOME WAYS YOU EXPRESS YOUR CREATIVITY?
Every single day I am working on taking or editing photos, planning outfits and content for the blog, writing articles and posts, and more, so all of what I do is a creative outlet. I also love design and decor so I really enjoyed decorating my apartment. I moved into a new place in August and I’m constantly looking for pretty new things to add to the style. I’ve recently gotten back into film photography simply for my own enjoyment. I used to shoot film in photo class in high school and in photography school (my first two years at NYU I was a Photo major before I transferred programs) and I find it to be a really creative medium in a way that digital photography is not. It’s more tactile and takes more patience and focus.
EXPLAIN TO US WHAT EMPIRE STYLE OF MIND IS ALL ABOUT!
I started the blog my freshman year of college having just moved from small town Florida to the big city. I quickly realized that my fashion sense was vastly different than my Greenwich Village counterparts. In typical Emily fashion rather than straight up conforming I decided to start a blog to explore the ways my fashion sense developed merging the colorful and preppy style I loved with the edgier and neutral city style. Since then it has grown into a place where I share fashion tips, outfits, travel tips, stories about my experiences and my travels, lifestyle content, and more. I’ve also tried to incorporate my passion for sustainable fashion as much as possible and certainly plan to do even more moving forward. I’m working on a New York City Guide as I’m often asked questions about the city and I’m also planning to add more and more travel content to the site. It’s fun to see how much I’ve grown since starting Empire Style of Mind and can now consider myself an expert, of sorts, on many of the things I’m writing and blogging about.
WHAT ARE SOME WORDS OF WISDOM YOU SHARE WITH OTHERS?
On of my favorite quotes is, “The definition of madness is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.” If you’re trying your best at something and it just isn’t working, try something new. This isn’t the same as giving up rather finding a different way to approach a problem is often the key to solving it. If it were easy, everyone else would be doing it already. We as humans have such a tendency to get stuck in one frame of mind but allowing a chance to step back and revaluate often reveals a lot about what you have already been doing. Even if something has been working just fine, you don’t want the sum of your achievements to be “fine.” Good is the enemy of greatness. Life is about constant improvement and the worst thing you can let happen is for your growth to plateau. Be confident yet humble in all that you do, accepting that you do not always know best and will often need help, and realizing that it is not a failure of your own ability but rather a success to be able to recognize your own strengths and weaknesses. No one person can do it all so you have to focus your efforts where you know you will best excel. Every experience—each challenge, failure, and success—is a chance to make yourself better. Set goals for yourself and hold yourself accountable for your actions because more often than not no one else will do it for you.
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