Interview: Helen Yu Kuo
- Tell me a little bit about yourself and how did you get into fashion blogging in the first place?
Hi! I’m an only child and a mama to an only child :)
I started my fashion blog because my friends would often ask me where I shop or where I got a certain piece of clothing/bag etc. so, I simply called it “What Helen Wore Today” to document my (daily) outfits.
I think my blog became more popular once I got pregnant and started to feature my maternity outfits. Again, for me, it was a way to document that special moment/stage in my life. My blog was basically my own fashion journal.
- We know you were a marketer at a tech company while blogging on the side. How was the experience of doing both simultaneously?
Blogging never felt like a job for me - it was a fun past time where my hubby would take pictures of my outfits on the weekend. During the very early days of my blog, even my co-workers (who were avid photographers) would offer to help with photo shoots during our weekday lunches :)
When Instagram came along, it was a logical choice for me to switch from traditional blogging to Instagram as my fashion blog was essentially a roundup of (outfit) pictures.
- How do you maintain balance between work and building family?
I’ve been fortunate to work at tech startups and companies that foster a good work life balance. At my last company Atlassian, they encourage all employees to be “open” meaning to openly be their authentic self at work. For me, that meant being a working mom with a love for all things fashion.
Now that I’ve “retired” from corporate life, I’m able to focus entirely on family and of course self-care.
The true hero is my hubby of 10 years who has supported me in all my life decisions including this one. For me, maintaining balance was easy with support from colleagues at work to loved ones at home.
- What inspires you the most in life? How do you prioritize yourself and do things that make you feel happier?
Motherhood has definitely been a huge inspiration for me. I try to see the world through my daughter Marni’s eyes. Her pure joy, curiosity, and zest for life brings me so much happiness!
Here at Auralie, we feel so strongly about mindful consumption, especially in fashion. What is your take on that? Any thoughts about the idea of shopping more sustainably?
I hear my mom’s motto “buy fewer, better things.” Lately I find myself not only buying more second hand via online consignment stores like The Real Real and Poshmark but also selling via these outlets. For me that’s a step in shopping more sustainably.
- Where do you think fashion industry is heading 5 years from now?
I think tech will continue to transform the fashion industry at an even faster pace. I think the fashion companies that will succeed will be agile and think digital-first. I think AI and machine learning will help brands make smarter strategic decisions around product development and new business lines. I see more personalization and prediction algorithms in the next era of fashion. I also think there will be a strong push for sustainability where socially conscious shoppers want more sustainable materials and transparent, ethical labor and manufacturing.
Fave picks from Auralie?
My top 3 picks:
- Ajaie alaie transitional skirt - I already have this midi skirt in beige land just love the cut fabric, and button details. Black linen is always chic too!
- Luiny Perla drop earrings - these earrings convey simple, understated elegance
- Na Nin soy candle - love this balanced scent between wood and florals