When keeping up to date with the latest fashion trends, it’s important to turn to someone that not only knows the ins and outs of the fashion industry, but who can dish the best advice, features, and latest news. Devon Pina of Fashion Citizen created an outlet to share his view of fashion with the world.
IP: Start by telling us more about yourself and your business (educational background, hometown, age you started your business, how business came about, etc.)
I was born and raised in DC and I didn’t go too far to college in Arlington, VA at Marymount University. I received my BA in Criminal Justice in 2005 and was all set on that path. In about 2008, my passion for fashion pushed me to start a blog and it was just my opinion on what I was seeing in the industry. I was 26 when I started my site and now as I approach 30, I am running a successful, award winning lifestyle blog that seeks to highlight the independents in fashion and the arts at large.
IP: Quote that keeps you motivated?
Jeremiah 29:11, I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope.
IP: What has been your biggest obstacle being a young entrepreneur and how did you overcome it?
The biggest obstacle being a young entrepreneur has been “the grind”. It gets very tough when you’re making a dream come to life and sometimes it wears on you when you have to wear a creative hat and a businessman hat at the same time. I overcame it by praying first and then working to surround myself with people who won’t let me relax in down moments. An intimate circle of trusted people is important to a business owner and I credit mine with helping me keep motivated.
IP: How has age factored into your success?
Age hasn’t really factored into my success much as far as I know. I can definitely say that I’m a lot more tenacious as I approach 30, where as when I was younger I might’ve been swayed or taken out by certain things. Now, I feel pretty invincible because my dream is materializing and no one can keep me from achieving more and more.
IP: Describe a day in the life of (Fashion Citizen)?
I get up in the morning and check email and Twitter first. I make sure that days post is set to go live and then I promote it on Twitter to my followers and my Facebook fan page. Over breakfast, I’m checking emails and responding to requests from my publicist and others. The rest of the day is sometimes spent reading and researching what trends are coming or driving around the city meeting with designers to discuss what’s coming up and how we can work together. No down time with Fashion Citizen.
IP: Where do you see your company in the next 5 years?
In the next 5 years, I hope to transition into major television roles like red carpet reviews and things of that nature. I’m really interested in jumping out there with that. Also, I want to bring the fashion citizen ideal to as many major media outlets as I can via lectures or presentation.
IP: What advice would you give up and coming entrepreneurs?
I would tell any up and coming entrepreneur, do your research on the field you’re going into. There are a lot of people who do things because it’s popular or what will get them attention,but they have no basis or background in it. With fashion, I read everything I can get my hands and eyes on, so that I’m able to speak on several different topics. When I don’t know, I search until I do know. Always learn and never be afraid to not know because you can always gain knowledge.
IP: What blogs and publications do you read to get guidance as an entrepreneur?
I read Vogue a lot, not just the articles for the content but I study how writers get certain points across so that I can learn how to address my readers in the best way possible. I also check out Crunk & Disorderly, The YBF and Concrete Loop…those ladies are excellent writers with unique candor and I read them for content as well but also to see where I should be pushing to get to.
IP: If you could pick a celebrity to be the spokesperson for your company/brand who would it be and why?
I would pick Solange Knowles because she is the epitome of what a fashion citizen is. She is unique, creative, bold and strong in her own convictions. I work to push my readers to discover their inner “fashion citizen” and dress on the outside to reflect how they feel on the inside, appropriately and within varying budget types. Solange is never salacious in her clothing and she’s wearing high fashion to a tee shirt and jeans, it’s always unique and it’s always stylish.
IP: Outside of your business, what are your other interests?
I like to travel and have time with my family, both blood relatives and extended. Being with family has a way of restoring my energy and giving me what I need to take on the world.
IP: Anything else you would like to add? (pictures of merchandise or logo, additional facts about your business, links, upcoming events/promotions, etc.)