How An Ex-AOL Sales Rep Turned Her Food And Fashion Blog Into A Book Deal

cupcakes and chasmere

Photo: Cupcakes and Chasmere

Emily Schuman has what the fashion industry calls “Street Style.”Schuman was bored at her sales job at AOL in 2008, and needed more creativity in her life.

She decided to start a blog to write about her favourite things: fashion and food. She put together her favourite outfits and strutted around the streets of Los Angeles taking shots of outfits she paired together.

“I hadn’t really seen a blog pairing food and fashion,” said Schuman, 28. “That was really weird to me. Cupcakes and cashmere just seem like a natural pairing.”

Click here to meet Emily >
Her blog, “Cupcakes and Cashmere,” exploded when Coach asked Schuman to design a bag for their line in June 2010. She then went on to win Best Fashion Blog in 2010 from Bloggie. She’s popular on Twitter too, with 41,550 followers.

Following her brand partnerships with Coach and Juicy Couture, Schuman’s been approached by Abram’s Publishing to write a book, which she describes as “an extension of her blog, but a guide of how to live your life by the seasons.” The book will come out in August 2012.

Schuman didn’t go to fashion school or culinary school, and admits she just writes about her vision and what she likes.

“I started the blog this way for selfish reasons,” Schuman said. “I knew if I was just writing about food or fashion, I’d get bored. There’s a lot of learning as I go, sharing my tips. I’m sure professionals might not say that my makeup or food is not done right, but I’m just an everyday girl sharing how I go about life.”

She admits that while she makes sure all of her recipes taste good, the food also has to look good in order to appear on her blog.

If you think Schuman looks familiar, you may recognise her from MTV’s “The Hills.” She was working in sales at Teen Vogue around the same time as Lauren Conrad was interning, and occasionally appeared in shots when they filmed at the office.

But since then she’s been a regular girl. She left AOL when the company was offering voluntary buy-outs in January 2010 and has concentrated on her blog full-time ever since.

All of the clothes on the blog are items Schuman actually wears. She doesn’t buy anything just to look good on her blog, she says.

“The outfits I show on the blog are organic,” Schuman said. “I don’t want to be in jeans and a T-shirt everyday, I liked to get dressed up and have inspirational pieces.”

Schuman is known for pairing more-expensive items with affordable and trendy pieces from places such as Zara, Forever 21 and H&M.

She relies on the brand Elizabeth And James to find something that is tailored and fits her right. Every Sunday she goes to the flea market, in search of the perfect vintage item.

With so much of her life documented through photos and her blogs, Schuman says the biggest challenge is shutting off.

“Every so often I need to remind myself to put down the camera and stop working. Being my own boss is a blessing, but it’s hard to separate work and real life,” Schuman said. “I’m so fortunate to have the life I do, and the blog, but every so often to give myself a creative break I have to remind myself not to work.”

She’s been kind enough to share some photos from her blog with us.

Emily's fiancée takes a lot of her fashion shots. Here she's wearing a Zara blazer, Myne Dress and Juicy Couture Clutch.

On her blog, Emily writes about food a lot. Chocolate is her second favourite food.

She also blogs recipes. Shown are Homemade Peanut Butter Cups.

Emily explains her thought process while purchasing her clothes. The white top from Zara she bought in two colours (black is the other) because it is so versatile.

She shares stuff about her life such as where she's getting married in April. Shown is her wedding venue.

Emily said she purchases clothes for every-day life and not just to show off on her blog. Here she wears a Karen Zambos Dress.

When Emily blogs about food, she admits she didn't go to culinary school. She just has fun with recipes and makes things that are appealing to her such as this Pain au Chocolat.

Emily's upcoming book has an entire section on cheese, her favourite food, and how to choose the right types for dinner parties. Here is a home-made cheese board.

She has DIY crafts for jewelry and the home on her blog. She painted a clear jeweled brooch with nail polish to create this.

Emily's Pea Pesto Crostini can be found in the recipes section of her blog.

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