Recently awarded one of IrishCentral’s ‘Top 40 Digital Influencers’ in the U.S and one of the ‘Top 20 New York Style Bloggers’, Erika Fox, of Retro Flame has certainly made her mark as aretro-flame.com/ With her trademark red hair, porcelain skin and unique sense of style, she is the poster woman for the new generation of Irish creatives.
Since trading in the picturesque setting of Glenbeigh for the high-octane energy of Manhattan, Erika has worked with stars like Whitney Port and Olivia Palermo, as well as brands such as Jo Malone, Michael Kors, Vera Wang and Ted Baker. Her current overall fan base has now reached over 100,000 followers.
Starting out in her bedroom office at the age of 19, Erika, now 26, has developed her brand, Retro Flame, into a growing social media empire by sharing content on YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat to her mass of loyal followers.
“I originally came to New York on a summer J1 visa to intern with a fashion PR company. I thought it would be a great way to gain experience and learn more about the field. I instantly fell in love with the city and I’ve been living here now for three years which is crazy! I was able to apply for a new visa last year that allowed me to work for myself and my sister Kaelin joined the Retro Flame team late last year. It’s such an exciting industry to be in right now and we have so many plans in the pipeline for the next 12 months”.
I started my blog in college just as a hobby to share my outfits and style tips as fashion was always something I truly loved. I never expected it to turn into my career but when people started recognising it and brands began to reach out to me, I knew it was something I wanted to work on full time. I studied commerce in NUIG and I also did one year of fashion business in GTI. This industry definitely revolves around hard work, the right timing and a little bit of luck. Consistency is definitely key in this line of work. I also think it helps to be organised and to delegate the work load if you have someone helping you. There’s power in numbers.
My days are not as glamorous as people might think! I usually get up quite early around 6.30am to go to the gym before I sit down at my desk. I find that it helps to get out for a bit in the morning first when working from home. I then usually dive into emails for an hour or two and spend the rest of the day either creating content for my blog which consists of shooting looks and writing or filming and editing for my YouTube Channel. Retro Flame, my website, documents my daily work, travels, looks, events and inspirations. I try to avoid going to events until later in the week when most of the work is done.
I love the freedom of being able to work for myself from anywhere in the world. I get some lovely messages from people telling me that my content has helped them get through tough times so that is very special to hear. Being able to go full time with my blog while living here in New York is something that I am so proud of.
Going forward, I have so many plans! In time, I’d like to get working on a few different brand ideas that I have but right now, my main focus is to grow my YouTube Channel over the next year or so. It’s a new venture but one I am really enjoying so I’m going to continue to dedicate as much time as I possibly can to it.
For anyone who is interested in pursuing a similar career, my advice is to be yourself and make sure you are adding value to absolutely everything you post. The industry is already very saturated so I think that’s so important. There are so many bloggers in New York so it can be difficult to stand out sometimes. Also, a lot of influencers in New York have bought their followers which can be a little bit disheartening when competing for the same jobs. I always say though, if you work hard and play fair, you will succeed.
I feel like time goes a lot quicker in New York compared to home. The lifestyle is so much busier here and I never really stay in if I’m not working because I almost feel guilty! Then when I go home, I try not to leave the house! The three things I miss most about home are my family, the food and my local beach. My uncle lives here and I have the most amazing group of friends. When you live away from home, you kind of consider them your family too. My plan is to stay put and build my brand further. Maybe I will move home down the line but not anytime soon. I’m not finished in New York just yet!”