Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sara Zucker: Digital Media Analyst at NARS


If "multitask-er" somehow ends up next year's street-slang filled batch of words added to the Oxford Dictionary, I wouldn't be surprised if you saw Sara Zucker's name listed as the definition. As a digital media analyst at NARS, her days are spent coming up with all of the amazingly beautiful content that lives on NARS' social media channels, while simultaneously tracking how it does. By night she runs the super informative/down-to-earth fashion blog Farpitzs — a one stop shop for fashion advice served with a dash of humor. This social media queen has forged an amazing path in the fashion industry despite the fact that she didn't even intend on working in it. Read on for Sara's thoughts on honest blogging, work-life balance, and turning that internship into a full-time position.

Can you run me through the day-to-day life of a digital media analyst? 

I manage and maintain our social channels, content calendars for the US and globally, digital PR, analytics, and assist with overall digital strategy. Every day is different and because our company is much smaller than people think, we all wear a lot of hats.

You're a blogging OG, having started Farpitzs in 2008. As fashion blogging has turned into the mega-industry that it is now, have you found it hard to keep up? 

I definitely joined Tumblr at the most wonderful time, when a small group of us NYC-based users would plan meet-ups at dive bars, David would come and it would be a chill way to make friends; it had much more of a networking feel at that time. Sanity is key and I have a perpetual fear of crashing and burning, so re: keeping up, I just try to manage everything from a "What and how much can I handle right now?" standpoint. I also avoid blogging on the weekend.

You truly keep it real on your blog. How do you maintain your blog's identity when working with brands? 

I am nothing if not truly and 100% myself; I don't know how to be anyone else, both on and off the internet. I love meeting new people in any capacity, sharing my knowledge with them and receiving just as much back; learning shit rules. That philosophy extends to brand relationship management as I refuse to work with any that I don't truly believe in and/or wouldn't purchase from on my own. When companies understand that and appreciate it (Club Monaco, BaubleBar, Coach are all great examples), I sing their praises from the rooftops.

You've said in the past that your blog served as a huge networking tool when you first started working in the fashion industry. How did those vital connections come about? 

Is it a cop-out if I just said that I was myself? When I first joined Tumblr, it was so small that you really felt like you knew every user, like it was high school, and I made a lot of friends that were talented and knowledgeable in a variety of fields. Because I was one of the first to blog solely about fashion on the platform, people sought me out for advice and assistance on retail-minded endeavors; things spiraled from there.

You were one of the original bloggers that Tumblr sent to NYFW, and this year you got to collaborate with Anna Sui on an amazing project. How has it been being a part of Tumblr's growing fashion community? 

I am so obsessed with Tumblr. It is truly difficult to express how indebted I am to the platform and the wonderful people who work there and whom I've met through it; honestly, my life would be drastically different had I not joined. I'd likely be working in the basement of a museum, weeding through musty books, far away from any sort of technology. I wouldn't have met dozens of designers I've admired for years, gotten a majority of the jobs I've acquired since grad school, or have any semblance of a social life. Am I crying right now? Look away.

Do you ever have any difficulty with balancing the various aspects of your life (ie blogging and work)? 

I don't have much of a dating life, if that's what you're asking ;). Many of my friends are fellow bloggers, so we try to squeeze in bonding time before and after events, but it is a constant struggle to unwind and that is only exacerbated by the fact that I loathe saying "no" to things.

You always seem so plugged in to everything that's going on in the world of culture. Do you believe that it's important to keep up with current events in addition to the happenings of the fashion industry, especially in the age of social media? 

This is a trick question, right? Absolutely. Yes. My now-boss and mentor has instilled in me that it is imperative to not only pay attention to your own industry but that of others. In my case, that is fashion, but fashion is the slowest moving when it comes to digital, so myself and my team are forced to think outside of the box in order to remain innovative.

You didn't study fashion specifically in college. Did you find it difficult to adjust when you first started working at Glamour? 

Not at all for one sole reason: I maintain a daily, fact-checked fashion blog and have done so since 2008, which requires that I constantly stay well-read and updated on the fashion industry. I don't feel that my self-taught education would have been more successful with college credits, but that isn't to say that others couldn't benefit from garnering such a background. Additionally, my job at Glamour was to act as its first Community Manager, helping to create the magazine's inaugural social media strategy, no fashion required (sort of).

What tips do you have for interns or bloggers looking to make the transition into working in fashion full-time? 

In the famous words of every Nike campaign, "just do it." No complaining, no showing up late or leaving early, just work hard and soak up all the information you can. Hang back a little bit to understand the nuances and relationships that make a company tick. Be eager! Show your willingness to learn. Avoid showing weakness, but don't be afraid to ask for help. Teamwork is vital.