This week's segment of "Following Her Bliss" features our friends Katherine Crowley and Molly Longest, the visionaries, creators, and Co-Founders of The Lala
! We are beyond obsessed
with their site which features 100% original content (from the photo shoots to the articles) covering everything from fashion & pop culture to DIY's and music- all written by their team of 200 college contributors around the country! Read on, get inspired, & see which bliss stack is their fave!
Tell us about the Lala!
is an online magazine for college creatives who stand behind a mission of positive media for women. From student spotlights to our all-original photography, our college contributors work together as an editorial team to produce substantial, stylish and spirited content; revolutionizing the college publishing world today.
Click the pic to visit their site!
What inspired you to start it?
As sophomores at Purdue University we needed writing samples for those big NYC dream internships we wanted. Molly graduated in PR & Advertising, Art & Design and Katherine graduated in Mass Communication and Women’s Studies. We started a website in 2010 called purduelala.com
, it took off around campus and other college women around the country wanted to create their own at their school. So upon graduating, we decided to expand it to thelala.com.
Now we have 200 college contributors from around the world who write for us.
The positive media aspect organically grew as soon as we began back in 2010. We always knew there was something lacking in college publishing. We never found a site that really spoke to us and above all else, we were exhausted and beaten down by the way college women were being portrayed in media.
We were surrounded by brilliant, driven, super-cool women and the content out there just wasn’t representing them. So through all original photography and positive, authentic content, we set out to create a media company that truly empowers them. College is such an exciting, taking-off point for so many women, and we’re here to celebrate that.
What’s a day in the life like?
Cliche alert : Every day is different. Molly and I assume two different roles so our days differ.
Molly: I’m the creative director of the Lala. My day is spent really honing content and design - from social media blasts, creative marketing and spearheading photography and posts for the Lala, I’m the design eye for creative campaigns.
Katherine : I’m the director of digital ad sales & media operations. My job is seek out and launch ad campaigns with brands who want to work with the Lala & reach our demographic. We work together to create brand-aligned ad options that get our readers clicking, sharing, promoting and buying cool products.
We both oversee our writers and editorial direction of the Lala. So managing, keeping morale high, directing and editing really takes up such a big part of what we do - this is the most fun for us. We love our writers - they’re seriously some of the coolest, funniest people we’ve ever met.
You can read more about our behind-the-scenes entrepreneurial journeys (and mishaps) on the Lala Life.
Katherine and Molly choosing their bliss stack at our Studio!
How do you describe your personal style?
Katherine: Being from Cape Cod, I grew up around a very classic, timeless style and that really has rubbed off on me. I love neutrals, and simple, sleek, sophisticated clothing. I have a huge stack of vintage gold bangles, watches, and charms that I wear every. single. day. When I find a classic piece I love, I try to incorporate it into everything I own. Lately I’ve been obsessed with anything monochromatic. I joke that starting our own company leaves us pretty broke, so monochromatic outfits are the go-to. Don’t need to shop too much if all you wear is all white or all black- thank God that’s in right now. Chic. Cheap. Effortless. bam.
Molly: My personal style definitely goes through phases – even daily! But I’m always up for something that’s a little bolder whether that’s an edgy leather jacket, layered necklaces and stacked rings, sequins, animal print, a dark purple lip (lipstick counts as an accessory right?), faux fur – I love trying anything daring. For summer in the city (and the subways) though my go-tos are easy boho-inspired pieces like colorful maxis or comfy jumpsuits that can easily transition from working at a coffee shop, to a meeting with a potential brand partner, to happy hour with friends.
What’s on your summer music playlist?
Katherine: I’ve really been jumping back into the classics this summer. A lot of Neil Young, Simon and Garfunkle— 70’s folk. It’s great music to work to, and it’s the stuff I grew up on. But when it comes to sitting on the beach with best friends, country is the go-to. I can’t help it, it’s like the summer version of Christmas Carols.
Molly: Like my personal style, my taste in music is also all over the place. But right now I’m playing Ryn Weaver’s “Octahate” on repeat—I’m telling you this girl’s gonna be BIG. I’m also loving Broods’ new song “Mother & Father”. And back to my Indiana roots, nothing says summertime like country music so I also have a little Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw and Keith Urban in rotation.
What’s your favorite summer getaway?
Katherine: Cape Cod, MV and Nantucket. Perfect distance from NYC and I can see my family. (Score!)
Molly: I’m from Indiana and many of my summer weekends were spent roadtriping out to friends’ lake houses in the middle of the country. There’s nothing like a few days spent in the sun, tubing, swimming, kayaking, drinking beer and eating chips and guac.
The Lala Stack!
What are your favorite pieces by eff.y.bee?
the Lala stack of course. But really, because our content is bright, vibrant and fun, we love the colorful stacks in yellows and oranges and reds. Being 20-something and embarking on such an exciting time of life is meant to celebrated with gorgeous pops of personality and that’s really something all of the Eff. Y. Bee designs exemplifies.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“If it scares you, learn it, conquer it and it won’t scare you anymore.” We got this advice from a really wonderful mentor over coffee one day. Starting a company has so many “what if’s” and “I’m not ready for this yet” moments. We found that if you pinpoint the things that are stopping you from doing something (say, building a website for example) and you make that weakness your next big project, that the thing once scared you and limited you will become your greatest, unique strength. The mind is limitless, and your skill set can be too if you put that time in. Go & do, girlfriends.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
Katherine: Our readers. I know that’s another cliche. But really, the people that drive our passion and mission are the women who believe in it too. We are blown away by how brilliant, driven and just plain kickass college women are and when we know they’re behind us and are reading, sharing and appreciating the Lala, we want to work harder and grow bigger and create even better content. There are so many cool, interesting students out there, really pushing the world forward and we want to be there go-to publication.
Molly: I’m incredibly inspired by creative people who have managed to take what they love and make a living from it. From bloggers, to photographers, to art directors, painters, other entrepreneurs – I’m constantly inspired by the amazing companies and freelancers I come across online or in person and really look to how they’ve curated a life based off their passions. There’s nothing cooler than that.
How do you follow your bliss?
Embracing an untraditional, unexpected lifestyle has helped us follow our bliss. Growing up and even in college, we never expected we would be doing this. It evolved into something so beautiful and great and exciting. Taking a step back and realizing that you can truly do whatever you want if you’re adaptable, smart and create loopholes in your life is incredibly liberating. Yes, we may not have 9-5 jobs, and 401ks- and our hours are weird, and sometimes it’s hard for people to understand what we’re doing- but seeing it all as a big adventure and really soaking it all in, makes the whole process so much more fun and less scary. Following our bliss means taking this crazy dream we have and making it a success no matter what it takes.