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When you hear the slogan “girl power” Elise Armitage should surely come to mind. From working at Google for five years to building her successful blog and brand from the ground up, there isn’t much Armitage cannot do.
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Armitage was born and raised in California, growing up in a small town near Sacramento and attending college in Los Angeles. After college, she lived in San Francisco for most of her 20’s and recently moved to her first home with her husband Omied in Napa, where they are loving a slower pace and endless wine supply.
The Start of Something New
Armitage learned all the skills needed for blogging such as managing an editorial calendar, doing basic HTML coding, setting up URLs and redirects, and honing her writing skills during her first role as a Marketing Manager. These skills led What the Fab to be born in 2012. For the first six and a half years of What The Fab, Armitage managed it alongside her full-time jobs. First, at a boutique communications consulting agency then, Google. Armitage boils her ability to manage both down to her grit, discipline, and prioritization of the blog. Of course, during that time she made sure to carve out time for friends, family, and Omied.
Her five years at Google were spent branding and planning events for Google’s tech talent outreach. While she loved her job, Armitage quit in 2019 to chase her dreams of being an entrepreneur. Google will forever hold a special place in her heart and she took away many skills that have helped her manage all the moving pieces that go into content creation and running her business such as time management with deadlines and teams and tools through spreadsheets.
Since 2012, Armitage’s brand and business have evolved and the biggest driver of her success has been her consistency- showing up every day creating content, responding to emails, and engaging with readers. Armitage states “doing these things day in and day out all amounts to growth after years of consistency.” Through her work, she has learned she can be a workaholic and is focused on achievements. Armitage often needs to remind herself that slowing down and taking a break to recharge is just as valuable and important as being productive.
Starting any business comes with a handful of challenges, and What The Fab was no exception. Armitage recalls the challenge of consistently creating content and managing her time during the weekends and weeknights. Another challenge she’s had to overcome was her own self-doubt. After leaving Google, she was nervous and doubted if she could successfully run her own blog full time. However, a word to the wise from Armitage is that the best antidote to fear is action. One step at a time, she was able to figure it out and make progress.
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Life as What The Fab
Elise Armitage covers a wide variety of topics on What The Fab, from home decor, style, beauty, life, and travel. Out of all these verticals, travel is her favorite to write about. She loves exploring new places and translating her experiences into content her readers can use to help plan the best trip ever. She even notes how rewarding and fun it is to see others enjoying themselves based on her travel recommendations. 2020 made travel writing pretty obsolete for a while, but as the year has progressed and people can travel safely, she’s refocused on sharing helpful guides like Airbnb lists and nature destinations. Her Sedona itinerary and travel guide content have been hits.
What has been your favorite travel destination so far? Why?
“This is such a tough question. Paris is probably my favorite city—the history, architecture, food, fashion…I love it all and I feel so happy when I’m there.” – Elise Armitage
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Since she and her husband bought their first house this year, she has also really enjoyed creating home decor content. To Armitage, writing about home decor from their old San Francisco apartment was hard because of the lack of space and logistically shooting there was tough. For Armitage, this home hop has been a fun change of pace and she gets to share all the before/after and home inspiration content.
Each day looks different for Armitage, but like most these days, they’re primarily spent hunkered down at home. She starts her day with a morning routine involving CBD, coffee, reading the Daily Stoic, journaling, and writing her to-do’s for the day. She then dives into work which could involve a photoshoot, phone calls with a brand, writing, or going through emails. Armitage has her own management team to help find brands to work and partner with and if there’s a brand she really wants to work with, she’ll do the pitching herself. She mentions how tourism boards, like Experience Scottsdale, are always super fun to work with. Exercise like a HIIT workout, a healthy home-cooked meal, and unwinding with her husband fills her evenings. Armitage also always gives herself time to read before bed. She recommends Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.
During “normal” times she’s usually traveling between one and four destinations each month and no day looks the same. She’s looking forward to getting back to the variety and change in scenery her travels have to offer.
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Blogging Means More Than Just Having Style
Between all the fun home decor, style tips, and travel guides, Elise Armitage stays true to herself and makes sure her platform has both substance and style. We asked her to expand on what this means to her and how this slogan came about. Here’s what she had to say, “One time early on when I was blogging I wrote an article that had to do with race, and someone commented, ‘Stick to fashion, sweetie.’ That comment really bothered me and I thought to myself, why would you even want to read a blog from someone who is one dimensional and only interested in shoes? I can be of both substance and style.”
“To me, this means that I can write about fashion and also voice my support for Black Lives Matter. I can have a love for skincare and share my favorite products, and also be an activist and write postcards to voters and encourage others to volunteer as well. Fashion and makeup are fun and I definitely don’t underestimate the value of looking and feeling good and how that can boost your confidence. But I’m also interested in and passionate about topics outside of that and will always use my voice to support causes I believe in.”
Be sure to check out Armitage’s blog, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest! She loves hearing from readers and chatting over DM or email. Armitage states how some people are surprised when they receive a response since so many influencers do not respond to their DM’s, but she really tries to make an effort to make sure every message receives a response. She adds “Plus, it’s so fun—I love connecting with women around the world.”
Where to find Elise Armitage