It’s about time. All those people in the Link Up and all those makeover takeovers, well, it’s time to actually meet these lovely, talented, creative and very funny ladies. It just took us a bit to build out the team page to officially announce it. But it’s here, finally. And no, I’m not going ANYWHERE, they’d have to kill me—and there are enough of them that they could do it. But until then, I just want you to get to know the editors and designers here officially, and give them more presence on this site that they work so hard for.
Last year, while we were all on a team retreat, I realized that these women were all interesting, unique and hilarious. Instead of trying to find anonymous contributors, we should read what they have to say. Besides, I’m just one demographic and not all of you can identify with my situation. I’m a 40-year-old white mom, with two small kids and after building my career for 18 years, yes, I have a decent budget now. These women, the EHD team, who range in ages from 22 to 35, have different backgrounds/ethnicities/gender preferences, VERY different styles and budgets, and homes with different functional needs (lots of small space solutions or rental hacks).
So we’ll be rolling out some more MOTOs (Makeover Takeover), yes, (Emily Bowser’s living and dining room are coming up next month, Julie’s bedroom, Sara’s house, which Velinda is helping her to design to document the entire process from both sides), but also more personal posts from everyone on the team. Things that work great for them (both in their homes and their bodies), conversation starters, inspiration jumping-off points for EVERYONE (not just me and Arlyn/Jess). I can’t do it all, and haven’t for years so let’s make it official.
Please let us know what specific topics you’d love to hear from these wonderful, smart women, but in the meantime…we have some ideas.
So here you go. I’d like to officially introduce you to the EHD team here, but also, head to our brand new TEAM page to learn even more, see all the posts they’ve written, and become fast digital friends.
Sara Ligorria-Tramp, Director of Production & Photography
1. How’d you land at EHD? I was 24 and had been working as a personal assistant for an actor while also working freelance as a set PA with the hopes of becoming a line producer. I loved being on set—being wildly busy all day, exhausted by the end, and feeling accomplished and productive. But, I realized that I needed a creative component to my career and line producing is pretty much the opposite of that. At that point (in 2014), I was reading a lot of DIY blogs and a friend told me that an interior designer she followed was hiring for a blog assistant/office manager. I didn’t know who Emily was and knew nothing about interior design, but I was hungry for a job in a creative field. I think she hired me because I knew my way around photoshop and was willing to do LITERALLY. ANYTHING. I’m still here 5 years later, basically line producing while also doing something creative.
2. What do you do around here? I’m the head of production which means I oversee all the production for the site (project scheduling, client facing communication, working with the production and design team, etc.), as well as being our lead in-house photographer. I also help Em with some of the more administrative and HR oriented tasks that come with running the company. But I’ll be honest, I work with some really awesome producers, designers, stylists and a photo assistant. Everyone else is amazing at their jobs, so I basically do nothing all day except send everyone annoying Slacks about remembering to log their project hours correctly (which they already do, but it gives me a sense of purpose).
3. What advice would you give to someone looking to do what you do? Did you know that you spend 1/3 of your life working? So it’s very lucky that I LOVE working. I didn’t get into photography seriously until I was working at EHD, but once I decided photography was going to be my career, I really pushed myself. I got a hand-me-down camera, watched hours of tutorials, and annoyingly hovered around any freelance photographer anytime I was on set. I would DM photographers I followed on Instagram asking them questions about how they shot a specific photo or what equipment they were using. I started shooting every weekend, coming into work early and staying late to edit the photos I took. Eventually, Em started letting me shoot small things for blog posts. As my skills developed, I was able to shoot larger and larger projects. I still buy interior magazines to study the photos, what’s the composition, what’s the lighting? My biggest piece of advice is to pursue something with passion and dedication. And the fact that you can learn just about anything you need to via the internet.
- Instagram: @hellosaratrampinteriors
- Sign/Enneagram/Hogwarts House: Virgo, Strong 1 (The Perfectionist), Hardcore Gryffindor
- Design Aesthetic in 5 Words: It’s called a credenza, right?
- Favorite EHD Room of All Time: Curbly Family Living Room
- Favorite Place to Shop for Home Decor: Emily’s Garage – There’s nothing better than being in close proximity to Emily Henderson when she’s purging
- Favorite Place to Shop for Your Body: My Mom’s Closet – That lady is working with a better budget
Arlyn Hernandez, Chief Content Director
1. How’d you land at EHD? After studying journalism back in the olden days of media, I went directly to work in print magazines which was SO much fun. I worked almost every editorial job (assistant/associate editor, managing editor, copy editor, features editor, executive editor), but transitioned to digital about four years ago when I landed at Apartment Therapy as Design Editor (also SO much fun). I dabbled in freelancing with EHD for about a year and when I saw her post about hiring a new Editorial Director, I JUMPED at the opportunity, trekking across the country from Florida to take on the role.
2. What do you do around here? All the posts you see flash before your eyes were touched by me, whether Emily wrote it, Jess wrote it, whoever wrote it…I was there. I should start leaving “Arlyn wuz here” secretly at the end of every post because #accurate. I oversee the editorial and social teams day-to-day, set and manage the editorial calendar and goals, work on site refreshes and user experience (except for ads…don’t yell at me about those, pretty plz) and write/research my little heart out. You’ll typically find me leaning over Jess or Ryann’s desk asking them what they think about some very random or obscure design/color idea that almost always turns into a blog post around here…or saying something like “sofas are good for SEO” (they are).
3. What advice would you give to someone looking to do what you do? The greatest thing I ever did to land in the type of writing I wanted to be doing (my first job in editorial was at a professional water skiing magazine, people) was to hustle at night writing for outlets that synced up with my passions and pursuits. At first, I wrote for free, just for the byline. At one point, I wrote for beauty products (honestly, not a bad deal…do you know how much serums cost?!?), and then finally started getting paying gigs. I started my own blog to write whatever I wanted (this was in a time before Instagram and Pinterest) and used all of that to show people a portfolio that fit what I wanted to pursue instead of just where I had been employed. You gotta create your own path sometimes, so why not just start now?
- Instagram: @arlynhernandez
- Sign/Enneagram/Hogwarts House: Aquarius / 2 (The Helper) / Hard Gryffindor
- Design Aesthetic in 5 Words: Eclectic British grandma who decluttered.
- Favorite EHD Room of All Time: 120-Year-Old Barn (THAT BLUE ON BLUE IS LIFE)
- Favorite Place to Shop for Home Decor: furniture: ReStore (Habitat for Humanity’s thrift store); decor: Etsy or Target (and no, I didn’t get paid to say that…wait I guess I kind of did?).
- Favorite Place to Shop for Your Body: Nordstrom when I feel like going to a mall, ASOS when I don’t.
Caitlin Higgins, Partnerships & Marketing Manager
1. How’d you landed at EHD? I hopped on the EHD train in late 2015 with Sara’s first MOTO series. I had just moved out of an apartment with like, a million roommates and into my first LA 1BR and her posts were SO INSPIRING. I’ve been following ever since and actually found my job posting via Em’s Instagram! I was wrapping up a yearlong “Eat, Pray, Love” break (read: mostly eating) after spending long time working in a ton of different music industry business development jobs and was super excited to parlay that experience to the design world. Fun fact: I had my final interview here on a Tuesday afternoon and was planning to move to NYC on Thursday—yeah, like, 36 hours later—so getting hired felt like a REAL LIFE MOVIE MOMENT.
2. What do you do around here? I work with all our brand partners (and then all our internal teams) to bring y’all sponsored content that you will actually like reading/looking at/watching. Beyond that, I’ve been jumping into some business development projects (normal speak: what does the future of EHD look like, and who can we work with to get it there?) and I’ve been known to plan an event (or two? Stay tuned for more from us in 2020!).
3. What advice would you give to someone looking to do what you do? I am VERY LUCKY because I have basically worked in partnership/relationship management roles for my WHOLE ADULT LIFE. (In my whole child life, I worked in a skate rental handling people’s smelly shoes, so that’s decidedly less glamorous.) The two things that have helped me: 1. Being pretty shameless and social. I’m happy to slide into ALL THE DMs. Ya gotta be willing to make connections, even if you feel super dumb sending a million cold emails or hopping on cold calls. 2. Literally no one knows what they’re doing. A lot of the time people are like, “oh, I don’t know the procedure for reaching out or how to close a deal,” but I’ve worked at everywhere from startups to the biggest tech company in the world and I’m here to tell ya — there’s no playbook! There’s no secret MBA sauce you learn for partnerships; you already have all the tools, it’s just a matter of practice! (Bonus tip: pay for LinkedIn premium. I live in InMail!)
- Instagram: @chigglypuff
- Sign/Enneagram/Hogwarts House: Libra (Cap moon, Cancer rising) / 9 (The Peacemaker / Slytherin
- Design Aesthetic in 5 Words: Post-Modern. Bright. Comfortable. Graphic.
- Favorite EHD Room of All Time: FIG. HOUSE. Give me all the colors!
- Favorite Place to Shop for Home Decor: Craigslist, Chairish, Pepe’s Thrifty Shop in LA (the one on Centinela), Long Beach Flea, Instagram, Facebook Marketplace
- Favorite Place to Shop for Your Body: Madewell. Exclusively. If we ever run into each other, I WILL be wearing a Central shirt french-tucked into Skinny Skinny High-Rise jeans.
Jess Bunge, Senior Market Editor
1. How’d you land at EHD? Mine is a story of a late 20s career change, extreme luck and a lot of hard work. I had just returned from let’s say a not extremely successful move to Australia and was jobless. My (now favorite) cousin was moving out of LA after working at EHD for a few months and asked if I wanted her to recommend me to replace her. I had been a fan of Emily’s for at least three years at that point and desperately was trying to get my foot in the design door somewhere. After a few months of back and forth, I was hired as a graphic designer/office administrator. Three years later, I am the Senior Market Editor and couldn’t love it more.
2. What do you do around here? My main role is researching and writing for the blog. I research constantly (like all hours of the day) and look for the new and exciting things that are happening in the design world that I think our readers would find interesting. That could be anything from trends to products. But since we are a small team, I also help with marketing, press and the occasion dirty dish.
3. What advice would you give to someone looking to do what you do? My path was obviously not the norm and I never lose sight of that but I would say just do what you can to get your foot in the door. Contact anyone you know who may have a connection to an editorial site. AND if you are like I was, try not to feel too stressed that you are older than you would like in terms of starting at an entry-level position. If you work hard, have good ideas, and pitch in where help is needed then you will have huge potential to move up. Also, start writing to find your voice.
- Instagram: @jessbunge
- Sign/Enneagram/Hogwarts House: Libra / 9 (The Peacemaker) / Hufflepuff
- Design Aesthetic in 5 Words: Modern. Natural. Euro-Wannabe. Abstract Crazed.
- Favorite EHD Room of All Time: The Fig House, because it was the room that first made me a fan of Emily.
- Favorite Place to Shop for Home Decor: As a hardcore indecisive Libra, this question is ACTUAL torture. I would say Etsy and Chairish. Lots of options but there are SO many others.
- Favorite Place to Shop for Your Body: Madewell and Zara (though if money weren’t an option, I’d go with Lisa Says Gah)
Julie Rose, Lead Designer
1. How’d you land at EHD? After graduating college with a BFA in Interior Architecture, I did the sensible thing and took about a year off to pull a Cheryl Strayed and attempted to thru-hike the PCT. 700 miles later, a foot injury landed me living in LA with my mom at the age of 28 (not ideal). Two weeks later, Emily posted on Instagram that she was hiring a design assistant…I promptly updated my portfolio and resume. The following Wednesday, Brady emailed me for an interview. Meeting Emily that day felt so surreal. I would tell people, “No, I would never move back to Los Angeles…unless, of course, I could work for Emily Henderson” and THEN IT WAS HAPPENING, I got hired that night!
2. What do you do around here? In the past two years, I’ve worn many hats and I’m not really a “hat person”. I started off on editorial then jumped into being a design assistant on the Mountain House. A month later I was the design assistant and project manager of both the Mountain House and the Portland project (I love the PNW & everyone knows it!). This past year I have worked as a stylist on some Target shoots, the Atlanta Project, House Beautiful shoot for the Mountain House and then lead designer on the Velux Bedroom project & some other projects in the works! Sara has even taught me how to edit photos, so in short a little of everything!
3. What advice would you give to someone looking to do what you do? Absorb as much information as possible. There are many aspects to interior design/architecture and the amount of information out there can sometimes be overwhelming but don’t feel the pressure to know it all when you first start out. The best learning moments that I’ve had is on the job, school prepares you to think like a designer and the job will turn you into one.
- Instagram: @julie.a.rose
- Sign/Enneagram/Hogwarts House: Libra / 9 / Hufflepuff…basically this means that I just want peace and love in life.
- Design Aesthetic in 5 Words: Old man goes on hike.
- Favorite EHD Room of All Time: Oh come on, this is so hard to choose! Okay, anything from the mountain house ’cause it’s my fake baby.
- Favorite Place to Shop for Home Decor: Long Beach Flea Market or Etsy Vintage…is it cheap? Great, I’ll take it!
- Favorite Place to Shop for Your Body: REI; if it was socially acceptable to wear my hiking clothes to work every day, I would.
Velinda Hellen, Lead Designer
1. How’d you land at EHD? I was still in design school and applied at random to the [email protected] email, not expecting much. Two months later, Brady called! Four days later, I was hired on-the-spot via a Skype interview.
2. What do you do around here? All things design, styling and often, producing. Oh… and writing. It’s pretty much impossible to get bored here. I came on as a designer on the mountain house and Portland projects and later took on a lot of the Flash Makeover designs/production. Somewhere along the way, I started writing on the blog and now I’m writing on Emily’s next book, which is what a lot of my year has been dedicated to; producing styling and helping to write/research that beast!
3. What advice would you give to someone looking to do what you do? Read this post!
- Instagram: @velindahellendesign
- Sign/Enneagram/Hogwarts House: Pisces / 1 (The Reformer) / Self-identified Ravenclaw
- Design Aesthetic in 5 Words: Scandi. Vintage. Earthy. Collected. Quirk.
- Favorite EHD Room of All Time: Mountain house master…or kitchen
- Favorite Place to Shop for Home Decor: Craigslist
- Favorite Place to Shop for Your Body: Crossroads Exchange…wait, other stores exist?
Emily Bowser, Lead Stylist
1. How’d you land at EHD? I followed Emily for a number of years before working here. If I had been thinking clearly, it wouldn’t have taken me long to realize that my real passion was interior styling. It took years of people going out of their way to tell me I had a natural knack for it and blogs like Emily’s showing me that it was a real job. She posted in the fall of 2016 that she was looking for a styling assistant, though I had seen and dismissed it. Five different people screenshot it and sent it to me and I took it as a sign—maybe I could/should do this? I knew someone who knew her and asked for a referral, Emily gave me a chance (I dug my nails in deep) and here we are.
2. What do you do around here? In the early days, I was a freelance styling assistant for Emily, Ginny, Mel, and Brady, and before long, I had more and more responsibility and now I’m producing and styling shoots from “soup to nuts.” My roles have varied, but at first, it was a lot of schlepping, organizing, steaming, picking out/arranging flowers, pre-styling (when you style but then a professional comes behind you and makes it look WAY better by moving 3 things 1 inch each while you watch in amazement), returning, storing and making itemized lists of things we used so that editorial can insert into the post. Now, it’s all the things above except I have to move all the items 1 inch and hope it looks way better. In addition, I’m now involved in ideating out the creative along with Emily, the client and sometimes someone else (Julie or Velinda), making decks (which are basically the “plans” of the shoot), sourcing and shopping, styling to camera, wrapping out, and submitting notes to editorial to help them form the post.
3. What advice would you give to someone looking to do what you do? Styling is 95% hard, physical labor. 4% is dreaming up the beautiful ideas. 1% is styling to camera while pretty music plays. Most importantly, 100% of it is collaborative. You have to show people that you are willing to do the hard physical work and do it with a good attitude. Other than that, be willing to work for free or cheap in the beginning but still value yourself. The value, or how you’re getting “paid” is the experience and the networking. Find someone who knows someone, make cold calls to production houses or do a “test shoot” with a photographer who wants to build their portfolio. Invest in a stylist kit and be ready to go! Sometimes people will rent kits for a couple hundred dollars for a shoot, if that “kit fee” comes with a willing and able body, I don’t know many stylists who would say no to that. I sure wouldn’t.
- Instagram: @emilyedithbowser
- Sign/Enneagram/Hogwarts House: Capricorn / 9 (The Peacemaker) / Slytherin
- Design Aesthetic in 5 Words: Livable. Organized. Grounded. Quirky. Vintage.
- Favorite EHD Room of All Time: This is impossible, though Brady’s living room made me want his job, the Parisian hotel with Sothebys is the thing dreams are made of. OH ALSO Jess’ living room reveal. All the heart eye emojis.
- Favorite Place to Shop for Home Decor: Long Beach Flea Market
- Favorite Place to Shop for Your Body: Also Long Beach Flea Market, haha. Recently really into Alter in Silver Lake, as well.
Ryann Miller, Lifestyle Editor
1. How’d you land at EHD? Despite being told by nearly everyone that it would be a pointless degree unless I became a teacher, I studied English Literature in college. Naturally, some were proven right (at first) as my first real job was working as a personal assistant for a fashion writer, stylist and photographer. Eventually, I quit that horrible job, saw EHD was looking for a temporary data entry person and despite knowing nothing about design, applied. Somehow I got the job (that promised only 2-3 weeks) and never left. 🙂
2. What do you do around here? I am the Lifestyle Editor so I manage and edit all the fashion/lifestyle posts you see around here. Oh, and I write whatever Arlyn tells me to because she is the boss and knows what’s good for me (and the blog, of course).
3. What advice do you have for someone who wants to do what you do? Honestly, study whatever you want in college (or don’t go if it’s not your thing, because seriously college is NOT EVERYONE’S THING and that is okay). Get any entry-level job in the industry or company you want to work for, work your butt off and be on time. Always be willing to help (especially with the annoying tasks no one wants to do) and do so with a great attitude and a smile. People will notice and will want to help get you to where you want to be.
- Instagram: @rymiller
- Sign/Enneagram/Hogwarts House: Gemini / 7 (The Enthusiast) / Ravenclaw
- Design Aesthetic in 5 Words: Quirky ‘70s desert chic.
- Favorite EHD Room of All Time: Mountain house living room. I die.
- Favorite Place to Shop for Home Decor: Craigslist and thrift stores
- Favorite Place to Shop for Your Body: Etsy and The Real Real
Veronica Crawford, Photography Assistant
1. How’d you land at EHD? EHD is my first, official, full-time job, but I had interned at Darling Magazine and also CBS as a photo intern at both while I was in school. I’d been freelancing fresh out of school for a bit when a co-worker from Darling had posted that EHD was hiring. Although I was not a follower before, it was something in my field of study so, I applied, and here I am!
2. What do you do around here? I am the Photo Assistant here at EHD which is basically an umbrella term for Photo Editor / Photographer. I edit, along with Sara, most of the interior spaces, and I shoot and edit all the fashion stories.
3. What advice do you have for someone who wants to do what you do? The advice I’ve always given and will continue to give is to pick something you love and don’t stop working until you get there. Don’t be afraid to reach out to as many people as it takes to get your name out there and foot in the door, because the worst they can say is “no.”
- Instagram: for photos: @vnrcrawford_, for life: @heyitsvbaby_
- Sign/Enneagram/Hogwarts House: Gemini / 6 (The Loyalist) / Hufflepuff, baby!!!
- Design Aesthetic in 5 Words: Colorful. Organized. Creative. Comfortable. Dreamy.
- Favorite EHD Room of All Time: Mountain house downstairs guest bathroom and Arlyn’s MOTO
- Favorite Place to Shop for Home Decor: Target & IKEA
- Favorite Place to Shop for Your Body: American Eagle, Topshop, and recently, Zara
Mallory Wackerman, Social & Blog Assistant
1. How’d you land at EHD? I was working at a PR Agency in New York and was doing some real career soul-searching. I found Emily from a podcast I listened to and I instantly followed her. I quickly realized all I wanted was to be in the world of interior design social media (pretty specific, I know) and I literally said “wow, I would love to manage a social media like this” when I saw her Instagram. Two weeks later, she posted about hiring a social media manager and now here I am. It’s probably the luckiest thing that’s ever happened to me. The universe is weird, right?
2. What do you do around here? You’ve probably all wondered, who is the person that films Emily in all of her IGTVs and Instagram stories, right? Well, hey guys. It me. So I do that, come up with social content (alongside the fabulous editorial trio), edit content, manage assets for partnerships, and post. A lot. If you see me on my phone, I promise I’m working!
3. What advice do you have for someone who wants to do what you do? Find people that inspire you every day that have careers you would love to emulate. Then find them on social media and give them a follow. You’d be surprised how much you can learn from mentors on Instagram (and also podcasts, listen to podcasts). You never know, you might end up working with them (@ the entire EHD team).
- Instagram: @mallorywackerman
- Sign/Enneagram/Hogwarts House: Virgo / 7 (The Enthusiast) / Gryffindor
- Design Aesthetic in 5 Words: Chic mid-century Palm Springs hotel.
- Favorite EHD Room of All Time: All of the bathrooms in the mountain house.
- Favorite Place to Shop for Home Decor: HD Buttercup, Jonathan Adler, Modshop
- Favorite Place to Shop for Your Body: Either a boutique on Abbot Kinney in Venice, Buffalo Exchange or Crossroads, or sometimes straight-up Ross & TJ Maxx
THAT IS ALL THE AMAZING WOMEN I GET TO CALL MY TEAM. We have a lot more from everyone (plus links to all the posts they’ve written if you feel like diving in) on our brand new TEAM page (be sure to click “see all posts” or right on anyone’s photo to read more). We might be tinkering around with the page in the coming days, but we were so excited to finally get it out there. Again, please let us know what topics you’d love to hear about from these voices on the blog and we’re happy to get to work on it. We’re not short-winded around here (I say, at the end of a 5,000-word post), so…you don’t have to force our hand to write about, um, anything. xx